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Wondermech, No, you're not spewing a bunch of crap, however I really think sending the gun back to Ruger is the most cost effective and best way to deal with the problem. They will need the 45 ACP cylinder too .... because if the frame is altered, the 45 ACP cylinder won't work properly.

Machining a little off the rear face of the cylinder will indeed help headspace, however it will also affect chamber depth so each chamber might require being reamed deeper.

The unknown issue is ....if the front face of the cylinder is cut back a few thousandths, will endshake still be in spec? Right now, the cylinder contacts the rear of the barrel so we don't know if that is the cylinders max forward movement. I guess what I'm saying is .... having a gunsmith alter the cylinder does not grantee it will work but it will cost at least $100 to find out. A phone call to Ruger's customer services should result in a free shipper, free repairs, and free return shipping and shouldn't take very long.

Endshake, headspace, and B/C gap are more than just numbers .... they directly affect how the gun operates and could result in unsafe conditions if they are out of spec, as I think Cycleman found out.

Edited to add:
Cycleman, There's only so much room between the rear recoil shield and the front frame mating surface. Likewise, there is only so much room for the body of the cylinder. These measurements must correlate. The ratchet column is machined as part of the cylinder itself .... not a separate part. If you remove the cylinder, you can see how it extends from the rear face of the cylinder. This is known as the "ratchet column" and is normally set for .010" headspace. An easy test is to chamber 6 virgin cases then set the cylinder (pointing up) directly on the ratchet column's face on a flat surface. There should be .010" clearance between the brass case heads and the flat surface. Two things can affect ratchet column length ..... obviously the actual machined length of the column and the length of the cylinder's body.

Fitting a cylinder can be a bit tricky because there are several issues involved. First is the ratchet column, which yours was not machined properly at the factory. Next is the length of the cylinder's body. With the ratchet column properly set, the front face of the cylinder needs to clear the rear of the barrel by at least .004" .... .006" is optimum and .008" is maximum (B/C gap). Finally, the gas tube on the front of the cylinder needs to mate with the machined surface in the frame with .002 ~ .005" endshake. If any one of these measurements are out of spec, it affects the other measurements. Yes, it's a factory oops that needs to be corrected with a new cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Iowegan,
I have learned a lot from the discussion in this thread. In fact, too much in some regards - pun intended. Thank you again for sharing your time and expertise guiding me through the process of identifying the problem with my gun. Now it has to be fixed!
 

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Cycleman,
One last (for now) question. Looks like your gun was made in 2005 if I looked up the beginning of your SN correctly. Did you confirm that the last 3 digits of the SN are engraved on each of your cylinders? I’ll reserve comments on Ruger’s QC performance until we’re sure they’re the ones that matched that cylinder to your frame. Keep us posted on the fix please.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Wundermech,
I only saw one number on each cylinder, but I will look again. I will post a report soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Wundermech,
I inspected the cylinders again and all I could find was the letter S on each of them. I called Ruger and asked about the cylinder markings and I was told they all did not have a three digit number. I have a RA number now and it's heading to Newport, NH today!
I'll let you know when I have new information.
 

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Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
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Cycleman, The letter "S" is a proof mark, meaning the gun was test fired with proof loads at the factory. Both cylinders will have the "S" stamp on their rear face. The last 3 numbers of the serial number are electric penciled on the front face of the cylinders. Penmanship is horrible and fouling can cover the numbers. Most convertibles have the last 3 of the S/N but some don't. I have several that don't to include guns that have not been fired since they left the factory. Many people think if both cylinders are not electric penciled, they were not shipped with the gun. This is definitely false.

Good luck with Newport. They should take care of your cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thank you, Iowegan, for the information. If they are on my gun, I could not find them.
I did not get it shipped today, but tomorrow I have a UPS pickup scheduled. Off to Newport it is!
 

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Count Ursunk
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This is the type of topic I enjoy reading about. I had no idea that these minute details were so critical to the function of a revolver. You guys have made me pay a lot more attention to mine. Cycleman, you are getting some masterful advice from these guys. Hope you get your revolver back in the condition it's supposed to be in before it ever left Ruger.
 

