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New Vaquero transfer bar pinch - a problem or not?

This is a discussion on New Vaquero transfer bar pinch - a problem or not? within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I've been reading up on Ruger transfer bar pinch and came away confused by the opposing viewpoints. Some people swear that it's a problem that ...


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Old June 16th, 2013, 11:11 AM   #1
 
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New Vaquero transfer bar pinch - a problem or not?

I've been reading up on Ruger transfer bar pinch and came away confused by the opposing viewpoints.

Some people swear that it's a problem that should be resolved by fitting the hammer step to the transfer bar (or in a few cases by fitting the transfer bar to the hammer step.)

Others say that it's not a problem, just leave it alone.

Is there a consensus on this issue? I don't want to futz with something that doesn't need futzing. My NV does exhibit this condition, but I'm not entirely sure that it's not intentional. My concern with trying to fit this is that I'd start getting light hammer strikes.



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Old June 22nd, 2013, 07:24 AM   #2
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You are losing sleep over nothing. Some models might not be fit up right at the factory. Any part might conceivably need touching up if that is the case, not just the transfer bar. A certain amount of customer "gunsmithing" seems necessary these days for just about any off-the-shelf product. Be sure you have a few sheets of #600 wet/dry paper to smooth any sharp edges.

The reason they put a spring loaded plunger into the base pin is to keep the transfer bar from stubbing on the firing pin as it rises during cocking. That design works great. No problems.

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Old June 22nd, 2013, 11:01 AM   #3
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HeavyDuty, I love these types of threads. Seems many people don't understand how a NM Ruger SA works so they have to make up stuff so people will think they are a gun expert (not you ... your source)

Here's the straight skinny .... A NM Ruger hammer has a top step and a lower step. The trigger is directly coupled to the transfer bar. When you pull the trigger, the transfer bar raises high enough to cover the firing pin. The lower hammer step hits the transfer bar and in turn, the transfer bar strikes the firing pin .... BANG! After firing, the trigger is released and should spring forward, lowering the transfer bar. If a poor boy trigger job was done (lifting one leg of the trigger spring), a reduced power trigger spring was installed, or the top step was altered, chances are the trigger will not spring forward ... leaving the transfer bar "pinched" between the hammer and firing pin. No big deal .... as soon as you begin to cock the hammer, tension is removed from the transfer bar. The trigger will spring forward and the transfer bar will drop.

Some brand new Rugers will do the same thing but as above ... it's just no big deal. All it tells you ... the hammer is hitting the transfer bar, exactly like it was designed to do.
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Old June 22nd, 2013, 11:32 AM   #4
 
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Thanks, guys - I'd pretty much decided it was a non-issue.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:18 AM   #5
 
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The transfer bar should drop with the spring pressure. If it does not, then if you cock the revolver and then let the hammer down on a loaded round, the firing pin could hit the primer if the hammer was struck a blow. The transfer bar system was designed to stop this. Could be caused by a number of problems. Have it checked by a gunsmith.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 07:39 AM   #6
 
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ironhead7544, that is not the condition I was asking about. This is where the hammer moves slightly forward when the trigger is released after firing. The transfer bar is dropping properly, there is no safety issue with mine.
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Old June 23rd, 2013, 08:23 AM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
HeavyDuty, I love these types of threads. Seems many people don't understand how a NM Ruger SA works so they have to make up stuff so people will think they are a gun expert (not you ... your source)

Here's the straight skinny .... A NM Ruger hammer has a top step and a lower step. The trigger is directly coupled to the transfer bar. When you pull the trigger, the transfer bar raises high enough to cover the firing pin. The lower hammer step hits the transfer bar and in turn, the transfer bar strikes the firing pin .... BANG! After firing, the trigger is released and should spring forward, lowering the transfer bar. If a poor boy trigger job was done (lifting one leg of the trigger spring), a reduced power trigger spring was installed, or the top step was altered, chances are the trigger will not spring forward ... leaving the transfer bar "pinched" between the hammer and firing pin. No big deal .... as soon as you begin to cock the hammer, tension is removed from the transfer bar. The trigger will spring forward and the transfer bar will drop.

