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Discussion Starter #1
My dad bought a used Single Six last year and it came with the 22 Mag cylinder, but no 22 LR cylinder. I checked with Ruger and his was originally shipped with two cylinders. Ruger wanted too much money to buy a cylinder from them and have it fitted by them. I found a good deal on one on eBay and it arrived last week. I went to his place Saturday and checked the fit of the cylinder. It looked to be tight, but not too tight and not too loose. The front to back play seemed to be comparable to the 22 mag cylinder and the gap between the cylinder and the barrel was comparable with hardly any light between the two. We used a cleaning rod to check and make sure the cylinder was aligning properly with the barrel and each chamber. Everything looked good so I donned some heavy gloves and a face shield and shot the first six shots through it without a problem. We checked the barrel and didn't see any signs of leading from a mismatched chamber. We then shot another 50 shots or so through it without a problem.

I have read that some people never took their cylinder to a gunsmith to have it fitted while others have stated that you really need to have it fitted to the gun. My question is if everything seems to be working properly, should he still take it to a gunsmith? Are we missing something that might damage the gun or hurt someone in the future? What else should we check? Thanks for the help.
 

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IMHO, no. If the Single Six is "fairly" new and not a vintage model, then it and all the cylinders were made on CNC machinery and the tolerances are very repeatable. Fact is the industry doesn't have time to hand-fit individual pieces like these at this price-point. I just purchased a new Story 8-round 22 WMR cylinder off MidwayUSA for my Single Six Convertible (gives me 8 rounds of 22 WMR instead of 6) and it fit like it was "OEM Ruger". Locked up tight, timed perfectly....no gunsmithing needed. If you insert an appropriate sized wood dowel (or cleaning rod) down the barrel and it slides right into the cylinder chambers, then you're good to go as long as all other tolerances are fine. Front to back play can be solved with a shim washer sold exactly for that purpose.

Also, considering that yours is an original Convertible model, the barrel bore is sized for 22 WMR which is a gnat's eyelash bigger than a 22 LR, so you have plenty of room for teensey mistiming.
 

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I'm not sure what you want to hear. Ruger and others say the proper way to do it is to have the cylinder properly checked and aligned. Boar to cylinder gap is a distinct measurement. It affects accuracy and performance.

You don't want to do that. So, cut corners and take your chances. There's nothing anybody can say that will change that.

You might get lucky and it will work, maybe you'll shave a lot of bullets and spit hot lead all over the place.

Its your gun, just don't expect 100% results without 100% effort.
 

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Don't let the naysayers scare you bud. As long as you go through the proper steps and checks you'll be ok. Ruger will not tell you to do anything that they may be held libel for in the future. Do a search hondo44 has a write up on fitting cylinders. I'm sure he'll be along shortly. I've fit quite a few replacement cylinders and if you watch your lengths and timing (usually not an issue) there isn't a problem. Taking the time to learn how your gun functions takes a lot of the magic out of what gunsmiths like to charge you an arm and a leg for. I'd rather spend money on tools and know I did the job properly (and still save money).

This feller came to me after an old owner wasn't to nice to him. For less than dinner and a movie how can you say no?



Trip to the parts box matching up goodies (new model cylinder no less) and a good cleaning later.



It's now next in line on the bench to become a 32 h&r brass birds head sheriff model. It will receive a centerfire conversion, and a new model 32 cylinder and barrel.



This one my brother and I built for the wife as a barn gun and is shown before final fit and finish. No issues, locks up tighter with the stainless replacement cylinder and manages to shoot into an inch at 25yds with Remington bulk ammo.



Do your homework and enjoy working on your own guns.
 

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Everbody is going to say the right thing is to have a gunsmith look it over. But there is no magic cylinder timing gauge or cylinder to bore alignment tool. Look down the bore with a strong flashlight and see if the cylinder is timed. Since you've shot it with no problems already, we think we know that answer.

You might get lucky and it will work, maybe you'll shave a lot of bullets and spit hot lead all over the place.
OP has already shot it with none of that result.

As an aside, I ran into the same issue with a Chiappa Puma. They sell them with both cylinders and also with just the 22 LR cylinder. If you want to get the 22 WMR cylinder, you need to send them the gun so they can have a gunsmith "fit" the cylinder. An hour on the phone with them and they couldn't tell me anything they did that wasn't anything that I couldn't do other than have the "gunsmith" stamp of approval. It's a liability issue. At the price point of the Puma there's no way they can have every cylinder hand-fit to a specific gun. CNC machining takes all of that out of the equation with the exception of the odd burr.

