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Want to Build a Quickdraw/Fanning Gun

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by jmar, Sep 22, 2016.

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  1. jmar

    jmar Member

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    So basically i know nothing about this subject other than basic mechanics of a revolver. I have found information on this subject extremely hard to come by so any help is appreciated.

    What i need help with is just selecting a gun, and modifications to do with it. I'm not building this gun to abide by any rules. Not really a competitive type of person. Maybe in the future.



    So far i've selected the Ruger Blackhawk, Ruger Vaquero, and Uberti Cattleman as candidates.

    I have questions about each.

    Blackhawk- So if i understand correctly the .357 mag old model Blackhawk bored to .45 is the best gun for this? Understandable, smaller, lighter gun with Rugers great quality. But why is the old model Blackhawk better than the new model?


    Vaquero- This kind of relates to the last question, can the vaquero be bought in a smaller caliber like the Blackhawk and be bored out to .45? or is the frame the same size already? Also New or old model, i often see people say the new model is better but that contradicts the Blackhawk where they say old..


    Cattleman- This one is simple, what exactly is weaker about the Uberti Cattleman "SAA"? Is it just the springs, and if so how often would they break? I'd be fine with buying several sets of replacement springs to have an more original looking gun.


    Thanks, any other help/experience is welcome!
     
  2. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    There are small size differences between some of the different models of Blackhawks but the biggest reason most prefer the old model (three screw) is because it has a more traditional, simpler trigger mechanism. There was no transfer bar. You can buy them in 45, there is no need to bore them out - there will be hardly any difference in weight.

    All of the new model Blackhawks and Vaqueros I have seen turned into serious quick draw guns have had the transfer bar removed and the hammer modified to hit the firing pin directly. This is fine to do since these guns are not designed to shoot regular ammunition.

    The Ruger guns are much stronger than the SAA copies, and originals, in just about every way. They use much better metal that stands up to the extreme misuse one of these guns is likely to endure. The portion of the frame that the cylinder stop comes through is much thicker, this is one of the most critical areas.

    The Ubertis and other clones can be made into quick draw guns, they are cheaper initially, but require more work than Rugers to stand up to abuse.
     
  3. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    First of all, I suggest you check out the Cowboy Fast Draw website. There is a ton of information there, including videos that explain everything.

    https://www.cowboyfastdraw.com/

    Second, be aware that only wax bullets are used in fast draw. Whether you are competing or not, do not attempt to fire live ammunition fast draw style. Just too dangerous, you might shoot your foot off.

    Third, only 45 Colt is used in fast draw, no other calibers.

    Regarding the old Three Screw Blackhawks, they have not been made in many years, not since the early 1970s. So any you buy will be used. I have several old Three Screws, the 22 caliber Single Sixes seem to be the most easily available. Next in availability seems to be the 357 Magnum Blackhawks. I do have a 44 Mag Three Screw, but frankly, I have never come across a 45 Colt Three Screw. So if you want an old Three Screw for Fast Draw, it may take you quite a while to find one.

    Ruger stopped producing the old 'original model', large frame Vaquero quite a few years ago. All New Vaqueros are built on the same size frame, which is roughly the same size as a Colt.

    According to the Fast Draw web site, guns used in Fast Draw must be as close to stock as possible. While removing the transfer bar in a modern Ruger and altering the hammer so it strikes the firing pin directly is legal in CAS, it is not legal in Fast Draw. Hammer profiles must be as close to the old 1873 Colt as possible, some of the hammer profiles that are legal in CAS are not legal in Fast Draw.

    Regarding the springs on a Colt style lockwork, the springs most likely to fail are the hand spring and the split trigger/bolt spring. Uberti has mostly replaced the old leaf type hand springs with a coil spring that is not likely to fail. Yes, the trigger/bolt spring on a Colt style lockwork can break, I have had a couple break over the years. But they are simple to replace, and you can buy after market wire trigger/bolt springs that will not break. Do not expect the springs in an Uberti to break the first time you use it. Most of the time they will last a long time before the metal fatigues enough to break.
     
  4. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Look up the difference in lockwork between the Colt/Uberti action & the Ruger action.

    The Colt-style has smaller parts that wear & break more quickly under hard use. It's not just the springs.

