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Old September 4, 2006, 01:53 PM   #1
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light primer strikes Ruger Super Blackhawk

I just got back from the range with my ruger super blackhawk. I bought this gun years ago, used, and I've never had any problems with it. I've shot mostly winchester 240gr jsp, but I've occasionally bought Remington.

I had about 1/2 a box of winchester that functioned fine. I'd bought a box of pmc a couple of weeks ago for plinking. With the pmc, I was getting about a 50% failure to fire and the dent on the primer looked light. All of these rounds fired the second time around. Since I've never had any problems with this revolver in the past, I went and bought another box of winchester. They functioned 100%.

Do you think its the pmc ammo or are my revolver's springs getting weak? I bought this gun used and it's always had what felt to me to be a very light trigger pull and action. The main spring may have been shortened but you can't tell from looking at it. I remember asking the guy if it had an action job when I bought it, but it's worked fine for many years until today.

Does pmc have a reputation for using hard primers or for bad quality control?

I'll probably replace the mainspring, just for piece of mind, anyway. Do you think I need to replace any other springs, too? How about the firing pin?

My first thought was trash around the firing pin but it moves freely.

Any comments or suggestions would be welcome.

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Old September 4, 2006, 02:34 PM   #2
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All Rugers come with fairly beefy trigger/hammer springs.

If yours is light, it would be reasonably safe to believe that an action job has been done on the firearm.

Grant Cunningham, one of the more popular gunsmiths who does a lot of action jobs, once told me that Winchester primers are second only to Federal when it comes to successfully dealing with reduced power hammer springs.

Put all this together and it points to replacing your springs.

Easily done.
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Old September 4, 2006, 03:02 PM   #3
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I guess I'll order a mainspring from Brownells. It's around 3 dollars. Do I need to replace any of the other springs? From looking at the schematic, I think that should do it. I've never taken this revolver all the way down, but I have with other blackhawks. Are there any other parts I should replace while I'm at it?

I killed a good sized black bear a few years ago with this revolver. The dogs had him bayed up by a blow down. He was pretty excited, as was I. If I'd of heard a click instead of a boom, I'd have needed a new pair of drawers. $3 sounds like cheap insurance, to me.


Last edited by swampdog; September 4, 2006 at 03:03 PM. Reason: can't spell
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Old September 4, 2006, 04:33 PM   #4
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replace mainspring

In a Ruger single action, you don't need to take it all the way down. Just take off the grips. Cock the gun, and you will see a small hole in the spring guide (strut). Put a nail or small allen wrench through the hole, and lower the hammer. The spring stays captive, and the assembly can be removed.

Then you can replace the spring, and reverse the process to reassemble the gun. Don't worry, it sounds more complicated than it is.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old September 4, 2006, 05:01 PM   #5
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Thanks 44 AMP, that should save me some trouble.
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Old September 4, 2006, 06:18 PM   #6
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PMC Primers.

Bought 5,000, a brick, of them from a distributor a year or two ago. He said they were made in England. Cool. When I got to my car I noticed the box said, Made in Russia. Now wait just a minute! "Oh don't worry", said the salesman, "I'll refund all yer money for the entire brick if none of them er anygood and you kin keep tha rest-of-um, no charge".
Knuclehead hear now has apprx. 2,200 of 9mill and 38 'espesh-she-el' circulating around the ammo room that aint worth beans. Sure the distributor will refund my money. Sure I already shot all of it up. Sure. How about the aggravation? It gets better.

When Mr. Efficiency Expert meets up with Mr. Meth as he is fueling-up the car on his way home from the range, guess which kind of primer is going to be beind the Hogleg? Ya, I know. I saved point ooh ooh two cents per.....

As far as your Ruger goes I'd say it's the gun. My PMC experince is as limited as it is UNSAT, but it isn't anywhere near 50% failure.

I've been reloading since Jimmie was president. After thousands of rounds using Winchester primers...100% ignition. Federal primers...100%. 'No pro-blame-o'. So what do I buy today ? That's right. PMC.
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Old September 4, 2006, 06:49 PM   #7
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take the grips off and make sure that both legs of the spring are hooked to the grip frame. sometimes a kitchen gunsmith will remove one spring leg to perform a cheap trigger job
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Old September 4, 2006, 07:22 PM   #8
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That's the trigger spring, I wouldn't think it had anything to do with light strikes. I've never had any problems with my single-six from removing one leg, but it sure makes the trigger lighter. I didn't bother to do it to the SBH, the trigger was light enough, OTB.
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Old September 4, 2006, 08:26 PM   #9
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Might want to give it a good cleaning first. If dirt, powder, crud gets between the transfer bar and the frame that will prevent the transfer bar from giving the firing pin enough of a hit.
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