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Why didn't Bill R put a transfer bar in the ROA?

This is a discussion on Why didn't Bill R put a transfer bar in the ROA? within the Black Powder forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Originally Posted by caryc A three screw Ruger loaded with 5 rounds and the hammer resting on an empty chamber is EXACTLY as safe as ...


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Old January 19th, 2016, 06:53 PM   #31
 
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Originally Posted by caryc View Post
A three screw Ruger loaded with 5 rounds and the hammer resting on an empty chamber is EXACTLY as safe as a transfer bar gun. You tell my why it is not. I'll bet you won't even answer this one.
Not exactly as safe.




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Old January 19th, 2016, 06:54 PM   #32
 
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Hell yes of course it could have been done but then it would not be a Ruger old army would it. It is no longer made so why the discussion???
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Old January 19th, 2016, 07:21 PM   #33
 
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Hell yes of course it could have been done but then it would not be a Ruger old army would it. It is no longer made so why the discussion???
I can see ruger bringing the ROA back someday and a TB would be a good feature. The ROA is not meant to be a replica.
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Old January 20th, 2016, 01:17 AM   #34
 
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Of course it could be done. The rear of the cylinder would have to machined differently so the nipples were not as exposed, but that's not a big deal.
If the nipples were 'not as exposed', wouldn't that make the nipples very difficult to cap? I seriously doubt you've ever loaded and shot an Old Army revolver.
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Old January 20th, 2016, 01:22 AM   #35
 
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I can see ruger bringing the ROA back someday and a TB would be a good feature. The ROA is not meant to be a replica.
I am one of the many BP shooters who can't see Ruger 'bringing back' the ROA. Yes, the ROA is not meant to be a 'replica' of any specific 19th century percussion revolver, but it shares many common design features of popular 19th century percussion revolvers.
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Old January 20th, 2016, 03:26 AM   #36
 
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Originally Posted by bunnyhugger View Post
That's like saying we don't need seatbelts in cars - people should simply be more careful.

TBs are not necessities but they're a good feature.
Hardly the same thing. Seat belts protect us from the "other" guy in most circumstances. And they help us to remain behind the wheel and in control of our vehicle if hit.

A transfer bar on the other hand is to protect me from someone running up, grabbing my gun and throwing it on the ground so that it hits the hammer in just the right manner and discharges killing me? lol It is designed to protect me from dropping my handgun in just the right way so that it shoots me.

I don't know about you but I have carried old models for 40 years and have never dropped a one of them. It might be interesting though to load blanks in all six and see how many times I could drop one before it actually went off. Or even if it ever went off without my purposely dropping it on the hammer.

Now if I was horseback riding in rough terrain I might leave a cylinder empty just in case, depending on the horse, but that's not the same thing as lawyers telling me whats best for me. If your that concerned, buy a different gun.

Bear in mind I was shooting old models and quite happy doing so when the new models came out. I remember my first thoughts when firing a new model was that the trigger pull was much worse, heavier and sloppy, and that now the gun had a rattle it didn't have before. Action jobs were more difficult and you could never get the same light crisp trigger pull off a new model that you could have with an old model.

Many may disagree and I expect that but if your not comfortable with a firearm that does not have a transfer bar then don't buy or shoot one. But don't tell me then that you snow ski, (Sonny Bono) or fly (John Denver, Harrison Ford) or scuba dive (Steve Irwin) or we'll have to get the lawyers involved.
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Old January 20th, 2016, 04:24 AM   #37
 
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We will likely never all agree on the necessity of transfer bars. Personally, I don't "like" them on Ruger single-actions but that's just me. I fully understand the rationale behind their incorporation into the design and accept that they probably do perform a desirable function. I think Bill Ruger's reason for adding them was purely a business move to avoid further lawsuits from those who either didn't understand the proper operation of a traditional single-action or the results of various other unlikely but possible happenings. He didn't invent the transfer bar concept as it had been used long before on at least one other manufacturer's guns. That he was able to work it into his guns unobtrusively was a bit of nice design work. That he was able to come up with a drop-in retrofit version for Old Models without modification to the gun frame was a bit of VERY CLEVER design work. That he offered these "safety modifications" for free was a piece of further butt-covering that not everybody might have done.

Will it ever happen to the Old Army? I kinda doubt it, but with Ruger never say "never".

JMHO
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Old January 20th, 2016, 07:27 AM   #38
 
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BH, We've beaten to the death questions / comments about of an out of production gun, lets move on to today. Do any of the current manufacturers of Cap & Ball revolvers feel the need to build in a transfer bar safety mechanism?
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Old January 20th, 2016, 10:12 AM   #39
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As they say .... ignorance is bliss. If you knew what was behind Ruger's reason for retro fitting transfer bars to OM revolvers, you might be surprised .... and it wasn't Ruger trying to do a warm fuzzy for their customers. The fact is, Ruger was sued many times for producing unsafe firearms and finally was given an edict by BATFE ... redesign a new Model SA, come up with a fix for the existing OM SAs currently in service, or get out of the gun business .... in addition to paying some very significant settlements.

