Ruger Old Army nipple size


October 11, 2009, 11:08 AM
After purchasing a used high polished ROA and having my wife declare it's "hers", we went to the range to do some sighting in for our up coming muzzle loading hog hunt. She shot very well and is ready to hunt.

We are now in the process of cleaning our Rugers. The problem that I have encountered is the previous owner DIDN"T USE GREASE WHEN REINSTALLING THE FREEKING NIPPLES and now the are rusted in.

First: which oil is the best penetrator, kroil or PB?

Second: what is the exact size of the ROA nipple?

It is bigger than 4mm, yet smaller than a 5mm.
It is smaller than 3/16 and I don't have any smaller socket to try.

Once again, thanks for your help.

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October 11, 2009, 11:18 AM
Lately... in other threads... there's been claims of a 50/50 mix of automatic trans fluid and acetone working even better than the brand name penetrating oils... like Kroil and PB. Sure won't hurt to try it. I've got some seized slow jets on a bank of motorcycle carbs... Kroil and a propane torch haven't TOUCHED it. I'm interested in givin' the mix a try (haven't done so yet though).

Can't help ya with the nipple size... don't own a ROA (yet).

October 11, 2009, 11:20 AM
which oil is the best penetrator, kroil or PB?

Both work well.

what is the exact size of the ROA nipple?

OEM Ruger nipples are 5/32 hex head, 12X28 threads.

October 11, 2009, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the fast responses. Off to the store.

October 11, 2009, 11:41 AM
Good luck, and let us know how ya do with gettin' 'em free'd up.

Das Jaeger
October 11, 2009, 11:49 AM
that will help you remove Nipples is a real socket set wrench , 1/4" drive, cut a socket to fit over nipple, it laughs at rust or any stuck nipples . Use oil first if you'd like but I have never hada problem with Brute Force .

Das Jaeger

October 11, 2009, 11:57 AM
that will help you remove Nipples is a real socket set wrench , 1/4" drive, cut a socket to fit over nipple, it laughs at rust or any stuck nipples . Use oil first if you'd like but I have never hada problem with Brute Force .

Das Jaeger
Me thinks I'll have to try that with my .45 Cherokee rifle. The nipple on it is larger than the ones on my revolvers... but smaller than the ones used on the Hawken and Renegade... and, is stuck.

October 11, 2009, 12:46 PM
If ya'll'd try cleaning those pieces at least once every 6 years or so you would probably find you don't have as many stuck nipples!!
Get you some Cabela's Muzzle Loading Lube. Smear a little on the threads before you screw in the nipples. It's my personal guarantee that the nipple will not rust or corrode or freeze just as long as you smear the threads good before screwing it in place. I don't care if the piece set's up for 2 or 3 years. Not saying other stuff won't work. Just saying I know for a fact that Cabela's Muzzle Loading Lube will do the trick....

October 11, 2009, 12:48 PM
I agree 100% with treating the threads... I bought my Cherokee used and have anti-seize standing by. I use it on all my guns' nipples with good success.

October 11, 2009, 01:06 PM
RatDob, mawning dere, suh! Yeah, I can tell just by reading between the lines on your posts that you know your way around.... I have alway's had real good service from Cabela's products. Course some of their stuff I don't use even though I have it. Like I have a few tubes of Bore Butter but have never used any of it....Supposed to start warming up here a little about Tuesday or Wendesday up into the 50's or at least somewhere around 50. Supposed to start raining some to for a day or so off and on. That's good. It will help get rid of some of these drifts....

October 11, 2009, 01:18 PM
Got into the high 30's overnight here... in the mid 40's at present... sun's still shinin'. Agreed... no beef here with Cabela's products. I like the Bore Butter just fine so far.

October 11, 2009, 04:47 PM
ROAs came with a tool that has a nipple socket on one end for the unique ROA nipple. See if you can get one, maybe Ruger still has them.

October 11, 2009, 05:51 PM
Midway has them ROA wrenches...

October 11, 2009, 06:11 PM
Go to your local drug store and get a small bottle of "Oil of Wintergreen" use a Q-tips to put it around the nipples then use proper wrench and they should come right out.
I've used it for years around car, airplanes trucks etc it has never let me down.

October 11, 2009, 08:28 PM
RatDog, what do you find that the Bore Butter does for your guns? Mine's in good shape. I can't tell that I have any need for it. You say you use. it. When you speak I listen. (a little bit anyway)....

