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Dry firing savety & broken Ruger Old Army hammer Login/Join 
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I have been layed up for a few long months (actually years) and been spending my time working on my old Ruger Army revolver making it as close to a target pistol as possible. T5rigger now clean - no backlash, shoots like a dream. I have spent many hours dry-firing it in my living room. I have no idea how many time the hammer has hit the end of it stroke, but well over several thousand. I have never know a good pistol shot who has not utilized the opportunity to learn through dry-firing.

Last night I cocked the hammer, aimed at a spot on my wall and pulled the trigger and something came flying back at me, flew past my face and landed on the carpet behind me. I looked over the Ruger Old Army and it looked OK, then started looking for the piece that flew past me. I found it, the back of the hammer spur, broken off a the first serrate for a thumb grip. This happens to be the most critical spot for a stress raiser and I now understand why the old colts and many of the other single actions all had their serrates or checkering bracketed rather than going all the way out to the side of the hammer.

I do not plan on replacing the hammer, if anything it may be more accurate due to a faster lock time with out the tail of the hammer.

The main reason I am sharing this with others who may see it is that I always use safety glasses when shooting, but rarely while dry firing. The tail of the hammer could just as easily hit me in the eye and could have been serious.

All comments are welcome!
Posts: 2319 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: June 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too old to run,
too mean to quit!
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Have you thought about the reduced weight hammer making it a little "unreliable" when firing?

Will it not hit the primer with less force?

Just asking.


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Posts: 24346 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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please post threads in the correct area.


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Posts: 25742 | Location: Love that dirty water, oh | Registered: June 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am curious to know the BOD of the ROA and if anything had been done to mod the hammer.


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Posts: 408 | Location: Idaho, west of Beaver Dicks Ferry | Registered: August 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No modifications, other than remove one nipple from the cylinder chamber that always threw one round out of the group. This revolver is very accurate!! I plan on using it in competition this spring. Five shots is the usual number of rounds shot at a time.

I have dry fired this revolver for over 15 years, no problems. The reason I posted this message is that after working with this revolver for such a long time I had completely started neglecting wearing glasses of any kind while dry firing. Then the hammer spur broke and sent the serrated part of the spur flying back past my head missing me by inches. It could have just as easily been in my eye! There was enough force to propel the part of the spur about 18 feet behind me. The whole reason for this post was to warn others that no matter what we are far ahead when we wear safety glasses.
Posts: 2319 | Location: Wyoming | Registered: June 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good reminder on safety glasses. But I don't get how a piece of the hammer goes backward with speed? you cock it at no speed and then it goes forward. How does it go backwards with authority. it confuses me. But I am not a single action guy.

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Posts: 7719 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Elk Hunter:

Will it not hit the primer with less force?

Less mass, replaced by more speed. Probably a wash, but who knows with percussion caps.
The ROA's have heavier main springs than standard Ruger Single actions. I'd guess to compensate for all the extra mass of that funky hammer.

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Posts: 16650 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Glad you are OK, Ed. Having a hunk that size hit you in the eye would be a bad deal.

Posts: 24061 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Glad you are ok.

I read this thread with interest as I have an ROA also. I know the manual says dry firing is ok, but I just haven't.

I did tune the sear surfaces a bit for smoothness though, and slicked up internals.

When dry-firing, did you ever put anything on the nipples to cushion the blow?

The reason I ask is that this sounds something like the way dry firing on some automatic pistols can lead to work hardening of the firing pin if it isn't stopped by a snap cap.

And then the tip, becoming brittle, can break.

Here this hammer spur broke right where the wide hammer spur on Colt Pythons tends to break.

Glad all is ok.

Sig P226, P220 Carry Stainless Elite, and a bunch of non-sigs. Smile
Posts: 529 | Location: South San Joaquin Valley, CA | Registered: September 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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