Ruger .357 black hawk transfer bar conversion

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by gcrmcc, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. gcrmcc

    gcrmcc New Member

    Apr 12, 2009
    I have a Ruger .357 flat top that was made in 1955, SN#11**. It was my fathers now its mine. There was a card with my new Ruger P-89 that offers to do a transfer bar conversion on the old 6 shooters. I am not sure if I want to have it done ore not. I never carry with 6 rounds and always carry with an empty chamber under the hammer as I know the safety problems with old flat tops. Would you guys have it done or leave it original and why?
  2. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    i would have it done. they send you your old parts and you can reinstall them i wanted. that way you have both systems, and they'll check your gun out for free.


    best i recall, they dont alter the parts or the gun

  3. flyingcubby

    flyingcubby New Member

    Jul 27, 2009
    There is two trends of thoughts. One say the value decreases with the Mods and another says it doesn't. I chose not to do the update on my single-six convertable, 357, 44, or the 30 carbine. I just leave one cylinder empty if I carry while loaded. Just my 2 cents.
  4. gcrmcc

    gcrmcc New Member

    Apr 12, 2009
    Now the next question on flat top is if I do send it in, will the trigger pull be changed to suit the lawyers? My father did a trigger job on it after he owned it for a short time, It is set about 2 1/4 pounds, I think its great that way. But what will Ruger do to the trigger?
  5. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    On my single six it did effect the trigger pull, so I reinstalled the old parts. Ruger will not alter your old parts and they are simple to reinstall.:)
  6. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Starting in the mid 1970's or early 1980's Ruger ran ads in major consumer firearms publications offering subject transfer bar conversions for free, for all models except the little Bearcat. {They claimed that its size made it impractical to convert, but later changed their position, and convert them, today.}

    To the best of my knowledge, Ruger has never publicly or widely stated the actual reason for this free conversion offer; {I have tried to get an answer from them more than once, to be met with silence or claims of ignorance} but it is likely a safe bet that it has do do with product liability, and possibly a 30+ year old settlement of litigation.

    Ruger's original ads pointed out that for many years it been well known folk wisdom to carry a Colt Single Action Army type revolver (of which "three frame screw" Rugers are a close copies) with the hammer all the way down on an empty chamber. These ads went on to say that this wisdom was being forgotten, and that Ruger wanted to convert their "three screw" revolvers to the new transfer bar system for public safety reasons.

    I see no reason to do this conversion on a knowledgeable, careful person's personal firearm. It is not likely that most persons are going to get into a situation where a sixth shot is going to make a life or death difference while carrying one of these revolvers!

    However, I would not (and will not) sell or otherwise transfer possession or ownership of an unmodified "three screw Ruger" for potential liability reasons!!!! {I understand that the gun shop that sold the .380 Bryco pistol that the CA jury (in the Jennings- Bryco- babysitter lawsuit) determined was of a less than safe design (by then current standards) was hit with a $5,000,000.00 judgment in addition to the $24,000,000 against the pistol maker and designer. {I opine that this lawsuit caused Ruger to redesign the Mark II into the Mark III .22 auto-loading pistol!}

    As to your question about your nice crisp, custom, 2.5 pound trigger pull; I have never had a Ruger "three screw" converted; but (based on their advertised statements about returning removed original parts) believe that you will get at least new trigger (sear) and hammer to work with the transfer bar system. You will likely get the type of 4 pound (or more) not very crisp trigger pull for which stock single action Rugers are well known, for product liability reasons.

    Hope this is informative.
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    It is my opinion that if you understand the safety limitation of the orginal Colt SAA system that Ruger put into the original Blackhawk design then there is no reason to do the conversion if the gun is to be used by only you.

    Ruger, who obviously had deep pockets, was attacked by every ambulance chasing lawyer in the world when a users of the Balckhawk failed to use good safety procedures (resulting in injury) with this gun design that is well over 150 years old. Have we progressed to the point that the younger generation are so stupid as to not grasp these safety procedures required by this 150 year old design?

    This situation of the lawyers and stupid juries driving gun design is the poster child for Tort Reform so badly needed here in America. But of course with every legislature in America dominated by lawyer legislators that job will never get done. The lawyers may well be the downfall of America. They are doing a pretty good job on us to this point. This, of course, is just my opinion but I often wonder how many out there agree???

    Personal liability for not updating the Ruger when selling it has to be a stretch, in my opinion. But lawyers can get big money for any stupid act by his or her client in today's court system.

  8. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    LD is correct concerning the liability issues leading to the offered safety 'upgrade'.

    I am fortunate to own a .44 mag flat-top (#48**) that has not, and will not be 'converted' while in my possession.
  9. gcrmcc

    gcrmcc New Member

    Apr 12, 2009
    Well, I've decided NOT to convert my .357 to transfer bar system and keep it just the way father left it to me. I know the safety issues very well and carry 5 rounds with one under the hammer on an empty cylinder chamber. I like the trigger action to good for Ruger to change it on me. Besides I have no intention of ever selling it, it will go to my son when the time comes.I thank you all for the information.
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