How much risk to the frame from a barrel swap on a 1982 Bulldog .44 - Ruger Forum

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How much risk to the frame from a barrel swap on a 1982 Bulldog .44

This is a discussion on How much risk to the frame from a barrel swap on a 1982 Bulldog .44 within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I have a very clean and still tight 1982 Stratford Charter Arms 3" Bulldog that I bought used. From a rest, in single action and ...


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Old May 2nd, 2019, 02:42 PM   #1
 
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How much risk to the frame from a barrel swap on a 1982 Bulldog .44

I have a very clean and still tight 1982 Stratford Charter Arms 3" Bulldog that I bought used. From a rest, in single action and with light target load or factory loads, it shoots futher to the left with each 5 yards you add. I'ts been consistently 3/4" left at 5 yards, 1 1/2" left at 10 yards, 2 1/4" left at 15yards and 3 1/2" left at 20 yards.

I've paid my $49.99 and Charter Arms is willing to change out the barrel. They have the proper holding fixture. Does anyone have any personal knowledge of, if these .44 Bulldog frames tend to have cracks from use that will open up under the strain of a barrel removal. There is obviously some risk since I've been asked to send them a waiver. I'm willing and will take some risk so long as I don't hear it is a great risk. So far I'm hearing that if the gun has been shot alot and hard, there may be cracks. This one appears about as tight as a new one I looked at in a lgs.

I'd like to go for it because it carries so well and I enjoy shooting it. I just am not comfortable with maybe having it shoot left.



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Old May 2nd, 2019, 08:12 PM   #2
 
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I can't speak to the chances of frame damage, but something came to mind --

Is there enough meat for you to "adjust" the fixed sights by carefully filing one side of the front sight and (if needed) the opposite side of the rear sight notch? The downside is the need for rebluing the filed areas, though; nevertheless, that could be an viable option.

(If my memory of a Stratford CA Bulldog I had decades ago is right, they have a rather beefy front sight...)
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Old May 2nd, 2019, 09:17 PM   #3
 
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Thanks, and a good suggestion. They've done that twice now with little effect. Now it's either down to the root cause, the barrel or to live with it or get rid of it. I knew I was in trouble with this one when I held all the light in the sight to one side and it still would shoot left.

I think I'll ask them to look at where the barrel enters the frame for any micro cracking with a magnifier and if none, then go for it and hope all goes well.
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Old May 3rd, 2019, 11:00 AM   #4
 
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Just my opinion, but constantly shooting to the left should be able to over come with a little practice. Police shot fixed sight revolvers for many years and most did not have adjustable sights. If it shoots well for you then hold to the right a little and make a came out of saving some money and effort. That is a dandy little revolver and a nice carry piece. If you really need to shoot something they will be well inside of where you are almost on center, or close enough. A little secret, most people can't hit sh** when they have to. It is far more important to learn to shoot under pressure that to be anal about your sight picture. You won't be able to see them anyway if things ever go to heck. I would buy or load a 1000 rounds and spend several days and evenings with friends putting you under pressure. Sights are good for shooting pop cans and grouse. I shot a lot of both with a 4" S&W Model 10, which has fixed sights and shot high and to the left. You can do it and be a better shot than you ever thought. Enjoy and have fun.

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Old May 3rd, 2019, 11:49 AM   #5
 
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Are you sure that a new barrel will correct the issue? Is it possible that the frame is the cause of the gun shooting left? Are they going to verify that the frame and frame threads for the barrel are straight?
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Old May 4th, 2019, 04:23 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brnwlms View Post
Are you sure that a new barrel will correct the issue? Is it possible that the frame is the cause of the gun shooting left? Are they going to verify that the frame and frame threads for the barrel are straight?
I think they have already. I had a Taurus 85 that you could see the barrel point off to the left if you held it up and looked closely. This one looks straight and the barrel and front sight seem to line up perfectly to the frame, unlike so many new ones today.

5MMEagle, me and Kentucy windage never get along under pressure. I will always put the sights where I want to hit and pull the trigger. I've seen it with myself over and over, when I'd sight in a slug gun to shoot longer ranges. One would come in close - as they usually do, and I'd hit them high in the lungs.

I loved my wife's 3" 36 with it's pinned barrel back in the 80's when we shot alot of bowling pin matches. I could clear a table with that as fast as most of the guys would with their larger revolvers. That one shot straight for me with barely an instant to see any sights. It was mostly, acquire a good grip that you knew would let you shoot to where you were pointing and let it all hang out on five bowling pins. Great practice.

That is why I won't carry a striker fired weapon. Once committed with a revolver, the trigger is being pressed as the gun is coming up and goes off the instant it is horizontal and on target.

I noticed when shopping for a carry 9 that was a dangerous habit and went for a dao Sig P250.

I've shot under pressure more than once. I watched myself lose $1000 at the Masters Pistol Tournement in 1987 on tv back in the motel. I've experienced the mind going into slow motion, while making rapid head shots on paper targets in competition and I've gone into tunnel vision twice - once was the real thing.

Since Charter Arms is willing to fix it and found another barrel, I gave them the ok. Hopefully I'll get good news Monday. I would much prefer a gun that shoots straight to one that don't.

Last edited by Grizzly; May 4th, 2019 at 04:26 PM.
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Old November 27th, 2019, 11:19 AM   #7
 
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How did this work out for you?
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Old November 27th, 2019, 12:27 PM   #8
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He was last on May 10th so doubtful he will answer.
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