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Thread: ruger 45 colt throat help

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    Default ruger 45 colt throat help

    I've got a ruger blackhawk with the factory (unaltered) cylinder... it's undersized. What can I do to get it opened up.., I mean, can I get a .454 reamer and do it by hand somehow.., or does it have to go out to my gunsmith to be opperated on with precision machining? I saw some where that a fellow was doing the work "by hand" for less than $50.00 plus shipping... thoughts..?

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    I was just shown a kit, a jig and a reamer, today by Bugs and I think he said it came from Clymer. It is a jig to hold the S/A Ruger cylinder and cut the throats by hand. It would take very little turning to remove the slight amount of metal and true up the throats. Don't know what that cost but to do just one cylinder it wouldn't be worth buying it.

    What is the problem with the throats of your Ruger now. Generally they are sized between .451" and .452" anyway and will vary a few ten thousandths. (.0005 to .0008) I'm not sure you would gain much form the work. If for some reason the bore size is much bigger than the throats they might need altering. What is the bore of your Ruger and what are the throat sizes? It may be that you just need to adjust the cast bullet size. They certainly don't need to be altered for jacketed ammo. You don't need .454" in any case. What do you mean a factory unaltered cylindered?? What does it measure now?
    Last edited by Murphy; 03-15-2009 at 19:47.
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    Default By the way, how's that leg healing..?

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I was just shown a kit, a jig and a reamer, today by Bugs and I think he said it came from Clymer. It is a jig to hold the S/S Ruger cylinder and cut the throats by hand. It would take very little turning to remove the slight amount of metal and true up the throats. Don't know what that cost but to do just one cylinder it wouldn't be worth buying it.

    What is the problem with the throats of your Ruger now. Generally they are sized between .451" and .452" anyway and will vary a few ten thousandths. (.0005 to .0008) I'm not sure you would gain much form the work. If for some reason the bore size is much bigger than the throats they might need altering. What is the bore of your Ruger and what are the throat sizes? It may be that you just need to adjust the cast bullet size. They certainly don't need to be altered for jacketed ammo. You don't need .454" in any case. What do you mean a factory unaltered cylindered?? What does it measure now?
    The throats measure right around .451...I notice after going back and re measuring them that some are right there at .451 and some are on the "heavy" side of the line (dial indicator). Oh, "factory unaltered" I guess that is a bit redundant.. It's the original cylinder from Ruger, and it hasn't been altered ... sorry, a bit redundant I know.
    Truth be told, I haven't swaged the bore yet.., I'm trying to get a couple .457 round balls from a friend for this very reason...probably tomorrow. By the way, how do you pronounce the word "swaged?"


    Murphy, you said, "I'm nor sure you would gain much from the work."
    Interesting that you say that. As I was doing my "homework" concerning these matters I saw where a fella measured his cylinders ( Ruger Bisley), and found them to be "around" .4515. Then he shot several loads both cast and jacked, and recorded group sizes. He then reamed his cylinders to .4525 and shot those loads again. His difference in group size avarages tightened by 1/2" at 25 yards. Interesting. I agree, not much gain.

    Also, could you clarify "where" I don't need .454.
    I mean, are you talking about not needing a .454 throat, or were you saying that I don't need a .454 bullet. I'm not getting very good results from the .454 Hornady XTP 300 grain, (of course it could be that I'm constantly fighting with finding a comfortable grip on Blackhawks' grip itself along with finding a way to get a "real"steady rest). SOooo, much different than shooting one of my rifles, with a scope, and nestled into the sand bags and "lead sled," but I'm really getting kick out of the challange... I like it alot!

    Ulrimately, I just want to be able to build good handloads (enjoyable).
    Do a lot of "perfect practice," for the sake of consistantcy.
    Be able to consistantly place my shots in the vitals @ 50'

    Murphy, you wrote,
    "What is the problem with the throats of your Ruger now ?"

    Perhaps nothing that would keep me from accomplishing the three goals I've mentioned above. Do you think I'm "overthinking" the whole "throat" thing? I think that if only 1/2" is to be gained (or not) by opening up the throats..., I'd be Much better off by putting my money into a "Bisley grip kit," and work on acheving my goals with the throats I have. Does that sound practical?

    Thanks again, Scott

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    The other possible gain is reduced leading. 1/2 inch at 25 yards is a 2 MOA improvement, I would call that a substantial improvement. It’s all in what you are looking for and what your gun needs to get there.

    Andy

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    I did the cylinder on my old Ruger Vaquero. All 6 were under .451 and 3 of the 6 were the same, the other 3 varied a bit. Not at all consistant…… I used a hand held reamer with a pilot (borrowed tool from a gun smith friend) and it took a whopping 15 minutes to clean them all out to .452. I then honed each cylinder with a ball hone (this I own and if you were local I would let you borrow it, but the oil is hazmat, so noooo shipping) to aid in extraction…. And for the heck of it. I also lapped and polished my barrel until it was shiny like a mirror, including the forcing cone area. I started with 220 grit and worked my way all the way to 1000 grit….. and yes it took forever….

    Since you are already in there and messing around…. Consider adding the free spin pawl, and belt mounting base pin. These are very worth wile, and inexpensive modifications for any Ruger single action. I only wish they made them for the little bearcat…

    Regarding the cylinder and barrel work, I ONLY shoot cast bullets out of mine, and have put several thousand thru it since modifying it and with proper hardness and sized bullets, it does not lead at all! If those cylinders are undersized, it will lead your barrel like crazy.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    What Alangaq said.

