View Full Version : ruger old army misfires

January 15, 2013, 05:33 PM

4V50 Gary
January 15, 2013, 06:24 PM
Are you using factory nipples or aftermarket nipples?

I also wonder if the mainspring has weakened? Generally they don't but who knows?

January 15, 2013, 07:14 PM
This is an unusual complaint. Those things are usually very reliable.
I personally prefer Colt open tops, Pietta and Uberti, of which you mention, are some of my favorite makers. :D

A lot of people shoot the ROA though and I'm sure somebody can get it firing regularly for you.
I don't have one, but hang in there and advice should come rolling in from members soon. :)

January 15, 2013, 07:21 PM

Sounds like this could be a mainspring issue. I am a Colt and Glock LEO Armorer and I have wrenched on a few guns in my time, so let me take a stab at this and there are likely forum members with much more BP experience that will hopefully chime in on this issue as well.

IIRC, I had a ROA brought to me with a similar problem. What I did was install a Ruger Vaquero mainspring. Again, IIRC, the ROA mainspring has something like 20 and the Ruger Vaquero has either 28 or 30 coils.

2MALSS, the Vaquero mainspring cured the problem and, IIRC, the struts are the same too, so this is a drop in repair.

Hope this helps...

January 15, 2013, 07:23 PM
Box up that HUNK OF JUNK and send it to me! :D Seriously though what size caps are you using? Is the hammer traveling far enough forward. You can dry fire the ROA all day long, so this may help you trouble shoot it. The ROA I had NEVER misfired with #10 or #11 caps. This is indeed a very weird complaint and will be following this thread to see what you find.

January 15, 2013, 07:25 PM
IIRC, the Treso nipple cures a lot of ills in this pistol, FWIW...

January 15, 2013, 07:27 PM
If they fire the second time around they are NOT fully seated and the hammer is seating them on the first try.

January 15, 2013, 07:33 PM
Generally, if you have to go a complete go around and then they fire on the second strike, the caps still weren't quite down all the way onto the nipples so the first hit seats them and the second hit crushes them enough to fire them. One way to test this is to put larger sized caps on the nipples, even real loose caps pinched out of round just enough to hold them on. If those larger caps all go off on the first go around then your first caps are too small for the new nipples. Solutions are either larger caps or go to factory stock nipples or some other replacement nipple like Treso or Slix-Shot.

Caps aren't standardized like primers. A CCI #11 is smaller in fit than a Remington#10. The Remington#11 fits way larger nipples than the CCI#11 and the RWS#1075. The Rem#11 is actually the same diameter but just cut shorter than the Rem #10 which is longer and thus able to grab smaller nipples farther down the tapered shank.

What size caps are you using? What nipples did you install?

January 15, 2013, 07:35 PM
A CCI #11 is smaller in fit than a Remington#10.

That's not been my experience. I have to pinch CCI 11's but Remington 10's fit fine.

January 15, 2013, 07:37 PM
My old Pietta 1858 Remington will splinter #10's to bits and leave pieces of 11's on the nipple, but they fire every time with stock nipples and springs.

IIRC, the #11's will fall back off the nipple if you tilt the barrel upward....

January 15, 2013, 08:00 PM
YMMV and MMMV. I think there is a wide variation in the degree of taper of different makes of revolver nipples at different times. Half of my guns take CCI#11s, the other half take RWS#1075s but all 15 will take Rem#10s. If a gun doesn't fit Rem#10s I replace the nipples with ones that will (Uncle Mike's/Butler Creek or TOW SS nipples). I actually haven't installed any Slix-shot nipples yet even though the designers hound me every time I have a misfire. Of the 37 C&Bs I've owned over the years I've managed to get Rem#10s to fit them all one way or another. My mileage continues to vary.

January 15, 2013, 08:03 PM
I'd rather have mine take CCI #11. I can find those. Remington 10's are a road trip.

Strafer Gott
January 15, 2013, 08:14 PM
That nipple to hammer tolerance is one of the things that impresses me about how Ruger makes the ROA. Dry firing is huge good fun. It does make me think twice about changing nipples. Is this something we are supposed to set with nipple height? I really don't know. Are the Colt generations built like this too? I've seen flattened nipples before. Unsightly cheapening of the piece.

January 15, 2013, 08:20 PM
Hawg is right. If they fire on the second go around, the caps are too tight.

Most ROA shooter's I know have trigger jobs done. Rugers are notorious for a stiff trigger. I thought this could be your issue (spring too light). However, since they are firing the second time around, I agree with Hawg.

FWIW If your Ruger has ever been modified in any way, DO NOT send it back to Ruger. I had a friend who had some trigger work done and sent it to Ruger for a sight adjustment. He had ONE HECK OF A TIME GETTING IT BACK FROM THEM! They said it was modified and unsafe. (because of the light trigger).


Doc Hoy
January 16, 2013, 02:32 AM
Your revolver is defective and maybe even haunted.

Send it to me.

(Unless the serial number is 666)


. ;o)

North East Redneck
January 16, 2013, 09:42 AM
Had the same problem. Try Treso nipples and #10 Remington caps. These are slightly larger in diameter and seat much better than CCI #11 which are smaller.
I have tried CCI# 10, way too small, CCI # 11 may work, but are VERY tight. The #10 Remis go on the nipples very easy and they don't normally come off under recoil. Good luck. Took me a while to figure mine out, I also came on here and asked many questions. Good people here. Hope this helps.

