Ruger Old Army Conical Bullets - Problem

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Leicesterchris, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Leicesterchris

    Leicesterchris New Member

    Sep 5, 2012
    Hi All

    Ive recently bought one of Ruger's fine Old Army pistols along with a Lee Mold to make the conical bullets.

    I made up a batch of bullets and lubed them with lee alox but the bullets are extremely tight in loading into the cylinder. So tight in fact that it shaved a small amount of lead off the side of the bullet when I seated it.

    Has anyone else come across this problem? Or had any experience in sizing the bullets before using them?

    Im using triple-f powder and find using 25 grains plus a lubed wad is enough for a pretty powerful shot, is this what other people have also found?

  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    You are supposed to shave that little bit of lead off the sides, as the bullet seats. That's how you know the chamber is sealed.

    Shouldn't use alox, though. Need to used a black powder lube. Alox is for smokeless.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

  3. Spedini

    Spedini New Member

    Feb 4, 2012
    Stick to fffg blackpowder and round balls .457 and top it with wonderlube.Ruger old army is awesome.I`ll never sell mine.
  4. Gunslinger9378

    Gunslinger9378 New Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Dear Friends,
    The Ruger Old Army is a souped up (?) improvement (?) on the Remington Old Army revolver. I am one of those people who sticks to the Remington, because I like to shoot the guns our forefathers did. However with ANY percussion revolver, there will be a certain amount of difficulty in seating conical's due to the paucity of room to get them lined up straight under the rammer. The solution for me has been to load ALL my cylinders OUT OF THE GUN! A friend made me what I call, "The Device!" It is a square steel plate, ,(Four inches square,) upon which is welded a short piece of steel pipe, the inside diameter of which is a nice snug fit, for the cylinder of a Remington .44 revolver. Because I carry one of my Remingtos for self defense, I load it in the following manner. I place the cylinder in the Device with the nipples down. I then place in each chamber, 10 grains of 3-F Holy Black. I then top off each chamber with 25 grains of Pyrodex. The reason for this duplex load, is that I found some years ago, that if you leave a cylinder loaded for a few months with just pure Pyrodex in them, one is liable to get hang-fires! Holy Black ignites very much more easily, and so with cylinders loaded in this fashion, I am assured of a healthy BOOM each time I squeeze the trigger! I personally only use a .454 round ball, but if I did load conical's, the Device would certainly make it easier to get them inserted straight! I use a .50 cal Short Starter to ram the balls home. The end of this short starter you will find is a perfect fit for the chambers of a .44 revolver! It also gives a good finish on the front end of the ball in the chamber, without those funny marks that the Remington rammer leaves in the soft lead..
    I have a total of ten cylinders for my twin Remington's, so when all are loaded up, I can shoot for sixty rounds without having to go through the lengthy process of reloading the cylinders.. This I do in the comfort of my home! I place all the fired cylinders in a small pan that I keep for this express purpose. Fill it with water, and place all the fired cylinders in the water NIPPLES UPWARD! This is because I have found that this causes the nipples to be forceably steam cleaned as the water boils! The water goes up the chambers, and since the hole in the nipple is much smaller that the other end of the chamber, the water is forced at pressure through the nipples, leaving them Squeaky Clean!
    After the cylinders have boiled for a few minutes, I fish them out with a thin wooden rod which I push through the center hole, and stand them still nipples upward on a doubled sheet of paper towel. Do not fear the Demon Rust! The cylinders are SO HOT, that all moisture evaporates long before the cylinders are cool enough to touch! You will also find that when they are cool enough to touch, that you can look through the business end of the chambers, and see six bright pin points of light from the surgically clean nipples!
    Then I place each cylinder in the Device, and load first ten grains of Black Powder in each. A word of caution here. It is difficult to see ten grains of powder in the bottom of a .44 chamber, so after I have put in the ten grains of black, I check with a small flashlite, to make sure that each chamber HAS got ten grains, and that one is not empty, and another has twenty grains!!! Then I load the Pryrodex, and since this IS quite easy to see, the flashlite is not necessary here! I used to load a wad between the powder and ball, but found that some wads are greasier than others, and if left loaded for some time, they can contaminate the powder charge. So now, I hammer the ball down hard on top of the powder, using one of those splendid Rubber Mallets that are sold in Home Depot for Auto Panel beaters! I then put some lube over the top of the balls. I used to have trouble with the cylinders becoming very hard to turn, because of powder fowling on the center pin! Since I have put my bullet lube OVER the balls, this is no longer the case. The splatter from the forcing cone seems to lubricate the center pins very adequately,
