45 Colt Ruger Vaquero and 2 different cylinder reamers


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HenrySwift
June 14, 2011, 10:39 AM
I would like to to ream both of my Vaquero cylinder throats to a uniform measurement. I started looking at the reamers available and found that the 2 different manufacturers of the reamers (PTG & Manson) make them in 2 different diameters, .4525" and .4545". I would think that .4545 would be too big, but if so why do they make it in this size and what size reamer is truly the best. I have found all types of conflicting reports and opinions on this and would love it if someone could clarify this for me.
I have already flex-honed the cylinders with 400 and 800 grit hones, and they all measure right around .4510" to .4515". I don't want to spend they extra money for these reamers if I don't have to, but I want to squeeze the most accuracy out of these great revolvers and do it right the first time. Any help would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to hearing from all of you.


HS

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Gryffydd
June 14, 2011, 10:51 AM
Odds are you want the .4525. There was once a time when .4545 was common for .45 Colt bores & throats, but that's been a while.

To be absolutely sure, you could slug your bore.

1911Tuner
June 14, 2011, 11:11 AM
Lyman makes two different bullet moulds for the .45 Colt. One .452 and one .454 inch.
Your reamer size would be dictated by the slugged bore diameter. Most modern revolvers have standardized at .452 inch.

Vern Humphrey
June 14, 2011, 11:30 AM
First, shoot the gun. If it shoots accurately, leave it alone.

Next, slug the bore. As mentioned by others, your gun is almost certainly a .451 - .452 bore. In that case, a .4525 reamer is what you want. One advantage to reaming is that it uniforms the chamber throats -- when you're done, you'll have cleaned up any variation between throats.

Finally, contact the .45 Throat Doctor http://www.alaskais.com/45Cylinderdoctor/
You may be better off having him do the work than doing it yourself -- he specializes in reaming .45 throats in Rugers.

HenrySwift
June 14, 2011, 11:35 AM
I just slugged my bore and came up with some weird measurements. First off, I used a lead bullet that was .453 and I pushed it from the front of the barrel to the rear. I did it twice with 2 different bullets and came up with a measurement of .451 and .4507? That seems a little strange to me. Does that help in being able to answer my questions or does it make it more difficult?

HS


BTW They both shoot low but they are ok for CAS as long as I aim at the top of the target. I still want them to be more accurate than that.

Vern Humphrey
June 14, 2011, 12:10 PM
I did it twice with 2 different bullets and came up with a measurement of .451 and .4507?
The difference is only 3 ten thousands of an inch. Call your bore .451 and go with the .4525 reamer.

rcmodel
June 14, 2011, 12:36 PM
make them in 2 different diameters, .4525" and .4545". why do they make it in this size and what size reamer is truly the best.The reason is, you can't ream a .453" throat with a .4525" reamer.

If the throats are already bigger then the standard .4525" reamer, you need to ream them all with the larger .4545" one to make them all the same.

As long as the throats are bigger then the bore you will be fine.

If they are smaller, you won't.

If you ream them .4545" you need to use .454" bullets regardless of what the bore size is.

They both shoot low but they are ok for CAS as long as I aim at the top of the target. I still want them to be more accurate than that.This seems to be a front sight height issue, rather then a throat size issue!
If they both shoot low, you need to file off a little front sight until they are zeroed with the loads you are using.

Or shoot heavier bullets with more recoil, which will also raise the POI.

rc

Old Fuff
June 14, 2011, 12:39 PM
Forget about the point of impact, and see what kind of groups you get. If you are a picky type (as I can sometimes be) fire separate 5-shot groups from each chamber on different targets, and record on each target which chamber it represents. Shoot from a bench at a distance of at least 25 yards, and rest your arms, not the revolver. This should give you some insights about the revolver's potential as well as real accuracy, and should be done before you spend any more money on reamers or whatever.

