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Thread: Lightening a Ruger SA

  1. #1
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Default Lightening a Ruger SA

    Hey Guys,

    I'd like lighten up my .44 a bit for this summers field season. Since I can't afford (or really want) a titanum gun, I'd like to work with what I have.

    The obvious thing is to trade some of the steel parts out on my Ruger single action for aluminum. The regular blackhawks came with aluminum grip frame and ejector rod housings but mine has steel. From what I understand, the opposite swap is fairly common, with most people "upgrading" from aluminum to steel for the better fit and finish. That means there must be a few spare aluminum frames and housings floating around in the back of peoples drawers.

    I can order new ones, but if somebody has some they would be willing to part with I'd be just as happy with used. Maybe this is a fools errand, but the less steel I have to pack on my belt, the better. Be carrying plenty of other hardware as is.

    Yellowknife

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Useing 20 grain less bullets would probably save you more weight than changeing grip frames.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    True that. Those 320 gr LBT's are heavy. I don't carry alot of extra rounds. No plans to go smaller though. I like the way they penetrate.

    This isn't a "carry on the weekend fishing trip" gun though. This is a day in, day out, walking through the brush gun. Switching too aluminum might save maybe 1-2 oz? It all helps at the end of the day.

    Yk

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    It's an interesting project, but I doubt if I'd notice 2 .oz, at the end of a WEEK.

    But, maybe you're also considering other measures, like cutting off some barrel. ???

    OR, carrying 5 in the cylinder, instead of 6. (Just kiddin.)

    Smitty of the North
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Post this in down in Swap-N Sell also, much more traffic down there.

    I also don't think it will save much weight, but they look cool with a shiny aluminum grip frame. Also when I lived in Arizona I learned the blue steel grip frame gets way hotter in the sun than the aluminum even if the bluing is still on the aluminum.
    Andy
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    where are you...?

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    I'm in Fairbanks.

    Maybe you guys are right and it would be a waste of time, but it's a cheap mod and rust proof to boot. Barrel shortening is on the list and might be next winters project. Carrying 5 in the cylinder.... well, even I have my limits!

    I'll be using a borrowed a S&W 329PD from for 4 days in the field next week. Should be nice to carry but I'll be forced to return it after that. Those Ti guns are cool for sure, but I like my old Ruger just the same.


    Yk

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    Fairbanksacans are TUFF.

    Tuff enuff, to shoot a S&W 329PD, OR carry a Ruger SA, made of steel.

    I wouldn’t wanna be a troublesome bar up that way.

    IIRC, Alangaq posted that he switched frames on his Ruger. I dunno if he would still have the first one, what it’s made of, or if it would fit.

    I have a good memory, and it's short too.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Haha, no sympathy from you huh Smitty? I'll try not to whine too much if I have to pack it around in the shape it's in. If I can't kill the bear with 6 (or 5?) shots in the cylinder I guess I can just drop in on his head!

    Ok, I need to get packing for the 6am flight tomorrow. Will worry about it when I get back. Sounds like I'll be seeing some of Umiak this summer, but meanwhile off to the Kuskokwim hills.

    Yk

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Smitty is correct. But I swapped the standard stainless grip frame from my Vaquero to a stainless birds head style (the year before Ruger started offering them….) and I have since sold the old take off frame.

    I actually think your idea has a fair amount of merit, and I think you will save more weight by going aluminum than you guys think. Especially if you change out the ejector rod housing to aluminum and get your hands on a fluted cylinder (if yours doesn’t already have one) and then whack the barrel back to about 4 ½”. You could even have the barrel fluted to shave off a few more ounces…….
    “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 Ruger Lighter

    I believe the Super ejector housing may be longer, it is for sure in the 10 inch bbl version. Any case, I have several of them you could have from standard b-hawks!
    As to the grip, with Rugers, Yes, this will fit that and so on. However shape is an important consideration from a recoil standpoint and you will notice quite a difference shedding the super grip frame. THe other side of that coin is that if you can shoot the 329 it would probably be fine.
    Other popular reductions would include the allready mentioned bbl bob & cylinder flutting as well as radial lightening cuts to the loading gate and opposite side of the frame. Punch in www.bowen clasic arms for some good ideas! However unaffordable his work, theres some great reading on this site.

    If you keep the steel grip there are some options to skinny it down as well, grips too are most time overlooked. Claro walnut for example is 1/4 the weight of sheep horn scales! These are just used as examples, but you get my drift.

    How you carry the thing comes into the mix as well, D&D leather in Eagle river makes a cross chest rig that wears much better than the conventional belt get up. Fatigue is funny that way, two setups weigh the same but are worn in entirely different fashions and one "appears" way heavier.

    Anyway, P.M if you want the shrouds, I work on the slope but am going home in a couple hours.
    Mike

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm back out of the hills and hooked up with internet again.

    Just to get a few things straight, this isn't a Super Blawkhawk. It's actually a .44 mag Vaquero I bought about 10 years ago. At the time I had S&W taste but a Ruger budget. Between the Super Blackhawk, the Redhawk, and the Vaquero, the Vaq was the lightest by far so that was my choice. It's been an excellent gun for me and I have no problems shooting full snort .44's with the stock XR3-RED grip frame.

    A Blackhawk uses the same XR3-RED frame and should be a straight across trade.

    I have used a number of holster over the years, and have both a cross draw holster and a shoulder rig that work well for me right now. Which one I use depends on what I'm doing at the time.

    The barrel shortening thing might happen this year. I'd like to trim it from it's current 5.5" to an even 4". Not a huge difference, but I have other reasons for wanting to do it also. Grips are currently the stock rosewood, and although I'd love to swap them for walnut I doubt that I'd see much wt savings.

    Yk

  13. #13

    Default xrn3-red

    I have a xrn3red that I would trade for your steel one, I also have one that I sandblasted (white finnish) is this what your looking for?

  14. #14
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Fivegunner and Alasgun, sent you both PM's. We might be able to work something out.

    Thanks,

    Yk

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    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    Maybe, place an ad on Ruger.com in the for sale forum?
    Steve

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    Default Barrel shortening

    Can anyone recommend a good gunsmith in the Anchorage area for shortening a Ruger Blackhawk barrel? I have been considering just that on my 7 1/2 44.

    Thanks

  17. #17
    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Just a follow up to my original post. Replacing the steel frame and ejector rod housing on a Ruger Vaquaro is worth exactly 6 oz on my postage scale. 5 oz from the frame and 1 oz from the housing. My scale only goes to 32 oz, so I can't get an accurate weight on the gun, but should now be sub-40 oz.

    The gun is now noticeably more front heavy, but I just burned most of a box of 320 gr handloads and didn't notice any real changes in actual shooting.


    Yk

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    More than I figured it would be,sounds like a good deal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    Just a follow up to my original post. Replacing the steel frame and ejector rod housing on a Ruger Vaquaro is worth exactly 6 oz on my postage scale. 5 oz from the frame and 1 oz from the housing. My scale only goes to 32 oz, so I can't get an accurate weight on the gun, but should now be sub-40 oz.

    The gun is now noticeably more front heavy, but I just burned most of a box of 320 gr handloads and didn't notice any real changes in actual shooting.


    Yk
    Suggestion.

    Beg or Borry a Food Scale.

    They work fine for these things.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  20. #20

    Default Hey yellowknife

    Got your package today , thank you . I think I`am going to build A short 45colt using your old frame I will reshape the grip a little and reblue . I hope your happy with the deal we made . best regards Frank

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