Ruger Single Six: Match grade barrel? Accuracy?


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Prosser
October 2, 2011, 04:40 PM
Hi

I sold my Freedom Arms 252 awhile back. It was a pain, since the cylinder was cut so tight ammo consistently stuck: "Matchgrade cylinder"

So, I bought a Ruger Single Six, complete with 22 Magnum/22lr barrel and cylinders.

Here is my plan: Have a matchgrade barrel put on the gun, then sell the 22lr barrel and 22 mag cylinder unused.

Also: What barrel length? My revolvers run between 4.75" and 7.5". I'm trying to make this as close to my FA and Ruger Single actions as I can, as a training tool.

Which barrel? Douglas, Kreiger, or does it matter, once you get into premium barrels? Seems like the prices are all pretty similar.

What kind of sites? Scope?

I'm getting old, eyes aren't what they used to be...

Anyone done this? Suggestions?

Has anyone put a matchgrade barrel on a 22 revolver, and, if so, what kind of accuracy did you get?

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rcmodel
October 2, 2011, 04:49 PM
IMO: A match grade barrel will make no practical differance.
The line-bored Freedom Arms cylinder would have.

You would be better served to just test every brand of .22 ammo you can lay hands on.

One or more of them will shoot in the Ruger barrel better then you can shoot it I betcha.

rc

robhof
October 2, 2011, 04:50 PM
I haven't changed the barrel on my single six, but it gets pretty good accuracy, good enough to take squirrels with head shots. It came with a scope and I was going to remove it, but decided to try it first. Set up target at 25yds and proceeded to get 1" group in bulls eye, that was 5 yrs ago and still have the scope on it. Mine is the 5 1/2" barrel and bought used, if I was buying new and wanted the most accuracy and power out of the 22; I'd go with 7" or longer barrel. It also works with all the cheap ammo too.

The Lone Haranguer
October 2, 2011, 04:52 PM
A "match grade" barrel is also much harder to install on a revolver than be fitted to an auto.

Wil Terry
October 2, 2011, 05:48 PM
BOWEN re-built my old 1965 RUGER SSS 22/22MAG with a new Match gauge 7 1/2" .219" ID barrel. It averages right at .70" at 25 yards with any decent 22LR ammunition. Furthermore it shoots as well with the 22MAG cylinder with velocities right at 1700FPS or a bit more.
I've shot prairie rats with this pistol so far away you fix an extra sandwich and carry more water to go find the corpus dilecti's.
It's been 20 years now since I had Hamilton do this and I swear the pistol gets nothing but better everytime I take it out.
If you think I am pulling your leg ask Taffin about this very sixgun.
And so it goes....

Prosser
October 2, 2011, 06:35 PM
Will Terry:

That's the kind of accuracy I'm after. I will say the FA 83 shot .38" of an inch, with the right ammo, out of a ransom rest, at 50 yards, for it's new owner.

My CZ rifle does that, with non-matchgrade ammo, and a scope.

What did HB do to the gun, besides switching barrels? What make of barrel?

Thanks

Why did you settle on 7.5" for barrel length?

The 252 was 9-10". One of the things I found a bit more rifle like then pistol.

The older Single Six barrels were notorious for being anywhere from .223"-.227", sometimes on the same barrel. Have they gotten better these days?

CraigC
October 3, 2011, 02:36 PM
It depends. I do believe that a new barrel will be a waste of money if bore/chamber alignment is not near perfect on every chamber. So in that, a new line-bored cylinder would have to be made. Of course, it could be cut with any of a hundred different .22LR reamers. This is probably one of those instances where a good gunsmith, not Joe Bob up the street, should look at the sixgun and determine how bad the alignment is before proceeding. David Clements offers accuracy work on the Single Six. I don't know if Stroh will do a line-bored .22LR cylinder but I do know that he will do one for the .327 so odds are good. Obviously Hamilton Bowen is an option and will probably have the fastest turnaround.

I've long wanted to do a match-grade .22LR Bisley Single Six with the dovetail rear sight, largest diameter 5½" bull barrel that will fit and a line-bored cylinder. I already have the dovetail sighted New Model to do it. Perhaps Lilja would sell a 6-7" stub???

Prosser
October 4, 2011, 08:06 AM
My work takes me to that area this week, and around one of those guys that know what they are doing.

My list is to have my 1911 chromed, a red insert put in my FA 83 .500 JRH, and the Single Six evaluated.

Why 5.5"?

I'm considering 4.5-7.5" barrels, and have no idea what the ideal 22lr barrel is for accuracy.

I do want something that is about the same site radius as my big guns, and, since one is 5" and the other two are 7.5", guess which way I'm leaning?

What's the number one match grade .22lr barrel around?

I could do the Bisley grip, but, I've already got a nice set of small, but beautiful Hogue cocobolo grips on the gun. Seems the stuff is hard to get, and expensive.

Chopping down a .22lr rifle barrel and threading it is not a big deal for the guys I know.

We'll see how this works out this week.

I'm not real sure the alignment was really an issue. I do know the quality of the ruger barrels have long been suspect.

