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Old November 1, 2009, 02:58 AM   #1
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Should I return a vintage Bearcat to Ruger?

Woman from my church calls me, says "I just found a gun in my (recently passed) Daddy's things, what should I do??" I go over, its a vintage Ruger Bearcat! A little rough, but tight crisp. Long story short, I make an offer, she accepts, now its mine.

(Yes guys, it was a fair offer, honest) Pistol has a homemade cylinder base pin, from a screw driver shaft! Story goes family had a homestead type cabin in AK for awhile, the pin got lost, so her Daddy made one.

So..Ruger will not sell a basepin separate, its a factory return part,and when they get it, they will do the 6 shot conversion also, no options.

Also, the pistol shoots way left, enough to miss a Coke can at 15ds or so w/ a good hold and squeeze

I understand the 5-shot rule w/ old style SA revolvers,

Ques#1 Will the 6 rd conversion effect the trigger pull (worsen) I have been told it will and to avoid it?

Ques #2 Can/will the factory do anything w/ the fixed sights not shooting to point of aim problem?

Ques #3 Should I just live w/ it or get part and the mod/upgrade from Ruger?
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Old November 1, 2009, 03:03 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with this "5 shot rule" myself, but I'd give Ruger's customer service a call on this one. Sounds like they messed up a perfectly good shooter.
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Old November 1, 2009, 05:44 AM   #3
Jim March
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By "five shot rule" he means putting the hammer down on an empty chamber. Right now that's the only safe way to carry it.


Look, my understanding is that the transfer bar safety conversion doesn't screw up the trigger feel that badly. And if you have kids around (or any kids you want to teach handgun shooting) the Bearcat WITH a safety is pretty much the ultimate. They can't accidentally crank off another round DA without cocking's sort of equivelent to the gun going "on safe" after every shot.

Without the safety, it's best served as an adult's gun only.

The safety conversion requires swapping base pins...the transfer bar base pin has a spring-loaded plunger on the rear to push the transfer bar backwards so it passes over the firing pin on the way up. That's how all the other transfer bar Ruger SAs work so I suspect the Bearcat is similar. If so, the only base pins you're going to find nowadays are going to be the revised action type. And Belt Mountain isn't making Bearcat's not on their website, maybe you can call them and confirm:

Huh...on the site it says Bearcat pins are "coming soon", and since they're very slow updating their site...yeah, definitely give them a call. They're the top source for Ruger base pins. If his have the plunger, MAYBE you can cut that off and use it in an unconverted gun, or maybe BM will sell them both ways.

Putting a REAL base pin in might correct the accuracy issues, or it might not.
Jim March
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Old November 1, 2009, 06:08 AM   #4
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FYI when Ruger does the transfer bar upgrade they fit the new parts to your gun and send the original parts back to you therefore if you decide you don't like it with the Transfer bar you can put it back to original.
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Old November 1, 2009, 06:24 AM   #5
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Send it in. Get it fixed. Get the conversion. Shoot the gun and enjoy it.

So what? You hurt the collectors value? Big deal. It's already hurt without the right basepin.

Mess up the trigger? It already shoots poorly (probably not the triggers fault). What's to hurt?

Yes. Ruger can adjust the sights. Be sure to point out that it shoots left or whatever.
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Old November 1, 2009, 06:40 AM   #6
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Send it in. Get it fixed. Get the conversion. Shoot the gun and enjoy it.
That's what I'd do for sure.
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Old November 1, 2009, 11:07 AM   #7
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Where its already been bubba'd a little, send it in and shoot the crap out of it. Ask them to mess with the sights, they may or may not. In the end you'll get a great little shooter out of it.
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Old November 1, 2009, 11:43 AM   #8
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Ruger does NOT return the old parts anymore. I checked when I got my 3-screw Single Six convertible. Mine aint gonna ever see the inside of the Ruger factory again.

I would most certainly not send the gun back to Ruger. It destroys any monetary value the gun has and you have to spend the rest of your life denying that it was you that sent it into Ruger.

I'd try to see if you can get a custom base pin made and have a gunsmith take a look at it to correct the sights.
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Old November 1, 2009, 01:35 PM   #9
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Ruger does NOT return the old parts anymore.
I don't know when they changed their policy (if, in fact, they did), but the 2009 Ruger catalog reads: "...This mechanism can be factory-installed without any further alteration. The frame and other major parts will not be affected by this conversion. The value of the gun will not be impaired, and we will return your original parts for collector's purposes..."

Perhaps the op would be wise to inquire with Ruger directly before he decides to have the conversion done (which I favor doing) to determine what their current policy is.
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Old November 1, 2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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I have an original unaltered base pin, just PM me if you decide to go that route. I have found that Ruger will return the original parts unless they ruled defective. One can always remove all of the original internals and just send the gun to Ruger for the safety kit and other work without them. No chance to lose them that way.
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Old November 1, 2009, 05:48 PM   #11
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Have also heard they do not return the OM parts any longer. guess that's why they had a while back, a 5 gal bucket full of parts, many of which were OM action parts.
As it sounds, the gun has lost it's real collectability anyways and any OM value from getting the conversion is gone as well. If you bought it as a shooter, send it in, let 'em fix it and be happy. I guess if one had to they could remove the parts prior to sending it in.
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Old November 1, 2009, 06:59 PM   #12
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I too, have a vintage Bearcat. I talked to them about the conversion and they even sent me a box to send it in with...I couldn't bring myself to send it in and just load five. Perhaps I should at this point.
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