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Discussion Starter #1
My new Black Hawk came out the box free spinning without any adjustments. I’m assuming that Ruger knows this and my pistol is good to go ? It spins in counter clock wise and clock wise when the loading gate is open and locks in when it’s closed. Anyone have any input ?
 

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I can spin mine clockwise when the gate is opened but it won't spin counter clockwise.
 

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If you can spin the cylinder counter-clockwise something is wrong, possibly.
 

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Hard telling, what is your model number? Is it a Blackhawk or a Vaquero? Some Vaqueros come with a reverse indexing pawl from the factory. So it depends on your specific model.
 

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All mid-frame Vaqueros and Blackhawks are made with "free spin" cylinders. They have a spring loaded plunger located under the recoil shield that indexes the ratchets so the cylinder will align with the loading channel. This was done to make the Anniversary Model behave more like an Old Model BH. If the plunger gets stuck (usually from dried oil) the cylinder will free spin in either direction when the loading gate is open.

Here's a photo of the recoil shield and the indexing plunger:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Talked to Ruger this morning. Ruger told me that it was rare but my pistol had a reverse index pawl that allowed it to do this. My pistol is a Blackhawk flat top mid frame.
 

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BobbyHarrison, Remove your cylinder so you can get to the plunger easier. Hold the muzzle up then put a few drops of powder solvent on the plunger. Use a small tool to push the plunger in repeatedly and hopefully it will break loose. Once the plunger springs out reliably (like in the photo), it will work as designed. If for some reason you can't get the plunger unstuck, you may have to use an Allen wrench to remove the plunger screw that can be accessed at the bottom of the rear hammer channel. The Allen screw holds the plunger and plunger spring in position so make sure you don't lose them when you remove the screw. Once the parts have been removed, you can clean them and the plunger hole, then reassemble.

BTW, your gun will work just fine with a free spin cylinder, in fact a "free spin pawl" is a popular modification for full size frame Blackhawks to make them easier to load/unload. When the loading gate is closed, the cylinder works normally. Some people remove the indexing plunger, spring, and screw from mid-frame models so the cylinder will free spin with an open loading gate.
 

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One thing nice when the plunger is working ... Is when you hear the click, you can back the cylinder up against it and load your cartridge. Unlike other New Models that when you hear the click, you've went to far and have spin the cylinder around to put the cartridge ... hence the free spin mod (some filing on the pawl) :) . I prefer to have the plunger working in my revolvers.
 

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BobbyHarrison, Remove your cylinder so you can get to the plunger easier. Hold the muzzle up then put a few drops of powder solvent on the plunger. Use a small tool to push the plunger in repeatedly and hopefully it will break loose. Once the plunger springs out reliably (like in the photo), it will work as designed. If for some reason you can't get the plunger unstuck, you may have to use an Allen wrench to remove the plunger screw that can be accessed at the bottom of the rear hammer channel. The Allen screw holds the plunger and plunger spring in position so make sure you don't lose them when you remove the screw. Once the parts have been removed, you can clean them and the plunger hole, then reassemble.

BTW, your gun will work just fine with a free spin cylinder, in fact a "free spin pawl" is a popular modification for full size frame Blackhawks to make them easier to load/unload. When the loading gate is closed, the cylinder works normally. Some people remove the indexing plunger, spring, and screw from mid-frame models so the cylinder will free spin with an open loading gate.
My recent Single Six (blued) has that inconvenient feature where the "click" means I've gone way too far and have to go all the way around to get back to that chamber.
Can I remove the Allen screw, plunger, and spring; and have a free spin setup when the gate is open? Will that cause any other problems?
(Don't have the gun with me right now so I can't look)
Thanks!
 

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Gearhead Jim, Sorry, only mid-frame Blackhawks and Vaqueros are equipped with the indexing plunger. That leaves Single-Sixes, Conventional Blackhawks, Super Blackhawks, and large frame Vaqueros with the "gone too far click". This is probably the single biggest complaint people have with Ruger New Model SAs. There is a fix and it is quite simple. The right tip of the pawl can be ground off so when the loading gate is open, the pawl will not touch the ratchets. This allows the cylinder to rotate in either direction without being restricted. Once the loading gate is closed, the pawl works just like a factory part. You can buy a new pawl and save your factory pawl in case you want to restore the gun to factory condition. Single-Six pawls are shorter than BH, SBH or Vaqueros. Here's a photo that shows exactly how to shape the pawl for free spin:



