The late Bill Ruger Snr. was a black powder enthusiast - and when he decided to build his own version of a cap-and-ball revolver - he started with the 'Old Model Blackhawk' frame and action.
He Liked Cars Too.
The 'old model Blackhawk' was made from 1963 to 1972 - So when the new 'Ruger Old Army' (ROA) was introduced in 1972 - it used the early ("three screw") grip-frame and action parts of the Blackhawk - while the New Model Blackhawk moved forward to use the new transfer bar system (and the new "two pin" frame.)
The great blued model Old Army was followed by the superb Stainless Steel version in 1975 - both coming with a 7.5" round barrel and adjustable sights.
- But You Still Have to Clean Them Properly after use.
The cylinders are produced as castings rather than machined from solid bar stock and have 'safety notches' between the chambers (- and the guns have a half-cock hammer position). Cylinders were proof-tested by loading to maximum capacity of 'Bullseye' and then topped with a ball!
Note: Anyone stoopid enough to be prejudiced against Rugers should note that they produce investment cast components for a SURPRISING number of other well known U.S. gun manufacturers.
Warning: It is not safe to leave a loaded and capped 'ROA' in the half-cocked condition. - you should lower the hammer with the cylinder rotated onto the 'safety notch' position.
- Sad to say but Ruger ceased production of the 'Old Army' in 2008 - despite offering it in fixed sights versions in 1994 and having brought-out 5.1/2" barrel models in 2002.
Five and a half inch 'fixed sight' Model Old Army.
So .. The Old Army cap-and-ball was based on the original 'Blackhawk' - which was itself modelled on the 'Colt Peacemaker' - but the black powder features of the Old Army were styled on the Remington Model 1858.
Remington Model 1858
- In other words - the 'ROA' is not a replica or copy of anything - rather it is a very strongly built modern black powder revolver that will out-perform any period piece .. and it also looks very manly!
Hickok45 is Good Value Eh.
The early ROA guns were sold as being '44 Calibre' but later became .45"Calibre - but they all used the same .457" diameter balls (or conical pure lead bullets).
Conversion cylinders have been made that let you fire these "ROA"s using brass .45" COLT cartridges.
Bootifuel - I rest my case. (except they don't make them anymore - thirty-six years of production but ).
P.S. - How about using something like these for faster loading then?
45" Calibre B.P. Paper Cartridges.
- and maybe a home-made cartridge box to hold them?
An 18th Century Cartridge box.