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Old November 11, 2018, 05:23 AM   #1
bamaranger
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broke a transfer bar on a Blackhawk!!!!!

In a case of nostalgia, I carried the 1977 Blackhawk .357 to woods, I've owned the gun since the early 80's. Never abused, well maintained, shot a bit, carried alot. Archery scouting ......and of course, it rained, and me and it got soaked. So a cleaning was in order, and afterwards, I picked a knot on the wall and dry fired a few times (please, no safety Sally's, the revolver was clear and I was certain).

About 3 reps in, something felt and sounded wrong with the hammer fall. The pistol was tied up, as in, could not be cocked, nor could the loading gate be opened. Some dorking and the top half of the transfer bar fell out. It cycles now, but of course, won't shoot. Well......................shucks!!!!!!

A phone call to Ruger, they are sending me (2) transfer bars. I've watched the disassembly videos, I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old November 11, 2018, 08:19 AM   #2
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It's happened to me before with a Vaquero. When revolvers fail there's no quick way back into the fight.
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Old November 11, 2018, 08:46 AM   #3
2damnold4this
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I am sorry that happened but I am glad Ruger is making it right. It's better that it happened when it did than if you were trying to harvest a feral hog or a deer.
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Old November 11, 2018, 09:18 AM   #4
Jim Watson
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The transfer bar does seem to be a (slow) wear part. Interesting they don't consider the transfer bar to be a factory installed part. Saves a lot of time and money, though. And now you have a spare to be needed in 2050.
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Old November 11, 2018, 09:50 AM   #5
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I know dry firing a Ruger Blackhawk is supposed to be fine and dandy...but what were you doing when the transfer bar broke.....Oh Yeah ..dry firing !
I just can't get over the notion that dry firing wont hurt a gun... You were dry firing and the gun broke.
I don't do it unless I have proper snap caps and even then I don't do it much....
It just seems wrong to keep dropping the hammer to hit parts it shouldn't be hitting .
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Old November 11, 2018, 10:29 AM   #6
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I'm not buying that argument ^ because even though I cannot reverse time and go back and suggest he do it differently, I will put my money down that if he had loaded the revolver and started to shoot the revolver for target work or plinking... that transfer bar would have snapped just the same way.
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Old November 11, 2018, 11:18 AM   #7
Drm50
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I do buy dry fire deal. I have put transfer bars in 4 Ruger SAs. All 4 broke when
dry firing. I think this is based on the firing pin, not prone to breakage as older
model guns that had FPs on the hammer ( not Rugers). H&R revolvers made the
transfer bar a big selling point. Hammer the Hammer was their gimmick. I don't know how many H&Rs I've came across with broken transfer bars. Owners would
claim it broke while shooting. The 22rf guns you could see from cylinders that they had been dry fired more than once. So without snap caps dry firing can't be
good for any firearm.
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Old November 11, 2018, 12:20 PM   #8
Salmoneye
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Transfer bars breaking is a known issue on Ruger single actions...

The usual cause is 'Transfer Bar Pinch'...

This can be easily diagnosed, and cured...

http://www.cylindersmith.com/Transferbar.html
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Old November 11, 2018, 12:35 PM   #9
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"...a knot on the wall..." Ya just can't trust 'em. snicker.
"...owned the gun since the early 80's..." 1980 is 38 years ago. Aged parts will break. Never broke a single bone in my carcass until a couple years ago when I tripped over a hunk of wire left on the sidewalk and crashed. Busted my right ulna at the elbow.
"...dry firing wont hurt a gun..." It won't. It wasn't dry firing that caused the transfer bar to break. It was metal fatigue. Snap caps wouldn't have made the slightest difference.
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Old November 11, 2018, 02:57 PM   #10
Bill DeShivs
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Metal fatigue? Sure. Metal fatigue caused by dry firing.
Regardless what ANYONE says- smacking 2 metal parts together with force causes metal displacement and work-hardening. It may take a long time but work-hardened metal becomes more and more brittle and eventually breaks.

