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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wanting to make some modifications to my Vaquero and have some questions.

One change is to replace the ejector rod housing and the ejector rod. This looks pretty simple. Anything I should watch out for? I'm planning on using parts ordered from Qualite Pistol & Revolver (www.qpr-inc.com). Anyone have any expierience with these people or their products.

Another change is for a new hammer kit from Power Custom Inc. (www.powercustom.com). I don't like the fact that the chambers don't line up for cartridge ejection and their kit is supposed to "Make Ruger Single Actions feel more like Colt Single Action. When on Halfcock, open the loading gate- chambers line up with the loading gate for ease of operation, spin the cylinder & hear the pawl sing. On Hammer draw you can hear and feel 3 postive clicks."

Those are things I'd like to do. Disassembly and assembly is another question. Anything I should be very careful of outside of taking my time and doing it right?

I'm not doing this to save a buck, I'd just like to do it to learn something about gunsmithing and in the process make some personal enhancements to my revolver.

Thanks!
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Ejector rod: Simple, one screw.

Hammer: A bit more involved, if you have good screwdrivers (that fit the screws) then I would suggest that it isn't too hard. Go slow and think about every step, study the parts. It's pretty well impossible to put it back together where it won't work, unless you have parts left over. Just don't take out the funky-shaped flat spring that bears against both the bolt and the loading gate, that one is tough to put back without 3 hands.

While you're in there, I'd suggest a reduced-power trigger return spring (Wolfe et al).
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
One more question. What kind of a punch would I use to remove the hammer and trigger pivot pins? I don't want to mark the face of the pins with a steel punch.

Thanks again.
 

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No punch is required. After disassembling th frame you will see that the hammer pin is held in by a long grip frame screw and the other pin is held in by the flat gate spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK. I ordered the Hammer Only and Trigger Only from Power Custom. I guess I'll get it in several days. I did not order any springs.

Now, I just need to get a good set of screw drivers and I'll attack my Ruger. It may be awhile before I get to it, but for those who are curious or those newbe gunsmiths, I'll let you know what happens.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I received and installed the Hammer and Trigger from Power Custom. The installation of the Hammer and Trigger is quite simple after you take everything apart.

The tools I used were simple. A 1/8” bladed screw driver, a 1-1/2” 4D finishing nail, a 2” 6D finishing nail, a small, light hammer and some masking tape.

The night before I stated this project, I printed a schematic that I downloaded for the Ruger (Schematic ID #24) from Brownell’s website along with the numbered parts list. This is easier to read as the parts are number 1, 2, 3, etc and are easy to find on the schematic. The diagram in the Ruger manual has Ruger part numbers and it makes it a little harder to find the description for a part such as MR07300, which is the Gate Detent Spring.

After I printed the schematic, I took the revolver and worked the hammer, trigger, cylinder, and loading gate. I watched what parts moved at what times and then I tried to picture what was happening inside the grip frame and cylinder frame referring back to the diagram to visualize what parts were moving inside. I guess I spent about 45 minutes doing this.

The next day I started the actual project. I used the Ruger instruction manual for the disassembly procedures. The 1/8” bladed screw driver worked perfect for the screws that needed to be removed. The 1-1/2” 4D finishing nail worked for the hole at the bottom of the hammer strut. The hammer and trigger come with instructions on how to disassemble the gun, but grammatically it leaves a bit to be desired. Probably the same with this post.

To be safe, as you remove each screw, label it as to which hole it came out of. There is one long screw that comes out of the bottom of the grip frame. Its purpose is to engage the groove in the hammer pivot and lock it in place. Mine was on the opposite side as to what was indicated in the manual. Obviously, the groove in the hammer pivot was on the opposite side as that indicated in the manual. When I checked out the screw hole in the cylinder frame, there was some metal in the hole that would keep the screw from going in all the way, so when it was originally assembled, they used the other side and put the pivot in reversed. Just make sure the long screw goes in the side that has the notch in the hammer pivot.

The hardest thing to remove was the Gate Detent Spring. You almost need 3 hands to do it. There is a tool that I saw on Midway or Mid South Shooters or some such website, that would depress the spring and hold it so it is easier to remove the trigger pivot.

I used the 2” 6D finishing nail as a punch to remove both the hammer and trigger pivots. I used the head of the nail as the punch part. I’m sure a small punch (I didn’t have one) would work fine. To protect the finish of the pivots, I covered the head with small pieces of masking tape.

