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I'm new to this forum and a new Ruger owner. I just bought a New Vaquero Montado after owning several Colts and USAF SAAs over the years. As I work the action, I notice the cylinder stop retracts and then pops immediately up again, scoring a drag line on the cylinder. Is this supposed to happen?

I am used to Single Action Armys and their clones. I know how to handle a single action in the traditional manner and know they are supposed to be timed to drop the cylinder stop into the lead and then into the notch, not in the middle of cylinder travel.

So at the risk of seeming stupid or enraging the Ruger community, can a Ruger be timed to drop the cylinder stop into the lead? Should I send this new gun back? Or do they all do this. How do you guys deal with this?
 

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jamesjames, Welcome to the Ruger Forum! All New Model Ruger SAs work as you described and will develop a "drag line". Old Model Ruger SAs work much like a Colt and delay the cylinder latch from releasing until it is at the beginning of the leade. There is a modification you can do on a NM that will eliminate the drag line when cocking the hammer but in all honesty, it's hardly worth the effort.

Here's how a NM SA works: There is a plunger in the hammer where its tip contacts the cylinder latch when the hammer is being cocked. The cylinder latch is a "rocker" so when the rear of the latch is raised by the hammer plunger, the front drops down and releases the cylinder. After just a few degrees of cylinder rotation, the hammer plunger cams off of the cylinder latch, allowing it to pop up under spring tension. By this time, the cylinder has rotated far enough where the latch is no longer securing the cylinder but because it popped up so soon, it will rub on the cylinder and cause a drag line between the lock notches.

By drilling the plunger hole deeper in the hammer then making a new longer hammer plunger, it will delay the cylinder latch from releasing until it is at the beginning of the leade. I've done this modification on many NM Single-Sixes, Blackhawks, and Super Blackhawks but it is a time consuming task, often requiring several different length plungers until you get the right overall length and the length of the slot in the plunger correct. Another technique is to weld an extension on the "leg" of the cylinder latch. The extra "leg" length also delays the latch from releasing.

After you go through all the trouble of getting the latch timing perfect with one of the above techniques, it still doesn't prevent a drag line when you load/unload. Here's how that works:" when you open the loading gate, it pulls the cylinder latch down so you can manually rotate the cylinder to load or unload. When the loading gate is pushed back in, the cylinder latch will again pop up and drag on the cylinder when you index the cylinder to lock it in. That's why I said it's hardly worth the effort because after you load/unload multiple times, you're still going to get a drag line, even with the above modification.
 

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The owners manual for my new madel Vaquero says the was to reduce the drag line is to index two of the flutes evenly on either side of the top strap before you close the loading gate.
 

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The owners manual for my new madel Vaquero says the was to reduce the drag line is to index two of the flutes evenly on either side of the top strap before you close the loading gate.

Yep, because the cylinder latch is held released (off the cylinder's surface) until the gate is closed. When you "center" the cylinder, the latching notch is essentially directly under the latch so it drops right into place when you close the gate.

Good idea.

:)
 

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I've been messing with single action Rugers for some time and was told a long time ago...the drag line mean's a Ruger is working properly. If I see one for sale that is not brand new and it has no drag line it makes me wonder what's wrong? Relax...it's like funny looking toes..nothing is wrong. And welcome.
 

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Welcome from Australia mate.
Glad to have you on board, nice folk here and lots of good info.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the information. I appreciate the welcome to the forum. I lurk around here occasionally, but usually am over on Singleactions.com.

This is pretty disheartening stuff to hear. I have done some timing work on a couple of Colt SAAs and feel strongly that drag lines are iniquitous. It boggles the mind to hear that "they all do that".

Has anybody had any success with just breaking the sharp edge of the cylinder stop so that it burnishes, rather than galls the cylinder wall? Looks like I'm going to get to become a Ruger smith pretty quick.
 

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Has anybody had any success with just breaking the sharp edge of the cylinder stop so that it burnishes, rather than galls the cylinder wall? Looks like I'm going to get to become a Ruger smith pretty quick.
First, welcome to the forum! Secondly, yes, I think you are on to something that definitely will help. For me, I've always been one to obsess about trying to keep my handguns looking just like new, but on my Ruger single actions I have just truely come to accept the turnline as a fact of life. It allows me to enjoy them for what they are.:)
 

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A properly-handled Old Model shouldn't develop a drag line.

Unless "tuned" as IOWEGAN explains, a New Model will almost certainly develop one, to some degree or another.

That's just the way it is.

:)
 

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jamesjames, Removing and polishing the cylinder latch will help a little but won't totally prevent a drag line. With Ruger NMs ... it's like buying a new pickup. That first scratch in the bed really ticks you off but when you realize why you bought a truck, a scratch is much easier to accept.

Next time you go to a gun show or a large dealer, make a point of looking at used Ruger NM SAs. There are three types ... ones that have never been fired or operated enough to develop a drag line, ones with drag lines, and ones with drag lines where the owner tried to cover it up with cold blue or buffing out stainless.
 
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