View Full Version : Ruger Blackhawk .357 New Model

January 8, 2005, 09:55 PM
I just went an bought a New Model Blackhawk .357. According to the serial # it was made in 1981.

It shoot very accurate. The only issue I have is when I shoot the FEDERAL American Eagle 158gr .357mag shells the cylinder get hot enough and expands to the point that the ejector rod doesn't line up when I try to empty the cylinder. I have to wait a minute or two for the gun to cool down then it fits fine. Shooting .38sp I have no issues.

Is this normal for this to happen?

January 8, 2005, 11:32 PM
I would check it for headspace with a feeler gauge. It shouldn't be more than .008", but Ruger will accept a little more. It may be getting so hot from leaking more gases than usual because of excessive headspace.

January 8, 2005, 11:47 PM
I checked it when I bought it. The gap is at .006

I figured that was pretty good. Could it be the Federal 158gr load?

January 9, 2005, 02:09 AM
I would have the revolver ranged. It sounds like it is possibly shaving some lead because it has gone too far and the chamber is out of range. Could be the hand or it may have a bad ratchet pad. Have it checked out for sure.

I would remove the cylinder and check the throat out and see if you have any signs of it leading up. If it does, this may be the culprit.

January 9, 2005, 06:58 PM
I'm not sure if shaving lead has anything to do w/ this situation.

My question was more directed towards the expansion of metal, particularly the cylinder when it gets hot. When I shoot a lot of .357 rounds, the ejector rod goes out of line w/ the cylinder chambers making it not push thru to eject the empties. After it cools down some, the cylinder shrinks a bit and everything is OK. Shooting .38sp is ok and does not casue this issue.

My question was asking if this expansion of the cylinder normal for this particular gun when it gets hot. I am having a hard time understanding how the hand or ratchet pad has anything to do w/ this issue.

January 9, 2005, 09:10 PM
I have not had any cylinders get so hot they expand so much that the rod want work right. I have had a few come in that they were not ranged correctly and they would shave lead and the cylinder would get hot because of this. The problem was the cylinder wasn't pushed into engagement because of bad timing of the hand and ratchet pads had been worn down. I fail to see how the cylinder gets so hot just from firing factory loads. Have you checked the screw holding the ejector rod to make sure it isn't loose. Federal doesn't load the 158 grain rounds too hot. How do you know the cylinder is expanding to much? Most of the time if the rod doesn't go into the cylinder to push out the empty, it is because the cylinder isn't lined up when you try to push it out. Roll it back slightly to get it lined up.

January 9, 2005, 11:07 PM
The rod itself on the Blackhawk is not "centered" to the cylinder holes. That means when I line up the hole w/ the rod to eject the shells, the rod sits closer to the inside of the chambers by 1mm. If I fire too many .357 loads (this was the first time and I used the Federal 158gr .357mag thru the gun), the cylinder get hot. When this happens, it seems like the cahmber holes get a little smaller due to heat expansion and cause the ejector rod not to be able to slip thru the hole. After about 2 minutes as the heat dissipates, the rod slips in fine.

January 10, 2005, 12:27 AM
That cylinder would have to get red hot just to expand a few thousands. I don't think that is your problem. I sounds like you have a problem with the gun but what? The cylinders in your car expand about 1 thousand per inch of cylinder. A 4 inch cylinder will expand 4 thousands. Car cylinders get much hotter than what the water temp says. Like 1000 to 1200.

On my ruger 45 blackhawk the extractor rod dosen't even come close to touching the inside of the cylinder. Just a wild guess I would say it's some where around .150 thousands.

January 10, 2005, 12:33 AM
quote it seems like the cahmber holes get a little smaller due to heat expansion unquote.

The cylinder holes would get bigger not smaller.

January 10, 2005, 02:47 AM
The cylinder holes would get bigger not smaller.

Why would metal shrink away when expanding? :confused: :confused:

Doesn't metal uniformly expand so logic would make the cylinder holes get smaller not bigger. I mean would metal expand outward as well as inward?

On my ruger 45 blackhawk the extractor rod dosen't even come close to touching the inside of the cylinder.

That may be very true w/ the .45LC Blackhawk. I'm interested to see what the .357 Blackhawk owners have to say on this. Do you know of any that can reply? If I post this in the revo forum, it'll just get moved back here.

January 10, 2005, 03:51 AM
The cylinder on any Ruger I've ever shot .22-.44 never lined up exactly with the extractor rod when it clicks while extracting them hot or not. This is new to me...How many of you have shot Ruger single action pistols? This is crazy. I always just madly press it until it finds it's way into the cylinder and pops out the shell before it clicks into place and if it does before the shell pops out then it's onto the next and then it's round and round again until I get to the one that didn't extract. I never knew this was supposed to be a unusual until now?? :confused:

January 10, 2005, 03:58 AM
I just did a search on my name and noticed that my last post in here didn't turn up in the search. I wonder if that has anything to do with why nobody posts in this subforum?

January 10, 2005, 04:27 AM

If you have a Blackhawk .357, next time you shoot it check it out. When it gets hot it's almost like it can go anywhere. The time it takes you to keep fiddling w/ it is allowing it to cool down until the ejector rod clears the cylinder hole and goes thru.

