Magspark .209 adapters for Ruger Old Army any good ?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by grter, Jul 16, 2018.

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  1. grter

    grter Member

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    I have been looking on the Bay for a while and have seen these magspark .209 adapters for the old army and was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of how these perform. They appear to be magspark .209 primer pockets that screw in the cylinder nipple holes but they have no firing pin mounted cover like the other adapters. It looks like it's the hammer that ignites them.

    I have also seen a cnc US made fluted cylinder sans nipples from another seller.

    I will always assume that any after market cylinders (or any after market high pressure parts, barrel etc..) for the Old Army are only good for normal black powder loads since no one is willing to go the extra mile to use the super strong steel and quality control that Ruger used in their original Old Amy Cylinders, parts etc.. and revolver. For hot loads such as a cylinder full of 4F (yes that right it's within original Ruger specs.) it would be time to put all the original parts back in.

    I just wanted to mention that often neglected fact.

    Now back to this magspark. Respectfully I don't want to hear rants about how nipples are the only way a respectable person should shoot a percussion revolver there are other forums that I respect that hold to these views as a whole in this forum it's just another personal opinion nothing else.

    The appeal in my opinion is the use of blackhorn .209 and not having to search for hard to get at times often unavailable percussion caps whenever one wants to go to the range. Percussion caps have no real size standards. The current sizing scheme used to this day is crude but effective at best and with when in use with a Ruger Old Army unreliable if your Old Army does not have perfect hammer to nipple alignment which they often do not (another fact not often mentioned.)

    The perfect hammer to nipple alignment is what allows one to dry fire the Old Army which is something I can live without. Remington New Model Army revolvers fire all kinds of crap percussion caps with no problem but will hammer the nipples flat when dry fired. That is something I can live with for reliability. I understand to fix the problem on the Old Army requires some file work on certain parts of the hammer to allow it to protrude more toward the nipple but that still will not enable the use of some good clean burning Blackhorn .209.

    Any thoughts (pragmatic thoughts only please)
     
  2. Doak

    Doak Member

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    Starting on page 37 of "the RUGER OLD ARMY club" thread, primer capsules are covered ad nauseum. 209 primers are too large to fit in the ignition ports at the back of ROA cylinders. Small pistol/rifle primers are what works.

    Kindest regards,
    Doak
     
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  3. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Mag-Sparks are only available in the 209 primers for sidelock guns. As Doak said, they are too large for the ROA. He is an expert on the subject.

    BTW, I have a Mag-Spark on my Hawken rifle and it works well. I use it with BlackHorn 209 powder and it always goes boom.
     
  4. grter

    grter Member

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    There is seller on ebay who sells them in sets of 6 and a picture of them in the ROA it says it uses .209 primers and requires no mods to revolver to fit. Take a look yourself and tell me ??? Do an ebay search using the term Ruger Old Army.


    Is this guy on the level or not ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  5. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Well, those guys think otherwise: http://www.anvilconversions.co.uk/index_files/Page13768.htm
    But DO read the precautions on the page - they are quite interesting (and limiting) I believe.

    I'm more concerned by other points actually:
    - 209 primers are known to have different diameters also, which might very well limit one to just a couple of brands. By the way, anvilconversions.co.uk specifies it's nipples to be used with CCI primers.
    - You will loose the sealing effect from using percussion caps - with the right fitting caps (and projectiles) the revolver becomes literally waterproof.
    - The misfire problems with the original percussion nipples can be addressed either with new aftermarket nipples, or with shimming the stock ones. That is if the endshake is not excessive and to be the actual cause for misfiring.
    - Percussion primers are not so hard to come by and there are several brands that will fit a ROA. Furthermore, the original nipples can be modified with ease to accept smaller primers. Unless you live in a restrictive country I see no problems with acquiring and using percussion caps.
    - You can't just assume that an aftermarket cylinder is inferior to the stock one - if the manufacturer stands behind it's product and clearly states what that cylinder is safe for I see no problems with using it for stouter loads.
    - Ruger does not use "super strong steel" - Ruger uses a steel that is appropriate for the desired use. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing "neva seen befo!" There was a thread in the Revolver sub-forum not so long ago that had those questions covered.

    So, at the end it seems to me that you want to close one can of worms only to open another one...
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  6. grter

    grter Member

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    No I can't just assume that aftermarket cylinders are inferior but the facts are I have never seen any of these cylinder manufacturers state that their cylinders can handle a full load of 4f like the Ruger. The fact is that the steel and heat treatment Ruger used for the Old Army is way way way over rated for it's intended purpose and makes for a percussion revolver that is far more durable than any other in the market sans a few odd ball custom jobs. I do like having that kind of quality and reassurance.

    I would never fill any of those after market cylinders up with anything finer than 3f which can be a pretty good stout load depending on cylinder capacity but I don't believe for a second those cylinders are anywhere near as stout as the Ruger old army cylinders one of which survived a load filled to the brim with smokeless bullseye powder without any damage by Bill Ruger himself.

    Now I would never tell anyone to do that with gross overcharge bullseye or any smokeless powder because it unsafe and may send the nipple flying right in ones face with really bad results. There also was a brief period when the Old Army was advertised by Ruger to be safe with smokeless powder until later when Ruger decided it was unsafe after all.

    I do remember some guy blew up a conversion cylinder with a hot load. The gun was fine the cylinder toast. I do not use nor like conversion cylinders but every one I have seen sold is only guaranteed for "cowboy loads" (that simply means very weak anemic loads.)

    The point is that the Old Army is indeed a rare bird that is made to much more higher quality standards in terms of materials used and durability as well as good design and quality. I does stand out and it's hard to beat.

