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Old October 12, 2018, 11:45 AM   #1
Wendyj
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Ruger Blackhawk issues

I just bought a convertible Blackhawk in 45 colt and 45 acp. I slugged my barrel at .4505. Im figuring a cast .452 bullet out of my noe mold would be great for it. Measured my cylinders and they are .499
I think this is going to cause accuracy and leading issues in the revolver. I may be wrong but shouldn't the cylinder let a .452 bullet be pushed through with a little force. Or at least a factory bullet I have pulled.
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Old October 12, 2018, 12:04 PM   #2
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Got this info from the Chuckhawks.

"Physically, the .45 Colt is a typical, straight wall, rimmed revolver cartridge. Its rim diameter is .512", its base diameter is .480", and its neck diameter is .476". The case length is 1.29" and the overall cartridge length is 1.6". The .45 Colt uses .454" diameter bullets"

It appears that the diameter of .499 of the cylinder will shave some of the lead bullet that you cast at .452.
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Old October 12, 2018, 12:25 PM   #3
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I'm waiting on gunsmith to return my call to ream the cylinder. Talked with Ruger and they won't do anything about it. My rifle shoots .454 bullets but it also slugs larger. A .452 will be .001 over bore diameter but cylinder is going to squeeze the bullet down before it ever hits the rifling. Ruger says it's in specs plus or minus .007. This will be my last business with their products. Have sent 2 guns back to them already.
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Old October 12, 2018, 01:17 PM   #4
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Yeah the .45 Colt throats needed to be reamed to .4525. That's perfect for a .451 barrel. On my convertibles I also reamed the .45 ACP throats. Then .452 bullets will be fine. I've had to ream everyone of my Rugers. The older BHs seem to be the worst (usually). My older original Vaquero was like yours. After reaming the group size was cut in half and all leading stopped. And yes, the .452 bullet should pass through the throat with just finger pressure.
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Old October 12, 2018, 01:29 PM   #5
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Leading issues are about velocity not bullet diameter.
"...Measured my cylinders..." Using what? A vernier or an inside micrometer? All the numbers seem to be small for a .45 calibre of any flavour. Of course, Ruger doesn't publish things like barrel diameters. Ruger tell you it was ok?
"...cylinder will shave..." Cylinder will swage a cast bullet.
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Old October 12, 2018, 04:51 PM   #6
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I had been eyeing a Ruger Black Hawk, now I might have to reconsider and go with Uberti or other manufacturer.
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Old October 12, 2018, 05:55 PM   #7
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How does your gun shoot? How is the accuracy?

The first thing anybody should do before tinkering with a revolver, or any gun for that matter, is to shoot the blamed thing. If then things go sour, start the rehabilitation.


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Old October 12, 2018, 05:57 PM   #8
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Your cylinder throats measure .499" and you are going to ream them? To what, .500"?

