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Thread: Ruger Actions

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    Default Ruger Actions

    Picked up a new Ruger Hawkeye, and was wondering if anybody has tried to polish up these actions?
    They are prety rough and do need some work.
    All in all they handle well and point fine.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Willy View Post
    Picked up a new Ruger Hawkeye, and was wondering if anybody has tried to polish up these actions?
    They are prety rough and do need some work.
    All in all they handle well and point fine.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks

    If you want the biggest improvement in smooth, just lap the bolt shroud to the bolt body. Simple valve grinding compound, strip and work the shroud to the body. The bolt lift will do wonders for smooth.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Default Cast actions

    The "roughness" is the results of the casting process - it just doesn't leave the smooth surfaces you get with forging and proper machining. You can lap or hone the surfaces somewhat but any metal removal also increases the clearances so be very carefull.

    If you have had the rifle for a while you can see the contact surfaces on the bolt, bolt parts, receiver, and magazine follower. Smooth the surfaces up with a very fine stone or abrasive cloth - like 400 grit or finer. It is much better to spend the time and not mess anything up than to use any coarser abrasives until you have more experience.

    Don't forget the firing pin body and the camming surfaces on the end of the bolt and the cocking piece. The bottom of the receiver rails can also be cleaned up a bit to improve the feeding.

    I also like the remove the part lines from the small parts like the safety and trigger. It does not approve the fuctioning but does get rid of some of the "cheap" appearance of the cast parts. For these part lines on non-critical surcases you can use a file and then finish up the surface with a medium to fine stone or paper. It might be good to experiment on the casting marks first and get a feel for metal removal before you go to the critcal working surfaces.

    No matter what you do the actions will never have the "slickness" of the older forged and machined rifles esp. those with hard surfaced receivers and bolts like the double heat '03s and Krags.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ak Willy View Post
    Picked up a new Ruger Hawkeye, and was wondering if anybody has tried to polish up these actions?
    They are prety rough and do need some work.
    All in all they handle well and point fine.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    From the standpoint of a machinist, lapping can not increase clearance beyond the thickness of the lapping compound. Lapping is great because you do not have to use any layout fluid or measuring tools to work with. It works where you can't measure and or see. Contrary to what you have read in this thread it will not wear away metal surfaces where their is all ready clearance. It can't.


    This post about machined surfaces versus investment casting surfaces is incorrect and shows little familiarity with investment casting. No one can believe that investment casting don't get heat treatments, can they?

    Here is a shock for you folks that don't know squat about metallurgy. The steel used in the unannealed state has a strength in investment cast rifle actions of 90,000 psi. This information can be verified in Machinery's Handbook. The steel used in unannealed fully machined forged and machined receiver for rifles had about 10,000 psi's. This was before heat treatment.

    If you will look at my avatar picture you will notice a picture of and investment cast and machined receiver, guess how I know about what I'm writing about?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Big Al,

    I love how you sugar coated it

    I too use valve lapping compound on all my Ruger's actions before they ever get shot. I also remove the safety and it's spring and plunger. I pack that area with lapping compound and work the safety about 100 times, it does wonders.

    I also hand smooth the receiver rails to aid in smooth feeding. That step also keeps the brass from getting scored by the sharp edges which screws things up for my reloading. One more step is to dissemble the bolt and clean out all the packing grease that they ship with. I re-grease with a light synthetic and reassemble.

    Valve lapping compound can be purchased at nearly any auto part store and comes in a small tube. Be sure and clean all parts prior to reassembly.

    A simple to follow video can be seen below. Click on tech tips then M77 Hawkeye.

    http://www.ruger.com/resources/videos.html#

    Cheers,

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    Like hand priming brass, it's one of the few things I can do while watching TV and feel like I haven't been wasting my time.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Brownells sells a nice lapping kit. It contains about 6 different sized grit creams. I started with about 600 grit on my latest Ruger and worked the bolt back and forth for awhile then cleaned it and repeated the process. Much improved but still a little rough. Been planning on taking a hard white stone to the inside of the magazine opening and smooth the surfaces because the cases are always scratched pretty bad.
    Nice winter work when there aint nothin to go out and kill.
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    My Ruger 77 is now one of the smoothest out there! Lapping compound has never touched it. OK it has about 8,000 rounds through it (on it's second barrel). I might add its taken about 30 years to of use to get it that way.

    I have a 77 compact in the cabinet that is a little rough and Brownells is only 15 minutes away. I ain't sure I got 30 years left so I think I'll do this one Al's way. A feller is never to old to learn something new and I just did....again! Thanks!

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    Default Lapping and machining etc.

    With sufficent lapping you can remove as much metal as you desire - or maybe too much - using a finer grit just takes longer. Look around the gun shows and you will find some guns that are very loose from just normal wear - in effect lapped without any abrasive at all. The clearances did increase significantly on these guns through many years of use. On my older well used guns you can clearly see where the wear and normal lapping has worm away the machining marks - significant metal has been removed.

