Extra Cylinder

  • Last Post 01 November 2018
alco posted this 09 October 2018

I was considering buying an extra 45 acp cylinder for a Ruger 45 LC New Model BH.  Would it be a drop-in fit or would a gunsmith have to fit it ?

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 01 November 2018

hi rfmeyer ... first, i don't have any experience fitting ruger cylinders .... and experience is usually better than skill ...( g ) ...

but if it is just that the little protrusion at the front of the cylinder is too long, i GUESS that would be relatively easy to machine to a correct fit.  if too short, i GUESS that it could be spacered to a fit.

it is scary how little i know specifically about this, hoping someone that isn't dangerous might add to this.  i just like to see a plan come together ...

( still find it is out of time?? ... lose heat treat ?? ... )


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rjmeyer314p posted this 01 November 2018

I have two Ruger 45 Colts. I brought a Ruger 45 ACP cylinder on Ebay (or maybe it was gunbroker). I found that it fit and indexed perfectly on the 4 5/8" Ruger, but wouldn't work on the 7 1/2" gun. The important dimension that determines whether it will work or not is the neck on the front of the cylinder. This neck determines barrel-cylinder gap. On my 4 5/8" Ruger the 45 ACP cylinder is more accurate than the 45 Colt Cylinder.

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BigMan54 posted this 30 October 2018

Okay, ED,

Here's a thorny one for you.

Thirty-Five years ago, I sent back to RUGER my Blackhawk in .45 COLT. It needed a new front sight, as my Wife's nephew;


I called Cust. Serv. and got the price, they assured me I would have my revolver back within a couple of weeks. After a month or so I called Cust. Serv. looking for my revolver. It seems there were no replacement Sights available in that configuration at that time. I had asked for the highest front sight available.

Another month or so  passed. I called back and was put off again. This started in the beginning of Febuary, it was now the beginning of June. I was starting to get seriously pissed. I sent a letter to Bill Ruger.

A week later I got a call from Cust. Serv. telling me my revolver was ready for return shipment to me. And would I like an extra .45ACP Cylinder for my inconvenience  ?  I said sure, thank you very much.

I received my revolver 10 days later. I fired about 30rds thru the .45ACP Cylinder, cleaned it and put it in the back corner of a gun safe top shelf. Almost never to be used again.

So My revolver was purchased as .45 COLT only. Now it has a factory fitted .45 ACP Cylinder.

Where does it fit in the serial number sequence ?

Two additional things,

The gun I got back wasn't the one I sent in. The one I sent in had a DEEP nick at the bottom front edge of the frame. Right where COLT puts the SN# on their SAA's. It was too deep to be polished out. I don't know what that kid did to my GUN, but he's never even seen another one of mine.

Next, last year I found the blue .45 ACP Cylinder. Curious I tried it in both of my old .45 COLT - 7 1/2" STS VAQUERO'S. It fit and indexed perfectly in both. I even fired 12 rds of 225gr cast RN out of each gun. No spitting from the B/C gap on either gun.

I called RUGER and asked about fitting an .45 ACP cylinder to one of these revolvers.

NO!!!    It didn't come that way so no you can't have one. GRUMPY, geez. 


Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Ed Harris posted this 29 October 2018

Correct, but if you buy a cylinder from somebody on GunBroker for the same model, chances are better than 50-50 that it will fit, time and index with minor fitting. Key is to measure your cylinder overall length from the gas ring to ratchet, and also just the cylinder length from muzzle end to breech.  If length at gas ring is just a bit long, it is an easy fit.  If cylinder is too short you can fit a Colt-style cylinder bushing and fit it.  One guy I know used an S&W K-frame crane shim and installed it with the cylinder to take up the slop.  

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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M3 Mitch posted this 29 October 2018

Ed, if I understand your post above correctly, Ruger will only do this for a gun that they actually originally sold as a "convertible" according to the serial #, not just say a .45 Colt Blackhawk that was sold just as a .45 Colt, without any .45 ACP cylinder - right?

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Ed Harris posted this 16 October 2018

Ruger's service policy is not to fit a cylinder of a different caliber to an existing revolver which was not a "convertible."

This is because it creates an awkward confusion in their factory serial number records which they prefer to avoid.

If you have a gun originally produced by the factory as a "convertible" revolver, they will replace a "lost" or defective cylinder, but the revolver must be returned to the factory to be re-proofed with the new cylinder.  

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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alco posted this 16 October 2018

I don't think so, I'll have to call and ask !

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M3 Mitch posted this 16 October 2018

Just wondering - can you order a new cylinder from Ruger?  They usually do provide really excellent customer service.

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Eutectic posted this 14 October 2018

Having owned several Blackhawks I would say an extra cylinder for the same model is a safe bet. Ruger does not individually time their cylinders. A cylinder made for the same model in the same time period will probably fit. You should be sure you get return rights from the seller just in case.


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Brodie posted this 09 October 2018

The cylinder would still have to have to be timed to line up perfectly with the barrel unless you were incredible lucky.


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