General Information And Mechanical Characteristics

The RUGER® OLD ARMY® percussion revolver is an original Ruger design and is manufactured to our regular standards of strength and reliability, entirely in modern Ruger factories in the U.S.A. The best quality steels and coil springs are used throughout, the same as in our centerfire cartridge revolvers. Stainless steel nipples are standard and grip panels are genuine American Walnut.

The mechanism of the "Old Army" has been carefully designed to retain traditional handling and firing characteristics of the old-time "cap and ball" revolvers while at the same time incorporating improvements (U.S. and Foreign Patents) which mark the first significant advance in percussion revolver construction in more than a century.

The RUGER® OLD ARMY® is a muzzle loading, percussion revolver intended for use with black powder, percussion caps, and soft lead projectiles. It does not fire conventional cartridges, but is instead loaded from the front of the cylinder. It is of single-action operation, and the hammer must manually be cocked before normally firing the revolver.

Like any such revolver, it is to be used with Black Powder only, and its safe use requires that the shooter be thoroughly familiar with its characteristics.

The mechanism of the RUGER® OLD ARMY® provides for security against accidental discharge when properly handled. As with any other firearm, however, the "Old Army" must be used with strict attention to correct safety practices. In addition, the revolver should be inspected frequently to assure that it is working properly.






Ruger Old Army Diameter

Parts referred to frequently are indicated by arrows.


The "Old Army" is a muzzle loading, percussion revolver intended solely for use with Black Powder. It should never, under any circumstances, be loaded with any type of smokeless powder as the result could be damage to the revolver and injury to the shooter or bystanders. Black Powder is usually classified by powder grain size, with "Fg" being the largest granulation and "FFFFg" being the smallest granulation normally available. Any granulation within these gradations could be used in the "Old Army"; normally, however, "FFFg" is the preferred grain size. Replica black powder such as Pyrodex may be used, so long as suggested loading data is strictly adhered to.

The "Old Army" is designed to use a .457" diameter round ball or .454" conical bullet of pure lead. Bullets of either type can be purchased from your dealer, ready to use, or can easily be cast at home with a small investment in equipment. Information on bullet casting is available from the manufacturers of moulds and casting equipment and from various authoritative handbooks. Your dealer should be able to provide you with any equipment which you may require. (See "Lead Exposure" Warning, below)

The use of jacketed or alloy bullets is not recommended as accuracy is generally not as satisfactory as with the pure lead bullets.

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