Now on old, vintage guns that weren't CNC machined, it's a different story ....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice and reassurance. It is a 1983 so it isn't that old. It shoots fine now and the accuracy is comparable to my Single Ten I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing anything that would cause problems later. I will look for Hondo44's write up. Thanks again.
 

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CottonMcKinght,

You are 100% good to go!

Medicdave and Scorpion8 are correct. We don't all need big brother.

Ruger is sued regularly by customers who do not have the good sense to read directions and take responsibility for their own actions and therefore become victims of their own lack of initiative.

So it needs to be recognized that whatever Ruger communicates about its products is directed to that lowest level of its customers as directed by their legal advisors. That does not automatically render all the rest of us stupid.

Firearms are not rocket science and reasonable people who exhibit reasonable common sense can safely perform tasks within their skill levels. That's what you have done and in addition sought practical advice. You are to be commended for your initiative, 100% effort, and success; you do not need to be told the "sky is falling" to scare you.

I'll gladly include my notes but I believe they're a bit redundant after your comprehensive efforts.

WHICH MODEL SINGLE SIXES CAN SHOOT MAGNUMS:

All New model single sixes can use interchangeable cyls.

And all old models with 3 screws, if over the serial # 150,000. Before that # the barrel bore was sized for 22 LR only and the 22 Mag bullet is slightly larger.

Guns are all just marked ".22 cal." except old model 'magnum only' and 'magnum convertible' single sixes marked "Win. .22 RF Mag. Cal."
Only old models prior to c. serial # 150,000 are not considered convertible because they do not yet have the compromise bore size of .224".

The new and old model cyls will both work. In general the only difference is that OMs are fluted and NMs are non-fluted with a 22 mag stamping.

TO GET A CYLINDER OF PROPER SIZE:

You can purchase a used Mag cylinder usually around $75 more or less, on the forums, ebay, Gunbroker, etc. In 30 years I have never installed one or heard of one that did not function and "time" correctly. They are assembly line produced to a common plus or minus tolerance. The exception and only important issue is that it has enough overall length for your frame at the front hub which is fit and sized to each individual frame window. If too long you can dress it down and is simple to 'fit' with a little stoning, usually under .005", that's not a lot. To have a gunsmith do it would be a minimal charge if you're more comfortable doing it that way.

You should take an overall length measurement of your LR cyl with a dial caliper in .001 of an inch and seek one the same length or longer (1st photo). A cyl with a gap as shown at the bottom arrow, in the 2nd photo below: will rub on the end of the barrel at the top arrow because it will move back and forth in the gun called "cylinder end shake" in gunsmith terms.



Photo courtesy of “rugerguy"


One solution for cyls that are too short is a tig welded bead and then filed to fit frame. The other two are drilling out the hub, turning and press fitting a longer one, or drilling out and installing a Colt cyl pin bushing. The advantage of the Colt bushings is that you can use the cyl in more than one gun by having cyl bushings that fit each frame.

RugerForum.com ? View topic - Is welding stainless possible?

Photo by NitroAcres


Note: Magnum 22s are expensive, but the mag cyl will also shoot 22 Winchester Rim Fire ammo which is a bit cheaper with similar performance.

Shims: free shipping, TriggerShims Brand Shim Kits


WHICH CYL WILL WORK:
NM 22 LR cylinders are not all the same. Early NM cylinders are the same as OM cyls.
You need to date your gun or provide a serial # and we can identify when it was made.

Old Model and early NM 22 LR Cylinders look like the one on the left with the firing pin groove.
Post c. 1975-1976 New model 22 LR cylinders look like the one on the right, no firing pin groove. Either is correct for NMs depending on the vintage.



RATCHET BOSS DIAMETER CHANGE NM:
Fairly recently and coinciding with single ten introduction post 2010, there was a change to a smaller ratchet boss diam. (same size as the .32 Mag cylinders have had since their introduction in 1984). Personally in all my testing I have found the two different ratchet boss sizes to be interchangeable. But I can't guarantee it in every case.


Late NM .22s have a ratchet diameter of .560” and all the rest of the NMs and all OMs have the large diameter ratchet of .622".

The only things to be concerned with are the OAL of the cyl and the ratchet boss size. Just looking for a NM cyl will not guarantee one that will work.