Some brand new Rugers will do the same thing but as above ... it's just no big deal. All it tells you ... the hammer is hitting the transfer bar, exactly like it was designed to do.
I'll probably get flamed for this but thanks, Iowegan for the comments about "poor boy trigger jobs, etc"...I've done things like that..most of us have...we read something on the web and rush to change springs, sand things down, change guide rods on semi's, etc and simply screw up the gun as it was designed...I've found over lots of years with Ruger single actions that they, like any other firearm, need to be shot and cleaned..shot and cleaned...they will usually "get over" most anything that's wrong by just a bit of breaking in...I only had one issue with a Vaquero (original style) and that was as a result of trying to "break in a trigger" based on some web chatter..I broke the pawl and had to replace it...it was doing just fine without my help. I'm a great believer that if I have an issue with a gun that is something I need to ask a question about...I need to talk to the factory or a gunsmith...Ruger is great about customer service and if there is a problem they normally can read it and take care of it. Ok, I've got the fire extinguisher ready so take your best shot.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 09:30 AM   #8
 
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I am of the opinion the transfer bar should ideally just fit between the frame and the hammer. When fired, the hammer should not be resting on the transfer bar but on the frame with the transfer bar 'just' fitting in-between. Does it matter? The jury is out. I've only had one transfer bar break in all my years of shooting Rugers.... And can't say the problem was due to a thick transfer bar. I did make sure the new one 'fit'.

Quote:
and simply screw up the gun as it was designed..
I won't flame you ... but a stock Ruger can be made 'better'. Much better. A good trigger job does wonders to shoot-ability (for me anyway) . I am going to have most of mine fixed over the next few years . I call it 'fixing' now, because it is a light and day difference between stock and a good trigger job and it is hard to go back shooting 'stock' Rugers! I see nothing wrong with a PBTJ as it does lighten the trigger so it helps ... but does nothing for creep and smoothness. Hey, anything that helps tighten your groups should be acceptable and doesn't hurt a thing! And you are right, after 1000s of rounds the trigger does get somewhat better as it wears in.... but still doesn't have that 'feel' of a good trigger job.... Just one man's opinion .

Last edited by rclark; June 24th, 2013 at 09:33 AM.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #9
 
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I am of the opinion the transfer bar should ideally just fit between the frame and the hammer. When fired, the hammer should not be resting on the transfer bar but on the frame with the transfer bar 'just' fitting in-between. Does it matter? The jury is out. I've only had one transfer bar break in all my years of shooting Rugers.... And can't say the problem was due to a thick transfer bar. I did make sure the new one 'fit'.

I won't flame you ... but a stock Ruger can be made 'better'. Much better. A good trigger job does wonders to shoot-ability (for me anyway) . I am going to have most of mine fixed over the next few years . I call it 'fixing' now, because it is a light and day difference between stock and a good trigger job and it is hard to go back shooting 'stock' Rugers! I see nothing wrong with a PBTJ as it does lighten the trigger so it helps ... but does nothing for creep and smoothness. Hey, anything that helps tighten your groups should be acceptable and doesn't hurt a thing! And you are right, after 1000s of rounds the trigger does get somewhat better as it wears in.... but still doesn't have that 'feel' of a good trigger job.... Just one man's opinion .
And I couldn't agree with you more...but notice you said "I am going to have most of mine fixed..."..that's a bit different than someone with no talent, no experience and no tools watching some kid on You Tube and unhooking springs or using sandpaper on mating parts, etc...I've had plenty of work done of guns over the years...I'm fairly skilled and have lots of precision tools but when it comes to guns it goes to the shop...pulling one leg of a spring off the trigger assembley may work fine but it's sort of like pulling the shock absorbers off the rear axle to get a smoother ride...maybe it works and maybe something breaks....problem I've heard of in discussion forums is that the one removed leg of the spring can cause rubbing and the other leg can be weakened...There are ways to "modify" the spring that can accomplish the nice trigger we all like but again....it's not for the novice..in my opinion (and that's all it is).

A good example of home gunsmithing is on the old Mosins that are so popular these days...there are tons of videos and posts about pulling out the trigger assy main screw and "shimming" the trigger pawl with a washer....if the washer happens to be just a bit thick the gun will fire if bumped while cocked...then the same posts and videos suggest taking the little spring off of a food bag clip and fitting that outside of the trigger and pawl to take up some slack...problem here is again...the spring can break and or slip and jam the works and cause a gun that can fire "at will"....It's a $5 fix (sold on Ebay...somebody sells a 50 cent washer and a spring for $5) or a person can buy a real, honest to God Timney trigger and have a real trigger with real safety.

I wonder how many folks that buy semi auto handguns shoot a few rounds and start reading the internet and watching Youtube...next thing is to order a set of some kind of springs and start messing with mainsprings and trigger springs...then complain about light strikes or mis feeding...I have done it so I know....when one thing changes it changes a lot of other things that may not be the best situaiton...I got a buddy that ran a high end fuel injection and carb shop and has years and years with fuel systems...his worst nightmares were the carbs or injectors that someone had "diddled with"...Like fishing reels...how many go to the shop in a bag because the owner decided to "improve the action or drag system"?

