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Brand New New-model Blackhawk with Rusty Bore


johnmuir2013

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Yesterday, 2024-03-13, I picked up my brand new Ruger New Blackhawk, .357, 6.5", Stainless.  I bought it from Defense Depot in Mattoon IL and picked it up at their store.  This morning, using my borescope. I took a movie of the bore and discovered that the bore is rusty (see photo).  It's a consistent rusty, not blotchy or pitted rust.  Also, there are 16 rings in the bore (see photo).  I considered just cleaning the bore with some CLP and a brass brush, but decided not to, for the time being, to preserve the evidence.  I called Ruger and she said to send it in to Ruger.  

 

Then, just for comparison purposes, I used the borescope to inspect my 13 yr old SASS RNV's that we use monthly at my club's matches.  The RNV's bores do not have any rust or rings.

 

So, my questions are:

1.  Should I just clean it, then go to the range and fire it, then clean it again, and then re-inspect using the borescope?

2.  Is it really something to be concerned about?  One of the reasons I wanted the stainless was because I thought it would not rust.  It's sadly funny that not only did it rust, but it's rusty BRAND NEW!

3.  Should I just send it in to Ruger?  Doing so will likely cost me $100 in shipping and FFL fees plus a couple of months delay.  

 

Thanks

 

RugerBlackhawkBorescope - frame at 0m16s.jpg

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A friend experienced the same thing with a stainless Ruger SBH in 44 mag.

 

He cleaned it, shot it, and never looked back. The rust was surface only and cleaned right up.

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Looks to me from the grainy photos that this is copper fouling on the lands from jacketed rounds already fired.   The very few reddish streaks that occur in the grooves of the barrel run lengthwise down the barrel.   Rust would not create a uniform narrow streak in the middle of a groove.  That copper fouling on the lands would not concern me, in itself.  But I doubt Ruger would have shipped the gun without cleaning the fouling out of the barrel!  This gun has been shot and is not new.

 

The "rings" are not what would be expected on a new barrel, for sure.  Because these marks are uniformly occurring on both the groove and the land sections of the barrel, this could not have been a manufacturing defect, most likely, but was caused by squibbed (stuck)  bullets "shot into" with regular power loads fired behind the stuck bullets.   If they are deep-enough rings to hurt accuracy, you would feel it if you pushed a tight cleaning patch both directions in the barrel.  The cleaning rod would jump forward slightly at some points in the stroke - an uneven amount of pressure needed to move the cleaning rod and patch.

 

If you indeed have rings which moved the barrel metal out in several spots, this would also say this was not a NEW gun, and more importantly,  that a customer abused the gun and ringed the barrel, then returned it to the gun shop.   That certainly should be remedied by the seller (or manufacturer if needed) - provide an actual new gun to replace this used one.

 

I'd suggest, though, that you not clean the gun or do any other work on it until you get action from the gun dealer, or perhaps Ruger themselves.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

 

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Guns are made from 410 series stainless steel.  This family of alloys CAN rust.  As can a family of cheaper knife blades, 440 SS.  The SS alloys folks are more used to, like 316 SS, are much more resistant to rust.  The word stainless or stain-resistant is quite accurate.  Thinking that means stain proof or rust proof, is wrong.

 

good luck, GJ

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I bought a Ruger Old Army that was supposed to be unfired.  It had wire bundle tie around hammer.   Got it home and took it apart and there was black powder fouling inside the action. 

 

69389826_RugerOldArmyblueshot.jpg.5da7f3cc251f4eb683eb962d155e1300.jpg1640167659_RugerOldArmyinside1Oct2021.jpg.80d6bd35664c45355ab23172cc7eb543.jpg1296879421_RugerOldArmyandcapholderNovember2021.jpg.8f0f6c5fbd9d6a629ecda373c548c332.jpg

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13 minutes ago, johnmuir2013 said:

Here are a couple better photos.

 

Those show very clearly that the color deposited on  the lands is copper (gilding metal ) fouling! 

 

Keep copies of all your photos shown so far.   The gun dealer should be smart enough to realize you know what you are talking about, but you may have to double down in this age of denying of all responsibility in any thing that goes wrong.

 

good luck, GJ

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4 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Is this a new or used gun?

Well, I bought a supposedly brand new revolver.  But from the forum responses that I’ve gotten, it seems doubtful that it’s ACTUALLY new.