October 12, 2009, 12:34 AM
So far... I've just used it as a lube for the barrel when I'm done with daily shooting when on a multi-day outing. It also gets used as my patch lube for the rifles.

For the revolvers... again... as a bore lube for barrel and cylinders after a day's outing (when I'll be shooting it again the next day). Sor far... that's all I've used it for. The guns like it so far.

October 12, 2009, 03:04 AM
The trick is to twist them gently and with the right tool.

For the ROA I would guess Craftsman 3/16 is close.



October 12, 2009, 07:22 AM
I keep a 3/16 " nut driver in my range box for nipple chores as far as the ROA is concerned.
I use "Never Seez" on the nipples after cleaning and I have yet to expirience any nipple problems.

October 12, 2009, 08:23 AM
Well I've tried Craftsman, Husky and some cheapo 5/32 and can't get them to work. I've destroyed all my Ruger factory wrenches too. The 3/16 works great before they get froze, after they rust in the 3/16 is sloppy and to big.

PB, Kroil, fire and that wintergreen oil (reminds me of skoal) didn't buge it. I let each try a soak for about 2 hours each. (Made some bullets for the wife to shoot while I waited)

I will get some acitone and trans fluid next. If that doesn't work I do have an extra set of nipples so im gonna drill and extract the stuck ones.

So from now on if I purchase a black powder that is used online, I want to see the nipples removed before I consider anything.

October 12, 2009, 09:15 AM
Ruger sells spare parts for the ROA. I think a new cylinder would be worth considering.

October 12, 2009, 01:50 PM
I just measured the nipples on my ROA which just happen to be the ones that came with the revolver.
Measurement is .180"-.184" across the flats.
That translates to 3/16".
A 3/16 socket is understandably larger to accomodate the nominal 3/16 size.
A 5/32 socket does not come near fitting the tapered portion of the said nipples.

October 13, 2009, 08:56 AM
little update.

Kroil is on the way.

Gunk sells a cold penetrator that helped with one nipple.

Acitone and trans fliud when soaking should be covered, the acitone evaporates fast.

I can't find my spare nipples so the cylinder will soak till my new one show up just in case they are late getting here. The wife will kill me if she can't hunt because I screwed up her nipples.

May 2, 2013, 08:12 PM
I had the same problem with stuck nipples.

Well I don't think 5/32 is the right size but the suggestion did help since I was able to pound that undersized socket wrench over the nipple itself :D:D thus recreating new grip points.

It took a little doing but I was able to wrench all six out after that.

Of course I suspect they are pretty battered and maybe beyond repair but I replaced them with slix shots which I was going to do anyway. :):)

May 2, 2013, 08:16 PM
The thread on the Ruger nipple is #12-28.

May 2, 2013, 08:16 PM
I hope you put a non-seize lubricant on the threads first just so you don't go through the whole process again.

May 2, 2013, 08:23 PM
I put CLP oil on the threads but I always check my nipples from time to time and I would immediatly remove, clean, and oil each one after a day of firing.

May 2, 2013, 08:34 PM
I use a Craftsman 3/16 nutdriver on my nipples after I bored the interior hole out larger so it seats flush on the hex head. Works great.

May 2, 2013, 08:51 PM
Not to hijack the thread but would RIG grease be a good nipple antiseize lube?

May 2, 2013, 10:20 PM
I use Ardent reel butter.I got mine at walmart and its made for lubing baitcast reel gears. It is yellow grease and comes in a small tube.Never have stuck nipples when you use that stuff.I think any kind of silicone based grease works but i dont think bore butter would work real good unless you take your nipples out fairly often.That stuff turns liquid when it gets warm from shooting and burns up also.Im sure its better than nothing but there are better things for the nipples.

highlander 5
May 2, 2013, 10:43 PM
I just looked in my BP ammo box and pulled out the nut driver I use for my ROA and it's a 3/16 deep socket on a 1/4" nut handle. I know this might sound nuts but I worked for GE in their jet engine group and used Milk of Magnesia as an a anti seize agent. IIRC this was used when the engines went o be tested and AFAIK no one had problems getting nuts or bolts off the engine when it came back from testing.

May 3, 2013, 09:16 AM
Go to an auto parts store and get a tube of anti-seize. It's about $3-$4. The grease is either white, gray or silver depending on the brand. It will last forever because you just use a light smear in the threads.

May 3, 2013, 09:29 AM
Not to hijack the thread but would RIG grease be a good nipple antiseize lube?
It would work, but a dedicated anti-sieze that can handle high temperatures, like Patocazador suggests, would be better.

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