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I just found out that Ruger made a Black powder revolver called the Old Army can anyone tell me anything about them I know they stopped making them in 2008 but that's about it and what's a good price for one
 

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What would you like to know? They made them in blued and stainless. Both materials usually have a 7 1/2” barrel, however they did make a few with 5 1/2” barrels, but those are hard to find. Most have adjustable sights but again, there are some with fixed. It is easier to find one with fixed sights than a 5 1/2” barrel. Think of the old army as a black powder Blackhawk. It is a black powder revolver that is much stronger than a typical BP reproduction revolver (no, don’t use smokeless). A good price? Expect to pay $800-$900 for a excellent condition used model. Of course individual auctions may vary, but premium condition examples go quick.




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What would you like to know? They made them in blued and stainless. Both materials usually have a 7 1/2” barrel, however they did make a few with 5 1/2” barrels, but those are hard to find. Most have adjustable sights but again, there are some with fixed. It is easier to find one with fixed sights than a 5 1/2” barrel. Think of the old army as a black powder Blackhawk. It is a black powder revolver that is much stronger than a typical BP reproduction revolver (no, don’t use smokeless). A good price? Expect to pay $800-$900 for a excellent condition used model. Of course individual auctions may vary, but premium condition examples go quick.




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are they in 45 cal. because some say 44 a little confusing
 

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Yes, ALL Ruger Old Army revolvers shoot a .457 ball. Other .44 percussion revolvers may require .454. Why we still hang on to calling percussion revolvers .44? Historical :

From another site on .44 reference: "Back in the 1800's. a 44 barrel would be drilled out to a .44. After that the barrel would be rifled. The rifling process used would make the diameter bigger than a 44 actually making it a 45. however they would go with the original measurement of .44 calling it a .44."
 

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Yes, there is some confusion over the caliber. It is my understanding that they were sold as both .44 and .45 caliber, but they all use the same .457 diameter projectile. It’s just one of those things that Ruger does from time to time to confuse people, like the whole old model/new model/old vaquero/new vaquero fun. FYI, the old army is always a three screw non-transfer bar old style and thus should not be carried with the hammer on a cap.


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Lots of models made over the years even some special editions. I shoot .457 round ball and with the special cylinder .45 Colt Cowboy loads also.
 

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Rugged, durable, powerful ... and heavy. Just pick one up and then pick up a 1860 Army.... Or the Remington .44 of the time period. See which one would be a bit 'handier' on the trail, or long marches :) . I like 'em and enjoy shooting 'em.... But I wonder which I would have picked in 1861 if the ROA was available then.....
 
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What would you like to know? They made them in blued and stainless. Both materials usually have a 7 1/2” barrel, however they did make a few with 5 1/2” barrels, but those are hard to find. Most have adjustable sights but again, there are some with fixed. It is easier to find one with fixed sights than a 5 1/2” barrel. Think of the old army as a black powder Blackhawk. It is a black powder revolver that is much stronger than a typical BP reproduction revolver (no, don’t use smokeless). A good price? Expect to pay $800-$900 for a excellent condition used model. Of course individual auctions may vary, but premium condition examples go quick.




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great info thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rugged, durable, powerful ... and heavy. Just pick one up and then pick up a 1860 Army.... Or the Remington .44 of the time period. See which one would be a bit 'handier' on the trail, or long marches :) . I like 'em and enjoy shooting 'em.... But I wonder which I would have picked in 1861 if the ROA was available then.....
i am thinking of adding one
 

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Good for you. Everyone should have at least one ROA laying around :) . Hopefully you can find one.
 
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Yes, there is some confusion over the caliber. It is my understanding that they were sold as both .44 and .45 caliber, but they all use the same .457 diameter projectile. It’s just one of those things that Ruger does from time to time to confuse people, like the whole old model/new model/old vaquero/new vaquero fun. FYI, the old army is always a three screw non-transfer bar old style and thus should not be carried with the hammer on a cap.


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Look again at the cylinder on the Old Army. It has notches between each nipple. These are safety notches for the hammer to rest on. So, you can indeed load six into it safely. Just let the hammer down in a safety notch.
 

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Look again at the cylinder on the Old Army. It has notches between each nipple. These are safety notches for the hammer to rest on. So, you can indeed load six into it safely. Just let the hammer down in a safety notch.
Yup, not on a cap.


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Now Cary, how did yours leave the factory without being properly finished (blued)???? :) . Kidding. I do shoot my blued ROAs more than the stainless though! Both finishes make for nice revolvers.
 
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Now Cary, how did yours leave the factory without being properly finished (blued)???? :) . Kidding. I do shoot my blued ROAs more than the stainless though! Both finishes make for nice revolvers.
When I purchased that Old Army from a guy, he had put it away after a shooting match without cleaning it, (said he just forgot) and it was bady pitted all over it. It took me many many hours of sanding and polishing to get it looking like that again. I purchased that revolver and a .50 cal Hawken rifle from him for $250.00.
 

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Good job on cleaning it up! Turned out very nice! Looks factory 'fresh' :) .
 
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knifegeak, There is no difference .... all Ruger Old Armies have the same bore diameter but the early production model was measured the traditional muzzle loader way (44 cal) and the other was measured the same way modern center fire revolvers are measured (45 cal).

44 Cal muzzle loader rifles and pistols use a 44 cal lead ball wrapped with a cloth patch. This makes the overall projectile diameter and bore 45 cal (gets its name from the 44 cal bullet). Modern revolver bores are measured from the distance between the grooves in the rifling so the modern way to measure an Old Army bore would be 45 cal. Ruger Old Army revolvers don't use a cloth patch so a .457" lead bullet is squished in the cylinder with a seating lever. This make a tight seal between the bore and bullet. Confusing, huh?

I have an Old Army and a 44 cal 1858 Remington clone (ASM). It says right on its factory box "44 cal", however it uses the same .457" soft lead ball bullets as my ROA.

Here's my ROA with a factory brass grip frame:


Here's my 1858 Remington clone with a similarity to the ROA:
 
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