    Are all after market Old Army Cylinders bad quality no in fact I can think of one from what I read is great quality. Is it just as good and strong as an original Ruger factory fitted cylinder, in practical terms I doubt it, but just as good may very well depend on how it's used and ones perception.

    Now back on topic I for one would not mind getting these pistol primer pockets instead of .209s that blast off with nearly the power of a .22 short but it seems that nobody is selling them.



    Ok I read the article from that Anvil company. Doak is right. I also saw a youtube vid where the suggested load was chronograph at 400fps. No thanks.

    Why don't you guys just explain it. My take is useful service loads in the 700 to 1000fps range will cause these uncapped shotgun (.209) primers to bulge out back into the revolver and gum up the works so one would be limited to loads even less powerful than cowboy loads.

    No thank you and thanks for pointing this out even though in a sort of round about way.

    Anyone who decides to give these "a try" might be out $99.00 if they did not find these limitations acceptable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  7. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    A quote from classicballistx.com: "Our cylinders are made from certified forged 416 stainless and
    PHT 4130 chrome-moly steels. Our originals came from a bar used to make landing gear struts for F-18's." That's good enough for me. And actually quite, quite better than the unknown alloys used in the Italian replicas you refer to.

    What do you think that Ruger Old Army cylinders are made of - CPM S90V, Elmax, Hithachi's Aogami? It's the same steels that everybody and it's brother uses for a mid-pressured firearms. Nothing exiting, nothing magical... Or you think that every Ruger cylinder is made from Carpenter's 465 and undergone a special heat treatment as with their .454 Casull revolvers?

    I gave you the resource. I'm really sorry, but I'm used to communicate with people (gun nuts actually...) that will make their own research on the subject and then compare the data, so I guess that I expect everybody to act the same. My bad - sometimes I forget that other people are not mind readers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  8. grter

    grter Member

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    Well thanks anyway now I have a problem finding shims of the right size (diameter I guess ) for percussion nipples. Do you have any suggestions?

    by the way sorry I did really do a lot of searching and have read doaks posts but I could not find anything on those particular .209 pockets until I came across your link.

    As for Ruger I don't think the steels used are over the top I just appreciate that Ruger shrugged his shoulders and said I have the tools to so why not just make it as good as all my other guns rather than say it's only for black powder and choose to use a softer steel that is easier machine and puts less stress on his tooling.

    Now I do like those Classic Balistix Cylinders a whole lot. Unfortunately this unlucky fellows Old Army was one of the few that needs to have a cylinder fitted at the factory. Customer service was great with hassle free return too bad.


    Oh aren't those cutlery steels you are writing about ? I imagine they would be quite brittle for firearms applications .
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  9. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Those are not Mag-Sparks as the OP asked.

    I noticed that the 209 primers pictured in the link appear to have nothing retaining them rearward. 209 primers are quite a bit more powerful than a percussion cap. I would like to observe the results but would prefer that someone else act as the guinea pig and fire the gun.
     
  10. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Link please.
     
  11. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Patocazador, my comment was on the fitment issues with 209 primers - that they are too large to fit the stock ROA cylinder. Apparently it's doable, at least with certain (shorter) primers. The real benefit from such conversion is a whole different matter - couple of problems with it were mentioned in the posts above and in the anvilconversions.co.uk page.
     
  12. grter

    grter Member

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    I am not sure if the adapters in this link http://www.anvilconversions.co.uk/index_files/Page13768.htm that Mizar pointed out are the same ones I am asking about in this link (OP) https://www.ebay.com/itm/MAG-SPARK-209-Conversion-For-RUGER-OLD-ARMY-Grease-Nipple-Pick-209-tool/113064710298?_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=52954&meid=f08d5ddc01084c20a1d8e8738eeeb510&pid=100675&rk=2&rkt=7&sd=232816218708&itm=113064710298&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci:6319e6e8-8954-11e8-90f1-74dbd180db83|parentrq:a5899d5b1640a9c0b9346bcbfffb91c8|iid:1

    (Now taking a closer look they are indeed different but the still work the same way with no covers)

    The Anvilconversions seem to be made from the ground up for their purpose (I must admit they look nicer too) while the ones on ebay look like magspark adapters with no cap and firing pin perhaps even modified to fit the Ruger Old Army.

    Regarless they appear to share the same design and after reading about the limitations in the Anvilconversions website I think I would pass.

    Mizar has answered all my questions on the matter (except for where to get or how to make nipple shims) thanks.

    Or maybe perhaps a secrete run of doaks pistol primer holders that I can buy
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  13. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Exactly - it's the same design, that was my point. The e-bay offer seems a little bit fishy to me since one of the nipples is shown with a thread and the one next to it appears to be smooth.
    Since I don't live in the US i can't be of real help for that particular matter - your question will be better answered by other fellow members. But I would first make sure where the problem is exactly - out of spec nipples, battered nipples, shortened nipples from a previous owner, out of spec cylinder's nipple beds, excessive endshake and etc... And proceed accordingly from there on.

    You could start with taking the original nipple dimensions and compare them with other owners of ROA.

    Just for reference, here are the dimensions of Track of the Wolf own brand nipples:
    Nipple, 12-28 thread, for Ruger Old Army revolver, #11 CCI cap, stainless steel, for Ruger hex socket or Track's #NW-130 wrench
    • Cone length: 0.270"
    • Thread journal length: 0.260"
    • Overall length: 0.530"
    • Diameter of base: 0.285"
    "Cone length = overall length minus thread journal length."
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  14. Stubert

    Stubert Member

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    Get some Tresco nipples, Your misfires will be a memory
     
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