View Full Version : rusty ruger

May 3, 2010, 12:12 AM
I bought a ruger old army today,stainless supposedly,200 cash,no box no nipple wrench,small lots of pitting ,bores bright I have seen,30 yr old guns that had less pitting,cylinder pin was froze,one of the chambers has rust that has changed the cylinder gap,several thousands,in one small spot,cylinder endplay is non existant,as far as I can see,small pits in various places all over the outer finish,but the inner chambers are fine,go figure,I guess this will be my new knock around gun(no worries of depreciation) is it just me or does it seem like u see more rusty r o a stainless than blued :confused:and this revolver has a much wider trigger ,than my blued model:confused:

4V50 Gary
May 3, 2010, 12:24 AM
Badly abused or neglected gun. Since the bore and cylinder holes are fine, @ $200 I think you did real good. A bit of steel wool will polish it up (but won't remove the pitting).

May 3, 2010, 02:08 AM
Stainless is, as I'm sure you know, only resistant to rusting - NOT "rust free" as it's also called. Unfortunately I get the impression that many 1970s era ROA owners did not fully understand this and as a result I've seen many old ROAs that are pitted. Some badly.

Mine is a 1976 model and it's got some pitting on the top strap. Only place thank goodness but it's there and it bugs me. Oh well! It's still a shooter.

If your cylinder is pitted to the point that you can claim even the slightest concern for safety you might consider sending it to the factory for them to inspect. I did so with mine and it came back with a new cylinder, fitted and numbered to match my ROA. Since mine is not a boxed collector's piece I was very happy with this great customer service from Ruger.


As you can see, I have an R&D conversion cylinder for it.

For this one also:




May 3, 2010, 07:51 AM
Certainly a good price. Stainless can be cleaned up if the pitting is not really deep. The stainless ROA I bought had what I would call corrosion on the outside surface. I started with some 400grit paper and worked up to 1000 grit, then a buffing wheel. I'm satisfied with the finish.

May 3, 2010, 10:23 AM
Sadly, this pitting has not been exclusive to the ROA's. A freind of mine brought me a SingleSix with the same problems and neglect. Some of the rust was easily removed and others were not. I liken these to worm-holes. They were few but went deep into the metal. Work with it and enjoy it for what it is, a good shooter. .... ;)

Be Safe !!!

May 3, 2010, 10:51 PM
ya, showing these old army rugers is making me wanting to check them up close...say... in my gun safe!! beautiful guns by the way.

May 3, 2010, 11:36 PM
:cool:I bought the gun used of course,I hope ruger does the same for me,i think one chamber could be dangerous,THEY dont make the ruger old army any more,do they still warranty them?

May 4, 2010, 08:57 AM
I bought the gun used of course,I hope ruger does the same for me,i think one chamber could be dangerous,THEY dont make the ruger old army any more,do they still warranty them?

Technically Rugers do not have a warranty. They do stand behind their product and I know they have parts for the ROA. They made up some last year from parts and I believe it was Davis that sold them.

May 4, 2010, 09:10 PM
Yep, they'll stand behind it no matter who owns it or how old it is. Can't hurt to send it in and see what they do for you.


May 4, 2010, 09:19 PM
Call first. I called 6 months ago about replacing an ROA cylinder I was working on and they said they only had 3 left...

May 5, 2010, 01:43 AM
And I asked if it was bad stainless steel,or was rugers stainless not surgical quality? they said they didnt know,and it may not cost me a dime,I havent seen any naa minis pitted,or freedom arms pitting ,im thinking this could be questionable quality stainless.

May 5, 2010, 04:49 AM
There's various degrees of stainless and I don't think surgical stainless would be desirable for guns. It sure as heck isn't for knives.

May 5, 2010, 07:37 AM
The 17-4 ph surgical quality stainless steele used in making n a a mini revolvers is the best there is,so if the doc drops his mini revolver in ur gut while doing surgery,he can recover it with no pitting:eek:

May 6, 2010, 08:59 PM
Pump shaft quality, 17 -4 ph ,nitronic 50 high strength 410 ss ,the list goes on who knew,there were so many types of stainless steel,I wonder why ruger wouldnt know what steel they used in thier old armys ?i wish more:confused gun makers would publish what metal they use in gunmaking :cool:

May 6, 2010, 09:24 PM
Ruger knows what their SS alloy consists of. They probably consider that proprietary info...you know "trade secret" stuff. They probably just thought it would be more polite to say "I don't know" instead of "none of your freakin' business". That's my theory anyway...