    On all the investment cast guns I have the non-machined surfaces are significantly rougher that the properly machined surfaces on any other gun - investment cast or forged and machined. It is obvious that Ruger MACHINES the critical rubbing surfaces - the machined surfaces clearly show against the rougher cast surfaces. Since you apparently like single shots check out a Ruger No. 1- the flagship of the Ruger line for many years. The critical bearing surfacs on the block and the receiver are both machined - apparently for both clearance and smoothness of working. Likewise for their revolvers etc.

    I did not state that invesment castings were not heat treated - whatever they do does result in a softer surface than the guns I referenced - the double heat '03s and Krags were heat treated to give them a very hard surface that made the bolts operated very smoothly. The later '03s and 1917s were noticeably less slicky in operation. Check it out at the next gun show if you have any doubts.

    I don't know why the strength issue came up but we can address it in another thread - I won't hijack this one. It is interesting to note however that Ruger's latest compact pistol - I think it is the LCP -uses a FORGED alloy frame - a casting just didn't give the required strenth to weight ratio it would appear.

    As you to your apparent insult that I "that don't know squat about metallurgy" I will admit that I am not a machinist. Other the other hand I am an graduate professional engineer with over 40 plus years of post graduate experience including quite a bit with ferrous and non-ferrous alloys. I've specified many millions of dollars worth of metals for critical applications including extereme high and low temperatures, wear and corrision resistantance, extreme pressures etc. I've also been involved in the factrication, welding, and machining of these metal also. Perhaps there are others that know a bit about what they are talking about besides yourself!


    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    From the standpoint of a machinist, lapping can not increase clearance beyond the thickness of the lapping compound. Lapping is great because you do not have to use any layout fluid or measuring tools to work with. It works where you can't measure and or see. Contrary to what you have read in this thread it will not wear away metal surfaces where their is all ready clearance. It can't.


    This post about machined surfaces versus investment casting surfaces is incorrect and shows little familiarity with investment casting. No one can believe that investment casting don't get heat treatments, can they?

    Here is a shock for you folks that don't know squat about metallurgy. The steel used in the unannealed state has a strength in investment cast rifle actions of 90,000 psi. This information can be verified in Machinery's Handbook. The steel used in unannealed fully machined forged and machined receiver for rifles had about 10,000 psi's. This was before heat treatment.

    If you will look at my avatar picture you will notice a picture of and investment cast and machined receiver, guess how I know about what I'm writing about?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Your right, I was wrong. I feel so much more humbled now that you have straighten me out.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Me thinks the "matte" finish apllied to the inside of the action might contribute to the roughness. Still cant figure out why they did that, but I like Mark II's.

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    Default Matte finish

    Most of the rough matte finish is actually the unmachined molded surfaces on Rugers and other investment cast guns. Some matt finishes are actually machined surfaces that have been abrasive blasted to cut the glare and / or give a contrast in finish. Abrasive blasted surfaces also require less time to polish and finish compared to normal bluing.

    Compare the surfaces on the inside of the frames or cylinder openings on S&W and Ruger revolvers and you can recognize the difference. Ruger revolvers are investment cast with critical surfaces only machined where S&W frames are forged and machine to final dimensions inside and out.

    On many bolt rifles the rails of the receiver are machined with a broach or drill which normally gives a fairly smooth surface. The Rugers by contrast are cast to the final dimensions so the surface of the receiver rails has the rougher "matte" finish you describe.

    You can significantly improve the operation of the Ruger bolt actions by carefully lapping the actions. No matter how much you try, however, modern bolt actions just never seem to quite equal the smoothness and precision of operation of the older bolt guns like the Mod. 70s. There is a reason the value of the old classic actions is so high. If you use and fool around with guns long enough you will learn to appreciate the difference also.


    Quote Originally Posted by TomM View Post
    Me thinks the "matte" finish apllied to the inside of the action might contribute to the roughness. Still cant figure out why they did that, but I like Mark II's.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    What I am referring to is the change from the Mark II to the Hawkeye. The Mark II being the polish blue finish and the hawkeye being the "matte" finish. The Mark II's are noticably smoother compared to the hawkeye imo. The hawkeye has the matte finish applied to the bolt and inside of the action giving it a gritty feeling, almost like you have sand in the action.

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    Default Matte finish

    The bolts on the MK IIs and earlier 77s were polished so they have a smoother finish than the Hawkeyes and thus operate more smoothly. I don't know about the rails on the MK IIs - they may have had some surface smoothing also. Also the older guns have had some use by now which tends to smooth things out.

    I'll have to look at a Hawkeye again but I bet the surfaces aren't polished - just the raw surfaces from the casting process. Dragging two cast surfaces against each other isn't very smooth as you and others have noticed. One ones I have handled operate very rough and crudely - it is a shame as they look quite nice and generally shoot very accurately.

    Cost cutting continues to be a driving force in the gun market with the quality of finish and fit continuing to decline even as the prices continue to climb. The manufactures continue to churn out and push the latest hot-shot magnums to those that don't know any better. It is a never ending marking game that has went on for the last 150 yrs or so.

    If you can afford it forget the Hawkeye and get your self a pre-64 Mdl. 70 or a commercial FN mauser - you will never regret it! For less money you can pick up a very nice mauser or other military conversion with real forged and machined steel that operate the way a bolt action should operate.


