Ruger Old Army questions


January 30, 2003, 05:19 PM
Just toying with the idea, but I need info.:)

Are round balls the only option in projectiles, or are sabots and other fodder OK?

Is the cost involved similar to centerfire ammo? IOW, with caps, powder and bullets, what's it come out to per 50 'rounds'?

Just how involved is clean-up? Is it a soap-and-water deal, or will standard centerfire methods work?


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January 30, 2003, 06:24 PM
The Old Army was designed for either .a 457 diameter round ball or a conical bullet of pure lead - per the manual.

I've only used a round ball.


February 1, 2003, 07:51 PM
:) Black Powder Revolvers are a lot of fun, and the Old Army is the "Best of Breed". I shoot mostly roundballs in mine, and it's very accurate. I also shoot the Lee Conical Bullet from their mold, which is designed for the Old Army. It's very accurate with 3f Black Powder.

Clean up is a mess, but not as bad as some people would lead you to believe. I prefer Hoppe's #9 Plus, and skip the Hot Water method. I've had no rust at all using just the Hoppe's 9 Plus. I even store the gun with this stuff. Works great, in my experience.

Be sure and remove the nipples each cleaning, and use some anti -sieze lube on the threads to make it easier to get them out again.

Costs? I buy swaged Speer, or Hornady balls, so it's not cheap. Cast your own and it's a lot cheaper. It's so much fun shooting Black Powder anything, that I don't think too much about costs. I love it! Safe Shootin! Joe:cool:

February 3, 2003, 05:54 PM
I've been using Hoppes #9 Plus which is a black powder solvent and lub. Most of my cleaning is done at the kitchen sink with warm, soapy water. Never a problem.


Tim Schlosser
February 3, 2003, 09:18 PM
I love my Old Army. I've only shot roundball with it though. I will be trying the conicals as soon as I find some. Th eSabot is an interesting idea, but I'd think it'd be pretty tough to fit them in under the ram.

Cleanup is really quite easy once you get the hang of it. I've got a plastic dish pan that I fill with dishsoap and hot water, throw all the parts in and scrub 'em up. I rinse with hot clear water until it comes out clear, then throw the whole mess in a 200 degree oven (the wife gave me a special pan for this, and I line it with a cotton rag) for about 20 minutes. While it's still hot I hose the whole works down with WD-40 and wipe it down. Never had a speck of rust. Better do the initial scrub down outside as the wife will have a fit from the smell.

I can't really say about cost, I enjoy it to the point where it just doesn't matter.

February 4, 2003, 12:16 PM
If I understand correctly, you can get by just with the specialty Hoppe's? That would certainly make it easier, and a bit more appealing.

One thing I forgot to ask is, must you grease the face of each chamber to prevent a chain-fire, or is that unnecessary with tight-fitting projectiles?

February 4, 2003, 12:58 PM
:) Hello again Victor! I have used nothing but the Hoppe's 9 Plus, without hot water, and it works fine, no rust at all. Some patches, Q- Tips, pipe cleaners, and a nylon or brass bore brush, and your all set. I even dribble some inside the action to soften the cap residue that gets inside, then I blow it out with compressed air. No need to tear down the action every time for internal cleaning this way, in my experience. This also oils the internal parts.

When the water in the Hoppe's 9 Plus evaporates, it leaves behind an oil film that protects the metal. A small stainless steel "welders brush" works good for scrubbing the cap residue off the removed nipples. Pipe cleaners work for inside the nipple. The cap residue is way harder to loosen than the black powder fouling, in my experience.

A .20 cal. airgun bore brush is a perfect tool for cleaning the nipple threads in the cylinder, by the way, though not essential.

I would recommend lubing over the balls even if very tight, just to be sure and kill any powder that may be hanging around the cylinder edges, and for some lubrication; though after the first round is fired, most of it is blown away, making a big mess, which adds to the charm of shooting these things! Clean up is messy, but it's part of the fun of Black Powder. Safe Shootin ! Joe:cool:

February 4, 2003, 12:59 PM
As an alternative, the latest MidwayUSA catalog has .45 LC cylinders for the Ruger Old Army in blue finish for $220. Of course, if the bore of the Ruger is .457 your accuracy will be less than stellar with .452-.454 LC rounds.

February 4, 2003, 02:28 PM
I'll second the use of Hoppe's #9 Plus. The gun was designed to use .457 round balls, but will work with the proper conicals (not sure they offer any advantage). The gun can be used with a range of powder loads: 20grs to 40 grs. The air space needs to be filled with corn meal or Wonder Wads. A Wonder Wad over 28-30 grs with a .457 ball is a good general purpose load. Greasing is advised to keep fouling down, but if you were to carry the piece in the field I wouldn't bother as long as you used over-powder wads.

The Taylor R&D conversion cylinders work well, I shoot mine with a handload of 7.8 grains of Unique under a .454 swaged lead 255gr bullet. Need to try black powder with the conversion cylinder.

February 16, 2003, 12:09 PM
Ive shot RB`s and conicals in mine. They both shoot accurate as hell, but my pistol prefers the Lee conicals.

Jim K
February 17, 2003, 12:35 AM
In black powder guns, including the Ruger, I don't use lube over the ball. I use a tight lubricated wad under the ball, and make sure to have a tight ball. This has worked with both round ball and conical ball and works well with conical ball cartridges also.


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