One thing you have to do which I did not read on Power Custom’s website (I might have missed it) is modify the transfer bar. If you want the loading gate to open at half cock, you must remove some of the shaft on the transfer bar. When I saw this I said “Oh S#*T”. But it didn’t turn out to be that bad. You just need to be careful not to remove too much of the shaft. The instructions show this quite clearly. I think I took off a little less then they specified and the gate would open at half cock. The thing is, you don’t want to take off to much because if you do, the gate will be able to open at full-cock. The gun should still work, but it’s a safety factor. Remember, you can always take more off, but you can put it back on.

It took me about an hour to complete the transfer bar modification, but that was because I was trying different things to use and hold it in place while I worked on it.

Re-assembly is pretty easy except, again, for the Gate Detent Spring. You need to depress the spring to get the trigger pivot started. When re-assembling the revolver, I covered the head of the small hammer with masking tape to keep from scratching the face of the pivots when I tapped them back into place.

After getting it all back together, its important that you make sure it all works right before actually firing it. I worked the action several times and loaded some brass with spent primers and worked the gun “through the numbers” just to see that all was working and felt right.

Today, I took it to the range and fired it. I know it worked fine, because I’m here to tell the story.

For you experienced gunsmiths, this is probably a simple project, but for someone like me who has never done this before it was a great leaning experience. It was also fun and I learned something about how everything works together.

If it ain’t broke, find out why.:D

Addendum to the above post:

When you do a live fire excercise, bring your 1/8 inch screwdriver with you. After firing some rounds (I did about 20) check the five screws to be sure that they are not coming out. If they are you can cinch 'em up with the screwdriver. I had no problem at all, but you may and you surely don't want your pistol falling apart in the middle of a public shooting range.:p

Another addition to my report is the process of cutting the transfer bar. I don't have a lot of tools and the ones I do have probably aren't very good for gunsmithing.

To start the cutting of the transfer bar, I clamped it on the edge of my Black & Decker Workmate Workbench and marked the limit of what I was going to remove with a marking pen. Then I got my saber saw with a blade for steel and started cutting enough to make a groove to mark my limit. Then from there, I hand filed it down.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Well done, looks like a possible 'Tech Note' to me...... I'll suggest this to Marshall.
 

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Very well written and explained, Two Bits. I agree with MikeG, sounds like a Tech Note.
 

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PowerCustom and Qualite

All the above mentioned parts are available from Brownells.
I've seen both at gun shows and the quality looks great.
If you change to the qualite ejector rods, they must be fit to the ejector housing, in the area where they run in the slot, with a small file. The Qualite guy showed me how to do this.
This is relative to the Colt/cam style ej housing, they may fit the straight slot ones ok.
Humpty
 

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Two-Bits,

How heavy was your trigger pull with the Power Custom hamer and trigger using the factory springs?
How did the new action feel as you were shooting, and loading and unloading?

I bought a Power Custom kit complete with springs for a Blackhawk I was going to buy but didn't, yet.
I had intended on using the factory mainspring and the P.C. trigger return spring.

I was like you once upon a time, many summers ago. Very carefull and concerned about where each and every part went.
Now I know where they all go and only wory if they roll off my bench. Then I once again get concerned about where the went.
Good job, good report. Thanks for posting it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
J:
I didn't notice any difference in the trigger pull after I made my changes. Also, the action seemed no different to me than before the changes that I made.

The only thing I changed regarding the trigger pull was to remove one of the trigger spring arms from the post that it rests on. This was something I had done even before the modifications that I made and like I said, I didn't notice any difference. I think that this trigger spring change is mentioned somewhere in this forum. I have read about it in several different places, but I couldn't tell ya' where.

Also, the hammer pull is fine with me. My pistola is still using the factory mainspring. I don't do any CAS so, for me, that is not a big concern. I don't need to lighten it up.

Something I should have added in my original report was that when you do a live fire excercise, bring your 1/8 inch screwdriver with you. After firing some rounds (I did about 20) check the five screws to be sure that they are not coming out. If they are you can cinch 'em up with the screwdriver. I had no problem at all, but you may and you surely don't want your pistol falling apart in the middle of a public shooting range.:p

Another addition to my report is the process of cutting the transfer bar. I don't have a lot of tools and the ones I do have probably aren't very good for gunsmithing.

To start the cutting of the transfer bar, I clamped it on the edge of my Black & Decker Workmate Workbench and marked the limit of what I was going to remove with a marking pen. Then I got my saber saw with a blade for steel and started cutting enough to make a groove to mark my limit. Then from there, I hand filed it down.

I think I'll cut these two little gotcha's and put them in my original post.:rolleyes:
 
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