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Old October 12, 2018, 06:36 PM   #9
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Bob that's a typo. Cylinder is .449. I did shoot about 60 rounds through this evening and surprisingly groups were around 2.5 inches at 25 yards. Managed to keep about 80% of the rest on an 8 inch steel plate at 35 yards. It shoots better than I do. Surprisingly enough not much leading. About a 5 minute cleanup. O,heir it didn't shave any lead. Unlike you I'm not a machinest or gun smith. I used calipers for cylinder walls and a micrometer to measure my slug. I'm going to order a sample pack of .451 before I buy another lube sizer. I'm not that big so my velocity was probably around 7-800 fps. O,heir i appreciate all your comments but everyone is not as experienced as you. Not me by a long shot. Try not to be so condescending. Mr. Clark that's everything I've been reading. Didn't realize the Blackhawk had so many issues. If I'd read all the reviews from Ruger forum first it would still be sitting at the store. Ruger no help. Gunsmiths here about 2 months out on the work. Have a great wheel gun smith here that makes custom guns for The Virginian, Trampass when he was alive. Shot single action competition for years but is semi retired and in bad health or he would have it now.
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Last edited by Wendyj; October 12, 2018 at 06:42 PM.
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Old October 12, 2018, 06:50 PM   #10
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Since the gun seems to perform satisfactorily at this point, there's little reason to change things. BTW, calipers aren't suitably accurate for cylinder throat measurements. For example, I have a 44 Special Colt cylinder throat that measures .433" with a pin gauge. That same throat measures about .429" with calipers.
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Old October 12, 2018, 06:51 PM   #11
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Google "cylinder smith" for a small fee he'll ream out your cylinder chambers.
to .452 and the firearm will shoot like a dream for the 45 colt.
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Old October 12, 2018, 07:22 PM   #12
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I have come to understand that Ruger et al. are not trying to accommodate use of lead bullets. The guns are almost always tight. Getting a gun setup for lead is par for the course. It is not Ruger's job. That said, of several Rugers, I have had only one that didn't need to go back at least once.
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Old October 12, 2018, 07:29 PM   #13
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yep.
Quote:
Leading issues are about velocity
Nope. I've shot lead from 600fps to 1300fps ... No leading. Because all the revolvers dimensions are correct. Cylinder throats should be .001 larger than the bore -- never under. Ie. 452 throats for a .451 barrel. This allows the bullet to be squeezed down in the barrel to seal the bore as the bullet passes through. Then there is, of course, bore constrictions that could be a problem and cause leading. The right hardness of bullet can go along way to ride through some barrel problems, but not all. Sometimes firelapping is what is required to fix it. Bullet hardness is another variable which does depend on the pressure you are going to push the bullet. Anyway, it isn't all about velocity. In handguns I don't use jacketed at all. No need. Also I use pin gauges for measuring throats. Usually slug the bore if needed, but Ruger is usually right at .451.
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Old October 12, 2018, 08:03 PM   #14
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I find biggest part of leading issues are bullet alloy. I've had leading in 45 Colt
M25s at 750fps with Speer lead bullets of 250gr. With 250gr Lyman Cast with
just XRay lead there was no leading with same load. You would have to cast
pure lead to get as soft as some swaged bullets. I run target loads in 25s so
800fps is top end.
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Old October 12, 2018, 09:19 PM   #15
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Ones I shot today were wheel weights with 2% tin. Alloy a little too hard. Next batch wil be wheel weights with 50% pure lead. BHN on today's around 18. Going to try and drop to 10 at max. 4.60 inch barrel with mid range colt load of Unique with 260 grain semi wad cutter. I doubt I hit 8-900 fps but will chronograph next run at the range. My understanding is I should be capable of pushing the .452 bullet through the cylinder and it won't do it. Even with force. Has to be squeezing bullet in the cylinder before it ever hits the rifling. It's shooting ok but I know a little work on it will make it shoot a lot better. I'm just going to have to get a gunsmith not so backed up or just wait. This revolver will never see a jacketed bullet. My lever action rifles have never had one shot through them. As long as I can buy lead and cast I prefer it and it sure allows cost of shooting to go down. Smith I found today is $100.00 per cylinder. It is a convertable with 2 cylinders but I may never use the 45 acp.
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Old October 12, 2018, 10:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendyj
I just bought a convertible Blackhawk in 45 colt and 45 acp. I slugged my barrel at .4505. Im figuring a cast .452 bullet out of my noe mold would be great for it. Measured my cylinders and they are [.499] .449
I think this is going to cause accuracy and leading issues in the revolver. I may be wrong but shouldn't the cylinder let a .452 bullet be pushed through with a little force. Or at least a factory bullet I have pulled.
Link to the SAAMI specification for .45 Colt, showing both the cartridge and the chamber:

https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads...dR.pdf#page=10

Case diameter is .480-.006. Bullet diameter is .4560-.0060. Barrel specs are .442 bore x .450 groove (both +.004).

The chamber spec is .4862 and the throat spec is .4520+.0075. Apparently your cylinder is within industry-accepted tolerances.
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Old October 13, 2018, 05:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Leading issues are about velocity
There is at least a correlation, since lead bullet data is always lower in rated velocity. Running lead faster than that is off the books. Of several cartridges , only my 327 Federal Magnum doesn't seem to care how hard I push lead bullets. All the guns have been checked out or had throats reamed.
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Old October 13, 2018, 12:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Leading issues are about velocity
AND bullet alloy and bullet fit in the gun. It is a combination of ALL THREE factors.

I suppose I'm just not with the times, or maybe don't care to tinker with what works the way I once did. My favorite SA handgun is a 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk .45 convertible that I bought new in 1983.

Never had the cylinders reamed, never even measured the throats. I almost never use the ACP cylinder, and my .45 Colt load is a 250gr SWC (cast hard) at approx. 1100fps. NO significant leading, Accuracy is 5 shots in one hole 2-2.5inches at 25yds and ringing the 200yd gong on the rifle range 5 out of 6 or better (OFFHAND) when I do my part right.

I disagree with anyone who says you HAVE to get the cylinder throats reamed. It may well be their gun "needed" it, or it may just be they wanted to do it, I don't care. But saying all Rugers "need it done" is just BS.
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Old October 13, 2018, 12:53 PM   #19
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Wendy,its not unusual for a person to make a bold,confident,authoritative post,presenting it as fact....when he is just wrong.It happens often.

Don't get buffalo'd. Just laugh

I've never had a leading problem with my Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 Magnum shooting full power loads in excess of 1300 fps.I even cut the gas check feature out of my mold and abandoned gas checks.I cast wheel weight. That same load is higher vel out of a rifle and it works fine.

