Monday, June 1, 2020

The Ruger Standard Project Part 1

This pistol came from a dealer/pawnbroker who was selling guns at a gun show a while back.
Upon first glance the only thing I could see wrong with it was the bolt was missing. After I bought it I noticed the main spring housing latch appeared to be bent. All in all it was a good buy at $80+ tax. The tag read "parts gun"...pshaw I say!

The serial number dates the pistol to an early 1966 production and was built in the old Lacey Place plant in Southport.

Here is what it looked like when I brought it home

the rear of the grip frame has some damage, looks like someone thought this was a hammer

You can see the main spring/take down latch wont lay flat

....and the bolt is MIA

Some bluing wear in the usual places

1966 Ruger advertisement

There was no doubt that this gun was going to be restored to original condition.
The first step was to continue with the evaluation by completely dis-assembling the pistol.

The Sear Spring Stop Pin is bent, probably from someone trying to force the main spring latch (which may be why the latch is sprung and won't sit flat?)

After disassembly and a detailed evaluation, here is what the gun needs:
  • The bolt
  • Main spring latch (or new assembly)
  • Sear Spring Stop Pin
  • new grips
  • fix the dents/corrosion on grip frame
  • reblue

As soon as I bring the gun home I start searching for parts. I won an ebay auction for these period correct (A-54 frame) grip panels that are in pretty good shape for $28.75 including shipping

I then found a bolt for $54.00 including shipping, it was only missing the guide rod/recoil spring assembly

 and an original magazine for $32.99

I then found a second set of grip panels for $15 at the gun show, now I have to decide on which set to use

While I was collecting the parts needed to restore this pistol, I began to think about how to repair the main spring latch.

The main spring could probably use replacing and the latch is pretty rough where it rides against the ball bearing.
So my choice is to rebuild this unit, fixing the latch (filing it flat) and polishing the internals or buy a new or good used one. 
To fix this one I would need a new main spring and some new pins. So I called Ruger and ordered up the pins and the detent ball (they did not have all the parts I needed in stock).

While I was at it, I ordered up a new recoil spring assembly and some new grip screws as well. Ruger's customer service is far and beyond the best in the industry (perhaps the best of ANY industry). The parts were very affordable and the person on the phone was very pleasant.

In the meantime I found an NOS Ruger main spring assembly (in Brownells packaging) for $44 including shipping, I figured I would cover my bets and order it up, just in case.

When I got the parts I found the grip screws were the new variety, with an Allen head, instead of a slotted head. That leaves me with a few options. I can restore the originals, buy some correct aftermarket ones or swap the new ones with the slotted screws on my Mark II.

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