    The reason for recutting throats are:

    1. They are too small for the bullet I must use to best fit the bore and I cannot load each cylinder with .452" bullets because the throats are .4508".

    2. The throats vary in diameter or they are not concentric (round) or not close enough to make a good fit.



    You definately dont' want throats smaller than your bullet diameter and you definately need to shoot cast bullets sized to fit your perfectly smooth groove diameter. Undersized throats will cause shearing or SWAYJING (swaging) of the bullet and result in cone and throat leading and will under size the bullet so it no longer fits the groove diameter perfectly. Yes accuracy will suffer.

    Generally Ruger throats for the 45 Colt will be between .451" and .452" all of them and all will be a different size. .4513", .4517", .4512", .4519" da da da! You do need to lapp you barrel first then slug it again to get the final groove diameter before ordering your sizer die, you may want .453". Then cut the throats .0005" larger than you bullet size. That's five tenthousandths not five thousandths. (1/2 thousandth.)

    Ok that's enough precision.

    Uniformity is always better but IF you cannot shoot a 2" group at 25 yards, you probably won't notice the inability of your revolver to shoot group tighter than an inch and a half. Not saying you can't, just trying to explain. Also if you can get it don't cheaply enough as some do, OK. It is also, as Alangaq said, a good idea to replace the cylinder pin and latch (Belt Mountain) and the pawl to free wheel the cylinder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricG View Post

    Thanks Eric. Good info and not bad prices there especially for three cylinders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 358wsm View Post
    The throats measure right around .451...I notice after going back and re measuring them that some are right there at .451 and some are on the "heavy" side of the line (dial indicator). Oh, "factory unaltered" I guess that is a bit redundant.. It's the original cylinder from Ruger, and it hasn't been altered ... sorry, a bit redundant I know.
    Truth be told, I haven't swaged the bore yet.., I'm trying to get a couple .457 round balls from a friend for this very reason...probably tomorrow. By the way, how do you pronounce the word "swaged?"


    Murphy, you said, "I'm nor sure you would gain much from the work." Some do some don't, we need to measure everything before we jump, have you bought a bullet sizer die yet?
    Interesting that you say that. As I was doing my "homework" concerning these matters I saw where a fella measured his cylinders ( Ruger Bisley), and found them to be "around" .4515. Then he shot several loads both cast and jacked, and recorded group sizes. He then reamed his cylinders to .4525 and shot those loads again. His difference in group size avarages tightened by 1/2" at 25 yards. Interesting. I agree, not much gain.

    If all my throats were about .4515" and my groove diameter was .451" that would be just fine and I probably wouldn't change them. If the groove diameter was .452" (as is the normal size for the 45 Colt) then I would want throats of .4525"

    Also, could you clarify "where" I don't need .454. .4520" is the normal size for the 45 Colt not .454" anymore.
    I mean, are you talking about not needing a .454 throat, or were you saying that I don't need a .454 bullet. Not likely you will need a .454" bullet.

    I'm not getting very good results from the .454 Hornady XTP 300 grain, (of course it could be that I'm constantly fighting with finding a comfortable grip on Blackhawks' grip itself along with finding a way to get a "real"steady rest). You will never get good results with a JSP, revolvers were made for hard cast bullets. SOooo, much different than shooting one of my rifles, with a scope, and nestled into the sand bags and "lead sled," but I'm really getting kick out of the challange... I like it alot!

    Ulrimately, I just want to be able to build good handloads (enjoyable).
    Do a lot of "perfect practice," for the sake of consistantcy.
    Be able to consistantly place my shots in the vitals @ 50'

    Murphy, you wrote,
    "What is the problem with the throats of your Ruger now ?"Sometimes Ruger throats are very good and sized correctly.

    Perhaps nothing that would keep me from accomplishing the three goals I've mentioned above. Do you think I'm "overthinking" the whole "throat" thing? I think that if only 1/2" is to be gained (or not) by opening up the throats..., I'd be Much better off by putting my money into a "Bisley grip kit," and work on acheving my goals with the throats I have. Does that sound practical?

    Thanks again, Scott

    Maybe more useful info. Maybe not.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Yes Murphy nailed it and has explained it better than I.

    I did mine to prevent leading. The slight improvement in accuracy was welcome, but a distant second goal of mine. Before I started casting my own bullets, I was shooting #$%^& brand “hard cast” bullets. And after the first 100 rounds I headed home to clean my Vaquero…… Hmmmm, Is it a bad thing if you cant see the rifling in the barrel anymore?! The barrel actually had so much lead build up, that you could not distinguish the rifling! Yikes! It looked like the inside of a lead coated sewer pipe! I took a pointy brass cleaning jag and was able to pick out a 4” long spiral lead sliver….. nice…..

    And that my friend is what drove me to look into, and eventually undertake the cylinder reaming and barrel polishing. Well worth it.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Default I like it..!

    Wow, thanks a bunch for sticking it out with me on this interest of mine... hunting with the "Old Warhorse."

    Is there a tool that would be easier to do my cylinder measuring than using the dial indicator calipers...I'm not sure that I'm getting them square with the cylinder itself?
    I think I'll go ahead and lap the bore...end to end, perhaps my gunsmith would like the company, (he's already got my business with another rifle project). THEN, I'll SWAAAJAH the bore.
    I'm comfortable, and rather looking forward to casting my own bullets, and I might even make a covenant with myself to never pass copper down the Rugers' barrel again. Good clean fun..!

    thank you gentlemen, Scott

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