    Besides the Ruger being stronger overall, the guts are much more robust.
    And, while it's gotten better since the new Uberti factory was built, parts quality & hardness can still be an issue with Uberti.
    Denis
     
  5. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    I would not suggest fanning.

    With the rate at which fanning occurs, it can be very difficult to hear/feel a squib load if it occurs. A squid load is a type of misfire where the bullet becomes lodged in the bore of the gun due to an issue with the propellant/primer of the cartridge.

    If this occurs, a subsequent shot will cause a massive spike in pressure. The gun could and likely would let go and fragment, possibly injuring or killing the shooter and those nearby.

    If you do plan on fanning your gun, do so at your own risk and away from other people. Not saying it's going to happen, just saying that if/when it does happen you'll sure as hell be cursing yourself for ever doing it if you are even still alive. My opinion? Save the fanning for Hollywood.

    JMHO.

    YMMV.
     
  6. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    Quick draw competition guns have, for the most part, aluminum barrels and are designed to shoot only wax, or other not metal, bullets. Many time using very little, if any powder.
     
  7. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    I don't get the sense from this & his other thread that he's talking about competition.
    Sounds like he just wants to play.
    Denis
     
  8. Acera

    Acera Member

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    I got that also.

    Just hope Darwin does not pay him a visit........................







    .
     
  9. jmar

    jmar Member

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    I was just going to use a few grains of black powder and some bees wax in my bullets. But most of the time i'd be dry firing to practice.

    Does anyone know if the 3 screw .357 Blackhawk is smaller than their other caliber Blackhawks?
     
  10. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    You're not dry-firing your percussion Navy, are you?
    And there's more than one frame size in Blackhawks.
    Denis
     
  11. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    To prevent mushrooming, some folks remove the nipples and dry fire that way.
     
  12. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The so-called "flat top" .357 Blackhawk was Ruger's first center fire single action. The frame size and cylinder were close to the Colt and clone products. It was followed by the .44 Magnum Blackhawk and Super Blackhawk that were made on a larger frame. In 1972 Ruger completely redesigned the internal lockwork to what is used today, and thereafter made all of the Blackhawk's (including the .357) on the larger .44 platform.

    The closest current Ruger single-action compared to the original .357 Blackhawk is the Vaquero line of fixed-sight single action's, which are about the same size as Colt, and directly aimed toward the Cowboy Action Shooting market where the smaller size/weight is preferred.
     
  13. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    It's not just the nipples that get damaged, it's also the hammer face.
    You don't dry-fire a percussion gun with nipples in place.
    Denis
     
  14. jmar

    jmar Member

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    Yes i dry fire my 1851 Navy. I have not noticed any damage yet. If the nipples mushroom it's not a big deal as i was planning on replacing them with some Slix-Shot nipples anyways.
     
  15. jmar

    jmar Member

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    So is the flattop model different than the normal .357 magnum 3 screw? Or is it just the top strap? If so that's fine as i was going to just grind off most of the sights and top strap. I have found a few Blackhawks for sale for $400 but no flattops. What can i expect to pay for one?
     
  16. mr wack

    mr wack Member

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    .

    In the not too distant future you will start to see the nipple diameter imprinting itself on the hammer face if you continue to dry fire,, slix-shot nips will only hasten the procedure .
    when you buy your new Slix buy a couple of spare hammer also,,,,:evil:
     
  17. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I remember a video where Cisco Kid explains the basic modifications to his gun, essentially springs and hammer. I will go googling...

    ...no luck yet. Maybe it was Bob Munden. I remember them distinctly discussing a custom trigger with the spur turned up and totally removing a trigger mechanism. So that the gun is fired strictly by releasing the hammer as the "non shooting" hand fans past the hammer spur
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016
  18. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    JMAR,
    The original Flattop IS the 3 screw.

    I would strongly suggest at this point that you stop what you're doing till you either get a little older or learn a helluva lot more about what you're trying to do.

    DO NOT DRYFIRE PERCUSSION FIREARMS!!!!!!!

    As you've been told by two people now, you'll damage the nipples AND THE HAMMER.

    Stop treating it like it's a toy capgun, it is not a toy capgun.

    You're approaching this whole idea from the viewpoint of a 9-year-old who just wants to play without having a clue about what you're trying to play with.