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NOT to jack thread but still relevant. buddy has a new S&W 500. he bought some "bear loads" and had his sons friend shoot em as recoil was too stiff. left 8 in box. i began him on rabbit hole to reloading, and found a REDUCED LOAD in one of my manuals. 18.5 gr unique under 335 cast. this fits him well. then cylinder began binding, refusing to rotate. he said it happen occassionally when first shot it. so i took fired brass out of cyl one at a time to find offending fired brass. still did it. then i it started doing it w/cyl empty. i finally located chamber that always stuck just before aligning with bbl. visually saw enough space between bbl and cyl, so thats not it. so i marked that chamber w/a sharpie, told him not to clean gun and call S&W. they sent him a shipping label, it came back 2 weeks later fixed w/no explaination. shoots 335 gr cast w/19.5 unique now with absolutely no problems. right now i'm shooting 7.5 unique under a 255 gr cast in my new ruger bisley and old vaquero. 45 colt. i'm creeping up on 70 but do ranch type work everyday so am active but have some arthritis in hands. anyone that shoots full blown ruger only loads in a 45 colt is a better man than i! i also have a BFR in 45-70 7" bbl (?) 32.0 gr REL 7 under 405 gr cast that i recently had to scope and really didn't want to. damn old eyes! will never scope the rugers though.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
This is the type of topic I enjoy reading about. I had no idea that these minute details were so critical to the function of a revolver. You guys have made me pay a lot more attention to mine. Cycleman, you are getting some masterful advice from these guys. Hope you get your revolver back in the condition it's supposed to be in before it ever left Ruger.
You are 100% correct! I have been very fortunate to have these fellows guiding me through this process. And yes, the slight tolerances can make the difference between a great, good, and problem gun. Mine is a very nice gun, but at the moment it's a problem gun. However, I feel very confident that it will at least be in the gun gun category soon. Thank you for your post and I share your interest in the details, whether it involves gunsmithing, handloading, shooting, or in the design of the firearm. There is so much going on these disciplines.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
NOT to jack thread but still relevant. buddy has a new S&W 500. he bought some "bear loads" and had his sons friend shoot em as recoil was too stiff. left 8 in box. i began him on rabbit hole to reloading, and found a REDUCED LOAD in one of my manuals. 18.5 gr unique under 335 cast. this fits him well. then cylinder began binding, refusing to rotate. he said it happen occassionally when first shot it. so i took fired brass out of cyl one at a time to find offending fired brass. still did it. then i it started doing it w/cyl empty. i finally located chamber that always stuck just before aligning with bbl. visually saw enough space between bbl and cyl, so thats not it. so i marked that chamber w/a sharpie, told him not to clean gun and call S&W. they sent him a shipping label, it came back 2 weeks later fixed w/no explaination. shoots 335 gr cast w/19.5 unique now with absolutely no problems. right now i'm shooting 7.5 unique under a 255 gr cast in my new ruger bisley and old vaquero. 45 colt. i'm creeping up on 70 but do ranch type work everyday so am active but have some arthritis in hands. anyone that shoots full blown ruger only loads in a 45 colt is a better man than i! i also have a BFR in 45-70 7" bbl (?) 32.0 gr REL 7 under 405 gr cast that i recently had to scope and really didn't want to. damn old eyes! will never scope the rugers though.
Thanks for sharing his story. No doubt a similar issue, but I'm happy he has his Big Gun back. It's good you were able to help him figure out something was amiss.

I can't imagine touching off the trigger on that 45-70 load. 32 grains of powder is a bunch, and pushing a 405 grain bullet to boot. What is the velocity of that load? The 45 Colt has plenty of thump for me too. It's a great caliber and a classic, especially in a revolver. It sounds to me like you have a favorite shared load for both pistols. That is nice.

I have a good understanding of time and mother nature too. Time sets us up for mother natures aches and pains to make us pay for the things we did too much, or the wrong way. I'm your cousin in both regards.
 

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Count Ursunk
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I tried a few Buffalo Barnes 225 gr. 45 colt +p in my 45 colt/acp bh. At my age, 1500 fps and 1124 ft. lbs. is not enjoyable. I stick to my acp and colt loads for my hands.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I tried a few Buffalo Barnes 225 gr. 45 colt +p in my 45 colt/acp bh. At my age, 1500 fps and 1124 ft. lbs. is not enjoyable. I stick to my acp and colt loads for my hands.
mrb, I read a thread here last night about the 45 colt/acp revolver, and you are not alone. Many folks love to shoot the ACP in their BHs. I was not aware of the variations in that cartridge case. You have probably read the thread, but if you haven't I know you'll enjoy it.
That Buffalo Barnes load is serious business. I know it has to deliver a heavy punch to the shooter's hand.
 
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