Ruger Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

This is my first post here. I've got this Ruger Vaquero 45LC (old style) which I've had for maybe 15+ years.

It is a really fun gun to have but the accuracy is and has always been terrible (I bought the gun new back in the day).

A few years ago I took the gun to a gunsmith to have the cylinder throats adjusted in for better accuracy, this made things a little better but still not great.

A while ago I read an article about trimming the forcing cone using the Brownells forcing cone chamfering kit and chamfer gauge plug.
So I bought the 5 degree chamfer plug gauge (I've scowered the internet about what chamfer angle the Ruger Vaquero 45LC has and all the information I could find says that it is 5 degrees). Is this correct?

From what I can tell when using the guage on my Vaquero 45LC is that it is too tight. The guage does not go into the barrel far enough.
I've attached a photo of the chamfer gauge inserted into the barrel, as far in as it goes (the gun has been cleaned as well).

WP_20160110_11_47_26_Pro.jpg

To me, with my very limited gunsmithing knowledge, this looks quite tight or shallow (don't know the correct term).

To the more knowledgeable of you out there, is it worth having this forcing cone adjusted?

If I am going to get the chamfer cutting toolkit, I'm thinking about sticking to the 5 degrees that I assume is what is the original angle. Is this wise or should I go with another angle?

I've also included another photo of the forcing cone as it looks now (nothing has been done to it yet).

WP_20160110_11_49_07_Pro.jpg

Grateful for any helpful advice!
Karl
Sweden
 

·
Reloading Addict
Joined
·
10,713 Posts
Welcome to RF from N.C. Pa.
I'm not positive but I think 11 degrees is the angle to improve accuracy. Someone with more knowledge will chime in i'm sure.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,167 Posts
If you're shooting lead, then you'll most likely benefit from reaming out the forcing cone to 11degrees. Jacketed bullets benefit less, but it won't hurt at all. I tend to take all of my revolvers to 11deg whether I intend to shoot lead primarily or not.

The forcing cone gauges come with instructions for insertion depth - it's been long enough since I've read them or used my gauges I don't recall the process exactly. Instead, I use pin gauges (or a bullet) to ensure that the inlet of the forcing cone is larger than or equal to the chamber throat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
I guess my first question is whether or not you know what is causing the accuracy issues. You don't need to fix anything that isn't causing the problem you're trying to solve. Not saying it's your case but, being new and telling us you're adjusting the forcing cone to improve accuracy doesn't tell us why you decided that is where the problem is.

More curious than anything else.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the warm welcome to this forum, and thanks for your opinions.

Varminterror
From what I understand the chamfering gauge is supposed to go into the barrel far enough so that the mouth of the barrel is between the lower level and the higher level of the stepped backside of the gauge plug. As you can see from my first picture there is still a good 2-3mm before the lower level is flush with the barrel mouth.

Jeff
In all honesty I cannot say that I know for sure that it is the forcing cone that is causing the accuracy. I'm simply exploring my options and I'm grateful for any advice.

But I can tell you what has lead me to this point. Like I said I've had the gun for over 15 years and during that time I've tried a bunch of different bullet and charges (I do my own reloading), and the current bullet/powder/charge combination I'm using I one of the better ones so far. I feel like I've explored that avenue quite well and are now looking at other things to improve.

I've also had a gunsmith adjusting the cylinder throats. From what I understand he slugged the barrel to get the proper size of the barrel and then adjusted the cylinder throats accordingly. He did tell me that he thought the barrel was quite tight at the start of the barrel. But he didn't have time or the tools to look into it further at the time, so we kind of left it like it was. This was maybe two years ago.

Then a while ago I read an article about someone with the same style Vaquero as mine who had similar problems with accuracy and who had some success with adjusting the forcing cone using the Brownells chamfering kit and chamfering plug gauge. I think he went the 11 degree route.

I then went to the internet to do some research on this and found a really nice video series on YouTube from someone who calls himself MosinVirus who is restoring an old Colt 1917 and one of the things he does is to adjust the forcing cone and he goes through the whole process in fairly good detail. I can really recommend this video series, its very interesting. Anyways this sparked my interest for the possibility of adjusting the forcing cone to improve the accuracy. So I bought the chamfering gauge plug just out of interest to look at the state of the forcing cone. As you can see in the first picture I attached, in the first post, the plug does not going in far enough. And if this chamfering gauge plug is anything to go by this makes me think that it might be the forcing cone that is to blame. But I'm not sure, and I'm quite hesitant to start cutting metal from my gun so I'm hoping to get some advice from people more knowledgable than me.

I don't know what else to look at. The muzzle and the rifling looks fine as far as I can tell. The distance between the cylinder and the barrel looks normal as compared to other revolvers.

Here is a link to the video series I was talking about, specifically the video with the forcing cone chamfering: https://youtu.be/QRis0_vM8FA?t=11m26s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I measured the length and the diameters of the back and front of the forcing cone on a NMSBH 44 mag. Using trigonometry I calculated about 2.5 degrees each side. So I stand corrected. 5 degrees is the stock forcing cone angle.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
17,148 Posts
Tom15236, Welcome to the forum! I've never seen a factory forcing cone with an angle wider than 8 deg ... most Rugers are 5 deg ... S&Ws are 8 deg. Years ago, some gunsmiths experimented with 16 deg forcing cones ... but it resulted in a very wide barrel mouth ... a considerable loss of pressure and velocity .... not a good fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thanks. What I wanted to try first was lap the machine marks in the forcing cone. If that did not stop leading I was then going to recut to 11 degrees. Brownells info made me think I had an 11 or 18 degree cone. Now after I find out my NMSBH is actually 5 degrees, it is too late to change the order. As I am sure you have heard before, here is what they say about the 5 degree cutter:

Super gentle angle as currently used by Ruger on their .38/.357 DA guns. If you set back a Ruger barrel or just want to duplicate this angle on any other barrel, use this cutter. You CANNOT use 18° or 11° cutters on a 5° throat without exceeding maximum throat diameter or making a compound angle.

