Ruger Old Army

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Notchy Bob

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Last year I bought a pristine, supposedly never fired ROA of 1990s manufacture and to my dismay Hornady .457” round balls from two lots (and all measuring properly) were a loose fit in the chambers and the balls crept forward under recoil even with light charges. I got rid of it soon after, I’d of had to use custom molded or grossly oversized commercial balls.
Now, that's interesting.

I was a cowboy action shooter for a number of years. Rugers are very popular revolvers in that sport. You would be amazed at the number of CAS participants who are utterly convinced that Ruger chamber throats are undersized, and they have them reamed. A lot of these folks measure the chambers with calipers, which guarantees an undersized measurement. Accurate measurement requires plug gauges, or that the chamber be slugged. This usually occurs with the cartridge unmentionable revolvers, but we wonder if some black-powder cowboy got ahold of @Smokey Plainsman's ROA and had his way with it before selling the "lightly used" gun. Interesting.

This is not to disparage Cowboy Action Shooters in general. They are a fine bunch of people. It's just that the Ruger chamber throat issue seemed overblown to me.

Ruger will sometimes replace buggered parts and they are very good about fixing factory defects.

Notchy Bob
 
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Now, that's interesting.

I was a cowboy action shooter for a number of years. Rugers are very popular revolvers in that sport. You would be amazed at the number of CAS participants who are utterly convinced that Ruger chamber throats are undersized, and they have them reamed. A lot of these folks measure the chambers with calipers, which guarantees an undersized measurement. Accurate measurement requires plug gauges, or that the chamber be slugged. This usually occurs with the cartridge unmentionable revolvers, but we wonder if some black-powder cowboy got ahold of @Smokey Plainsman's ROA and had his way with it before selling the "lightly used" gun. Interesting.

This is not to disparage Cowboy Action Shooters in general. They are a fine bunch of people. It's just that the Ruger chamber throat issue seemed overblown to me.

Ruger will sometimes replace buggered parts and they are very good about fixing factory defects.

Notchy Bob
I believe Ruger ceased servicing the Old Armys some time back but I could well be wrong on that.

Oh what I’d give for them to bring back the ROA. Really nice guns and of course I’d get one how I did lol just my luck.
 

hrt4me

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you can contact/call the Ruger factory customer service and request a manual, free of charge, to be shipped to you
 

TFoley

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I believe Ruger ceased servicing the Old Armys some time back but I could well be wrong on that.
Oh what I’d give for them to bring back the ROA. Really nice guns and of course I’d get one how I did lol just my luck.
Ruger ceased production of the most popular BP handgun of modern times back in 2008.

Within a couple of years they had NO spares that were not shared with the Blackhawk centrefire revolvers. I early 2011 I called up Ruger from UK and asked for a few spare parts, like the Nyloc rear-of-frame bolts. I bought the last four stainless items they had.

True, there are a couple of places where you can find the odd internal part, but Ruger's promise to support its end-of-the-line products for ten years is a load of baloney.

They DID make a few recently for a dealership - which shows that they CAN do it - and they were an instant almost same-day sellout, I read here at the time.

Here in UK they remain very popular for other reasons that Zonie and crew have gotten way past enjoying reading, so I'll stop there, AFTER I've pointed out that I could sell mine in a New York minute for three times what I paid for it.
 
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Ruger ceased production of the most popular BP handgun of modern times back in 2008.

Within a couple of years they had NO spares that were not shared with the Blackhawk centrefire revolvers. I early 2011 I called up Ruger from UK and asked for a few spare parts, like the Nyloc rear-of-frame bolts. I bought the last four stainless items they had.

True, there are a couple of places where you can find the odd internal part, but Ruger's promise to support its end-of-the-line products for ten years is a load of baloney.

They DID make a few recently for a dealership - which shows that they CAN do it - and they were an instant almost same-day sellout, I read here at the time.

Here in UK they remain very popular for other reasons that Zonie and crew have gotten way past enjoying reading, so I'll stop there, AFTER I've pointed out that I could sell mine in a New York minute for three times what I paid for it.
Yes I heard that the guns might of been made from leftover parts? Regardless it’s terrible they ever discontinued them. As rugged as they are parts on them can and will wear out in the coming years, and they don’t share really any parts with the current generation of Blackhawks. In addition the collectors value on them continues to climb and even obtaining a good example in the US is going to cost multiple times the price of a new Uberti or Pietta and it’ll only get worse.

Luckily the 1858 design was so well thought out over a century and a half ago and even if the Uberti and Pietta iterations might not be as excellent as the ROA in some ways, at least the guns are still being made with spare parts available for the foreseeable future.
 

bisleyjohn

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One of the reasons why I bought myself a lathe was in the hope that I could make small parts, I managed to bend the base pin on my ROA. Buy a replacement? In your dreams John. One on a well known auction site £35.00 Five quids worth of steel, half a day on the lathe and the mill/drill - how many do you want? (Rhetorical question) I now have spares, not perfect but they work.

A3D24BB3-FD47-4F95-B365-02A7AC519D82.jpeg

On subsequent ones I managed to get one side of the locking recess square as on the factory ones.
 

Dude

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Looks like you did a nice job on that part, John!