I have confirmed this because I shoot .38sp thru it and don't get this issue. Just when I fire magnum loads. It seems a little "stupid" that I can't eject the shell when I want and have to wait for the gun to cool. It's not my carry gun but GEEZ, if it was, I would be in serious trouble if I couldn't reload when I needed to and have to wait for the gun to cool down. :rolleyes:

January 10, 2005, 05:11 AM
That's very strange, I'll have to check that out with the old Single Six next time. To me on every Ruger I've ever shot the ejector rod is always on the top of the cylinder wall when and a little before the cylinder clicks into place the ejector rod won't go into the cylinder no matter how hot or cold it is.

Funny I'd own and fire all these Rugers that behave exactly the same way only to find that they all are defective... :o I kinda doubt it though..

January 10, 2005, 05:19 AM
To me on every Ruger I've ever shot the ejector rod is always on the top of the cylinder wall when and a little before the cylinder clicks into place the ejector rod won't go into the cylinder no matter how hot or cold it is.

I agree. Mine is that way also. You have to spin the cylinder a little bit before the rod gets overtop of the "hole"...BUT when mine gets too hot, even when I have it lined up where it ususally goes thru, it hits the inside lip face of the cylinder (closest to the shaft where the cylinder spins on). I then have to wait about a minute or two for it to cool enough for the clearance to return to normal. It is quite aggravating.

I just need to know if this is a normal thing amongst the .357 Blackhawks specifically.

January 10, 2005, 08:34 AM
Have never noticed any particular problem ejecting .357's out of my Blackhawk.

January 10, 2005, 02:18 PM
GunsnRovers : Posts: Have never noticed any particular problem ejecting .357's out of my Blackhawk.

Do you shoot .38sp mainly or .357mag loads thru it? Can I ask you what year yours was made?

January 10, 2005, 06:23 PM
when you turn the cylinder over to the next round, slightly roll it backwards to see if it lines up better. Yours may be off center slightly. I still haven't figured out how your cylinder gets so hot. I shoot heavy loads out of mine without any problems, and yes I have the 44mag as well as .357 mag. I shoot atleast 50 rounds during a range session, and my cylinder has never gotten hot enough to expand. Most of the time when you have problems extracting a spent round, is because of carbon build up. Maybe you're having to wait until it cools to let the case contract after being fire-formed against the cylinder wall. I would get a good bronze brush and some Ballistol or another good carbon cleaner and scrub the cylinders very well. If that doesn't work for you, I would take it to a smith and let him doublecheck everything.

January 10, 2005, 08:20 PM
I can look at it w/ my naked eye and see that the ejector rod is not going to make it when it gets hot. It literally is hitting the cylinder face no matter how much I rotate the cylinder back and forth to try to get it to "slip" thru. Then after a minute or two it magically fits and I have no problems until another cylinder of .357 are shot. Then the whole scenario starts over again. W/ .38sp, I just push the rod thru and reload, no fuss no muss.

January 11, 2005, 01:23 AM
guy you have one strange problem with your gun! I just looked at my Blackhawk in 30 carbine which has smaller cylinder holes and the ejector rod has plenty of room. I do know one thing. the little heat the gun makes is not going to make the metal move that much and I would say not at all. I really think you should have a gun smith take a look at your gun.

Dave Sample
January 11, 2005, 02:44 PM
Sounds to me that you need to hone the chambers and make them smoother. Brass expends when hot and that is why we use it for bullets. I would have a Pistolsmith do an 11 degree forcing cone and hone the chambers.

January 15, 2005, 09:00 AM
If it were my Ruger (have seven) I'd simply contact Ruger service.
I had great results before.........

Unkel Gilbey
January 15, 2005, 09:38 AM
I guess from your description, it's possible that when your pistol gets hot(ter) from firing the magnum rounds, that this whole housing gets cocked enough that the ejector won't enter the cylinder.

The deal about the cylinder expanding enough to block the rod doesn't wash because (as you said) metal should expand uniformly. If this were so (and it mostly is) then your cylinder would lock up tighter than a drum and not rotate. I believe you said that you had about 1mm of clearance between the rod and the cylinder wall when the pistol was cool. Therefore, I'd think that if it expanded that much, then your 6 thousands of headspace would disappear too. If it didn't, then the cylinder itself might rattle like a bastard on it's pin, as this bore too would expand. Either way, this doesn't sound like the culprit.

Now, if for some reason, the screw that holds the ejector housing were cocked, or if the screw hole on the barrel weren't perfectly lined up, then (as the barrel heats) it might just move your ejector (and housing) enough to cause the interference. I'll bet you a beer that your barrel get's a lot hotter than the cylinder - and would move more because it has less mass at that point.

Next time you fire that puppy with your full boat loads, eyeball the area between the housing and the barrel, and see if you can see a gap. If so, you've found the problem. Fixing it could be as simple as elongating the screw hole on the ejector. Might even be as simple as just tightening that screw. You never know.

But do enlist the help of Ruger. They do have excellent customer service, and they'll track down the problem (and fix it) toot-sweet!

Good Luck!
Unkel Gilbey

Harry Bonar
January 22, 2005, 09:05 AM
Dear Sir:
I'm stumped about this; somrthing is badly wrong here! :confused: :confused:

Dave Sample
January 22, 2005, 03:18 PM
I would send it back to Ruger, Harry. Let them be stumped! They will know their own.