Fitting cyl or cyl bushing to frame:

This normally done in a lathe but we don't all have that luxury.

1st check bushing length end to end at 4 places around it to be sure it's square when you start. If not, square up the offending area.

To file bushing, clamp in vise with end to be fitted pointing up and level using a level. Coat with black magic marker. Use a medium cutting flat file wide enough to cover the end of the bushing. Use in a draw filing position, parallel to the vise and workbench with one hand on each end of file. Push it away and back towards you concentrating on "feeling" the file surface staying flat on the bushing surface as you 'draw file' away from you then back towards you; back and forth. Check the black ink often to observe if it's being removed evenly. Re-coat with ink and keep going. Check bushing length again in 4 places to be sure it's remaining square. Put in cyl and check in gun before you think you've taken off enough, just in case measurements might be a little off. Clean file every few strokes so you don't get any galling or gouging. When done you can smooth up file marks with 600 grit paper wrapped around the flat file using same draw filing technique.

Hope this is helpful,
Jim
 

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I have a new model Single six probably 1978. This came with 2 cylinders. I purchased another mag cylinder. It doesn't fit. The ratchet on this cylinder is smaller than the original. It will not engage the lever and rotate. What cylinder does this go too?
 

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IMHO, no. If the Single Six is "fairly" new and not a vintage model, then it and all the cylinders were made on CNC machinery and the tolerances are very repeatable. Fact is the industry doesn't have time to hand-fit individual pieces like these at this price-point. I just purchased a new Story 8-round 22 WMR cylinder off MidwayUSA for my Single Six Convertible (gives me 8 rounds of 22 WMR instead of 6) and it fit like it was "OEM Ruger". Locked up tight, timed perfectly....no gunsmithing needed. If you insert an appropriate sized wood dowel (or cleaning rod) down the barrel and it slides right into the cylinder chambers, then you're good to go as long as all other tolerances are fine. Front to back play can be solved with a shim washer sold exactly for that purpose.

Also, considering that yours is an original Convertible model, the barrel bore is sized for 22 WMR which is a gnat's eyelash bigger than a 22 LR, so you have plenty of room for teensey mistiming.
My new model single six was made approx. 1978. It came with two cylinders. Bought another mag cylinder and does not fit. The ratchet on the new one is smaller and will not engage the lever to rotate the cylinder. Is my Ruger older?
 

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What happens you buy another mag cylinder and the ratchet on the cylinder is smaller than the one that came with gun? It will not engage the lever and rotate cylinder.
 

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CottonMcKinght,

You are 100% good to go!

Medicdave and Scorpion8 are correct. We don't all need big brother.

Ruger is sued regularly by customers who do not have the good sense to read directions and take responsibility for their own actions and therefore become victims of their own lack of initiative.

So it needs to be recognized that whatever Ruger communicates about its products is directed to that lowest level of its customers as directed by their legal advisors. That does not automatically render all the rest of us stupid.

Firearms are not rocket science and reasonable people who exhibit reasonable common sense can safely perform tasks within their skill levels. That's what you have done and in addition sought practical advice. You are to be commended for your initiative, 100% effort, and success; you do not need to be told the "sky is falling" to scare you.

I'll gladly include my notes but I believe they're a bit redundant after your comprehensive efforts.

WHICH MODEL SINGLE SIXES CAN SHOOT MAGNUMS:

All New model single sixes can use interchangeable cyls.

And all old models with 3 screws, if over the serial # 150,000. Before that # the barrel bore was sized for 22 LR only and the 22 Mag bullet is slightly larger.

Guns are all just marked ".22 cal." except old model 'magnum only' and 'magnum convertible' single sixes marked "Win. .22 RF Mag. Cal."
Only old models prior to c. serial # 150,000 are not considered convertible because they do not yet have the compromise bore size of .224".

The new and old model cyls will both work. In general the only difference is that OMs are fluted and NMs are non-fluted with a 22 mag stamping.

TO GET A CYLINDER OF PROPER SIZE:

You can purchase a used Mag cylinder usually around $75 more or less, on the forums, ebay, Gunbroker, etc. In 30 years I have never installed one or heard of one that did not function and "time" correctly. They are assembly line produced to a common plus or minus tolerance. The exception and only important issue is that it has enough overall length for your frame at the front hub which is fit and sized to each individual frame window. If too long you can dress it down and is simple to 'fit' with a little stoning, usually under .005", that's not a lot. To have a gunsmith do it would be a minimal charge if you're more comfortable doing it that way.

