Home Latest News Avoiding The Sixgun Doctor By: Chick Blood

Avoiding The Sixgun Doctor By: Chick Blood

Avoiding The Sixgun Doctor   By: Chick Blood


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An original Blackhawk (top) with a new version. Some simple spares
can keep either one running — without a trip to the sixgun doctor!

Why is it a shooter will leave a brand new gun in the box and make a bee-line for the nearest pistolsmith to “make it better?” Thereby is established a behavioral pattern triggered instantly when any glitch rears its head. It must be human nature, because all too many shooters imitate bees. They’d save beaucoup bucks if they spent more time learning what makes their gun tick, firing it often and laying in a few extra parts — none of them on the manufacturers’ “restricted” list, mind you. All purchases would be limited to spares readily available and installed.

Jackson Hole Jake

This day he’s all decked out in his cowboy shooting duds. He’s loaded up a batch of low velocity .38 lead RN ammo for his new model .357 Ruger Blackhawk. He’s put a slew of magnums through the gun with no problems and figured he’d merely download it after deciding to join up and get a cowboy moniker. Jake’s up against some computer geek who must think he’s tough because his moniker is El Diablo. Jake’s teaching Diablo some religion until he thumbs back his Ruger and it fails to full cock. He tries again and again. Still no full cock. El Diablo thinks he’s won. Not so fast, Comanchero.

Jake fixed one of the reasons why a Blackhawk fails to cock right then and there. The base pin had worked its way forward and all he did was push it back in. Then he finished the religion lesson. The other reasons why Jakes Blackhawk might break he couldn’t have fixed on the spot but — not being a beeliner — he could fix most of them himself.

For instance, the transfer bar on his gun might have become bent. If he’d anticipated that possibility, he’s have ordered a new one, dropped it in and deep-sixed the one that got messed up. If the original hammer’s full cock notch had broken off, he could have done the same. Ditto with the base pin latch assembly, which may have been why the pin loosened-up in the first place — or could have installed a new base pin.


Photo Below: New Model Blackhawk transfer bar and set of action springs from Brownells,
who have been providing parts and tools to gun owners and gunsmiths since, um, forever.

Some Other Stuff

Of course, some of the things that cause a Blackhawk, Bisley or Vaquero from fully cocking, such as bottom pawl that’s too high or damage
affecting the transfer bar/loading gate stem surfaces, mean a likely call for the services of a good pistolsmith.

Jake looks at keeping his guns working like I do — If we don’t need a gunsmith, we don’t go looking for one. Jackson Hole Jake didn’t wait for something to break that might break, and he knew what to do about it when it did. Anyone who knows how to detail-strip a single action Ruger can do the same. You just have to remember how components fit while they’re still in there before taking them out. That particularly applies when replacing any bent-up or weakened action springs. Use that digital camera you have. A picture taken before the spring goes “praing” is worth a thousand words — or at least the cost of another spring, eh. Or would you rather be a beeliner?

For more info: www.brownells.com.

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