We'll see what the evaluation is of this gun.

Quoheleth
October 4, 2011, 08:29 AM
I've not shot a single six, but for what it's worth, too long of barrels move the center of balance too far forward and fatigues the wrist in long shooting sessions.

I had a 6 1/2" Blackhawk in .41 Mag a few years ago. I couldn't shoot more than a few cylinders full at a time for this reason.

Granted, a .22 is significantly lighter than a .41, but the same principal applies - you get too much muzzle weight out front and it throws balance off.

Q

CraigC
October 4, 2011, 09:02 AM
Ruger makes a fine barrel, they just cut a sloppy chamber and unfortunately, use a compromise bore diameter on the Single Sixes. It's not the quality that is suspect. You can take a 10/22 barrel, set it back, rechamber it and recut the crown and it will shoot with many aftermarket barrels.

I wanted a 5½", which is not a length I'm very partial to, for several reasons. One being that while I usually prefer shorter barrels, I wanted a little more sight radius. I think it would balance it out better aesthetically, because the big Bisley grip frame on the little Single Six frame makes it look bulbous in the rear. Because I despise the neither fish nor fowl 6½" length and 7½" would be too long to be practical. I want it to be an every day beltgun. Plus I already have custom holsters for a 5½" Single Six.

Lilja is the accepted "best". Probably some folks will argue but you sure as hell won't get a bad barrel from them.

While I do A LOT of shooting with the Ruger XR3 and Colt SAA pattern grips I find that I do my most consistent shooting with Bisleys. Cocobolo is not difficult to get or prohibitively expensive. It's one of my favorite woods for grips. Cary Chapman has used some gorgeous cocobolo in his grips and I was tempted to choose it for my newest set he's working on now but they will be claro walnut.

http://www.clccustomgrips.com/cw58.jpg

BCRider
October 4, 2011, 11:35 AM
Prosser, I suspect you "shot yourself in the foot" on this one both financially and from final performance point of views. You stated that the 252 shot wonderfully accurately but the ammo is sticky. Seems to me it would have made FAR more sense both economically as well as effort to just have the existing chambers reamed or polished with a very slight taper such that the forward portion guiding the bullets was left alone and the rear was eased out a thou or two to allow the ammo to seat and eject easily. Then you'd have your easy to manipulate gun which shot to your accuracy expectations.

Doing all the stuff, and as Craig notes the barrel is only part of it, to accurize the Ruger up to what you're after is going to cost a LOT more in gunsmithing than the 252 and some relatively simple chamber easing work.

Old Fuff
October 4, 2011, 11:49 AM
This is the kind of project where you could spend a lot of money, and gain little advantage. That said, I still have a Swiss-made .22 LR Hammerli barrel blank set aside just in case (If you don’t recognize the Hammerli name, they are famous for making target pistols used in Olympic style shooting, and their best “free pistols” can group around .250” at 50 meters).

But on a Ruger Single Six, which is an excellent revolver for its intended purpose, the lack of line-bored chambers could eliminate any advantage the new barrel might offer. At the least, the original chambers would need to be bored out and lined, and new chambers bored and reamed. I would expect that the cylinder could (and should be) shortened to .22 LR length, and the barrel stub at the back extended to match. A removable cylinder bushing would allow proper adjustment to compensate and correct cylinder end-shake. A new hand-fitted cylinder pin would also be necessary to obtain maximum accuracy.

And after all of this was done you’d still have to contend with the single action’s relatively heavy and slow lock time.

But if nothing more then “some improvement” is considered to be O.K., you could get by with simply replacing the barrel, which is made to accommodate the .22 WRM bullet, with one with a .219 groove diameter with a 16 to 1 twist. This would likely give you tighter groups, but the question would be, “how much tighter?”


Of course the Freedom Arms revolver would give you all of this and much more. If case extraction is (or was) a problem then experiments with different brands of ammunition would be in order. If an answer wasn’t discovered the chambers could be honed, which is less desirable but would eventually solve the problem.

CraigC
October 4, 2011, 11:52 AM
I reckon it depends on the intended purpose. While it will cost probably $1200 for a custom barrel, line-bored cylinder and new front sight along with other tuning on the Ruger, the 252 still costs more and weighs a hell of a lot more. The 252 would make a great 100yd varmint gun but I'd hate to have to pack one in a holster!


At the least, the original chambers would need to be bored out and lined, and new chambers bored and reamed.
Once again, no one is gonna do this. It might've been standard procedure 50yrs ago when it was exceedingly difficult for a gunsmith to build a cylinder from scratch but today, they will always opt to build a new one. Besides, the cost of lineboring is in the labor and if you're going to the expense, you might as well go all the way with a new cylinder, rather than rigging up the original to save a little money. If it were even possible.

Old Fuff
October 4, 2011, 12:52 PM
Once again, no one is gonna do this. It might've been standard procedure 50yrs ago when it was exceedingly difficult for a gunsmith to build a cylinder from scratch but today, they will always opt to build a new one. Besides, the cost of lineboring is in the labor and if you're going to the expense, you might as well go all the way with a new cylinder, rather than rigging up the original to save a little money. If it were even possible.

It would seem that you are unaware that a number of today’s manufacturers (including Smith & Wesson) still occasionally line cylinder chambers and barrels.

If the cylinder has sufficient wall thickness there is no reason the original chambers cannot be lined, and new ones bored. In the case of line boring the new chambers, the charge hole may not be concentric with the liner, but any difference would be so small that it would be inconsequential. While going to the considerable expense of having a new custom cylinder made apparently doesn’t bother you, others might have a different opinion and use the cylinder they had for a considerable saving, and as a practical mater, do so with no negatives. While in most cases lining would pose no problems, this would be particularly true in working with a .22 conversion.

Looking at the conversion in question, even going to the question of line boring any cylinder is probably overboard. Buying a new custom cylinder is way, way overboard. But there shouldn’t be any objection to discussing the various ways that such a conversion might be done, and what can be done without having to take out a second mortgage on the farm. Custom cylinders do have they’re place, but this isn’t one of them.

CraigC
October 4, 2011, 01:46 PM
I don't care what the manufacturers do. Like I said before, you won't find a custom gunsmith who will reline chambers. Name one. We even have `smith's these days, like Hamilton Bowen, that procure ready-made cylinder blanks from 3rd party sources. They sure as hell won't reline one when they can more easily fit a new one and cut proper chambers. Why? Because it's the way they do business. It's the better solution.

I seriously doubt, even if you could find a `smith that would reline a cylinder, that it would save any money.

Relining chambers would make a great deal more caliber conversions possible and some easier. They don't do it. If an existing cylinder cannot be rechambered a custom cylinder is made. They don't reline cylinders. I wonder why.

Prosser
October 4, 2011, 04:22 PM
Buying a 252 and shooting it are two different things.

You think that because you got such a great deal on it, you can live with it. I couldn't. I paid 1100, sold it for 1500. That alone was a good enough reason to sell it.

On top of that, it's a 10" long gun, with huge sites. And, it's big.

Since I'm not an iron chicken hunter, it would have taken cutting the barrel down, getting a new front site, and I'd probably be about 5.5-6.5", and putting custom grips on it. So, I would have another 600-800 in an already expensive field grade. and its a FIVE shot. May not seem like a big difference, but trying to pound your ammo out isn't fun.

I realized after I bought it that if I wanted a small hand cannon, one that is really a single shot, I could have bought a bolt action .22lr for 300 bucks, and been darn close to the same accuracy.

The guy I take my guns to align bores if need be, JRH Advanced Gunsmithing.
I've watched him do so on a big gun, and, it takes time, and money.

If you notice, a barrel change on Will Terry's gun cut the groups down quite a bit. The real question is what else Bowen did while he was in there.

I guess I'll have to wait and see what the barrel specs are. I might also do nothing, and just pound my 22lr ammo out of Paco's accurizer to .224.

Just getting suggestions and experience, I hope, here.

OldCavSoldier
October 4, 2011, 04:43 PM
I think *somebody* has a pant-load of extra money and time on his hands.....

Prosser
October 4, 2011, 04:50 PM
Not even. If I did, I'd have another 1000 in the 252, and still own it.

I'm looking to spend as little as possible, for a decent accuracy gain.

Sounds like the only one who has done this got a huge accuracy increase, Will Terry.

Old Fuff
October 4, 2011, 06:51 PM
You're not going to find much evidence because very few folks go to the trouble of re-barreling Ruger Single Sixes to .22 LR. More common conversions are to small center-fire cartridges.

Going way back to the 1950's and early 1960's there were a few hard-nose bullseye target shooters that still shot revolvers in the .22 tournaments. Occasionally you would see a little S&W .22/32 Target Model, but most were Smith & Wesson K-22 Masterpiece or Colt .22 Officers Models. I don't believe any had line bored chambers, but all had match grade barrels bored and rifled to .22 LR specifications. With the right ammunition (as each gun was a law onto itself) machine rest groups of around .750" at 50 yards were common, and sometimes you'd get a tighter one.

There is no reason you couldn't duplicate this performance using the Ruger Single Six platform, but more would be involved then simply screwing on a new barrel.

If you want to keep the project as inexpensive as possible, Numrich Gunparts Co. (www.e-gunparts.com) have an extensive supply of barrels and barrel blanks available. If you wish, the current barrel can be bored out and relined (see www.brownells.com) which will retain the current front sight and screw hole for the ejector tube. Any gunsmith worth the title who had a lathe could do the work, and an expensive big-name custom 'smith whould be totally unnecessary. This would get you about 2/3's of the way. The rest would involve a custom fitted cylinder pin and possibly a cylinder bushing to remove cylinder end-shake that is common in the Single Six. I suspect Brownells could recommend some gunsmiths in your area, because they sell the tools and supplies to do the work.

Old Fuff
October 4, 2011, 07:04 PM
They don't reline cylinders. I wonder why.

I suspect because the particular 'smiths you are dealing with would prefer, when they can, to make the extra money from selling a custom cylinder.

In particular, these cylinders are advisable when going to high-pressure cartridges. Otherwise they represent a largely unnecessary additional cost. But using stock parts does nothing to increase you're bragging rights. Half the fun in having high-cost custom guns is showing them off.

Shimitup
October 4, 2011, 08:41 PM
FWIW I took my relatively new to me used Single Six to the range today and shooting from rest with CCI standard vel shot four of the six into about .3" at 7 yards I'm pretty sure the 2 that didn't make it through the single hole were probably me not doing my part, being and old fart with reading glasses in indoor lighting doesn't help. I'm with rcmodel, find what your gun likes.

BCRider
October 4, 2011, 10:42 PM
Prosser, I didn't realize that the USFA gun was so big and heavy. Given that info I don't blame you one bit for going this route.

Your Paco Accurrizer may not actually do anything if the LR cylinder chambers are "tight". If they are the bullet may well be back down to .220 or so by the time they exit. To get it right you'd want to ream out the chambers to accomadate the accurized bullets. But it might mean living with excess fouling from the brass not expanding far enough for long enough.

Really I think Old Fuff has the answer. Boring and re-lining a barrel with a good quality sleeve sized for an accurate .22 would not be all that expensive. And it retains the stock sights and machine work.

CraigC
October 4, 2011, 11:14 PM
You're not going to find much evidence because very few folks go to the trouble of re-barreling Ruger Single Sixes to .22 LR. More common conversions are to small center-fire cartridges.
YOU are not going to find much evidence because it doesn't exist. Plenty of folks have this kind of work done, otherwise, the services wouldn't be offered with such specificity.


I don't believe any had line bored chambers
It didn't exist back then.


If you wish, the current barrel can be bored out and relined
True but it won't save you any money. In terms of custom revolver work, a premium barrel is cheap. Usually around $200 installed. Skip the reline and do it right, it might cost ou an extra $50.


...and an expensive big-name custom 'smith whould be totally unnecessary.
Do you want it done cheap or done right? Unless you're willing to trust your shooter to Joe Bob up the street, who has probably never done this sort of thing, have it done right by one of the guys that works on Ruger single actions every day. It's cheap insurance.


I suspect because the particular 'smiths you are dealing with would prefer, when they can, to make the extra money from selling a custom cylinder.

In particular, these cylinders are advisable when going to high-pressure cartridges. Otherwise they represent a largely unnecessary additional cost. But using stock parts does nothing to increase you're bragging rights. Half the fun in having high-cost custom guns is showing them off.
I'm getting the very distinct feeling that at the very least, your information is 50yrs outdated. At the very worst, you really don't know what you're talking about.

In particular, these custom cylinders are useful when there are none available that can be rechambered. Whether that's due to available chamber size or length. Doesn't have a friggin' thing to do with making extra money or bragging rights. Don't insult my intelligence. It's about doing the job right. Not rigging it up as cheaply as possible. You wanna do it cheap? Just leave the gun alone. You don't build a custom gun to save money. You do it because you're not afraid to spend money to get exactly what you want when the manufacturers can't provide it off the shelf.

Old Fuff
October 5, 2011, 11:12 AM
Prosser:

I'm looking to spend as little as possible, for a decent accuracy gain.

CraigC:

Don't insult my intelligence. It's about doing the job right. Not rigging it up as cheaply as possible. You wanna do it cheap? Just leave the gun alone. You don't build a custom gun to save money. You do it because you're not afraid to spend money to get exactly what you want when the manufacturers can't provide it off the shelf.


It would seem to me that CraigC has lost sight about what Prosser's intentions are. No matter what the question is, CraigC's solution is to spend big-bucks for the ultimate (and of course most expensive) fully customized handgun built by a big-name gunsmith. To even consider anything else is a waste of money.

Now if one has the money, and want's to spend it, that's fine - but the Old Fuff knows that for a lot less cash the results can be group sizes at .75" and smaller at 50 yards, and it's doubtful that the big-bucks special will be able to beat that by much, if any. As a practical matter whatever Prosser is shooting at is unlikely to know the difference. Going to the expense of line boring the chambers might bring some improvement by eliminating flyers caused by one or more chambers that aren't concentric with the bore. But one should ask, "is the very slight improvement worth the cost?" If one thinks so then by all means they should spend the extra money.

While the Old Fuff has up to this point not rebarreled a Single Six, he does have some experience related to Smith & Wesson and Colt .22 match grade revolvers and pistols. He sees no reason that the expectations relative to working on the Ruger platform should be different.

One weakness in the Single Six is that all too often the cylinder base pin is undersized (which allows it to wobble) and the hub at the front is too short (which contributes to end-shake). Both conditions can be inexpensively corrected, and occasionally that, in and of itself, will result in better and more consistent accuracy. Obviously experiments with ammunition is a low-cost way to tighten groups.

In closing, I remember a remark my ol' Daddy once made, concerning rural Americans who it would seem can fix almost anything, without having to call in a "professional." "Some people," he said, "have money while others make up the difference by using their brains." ;)

CraigC
October 5, 2011, 11:24 AM
No Fluffer, try actually reading my posts. I'm not saying that a line-bored cylinder is the only way to go. I'm saying that no reputable gunsmith will do what YOU suggest. I challenged you to name one that would and you have conveniently ignored it. I'm saying that you don't have a clue what you're talking about because you've obviously never had work like this done. I have. Prosser has. Nor have you educated yourself enough in this arena to be able to give sound advice. If all of this sounds harsh, it is, you earned it.