You should take an overall length measurement of your LR cyl with a dial caliper in .001 of an inch and seek one the same length or longer (1st photo). A cyl with a gap as shown at the bottom arrow, in the 2nd photo below: will rub on the end of the barrel at the top arrow because it will move back and forth in the gun called "cylinder end shake" in gunsmith terms.



Photo courtesy of “rugerguy"


One solution for cyls that are too short is a tig welded bead and then filed to fit frame. The other two are drilling out the hub, turning and press fitting a longer one, or drilling out and installing a Colt cyl pin bushing. The advantage of the Colt bushings is that you can use the cyl in more than one gun by having cyl bushings that fit each frame.

RugerForum.com ? View topic - Is welding stainless possible?

Photo by NitroAcres


Note: Magnum 22s are expensive, but the mag cyl will also shoot 22 Winchester Rim Fire ammo which is a bit cheaper with similar performance.

Shims: free shipping, TriggerShims Brand Shim Kits


WHICH CYL WILL WORK:
NM 22 LR cylinders are not all the same. Early NM cylinders are the same as OM cyls.
You need to date your gun or provide a serial # and we can identify when it was made.

Old Model and early NM 22 LR Cylinders look like the one on the left with the firing pin groove.
Post c. 1975-1976 New model 22 LR cylinders look like the one on the right, no firing pin groove. Either is correct for NMs depending on the vintage.



RATCHET BOSS DIAMETER CHANGE NM:
Fairly recently and coinciding with single ten introduction post 2010, there was a change to a smaller ratchet boss diam. (same size as the .32 Mag cylinders have had since their introduction in 1984). Personally in all my testing I have found the two different ratchet boss sizes to be interchangeable. But I can't guarantee it in every case.


Late NM .22s have a ratchet diameter of .560” and all the rest of the NMs and all OMs have the large diameter ratchet of .622".

The only things to be concerned with are the OAL of the cyl and the ratchet boss size. Just looking for a NM cyl will not guarantee one that will work.


Fitting cyl or cyl bushing to frame:

This normally done in a lathe but we don't all have that luxury.

1st check bushing length end to end at 4 places around it to be sure it's square when you start. If not, square up the offending area.

To file bushing, clamp in vise with end to be fitted pointing up and level using a level. Coat with black magic marker. Use a medium cutting flat file wide enough to cover the end of the bushing. Use in a draw filing position, parallel to the vise and workbench with one hand on each end of file. Push it away and back towards you concentrating on "feeling" the file surface staying flat on the bushing surface as you 'draw file' away from you then back towards you; back and forth. Check the black ink often to observe if it's being removed evenly. Re-coat with ink and keep going. Check bushing length again in 4 places to be sure it's remaining square. Put in cyl and check in gun before you think you've taken off enough, just in case measurements might be a little off. Clean file every few strokes so you don't get any galling or gouging. When done you can smooth up file marks with 600 grit paper wrapped around the flat file using same draw filing technique.

Hope this is helpful,
Jim
Have 2 cylinders for single six. Ruger New model. Purchased another mag cylinder and the ratchet on it is smaller than the other cylinders. Ratchet won't engage lever, cylinder won't rotate. Cannot be fitted.gbaker
 

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What if the boss ratchet on the new cylinder is too small?
As I posted and showed above, the smaller ratchet size is a post ~ 2010 cylinder. They use the same pawl as the larger ratchet, it's just a matter of slight fitting of your pawl to work with both ratchet sizes. I have done this before.
 

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Hello Im new to this site and I have recently bought a used new single six. It came with the mag cylinder. The gun shop told me it was okay to use any 22 lr ammo I wished and sent me home with 500 Blazzer rounds which I used and I bought some winchester copper clad hollow point as well. I havent had a problem but the more I read the more I feel the need to find a 22 lr cylinder.
 

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I've never heard of anyone getting hurt, but that's definitely not recommended. Did you get a lot of split cases? Accuracy is generally lousy compared to what the gun can do with proper cartridges.
 

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If split cases are damaged shell casings , no I dont think I have had any problems. Fired about 8oo rounds. Didnt I read in one of your posts that it was okay to use winchester 22lr in the mag cylinder?

Im going to try a used gun parts shop in Edmonton on Jan 4 when they reopen.
Its hard to find the win mag ammo in Vancouver. Just today I bought 200 rounds for about $85 . Not cheap. Im looking forward to see if my accuracy improves
 
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