View Full Version : Ruger Old Army
February 02, 2009, 21:38
I was into black powder in the early '70's and have an Old Army that was manufactured in 1978 and never shot. Two questions; I understand that Ruger made this in two bore diameters, the latest being .457, the earlier .452, if my memory serves me correctly. What bore size should this be? Also, the rust inhibiting oil has turned very gummy but I don't want to totally tear it down as I may burr a screw head. The cylinder is out and the grips are off, hosing it down with Gun Scrubber is my first thought. Would you guys have a better suggestion? Thanks for the input.
February 02, 2009, 21:50
Are you actually planning to shoot it at some point ?
If not, maybe just leave it, factory gummy rust inhibitor and all.
The 1979 Gun Digest(1978 data) listed the Old Army as taking a .457 ball and selling for $ 130 with the blue finish.
I think you'll find yours is worth much more these days.
Especially unfired and if you have the box and manual. Check GunBroker and see what they're listing, not necessarily selling, for over there.
If you plan to shoot it, sooner or later you'll have to dismantle it or the innards will end up red rust. After the black powder residue works a bit anyway.
The over the powder wads are nice for helping prevent chain fires. A simple loading stand can be easily made and will make the chore of loading one much easier. They are nice shooters and strong as anything. I read they can be loaded up to produce close to .44 Magnum power. I never went that hot with mine.
February 05, 2009, 12:16
It is my experience that enough Gun Scrubber will remove all traces of oil and grease. Enough to leave stuff unprotected if you are not carefull to re-apply some lube (I know this for a very sad fact).
February 05, 2009, 12:56
I think the Ruger Old Army is one of the best Black Powder Handguns one can own. Very accurate and regularly able to print 3-4" groups at 25 yards.
I have taken two deer with a Ruger Old Army using a 220 grain Lee Conical cast projectile. One was a Six point the other was a larger Doe. Killed the Six point at about 25 yards. Killed the Doe at about 35 yards with one shot. Bullet smashed through right shoulder bone went through the chest cavity and then slammed into the opposite shoulder with the projectile coming to rest just under the hide.
I think the bore diameter may be .452. When compressing the bullet over the powder with the pistols loading arm, a lead ring is formed ( shaved), sealing the bullet over the powder in the cylinder. The lead ring is evidence of a good tight fit and reduced or eliminates the possibility of a chian fire. Ruger specifies .457 roundballs or conicals. Definitely use T/C Borebutter or Crisco over the chambers to soften the fouling, reduce leading and as a precautiong to chainfiring.
February 05, 2009, 20:55
Thank you for the replies. I too am a deer hunter in ILLinois and do believe that I'll take it out this fall, that gives me all summer to work up an accurate load.
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