Lots of guys (and gals ) that have great gunsmithing skills and experience as well as tools...my issue is never with them..it's the 15 year old kid on You Tube that monkeys with the guts of a gun and folks that are new to gun ownership (and there are a ton of them right now) take it as the Gospel.

It's not my gun.

Last edited by opos; June 24th, 2013 at 11:25 AM.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 12:38 PM   #10
 
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I do understand what you are saying . But for one small detail concerning the PBTJ

Quote:
pulling one leg of a spring off the trigger assembley may work fine but it's sort of like pulling the shock absorbers off the rear axle
This is where I must disagree . The lack of shock absorbers could be dangerous on a rough road or cornering.... But, looking at how the trigger mechanism works, I don't see how it could possibly cause any long term problems. All you are doing is flexing one leg instead of two.... And all it is pressing on is the back of the trigger. If you don't like the leg hanging down, clip it. Springs are cheap if you want to replace. You can also 'bend' the legs to accomplish basically the same thing ... or buy a lighter Wolff trigger spring. Really this is in reach of everyone and is a quick way of dumping at least half of the monstrous trigger pull of a stock Ruger (On my new Bisley for example, I thought I might need a block and tackle to pull the trigger! Ok, exaggerating a bit... ) . That said, I played around last night with my 50th Ann. .44Mag and the lowest I could get the trigger pull using the PBTJ was ~32oz (either one on post, or both legs on post but bent). Still quite heavy. Obviously something else needs to change to get it down to 22-24oz where I like it (plus get rid of most the creep). I see a trip to the gunsmith as the only thing I don't 'work' on at home is the sear area. I don't have a jig , or the correct files for this work. Smoothing edges with a fine, ultra-fine stone I have no problem with, or filing on the transfer bar or hammer.... or reaming the throats, cutting the forcing cone, etc.... Just that sear I don't feel comfortable 'playing with'... yet.... I am known to 'over-do' things . "Just a liiiitle more" gets a person in big trouble . I have a black powder 1860 Colt that I don't shoot anymore because you just 'touch' the trigger and it lets go. Went to far ... to fast. That was 20 years ago now that I screwed it up . I keep it around to 'remind' me.

Still would like to figure out a way to reduce my wife's Bearcat trigger pull.... Not down to 22-24, but least 32oz-40oz or so. Don't want a 'touchy' gun for my wife who doesn't shoot as much, but at least so it doesn't tire the trigger finger so much during a session .


I suppose we are a bit off topic, but it's been interesting exchanging points of view!
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Old June 25th, 2013, 01:15 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyDuty View Post
ironhead7544, that is not the condition I was asking about. This is where the hammer moves slightly forward when the trigger is released after firing. The transfer bar is dropping properly, there is no safety issue with mine.
Sorry, I thought it was sticking. IMHO, I would rather have it too thick than too thin. Had one that misfired and had to get some metal built up before it worked properly. That was on a new Ruger revolver. Others have had the same problem.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 07:38 PM   #12
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opos,
Quote:
I'll probably get flamed for this but thanks, Iowegan for the comments about "poor boy trigger jobs, etc"...I've done things like that..most of us have...we read something on the web and rush to change springs, sand things down, change guide rods on semi's, etc and simply screw up the gun as it was designed...I've found over lots of years with Ruger single actions that they, like any other firearm, need to be shot and cleaned..shot and cleaned...they will usually "get over" most anything that's wrong by just a bit of breaking in...I only had one issue with a Vaquero (original style) and that was as a result of trying to "break in a trigger" based on some web chatter..I broke the pawl and had to replace it...it was doing just fine without my help. I'm a great believer that if I have an issue with a gun that is something I need to ask a question about...I need to talk to the factory or a gunsmith...Ruger is great about customer service and if there is a problem they normally can read it and take care of it. Ok, I've got the fire extinguisher ready so take your best shot.
Excellent post!!!

When I owned my shop, the most frequent and most profitable thing i did was "action jobs" so I guess I shouldn't bad mouth them. However; a well practiced shooter with good trigger control can shoot a Ruger SA just as accurately with a 6 lb trigger pull as with a 2 lb pull. Light trigger pull is nothing more than a crutch for those shooters that don't take the time to learn how to shoot well. I have proven this time and time again with many people. I too want a nice trigger pull ... but it doesn't have to be a light pull as long as it is creep free.

