August 21, 2010, 07:50 PM
well I tried the ruger to day at 20 yards seem to shoot a excellent 2" group 2 hand hold no bench rest.
I went with 25 grains of goex 3F and 25 grain of cream of wheat I then used my 60/40 beeswax @ lard (no salt )
I was very happy for the first time out I went threw about 25 rounds No jams ,cleaning WAS about 45 min:

August 21, 2010, 08:43 PM
Be very careful with the ROA, since getting mine about 6 years ago many more b/p guns have followed me home and countless pounds of powder have:D gone up in smoke.

August 22, 2010, 04:54 AM
I been shooting my flinters for years :I started in 1969 did a spread until he middle 80's with flinters,percussion.and 2 handguns.I got back into to it about 10 years ago and all I can say it a great sport and fun to shoot.I have a few centerfire rifle but onece you get them sighted in and shoot 3 shots under under 1/2" they spend most of there time in the gun safe.I have 2 flinters that see the range and field each year .I would say I run threw 3 to 4 pounds of black powder each year :D

August 22, 2010, 06:42 AM
Mine came in the mail yesterday around noon. I took her apart and took a quick peek. In excellent shape for a gun made in 1976. Built like a rock. The loading lever fell apart and I was doing a jig saw puzzle for a while getting it back together.

Thanks for the range report.

Doc Hoy
August 22, 2010, 08:56 AM
This loading lever and plunger arrangement has been a peave since the first one was made. The ROA shooter develops a knack for taking the cylinder out without dropping the plunger on the ground.

The pistol seems to have been designed to be able to quickly change the plunger. When I am shooting light loads, the plunger and lever always bottoms out against the frame before I have confident compression. (No wad and no cornmeal used) I thought of making a longer plunger to overcome this problem but the plunger would have to be interchangable. In this case the existing design would be essential.

I saw the photos of your latest acquisitions. You have very good taste.

August 22, 2010, 11:53 AM
Slowhand: I see your ruger over at the highroad looks like we got a matched pair in the same condition same year 1976
were in S.C are you ?
I spend my winter months down in N.C. Calabash 3 mi from SC border or little river.

August 22, 2010, 02:48 PM
Hey robhof-

Know where you're coming from. BP shooting is a good way to make your money "go up in smoke!"

August 22, 2010, 05:39 PM
I'm in Irmo, SC a bedroom community for Columbia these days. In the old days Irmo was where all the rail road tracks from in town met the main line heading out. Lake Murray is just down the road from my house. So in a couple of years it's fishing boat time.

Doc Hoy

I've seen some of your collection and you work projects. You are of course way ahead of me on experience and volume when it comes to BP Revolvers.

I'm fortunate to have a few decades of experience in modern firearms plus the Ruger Owners Manual, in PDF for the ROA. I gather the loading lever and plunger are one of those quirks about the ROA best found out in the den than on a range. I will be keeping my eye on that in the future. Any other heads up information would of course be appreciated. I'm going to do a complete disassembly and reassembly when I get a chance, before a range trip. Old Bill Ruger put a lot of thought into his entry into BP Revolvers.

I have a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan that I've did some after factory clean up, plus polishing and tune up on which give me some experience with the basic design of the ROA, sans the BP additions/changes to it. First time out she's getting a less than full charge, plus some corn meal I'm no glutton for recoil. Later on I'll have to of course go a few full loads just for the heck of it.

Thanks for the comments gentlemen.

August 22, 2010, 06:00 PM
I like to ask some guys like cream of wheat other say corn meal
any difference between the 2 is one better then the other????

Doc Hoy
August 22, 2010, 06:45 PM
I am the first and only guy to gripe about the lever bottoming on the frame when using light loads. Maybe it is not a problem to others. I have seen nothing about longer plungers for the pistol and I think that no such part exists.

I think others are solving the problem with either cornmeal or wads.

I solved it by loading with a press. I was once a rather boistrous critic of loading presses. Now I swear by them.