After the OM SAs went into production, people started having frequent accidents with them. Yes, most of the time it had to do with the owner not being familiar with the OM SA operating system but some of it had to do with inferior parts and an unsafe design.

If you look closely at a Colt SAA and a Ruger OM SA, there are many similarities, in fact about the only visually significant difference is the heads for the three action screws are on opposite sides. A very important difference that most people don't have a clue about is the material used in the parts ... specifically the hammer and trigger. Colt started with a solid billet of steel then machined it to form a part and heat treated it to the proper hardness. These parts are NOT brittle. Ruger used the "investment casting" process to make their hammers and triggers. Why is this important? Because cast hammers and triggers are very hard and brittle. All it takes is a "thumb slip" when loading and the hammer will thrust forward until the trigger sear contacts the hammer's safety notch. This will break either the trigger sear or the safety notch or both, so you no longer have a hammer safe position. As such, all it takes is another slight thumb slip when loading or just a bump on the hammer and the gun will fire. In some cases, the safety notch would break and the gun would fire on the first thumb slip event.

So to answer caryc's question, what about carrying the gun with an empty chamber under the hammer? This only prevents "hammer bump" or "gun drop" discharges, but it won't prevent discharges caused by defective broken parts, cylinders that were not indexed properly, hammer snagging, or "thumb slip". Part of Ruger's design of their OM SA revolvers was a lesser know problem that was also present in Colt's SAA ... and that is: the hammer must be placed in the "half cock" position when loading or unloading. This is the only condition where the cylinder is released to rotate manually. After loading, the hammer must be fully cocked, then the trigger is pulled while holding the hammer spur and gently lowering the hammer until it is fully forward. The hammer is then pulled back to the first click, which places the trigger sear in the hammer's safety notch. I suspect many people will get a dumb look on their face when you say "safety notch" because they don't even know it exists. Back to the sequence .... if your thumb slips off the hammer spur while you are trying to lower it, there's a good chance you will break the safety notch and hear a very loud BANG. Oddly enough, even with a broken sear or safety notch, the gun will still function ... not safely, but it will still shoot. It's amazing how many OMs I've found in service with a broken sear or safety notch and the owners didn't have a clue.

The New Model design ... you load with the hammer fully forward. Opening the loading gate releases the cylinder so it can rotate. The hammer won't cock when the loading gate is open nor will the loading gate open if the hammer is cocked. Try it sometime! This simple interlock does a couple things ... it allows the gun to be loaded or unloaded without having the hammer in half cock ... thus eliminating the "thumb slip" issue. In conjunction with the transfer bar, it safely allows all chambers to be loaded ... no complicated indexing and no snagging issues .... even a cave man can do it. Fact is, the transfer bar is directly coupled to the trigger so the only way the gun will fire is when the trigger is pulled and held fully to the rear until the hammer strikes the transfer bar and in turn the transfer bar strikes the firing pin. This design makes a New Model Ruger SA the safest SA on the market ... period, amen.

A few more issues .... to load a non-converted OM properly, you should load one, skip one, load four, then cock and lower the hammer, and finally pull the hammer back one click. When indexed properly, you will end up with an empty chamber under the hammer. This seemingly simple procedure is beyond the capability of many shooters that have the mechanical aptitude of a carrot. If the cylinder is not indexed properly or if you load all six chambers, you will end up with a live round under the hammer and probably don't even have a clue there is a safety notch. Further, what happens when you shoot a round then cock the hammer to shoot another but change your mind? Most people just lower the hammer and don't think about the live round under the firing pin. The proper procedure is to re-index the cylinder so there is a spent cartridge under the hammer (pulled back to the safety notch) and the next hammer cock will rotate the cylinder where a live round is under the hammer. I wonder how many people actually do this ... even well seasoned shooters???? You can bet those macho mechanically incompetent shooters won't have a clue how to re-index the cylinder.

Hammer snagging: Here's an event that actually happened back when I lived in Arizona. My neighbor was an avid horse guy ... almost every day he would saddle up one of his horses and go for a trail ride. He always carried his Ruger 357 Mag OM Blackhawk (no transfer bar) in a holster with an empty chamber under the hammer. One day while he was crossing a barbwire fence, somehow his hammer got snagged, pulled back almost to full cock, then released. This sequence caused the cylinder to rotate and placed a live round under the hammer. Further, the safety notch broke off and the gun fired. The 357 Mag shot most of his right foot off. After he got out of the hospital, he brought the gun to me and asked if I could take it apart and see if it was working properly .... and if not, why not. I found the safety notch had broken and even found the piece of metal that had broken off. Needless to say, Ruger got sued again and as it turned out, they had been sued for similar issues many times before so it was not just some wild fluke. Hammers get snagged while the gun is holstered from walking in heavy brush or crossing fences but mostly in vehicles when the driver puts on the seat belt.

