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Thinking of getting a Ruger Old Army from the Seventies

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by The Sicilian, May 19, 2006.

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  1. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    Anyone have any advice or know anything about them from the seventies? What kind of price would be fair for a Ruger from the 70's in good condition, target model?

    -mario.
     
  2. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Ruger Old Army revolvers from the 1970's will be the same quality as the ones made in other decades. Ruger has never compromised with their premier blackpowder target revolver.

    No better, no worst than today's model.
     
  3. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    Her's the deal, I can get a brand new in the box Ruger old army, fixed sight for 50 buck cheaper or I can buy the target model (used from the 70's in perfect condition) Anybody have any good advice for me, I'm going crazy trying to decide what to do...both are going for a really good price, it's almost a blessing from God!!!!!!!!!!!!! HEEEELLLLLPPPP!!! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

    -mario
     
  4. huli

    huli Member

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    After you choose which one you want, let us in on the other one please Steve:what: :rolleyes:
     
  5. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    No problem...just give me a little more time and I'll direct you to the man.
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    My old army is an older one I bought used and it's been a GREAT revolver. So long as it's kept clean and lubed, it'll probably be here 500 years from now still shootin'. Thing is built that good. I do miss my stainless one, though. It got stolen.
     
  7. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    MCgunner you crack me up brother. Whoever stole your stainless should burn in hell for all of the pain they've caused you. :cuss: You can't speak of Old Army's without bringing up that beautiful stainless you had. I guess I can't blame you any, I'd be heartbroken too. I guess you're telling me I shouldn't mind too much that the Ruger Old Army I'm gonna buy is one of the first ever made huh? I've been a little concerned about the age and wonder if the barrel and rifling is still in good condition. The gun seller said it's in 95% condition, no pitting or rust, very few marks of any sort on the gun. By the way, it is a target model, but unfortunately it is not a stainless, and I wanted a stainless badly, but for the price I can't turn this one down. I'll just have to break down and buy another in stainless! :D

    What kind do you have now? Is it a target model or fixed sight? Five and a half inch barrel or seven and a half inch barrel? How many shots do you get out of it at the range before you have to clean the cylinder and cylinder pin? How does it shot? Does it hit dead on or do you have to compensate, i.e., Kentucky windage? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just damn curious about how they handle all around and what you personally think of yours.

    -mario.
     
  8. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    If it's from the 70's it should have a 7.5 inch barrel with adjustable sights. Don't know when Ruger started stainless production, but for the first years all were blued. The same basic gun is still available new, but only in stainless. The only differences are steel (not aluminum) grip grames and rosewood grips. If the price is good and the gun is in very good condition go with the used one especially if you want an adjustable sight blued gun. The list price on new guns is over $600.
     
  9. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    Ron,

    Yup, it's a 7.5 in barrel. I checked the serial number and it seems to be from either 72' or 73', so it's one of the first they made. The grips look different than the newer ones, that's for sure, a little darker in color. Ruger Started making the stainless ones in 1976, at least by their serial number sequencing list. I'm glad I got lucky enough to find one like this, pretty cool.

    There was another one, brand new in the box for only $300.00 bucks! I checked it this morning (I made my decision to by the target model) and, of course, it was gone, some dealer bought it, I think. For that price, brand new and boxed, with papers and the cylinder never turned, it was a steal, almost too good to be true. I almost feel sorry I didn't go with that one, but I really wanted ajustable sights. I already came down from wanting a Stainless to getting a Blued one, so I couldn't deal with a blued gun and fixed sights. Either way, I'm happy with my decision, as long as the gun is as nice as the guy says it is.

    -mario.
     
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I haven't actually seen the fixed sight guns until very recently. All the old guns were adjustable sighted 7.5" guns and that's what mine is. I think the fixed sight five inch guns are a product of cowboy action shooting which has gotten really popular in the last 15 years or so. I ain't into playing cowboy. If I was, I'd use one of my blackhawks. The Old Army is for USING in the field IMHO, but it'll play games, too. It's ultra accurate. My stainless one was late 70s and had a wider trigger than my blued one. The early ones had a rather narrow trigger and that's why I'm pretty sure the blued gun is an early production piece.

    As far as the sights go, it shoots way too high and I have the rear sight lowered all the way down. My stainless one shot high, but not as high as this one. I have to put the front sight blade in the bottom of the rear and hold as if I had a full sight picture, target at the top of the rear sight, if that makes any sense. The cure is to put a taller front sight on it and I'm going to send it very soon to Jule to have that done and the cylinder bored. Then it should be an AWESOME outdoor gun. I intend to carry it hog hunting to back up my Hawkin. I want more fire power than the Hawkin if I just succeed in POing a big one. :eek: This area I wanna hunt is BP only.