Tom
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
17,148 Posts
Tom15236,
You CANNOT use 18° or 11° cutters on a 5° throat without exceeding maximum throat diameter or making a compound angle.
Obviously you haven't spent much time in a gunsmith shop. This is definitely NOT true. Either there is a mistake in the instructions or the person that wrote them never attended a geometry class. You can always widen an angle (ie from 5 deg to 11 deg) but you can not make the angle more narrow without a compound cut ... the opposite of what you stated. Over the years, I have chamfered lots and lots of SA and DA barrels .... from 38 cal to 45 cal with an 11 deg reamer and never had a problem. Usually accuracy improves, sometimes dramatically ... sometimes not at all but I have never seen a single time when accuracy got worse.

The only time gunsmiths use 18 deg reamers is when the cylinder-to-bore alignment is way off and as I noted before, you lose a lot of pressure and velocity so it is not a good fix.

Super gentle angle as currently used by Ruger on their .38/.357 ....
5 degrees is NOT super gentle ... quite the opposite, it is very abrupt .... almost no angle at all. If you look at an 11 deg cone versus a 5 deg cone, you will see ... the deeper "funnel shape" of an 11 deg cut is way more forgiving and will correct minor cylinder-to-bore alignment issues without distorting bullets .... which is the very reason why you chamfer a forcing cone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
"Super gentle angle as currently used by Ruger on their .38/.357 DA guns. If you set back a Ruger barrel or just want to duplicate this angle on any other barrel, use this cutter. You CANNOT use 18° or 11° cutters on a 5° throat without exceeding maximum throat diameter or making a compound angle."

The above was copied from Brownells information on their 5 degree cuter, as I stated in my previous post.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
17,148 Posts
Tom15236, Sorry, I didn't realize the bogus information came from Brownell's. I dug up my instruction sheet for my Brownell's 11 deg reamer and sure enough, there it was ... just as you said. Perhaps something got lost in translation from the manufacturer to Brownell's. The point is ... their information is NOT correct ... in fact you can successfully chamfer a 5 deg forcing cone with an 11 deg reamer without creating a compound cut or an excessively large throat diameter. As noted above, I've done it many many times and have never seen a revolver where it couldn't be successfully changed to 11 deg.

Forcing cone angles can be confusing .... a zero degree angle is no forcing cone at all. 5 deg (2.5 deg per side) is barely a cone so I guess that could be called a "super gentle angle". If cylinder-to-bore alignment was perfect for all chambers in a cylinder, you wouldn't need a forcing cone. Fact is, it would be exceptionally rare to find any production revolver where all chambers aligned perfectly with the bore. The farther off cylinder-to-bore alignment gets, the wider the cone angle has to be to compensate without distorting bullets. This is especially noteworthy when you shoot flat meplat bullets such as a wad cutter or semi wad cutter where the first part of the bullet that contacts the cone is the outside circumference rather than the ogive on a conventional bullet. That why an 11 deg forcing cone works so well with lead wad cutters or SWCs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
I have faced similar problems in the past. I used a 5 degree cutter on my .357s and switched to the 5 degree for my .45s. The reason the rod guide won't go in the barrel is the barrel is "choked" from the barrel installation process. That is why some people to for the Taylor throat. It cuts away much of the barrel choke. Some people use fire lapping to lap out the choking. I haven't tried that myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,366 Posts
As others have said, I have seen accuracy improve, sometimes a little and sometimes a lot, after using my 11 degree cutter. But never have seen accuracy get worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have faced similar problems in the past. I used a 5 degree cutter on my .357s and switched to the 5 degree for my .45s. The reason the rod guide won't go in the barrel is the barrel is "choked" from the barrel installation process. That is why some people to for the Taylor throat. It cuts away much of the barrel choke. Some people use fire lapping to lap out the choking. I haven't tried that myself.
Hi TomC, I heard about barrel "choking" or "crushing" is the term I've heard. This can apparently happen on large calibre (44 - 45 etc.) when the barrel is screwed on to tight. Am I correct?

Do you believe this is what has happened on my Vaquero, looking at the pictures above? If so what can I do about it, can I use the chamfer cutting tool to cut away the choke as you say, or do I need a specialized tool for that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,751 Posts
Just an FYI on my original Vaquero. It had very tight throats and opening them to .4525 which cut my groups in half (You should be able to finger press a .452 bullet in each throat). Still was getting a bit of leading, so cut the forcing cone to 11 degrees as it should be. Leading was still there. Also had a constriction just ahead of the forcing cone I found. So I fire-lapped it out and now it doesn't lead and shoots well enough for a keeper. A bit of work to get it where it needed to be! Since then I ream all my .45 Colt revolver throats to .4525 and cut the forcing cone to 11 degrees as a matter of course. Then if have a problem, check for constrictions. So far I've only had two revolvers have significant barrel constrictions.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top