    Quote Originally Posted by TomM View Post
    What I am referring to is the change from the Mark II to the Hawkeye. The Mark II being the polish blue finish and the hawkeye being the "matte" finish. The Mark II's are noticably smoother compared to the hawkeye imo. The hawkeye has the matte finish applied to the bolt and inside of the action giving it a gritty feeling, almost like you have sand in the action.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  15. #15

    Default Warning!

    Giving TVFINAK an opportunity to espouse casting vs. forging may be hazardous to your health. It can precipitate an obsessive/compulsive desire in him to castigate anyone who SOMEHOW accepts guns made of properly investment cast parts as being wholly reliable and properly functioning firearms. This includes rifles, revolvers and pistols. There is no proof that TVFINAK is a schill for S&W firearms Co., but apparently he feels that they are superior to any cast firearm and should be included in any religious ritual as being designed by the right hand of God. Be aware that bringing up said subject can result in endless and ultimately excessive threads that will create a perfect scenario for migraine headaches and neurotic syndromes. You have been warned.

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    Here we go again. Most surface finishes done on investment are done by abrasive media in De hone mills that do not require more than loading and unloading. Think about reloading case vibrators. These look like they are on steroids being several hundred time larger. Using a ceramic media. It's not like they wear out or they go down the drain. A liquid slurry is used and moves the metal away from the parts. This process is called liquid honing. This process starts after the tree is cut from the part.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Find any Mauser that is a military model that you want to make into a fine hunting action and I will show you where you had better have some really deep pockets. just about any commercial action is far cheaper in the long run. Many of the top gun companies in the states will not even touch any of the Mausers. Yep 4 or 5 hundred bucks for a pre-64 WINCHESTER is better to spend than trying to pay for a military action that is over a hundred years old. And yes I have a bunch of old Mausers, but the work was done many years ago. but today it just does not make any financial sense to do it.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the humor - we all need some nowadays

    I also appreciate a compliment when I can get one. I only wish i could do the same to some of the gun control liberals!

    Of course I've never stated that guns made with investment castings were not "wholly reliable and properly functioning firearms" - much to the contrary. I've got some cast guns myself that I would not hesitate to stake my life on although I do feel more confortable with other guns I know and like better. I happen to appreciate the workmanship of forged and well machined parts but that is a personal thing that only matters to some of us that are willing to pay for that construction. If you are happy with cast parts you can save some real money in going that route.

    Of course even Ruger recognizes that forgings are superior in certain applications. Check http://www.ruger.com/products/lcr/features.html for details. I can only assume that a cast frame would be too heavy and or bulky for the strength required - perhaps you can find a different reason?

    I also find it a bit ironic that every mauser I can recall seeing was made of FORGED parts! Perhaps a screen name of "Rugerboy" or "Castingsboy" would be more appropriate rather than reference to those terrible costly inferior forgings that made Mauser so famous for strength and reliabilty.

    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    Giving TVFINAK an opportunity to espouse casting vs. forging may be hazardous to your health. It can precipitate an obsessive/compulsive desire in him to castigate anyone who SOMEHOW accepts guns made of properly investment cast parts as being wholly reliable and properly functioning firearms. This includes rifles, revolvers and pistols. There is no proof that TVFINAK is a schill for S&W firearms Co., but apparently he feels that they are superior to any cast firearm and should be included in any religious ritual as being designed by the right hand of God. Be aware that bringing up said subject can result in endless and ultimately excessive threads that will create a perfect scenario for migraine headaches and neurotic syndromes. You have been warned.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    I too just bought a Ruger Hawkeye and knew before I bought it that it has a sharp bolt and rails. It is definately rougher than my stainless M77, but figure a little usage will clean it up as much as I want. I could have paid much more for a rifle with a smoother action, but haven't found a more accurate rifle out of the box for the price of the Ruger.
    I find myself in the winter with one of my rifles in my hand as I watch TV, running the action or moving the safety back and forth. First to loosen it up but also to see what sounds they make, especially when moving the safety.

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    Default Surface finishing

    I remember seeing that Remington uses a similar ceramic process for final finishing of their gun parts prior to bluing - I guess others do now also. The old days of hand finishing with sharp corners and distinct lettering are long gone on mass produced guns with the possible exception of S&W and Colt and the high end Ruger rifles. Having been in the business of refinishing and bluing guns at one time I recognize a fine finish and true workmanship - many today do not know or just do not care. I guess it really doesn't matter if the owner is happy.

    The bolt lugs on the 1968 and 1971 manufactured Ruger 77s I have appear to have more that just honed however - the tops and bottoms of the lugs and the bottom of the extractor appear to be machined and polished like I expect on a quality bolt rifle. Of course they operate much smoother than the stuff of today with the rougher rubbing surfaces.


    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Here we go again. Most surface finishes done on investment are done by abrasive media in De hone mills that do not require more than loading and unloading. Think about reloading case vibrators. These look like they are on steroids being several hundred time larger. Using a ceramic media. It's not like they wear out or they go down the drain. A liquid slurry is used and moves the metal away from the parts. This process is called liquid honing. This process starts after the tree is cut from the part.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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