    I don't know if you can EVER wear out a Ruger Old Army if you take care of it, clean and lube it after every session soon after. The thing is built on a smokeless super blackhawk type frame. It's the proverbial bank vault. Just pull the cylinder, check the bore for pitting. Check cylinder for end play, timing, all the things you'd do with any used revolver. If there is excessive end play, it wouldn't be from pressure of the load, just from being fired everyday for 600 round or something, LOL! I don't think you'll find problems, put it that way, but if you do, bare in mind that the Ruger factory is very good about repairs and rebuilding worn revolvers to like new condition. Main thing I'd worry about with the gun is did the previous owner/owners clean the gun as they should? Is there pitting in the bore from lack of cleaning?

    Buying a used Old Army is more like buying a used Blackhawk that's never fired anything, but .38 special than it is buying any other BP replica revolver. The things are QUALITY built and built strong, why the price is up there. It is a modern design gun, too, all coil spring, all the attributes of the strongest factory production revolver made (until the Freedom Arms came along), the Super Blackhawk. This ain't no 19th century design and it uses strong steels and excellent factory fitting. It don't get no better functionally, whether you like the looks of it or not.

    And, yeah, I really lament the loss of that stainless gun. I really need to save for another, I guess. It was a heckuva shooter and so easy to clean up. It was a modern gun that you didn't need brass for. The blued one is just as good, I just prefer stainless and especially in black powder for a gun I'm going to actually be using in the field. For range queens, blued is just fine. I'll just have to take my cleaning kit with me on hunting trips, no biggy since the Hawkin ain't stainless, after all. Going to try 777 in that thing, though. Not sure how 777 would work in the Old Army, but might be worth a shot or two over the chronograph when I get the stuff and the bore done by Jule. :D
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2006
  11. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    I guess they all shoot a little different, some high, some low, some right on, etc. I have a Hawkin rifle also...Thompson Center, all brass and wood, a beautiful rifle. I want to get into hunting this season, so I thought it might be a good rifle to buy. I picked it up for $199.00 used. They go for more brand new so I figure I did alright. I need to learn how to use it properly though. I don't know how to set the double trigger yet, I need some advice, MC?

    Range queen, never heard that one before. Safe queen yes, range queen, no. I guess there's an insult for just about everyone :eek: Somebody out there probably thinks us BP guys are nuts or stupid for loving these revolvers, screw em'. By the way, the one that's on the way (Ruger) is a target model, not a fixed sight. The other one, the one that was new in the box was a fixed sight model. I think I'll be very happy with the one I chose. The gun seller said it was 95% and the picture he sent me looked pretty good. I asked him about pitting and rust, he said there was none and I believe him. He sounded like an honest guy. I can't wait for it to arrive...won't get to me until later next week. :(

    If you want I'll post a pic of the Old Army that I'm getting?

    -mario.
     
  12. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Post it up!

    To me, a range queen is a nice gun that shoots well and is fun to shoot, but not really practical for any real world uses. I think of lots of guns that way, say, a P08 Luger would be a "range queen". I wouldn't use it for defense. But, they're BEAUTIFUL guns, works of art. Few semi autos are as pleasing to the eye to me as a P08, certainly NOT the 1911, which isn't a range queen type gun. So, I don't really consider it an insult, just that I like guns that have uses.

    On the double set trigger, you can cock the gun, pull the rear trigger. That's the set trigger, that makes the front trigger very light. On mine, and maybe on yours, I can pull the set trigger before cocking and that will set the front trigger to light pull and it will remain set until it's pulled. Mine has a very stiff trigger if you don't set it first, sorta useless really. I don't know why the set trigger thing is so big a deal, maybe for safety, but I'd as soon have a single trigger that breaks at a crisp 3 lbs like my Remingtons and my Savage do. I haven't measured the break weight on the Hawkin, but it feels like maybe about 3-4 lbs, not bad at all. Does have a tiny little bit of creep, but it's nothing as bad as an SKS or something, LOL.