The next issue is point of aim/point of impact - which as nothing to do with accuracy as such. If your problem is that the point of impact is too low the answer would be to file the front sight down a bit, which will cause the gun to shoot higher. Be aware that when doing anything related to cutting down the sight that a little bit can go a long ways, and it is far easier to cut down then it is to add more... :uhoh:

dickttx
June 14, 2011, 12:59 PM
I sent my Blackhawk to Cylindersmith.com a while back. IIRC he charges $30 for one and $50 for two. Plus postage back. Pretty fast turn around.

HenrySwift
June 14, 2011, 07:17 PM
I am going to go shoot it tomorrow and I will do as Old Fuff said to do and shoot 6 different targets . (1 for each of my cylinder chambers) I hope that will tell the story in more detail.
Would it be beneficial to lapp my bore before, after, or during my shoot, to help remedy this problem, or would it be to little of a change to do any good?
Thanks in advance for everyone's replys, I am really getting some great info and learning a lot.

HS

Old Fuff
June 14, 2011, 09:56 PM
Other then being sure the chambers are clean, I wouldn't be concerned about anything else. You are looking at two unrelated questions:

How accurate are the revolvers in terms of how tight of a group can they make at a given distance.

What and how should corrections be made so that the bullets go to the point-of-aim at a certain distance.

Take on these issues one at a time. ;)

CraigC
June 15, 2011, 09:21 AM
First, shoot the gun. If it shoots accurately, leave it alone.

Next, slug the bore. As mentioned by others, your gun is almost certainly a .451 - .452 bore. In that case, a .4525 reamer is what you want. One advantage to reaming is that it uniforms the chamber throats -- when you're done, you'll have cleaned up any variation between throats.
What he said! Don't fix it until you know it's broke.

If it does not shoot well and a .452" bullet does not pass through your throats, send your cylinder to Cylindersmith.

ironhead7544
June 15, 2011, 01:14 PM
I would shoot it first with .451 bullets and .452 bullets, if they will fit in the cylinder. With the measurements you have it may be fine. If you are going to firelap get the cylinders reamed first if they need it.

1911Tuner
June 15, 2011, 02:03 PM
Seems that the .45 Colt revolvers have had their share of problems. For a time, the Colts had .454 bores and .451-.452 chamber throats. Lead fouling and accuracy problems were rampant.

Then, Ruger standardized the bores at .452 inch...but their chamber throats were cut at .450 inch...with the same results. Many Blackhawks gave problems, and many were sold on the cheap because of it..and all it took to square'em away was a few minutes with a reamer.

After being in production more or less continuously since 1873, it would seem that the learning curve would have been well-traveled...but maybe that's too much to hope for.

RugerMcMarlin
June 15, 2011, 08:15 PM
Ruger Blackhawks in 45 Colt, have had an issue, off and on with chamber mouth dimensions.
But I think your over thinking it. your answer is post 6, Vern is correct.

1911Tuner
June 15, 2011, 08:19 PM
Ruger...I never overthink.

The OP wrote:

>I have already flex-honed the cylinders with 400 and 800 grit hones, and they all measure right around .4510" to .4515<

Which is still too small, so apparently the off/on problem is on in this case.

Flex hones are fine for brake cylinders. Not so much for chamber throats.

RugerMcMarlin
June 15, 2011, 08:25 PM
Tuners a gunsmith, you should absolutely do what he says. So post 6 won't work? Reference Posts #6,#15.#16 and #2

Old Fuff
June 16, 2011, 01:09 AM
Tuners a gunsmith, you should absolutely do what he says. So post 6 won't work?

Why not? Vern (in post #6) recommends a .452" reamer. Tuner (in post #16) says throats at .4510" to .4515" are too tight. A .452 reamer would fix that.

CraigC (who I never agree with) :scrutiny: says .452, and I'd go along with him, except I'm waiting to see how the shooting tests come out. :cool:

Does you have a problem with all this? :confused:

RugerMcMarlin
June 16, 2011, 01:38 AM
I'm gonna go learn another language, English isn't working for me.


I also think some of you guys could complicate a bowling ball.

1911Tuner
June 16, 2011, 11:05 AM
Well...I ain't a gunsmith. I'm a gun fixer. A mechanic.

But...

Even I know better than to take a brake cylinder hone to a chamber throat.

(Makes me hurt to think about it.)