January 18, 2013, 05:41 PM
Good fellows, i have tried everything. New nipples from track of the wolf. Rws caps winchester caps cci caps and rem# 10caps. New nipples state use cci#11. Still not working. I even emory clothed nipples twice. Mainspring seems strong to me but maybe not. I do believe my pietta's and ubert's do have a stronger mainspring as they fire every time. No fail. I will see about vaquero spring. Thanks:(

January 18, 2013, 06:41 PM
Mine does the same thing after the first 6 shots. Gets dirty I suppose.... Using CCI #11s. Stock nipples on ROA. Anyway, what I did was make a short pushrod (a hardwood dowel with a ball on one end) that I could completely press the cap onto the nipple after placement. The little ball on end of the short rod is to 'comfort' the palm of my hand while pushing. That did the trick for me. Note that my hammer mainspring is quite strong and has never been messed with.

January 18, 2013, 07:27 PM
Rclark. I have tried the push dowel trick. Caps would not move no matter how hard i push. There is no other brand of caps to use. Why should the roa have any misfire problems. The italian guns don't.

January 18, 2013, 07:40 PM
Is this firing problem only on the first 6 shots you fire out of the gun or on every cylinder load? I'm wondering if it could be oil in the nipple flash hole...some guys around here hose their guns down with WD-40...so much so that they have to clean them a second time to get them to shoot.

January 18, 2013, 08:09 PM
The italian guns don't.
Boy do I wish that were true!

January 18, 2013, 08:21 PM
No oil in gun at all. Dry and clean. I know it is a cap problem. Since they all fire second time around. If i load the cylinder 3 times in a row. Same problem. I cannot push the caps on further. But the hammer does and then fires 2nd time around. If i was in a gun dual i would have to tell the other guy to wait until i excercized my cylinder. Beam me up scotty.

January 18, 2013, 08:28 PM
Weird I don't get it. But box it up send it to me and I will send you that Italian gun that DONT misfire :D

January 18, 2013, 09:05 PM
Thanks boys. I will keep fooling with it. The fact that there is no complaints on the italian guns. At least not like the roa's. Tells me this is a common roa problem. When it shoots it is very very accurate. Talk to guys again sometime.

January 18, 2013, 09:31 PM
This IS NOT a common ROA problem. I know over a hundred guys that competetion shoot ROA's and I've never even heard of this problem until now.


Old Grump
January 18, 2013, 09:50 PM
I have had it. I pay special attention to the nipples now and Treso are the best solution.

January 19, 2013, 09:20 AM
I know it is a cap problem. Since they all fire second time around. If i load the cylinder 3 times in a row. Same problem. I cannot push the caps on further. But the hammer does and then fires 2nd time around.

It is a cap problem only in the sense that they are the wrong size for the nipples.

January 19, 2013, 12:59 PM
The one cap you did not mention is the Remington#11. It is shorter that the #10 and will "bottom out" sooner and maybe let the cap primer compound get up against the top of the nipple when seating. Try the Rem#11s. They fit larger nipples and have more "give" than other caps like the CCI/WW & RWS with harder walls. They fit larger nipples than the CCI#11s.

It may be that the top of the stock nipples are larger in diameter than normal and that is preventing the cap primer from reaching the top of the nipple with any cap.

January 19, 2013, 01:24 PM
I'll buy it at a fair price.If I can't fix it I can always use it for parts.[I collect ROA's]

January 20, 2013, 10:05 PM
Me too if the price is right I'll buy it just for the heck of having one

February 10, 2013, 11:30 PM
I remembered this thread fron a while back and had to comment as I had a problem I've never run into before. (Had to do a search to find this post again).

I had Remington #10 caps in my capper and they were perfect for my ROA. I knew I was getting low so recently I bought 2 more tins only this time they were CCI. Dumped a tin in my capper and went back to shooting. Had a heck of a time getting them seated properly. I thought, what the heck? :confused:
Had several misfires. I thought the nipples were fouled enough he caps just didn't want to seat. When I cleaned the pistol, I had one of the clean nipples out and checked it with a cap for fit. After trying several caps from this tin, none fit correctly and were all too tight. I set them aside and tried several caps from the second tin I bought FROM THE SAME BATCH. They fit perfectly. I got my mic out and double checked nipple and both tins of caps. The 2 tins averaged over .010 difference! Sorry, but that is a LOT!

In disgust I threw the undersized caps away. Quality control issue I'd have to say.

BUYER BEWARE. I've never had to do this before but from now on, when I need caps, I'll take one nipple with me and check several caps from a tin to be sure they're correct. :confused:


February 11, 2013, 10:23 AM
Not at all surprising.

I've said many times on this and other forums:

You don't get three decimal place precision for 4 cents per cap. Cap dimensions WILL VARY SIGNIFICANTLY from batch to batch.

And you do understand, don't you, that there is NO STANDARDIZATION with respect to cap size numbers, and nipple dimensions? No. 10 CCI's and No. 10 Remingtons are not even close to the same dimensions.

February 11, 2013, 04:23 PM
I'm very aware of it now... :D


February 11, 2013, 05:42 PM
The 2 tins averaged over .010 difference! Sorry, but that is a LOT! That's good to know.... I am not crazy after all! I bought another tin of CCI #11s last week. See if they fit any better....