    Got mine from Cabelas, a "Hawkin Hunter Carbine" for $175 some years ago. All I've ever shot with it is paper. Intended to take it to the New Mexico mountains for BP season, much better season out there, earlier, no snow, and a month long. However, that never happened. Now, though, I found this hog hunting area that's BP, shotgun, or archery only. I don't do stick and string and don't have a slug barrel and would LOVE to use this smoke pole for hunting, so that's the excuse I need to leave the .308 in the safe.:D
     
  13. frosty

    frosty Member

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    Ruger Old Army

    My Old Army is serial # from around 1985, and it is stainless, with an addition of pear grips...I truely love the gun, but I'd like to try One of the newer fixed sight versions, though:scrutiny: One could never have to many Old Army's, ya know, and I feel armed enough to carry it with me Hog hunt'n:banghead:
     
  14. Tight_Wad

    Tight_Wad Member

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    Here's my two:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tight Wad :)
     
  15. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    Ahhh....range queen, got you and it makes sense. Funny enough, I shot a Luger for the first time a few days ago and I'd have to agree with you. It was a parts gun, even though the barrel said "1910", wasn't that accurate, the front sight needed ajusting a little. I can't reallt tell the difference using the set trigger on the Hawkins rifle, may as well just have one trigger like you said, maybe there's a way to ajust it?

    Remember, this picture isn't the best of the Old Army that's coming my way. Ther pic's you guy's sent were really beautuful. Man! I really love these guns! I wanted a stainless so bad too! Well, I may as well be grateful for being able to get one before I planned on it, and the price was reasonable so I can't complain.
    I'll post another after I get it in my hands.

    Here it is:
     

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  16. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    Tell me what you guys think of it!

    -mario.
     
  17. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    Tight wad,

    That second one is the newest one, right, with the gloss finish in stainless? Very sweet, isn't called the Vaccaro or something?

    -mario.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    From what I can tell, dark picture, the finish looks near 100 percent. Looks like a good gun. Might be a little bit of pitting on the loading lever, but can't really tell. It's identical to mine. I've got some fake ivory grips on mine, but other than that, the gun is identical.
     
  19. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    Yeah MC, the finish looked really good to me, too. I don't think there's any pitting on the loading lever, just a little grime, nothing more. The seller said there was absolutely no pitting and I believe him. Besides, I bought it on GunsAmerica, if I'm not happy with it I can send it back, no worries there. I told the seller that also, so I think he's being honest. Of course, he may be counting on me not bothering to send it back over minor pitting on the loading lever, who knows?

    You've got ivory grips huh? That's funny, I was thinking of getting some Ivory grips to freshen up the look of my gun when it arrives...pretty strange:scrutiny: Do you have any pictures you could post of your Old Army MC? I'd love to see what you got, I bet it looks awesome! Too bad I have to wait almost a whole week before I get to hold it in my hands...patience is a virtue...at least that's what I've heard. I need to learn some patience anyway :banghead:

    -mario.
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I'll have to get a pic of it and put it up maybe tomorrow. It's in my "toy box", a false wall I built after a break in that took my beloved stainless old army. It was inspired by the then current TV show, "The Equalizer". Anyway, the wife's in the bedroom now and I don't wanna disturb her...well, until later. :evil: Mine did have a little pit/boo boo on the barrel about the back of the sight on the left side, but you gotta look real hard to see it. It's perfect otherwise. :D
     
  21. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    I remember that show! Long time ago, and I remember the false wall with all those guns too! Good idea. I need to build me something like that at some point too, just don't know if it'll be a false wall. I hope the gun is as advertised, no pitting and 95%. I'll be looking forward to seeing your Ruger Old Army.

    -mario.
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, this is it. Got a few finger prints on it, but a clean Old Army and great shooter for $97.50.:D I still can't believe the deal I stumbled across.
     

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  23. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Member

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    Nice guns chaps but MC those grips look SO false :uhoh:
    Duncan
     
  24. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

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    Nice gun, and for under $100.00 bucks...unbelievable! :what: So...what's the deal with how everyone's Old Army's shoot? Are they spot on or do you need to use a little Kentucky windage? For the money I'd imagine that they should all be spot on. I hope mine is a shooter and a keeper, I'd be pissed if I couldn't adjust it to hit a quarter at 25 yards.

    -mario.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Duncan, the grips aren't my favorite, but they feel better and shoot better than those slippery little originals and they were cheap. :D I don't particularly like fake ivory. looks like what it is, plastic. But, these were at a gun show for about ten bucks and I was looking to make the gun easier to hang on to without resorting to a Pachmayr like I had on my stainless gun. And, I don't like wood on BP revolvers as I clean with water and soap and wood doesn't really like water.

    Anyway, so it was a functional thing for me on a functional gun. I'll worry about looks when I get a 58 Remmie. :D The only fake I actually like the looks of is the Pearlite, fake mother of pearl. I have some on a little .38 that are quite the lookers. I could put these grips on it from my .45 blackhawk, actual sanbar stag. They set me back 80 bucks some years ago, but they've gone up to $250 on the Ajax site.:what: The Blackhawk is an awesome gun and I sort of spent some money on it since it's my pet.

    [​IMG]
     
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