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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings Folks:

New member, first post. Looking for some advice/information.

I just picked up a Ruger Bearcat, I believe what is referred to as an Alphabet Bearcat with a serial number of B57X. Problem is, it is missing the cylinder. The gun is in excellent condition. I can't seem to find a cylinder for the gun. I called Ruger and they said to send it in and they would make me a cylinder for the gun. Ruger did say they would change the action to the transfer bar system, but would not alter the gun in any way and would return the original parts. Well, the gun is all boxed up and ready to ship, but I spoke with a gentleman a bit ago who suggested strongly not to do that because of collector value.

As is, the gun is useless. I like the gun and want to be able to use it. What is your recommendation? Any advice would be appreciated. I am a shooter, not so much a collector.

I posted a similar question on the Ruger collectors forum.

Thanks in advance for any help.

EFR
 

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Send it in and get it fixed, have fun shooting it. You've answered your
own question you said you are a shooter not a collector
 

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You might try some parts suppliers like Numrich Arms, a/k/a Gun Parts Inc or The Old Western Scrounger.........robin :)
 

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As is, the gun is useless....... want to be able to use it ..... I am a shooter, not so much a collector.
I don't get what you are asking us :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I apologize for not being more clear. I bought this gun as part of a group purchase of 6 firearms. In my offer, I allowed $50 for this particular gun, so that is what I think it is worth, and what I paid for it. I have been looking for a cylinder for this gun for a while, with no luck. I had tried Numrich, and I just tried Old Western Scrounger (thanks Robin) with negative results. I called Ruger a week ago to ask about a cylinder, and they said they would not sell one as it had to be fitted. They did say they could make one, but would not give me a price without seeing the firearm first. They also advised me they would replace the hammer/firing pin mechanism when I sent it back. This is the route I was going to take, until I spoke to a serious High Standard collector (in regards to magazines for another gun from this purchase). When I told him about this gun, he strongly advised against sending it back to Ruger and referred to this site to get advice.

I have no intention of selling this bearcat. It is a neat little gun. I would prefer to find a new/old stock cylinder for the gun, which I have failed to do. My question should of been; in regards to this particular gun, should I continue to search for the proper cylinder, or should I just send it off the Ruger for a new one?

In regards to being more of a shooter than collector, I would not want to ignorantly ruin any possible value this gun may have by doing something wrong. That is why I asked the questions that I did. Clear as mud?

I'll probably just send it to Ruger for the cylinder. Thanks
 

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Save it for when a liberal home criminal breaks in, they will quietly leave as you show them you have a gun.

Naw, send it in and get it functional.
 

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Check gunbroker for a cylinder.
 

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after the 'holiday" rush, and all the packages out there, yes indeed , ship it in, and git 'er done, no sense screwing around or waiting or getting the 'wrong' stuff and having to pay to get it fitted anyway..just remember they will NOT 'refinish " it, as it is an alloy /steel combination of build......you'll be just fine.
wish we knew earlier we just sold a bearcat cylinder not that long ago
 

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To the OP if this Bearcat is just a shooter I would send it to Ruger they would probably do some exterior finish work at no charge I dare to bet!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I sent the little Bearcat to Ruger last week and requested a new cylinder. Ruger called me back an hour ago. Ruger customer service said the gun was "obsolete" and they would not work on it. I am very disappointed to hear that, as I'm pretty sure Ruger is still making Bearcats (what I don't know is if the cylinder on the new bearcat will fit the old).

I've checked every online resource I can think of (gunbroker, ebay, gunsamerica, google, etc).

Any other ideas on where to find a cylinder?

Thanks again,
EFR
 

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parts.........

well BFR, did you get the gun back from Ruger ?? any luck on your search , quest
'on line' ?
Checked our sources and other shops we used to do work for and not able to locate any cylinder, told them to keep an eye out....if you have no luck, two of them offered to buy it for "parts" or even swap around with another bearcat that may not be in as good of shape,,,,,as I told you above, Ruger will NOT refinish them, knew that for some time now. But myself and the other smiths I used to work with still tinker and work on the bearcats, so send me an e-mail and let us know.......... rugerguy at windstream dot net
 

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As a new member of these forums, I was really sorry to hear about the OP's difficulty in getting his Bearcat back to functionality. I bought my own Super Bearcat back around 1970 and carried on hiking, camping and fishing trips all over the Inter-mountain Western states. It has worked for thousands of shots, but still looks and functions like new. I wish some magic or other good luck for you EFR!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Well Boulder Creek Shooter, a little luck did shine on me. Took a while, but I found an original, NOS Bearcat cylinder. Cost a pretty penny ($135), but I had no choice. I had to face off the rear of the barrel to get it to fit (had a friend with the proper tool). I kept barrel cylinder gap to absolute minimum. Timing and lockwork are perfect. I shot it tonight; shoots good, trigger is nice, but I need to regulate sights somehow. At 20 yards, I was about 4" low with Winchester Xpert, and slightly to right. I rummaged through the ammo cabinet and found some more 22 LR (I don't have a big selection). Remington yellow jackets shot great; quarter size group, perfectly centered, but 6" low. Some old Remington UMC (CMP ammo I think) was 4" low. Lastly Remington golden bullet was only about 2" low, nice group.

My questions to the experts; how do you regulate the sights on these little Bearcats? File the front post? Keep trying different ammo? And, do you recommend updating the trigger to the transfer bar (safer) type? The trigger is pretty nice as it is; I like it. I've heard Ruger will retrofit the older ones. How is the quality of pull on the newer trigger?

Again, thanks for all your help.

 

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EFR, Filing the front sight will make your Bearcat shoot higher. The formula is: file off about .006" for each inch that you are shooting low.

What I would do first is find a brand of 22 LR ammo that groups good then use it to adjust your sights and keep using it. So .... assuming your Bearcat is shooting 2" low, that means you need to remove .012" from the top of the front sight. Use a good dial or digital caliper and measure from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the sight for the reference then file away until your caliper measures .012" less.

Left and right (windage) adjustment is likely to be dead on .... assuming the front sight is indexed at top dead center (some are not) so most "shoots left" conditions come from the shooter not the gun.

I have a New Bearcat and the front sight was a few degrees before top dead center .... making the gun shoot left by 2~3 inches. I screwed the barrel in just a tad tighter and got the front sight at TDC. It now shoots to the point of aim. This is NOT an easy task unless you have the proper equipment, however most gunsmiths could do it for you quite easily.
 

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EFR: Congratulations on getting your "obsolete" Bearcat back to functionality. Your Bearcat looks exactly like my '70s vintage Bearcat. Follow the good advice that has been posted and your gun will probably be quite accurate. Decades ago as a SoCal resident, I used to drive out to a no-name canyon in North Palm Springs right off I-10 Freeway for target shooting in an "un-managed, deserted" patch of desert. There were always unbroken clay pigeons laying around from shooting sessions of shot gunners. We would range those pigeons up on the dirt sides of the canyon and shoot from the other side. My Bearcat routinely broke the pigeons, every shot, from 30 yards while I fired from a lawn chair.

With the suggested adjustments, and after getting used to the "kit gun" sized grips and trigger, you will very likely develop respectable accuracy. Compared to the prices of the new generation of Bearcats, you have made a great buy even including the expense of the correction adjustments. Nice work!! You got a little gem for almost no money.
 
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