April 13, 2007, 04:26 PM
I got this .44 Mag Ruger 7.5 inch SBH in a swap for an old lawn mower. It's a 200th Year of American Liberty Model. Couldn't pass it up!!

As far as I could ascertain, it had been fired again after a "PHFFTT" on the previous trigger pull!! OUCH!!

I'm tempted to just go ahead and fire it and see what it does. I've never fired a gun with a bulged barrel. I checked, there is nothing in the barrel now!! Any thoughts??

If I do shoot it and it doesn't shoot well:

1. Send to Ruger and have re-barreled to .44 Mag, I would love to have it in 4 5/8ths length. I would guess warranty would be void, in this case?? LOL??

2. Have cylinder bored to .45 LC and re-barreled to that, with 4 5/8ths length.

My favorite would be the .45 LC. Would Ruger do this?? Or best place to go for price/quality??


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April 13, 2007, 04:30 PM
You'd want to look for frame streching, check alignment of the cylinders with the bore, and probably other stuff. Best bet is to send it to Ruger. If the frame is okay, they can get you a new barrel and cylinder, and are very reasonable pricewise.

April 13, 2007, 04:34 PM
Thats some substantial buldging !!

Because the barrel seems to have been slightly bent with the distortion I don't think there's much point in shooting it.

It's not likely to shoot even close to where it's pointing. Probably wouldn't be unsafe, but no point is wasting good ammo.

I'd recommend sending it back to Ruger for rebarreling. It won't likely be as much as you'd think it would be.

Just write them a letter and include it in the box with the gun. Be sure to include a phone number and your return address.

I've buldged the barrel on a bull barreled PPC revolver shooting wadcutters over either 2.7gr of Bullseye or 2.9gr of Win231. Sometimes it'll leave a "ring" in the barrel, but nothing like what you've got. I've seen the barrels continue giving match grade accuracy, but again, NOTHING like what youv'e got.

April 13, 2007, 04:44 PM
You should send it back and have it checked over and rebarreled. I highly doubt that Ruger will change callibers.

Jim March
April 13, 2007, 05:08 PM
DON'T SHOOT THAT. OK? You don't know what condition the frame is in, what state the barrel threads are in, etc.

The good news is, this gun can probably be salvaged.

First step is to run "the checkout procedure" to check cylinder/frame alignment, endshake, gap, etc. If all those are OK, the frame isn't stretched and there are likely no fractures anywhere.

Assuming it's all good: I would have the cylinder reamed to a tight 45LC and have a 45LC barrel installed. That gives you a better 45LC gun than 95% of the factory 45LCs. You could do whatever barrel length you wanted and get radical with the front sight at the same time if you want.

Jack Huntington is a reasonably-priced gunsmith out in California willing to listen to the customer, but doesn't have a huge name and backlog. There are lots of other choices though, this isn't a rocket science job here.

Ruger will only want to do it stock. Reaming 44Mag cylinders to 45LC often produces a gun better than either a stock 44 or 45.

April 13, 2007, 05:21 PM
I hope the lawn mower wasn't worth much...


April 13, 2007, 11:36 PM
I don't know about a revolver, but I got a 1911 with a bulged barrel once. After I finally got it apart, I turned the high spot off the barrel and shot several thousand rounds threw it before replaceing the barrel with a Fire Dragon barrel. :)

April 14, 2007, 04:25 PM
Thanks to all for your input.

I will get in touch with Ruger and see what they say. Dollars are scarce around here right now.

I checked the cylinder to barrel gao and came up with:

.004" with barrel pushed all the way forward

.008" with barrel pushed all the way back

.006" with barrel pushed back with empty brass in cylinder

Is that the correct way to do it. I rotated the cylinder around and it seemed the same on each stop.

Thanks again, guys!!

Mr. stainz, $25 bucks for old mower. Grips on it are worth more than that, thank you!!

Jim March
April 14, 2007, 04:29 PM
That's considerable end-shake. Not a good sign. It's not MASSIVE but esp. in a 44Mag gun should be corrected. Endshake allows the cylinder to act as a battering ram both ways during recoil and will damage the frame if left unchecked.

What we don't know is, was it present before the bulge?

I don't think the endshake is extreme enough to indicate a cracked frame, thank God. But it needs fixing.

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