The point is .... most people don't read the owner's manual ... and even if they do, they either don't understand the operating system or think they are so macho they choose to ignore the warnings. So how does a gun manufacturer cope with this situation and still remain in business? They hired very talented mechanical engineers that redesigned Ruger NM SA revolvers to eliminate the problems and make the guns as "dummy proof" as possible. They also came up with a free "fix" for OMs in circulation that eliminated two of the three safety issues and satisfied BATFE. An OM modified with the transfer bar still had to be loaded with the hammer at half cock so it didn't totally eliminate the "thumb slip" safety issue but it did eliminate such things as proper cylinder indexing and hammer snagging, in fact with the transfer bar mod, it is safe to carry the OM SA with all six chambers loaded ... just as a six-shooter should be!

As noted before, transfer bars are not a new thing. I have an old Stevens single-shot 22 falling block with a transfer bar that operates exactly the same as a transfer bar in a Ruger. The Stevens Crack Shot was made long before Bill Ruger had a gleam in his eye.

Ruger Old Army revolvers have a near identical operating system as OM SA models. The only significant difference is ... the firing pin is located on the face of the hammer ... instead of being an in-frame firing pin. Also as other have mentioned, there is a slot between each nipple where the hammer can safely rest and not have to depend on a sear safety notch. It wouldn't be a big engineering challenge to adapt a transfer bar system to an OA. Seems if a OM can be redesigned to work with a transfer bar without modifying the frame, a similar system could be adapted to an OA. To answer the OP's question .... Why didn't this happen while the OA was in production? Simple ... if owners carried the guns with the hammer nose set in a lock slot, it would be nearly impossible for the gun to fire. Yes, the hammer could still be snagged or could fire from a thumb slip when loading but this operating system had been used for well over 100 years and is still used in Colts and Colt clones so a legal precedence was well established for law suits.

I wonder how many people took the time to read the above? I suspect very few .... but the macho guys that need it most are the same ones that think the only safety is the one between their ears.
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Old January 20th, 2016, 10:27 AM   #40
 
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I wonder how many people took the time to read the above? I suspect very few .... but the macho guys that need it most are the same ones that think the only safety is the one between their ears.
I read it, read the whole thing !

But I also knew about the safety notch and load one, skip one, load the remaining 4 details in your message. What I didn't know was the difference between the billet steel parts and cast parts, I always assumed they were all built the same (billet).
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Old January 20th, 2016, 11:09 AM   #41
 
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Please pardon my ignorance.
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Old January 20th, 2016, 11:47 AM   #42
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Ale-8(1), Consider yourself pardoned ... but I think you knew all of this stuff anyway ... maybe you just didn't want to admit it in public. Consider this .... companies such as Ruger are in business for one single purpose ... to make money. There's no way a company would volunteer to do a free transfer bar conversion on tens of thousands of guns from Bearcats to Super Blackhawks ... spread over decades. It's now been about 44 years since Ruger started doing the transfer bar mods and they still offer the same free service. No doubt, it has cost Ruger millions of dollars. There's but one reason for doing the free mods .... comply or close the doors ... it's as simple as that!

mikeyr, Good for you ... at least a couple people took time to read the above "book" and maybe like you, they may have learned something.

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Old January 21st, 2016, 04:09 AM   #43
 
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There I was, all blissful in my ignorance, and now I have to deal with facts.

It's not fair, I tell ya . . .



So . . . did others get similar warnings from the BAT-men? Colt would obviously come to mind.

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Old January 21st, 2016, 04:30 AM   #44
 
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As has been the case before, I read the entire post by Iowegan, and as always, learned a lot from it.

Thank you, Iowegan, for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us!

Now as for the OP's concerns about the"need" for the transfer bar in the ROA, there is a very simple solution if he is worried about it.

Don't get an ROA!

Nuff said.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 07:30 AM   #45
 
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To answer the OP's question .... Why didn't this happen while the OA was in production? Simple ... if owners carried the guns with the hammer nose set in a lock slot, it would be nearly impossible for the gun to fire. Yes, the hammer could still be snagged or could fire from a thumb slip when loading but this operating system had been used for well over 100 years and is still used in Colts and Colt clones so a legal precedence was well established for law suits.
Well that's not a very good reason for leaving out the TB. Yes, the safety slots work well but the TB system is better and the cost would be slight. Why not do it.?
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