Friday, January 6, 2017

Ruger Single Six Reblue

This 6 1/2" barreled new model Single Six belongs to my neighbor. He asked me to work my magic on it. The gun had some pretty good holster wear and some pitting at the muzzle end (probably from being left in a holster).
This particular Single Six was made in 1989.

The pictures below show what it looked like when he brought it to me.

The ejector rod housing and grip frame are aluminum and were anodized black at the factory. Years of use and abuse have left them in poor condition. I have a steel ejector rod housing that I could swap out, but I do not have any steel grip frames. I may need to learn how to anodize. 

There was a small spot of rust near where the recoil shield is cut away for the loading gate. The hammer has some rust as well. 
I will blue the hammer, then polish the sides just as the factory did.
You may notice the "plum" tint to the loading gate. Ruger used a different type of steel in some of their castings, the steel alloy is difficult to blue. If we are lucky we can get a deep black.

 The aluminum grip frame (XRN3-RED) will need to be dealt with. Our choices are: Paint (no thanks), Powder coat (not a really good option on guns), Cerakote (possibly), anodizing (possibly) or use the Birchwood-Casey Aluminum Black. Another option might be to polish the aluminum and leave it shiny, which I did on my Father's Single Six.
 Here is the gun dis-assembled and de-greased

After dis-assembly I noticed the ejector button, looked like crap, I had the same issue with my Single Six and Super Blackhawk.
This is not necessarily reflective of Ruger's quality or one in their right mind would question that. It just shows that when you buy a "value priced" firearm, you don't get the extra nice finish that you should (and rightly so) on a more expensive gun.

A little work with the file and some sand paper and the issue is resolved.
sometimes it is the little things that make the difference.

 My neighbor wanted a satin looking blue, similar to what an old Colt would have. So after removing the few pits on the end of the barrel, I used my wire wheel to burnish the metal and provide a smooth satin finish

 Here is a close up of the "burnished" finish
Here is the gun after bluing

and re-assembled, we still need to do something about the anodizing on the grip frame

 Only a slight hint of the plum color, it may show up more with age, but it turned out as good as I expected.
 you can see the satin finish, not much shine
 Here you can see the ejector rod button, one of the only parts to get a polish.
Finally a couple of before & after shots

after seeing what I did with my Father's Single Six and my Super Blackhawk, my neighbor asked if we could reblue the gun with a more polished finish. He also asked about the grip frame and what could be done.

So sometime in the future there will be a part 2  where I will strip and polish the gun to a high shine. Then reblue the steel. I am looking into alternatives for the grip frame.