Here's a link to Brownell's that lists the Single-Six pawl …. about 8 bucks. Part number 34 in this schematic: https://www.brownells.com/schematics/ruger-/new-model-single-six-sid6.aspx#r34sid6
 

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Hey, here is just another example why on many gun forums Iowegan is known as "the man", because not only does he have a vast knowledge of most gun questions, but that he is willing to take the time to explain the answer and even with pictures. Very nice!:thumbsup:
 

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BobbyHarrison, Remove your cylinder so you can get to the plunger easier. Hold the muzzle up then put a few drops of powder solvent on the plunger. Use a small tool to push the plunger in repeatedly and hopefully it will break loose. Once the plunger springs out reliably (like in the photo), it will work as designed. If for some reason you can't get the plunger unstuck, you may have to use an Allen wrench to remove the plunger screw that can be accessed at the bottom of the rear hammer channel. The Allen screw holds the plunger and plunger spring in position so make sure you don't lose them when you remove the screw. Once the parts have been removed, you can clean them and the plunger hole, then reassemble.

BTW, your gun will work just fine with a free spin cylinder, in fact a "free spin pawl" is a popular modification for full size frame Blackhawks to make them easier to load/unload. When the loading gate is closed, the cylinder works normally. Some people remove the indexing plunger, spring, and screw from mid-frame models so the cylinder will free spin with an open loading gate.
Gearhead Jim, Sorry, only mid-frame Blackhawks and Vaqueros are equipped with the indexing plunger. That leaves Single-Sixes, Conventional Blackhawks, Super Blackhawks, and large frame Vaqueros with the "gone too far click". This is probably the single biggest complaint people have with Ruger New Model SAs. There is a fix and it is quite simple. The right tip of the pawl can be ground off so when the loading gate is open, the pawl will not touch the ratchets. This allows the cylinder to rotate in either direction without being restricted. Once the loading gate is closed, the pawl works just like a factory part. You can buy a new pawl and save your factory pawl in case you want to restore the gun to factory condition. Single-Six pawls are shorter than BH, SBH or Vaqueros. Here's a photo that shows exactly how to shape the pawl for free spin:



Here's a link to Brownell's that lists the Single-Six pawl …. about 8 bucks. Part number 34 in this schematic: https://www.brownells.com/schematics/ruger-/new-model-single-six-sid6.aspx#r34sid6
What happens if you just remove the plunger screw, spring, and plunger?
Does that produce a working free-spin gun also?
If it does work, what's the advantage of making a free-spin pawl instead of removing the plunger?
I would do this to my New Model Single Six if it's practical.
Thanks!
 

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Gearhead Jim,
What happens if you just remove the plunger screw, spring, and plunger?
It makes the cylinder free spin in either direction when the loading gate is open. When the loading gate is closed, the gun operates normally.

If it does work, what's the advantage of making a free-spin pawl instead of removing the plunger?
You don't modify pawls for New Vaqueros or Flattops …. as I noted before, Single-Sixes, conventional Blackhawks, and Super Blackhawks don't have an indexing plunger so the only way to make the cylinder free spin is to modify the pawl as pictured above. With mid-frame models (New Vaqueros and Flattops) just remove the screw, spring and plunger and the cylinder will free spin.

This free spin cylinder feature was added to Wranglers, which makes them easier to load and unload than conventional Single-Sixes.

I own quite a few Single-Sixes and Blackhawks but I only shoot a few of them so the shooters get a modified pawl, like in the above photo. I really like the free spin feature …. some people don't so this isn't an argument, rather just an option.
 

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All mid-frame Vaqueros and Blackhawks are made with "free spin" cylinders. They have a spring loaded plunger located under the recoil shield that indexes the ratchets so the cylinder will align with the loading channel. This was done to make the Anniversary Model behave more like an Old Model BH. If the plunger gets stuck (usually from dried oil) the cylinder will free spin in either direction when the loading gate is open.

Here's a photo of the recoil shield and the indexing plunger:


My Blackhawk in .357 Magnum was made in 1977 and looks like the photo below. Not that this is pertinent to this thread, but this thread got me to take my cylinder out and look. There is no cylinder indexing plunger on mine. If you go to the click and have to rotate the cylinder all the way around to load the next round has never bothered me, or I’ve got used to it. I’m fine with it as is. (Just realized this is an old thread, but I went to the trouble to take the photo and get it uploaded, so I'm posting anyway).

 
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