    You risk expensive damage to your gun/s & expensive damage to yourself.
    Denis
     
  19. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    "Totally removing the trigger " ? Bet that's fun to load!! Guess you could block the hammer with a pencil! Hey, anybody got a pencil? Lol!
    Bob's guns had triggers.

    As far as dry firing, you can set open tops up for dry firing and sometimes, you'll find Piettas from the factory with a (as car guys would say) "non interference" hammer/nipple setup. If you can (at rest, hammer down) move the cylinder rotationally and it doesn't try to move the hammer (with each nipple), you are safe to dry fire. A very close barrel/cylinder clearance is mandatory.

    Denis is right by the way (I'm a slow typer!!!) If you don't know how to set one up or what to look for, don't dry fire. More than likely you'll do more damage than not!


    Mike
    www.goonsgunworks.com
    Follow me on Instagram @ goonsgunworks
     
  20. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    You've seen more of 'em than I have, but I've seen new-in-box Italians with nipple rings already started in the hammer face. :)
    I wouldn't risk it.
    Denis
     
  21. jmar

    jmar Member

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    I know the flattop is a 3 screw, but that's just a rare special model of the 3 screw Blackhawk. They made other 3 screw models not with the flattop which are much more common. I'm simply asking if the difference between them is just the top strap. I can't find a flattop to build my gun on so my next best bet is to get the normal one and file the sights off to have a gun the same size.

    Also i said there's no damage on my gun, i check it all the time if i start seeing damage i'd stop. No harm no foul. I purchased my 1851 to basically be a toy cap gun. You need a beater to learn what i want there's just no way around it.
     
  22. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Frankly, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by looking at today's Vaquero lineup of revolvers. For all practical purposes they are the same size as the original .357 Blackhawk "flattop." However they have a rounded top strap and fixed sights featured on Colt's and other SAA clones. Thus the alterations you propose are already done.

    The original 3-screw .357 Blackhawks are not rare, but they are popular with both shooters and collectors, and those in fine or better condition command big prices. For your purposes they offer no special advantage.
     
  23. jmar

    jmar Member

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    I would use a New Vaquero but i really dislike the transfer bar system and the loading and cocking system. And the problem with going with the older vaquero is how large and heavy it its.

    I'm just looking for the smallest possible gun with the traditional Colt half cock loading method. I guess i'll look for an old model flattop Blackhawk.
     
  24. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    You're talking as if Three Screws are falling out of trees. I'm not not saying they don't exist, but they're not falling out of trees.

    The Flat Tops were not a 'rare special model', they were just the way the Three Screws were made for a few years before Ruger realized the rear sight could be protected by having 'ears' on the top strap that protected the rear sight mechanism. Rear sights could be damaged by objects striking them. Modern Rugers with adjustable sights still have the same arrangement.

    Have you ever handled a Three Screw? You can't 'file the sights' off a Three Screw. Here is what a Three Screw rear sight looked like, the type with the protective ears. A Flat Top looked the same, it just did not have the protective extension ears.

    Three%20Screw%20Adjustable%20Sight_zpsrem9d1tt.jpg

    There is a pin in the frame that the sight pivots on, and the adjustment screw is what secures the sight to the frame. By driving out the pin and removing the screw you can remove the sight, but then you have a big, wide slot left in the frame, and no rear sight.

    There was an exhibition shooter named Joe Bowman who died a few years ago. He had a pair of Three Screw Rugers modified to look like Colts long before the Ruger Vaquero existed. He had a gunsmith remove the rear sights, then he welded steel in to fill the opening, then the top strap was ground and filed down and a new rear sight was filed into the welded material. He wound up with Three Screws that looked like Colts, but it would be a lot easier to just start with a New Vaquero.

    By the way, did you know that the screw heads on a Three Screw Ruger are on the opposite side of the frame from a Colt?

    FlatTop35702_zpsd533afc4.jpg

    2nd%20Gen%20weathered_zpsn3dkzyvc.jpg
     
  25. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    Jmar, unfortunately has his mind made up that he knows a lot more than our esteemed and knowledgeable members such as DPris, Driftwood Johnson, Old Fuff, 45 Dragoon and a few others will ever know. Therefore let him go down his own road already knowing the outcome. You have tried your best and I am sure old RC is up there looking down just shaking his head.
     
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