    I have been asked why I do not use ALL black Powder in my loads. The reason is two-fold. Black powder leaves a hard fowling in the barrel, and Pyrodex fowling is soft! It
    is thus easier to clean the guns after a practice session, when the majority of the charge has been Pyrodex. Secondly, because of the Pettifogging rules that the B.A.T.F., have placed upon Gun Store Owners, the few who continue to stock Holy Black, are becoming as rare as Hen's Teeth! So I ensure quick ignition with the Black Powder, and get softer fowling from the Substitute! I also do not use up the precious Black Powder too quickly!
    I never remove my nipples! I know some do, but after shooting a pair of Remington's
    every week for about fourteen years, without ever removing one of the fiddly little things, and always boiling out my chambers in the manner described heretofore, and having the
    aforesaid Remington's continue to function as flawlessly at the end of the fourteen years, as they did when first purchased, I came to the conclusion that those shooters who DO remove them, are either very anal, or just don't have enough to do! With my present Twins, a pair of Remington Sheriff's Models, I have another reason for not removing them!
    I'm an animal lover and live with three cats. Just imagine the fun the Moggy's would have if they jumped up on the reloading table, and found sixty little playthings rolling around on
    the surface? I'd never find them all, that's for sure!
    Back MANY years ago when I lived in my native England, my first percussion revolver was a Navy Arms copy of the Colt 1860 Army! It was the perfect gun for introducing a shooter to the PROBLEMS of Black Powder Shooting! I don't think I ever got off more than four consequetive shot out of that darned gun, before a spent cap rolled back down into the innards of the thing, and jammed up the works! It was an exercise in
    frustration! Then one day I found that I could hold the grip with one hand, the barrel in the other, and feel a distinct wiggle! The force of quite Heavy Loads had loosened the Arbor Pin in the recoil shield! I had, "Shot it loose!" I learned from a fellow club member that this was a common failing with even the original Colts! Then one night a fellow arrived at the club with a Remington Percussion revolver, and offered me a few shots with it. It was the very first time I had gotten off six shots from a percussion revolver, without having to resort to my supple of Dental Picks, to remove a spent cap from the innards of the gun. The Good Lord was kind enough to provide me with a fool who wanted to buy my Colt type gun, and I delightedly passed it onto him, than straightway bought a Remington to replace it! I have never looked back! Problems with the Remington Solid Frame revolvers seem to be almost non existent, save for the spent caps that can roll off onto the right-handed shooter's hand, and cause slight burns! By now I must have built up a calouse there, because I don't notice it anymore!
    I live in Glendale Arizona, which is really a suburb of Phoenix, and anyone who would like to visit, and chew the fat about Percussion revolvers, will be most welcome!
    The refridgerator has an ample supply of orange juice. or iced Rasberry Tea, and I love to exchange views on this hobby!
    Sincerely, Johnnie Roper,Alias:GUnslinger9378.
  5. DeeDubya

    DeeDubya Member

    Nov 8, 2012
    Central Texas
    If those are the 220gr Lee conicals then I've had very good results with them. I charge with 35gr of 3f, lube with Crisco, cap with CCI 11's and blast away. Too much fun.

    Came back to say that the conical are easy to lube with the pan method because they stand upright and you can pour in melted lube of your choice just to the top lube grove. Cool, punch them out and your ready to go.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  6. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    The Great Desert
    I shoot the Lee .456 taper base conical tumbled in Alox. The Triple 7 is a smokeless powder. Yes, it should cut a lead ring. Make sure you use pure lead for you bullets. The hard cast bullets can bend you center pin from leverage.

    The Lee bullet 230 grs over 35 grs of T7 will give you 940 FPS from the 7.5" ROA. The ROA was designed by Ruger from the great Rogers & Spencer Revolver not the Remington. It has a larger cylinder boss and a better lever lock chamfered .457 chambers like the R&S. The ROA does not bind up like the Remington.

    This one of my ROAs. This gun has the custom Ballistics Cylinder made from an F-85 landing gear. It also has a taller front sight to handle the 1,100 FPS loads.

    Attached Files:

    • roa.png
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  7. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    The Great Desert
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