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Ruger Single-Ten Single-Action: the genesis of the Single-Six and how it has grown. Here's your guide to working this popular revolver's newest offspring: The Single-Ten.

Many years before he became a legend in firearm design and manufacture William B. Ruger held a deep, lasting admiration for and desire to equal Samuel Colts' Single Action Army. When Colt Manufacturing decided to remove their immortal revolver from further production after World War II, Mr. Ruger saw and seized the opportunity to design and develop a rimfire copy of General George S. Patton's favorite hip decorations that included notable internal improvements. Sans the feisty General's pearl handle grip panels, which almost instantly became an aftermarket add-on after its 1953 introduction, this revolver generated such welcome sales volume for Sturm, Ruger it became the design platform for the Blackhawk and Super Blackhawk, both centerfire financial bonanzas for the company.

In 1973, the Single-Six, in turn, borrowed from its descendants during a major redesigning with the addition of a transfer bar preventing any cartridge primer contact unless the trigger is fully to the rear. In addition, the hammer's loading notch was eliminated. Thereafter, the cylinder could be rotated and charged when the loading gate was opened.

Twenty years earlier, as a result of an incidental announcement in Argosy magazine that Sturm-Ruger, William B. Ruger to be precise, was busy developing his rimfire clone of the Single Action Army, the company received a call for help from the Southport, CT post office. There was found, literally, bushel baskets full of inquiries asking for more information. Much the same had happened in the late 1940s after a similar announcement was made in the publication regarding the Ruger Mark I.22 LR pistol. Though in no way did the response equal the Single-Six volume to come, it affirmed the confidence of the shooting public in the young company.


In retrospect, you may wonder how it was possible to even consider an externally exact clone of the Colt without a lawsuit being instantly filed by the creator of the Single Action Army. Why there was none was due to the internal differences designed in by Ruger himself. Among the most significant of these were a music wire coiled hammer spring to replace the original flat leaf type. It was not the only flat spring to be replaced with the music wire coiled variety. They all were. In addition, and despite the new revolver being a rimfire, everything was to be made more substantial. The sear would be wider and thicker with more ruggedly contoured notches. The Single Action Army cylinder bolt was prone to breakage even after fitting by an expert. In the Single-Six the same component, called a cylinder latch, was solid instead of slotted. This was made possible due to what can be considered the most significant design difference yet mentioned: A patented system of actuating the latch via a spring plunger mounted in the hammer.

All of which brings me to the latest grandchild, or great grandchild, of the Single-Six, the freshly introduced Single-Ten. If the first one you see is N.I.B. and untouched by its owner (a highly unlikely possibility) you can't miss the yellow, hard plastic dingus sticking out from the gun between its cylinder and barrel breech. The dingus has two studs that occupy a like number of chambers. Before you can begin field stripping a Single-Ten handed over to you for service with the dingus still installed, the dingus has to go. When it resists all efforts at a fingers-only removal do not be tempted to lock on with vise grips and apply your best impacted wisdom tooth extraction techniques. The wreckage one could cause is so terrible it will remain unmentioned. I, your long time and ever humble technical editor, will choose not to cause dreadful nightmares for the readership.

Getting rid of the dingus is actually easy, simple and harmless. The cylinder must come out first. That, therefore, is where I'll begin talk of disassembly after mentioning the fact that I have avoided using letter prefixes to the part numbers in this particular article and accompanying schematic. While they have multiple meanings to a manufacturer, letter prefixes usually specify a gun's finish or stock style and, in cases other than the Single-Six and Single-Ten, its caliber. To be safe and avoid any possible reordering on your part I've limited all parts identification included here-in to the part number, sans letter prefix, on the schematic.

This requires only one request I must make of you if and when you are ordering Single-Ten components. Use the part number by all means, but always specify the revolver is a Single-Ten and identify its finish. No one wants blued screws showing up in a stainless steel frame -- unless, of course, their goal is that extra chi-chi polka dot look. Carrying specifications this far might seem too much to ask. It really isn't. Case in point: The pawl in a Single-Six (# 00702) -- it's called a hand by some other revolver manufacturers -- may have the same number as the pawl in a Single-Ten. But the pawl of the Ten is dimensionally different than the pawl in the Six.


The same is true with components of far lesser importance such as grip panels (#01000). Whenever you order parts from anyone, name the specific model and its finish. It is a good habit to acquire. Throwing in the caliber can't hurt, either.



First, remove the dingus. Open the loading gate (02400) to lower the cylinder latch (04500) below its frame window. Press inward on the base pin nut (2800) located ahead of the cylinder on the left side of the frame. Withdraw the base pin (12200) and remove the cylinder to the loading gate side of the frame. The dingus will probably drop out. You might as well hang on to it. If the revolver must be returned to the factory the double prong yellow plug can provide extra protection in case the gun takes a hard whuppin' during the shipping process. Its presence in the cylinder also eases any worries on the part of Factory Service people showing that they haven't been handed a loaded revolver.

Of course, dingus or no, every prudent firearm user will always confirm clear and empty. Action open, cylinder chambers check out empty, barrel pointed away from you, eye protection on. If they aren't already out from the dingus extraction, remove the base pin and cylinder. This is as far as you actually need to go when the objective is a routine clean-up. But by now, you know me -- I don't stop at the routine level.