Creep is defined as the "feeling of movement" while squeezing the trigger. When there are machine marks on the sear and hammer notch, it feels like the gun is going to fire two or three times before it actually does. This will break a good shooter's concentration and make them crazy. When trigger pull is 6 lb or more, you do not feel creep unless the sear is really bad. Any time you reduce trigger pull weight, you will INCREASE creep so when lighter springs or the dreaded PBTJ is used, you just trade one issue for another. A REAL action job will involve polishing the sear and hammer notch until they are free of all machine marks and are as smooth as chrome. All Ruger SA revolvers have an "under square" cut on the hammer notch. If you look very closely at an unaltered Ruger hammer, you will see it move back slightly when the trigger is pulled. By changing the sear angle slightly until it is perfectly square (no sign of either forward or rearward hammer movement), the trigger is no longer pushing the hammer back against a 23 lb mainspring. Guess what? This will eliminate any creep, and will lower trigger pull considerable ... even with standard factory trigger and hammer springs. IMO, a PBTJ is an amature Gong Show project. I can't say it doesn't lower trigger pull but I can say it increases creep.

What makes a SA revolver hard to master marksmanship is two things ... the extremely long lock time (the time it takes for the hammer to detonate the primer, once the trigger sear is released) and the plow handle grips that don't fit any human very well. A light trigger pull does not fix either of these two very important problems. A little theory .... when you aim any gun, it is very important to keep the sights on the target until the trigger is pulled but what most people fail to understand is what happens afterwards. Once the sear releases, the hammer begins its long journey to the transfer bar. This takes considerable time ... about .079 seconds. After the hammer strikes the transfer bar and in turn, the transfer bar strikes the primer, the primer will detonate and ignite the powder, which will push the bullet out of the muzzle. This takes more time so the total time from sear release to when the bullet exits the muzzle is about a tenth of a second. In what seems to be instantanious, during that 1/10 second lock time delay, your hand (and the muzzle) can drift off the target quite a ways.

So .... rather than getting all wired about a light trigger pull, concentrate on what happens AFTER the trigger is pulled. I can garantee it will improve your score if you can learn to hold the gun steady until after you hear a BANG.

I love the looks of a nice set of plow handle grips ... they make a single action revolver look just the way they should .... however those plow handles aren't doing you any favors when it comes to marksmanship. If you buy a good set of custom grips that really fit your hand, I think you would be pleasantly surprised on how your marksmanship will improve. A pair of grips that fit your hand makes it so much easier to hold the gun still before, during, and after trigger pull. In my case, I own quite a few Rugers with the same XR3RED grip frame so I bought a nice pair of oversized custom grips that fit my hand really well and put them on the specific Ruger SA I am shooting. It only takes a few seconds to swap grips so when I get home from the range ... off goes the custom grips and on goes the factory plow handels. A win - win situation where I can still have a gun that looks the way it should plus be able to shoot it well.

Here's one of my BHs with my custom grips that fit me like a glove:
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Old June 27th, 2013, 08:01 AM   #13
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Lightbulb

Personally I no longer find it amusing when people establish entire web sites devoted to the modification of their firearms. Once in a while certain improvements are beneficial. But...getting your tools out before you even use the product doesn't make any sense.

Re-reading the op's description, I believe he is referring to the supposed problem of transfer bar breakage. Should the hammer strike the frame during firing? Etc. The whole concept is based on the supposed problem that the transfer bar is wimpy MIM metal and will shatter if it takes the full force of the hammer during firing.

For those who worry constantly about these things, tweaking the hammer's step height will distribute the hammer's impact more equally between the transfer bar/firing pin and the frame. See web site devoted to this topic.

My original take on the problem description was on the rising of the transfer bar, not the battering of the transfer bar, or the releasing of the transfer bar. All those are different subjects, and will keep many Ruger enthusiasts awake at night fretting.

From personal experience, the factory just does not have the time to make each part work as smoothly as we might like. Smoothing the rough edges from critical parts is guaranteed to improve the feel of the revolver. (Rough or sharp edges on the transfer bar do in fact add to a gritty feeling in both SA and DA revolvers.)

I disagree with other members' definition of trigger creep. This is no surprise because 10 people will have 10 differing view points on the subject. My definition of trigger creep is a rough, gritty and unpredictable trigger pull. Nobody likes that type of trigger. On the other hand just the sensation of trigger movement - providing that the movement is smooth and predictable - is desirable in my view. There are many reasons why this latter type of pull is a good choice, and also why many competitors prefer it to a "glass break" type of trigger pull. But in the end it is a subjective thing as long as the engagement is "safe" - meaning that the gun will not go off unless the trigger is pulled. There's your definition of safe.

Transfer bar nightmares? Its unlikely you will have them.

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