And, yeah. Chamber throats should be at or just over bore diameter. If we haven't slugged the bore to determine its exact size, going with the nominal size to .0005 over is gonna getcha pretty close.

See...A chamber throat makes an efficient sizing die. If the bullet gets squzzed down smaller than the bore, it ain't gonna be very accurate when it comes out the other end.

And...

If it's a lead bullet, the gas cutting past the sides is gonna make the bore look like the inside of a sewer pipe in just a few rounds.

RugerMcMarlin
June 16, 2011, 04:19 PM
What pray tell does the OP using a brake cylinder hone, have to do with me? I didnt tell him to do it. All I said was Verns post 6 is the answer and when it comes to it so is post #2!

Was only the first line in post 16, directed at me?
cause the rest of that I had nothing to do with.

1911Tuner
June 16, 2011, 06:30 PM
Nope. Wasn't directed at you. I was addressing the fact that .451 is too small for a .45 Colt chamber thorat.

If I'd been snarkin' at you, I'd have included polishing with a bore mop and jeweler's rouge...

:)

RugerMcMarlin
June 16, 2011, 06:48 PM
Gotcha.

HenrySwift
June 17, 2011, 10:03 AM
OK. I went to the range yesterday and here are the results. Target was set at 25' and it was an indoor range.

C1 = .4505 OK accuracy, shot to basically point of aim.
C2 = .4501 Not to good, but not terrible.
C3 = .4500 Same as C2, maybe a little worse.
C4 = .4505 OK accuracy, no flyers.
C5 = .4501 Same as C2.
C6 = .4501 Same as other tight throats.

I also slugged the bore again and it measured .451". This is really irritating because it doesn't seem like a huge difference between throats and bore, but it affects it never the less. There was very little leading, but there was some. BTW lets not go into any other potential problems like trigger pull, etc. I was super careful to make sure nothing else affected the accuracy.
Keep in mind that it is not so bad that I can't hit a CAS target, but it still isn't shooting like it should and I want to make it as accurate as possible. HELP!

HS

P.S. If I could just get the throats to .451 I would be happy, but if we get it to .451 we might as well go to .452 right?

Old Fuff
June 17, 2011, 11:51 AM
.452" would probably optimal, but do it (or have it done) with a piloted throat reamer, not by trying to polish the metal.

At 25 feet you can't tell a whole lot because the bullets haven't had time to spread out - if they are going to.

That said, I don't think that you are going to get a lot of improvement in terms of hand-held accuracy, although you might see some at 50 yards, shooting from a machine rest. If you have any expectation of doing more then 2 revolvers it might pay to buy your own reamer - if you have the skill to use it. Otherwise I will suggest that you send the cylinders out to have the work done. If nothing else having the "right" diameter throats will make you feel better.

Now to address the second problem. All of the above will not likely change anything relative to where the bullets hit, in relationship to where the sights are pointed. As a CAS you want the point-of-aim/point-of-impact to be the same at a particular distance, and this is a matter of adjusting the height of the front sight, not reaming or polishing the chambers. What we need is another shooting test.

Since the revolver(s) is apparently shooting low, set up a large target with a small one mounted toward the bottom. It will serve as you're aiming point. The bullets should hit somewhere between the center or upper part of the larger target. Measure the distance in inches between the aiming point, and the approximate center of the group made by the bullets. Ultimately the solution will be to cut down the height of the front sight, which will make the guns shoot higher, and bring the group to the point-of-aim.

RugerMcMarlin
June 17, 2011, 12:03 PM
june 14th, 9:39 am your original post. by 9:51 you had your answer. 12 min.
Just sayin, Gryffyd, nailed it, and it was so simple everybody just blew on by.

And, OLD FUFF, is correct, a pilot throat reamer,which is what I assumed we were talking about all along, is the only way to do this, you do not want to learn on your own gun, have a pro, do it.

Gryffydd
June 17, 2011, 09:56 PM
That said, I don't think that you are going to get a lot of improvement in terms of hand-held accuracy
For me the biggest benefit I got from having my cylinders reamed was reduced leading.

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