Shooting, or dry firing with proper snap caps cushions the parts that are hit when dry firing-preventing (or, greatly reducing) the blow.
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Old November 11, 2018, 03:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
H&R revolvers made the
transfer bar a big selling point. Hammer the Hammer was their gimmick.
That would be Iver Johnson...
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Old November 11, 2018, 03:37 PM   #12
Jim Watson
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A friend hammered a Ruger transfer bar so thin it would no longer transfer. It did not break, it was ductile enough to get beaten down by a lot of shooting.
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Old November 11, 2018, 03:59 PM   #13
Bill DeShivs
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Jim- I can guarantee it was much harder than before it was smashed!
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Old November 11, 2018, 04:05 PM   #14
Jim Watson
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No doubt.
He just took it out, filed the hammer face to hit the firing pin direct, and kept shooting.
Until he cracked the forcing cone, after which, Ruger completely overhauled the gun for a very low fee. The only way you could tell it from new was the wear on the grips.
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Old November 11, 2018, 04:29 PM   #15
Dano4734
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That’s why I love ruger, never any issues on making things right
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Old November 11, 2018, 11:40 PM   #16
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy

Transfer Bar Pinch has been happening with Rugers for many years. I hear about it in the CAS world from time to time.

Here is a post regarding this in The High Road from 2012.

https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph...-pinch.649912/

Notice the bit about transfer bars not being properly heat treated at one time. Also, continual battering of any part will probably eventually cause work hardening which may lead to fractures.

For what it's worth, I have a Blackhawk from 1975, about three 'original model'
Vaqueros, and three New Vaqueros. I have never broken a transfer bar, but I usually shoot Colts in CAS.

The only change I would make is in the photo with the arrow pointing to the hammer. I think I would thin the transfer bar a bit instead of removing material from the hammer.
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Old November 12, 2018, 04:44 AM   #17
rep1954
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Power Customs makes a hammer that eliminates the Ruger transfer bar. Of course this turns the action into a Old Model style and allows you to load only five rounds safely. They make you sign a waver before sending it to you and no it doesn’t make your gun illegal by modifying it.
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Old November 12, 2018, 11:47 AM   #18
Driftwood Johnson
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Quote:
Power Customs makes a hammer that eliminates the Ruger transfer bar. Of course this turns the action into a Old Model style and allows you to load only five rounds safely. They make you sign a waver before sending it to you and no it doesn’t make your gun illegal by modifying it.
Howdy Again

I have installed Power Custom Half Cock hammers in several Ruger Vaqueros. These hammers do need a transfer bar, so at first I thought you were incorrect when you stated that PC was making a Transfer Bar-less hammer for the Ruger Single Action revolvers.

But I checked, and you are indeed correct, Power Custom is now offering a hammer that does not use a transfer bar.

http://powercustom.com/store/index.p...oducts_id=1119


For what it's worth, lots of Cowboy Action shooters send their Rugers to custom gunsmiths who will weld up the hammer so it strikes the firing pin directly, without a transfer bar. This is because a broken transfer bar is the last thing you want at a match.
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Old November 13, 2018, 02:55 PM   #19
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Perhaps they had a bad batch ?
The transfer bar on my Dan Wesson M-12 broke, the factory made it good.
That's one reason why I prefer Old Models.
I wonder if it a design flaw. When you design a new part to fit into an existing mechanism as opposed to from the ground up, I wonder if it maybe it's a little too thin or whatever.
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Old November 15, 2018, 04:11 AM   #20
bamaranger
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still waiting

My 2 transfer bars have not yet arrived. Not sure from where they were sent, but I called the SC customer service office. Not disappointed, just an update on my circumstances, I will keep you posted.

Must be one of those weeks for me....got a flat on the Bronco, AND my ATV, on the same hunting trip the other afternoon. When it rains, it pours. The Bronco tires (a pair) will be expensive, Ruger is sending the pair of transfer bars for free!!!
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Old November 15, 2018, 11:55 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle
I know dry firing a Ruger Blackhawk is supposed to be fine and dandy...but what were you doing when the transfer bar broke.....Oh Yeah ..dry firing !
I just can't get over the notion that dry firing wont hurt a gun... You were dry firing and the gun broke.
I don't do it unless I have proper snap caps and even then I don't do it much....
It just seems wrong to keep dropping the hammer to hit parts it shouldn't be hitting .
Uhh... What?

