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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Ruger Old Army On Range:

Todays Quiz:
Your Starter question for five points: - What is this and do you have to be a complete banana to do it?

That's a "Dry Ball" 
- Yup, - 'someone' loaded six balls into the cylinder - but only five charges of black-powder.- I later "pulled" the stuck ball using a wood-screw.
Anyway, - apart from that one small glitch - the weekend went well and we shot some 70 rounds from the ROA over both days..
Why Has Everything Gone Misty?
I ran one cylinder load over the chronograph and my '35 grain' charge seemed to indicate either a nonsense 1700 foot per second or 260 ft. per sec. with the 140gn ball - but I was getting the false readings from all the ejaculate of paper and globs of grease, unburnt powder etc. going down-range.
  - We were out-of-luck to try the chronograph again later, as some poor soul (not me - Hi Col.) then perforated the chronograph body using a modern round - and let all the electricity out - so now he needs to go shopping.
- My guess is that the .457" balls are making just below 1000 ft. per sec. - Many folk may think of these old charcoal burners as low powered antiques - but the tales of riding through a herd of  'buffalo' firing to right and left and dropping several bison with single shots from a 44 Revolver are fact.
One respected version  of the historic 1865 Hickok -Tutt duel has Hickok use a .44 Colt Dragoon (or was the gun a .36"cal. Colt Navy?) to kill Davis Tutt with a heart shot at a measured 75 yards. This shot was tested and repeated five out of six shots by Mike Cumpston using a replica Uberti Dragoon on an IPSC target in his book Percussion Revolvers.
- I've observed that my Ruger SP101 .22 R.F. revolver goes crack, crack .. (8 times)
 - my GP100 .357" Magnum goes BANG (x6),
  - but the Ruger Old Army .44" goes BOOM - YEHAAH!
First Cylinder Load at 35 feet Range.
The ROA 44 seemed popular and there was a small line waiting to have a shot.. I was calling "fire in the hole" when raising the capped gun onto target.
It had been a cold week prior to the shooting weekend - but Sunday was a lovely sunny mild day and we had a good humoured crowd plus guests on range.
 - Official first day of Winter here in New Zealand on Monday 1st June - as well as "Queens Birthday" public holiday.
- There are both good points and negatives when using the home-made Self-Consuming paper cartridges ..
 You certainly can't forget to load the powder when it's attached to the ball eh - but the cup of charred paper left in the chamber meant that I needed to strip the gun down and clear each chamber before reloading. - So what you save in the loading procedure is lost in the stripping-down.
Black Powder Shooting Adds Another Dimension to The Day Out.
- Remember to bring a waste rag for grubby hand wiping!
The revolver gets very greasy and sooty all over. - The off range "apres shoot" cleaning may have settled into a pattern of removing the grips (stocks) - take-down and place the cylinder into a boiling pot of  soapy water, - hold the frame and barrel into a sink of hot detergent water and scrub well inside and out.
 - Flush with clean boiling water then place all the hot S.S parts to dry - then polish, lubricate and swab the bore. - Re-assemble.
You can do most of this while brewing a pot of coffee and drinking same - before elevating the feet for a 'granny nap'.
Life is good,
Marty K..