May 6, 2010, 10:28 PM
anyone who thinks like that is insane or ignorant,they need to go shoot some nickle steel springfeilds,or some chinese m 14 copys,severe pitting can be caused by inferior stainless,and n a a and many others haved no problem disclosing the type alloys they employ.:cool:

May 6, 2010, 10:37 PM
So you really believe that Ruger doesn't know the makeup of their SS alloy? Or you are saying you are a proponent that manufacturers should give up their trade secrets?

May 6, 2010, 10:47 PM
I don't think that the Italian stainless is any better than Ruger's and it's probably worse.

Different stainless has different qualities and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Ruger selects their stainless on the basis of strength rather than for its rust resistance.

Strength is chosen for safety reasons and maybe there's cost considerations too.
But if someone doesn't like the steel Ruger uses then they certainly don't have to buy one.

I've also seen impure stainless used in guns and Ruger probably doesn't make their own steel either. They rely on suppliers and who knows how pure or impure the steel is until after it's made into parts and then its purity flaws become more detectable. But if it's safe steel then more than likely it meets their standards.
The ROA's sure do look great when they're new and all polished up. :)

May 7, 2010, 09:27 AM
I just wanna be informed,as to how the face of the cylinder could disapear,by several thousands,i love ruger,all rugers and i think i got a good deal at 200 dollars,but ive heard that ruger casts some of thier parts,and have had some problems with ss ,my 1022 ss no marks my ss mini 14 spotless my blu r o a imaculate, and i wouldnt buy any other brands except ruger ,n a a ,freedom arms,smith n wesson ,mag reserch my only conclusion is that the lady i was speaking to was uninformed,about the product,if anyone ever finds out what ss ruger uses please post ur findings,:cool:

May 7, 2010, 09:42 AM
I honestly don't know whether or not most firearm manufacturers want to or are willing to give out the information you seek. I certainly wasn't saying that it is not your business. I was merely pointing out that the person with whom you spoke may have been directed to not divulge the info you sought and thus gave you the answer she did. I also wouldn't doubt if she gave the answer she did because she was uninformed. However, we should keep in mind that there are manufacturers who do not want to give out what they deem as "trade secret" material because, for whatever reason, they feel it gives them a competitive advantage over others. And, if safety is not involved, I fully support their desire to keep that info secret. Personally, I'd like to know the answer too. Further, I wonder if Ruger's SS alloy is specifically blended to provide more strength than the SS alloy used by other firearm manufacturers. There are always tradeoffs for most things in life and I'm sure with SS blends this holds true. I seem to recall that Ruger is one brand that is known to handle +P loads much better than other brands. Is the steel they use the secret?...or is it solely the mechanical design?

May 7, 2010, 12:00 PM
The quest for knowlege goes on,but i still love me som rugers:D

May 7, 2010, 12:12 PM
I own six Rugers. Five are stainless steel and of which two are Old Armies. So far, knock on wood, I haven't seen any weirdness develop on the surface of these SS firearms. As far as Ruger goes, they are right up there as being some of my favorite firearms. The qualitiy and workmanship are A Number One. Your mileage may vary.

May 7, 2010, 07:22 PM
I think that the problem will only get worse, cut your losses. I will send you a check for $200 and you send me the gun and over the years I will update you on how it shoots. :D

May 8, 2010, 12:34 AM
not,i just bought a dremmel,:cool:

May 8, 2010, 06:48 AM
Ruger has their own proprietary stainless steel, 409R I think. It's made to their specs and I have seen several articles on-line about it. Like any stainless, it's not rust proof, it's rust resistant. Ruger considered strength, machinibility and corrosion resistant properties.

not,i just bought a dremmel,

Nite Ryder
May 9, 2010, 02:18 PM
According to Ruger employee's I've visited with at the Shot Show, Ruger doesn't only do castings for themselves, they cast for many other firearms manufacturing companies. And the Shot Show has a display showing some of their castings. I own 21 Single Action Rugers, and several of their semi auto 22's, but no big bore semi auto's made by Ruger. Of the single actions, I have two stainless steel ROA and one which is blued. I have conversion cylinders for all three guns, and have used both SS guns with the cylinders, but not the blued model. I've owned these guns since 1984 and no pitting is apparent of any of them.

May 10, 2010, 12:32 AM
by golly i wanna be just like u when i grow up,and i dont want none of my guns rusty either,so im sending my ss ruger to the experts at sturm ruger co.god bless america

May 14, 2010, 09:29 AM
Today at the ruger site,I discovered INvestment castings, a pair of ruger alaskan revolvers,fresh out of the mold,wow who knew bill was a pioneer in that field too,they do list a 17-4 ph steel heated to 44 rb hardness,pretty hard,pine tree castings,part of the ruger family,check it out ruger.com:cool: