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Cleaning a Ruger Old Army

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Zoinks, Sep 4, 2020.

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  1. Zoinks

    Zoinks Member

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    Hello,
    I recently purchased a blued steel ROA and I was wondering how best to clean it when using real black powder. For my 1858 Remington, I take the pistol grips off and dunk it in soapy water. Then totally disassemble it for cleaning. The ROA doesn't look it can be totally disassembled easily.
    Thanks for your suggestions.
     
  2. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    When I had a couple of these I tried the soapy water. I later just started using normal gun cleaning solvents as it was easier than making sure they got dry. The spray cleaners like Brake Parts Cleaner worked great but use caution here. I found out fast that the stuff is not the same formula from one time to the next when buying. Some was water based, so I was spraying water into the guns :cuss:
    I had heard some of the formulas were hard on things like finish. So I would buy one can of what they had in stock, test it out first. If all looked good go back and buy a box of them. Then next time I needed some would check first to see if it had changed again before buying.
    In the early days of the net I read some saying the dishwasher was great. Well I tried that ONE TIME. Wife about wanted to toss me and the guns out of the house when she opened it and saw the mess it made. Had a hell of a time cleaning the inside of the thing :rofl:
    Since Ruger stopped making these things the price has really gone up so care well for it. They stay very much in demand and were the top of the line in BP revolvers.
     
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  3. Retreever

    Retreever Member

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  4. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I don't disassemble mine when cleaning. I just remove the cylinder and place it in hot soapy water. Then I spray 409 cleaner into the barrel and brush it out.
    I remove the nipples and brush out the chambers the replace the nipples after running a pipe cleaner through each one. Rinse with hot water to aid drying and squirt some 93% isopropyl alcohol in and on it. Lastly, a light coat of oil.
     
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  5. sspierce8

    sspierce8 Member

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    Warm water and dawn dish soap. Scrub everything as best you can, and I stick mine in the oven at the lowest setting for about 20 minutes, but mine is also stainless. I then oil everything up. Never had an issue.
     
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  6. Zoinks

    Zoinks Member

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    Thank you everyone for your help.
     
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  7. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I don’t know any two people who clean their percussion revolvers the same way, which tells you that there is not a “best” way.

    Shoot your ROA, enjoy it, clean it. Check it in a couple of days. If you find rust, do something different.
     
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  8. robhof

    robhof Member

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    Check Youtube, there's a very detailed video on how to disassemble and reassemble the ROA, that being said, for yrs I totally took mine apart and reassembled every range time, till I read shortcuts from other owners including CAS users. I remove the grips and soak in a Ballistol solution and blow out thoroughly, nipples and gun are taken apart 1 to 2 times per yr, depending on how much I use them. I use automotive anti-seize on the nipples, they are cleaned inside with tooth picks or pipe cleaners, scrubbed outside with tooth brush. I do pack the inside with Red Grease when I take them apart and clean and dab some additional in where I can reach with a Q tip after blowing dry. I've done this for over 3 yrs and the insides are always rust free when finally taken apart.
     
  9. woodnbow
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    woodnbow Contributing Member

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    I’m with @robhof, except I usually pack with Lithium grease. I have packed one or two with red gun grease and or moly bearing grease. The brand is not that important, but the idea is to keep fouling from entering the pistols action. Most any sort of grease will do but if you use your pistol in winter you need to think about that aspect. White lithium grease has worked for me under all conditions so far.

    The above means that cleaning the revolver is now as quick and easy as cartridge arm. Swab the bore and chambers with your choice of solvent, (water works very well) and then dry patches until the piece is dry, oil patches are next and if you use Eezox you can leave it to air dry and then reload without fear of an oil contaminated powder charge.
     
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  10. robhof

    robhof Member

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    Yep, I learned it from CAS shooters that shoot a lot more than me.
     
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  11. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    my two ROA,s after years of shooting, only cleaned with water-dawn dish soap and dried with a hair dryer. i had three ROA,s, but sold two to buy the lower one with some money left over for my gun buying fund.
     

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  12. sspierce8

    sspierce8 Member

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    Nothing against the ones with adjustable sights, but I really like the looks of the ones with fixed sights.
     
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  13. Don Van Winkle

    Don Van Winkle Member

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    Being fairly new to BP shooting; I have used only conventional arms for 29+ years in the Navy, I am stumped as to how to put grease inside my frame without making a complete mess. When I got my 1858 Remington I did tear it down to parade rest and am confident with that aspect. I have also spoken to Mike at Goons Gun Works and am going to send this gun off to him; just cannot now for a few months-longer story for another time. In the mean time I need some step by step help so I can protect my gun for the near future. Since I am new to this kind of gun baby steps for me please. Thank you. I will accept all calling me "Big Indian" as that name has been with me for years; I didn't let anybody call me Chief when I was not at work. Somehow the connection was made and stuck This is what my friends all call me.
     
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  14. whughett

    whughett Member

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    My four ROA’s along with some 15 others get a hand comfortable hot water and Dawn dish soap scrub, wood is removed and the components held under a running tap while scrubbed with a tooth brush and bore mop. The deep sink is in my work shop so high pressure air is used to blow dry everything. Attention is paid to directing the air into all the frame openings. Aerosol Ballistol is sprayed into all the openings and another lower pressure air blast removes any excess oil. Bores and cylinders are mopped with a mop the gun is wiped down lightly and put away. Like it’s been noted a hundred shooters a hundred ways to clean. Soot from black is hygroscopic, it’s water soluble , the soap is for the waxes and lube left in the gun from using lubed wads.
     
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  15. Don Van Winkle

    Don Van Winkle Member

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    So, nobody answered my post on how, where, & what type grease to put into my revolver. I guess nobody will help me.
     
  16. Zoinks

    Zoinks Member

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    Hi Don,
    I've always used white grease when I can find it in an automotive store in a tube with a pointy dispensing nipple.
     
  17. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Don, I do a fair amount of ROAs for CAS and I pack them with Mobil1 grease. In fact, I do that with Colt pattern open tops, Remington platforms as well. The reason for this is, fouling and debris can't get into a space that's already occupied. So, this is what I would recommend. Now, your cleaning chores are the barrel, cylinder, swab out the hammer slot with your favorite Ballistol and wipe the frame down. I tell the competition crowd to check the frame once a year and if it looks satisfactory, close it back up and check it next year. If it makes you feel better, scoop out what you can with a Q-tip and re-pack with new, still no cleaning .

    Mike
     
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  18. Jeff62

    Jeff62 Member

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    My brother from another mother turned me on to “mule snot” years ago. I shoot real black powder and this formula cleans like Hoppes #9 in my other weapons. Hot soapy water cleans black powder fouling as well but this is easier. Everything is at Wal Mart, buy one bottle of rubbing alcohol, one bottle of hydrogen peroxide, one bottle of Murphy’s Oil Soap. Mix equal parts in another container (you will have some Murphy’s left over) .
    Swab your bore and wipe down as you would with Hoppe’s, then a bit of oil. Done.
    If you swab the bore with a tight fitting patch you really don’t need the bristle brush. Try it.
     
  19. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    THR member scrat liked to use powdered graphite inside of his revolvers.
    scrat posted: --->>> https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/cleaning-saa.394164/#post-4933492

    "... i found that Graphite works best. i have take apart revolvers after 5 times of shooting them with almost no dirt or soot in them. When i used to use grease or oil it would just have build ups of soot. Seemed like everytime i went shooting i needed to take them apart as they were filled with soot. Then the cap frags used to stick to the grease and oil. So using graphite. The internals get lubricated and i dont get a build up of soot or caps sticking in the works.

    ... the spray i really dont think it does much lubricating. Lately i have been using the lock type. i tell you i can go to the range all day today. all day tomorrow same thing a few days next week. Then really tear the gun apart next week really just to inspect and make sure internal screws are tight ( bolt spring). Everything looks clean. sometimes you may find a black spot from the powderflash entering the bolt area. But its clean. if i have a spent cap it falls off when i remove the trigger guard. SOOO SOOO Easy and your guns stay soooo clean and lubricated.

    For internals only though. not for the bolt as the grease and graphite along with intense heat dont mix. however graphite on the internals along with heat. not a problem. not a problem at all.

    ... before i used graphite just like everyone else when you took apart the internals you would get a build up over time that of soot that sticks to the oil. Caps would stick to the oil. If you used grease. Same thing it would stick to the grease. With graphite nothing sticks to it. the parts look the same way since the last time. "
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  20. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    I started out with a graphite grease. Later, I switched to what the "racing" crowd (CAS) had been using (Mobil1). Taking it even further, I began packing the frames with it (like packing a bearing) and it has worked very well now for years. Not using enough allows it to collect fouling and debris. I also pack the frames of the cartridge conversions I setup. Likewise, it doesn't allow burnt/unburnt smokless powder to collect and cause problems.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  21. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    ^^^truth^^^

    I am a recent convert to Mobil 1. I always ran my 1873 lever rifle and CAS revolvers, both cartridge and percussion, wet with Ballistol. I have the black tracks on my hats and shirtsleeves to prove it. Since using Mobil 1 I do not have to relube any gun over the course of a six stage day, and I no longer get tracks on my duds. The one pound 9 dollar can I bought at AutoZone should last me the rest of my shooting career!
     
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  22. robhof

    robhof Member

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    As I stated earlier, now I only take mine apart 1 or 2 times a yr depending on conditions I'm shooting in or how much I'm shooting. My ROA's are both stainless and I would easily be able to see any pitting or staining, I degrease with Brake Free or carb cleaner then the soap and warm water for finish, Been doing this for enough yrs to state for sure no damage or pitting have been detected after many heavy shooting times. The red grease is black and has some particulates in it when removed, but no staining or pitting in the interior of the guns.
     
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  23. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Mike, what does one do on tuning ROAs? I always thought they were decent out of the box, just curious.
     
  24. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Ok, but this is just between us OK?
    They are probably the only C&B revolver that can run out of the box!! But, like all things mechanical, they can be better. For CAS that typically means easier functioning with a smoother action. They are tough as well but making the action "mechanically" accurate adds to the life of the parts as well as the overall strength of the action as a whole. So, I remove the bolt (cyl latch) spring, the trigger return spring and plunger, and the spring and plunger for the hand (pawl). I put those in a bag and send them back with the revolver.
    I then install my own bolt spring which allows the installation of a bolt block. The trigger is modified to function with my trigger spring (which mounts on the trigger screw pin . . . where it oughta be!). This gives the ROA one of the smoothest trigger actions on the planet (you can feel the old spring and plunger when you pull the trigger). These new springs allow much more adjustability.

    To help eliminate the cyl throw-by problems Rugers have, I install my hand "spring and pushrod". This setup delivers more power to the hand which induces more braking action to the cyl for lockup.
    Now that we have " beefed up " the action, you can polish the normal friction patches and correct the timing as needed. Once satisfied, the mainspring can be massaged down to a nice 4 lb. hammer draw and then the adjustable action stop can be adjusted. This particular action stop is brand new and is a simple add on. The old one actually mounted in the grip frame. The new one may be available as a user install.

    The end result is a much stronger, smoother and more efficient action that operates with less effort from the shooter. As for competition, the first state championship my guns ever won was with a pair of ROA's!
    Thanks for the question Jackrabbit 1957 !

    Mike
     
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  25. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Thanks for answering my questions Mike! You had mentioned in another thread a bolt stop you were working on that didn't need a hammer plunger setup, how is that coming along?
     
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