My best advice was:
"This is probably one of those instances where a good gunsmith, not Joe Bob up the street, should look at the sixgun and determine how bad the alignment is before proceeding."


He sees no reason that the expectations relative to working on the Ruger platform should be different.
Therein lies the problem. Ruger used to cut chambers all six at a time. While this is good for manufacturing ease, it is not so good for consistency. And a Ruger ain't an Officer's Model Match or K-22.


One weakness in the Single Six is that all too often the cylinder base pin is undersized (which allows it to wobble) and the hub at the front is too short (which contributes to end-shake). Both conditions can be inexpensively corrected, and occasionally that, in and of itself, will result in better and more consistent accuracy. Obviously experiments with ammunition is a low-cost way to tighten groups.
Once again, a gunsmith should check alignment first. Because a tightly-fitted basepin can cause the accuracy to go either way, depending upon bore/chamber alignment.


In closing, I remember a remark my ol' Daddy once made, concerning rural Americans who it would seem can fix almost anything, without having to call in a "professional." "Some people," he said, "have money while others make up the difference by using their brains."
And there are some things one can't fix with increasingly larger hammers. Smart money knows when to call in a professional and building a super-accurate single action ain't something your average home gunsmith can accomplish. I know of only one so-capable.
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=54775

Ratshooter
October 5, 2011, 12:09 PM
Well. I'll let you two duke it out about what custom gunsmiths will and won't do. My experience is they won't do anything. I contacted the big one, HB about putting adjustable sights on a model 31. Nope, he couldn't do that because he didn't have another adjustable sighted j frame to look at. I offered to send a model 34 along to look at. Nope still not interested.

A year later I inherited my dads model 28. I called the big one to see if he could bore the cylinder and install a 44 caliber barrel and convert this gun to a 44 special. Nope, couldn't do that either. I gave up on custom gunsmiths.

I wonder if the OP has even shot his new single six? When I was first getting into handguns and reading every gun mag I could get my hands on they kept saying to try as many different types of ammo as you could find.

Well I did just that. I had about 20 different boxes of 22lr rounds and spent several hours testing each box. Wow it sure showed me that 22s are picky . Some groups at 25 yards were in the 4" range and others were right around the 1" size. I had one group with 18 shots that were just under an inch. That was an eye openner for me.

As far as a tighter match barrel maybe it will make a difference. A similar post was on the Firingline a couple of weeks ago. I measured several boxes of 22lr rounds and all the bullets miked in at .224-.225. So whats the deal with a .219 barrel? Besides with the long run a bullet has before it hits the rifling it has to be going several hundred FPS and then has to instantly start spinning? I would think it would be easier to make an accurate semi auto where the bullet starts right into the rifling than a revolver with the long bullet jump.

It has been done many times but a revolver, especialy a single action with the slow, heavy hammer fall has a lot stacked against it.

CraigC
October 5, 2011, 12:24 PM
I don't know about adding adjustable sights to a J-frame but converting N-frame .38's and .357's to .38-40, .44-40, .44Spl and .45Colt is a routine conversion.


It has been done many times but a revolver, especialy a single action with the slow, heavy hammer fall has a lot stacked against it.
Not really. I've heard this theory repeated several times but never seen any actual testing done to prove it and experience would indicate it's a non-issue.

Ratshooter
October 5, 2011, 12:35 PM
Hey Craig. I like to sit and piddle with my guns. (like everyone else here) And the difference in lock times between a double and a single action can be seen and the hammer blow felt. A good point with the single action is that if you have hard primers you can count on those guns to set them off. I like single actions and have no problems owning several of them. My super BH has a heavy hammer fall but the weight of the gun tames the jarring from the hammer.

As for it being a non issue I think it just comes down to shooting a gun a bunch until you get used to the way it feels and you don't notice it any more. Thats why I stated in my other post that I got some amazing (to me) groups with an older single six. By the time I was done shooting that day the gun and I were as one unit. I still don't know what possed me to selll that gun. It was a gift. I am wiser now.

JohnBT
October 5, 2011, 05:14 PM
Or you could spend $15 on a box of Lapua Midas L target ammo and see how the Ruger likes it. The bullet is a little oversized.

"The L series is 5.69mm diameter (.224)."

Prosser
October 5, 2011, 05:22 PM
The budget for this is 400 dollars and under. I figure that if I want a super accurate .22lr, I can buy one of those bolt action .22lr canons, do a trigger job, and be in it for that.

I'm hoping my favorite gunsmith has an old, good, 22lr barrel laying around, or just bite the bullet, and get a Lilja, Kreiger, or Douglas barrel.

CraigC:
Lee Martin is a genius in a machine shop. He's hardly a home gunsmith. IIRC, he got it from his dad, who was likewise.

