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Old January 20, 2019, 12:08 PM   #1
disseminator
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Question about the Blackhawk 357 Convertible

Hey guys,

I just bought a brand new Ruger Blackhawk Convertible in 357/9mm 4-5/8" barrel.

I am planning to send it back to Ruger because the front sight is very crooked.

My question revolves around the 357 cylinder: it seems REALLY tight. I took it to the range a few days ago and also took along my 686+ and quite of few 357 rounds would not chamber in the Ruger. Once fired, most cases had to be pulled out by hand and were very tight in the cylinder.

I took those same rounds and they literally fall in and out of my 686+.

While all the cartridges were reloads, I had two different brands of brass, one of which was brand new and never fired.

Should I ask Ruger to address this or do you guys think the Ruger will "loosen up" in time? I don't see that myself but I'm always willing to learn.

Thanks.

EDIT: also, the 9mm cylinder was 100% and cases fell out as expected. ( I have other Rugers in addition to this one. )
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Old January 20, 2019, 12:46 PM   #2
saleen322
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I would try some factory 357 mag or 38 rounds and see if they do the same. If yes, send it to Ruger; if not, check your sizing die and if it is correct it is likely the seater may be adjusted too short.
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Old January 20, 2019, 01:01 PM   #3
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I had the same trouble. Sent it out and had it reamed. No problems now.
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Old January 20, 2019, 01:11 PM   #4
Dave T
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If the same ammunition drops in and out of the S&W cylinder there's some problem with the Ruger. Send it back to them.

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Old January 20, 2019, 01:38 PM   #5
dahermit
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Quote:
...the front sight is very crooked.
I had a Super Blackhawk that was the same way. Having built a lot of jigs and fixtures in my time, it makes me think that the front sights are put on via silver solder before the barrels are mounted on the frames.
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Old January 20, 2019, 01:40 PM   #6
44 AMP
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The gun is new,

send it back to Ruger.
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Old January 20, 2019, 01:48 PM   #7
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Yeah, the gun is going back for the sight issue, but I was just curious what you guys would think about the chambers being so tight.

I had to send my 480 SBH back last year. After 20 rounds the front sight shattered and the base was also not aligned correctly.

The sights are silver soldered on the barrel, I couldn't say at what stage of production. One would think the QC would be pretty easy on something like a front sight though.

Oh well, back she goes.
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Old January 20, 2019, 02:35 PM   #8
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If the gun chambers factory brand new ammo they’ll probably say the reloads are the problem and there’s a good chance they are correct. I’ve got a dozen .38 Special /357’s and some of them have tighter chambers than others.
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Old January 20, 2019, 04:20 PM   #9
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Tight chambers are generally a good thing-unless they're too tight. Personally, I wouldn't offer that I was using reloads (to Ruger or any other gun company). In your case, I would merely explain that the ammunition used in the Blackhawk seems tighter than the same ammunition when tried in other revolvers and ask them to check the possible problem out for you.
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Old January 20, 2019, 04:30 PM   #10
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I'm gonna pick up a box of "factory" ammo just to make sure, but I am VERY confident the reloads are not the issue.
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Old January 20, 2019, 10:29 PM   #11
stinkeypete
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ruger customer service is pretty good- let them make it right.

Couple of other thoughts...
1. I love my Rugers, but they can always use a little polishing. Sticky chambers were dealt with in about 10 minutes by making a little tool that was a dowel hotglued in to a spent shell. Slather in polishing compound and gently spin and plunge. Clean, Rinse, Repeat. Check how another spent shell fits. Don’t overdo it.

2. Lee makes a specific undersized sizing die that might be helpful. $18

(Do check with factory ammo, or a case gauge, just in case your sizing die is on the large side of the spectrum)

When I pay s&w prices, I expect the quality of the old s&w, and I don’t feel I should need to polish tool marks, hone little rough edges, fuss with triggers. I’ve has really bad luck with s&w in that their sights were not crooked, they were so far off the adjustable sights could not compensate for windage on one, and could not even come close to getting elevation right on the second. That said, I’d own an old s&w if some fella let it go for less than it’s worth.

My Rugers, on the other hand, are sort of a known project. You know you are going to want to take it apart, learn how to polish and make it sweet with your own hands. Or send it to a pistol smith and have it turned in to what I argue can stand with the best revolvers in the world without shame. Heck, even the ones I’ve done the work on are good accurate shooters and I don’t feel too bad if I drop one in a snow bank, get dirt or deer blood on it.

Anyways, send Ruger the form from their website, they will email you. Call them and they’ll explain how to ship it to them in their dime.
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Old January 20, 2019, 11:36 PM   #12
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So I picked up a box of factory loads and they dropped right in. Then is occurred to me that the ammo I bought had a different bullet profile and so I tried a bunch of different loads I have worked up. What I have found is that some of the bullets that have a wider nose seem to get hung up in the throats.

190 Hard Cast fit well, 158 Gold Dots are snug and needed to be pushed in the last little bit. Other loads were a mix of the same.

After this discovery, I think just the throats are tight. Empty brass falls in and out as expected.

Do you guys think it's something they would be willing to address?
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Old January 21, 2019, 09:37 AM   #13
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Disseminator,


It's possible the bullet crimp is a bit excessive with
the Gold Dots. Check the mouth diameters with the hard
casts and Gold Dots. Even a thousandth or a bit more
could affect chambering.
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Old January 21, 2019, 12:37 PM   #14
RUT
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>>Do you guys think it's something they would be willing to address<<

If that cylinder is within their spec. I doubt if they'll do anything about it.
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Old January 21, 2019, 03:30 PM   #15
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^ Nor should they.
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Old January 21, 2019, 03:44 PM   #16
hub1home
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Since you are sending it back to Ruger for the crooked sight problem, definitely tell them about the cylinder and be sure to send the right cylinder with the gun. They should fix it under warranty.
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Old January 21, 2019, 03:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
It's possible the bullet crimp is a bit excessive with
the Gold Dots. Check the mouth diameters with the hard
casts and Gold Dots. Even a thousandth or a bit more
could affect chambering.
Yes, this appears to be a factor as well.

After I read your suggestion, I put the Gold Dot load through a taper crimp die and it helped. I am a little dismayed the chambers and throats are so tight that a few thousandths makes such a difference.

Especially when these same rounds chamber easily in my 686+

I guess I'll just have to keep them short and tight...
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Old January 21, 2019, 05:09 PM   #18
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Case length also is a factor. Check for uniformity
in brand to brand. This would relate to how your
press/dies are set up.

Brass does stretch although my experience in
this area is with rifle rounds through bolt actions.
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