When I got my stainless ROA, the arbor wouldn't remove easily. I didn't know about the issue of ramming without it locked, so it took a while to figure out what was wrong. I straightened it and now it's fine.
 

bisleyjohn

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Thanks, subsequent ones got better as I went along of course, untill I was about 75% satisfied with my work

Pin in place.jpg


I was forced into it because I comletely missed the locking screw not being engaged and bent the original pin at it's weakest part, damaging it ireparably.
 

OB One

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I have a stainless ROA serial # 143 with a bunch of zeros behind it. Bill Ruger gave it to a common buddy of mine who gave it to me just before he passed. I wonder what it's worth with that story behind it ?
 

TFoley

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I have a stainless ROA serial # 143 with a bunch of zeros behind it. Bill Ruger gave it to a common buddy of mine who gave it to me just before he passed. I wonder what it's worth with that story behind it ?
Documentation?

Without it, it's a story, nothing more.

See - Ruger Old Army Serial Number History

'The above chart shows the approximate first serial number shipped for the indicated year. This number should be used as a point of reference only. It is not necessarily the very first serial number shipped, but it can be used to determine the approximate year your Ruger firearm was shipped.

Ruger does not necessarily produce firearms in serial number order. There are occasions when blocks of serial numbers have been manufactured out of sequence, sometimes years later. Also, within a model family the same serial number prefix may be used to produce a variety of different models, all in the same block of serial numbers. And in some cases, firearms may be stored for a length of time before they are shipped.

For details on your specific serial number you may contact our Service Department: 336-949-5200

For serial numbers manufactured prior to our electronic records, or for an official letter confirming the details on your firearm please download and mail in the Request for Letter of Authenticity form.'
 

springfield art

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My brother picked up a Ruger old army from a friend of ours , I remember it was bought back in the early 90ty . I thought it was a 44 Cal from what I read it is 44cal or 45cal there are marking on the gun stating what caliber it is and everything I have read say it should be loaded with 45cal round. Can I get some help on this thank you.
Those unmentionable improved cylinders for them use the std. .45 Colt cowboy ammo.
 

springfield art

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I have a stainless ROA serial # 143 with a bunch of zeros behind it. Bill Ruger gave it to a common buddy of mine who gave it to me just before he passed. I wonder what it's worth with that story behind it ?
Low SN is neat, but would need documentation to cash-in on the Bill Ruger connection. Or at least a letter from the owner detailing the connection.
 

OB One

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Can't get a letter from the previous owner as he has passed. I will get the "request for a letter of authenticity form" Off in the morning.
Thanks, MrTFoley for the help.
 

11Bravo

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My ROA I bought in 76 and is marked as such. I bought it in blue as at the time shiny was a pimps gun. I also had an issue with the county PD as I wanted it on my concealed carry permit. Just because you could buy one without a permit they didn't understand why I wanted it on my permit. Lucky someone there understood I wanted to carry it loaded while hunting. In this state once it's loaded it's illegal. I hunted in bear country so I wanted BP backup to my Flintlock. In one instance I was in a 3 tree stand and a buck came in about 40 yards hard left. Couldn't swing the rifle around so I drew the ROA and dropped him. A few years back I bought brass for my conversion cylinder, cowboy brass as it's shorter than the 45 colt and the case is the same length as 45 acp. For me that makes it easy as I'm all set up to reload for 1911, just change the shell holder. Great gun the ROA
 

springfield art

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My ROA I bought in 76 and is marked as such. I bought it in blue as at the time shiny was a pimps gun. I also had an issue with the county PD as I wanted it on my concealed carry permit. Just because you could buy one without a permit they didn't understand why I wanted it on my permit. Lucky someone there understood I wanted to carry it loaded while hunting. In this state once it's loaded it's illegal. I hunted in bear country so I wanted BP backup to my Flintlock. In one instance I was in a 3 tree stand and a buck came in about 40 yards hard left. Couldn't swing the rifle around so I drew the ROA and dropped him. A few years back I bought brass for my conversion cylinder, cowboy brass as it's shorter than the 45 colt and the case is the same length as 45 acp. For me that makes it easy as I'm all set up to reload for 1911, just change the shell holder. Great gun the ROA
Great! I scored 400 rds. of .45 Schofield recently, the 'shorter' version of .45 Colt. I have a new ROA cylinder, just waiting to score one!
 

springfield art

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Can't get a letter from the previous owner as he has passed. I will get the "request for a letter of authenticity form" Off in the morning.
Thanks, MrTFoley for the help.
Good idea. They send a letter with date info, mostly.
 

M. De Land

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I snagged a Centenial year ROA in blued steel from a friend that got it at a gun show because he knew I wanted a blued steel gun. I need more friends like him! He charged me just what he paid , $175.00.
This is a reversal of my usual deals which have in the past tended to run along the lines of buying high and selling low, while in a pinch of some sort..
They are practically indestructible with proper care, cleaning and use. The base pin is the only thing I have ever heard of bending/breaking on them and that because it was not properly locked before seating a ball. Actually if one uses a cylinder loading press that also is pretty much a non issue.
 
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gvandersluis

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I shoot my ROA frequently, I only load with an seperate cylinder loading press and I have replaced the base pin rammer assembly with a seperate base pin. My standard target load is 30gr of fff and I rarely lock the base pin which only occasionally moves forward when fired. I would appreciate your comments just in case I’m being stupid and have been lucky so far
 
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