I haven't shot the gun. Put new grips on it, but figured I'd devalue this thing quick shooting it. I am going to have Jack Huntington look at it, and see if there is a way to increase the accuracy. Accuracy is a funny thing. Sometimes loose is GOOD.

Also, with some calibers, they tend to 'align' themselves. In other words,
the big bullets tend to correct minor alignment inaccuracies, or, the guns are just easier to make sure everything is closer, because everything is bigger.

If there is one thing I've learned is a guy that's been a gunsmith his whole life can see the big picture, and come up with a combination that leads to an accurate gun that a less experienced gunsmith might think wouldn't work.

Also, the experience allows the gunsmith to determine what changes provide the best value. In other words, yes align boring is nice, but, it's expensive, prohibitively in this case, and might not give you the accuracy expected. It would be kind of funny to have two, brand new cylinders, and both of them not work for what I want to do with the gun.

I can see align boring a new cylinder, 400-600 dollars, and then shooting through a barrel that's .226-7" and the bullets rattle down the barrel...

If there is one thing I've learned, each gun is an individual, and, must be evaluated by an experienced smith before any work is decided on.

I want the option of selling it new for what I have in it.

Once the barrel is checked, and evaluated, I'll go from there.

Seems my trip this week was canceled. So, the project is still on hold this week.

Ratshooter
October 5, 2011, 06:11 PM
I haven't shot the gun. Put new grips on it, but figured I'd devalue this thing quick shooting it.

Its a Ruger Single Six. They have no great value unless they are several decades old. I have my GFs gun made in 1961 and I doubt its worth more than $350 at the most. Go shoot your gun and shoot several hundred rounds to break in the barrel. Nothing will devalue a gun like working on it. And you may find out it needs nothing at all done to it.

I can see align boring a new cylinder, 400-600 dollars, and then shooting through a barrel that's .226-7" and the bullets rattle down the barrel...

Where did you get that diminsion from? From everything I have read the barrel should be .224. Thats why in my other post I stated I have miked several 22lr rounds and they all miked .224-.225. They should fit your barrel just fine. If not try the Paco Kelly accurizer. But if you get the bullets too big they are going to be tough to chamber.

Since Ruger is making their own barrels you may find your new gun has an excellent barrel on it now. But you will never know until you try it. And with all the CNC machines in use now I'd be willing to bet your cylinder lines up just fine with the barrel. A simple range rod test will tell the tale on that.

CraigC
October 5, 2011, 06:38 PM
Lee Martin is a genius in a machine shop. He's hardly a home gunsmith. IIRC, he got it from his dad, who was likewise.
Which illustrates my point beautifully. Very few who are not professionals possess the knowledge, ability and proper tools to build a accurate sixgun. Lee is a rare example.


If there is one thing I've learned is a guy that's been a gunsmith his whole life can see the big picture, and come up with a combination that leads to an accurate gun that a less experienced gunsmith might think wouldn't work.
Exactly! Which is why I think a gunsmith like Jack should be able to examine and measure the sixgun to see what would make the most difference and what would be a waste. Taylor throating is another option I forgot to mention. I would definitely shoot it extensively first to see where you stand, because it just might surprise you. You at least need a baseline for comparison.

Prosser
October 5, 2011, 06:47 PM
Thanks Ratshooter. I didn't know Ruger was making it's own barrels now.
Any idea where the blanks start, who they get them from, or do they start from scratch? What has been the observation on the quality of the new barrels?

I have noticed reviews of the 10 shot new ruger as being a tack driver.

CraigC and Ratshooter: What else has Ruger changed in their production stuff, moving from the old Single Six to the new ones?

This new one is light years from the old Single Six I almost bought for 350 dollars, 15 years ago.

Ratshooter: This gun is worth 500-550 new, and, when you look at the quality, and the package, it's certainly worth that. When I first got it, I was really impressed with the overall quality of the gun. Something I can't say about, value wise, with the blued guns.

With nothing more then a Poor Man's trigger job, it has a wonderful trigger.

Ratshooter
October 5, 2011, 07:15 PM
Hi Prosser. I didn't know a single six cost that much now. I paid around $350 for the new one I have now but that was about 4 years ago. Do you have a hunter or target model, something besides the basic SS?

And if your take on the gun is that it is a high quality gun you can bet the barrel is in the same league as the rest of the gun. I know ruger started making their own barrels a few years ago but the SS has always been noted as being accurate. I have read a few complaints about poorly rifled barrels but even then ruger would replace them if they were bad.

Ruger has made gazillions of these guns and shooting it will not hurt the value. Go shoot it. Then shoot it some more. Like Will Terry said his gets better over time. Its just getting smoother. When you have 5000 rounds through it then decide if you need a new barrel. I bet you don't.

CraigC
October 5, 2011, 07:36 PM
I don't know if Ruger has changed the way they build Single Sixes. I do know t hat the New Vaqueros and all the new flat-tops are built on new CNC machinery and they cut their chambers one at a time with the same reamer. They are much improved over anything previous. Have no idea if that has carried over to the Single Six or not. Ruger has been producing their own barrels through hammer forging for quite some time.

