Tuning Ruger Single Actions

Learn how gunsmithing students at Trinidad State College are taught to tune two-screw Ruger single action handguns.

by Dan Croghan and Gary Yee

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The following is a report from notes taken during the NRA Summer Gunsmithing Program at Trinidad State College as taught by Professor Ryan Newport, the school’s Gunsmithing Department Head. This is typical of the courses offered at Trinidad State College. Dan Croghan and Gary Yee were gunsmithing classmates at Trinidad State from 2012-2014.

Ruger revolvers are among the most durable and reliable firearms in the industry. Concurrently, Ruger revolvers also have some of the worst trigger pulls of any factory gun. Fortunately, there is something you can do as a gunsmith to improve them and make your customer happy.

While outwardly appearing like the Colt Single Action Army, internally the Ruger has a very different lockwork that incorporates numerous superior safety features. When cocking the Ruger one of the first things you will notice is that, unlike the Colt, there is neither a half cock nor is there any need for one. There are several reasons for this. First, Ruger has a proven transfer bar that requires the trigger to be depressed for it to be raised. When struck by the hammer, the transfer bar transfers energy to the captured spring loaded frame mounted firing pin and drives the firing pin forward. Unless there is pressure on the trigger, the trigger bar will not rise and the hammer drops on the frame instead of on the firing pin.

The second reason for the lack of half cock is the hammer itself has…

Read more in the September 2022 issue.

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