August 22, 2010, 06:55 PM
I like to ask some guys like cream of wheat other say corn meal any difference between the 2 is one better then the other?
Are you a real nit picker about having the ball up front, or are you just trying to get enough in the hole so the ram doesn't run out of travel before the ball is seated? If it's the latter, consider a felt wad or a loading press (I do both), IMHO it's easier than messing with meal.

August 22, 2010, 07:44 PM
Yes Dr. Hoy, there have been longer plungers made for years. I forgot who
made them, but quite a few of my friends had them back in the 70's.
As to the cornmeal/cream-of-wheat thing, use cream-of-wheat. I am not a
fan of wads except for hunting. Nobody fools with them in competion shooting.

August 23, 2010, 01:44 AM
I just found out today from the previous owner's son that the Montana ROA I bought is a 34 year old virgin. My initial look over confirms that. I hope the second one coming from California had a few put through because one of the ladies in going to the range. I'd hate to fire a 34 year old gun for the first time but..... I have enough Safe Queens in the house.
Make up your minds guys is it corn meal or cream of wheat?

August 23, 2010, 08:11 AM
I have on occasion used quick grits. I like them cooked before they hit the target. :D


August 23, 2010, 11:54 AM
IIRC, in My Cousin Vinny, Mr. Tipton opined: "No self-respectin' southerner uses instant grits." ;)

August 23, 2010, 12:21 PM
Zippy, that's why I shoot them and don't eat them because I agree with Mr Tipton!

August 23, 2010, 06:59 PM
OK... so now it grits flying down range. I went out to the outdoor gun club that I joined last week and got my safety briefing this afternoon. Next week, I should get my access card, so I can get into the place. Then I'll make some time to get out there and blow some targets away.

Doc Hoy
August 24, 2010, 04:07 AM
I put the grits in the chamber and eat the gun powder.

Thats why I shoot off my mouth so much.;)

August 24, 2010, 08:55 AM
Filler are one of those argument starting issues.
I side with those who claim it makes not difference. The ball/bullet seated down a bit or raise it with filler.
My preferred method was a lubed felt wad under the projectile. Easier and cleaner to use than filler under and grease over, IMHO.
For those who argue lubed wads are expensive, I reply "Who buys them?" Just cut yer own from cardboard, old hats, whatever else you can find in the trash. Melt just about anything that will melt, put wads in for a while, take out let cool and shoot.

August 25, 2010, 02:00 AM
I have seen nothing about longer plungers for the pistol and I think that no such part exists.

Banana River Outfitters makes a threaded ram extension for the Ruger Old Army:


Custom-built rammer extensions available for your Ruger Old Army. $25 on your rammer. $35 on our stainless rammer. Free shipping!


There are also some further details about the ROA rammer and ramming lever extensions on the following page:


August 25, 2010, 04:29 AM
great post:D

Doc Hoy
August 25, 2010, 04:54 AM
I need to get out more often.:D

August 25, 2010, 02:32 PM
ROA number two, Stainless was delivered by FedEx today. She was made in 1979. The Old Gal has had a few range trips. She has some surface scratches that some Flex and a little work should remove. Then she'll get a good polish job and in a couple of weeks, she's out to the range.

August 25, 2010, 07:04 PM
Looks good to me:
I thinking on the same line a SS ROA added to the blue one I got.I may Waite until I get down south in N.C. and hit a few gun shows unless a super deal comes along

4V50 Gary
August 25, 2010, 08:24 PM
The question was asked which is better? Cream of Wheat or Cornmeal? Well, I used farina (USDA cream of wheat) because it's old, probably rancid and given to me for free. I really don't think the filler will affect the bullet's impact. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

August 26, 2010, 08:27 AM
I really don't think the filler will affect the bullet's impact. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

I've tried the filler gig twice, didn't do much for me other than make things more complicated. I just use enough powder that the ball is seated and call it good.

If I'm shooting for groups I well use a loading devise and measure each powder charge, seat each ball to the same depth. Shoots about the same, minute of bottle(plastic).

