Couple of newbie questions on the Ruger Old Army revolver


Jack Straw from Wichita
July 24, 2006, 12:06 AM

I'm thinking about getting a Ruger Old Army revolver. I'm curious about a couple of things:

1) Can grips designed for the Vaquero also fit the Old Army?

2) I may be getting a conversion cylinder to fire .45 Colt rounds in addition to firing black powder. Will the Old Army's bore diameter yield acceptable accuracy with factory "cowboy" loads? If anyone here has used a .45 Colt conversion cylinder, I'd like to hear about your experiences.



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July 24, 2006, 12:48 PM
The conversion cylinder for the Ruger is great. I have the Kirst but have shot the R&D as well in it. I have two Ruger Old Army now, blue and stainless. Love both of them. Use the stainless more for BP now and the blued one with the conversion cylinder. Accuracy is very good with my reloads. Use a 200 gr lead flat top semi wad cutter ( I think, don't have the box here) with between 6 and 7.5 gr of Win 231. Works great! Got lucky, somebody at the range is not reloading his 45 LC brass ( I know, at $17 a box hard to believe) so cost to shoot = cheap!

July 25, 2006, 02:50 AM
Accuracy with "cowboy" loads using a conversion cylinder work fine.

The grips on the OA and the Vaquero are pretty close, don't know if frames will interchange. Call Ruger they theoretically should have an answer.

July 28, 2006, 02:29 PM
The Old Army has the Old Model frame. The grip frame has a little hole with a coil spring and plunger in it for the trigger return spring. The New Model frame has a hair clip spring in the main frame for trigger return. This might mean complications in swapping grip frames around.

BP Hunter
July 28, 2006, 10:51 PM
i have the 5 1/2 barrel in blue and use the r&d conversion. it seems to accept the ultramax ammunition in round nose flat point very well. i have shot it with the 200gr and 250gr. both are remarkably accurate. at 15 feet, i make ragged holes. i can also hit soda cans about 40 yards away.

i also bought a vaquero grip which fit perfectly but went back to the stock grip since it made the revolver significantly bulkier.

July 31, 2006, 06:05 AM
According to the Ruger Catalog, grips for the Vaquero and New Model Blackhawk will fit the Old Army. I'm not sure if they mean New or Old Model Vaquero, but probably both, since I don't think they changed the grip frame.

July 31, 2006, 06:25 AM
You don't need to use Cowboy Ammo in the conversion cylinders. I have seen tests on the web where they used Cor Bon SJHP ammo, almost 1200 fps, in a Kirst cylinder, with no problem. Also, Federal makes a lead Hollow point with a muzzle velocity of 950-1000 fps that would work fine. When Bill Ruger told his engineers what he expected of the Old Army, he said it had to be as strong as the Super Blackhawk (.44 Magnum) and at least as accurate. When they proof tested it, they stuffed as much Bullseye in the cylinder as they could, behind a .457 lead ball. The gun held fine . This load would have blown an Italian repro apart. The only .45 ammo I would avoid is Buffalo Bore (muzzle velocity 1450 fps), the same as their .44 Mag. ammo.

I know of a Gunsmith in Ohio who does a conversion on the Old Army where he stretches the frame, and installs a longer cylinder. It uses 60+ grains of Triple Seven behind a 260 grain conical bullet. You could fit 70+ grains behind a round ball. He also does a .50 caliber conversion on a standard frame. The Old Army is a VERY strong gun, as are all Rugers. You don't need to use that wimpy cowboy stuff.

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