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Shorten Single Six Barrel

This is a discussion on Shorten Single Six Barrel within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I have a blued Single Six made just a few years ago, with the 5 1/2" barrel and fixed sights. I'd like to get the ...


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Old October 12th, 2017, 06:18 PM   #1
 
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Shorten Single Six Barrel

I have a blued Single Six made just a few years ago, with the 5 1/2" barrel and fixed sights. I'd like to get the barrel down to 4 5/8", to closer match the looks and balance of my 4 5/8" New Vaquero.

Ruger doesn't catalog the Single Six 4 5/8" barrel with fixed sights in blue, or I'd just trade my current gun for one of those. Have they ever made it that way in the new version?

Probably I could find a 4 5/8" barrel as a separate part, but it will have that big front sight for the adjustable rear.

The only other solution I can see is to have the original barrel shortened, the cut-and-crown part should be easy but getting the original fixed front sight mounted looks difficult. Perhaps someone makes a dovetail front sight that could be used and filed for elevation.

Suggestions?



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Old October 12th, 2017, 06:24 PM   #2
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It's pretty standard work for a competent gunsmith. Unless you're determined to do it yourself I'd find a good gunsmith and discuss it with him.

FWIW I cut a 6.5" down to 3.75 and reused the front sight blade and it worked out fine.





If an amateur tinkerer can pull it off it should be easy for a real smith to do.
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Old October 12th, 2017, 06:34 PM   #3
 
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Let a smith do it unless you are an extremely capable amateur.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 04:19 AM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by bwinters View Post
Let a smith do it unless you are an extremely capable amateur.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 04:39 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
It's pretty standard work for a competent gunsmith. Unless you're determined to do it yourself I'd find a good gunsmith and discuss it with him.

FWIW I cut a 6.5" down to 3.75 and reused the front sight blade and it worked out fine.

...
If an amateur tinkerer can pull it off it should be easy for a real smith to do.
I plan to have a gunsmith do it, but in your case how did you attach the front sight, and did the barrel need to be reblued afterwards?
My plan is to use the original front sight from the 5.5" barrel.
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Old October 13th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #6
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I used a torch to heat up the old barrel end and removed the front sight from the slot. Then milled a new slot in the shortened barrel and silver soldered it in place. A competent gunsmith can do this pretty easily. Mine turned out fine too it just takes me longer to do these things since I'm just an amateur.

Yes the gun still needs to be reblued - something I'm not gonna do myself.
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Old October 15th, 2017, 08:06 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
I used a torch to heat up the old barrel end and removed the front sight from the slot. Then milled a new slot in the shortened barrel and silver soldered it in place. A competent gunsmith can do this pretty easily. Mine turned out fine too it just takes me longer to do these things since I'm just an amateur.

Yes the gun still needs to be reblued - something I'm not gonna do myself.
Did you remove the barrel and cut in a lathe? If not, then I appreciate the time needed to "square" up the cut by hand with a file..... Did you recrown with a tool?
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Old October 15th, 2017, 10:08 AM   #8
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Did you remove the barrel and cut in a lathe? If not, then I appreciate the time needed to "square" up the cut by hand with a file..... Did you recrown with a tool?
Brownell's makes and sells hand tools for just this purpose. Facing cutter and crowing cutters. A bore specific brass pilot ensures the muzzle is cut perpendicular to the bore axis. If you cut the barrel reasonably square it's not too time consuming. I've done several revolvers this way and had excellent results.
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Old October 15th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
Brownell's makes and sells hand tools for just this purpose. Facing cutter and crowing cutters. A bore specific brass pilot ensures the muzzle is cut perpendicular to the bore axis. If you cut the barrel reasonably square it's not too time consuming. I've done several revolvers this way and had excellent results.
Sure, I'm familiar with and have used the muzzle/crowning tools. Just wondered how you went about it. Glad it turned out right.

I have never used the Cylinder Cutter, so I ordered one.....

(But I must return it) Brownell's Cylinder/Muzzle chamfer cutter, as the pilot is too big for the chambers, and the cutter interferes with the ratchet.. p/n https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...prod18296.aspx

Customer Service confirmed I ordered the correct tool. Oh, well. Stuff happens...

Last edited by jim46ok; October 15th, 2017 at 10:51 AM.
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Old January 29th, 2020, 06:11 PM   #10
 
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Resurrecting my thread, I'm now looking for a good gunsmith to shorten the barrel and install the front sight or a replacement.

I'd actually be happier with a dovetailed front sight but similar shape to the original; that could be drifted for windage and easily replaced if needed, no need to reblue the gun.

Here in the NW 'burbs of Chicago, most of the gunsmiths are actually just parts-changers on Glocks and AR-15's. Hard to find one who does real gunsmithing work.
Recommendations?
Thanks.
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Old January 30th, 2020, 04:24 AM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
It's pretty standard work for a competent gunsmith. Unless you're determined to do it yourself I'd find a good gunsmith and discuss it with him.

FWIW I cut a 6.5" down to 3.75 and reused the front sight blade and it worked out fine.





If an amateur tinkerer can pull it off it should be easy for a real smith to do.
Waveform, you did an excellent job, it looks like a pro did it, certainly no amateur!

I'd be proud to own her, and even more proud to say I did that myself (if only I had that skill )!

Very well done!
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Old January 30th, 2020, 01:12 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim46ok View Post
Sure, I'm familiar with and have used the muzzle/crowning tools. Just wondered how you went about it. Glad it turned out right.

I have never used the Cylinder Cutter, so I ordered one.....

(But I must return it) Brownell's Cylinder/Muzzle chamfer cutter, as the pilot is too big for the chambers, and the cutter interferes with the ratchet.. p/n https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...prod18296.aspx

Customer Service confirmed I ordered the correct tool. Oh, well. Stuff happens...
On the site singleaction.proboards there’s a guy, Fermin Garza, that makes front sights fo this very purpose. There are a number of old school ‘smiths that can do what you want, although their numbers are shrinking. You’d have to ship it of course. Mine is Alan Hartan in Houston, long way from you but if you’re shipping makes no difference. I can come up with some numbers if you’re interested. You can PM if you are.
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Old January 30th, 2020, 03:55 PM   #13
 
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A job like that is way above my pay grade.
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Old February 1st, 2020, 06:31 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
On the site singleaction.proboards there’s a guy, Fermin Garza, that makes front sights fo this very purpose. There are a number of old school ‘smiths that can do what you want, although their numbers are shrinking. You’d have to ship it of course. Mine is Alan Hartan in Houston, long way from you but if you’re shipping makes no difference. I can come up with some numbers if you’re interested. You can PM if you are.
One of his dovetail sights could be good, filed to approximate the shape of the original on my SS.
Thanks!
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Old Today, 11:58 AM   #15
 
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A good gunsmith, whose Ruger SA work I'm familiar with; estimated that shortening the barrel & touchup, cutting the dovetail, buying and installing a dovetail front sight, shaping front sight similar to original, blueing front sight, and shipping both ways...
Would run about $235.
Probably a reasonable price, but not worth it to me.

I think I'll just put a bit of lead inside the grip frame at the bottom/rear, and keep the aluminum ejector housing; that should bring the balance very close to my 4 5/8" New Vaquero .357 but a little lighter overall.
The picture of my SS and NV has both guns loaded with six rds and balanced on the wrench, you can see the balance points are pretty close already.
Of course it will still have that skinny long barrel compared to the NV, but I can't see that when actually shooting.

Where can I buy a few pieces of lead about 1/8" thick and 2" square, to cut down and stick inside the grip frame? None of the local stores carry anything lead anymore, lead is hated even more than guns today.
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