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I sold a few guns to a store back in Indiana that had seen little use. I had kept the boxes, plastic bags, and hang tags, so they went with the guns. I sold them as used to the shop. They marked them as new, so I suspect something like that has happened. That doesn't look like rust. As others have said, it looks like copper, which should come out if you use the right cleaner.

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Hello the fire

I live in Ruger Country, the next town over from the manufacturing plant in Newport, New Hampshire and know a number of folks that work there. That said, before I knew about it I had bought a new Ruger a number of years ago and when I got home and did some cleaning, I thought it was a used gun due to the residue. I went back to the dealer and found out two things; 1) Ruger test fires every firearm and 2) they don't always do a cleaning. 

Part of this was from the requrement from some states to have a fired case come with the firearm as part of the "case ID shows which firearm it was fired in" and to just make the sure the firearm is operational out of the box. I wasn't sure if they used jacketed bullets or lead but the pictures show the streak of copper I have seen in the past. This is Ruger's way of making sure the firearm works and to comply with som of the quirky states.

 

Chelsea

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The copper fouling...okay, I can see it as a test fire fouling. The rings, however, are unacceptable. 

 

Start with the dealer that sold it to you and Ruger next if you can't get satisfaction from the seller.

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The new Ruger handguns I have bought come with 2 (TWO) fired cases each.  Hardly enough to leave that much fouling.  And certainly nothing that would put circular defects or rings in both the lands and grooves of a barrel.  Even if Ruger retains 2 or 3 cases (which they have never said they do), that is not enough in my experience to foul a barrel that badly.  And I am even more certain that Ruger does not provide fired cases to individual states' Crime Forensics departments without evidence that a crime has been committed.   (That is why police are SO dedicated to picking up any fired cases from any crime scene - they have to get their own cases.)

 

good luck, GJ

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I have a $14 endoscope.  Great investment.  It takes pictures and video.  Makes everything look far worse than they probably are. A piece of lint looks like a mountain.  

 

Antique Winchester 1892 in 32WCF. 

 

5ac251c467cc2_Winchester1892boreMarch2018.jpg.212062522fe8a9c3a8d5564d6a341b80.jpg

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I had a S&W Highway Patrolman that had 2 barrel rings, you could feel them running your fingers on the outside of the barrel.

 

Can you feel any bulges if you run your fingers along the barrel?

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Rugers qc has drastically gone down. We sent back three guns in the last two weeks.  A rusted vaquero, a max nine with no extractor and a lcr with a bad pawl. 

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36 minutes ago, Buckshot Bear said:

I had a S&W Highway Patrolman that had 2 barrel rings, you could feel them running your fingers on the outside of the barrel.

 

Can you feel any bulges if you run your fingers along the barrel?

No.  I cannot feel any bulges in the barrel.  The entire exterior of the revolver seems fine.   There were three items in the box - the revolver, a package of locks, and an instruction booklet.  There were no empty pieces of brass.  See first photo.

 

There is some blackness on the rear end of the barrel (2nd photo).  The cylinder front end is fairly clean (3rd photo).  All 6 chambers look like the one in the chamber photo below (4th photo).  I positioned the borescope right at the transition point of clean chamber where the brass sits and dirty chamber where the bullet sits.  As you can see, it's definitely not pristine steel.  

 

I contacted the merchant and he seemed agreeable to work with me.  We'll see.  I emailed him several photos.  He said that he'd talk to Ruger.  

 

case_and_gun.jpg

barrel_rear.jpg

cylinder_rear.jpg

chamber.jpg

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I bought a used 624 s&w that had some rust under the grips. Stainless will rust, just not easily and generally just surface.

Easy button, hard button.

Easy:

Shoot and clean. It's a Ruger I doubt the rings will effect it any. But you wanted new and didn't quite get it. Very pragmatic choice and you are shooting right away.

Hard:

Send it back. It is not what you purchased. Getting a pristine stainless Blackhawk you could shoot it the rest of your life and never get those rings. It will still be a clean bore when your people inherit it. Good solution based on principle, but probably a 60-90 day delay.

I don't know which I would choose.

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As I suspected, Defense Depot will not exchange it.  Defense Depot just gave me contact info for Ruger support.  I filled out a Ruger customer support form but haven't heard anything yet.  Now that I know the dark red substance is copper (not rust), I'm not too concerned about that.  It's the rings in the bore that's the big issue.  