August 28, 2010, 11:18 AM
30 rds yesterday at gravel pit. No audience. Best grouping 9 inches at 25 yards two handed grip. Using Pyrodex 35 grains. Was using 40 grains but bent the loading lever trying to load the ball. Straightened the lever out with a steel seat mount that had just the right access hole to give me leverage to bend back to orininal shape. (Well almost original) No problem loading using the lever yesterday. I have a separate loader, but do not like fiddling with the assembly for the cylinder. Except for cleaning of course.

Like the manual says "Ruger will take all you can get in her!" I can't hit much but I aim to find out how much GOEX FFFG she will take soon as I can shoot up all this Pyrodex.

Last load could have used a cleaning of the nipple passages and the barrel evidently, some bad flyers and misfires on about 2 or 3 rounds that had to be reprimed then detonated OK. Brings to mind possibility of fire-in-the-hole when recharging, I aim to be more careful next session, really new to BP and don't know anymore than I can retain from reading in the manuals, a Cabela's cheat sheet, and this Forum, in short, just enough to be dangerous, that is why I shoot alone, for the time being. Expensive though I think buying all the tailored made components which I do, for now.

I am a Ruger fan. A clarification. The 9 inch group was the "BEST" group out of the 30 rds. I couldn't say how far out was the worst round because it did not hit my 2 foot piece of cardboard.

August 28, 2010, 11:28 AM
I am picking up my SS Ruger OA on lay-away today. It has fixed sights. Any experience with this set up, shoot high at 25? low? or about right? The revolver does not look to have been fired, paid a premium price for her though, cannot say exactly how much, my wife may read this forum.

August 28, 2010, 01:34 PM
$560. and $528. is what mine cost me. There's a pair of stainless currently at $1,250. on Gun Broker, so I can't whine too much about what I paid. A couple have even started around $600.+


I keep a link on my favorates just to watch the prices. As usual it's whatever the buyer is willing to spend.

August 28, 2010, 03:20 PM
the rugers are looking great,never fired one , always wanted to have one
this is a pair off guns I like to own....and use :)

August 28, 2010, 07:52 PM
I've had one (ROA) for over 5yrs and just love it to death. I've burned Lbs of b/p and subs through it and it still shoots better than I can. The fixed sight can be adjusted by the powder load; start at 20gr and wad or filler so you can seat the ball or bullet w/o bottoming the loading lever, there's a sweet spot of load that'll get you to POA at 25 yds or as close as you need to be consistent. My ROA does best with round balls 457's shaved in. As for powder; when I can get real black, I get 4f for my flint primer and I've used it for nice hot loads in the ROA, 40 gr in the Ruger cylinder and 45 in my Classicballistix cylinders.

August 28, 2010, 08:34 PM
Fixed sight ROA's should shoot to POA at 25 yards or less with 25-35 gr fffg. Somewhere in that range you will find a load that will produce the smallest groups.

August 29, 2010, 03:56 AM
Good point R.O. :) I do believe I will work my way around to doing just that.

Replicas are of course for shooting versus some originals. If some guy bought a Ruger Old Army back in 1972 and never got around to firing it, that's fine with me. It just means that it has not been subjected to any abuse and should be good to go. I've been quite lucky in all my recent purchase that are used, the previous owners took great care of them.

I've bought several used replicas lately and had some common replacement parts sitting in the den before they even got here, just in case some parts needed replacement. The Lady who owned the Uberti Walker I bought said it had been fired and cleaned a few times, but they didn't have a nipple wrench. When I got it I popped it apart and the nipples came out just fine and the rest of the gun was in great shape. Now I have a few spare parts laying around. If I ever decided to sell it, I'll throw them in on the deal.

I was looking at an original Colt Pocket Navy for around $3,000. and an 1851 Original Colt Navy made in 1861, starting at $1,500. that were in remarkable shape. So if I bought it and it were in shape, I'd be tempted to put a few light charged rounds through it just for the heck of it. I've seen some originals that I would not of course trust. We are not talking about a $300,00.00 Paterson or something. So heck I'd even fire an original if the opportunity arose, I'd love to fire a 149 year old weapon, with all due caution of course.