"...dropping the hammer to hit parts it shouldn't be hitting..."
You do understand that the transfer bar gets smacked by the hammer EVERY time the trigger is pulled, right?
That's it's job.
The hammer is supposed to hit the transfer bar! EVERY TIME.

Snap caps? They don't do anything for a transfer bar. The transfer bar gets hit by the hammer EVERY time the hammer falls while the trigger is pulled. EVERY TIME. Having snap caps in the cylinder does not change the fact that the transfer bar is a chunk of metal designed to get smacked by the hammer and transfer that energy to the firing pin.

Whether in live-fire or dry-fire, the transfer bar takes the same abuse.
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Old November 15, 2018, 03:05 PM   #22
Bill DeShivs
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Yes, the blow to the transfer bar is cushioned by primers or a snap cap.
Think about it.
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Old November 15, 2018, 04:07 PM   #23
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Yes, the blow to the transfer bar is cushioned by primers or a snap cap.
The blow to the primer will slow down the hammer some and lessen the actual amount of force and that will possibly preserve the steel from fatiguing, but even with the primer missing, that pin spring poses a lot of resistance as well. I'm having a hard time accepting that the steel could be so weak, unless it is sintered, or just brittle garbage. I know that the banging around will cause some steels to deform in their elemental structure.

I'd like to point something out. IF there was a problem with dry firing or a problem with the transfer bar of any sort, it would have been so easily evident that Ruger would have resolved it years ago. Lives hang in the balance whenever a gun is loaded. anytime a cartridge goes in. having a broken transfer bar may cause you to miss that charging moose, or having a bit of steel floating around in the gun may cause any number of problems. Testing? a mechanical trip hammer that generates the same amount of force could be set up to test a mechanism, any machinist could do so in a few minutes.

This encourages me to believe that the dry fire connection is probably rather tenuous. I believe that it is likely just a flaw in the steel or the part. I would suggest, if there are actually serious issues with it, that ruger would have created a multi part bar, a plain sintered base with a spring steel transfer strip. a very simple fix.

If there was a significant problem, especially one caused by dry firing, which ruger specifically approves of, they should know about it already and they would have recalled the guns.

I just don't think that we have the answer.
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Old November 15, 2018, 11:53 PM   #24
Bill DeShivs
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It has nothing to do with the steel being weak. Take a low-carbon steel coat hanger, and keep bending it in the same spot. You will see what work-hardening does. Same thing when hitting it with a hammer-it will deform and then begin to crack.
The problem is even worse with medium-carbon steels used in guns.
While a modest amount of dry-firing will not hurt most modern guns, an excessive amount can cause problems. Ruger, or not.
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Old November 16, 2018, 12:16 AM   #25
briandg
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That was my thought. That bar doesn't bend, but it does take a lot of blows. So, the little bit of flexing and compression could eventually weaken the grain of the metal and break at the spot that has weakened.

So again, we find that if there is a problem, won't the break always be at a distinct location? won't metallurgical testing prove that it resulted from overwork by constant misuse and no primer to buffer the blow?

A thought that I had was whether the transfer bar actually contacts the breech, or does it contact only the base of the pin? Could that be the cause, that the bar is being struck flat on the breech? I dunno, I have one sitting on my lap and can't tell.

I still hold that a sensible manufacturer would understand that there is a genuine hazard in such a situation and rectify it.

Do you think that changing from a simple mechanical type of steel to a steel designed for the situation, a steel that can flex rather than becoming work hardened would solve the problem? I've never seen a leaf spring break in a car, and that takes an awful lot of abuse. I've seen a lot of other steel products snap.

I don't know if you are a genuine metallurgist, but you know your metals and work with them and could answer that. I knew a metallurgist for a few years, and I wouldn't have asked him this question, because he was nuts.
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