Folks load cast bullets with gas checks in rifles up to near 2000 fps with success.

Alloy matters,lube matters,bullet fit matters.To load the gun,the bullets have to fit the throat. Use the largest ones that slip into your throats.

Maybe,in some cases,bullets of moderate hardness will "bump up" a bit as the pressure hits them.Harder bulletsare not always better.

Undersized bullets can allow hot gas to by pass them,and that will cause leading. Even at 800 fps.

Mr Bob Wright seems to know his way around 6 guns. I'd listen to him.Apparently your gun shoots pretty good.
Enjoy!

I do agree that bullets,at minimum,should be bore dia,and +.001 or .0015 is preferred.Seems like you know that.

I do have history as a machinist,and how you measured your cylinders matters.If you are using calipers to check an ID...well,your throats may be better than you measured them. If I was using trusted,tested,calibrated dial calipers on a .451 ID,even with "touch" I can't claim I can measure to .001.
MAYBE .002,...but not to qualify a part.
I'd prefer pin gauges or a plug gauge. You might try a new,not pulled,jacketed .451 bullet and measure it with a good micrometer first.Its a "make do",but I trust it before calipers.

Last edited by HiBC; October 14, 2018 at 01:48 PM.
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Old October 13, 2018, 01:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
I suppose I'm just not with the times, or maybe don't care to tinker with what works the way I once did. My favorite SA handgun is a 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk .45 convertible that I bought new in 1983.

Never had the cylinders reamed, never even measured the throats. I almost never use the ACP cylinder, and my .45 Colt load is a 250gr SWC (cast hard) at approx. 1100fps. NO significant leading, Accuracy is 5 shots in one hole 2-2.5inches at 25yds and ringing the 200yd gong on the rifle range 5 out of 6 or better (OFFHAND) when I do my part right.

I disagree with anyone who says you HAVE to get the cylinder throats reamed. It may well be their gun "needed" it, or it may just be they wanted to do it, I don't care. But saying all Rugers "need it done" is just BS.
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Thanks, 44, my thoughts too. I shoot the 285SAA from Matt's Bullets. It's runs 15-18BHN and my load is 10gr of Unique at 1050. NO LEADING and shoots into one hole.
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Old October 13, 2018, 05:56 PM   #21
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You know I can't take anything serious from a Crimson Tide fan. Lol. JK. I think half the NFL has come from Bama.
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Old October 14, 2018, 08:01 PM   #22
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I have been putting a lot of 340 grain penn cast bullets through my ruger super redhawk casull. No leading at all. The loads are stout. I guess i am saying i don’t understand crap about what causes it
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Old October 14, 2018, 08:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
I used calipers for cylinder walls and a micrometer to measure my slug.

Howdy

Been away from my computer a few days.

Calipers are not the ideal tool to measure small holes such as revolver chamber throats.

Every pair of calipers I have ever owned have a small flat along the edge of the inside measuring jaws. This leads to inaccuracy in measuring the diameter of a small hole because the flat will bridge a small arc of the diameter. In other words, unless the inside measuring jaws come to a true knife edge, you will not get an accurate measurement. The number will come out a tiny amount smaller than the diameter actually is.

The best way to measure small holes is with an inside measuring micrometer, which uses a knife edge to measure to the inside of a diameter, or a set of gauge pins. I use set of small hole gauges to measure chamber throats.

http://www.starrett.com/category/pre...&sortBy=wp/asc

You place the gauge inside the chamber, then open it until it touches the chamber throat on both sides. Then you pull it out and measure across the diameter of the gauge. It takes a little bit of practice to get used to them.

You could also shove a slightly oversized bullet through a chamber throat and measure its diameter.

I have never felt the need to ream the chamber throats of any of my Blackhawks or Vaqueros, they all work fine for me. Frankly, if the gun is shooting better than you, I would not worry about it.

Regarding the diameter of bullets for 45 Colt, before World War Two, the standard diameter for 45 Colt bullets was .454, because that was the rifling diameter. After WWII, 45 Colt rifling groove diameter was changed to .451, to match 45 ACP. A .452 bullet should work fine in any modern 45 Colt revolver.

I have always shot .452 bullets in all my 45 Colt revolvers. Colts, clones, and Rugers.
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Old October 15, 2018, 08:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
But saying all Rugers "need it done" is just BS.
Did anyone actually write that?
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Old October 15, 2018, 08:42 AM   #25
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Quote:
Never had the cylinders reamed, never even measured the throats.

My older NMBH 45 convertible had .454 throats. That was a problem paired with .451 bore. Ruger was rude in response to my inquiry about getting a cylinder checked for a specific measurement (in spec).
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