August 29, 2010, 01:43 PM
hi slowhand, I agree firing the original one can be very nostalgic, I had a henry -martini in 450/577 made in 1882 ,and a swedish rolling block, used them for many years ,the old timers are also used here,strange is that you never see anyone using an antique black powder handgun over here,only rifles,I think it has a lot to do with the different gun culture ,by that I mean the great difference in regards to owning guns,in Europe and the United States ,

August 29, 2010, 05:01 PM

Handguns in Europe are of course "Taboo". The masses have long ago had that drummed into their brains by the Media and Education System. We have the same sort of mentality here in this country but are holding our ground. when politicians in this country talk about the "Gun Culture", it's never very pleasant, if you are a gun owner. I don't have 24/7 Secret Service protection or a Private Security Escort Service, so I am on my own.

America was founded only a few centries ago. She was carved from a wilderness where settlers had to defend themselves from highwaymen, the odd bandit or two and of course the Indian Wars. You've no doubt seen all the exported Hollywood Films that in most cases got it wrong but every now and then a bit of reality and truth creeps in. I was raised to believe that a man has a responsibility to defend himself and his family. I don't carry a gun looking for trouble, I carry one in case trouble should find me.

We are not all of course a bunch of "Cowboys" but there are still those of us believe that we have a right to defend ourselves and our homes. We have a legal system with a revolving door when it comes to procescuting criminals and our police were long ago relieved of any legal recriminations when they don't arrived in a timely manner when called to prevent or stop a crime in progress.

England, Australia and Canada are three excellent examples of countries where gun owners act like they just woke up one morning and poof their rights to own a weapon just vanished. They should have seen it coming when the government starts regulating firearms and identifying owners.

Our politicians have been forced to recognize the reality that some of us are not going to sit around and watch this happen here. We have made a lot of progress when it comes to issuing permits for gun owners to carry concealed weapons and Castle Laws have been written defining under what circumstances a home owner may defend his castle or automobile against an intruder. There are of course cities like Chicago or Washington D.C. where politicians have created Gun Free Zones or more apt Killing Fields where predators may roam at will until the Police get there. Politicians still fight tooth and nail to resist any attempts to afford citizens the right to protect themselves by passing "Common Sense Laws", which the criminals ignore and disarming even more legal, law abiding people.

Sorry about the "rant" but I have a bit of attitude, along with a few million other people who live in this country when it comes to our American Gun Culture. Some us know the differences between us and Europe and understand the "Why" of it. Sure I wish we lived in a society where it wasn't necessary to keep a gun around to protect ourselves but human nature is never going to change and it's always going to be necessary. "Just In Case" as we like to say.

August 29, 2010, 07:20 PM
Thanks to those that took the time to relate their experience with the subject firearm. I soon will put to use that information.

Another issue I have with the Ruger is the jamming from exploded caps. I have been using CCI no. 11. Is this a common use among Ruger OA owners, the size I mean.

Also I am wondering if anyone knows the size of the thread for the nipple on the Ruger? I tried Ruger Co. for some spare nipples and they told me that stock was depleted and none available from Ruger anymore.

August 29, 2010, 07:33 PM
Information on ROA parts and Nipple Caps refer to following on subject firearm:)



Nipple Caps... Read through it... It's a bit long but loads of good stuff.

August 29, 2010, 07:43 PM
If it hasn't been mentioned before MidwayUSA also has ROA parts.

August 29, 2010, 10:29 PM
Ruger Old Army nipples have a 12x28 thread. The Treso part number is 11-50-12. They (the Treso brand) are available from Track of the Wolf under catalog number PRA-A. Brownell's catalog number for steel OEM nipples is 780-000-414; however, the status is listed as "discontinued by factory", so I don't know if you can get them or not. The Tresos are better nipples anyway. They will take Remington No. 11 caps.