I've handled a new Single Ten and was fairly impressed. Not bad at all at $439 either. Unfortunately, the old malady of the chamber swinging too far at the "click" is still there for unloading but at least it can now be loaded more easily. I usually prefer Old Models but may yet bring one home. It will need new sights, can't abide flashy fiber optics on my sixguns.

DPris
October 6, 2011, 02:27 AM
I had a Douglas barrel installed on a Single-Six, with Taylor throating.
The result didn't shoot markedly better than a stock Single-Six I have. :)
Denis

Coal Dragger
October 6, 2011, 02:35 AM
Sorry to hear your FA was a pain Prosser. Did you ever consider having FA open up the chambers just a smidge, or did they decline to do so?

Prosser
October 6, 2011, 03:50 AM
As I said earlier, it's a beautiful gun, but, for what I wanted it for, getting it there was going to cost me more money then I wanted to put into a 22lr.
I've done this kind of investment, but, the calibers start at .475 for the ones I kept.

I don't see much point in having what is probably a matchgrade quality cylinder opened up. I should have just bought matchgrade ammo. One of the chambers was tighter then the others.

I bought a gun that had a barrel I wanted shortened, would need different grips, and different sites. Plus, opening up the chamber. I would have had a 2 grand 22lr, that would be shot right with a 300 dollar bolt 22lr, nearly the same size.

Not much choice in 22lrs, and, of the ones I've had, the one I regret letting go the most was a Colt Trooper, Mark III, 22lr.

Why keep a a guy who hunts iron chickens from using the perfect weapon for his desires?
Plus, I made near 50% on the guns sale. If I find another, I'll buy it.

DPris
October 6, 2011, 01:21 PM
In playing with a Single-Six, resale value shouldn't be any part of the equation.
First, they're not worth much to begin with; second, you won't get what you put into it out of it if you do sell it later on.

I'm $1200 into my little custom SS. I don't regret a dime spent on it. Custom work's done to make a given gun into something its owner feels meets his or her own particular desires & needs better than a box-stock gun does.
I've had several handguns customized, none with any concern over resale value involved.

As far as the slow SA hammer goes, a while back I worked with a new Browning Buckmark, a new Ruger bull-barrel 22/45, a new Ruger 4 5/8-inch SS, a minty Smith 34, and a new Smith 5-inch Model 63.
With 8 different loads tested, the SA SS more than kept up in accuracy off the bench, beating out the other guns on occasion. Including the autos, with their faster striker locktime. It actually produced the best 5-shot 25-yard group of the five guns, 11/16 inches with Remington Golden HPs.

I bought the Browning & the SS, averaged together with some loads doing better in one than the other, both are equally accurate overall.

I see nothing wrong with going to town on a .22 handgun, just be realistic about the results you expect. :)
And remove resale value or "collectability" from the equation.
Denis

Prosser
October 6, 2011, 04:37 PM
Last time I was at the range someone had put a ping pong ball out at 25 yards.
I hit it first shot with the .475. Best shot I've made in awhile. If I can get under an inch at 25 yards, that's better then I can shoot. At least I know it's not the gun.

I just don't see any reason a 22lr revolver can't shoot like my CZ 452.;)

I use the lil dots off a target Shoot N C that everyone throws away at the range for the CZ. If I'm off the 1/4" dot, with any part of the bullet, I'm not shooting well.

Denis:
What did you have done to your SS? A new gun is a new gun. a Shot gun is used. That's usually 20-25% down in value, at least in this area.

Haven't priced SS on Gunbroker recently.

DPris
October 6, 2011, 05:34 PM
Douglas four-inch barrel, Taylor throating, dovetailed front sight, action job, steel gripframe, steel ejector housing, gripframe re-contoured, custom grips to mate with gripframe, re-blued.

I'm not sure what your purpose is, to get a gun you want or to get a gun as an investment.
If investment, that's never been involved in any of mine. :)
I get a gun the way I want it, either minor or major work, and that's the goal. Don't plan to re-sell, and if I do I know I won't recoup my money on it.

My customization is functional, not cosmetic. If I had 100% engraving & massive gold inlays done, I suppose I'd have a better chance, but I don't own many safe queens & none of my customs fall into that category.
Denis

DPris
October 7, 2011, 03:22 PM
Rat,
By the way, the custom world doesn't begin & end with Bowen.
He's done work for me on a Vaquero & two custom Redhawks, one of which involved changing a barrel & cylinder.

Nowdays I think he's a little less interested in getting too exotic, prefers to do certain work that's more or less standardized within his shop.

Clements did my SS, and he's much more willing to push the envelope across the board.
There are others, I wouldn't give up on a custom project just because Hamilton wouldn't do the work you wanted.
Denis

Prosser
October 7, 2011, 04:08 PM
Bowen, at least from my letters, etc. has always limited his work to things
he feels comfortable doing, and does well. He's very good, and was always the most expensive.

Heard great things about Clements. Still a small shop, as is JRH Advanced Gunsmithing, though it's a very big shop, with a lot of machinery in it.

