This is a discussion on Ruger old Army / Black powder shooting within the Black Powder forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I am considering getting into the black powder end of shooting and wonder if anyone can tell me how they like the Ruger Old Army ...
I am considering getting into the black powder end of shooting and wonder if anyone can tell me how they like the Ruger Old Army 45. Keep in mind that I have never shot black powder but, have always had an interest in it. I think the stainless 7 1/2 inch barrel model is the one for me. I wonder how well it functions and what kind of recoil to expect. Will it kick like a modern era .45 or less. I have herd that they only have the recoil of a modern .38. Is this so.
I started out shooting other's inline BP rifles, and then, a few years ago, bought my first BP revolver; a replica Colt .36 1851 Navy. Several months ago, I found a nice early production blued OA with 7 1/2" bbl on the *other* rugerforum.
I haven't tried any maximum loads in my ROA, but with about 30 grs of 3F black or Triple Seven, it is pleasantly accurate at 25 yds and comfortable to shoot. BP arms generally produce a slower *push* recoil feel, as opposed to the faster (sharper) recoil of a smokeless powder arm.
I'm casting my own round balls, and should soon be experimenting with heavier loads of both black and substitute powders.
The ROA is nice to shoot, as the gripframe is essentially a Blackhawk. Some say the gun is too muzzle-heavy, but it seems to be ok, in my opinion.
Thanks firescout. I have herd a few bad stories about flash over between cylinder chambers and thus chain firing of all balls. Is this a constant threat or is it a result of poor loading techniques. Thus far I have read that a wad placed between the powder and ball or crysco grees over the barrel end of the chamber will prevent chain firing. Is this the case. Also, how dangerous is black powder as far as storing it in your home. Does it pose a great hazard? Can you reccommend a powder measure dispenser for the ROA?
I don't shoot the ROA, But my main match pistols in SASS are 51 Navy 2nd Gen Colts. I use a powder flask with a calibrated spout. Most of the ROA shooters I know use lee dippers and a loading stand. Quite a few of them use the EPP-UG 155 grain or theDD-ROA 210 grain sized for Ruger Old Army from http://www.whyteleatherworks.com/Accessory%20page.htm , no wad needed.
I keep my BP in the loading room of the house in a gun locker. Keep my primers and caps well separate. I have a friend that swears by the Lil' Dandy Powder measure for this.
Thanks Sam. I did not know that conical balls could be used un the ruger. I thought only round balls. Just goes to show how little I know of the subject.
What of Federal Firearm requirements. Must a black powder revolver be bought threw a FFL dealer or can it just be shipped to your house. I think I was told years ago that gun of this sort are exempt from federal oversight.
I also use small powder flasks with specific length nozzles for general powder charging. I have made a few *chargers* from unplated .38 Spl cases. I have a clear plastic 0-120 gr. adjustable measure for experimenting with charges and for calibrating flask nozzles.
I haven't yet tried conicals in my ROA. I have heard that RBs are often more accurate, but the conicals are better for use on game.
I use a lubed wool felt disc between the powder and bullet. I make them from a sheet of felt, and use Precision Lube 2000 paste on them. You can also buy them pre-made.
From the scientific analysis info that I have found, virtually all chainfires in cap & ball revolvers are attributed to poorly fitting percussion caps. You will need to try several brands and sizes (#10 or #11) to find the best fit.
I'll give you another point of view. Me and my brother had one of the first ROA's ever produced, back in '73 or so, IIRC, it was serial # 659, and rumor has it the first 500 were given away, but I'm not a Ruger expert on sales, by any means. I loved shooting that gun, and it was darn accurate. BUT, that was back when I was in high school and college, and I didn't mind messing with all the hassle. I foolishly sold the ROA to a local BP store owner, and it is, to this day, his prize possession. I was in college, and needed money badly, so I had to sell it. Over the years I've explained the situation to the owner and asked to buy it back, at any price, but no deal, DARN.
Sooo, for a while I've been looking for another one, and I missed one just like it, unfired, with brass Dragoon grip frame, just like mine, on GB, as I forgot about the auction, DARN, agian.
I was beginning to think it wasn't to be for me to have another one, when just yesterday I found an unusual 45Colt Blackhawk, that has been customized. Now if I want I can shoot BP cartridges rounds or smokeless, best of both worlds.
I never had too much trouble with chain fires in the ROA when I shot it, but we normally used something over the loaded chambers like Crisco.
I'm glad I went ahead and gave up on the ROA, and got a 45Colt, as you can do a whole lot more with it, and if you get tired of the cleaning hassle, you can just shoot smokeless. I'm not saying the ROA isn't fun, it's just that as I get older, I don't want the hassle. One thing about it, there's no finer BP revolver than a ROA, and recoil is not much different that a 45Colt with medium loads.
Just my .02.
I know you asked Iowegan, but I thought I’d chime in while you wait for him.
I don’t own any conversion cylinders, but have shot a few.
The hassle of loading, and reloading the cylinder, having to be removed, dismantled reloaded, and then put back together before re-installing back into the gun is more involved in just shooting black powder as the gun was designed.
I have quite a few friends with them and they like them. But for me, if I want to shoot 45 Colt, I’ll just use the one I have in that caliber.