August 30, 2010, 09:53 AM
Thanks to you all for the great info on Ruger OA spares, maintenance and loading procedures. Priceless IMHO

September 7, 2010, 05:33 AM
I was upstate this week and tried a few different loads all using .457 ball I loaded 35 gr. 3F goex a wad .450 and a grease cookie on top of the cylinder.I was surprise the gun like 40 gr. 3F Wad no difference grease cooking or not and about 20 yards 2 hand hole 5 shots in around 2" group
I can say from what I see i will bet the cylinder can hold 43 grains and a ball and no grease cookie.I did find as the load increase the POI did also .I was aiming at 15 yards 6 o'clock hold and the bullets hitting the 10 ring;I did notice at 40 grains the bullet climbed about
5" high center of the bull 3 round almost touching
I can say the ball .457 makes a big hole

September 7, 2010, 12:21 PM

Sounds like you had a fun time. Thanks for the range report. Some great groups and interesting stuff on the varying of loads. The .457 makes a really big hole. You bet. :)

I've read some range reports from the Civil War on the use of the Walker or Dragoon with a .454 Round Lead Ball or even the modest .36 Caliber Navy Revolvers... No way I would ever want to get on the wrong end of one of these Old Ladies. The Ruger Old Army is of course a target gun but bears a close resemblance to the 1858 Remington which has a long history on battlefields as well.

September 11, 2010, 03:18 PM
Range day to day:
I was out to day but instead of goex 3F I tried some triple 777 3F 30 gr. and a wad and RB @ grease cookie and at 20 yards man blew the 10ring out of the target.
I played with a few different charges and went up to 40 grains still the ruger tack drive them round balls.
I would say at 50 yards and the same sight picture hold the gun shot high about 7" over center with 40 grains :The group more like 6" on paper.
I drop down to 30 gr. and the group got tight but still high over center
I have to say for a cap and ball it can shoot.
I have another ? how many shooters here drop the lower half of the trigger frame out of the gun for cleaning.
I myself remove he nipples drop the cylinder in hot soapy water,emerge the front of the barrel into the hot water scrub with a nylon bore brush,I clean the frame inside and out :I also send a little cleaning solution down the sides of the hammer and try to clean the residue out of the trigger parts,oil all parts before putting it back together.
I read it not that hard to drop the lower half out of the gun for better cleaning ?I just like to here the pro or cons on the subject

Doc Hoy
September 11, 2010, 04:05 PM
I chronied my ROA last week and was disappointed at the outcome. I am getting less than 500 fps with 30 grains of GO fffg. I would have expected more than that. It may be time to find out if my 30 gr measure is accurate.

Old Grump
September 11, 2010, 04:25 PM
http://s1d4.turboimagehost.com/t/4110556_Ruger_Old_Army.jpg (http://www.turboimagehost.com/p/4110556/Ruger_Old_Army.jpg.html)

I do most of my shooting at 7 yards to 50' with 20 gr of FFFg Goex and a .457 round ball. 25 yards and beyond I use 30 grains. No wads, no filler, no grease, just dump in the powder and seat the ball however deep it is. The target above was a dynamite challenge where you had to hit the fuse without hitting the dynamite. I learned after the first two shots to aim at the D in the word dynamite on the center stick of dynamite, this was offhand at 15 yards.

At 25 yards I didn't save the targets but I shot it alongside my S&W M57 41 mag and actually shot a group half the size of my magnum. Both guns shot from a rest on the bench. At 30 yards my group is pretty much the same and it shoots to point of aim. I haven't tried it at 50, 75 or 100 yards yet, that's another trip.

So my answer to your question is I see no need for filler. The ball being deep in the cylinder, at least in my gun seems to have no detrimental effect on accuracy. I might change to a different tune when I start shooting longer ranges but at 30 yards and under I am happy shooting it bare back.

September 15, 2010, 02:53 PM
Easy drop out just got done with it a little dirty but no deep pitts or rust.
I only had a little problem with the Pawl Plunger the spring part ;I was looking for a small hole on the rear frame part above the screw hole but it only sit flush againg the trigger housing plate.
cleaned and oiled and ready to go