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Discussion Starter #1
So by now I've sold off all my non ruger products, why? Because I want more Rugers. I have A 3" SP101 with hogue monogrips in .357 magnum & a NM Blackhawk 4.5/8" in .357 magnum as well, both Stainless Steel.
I'll picture them below.

I want to pick up a Ruger Single Six, but with the fixed sights, and this only comes in a blued version (and in a cowboy setup = gorgeous)
I am however hesitant on the blued guns, as i've never owned one, and from what I know, they rust easier, scratch easier, and are harder to maintain and clean.

My Questions:
How does Ruger perform the blueing process?
How does blueing hold up compared to Stainless?
(I live in MOIST southern California)
Can Blued guns be cleaned just like my Stainless guns?
IE: Brass brush, hopes #9, steel brush on cylinder face, etc...
Are Blued guns stored the same way as Stainless Guns?

So as it pertains to the Ruger Single Six Model NR-5F, how do my questions stack up. I'll post pictures below

My Guns:


The Single Six I'm asking about:
 

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1) Unless Ruger has changed its blueing process, blueing is by salt bath. A gun given a bath in blueing salts must be PASSIVATED: washed, neutralized. If passivation is not complete, white salts will grow, with rust following.

2) As a chemical coloring, blueing is superficial----on the surface. Over time, holstering causes blue to wear, most notably on sides of barrel and cylinder. Holstering may burnish brushed or bead-blasted stainless, or scratch high polish stainless.

3) Clean blued and stainless guns the same, with conventional gun solvents, and oil. Hoppe's #9, traditional as well as Copper #9, may be left on blue or stainless indefinitely. Do not let Hoppe's or stronger ammonia dope solvents sit on a nickel plated firearm.

Some of the newer chemical solvents have no rust inhibiting properties, therefore cannot be considered protective. High ammonia dopes are corrosive, and should not be left on for more than a few minutes.

4) Blued and stainless may be stored in a dry space after wiping with silicone or oil. If a gun must be stored in a damp environment it should be greased or waxed or painted, and wrapped in silicone-impregnated paper or oilcloth. Rust will grow as a red stain on stainless firearms stored unprotected in humidity.

Generally not good to store a pistol in a holster, unless conditions are dry and you absolutely know the quality of the leather. There is a lot of over-brined leather out there, with crap tanning from South America and cardboard garbage from China.

A person who has very acidic sweat will cause a gun to rust almost immediately. Guns should be wiped down after handling.
David Bradshaw
 

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My guess is that keeping a gun in nice appearance is important to you. Me too. That's why I greatly prefer stainless over blued.

There were stainless Single-Sixes with fixed sights, just not being made right now, for some Ruger reason I can't understand. That might be your best answer, to find one of those in nice shape.
 

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I prefer of course blued over stainless. Stainless, to me, just appears unfinished. Said that before :) . Yes, blued will wear, but that just gives it character. As for rust, stainless is more resistant to rust, but not rust proof. Blued is not as big 'rust' problem as some think.... As for face of cylinder, you just clean with Hoppes #9 and what doesn't come off stays. No need to be anal about that. Maintenance is as simple as stainless. All done a light wipe down with a oily patch and in the bore, and cylinder and all is well for storage. At least that is what I do. If I am going to shoot the gun again within the week, I don't even bother doing that after cleaning.

David covered your question.
 

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Got several blued guns...some quite old and they still look great...I also live in SoCal and don't really sweat the humidity...I clean with Hoppe's #9 for carbon and fouling in the bbl and cylinder...I use a plastic as opposed to copper brush when I brush (Hoppe's eats copper so if you use it on the brush it also eats the brush....If I want to remove any leading I wrap a few strands of the copper (100% pure copper...don't buy a "look alike" that is steel) Chore Boy around the plastic bristled brush...after the bbl and cylinder is clean I use Breakfree CLP and wipe everything down well...I use a toothbrush to clean the cylinder face and frame parts (never use the "lead removal cloths" that are made for stainless cylinder faces...the cloths will ruin the bluing)... and I use pipe cleaners with a bit of CLP on the tip to wriggle in and around the trigger, hammer, etc...if I don't shoot monthly or more I just get the guns out...look them over...really particular about finger prints....rub them with a rag that has some CLP just sort of worked into it and then dry and then wipe with a silicone cloth...I've never had rust problems...if you have a safe you probably need a dehumidifier or the desicant bags or units....I'm a firm believer to get the guns out...look them over...wipe them down and check on how things are storing. I have a friend that had a very large Winchester long gun collection....he stored it for many many years and never a rust problem on blued weapons...Stainless is great...I have them for my "house guns" as they live in drawers and on top of cabinets and are stored in cloth holsters...I still wipe them down about monthly or so.
 

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I saw a used GP100 in a LGS a few days ago. When I looked closely the surface of the stainless was pitted from rust. The rust was removed but the pitting remained and I would gues it would take a considerable amount of work to remove enough metal to eliminate the damage and it still would be evident around some of the roll markings. They didn't check very well under the extractor - still rust there. The point being stainless steel is stainLESS not stainPROOF and left unchecked rust damage will occur.

I have also lusted after some blued guns lately that are achingly beautiful and I would love to own, especially some old S&W and Colts. The bluing on some of these old guns is lustrous and breathtaking. And they are old - 40+ years in some cases and have been shot and used with no ill effects to the bluing.

I wouldn't hold back from the blued version Single Six you posted. I think it looks terrific. You said "and in a cowboy setup = gorgeous" and I would add - in a cowboy setup appropriate. No cowboy ever rode the range carrying a "munitions grade chrome-molybdenum" six-shooter.
 

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Condition of your Mosin Nagant rifle and your revolvers indicates your attention to maintenance.

The old Ruger Single-Six was polished and blued. The New Model you pictured looks to be bead blasted. A high polish is much more rust resistant than bead-blast blue. Polish closes the "pores," as the old timers say, while any etching of the surface, such as non-glare type preparation, provides "tooth" for moisture.

My old S&W M-29 6-1/2" .44 logged years of daily wear in a holster and belt of my making. The holster I water molded from the finest oil-tanned English saddle leather I ever saw. It rode on a 3-inch belt with pull-through cartridge loops. The belt adjusts for .357, .44, .45, etc.

For all the times that beautifully polished and blued model 29 has been drawn and reholstered, it retains more blueing, more richness, than any gun made today will have in three months, so used. That is the old charcoal blue, when S&W packed the barreled-frame and yoke and cylinder and sideplate in barrels and somehow this most amazing blue was born.

I have newer S&W's, still old school quality, with beautifully case hardened triggers and hammers, which shed their blueing much faster than that old 29. perhaps they were blued the same way, but the older gun was packed longer in charcoal.

What I'm leading up to is, you may want to look for an old Polished & Blued Ruger to satisfy your taste for old school authenticity. If it happens to be a pre-transfer bar gun, you can have Ruger retrofit the transfer bar lockwork (Ruger returns the original parts). Believe there is no charge.

Most of the bead blast guns are black, not blue. Best to have a look-see before you decide. From the production standpoint, bead-blast is dirt cheap compared to polish & blue.

If you want to pop out your eyeballs on real blueing, check out the old Colts at the Hartford Library, the old revolvers at S&W in Springfield, and the collections at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody.
David Bradshaw
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have decided on FIRST getting the stainless steel super single six in the 5.5" barrel configuration. Due to the fact that I obtain monthly revenue from my youtube channel via auto repair & firearms videos, I will most likely end up buying the blued fixed sight version in a month or so's time.

The beauty of free money.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone.
Much appreciated down here in sunny southern California
 
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