 

Thanks to everyone for helping me out.

defenseDepotScreenShot.png

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I'm wondering.  Gunstores that have that same policy. Will they allow the customer to remove the cylinder at the store and inspect the bore and cylinder before accepting the firearm? Field strip a semi auto to do the same?

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Part of the problem with a lot of these modern inexpensive devices is that they "reveal" all sorts of problems.  Sometimes real, sometimes imaginery.  How does the bore look if you inspect it the old fashioned way, i.e, take out the cylinder put your thumbnail behind the barrel and look in the other end?  I just did this with a couple of New Vaqueros I have that have less than 100 rounds through them.  With the fingernail test they look bright and shiny.  I stick a bore scope in there and they look like the surface of the moon.  The rings in the bore do not look like rings a lot of CAS shooters talk about.  I.e., a double charge and the barrel got "ringed."  They look like machine marks.  I have been to one of the Ruger plants a few times and these are mass produced firearms.  They are not hand fitted precision polished pieces.  

 

They are test fired and placed on racks.  More than one round is fired.

 

P1020950.thumb.jpeg.6ecaa59fa8e1d68f9ba44b3ce6d805af.jpeg

 

Then they are rolled out to the shipping area and wiped down, boxed and immediately shipped.  They are not cleaned in the sense that many of us mean when we talk about cleaning a gun.  

 

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How does the bore look without the bore scope?  If it looks normal I would clean it and take it out and test fire it before getting too excited.

 

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2 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

The rings in the bore do not look like rings a lot of CAS shooters talk about.  I.e., a double  squib charge and the barrel got "ringed."  They look like machine marks.

There is no machine that makes a circular mark across both the lands and the grooves of a barrel at the same spot in the barrel.

 

The bore (what becomes the lands) is cut with a deep hole drill and, if lucky, is precision reamed after that.  Those give mostly circular marks on the lands. 

 

But the grooves are cut or swaged with a broaching type tool that runs lengthwise down the barrel, with a twist of the cutting head to give the twist rate.  That tooling leaves just lengthwise marks, and sometimes chatter marks across the grooves, but only in the grooves. 

 

So, completely circular rings in the barrel on both the lands and grooves do not come from any of the cutting operations that Ruger would perform.  

 

Look at the rings - they cross both the lands AND the grooves at the same exact spot down the barrel.

 

good luck, GJ

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2 hours ago, Smokin Gator SASS #29736 said:

Will they allow the customer to remove the cylinder at the store and inspect the bore and cylinder before accepting the firearm? Field strip a semi auto to do the same?

 

They will if they want to sell me one.  I carry a borelight and a cleaning kit into gun stores.   One in Mesa AZ got a big kick of me taking a M1 Garand down to do a 5 minute inspection before money changed hands.

 

good luck, GJ

 

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Those look too symmetrical and fine to be a bulge. They look like machining marks. The guns I have seen with a bulge appear to have a dark ring when viewed with a naked eye as Larsen described. And this pistol has a hammer forged barrel, not button drawn or cut. There are videos on YT showing the process. 

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Hammer forging, if the mandrel has some circumferential defects in the surface, could make those marks all the way around the lands and grooves.  Was not aware Ruger was using hammer forged revolver barrels.  

 

OP may just have to live with those minor divots in the barrel.  

 

Thanks, GJ

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

OP may just have to live with those minor divots in the barrel.  

 

Shoot it.  They'll fill in.  :ph34r:

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IMG_0477.jpeg

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On 3/15/2024 at 7:38 PM, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

One in Mesa AZ got a big kick of me taking a M1 Garand down to do a 5 minute inspection before money changed hands.

 

good luck, GJ

 

Was it the one out on Apache Trail?

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23 hours ago, Cholla said:

There are videos on YT showing the process. 

And you may not realize I trust almost nothing self-published on YT.  :lol:

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Ruger does test fire their revolvers. Sometimes they run a patch sometimes they don’t. 
I’ve sent back 4 New Vaquero’s in the last 6 weeks. This was unheard of before Covid. Their quality control needs improvement. Who ever is supposed to wipe polishing compound off should be fired. Who ever it torquing the base pin screw until it snaps or is stripped should also get canned. 

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