The more I think about this, the more I'm thinking I maybe done with it.
It's got custom grips, a nice trigger pull, and I can adjust the bullet diameter by
using Paco's Tool(somehow I don't like how that came out, but you get the idea;) ).

I think I'll have Jack look at it, spec it, and see what he says. Looks like the cylinder is a bit loose, but, I don't have a normal gun to compare it to.

Ratshooter
October 7, 2011, 04:59 PM
Hello DPris. For the adjustable sight on the model 31 I didn't just call H Bowen. I just called him first. Then I called every GS that advertised in Guns & Ammo at the time. Nobody wanted the job, even a couple of shops near me that did revolver work. Or claimed to do gunsmithing.

I solved that problem by picking up a 631 in 32 mag. As for the 357 to 44 special conversion I just gave up. It was my dads model 28 and is still in unfired condition. I wish I had the box a paperwork but my dad always tossed the box.

Now it doesn't matter. I spend a lot of time thinking about doing a serious thinning out of the guns I own. I don't shoot as much now as I used to. Honestly, I don't have a lot of interest in anything anymore. Guess I'm gettin' old.:(

DPris
October 7, 2011, 10:11 PM
Rat,
Couldn't tell by your post how many people you'd tried.
I'm gettin' toward the older side myself, but if you decide to let that 28 go......:D
Denis

Ratshooter
October 7, 2011, 11:45 PM
DPris I don't remember the exact amount I contacted but I believe it was 10-12 gunsmiths that advertised in the back pages of Guns&Ammo. That was back in the early 90s when G&A was worth reading and Jan Libourel was running the show. Terry Murbach wrote an article on that he called the 32/32. He had J Frame sights added to a fixed sight model 31. I bet I read that article 25 times. I still have it and on occasion reread it. I am also lucky enough to swap emails with Mr. Murbach. He's a card too.

I can't sell the model 28. I need to take it shooting. I am not saving it. I have no safe queens. Guns were made to shoot and I need to get busy and fire that dude.

You know whats funny? I have one of those CDs from Guns Magazine with issues from 50 years ago. And there is an article on adding J Frame sights with nothing more than a good set of files and the proper tap. You have to rig up a taller front sight.

I spent my young life working in my dads machine shop and if I had access to a milling machine I could do the work myself and even do the front sight correctly by milling a .100 groove in the rib and pinning in a sight blade. I doubt there is an hours worth of work. The jigging would be the hardest part and that shouldn't be much of a problem either. Thats what baffled me as to why no one would do the job. Its a moot point now.

DPris
October 8, 2011, 12:45 AM
Jan "ran" Handguns, not G&A. :)
Can't blame you for hanging onto that 28, I was just saying if you ever.... :D

C&S installed their fixed sights on a J-Frame & a Walther PPK/S for me, did you ever try them for adjustables on your project back then?
Denis

CraigC
October 8, 2011, 12:57 AM
I don't think you'd have any trouble finding a `smith to do either job today. David Clements has an especially nice pre-war S&W-style rear sight that he installs on fixed sight guns.

snooperman
October 8, 2011, 11:36 AM
has a 7.5" heavy barrel that shoots great. We did not put a scope on it but that option is there. It is as accurate as my S&W model 17 at 25 yards and my 12 year old grandson has taken several squirrels with it. It weighs 44 ounces and hangs just right. It may be an option for you.

Ratshooter
October 8, 2011, 11:59 AM
Denis and Craig I don't remember who all I called. That was at least 15 years ago. I remember Bowen and a place called Ten Ring (I think) but thats about it.

Like I said earlier its a moot point since I finally found a 631. That was my number one gun to find. A fellow on the S&W forum had it for $650 including shipping and another $20 when it got here. Whats funny is about 5 hours before I bought the 631 I won a model 36-6 3" barreled 38 special off GB. Supposedly S&W only made 615 of these guns. The real kicker is after finding the long sought after 631 and shooting both guns side by side I am not sure I don't like the 36-6 better.

And DPris you are correct. It was "Handguns" but it still has the Guns & Ammo logo on the cover. I just climbed up in the attic and checked. I sure did like Jans articles. He had a big influence on this new shooter back then.

DPris
October 8, 2011, 01:53 PM
Rat,
I know it's a moot point now, just wondering who all you tried.

Jan's alive & living in happy retirement in California. Says he's shooting quite a bit more now that he has the time.
Denis

Prosser
November 18, 2011, 11:30 PM
Well, the plot thickens. Took the gun up to JRH Advanced Gunsmithing, and Jack called me today.

First thing he said is my 1911 is now hard chromed, and ready.

Second was my Single Six would never shoot.;)

Here's what he came up with:
The barrel is good, at a pretty tight maybe .223, maybe .222 somewhere inbetween.

The cylinder is the problem. Instead of the fronts being in the same range, they are at .226". Can't add material to that.

So, a new cylinder is in order. Apparently the conversion is more popular then I thought:
http://www.brcrifles.com/manufacture.htm

100 bucks for a CNC produced drop in cylinder for a Single Six?

I'll be checking on this Monday. Anybody used one of their cylinders, or barrels?

Thank you for the comments.

Sincerely

P

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