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Ruger Old Army Dangerous Situation

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by omgb, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    1,793
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, CA
    So I was at our annual kids shooting camp running the BP shooting experience. We had a great day with kids shooting all kinds of BP firearms. At the end of the day I wanted to fire my Ruger Old Army one last time now that the kids were gone. I pulled back the hammer and pulled the trigger. Zip, nothing happened. The hammer would not fall. Any and all attempts to drop the hammer failed. So what to do? I have six loaded and capped chambers, a hammer at full cock and now way to remove the cylinder. So, a took some patches and stuffed them into the hammer well on the back of the gun. That way the hammer couldn't fall and hit a cap. I had no tape or zip ties so the next part was going to be tricky. I had to keep the patches wedged in tight as I began to disassemble the pistol. Since the cylinder would not come out I decided to at least get the spring pressure off the hammer. I removed the grips and then removed the screws that hold the grip frame to the gun. In doing so, the hammer spring backed off and the gun was much less likely to discharge. At this point I was able to get the cylinder out. (I'm working in the hot sun, 5K feet above sea level using a hay bale as my table.) I box every thing up in plastic zip lock bags and head home. I was able to remove the nipples and soak the powder. Then a punch drove out the balls from behind. I took the rest of the gun down, even the trigger and the return spring. It looks as if a small piece of a cap got jammed in there. I cleaned it up and the gun works like a charm.

    It was kind of spooky there for a while, almost like I had an unexploded grenade ticking away. Shoot, just getting the caps off the nipples was hair raising. Thought I'd share this just in case anyone finds themselves in a similar situation. R J Talley
     
  2. Mapper

    Mapper Member

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    Location:
    SW Michigan
    It has been said that this situation was why the old timers flipped their muzzles up, hoping any pieces of cap would fall out. I expect that would get the attention of a range officer in these times.
     
  3. RobertT

    RobertT Well-Known Member

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    Six chambers loaded on an old cap and ball?
     
  4. billyboy07208

    billyboy07208 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    572
    hold the trigger back while grasping the hammer and forcing it forward a Little would give you enuf room to remove the cylinder after you pulled the base pin.
    the cap material is soft foil and would crush out of the way,
    you cannot hurt an Old army!
    its all been figgered for you before hand.
     
  5. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    The cylinder lock in the base of the frame is fully extended and engaged at full cock. That's what kept me from being able to remove the cylinder. As to six champers loaded..... we are at a range and not carrying the gun so six chambers is perfectly OK
     
  6. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Since when?

    Since colt started making revolvers, it's been recommended practice to have the hammer on an empty chamber. Thats where you keep your rolled up "ho" money....
     
  7. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
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    6,304
    Or you can park the hammer/pin between the nipples and most bp revolvers have slots just for that.

    If you shoot the bp revolvers much, having one of the CO2 powered unloaders is a decent idea. If you get a problematic load that you can't or don't want to fire you can just blow the charge out -

    You did okay RJ. Probably have a better idea of what to do next time but the main thing is you were thinking of safety foremost.
     
  8. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    I still like the "Load one, skip one, load four, cock, release hammer, ready to shoot" on single actions without a transfer bar.
     
  9. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    I've updated my kit box to include some plastic zip ties. If this ever happens again I'll zip tie the hammer and remove the grip frame to take the pressure off the main spring.
     
  10. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    For the record, the Old Army does not rest the hammer on a cap. The trigger must be pulled back for the hammer to fully contact a cap. Still, I wouldn't carry one with all six chambers loaderd. Also, Ruger has notches between the chambers into which they recommend resting the hammer between shots. I've been shooting BP revolvers since the early 70s and this is the first time this has happened to me.

    Safety is a huge issue with me. I am 50 years in the shooting sports without a single accident. I teach hunter ed in California and I'm an NRA certified instructor in a number of disciplines including BP firearms. I know what I'm doing but the fact that a couple of you bring up the empty chamber issue tells me that the word is getting out. That's good.

    R Talley
     
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