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Vaquero Cylinder Skipping


Chicken George*

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I just discovered that one of my Ruger New Vaqueros (blued) is skipping spaces once in a while when shooting fast. I can see that a few of the slots are worn a bit. I can swap cylinders from other guns and the problem goes away. 

 

So can the original cylinder be repaired or does it need to be replaced? Is this repair something I could have done by the gunsmiths at EOT (hopefully before the match) and if so, who would be best? 

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I have a few Vaqueros, they are usually problem free. Perhaps posting a picture of your cylinder would help.

 

But I do have a WAG. The Vaquero bolt is pushed into the slot by that little spring and plunger in the grip frame. The pin and spring on the hammer unlocks the bolt and allows the cylinder to move. In essence the two spring work in harmony, and they rely on the bolt being clean and lubed. 

 

The fact that a different cylinder, worn a bit less, or not at all tells me that whatever the issue is, it is at the state where a bit of change causes an issue. 

 

Between the notches on the cylinder is a flat surface where the bolt drops against. I check this fairly regularly, it is a barometer of how well that system is working. There should be a drag mark that begins in the middle of the flat, if the drag extends, it usualy indicates an issue, usually a need for some lube, or a cleaning. Basically two springs activate two plungers to toggle the bolt. The timing is controlled by friction and how freely the plungers work. 

 

20220212_145217.thumb.jpg.cf8a758c6517c6c3c1be5c4fe9888e40.jpg

 

You can see a faint drag mark from when I let it get a bit dirty, the main drag mark shows the typical timing on an out of the box Vaquero. 

 

The bolt has to snap into the recess, to the bottom, to lock the cylinder, for it to ship over the notch something has to be amiss. Check the bolt pressure and hoe free it moves, you have others to compare to. Please post a picture, hard to visualize "worn a bit".

 

BB

 

 

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40 minutes ago, John Barleycorn, SASS #76982 said:

Send it back to Ruger. They will fix it free. I think they are still sending shipping labels too.

Most likely that's what I will do after the match. But, I would be willing to pay a decent amount not to. I don't want to swap out the boogie short stroke kit along with all the light springs (the firing pin spring is the worst) and be without my gun for a while. Do you think I could send just my cylinder in? 

 

Big Boston, thanks for the helpful information. Between three slots there is normal wear marks and three have a continuous line (the ones that are skipping). We compared the bolt tension to others and it is at least as strong. It engages when it should, is oiled and is definitely not dirty. 

 

I don't think there is a problem with the gun. I think the problem is with the boys that dry fired it a bunch. I did catch one spinning the cylinder and slamming the gate closed while it was moving (he got a good chewing). The gun had never been fired. I installed the short stroke in it, oiled everything while it was apart, it was dry fired a lot and then we noticed this problem the first time we live fired it. 

20220212_150354.thumb.jpg.030385494e3898df0b36ef52cb28d923.jpg

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Yep, your pic shows some significant slot damage from closing the loading gate while cylinder was spinning fast.  Ruger may consider that non-normal wear, and ask for compensation when they provide a new cylinder, which will probably need fitting.

 

 

Another thing that can happen is the "U" spring for the cylinder latch / gate is not installed properly.  Thus it does not put correct pressure on the cylinder latch (aka bolt).

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Yep, your pic shows some significant slot damage from closing the loading gate while cylinder was spinning fast.  Ruger may consider that non-normal wear, and ask for compensation when they provide a new cylinder, which will probably need fitting.

 

 

Another thing that can happen is the "U" spring for the cylinder latch / gate is not installed properly.  Thus it does not put correct pressure on the cylinder latch (aka bolt).

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

This and might as well change the cylinder latch.

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However, if there is cylinder material that has peened into the locking slots, that can sometimes just be stoned or filed out of the slot, leaving enough depth of slot to grab the latch surface and hold the cylinder aligned with the barrel.  Look straight down into each slot of the cylinder.  A hand loupe or magnifying glass may be needed to see this enlarged enough to check damage.   Look for metal peened over into the slot openings.   That displaced metal is what would need to be removed.  But no more.  Don't make locking engagement worse by removing more metal than what is needed to get secure lockup.

 

Test fit the latch movement into the slot, without spring loading of the latch, just finger pressure on the latch.  If the latch easily fits up into each locking slot in the cylinder after some careful stoning, you may be able to get by without a cylinder replacement.

 

good luck, GJ

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Also examine the bolt itself, it may have been damaged as well. 

 

A shame, IMO the wear marks tell me that it was a good one. Mine, in the picture, was a used gun, and the damage had been camouflaged fairly well. I did not notice the abuse for a month or so. I got it working well in the end, but she was rode hard and put away wet in it's former life. She's no safe queen. 

 

BB

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15 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Yep, your pic shows some significant slot damage from closing the loading gate while cylinder was spinning fast.  Ruger may consider that non-normal wear, and ask for compensation when they provide a new cylinder, which will probably need fitting.

 

 

Another thing that can happen is the "U" spring for the cylinder latch / gate is not installed properly.  Thus it does not put correct pressure on the cylinder latch (aka bolt).

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

I replaced the "U" spring in a Vaquero that was skipping over just one chamber. The spring had a weird bend that didn't match a factory replacement. Solved the problem. It locked up on every chamber except one. 

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The slots don't have any metal peened in them. The latch looks pretty good, fits in them well and locks up tight when going slow. So it is close and maybe something could be adjusted a little and save it. The spring makes sense that it could be contributing so I will definitely check that out. I think I will file the top of the latch a speck to see if I can get the stopping edge a little sharper. 

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2 hours ago, Big Iron Patnode SASS 60632 said:

See Shotgun Boogie @ EOT,  he can fix that skip.

 

I was wondering how the Boogie short stroke kit would influence the fix. Going to the source for a fix seems like sound advice. Please keep us posted on the "fix".

 

BB

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On 2/13/2022 at 11:43 AM, "Big Boston" said:

Please keep us posted on the "fix".

I put the original cylinder latch/bolt spring back in. It is a lot stronger than the spring in the boogie kit. It still skips. I swapped out the "u" spring and also a latch from another gun but nothing helped.

 

After checking out everything really well, I don't see how anything besides the cylinder could be improved enough to make a difference. I mean the gun is pretty much new. I will check with Boogie, Jim Bowie and others at EOT but I'm betting I will have to send it to Ruger. 

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Chicken George,

 

I had a similar problem with one of my Rugers and Boogie fixed the cylinder by "recutting" (my terminology) each notch.  So, please see Boogie at EOT and he will likely be able to fix your problem.  Put a couple hundred rounds through that pistol and had no further issues.

 

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21 hours ago, Chicken George* said:

I put the original cylinder latch/bolt spring back in. It is a lot stronger than the spring in the boogie kit. It still skips. I swapped out the "u" spring and also a latch from another gun but nothing helped.

 

After checking out everything really well, I don't see how anything besides the cylinder could be improved enough to make a difference. I mean the gun is pretty much new. I will check with Boogie, Jim Bowie and others at EOT but I'm betting I will have to send it to Ruger. 

Did you try the suspect cylinder in a different gun?

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2 hours ago, Assassin said:

Did you try the suspect cylinder in a different gun?

I tried to put it in 5 other .357 vaqueros but it was too long for any of them. It did fit in a couple of .45 vaqueros and did skip in both. I assume they would be the same. 

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