Sturm, Ruger owner's manuals, at least the handgun versions I've read, go far deeper and beyond those published by most other manufacturers. I figure the company advertising slogan, "Arms Makers For Responsible Citizens", isn't shoveling smoke and evidently the company genuinely believes those are the kind of people who can be trusted. Partial proof of this successful builder/buyer relationship is included here in the form of secondary "how to" drawings reproduced from the Single-Ten manual. Anyway, here we go.

Remove the grip panel screw (01300) and don't lose the grip panel ferrule (01200) in the process.

Straighten out about an inch of a paper clip. Fully cock the hammer. Insert the straight end of the clip through the hole near the bottom of the hammer strut (0400) to capture the mainspring in a compressed condition. Exert some thumb pressure on the hammer (04000), squeeze the trigger (03901) and ease the hammer forward to its fired position.

There are five screws (four of them like #01800) fastening the grip frame to the cylinder frame. The fifth screw is the longest (01901). It serves to do its share of the fastening and performs an additional function I'll mention later. Two of these holding screws are located in the rear of the grip frame, on each side of the hammer slot in the cylinder frame. The other three are located one forward and two aft of the trigger guard in the grip frame. They all have to come out. Keep these screws together in a small pile including the longest among them. To separate the frames, pull the grip frame to the rear and downward. If the parting doesn't happen readily, move the hammer slightly to the rear and pull again. You can lift the mainspring assembly from the grip frame now but, for heaven's sake and your own, do not touch the restraining paper clip. It's to stay as is because the mainspring assembly will be reassembled to the grip frame as a unit.


Caution: As you go about frame separation do not lose the pawl spring and plunger or the cylinder latch spring and plunger. The pawl components (5000 & 5100) locate in a hole in the left rear of the cylinder frame just above the grip frame screw hole. The latch spring and plunger (04600 & 07700) locate in the hole for the foremost, and loneliest, screw in the grip frame. Before you remove the trigger pivot (03400), study owner's manual Drawing 4. The screwdriver is used to depress the gate detent spring (07300) so the end that has been resting in one groove of the pivot isn't goofing off there any more. Afterwards, use a drift and light hammer to tap the pivot out of the frame.

In the following order, remove the cylinder latch (04500), loading gate detent spring (07300) and loading gate (02400). The hammer pivot (1601S) must be drifted out prior to the removal of the hammer/pawl and trigger/transfer bar assemblies. Please attend to these steps accordingly.

In this state of disassembly a Single-Ten would be ready for a major clean-up and maintenance/repair/ part replacement. If it becomes apparent that going further has become absolutely necessary a couple of suggestions and a caution should prove worthy of keeping in mind.

The ejector and ejector housing: Firmly wrap a hand around the barrel and housing when backing out the screw (03300). After screw removal, carefully lift the housing (12200) from the barrel while remembering it contains the ejector spring (04400) and ejector rod (XR-55).

Base pin latch/nut and spring; Hold the nut (02800) firmly between padded plier jaws while the latch is being unscrewed from it. Take care not to lose the spring (04700). In final reassembly, assure the nut and spring locate in the left side of the cylinder frame.


Rear Sight: The good news is it can be removed from the cylinder frame by drifting out its pivot pin (05600). The rest of the news revolves around the sight elevation springs (05906). Small isn't the right word for these two rascals. Tiny is better. So is teeny. I prefer the longer definition: Two nasty, infinitesimal pests eagerly awaiting their opportunity to provide you with a double migraine by disappearing into the unknown the instant their sight base no longer restrains them. Act accordingly then take control of these wee, possessed ones on reassembly. This apparently noxious task is rather pleasantly accomplished with a dab of grease placed in their respective base recesses. Two painless victories result. The twin demons will behave, remaining upright when the sight is positioned on the cylinder frame and its pivot installed

Reassembly Tips

Preassemble the pawl to the hammer and the trigger to the transfer bar as shown in owner's manual Drawing 5. Start the trigger/transfer bar assembly into its cylinder frame slot, bring on the hammer/pawl combo and simultaneously complete the insertion of both. Go back to Drawing 4. Align the hammer with its pivot pin hole. Insert the pin with its grooved end finishing up on the loading gate side. Dip into the pile of frame screws. Find the longest one (01901). When that screw is turned into its hole located in the right rear of the grip frame it will meet up it will meet up with the groove in the hammer pivot to secure it in place.

Move on to Drawing 6. Note how the lug on the cylinder latch sits between the arms of the loading gate detent spring (07300) and that one end of the spring has a 90 degree angle. The projection thus formed fits through the square hole in the bottom of the cylinder frame and rides on the cam surface of the gate pivot. The projection also holds the gate back and in place.

Once again, Drawing 4. To reinstall the trigger pivot, depress the upper arm of the gate detent spring. Insert the non-grooved end of the pivot into the right hand side of the cylinder frame. You may have to manipulate the trigger, gate detent spring and cylinder latch to align all their pivot holes. A slave pin would make the manipulation either much easier or no trouble at all. The Base Pin has a "dished out" section on its collar. When reinstalling the pin, be certain this section is adjacent to the bottom contour of the barrel. The pin itself must be fully inserted and locked in that position by the base pin latch. If not, the transfer bar could catch under the firing pin when the hammer is being cocked.

From this point on, most tips provided involve Drawing 7 and the main schematic. Unhook both ends of the trigger spring (03700) from the grooved retaining pin. When inserting the cylinder latch plunger and spring in their grip frame hole the spring goes in first. Conversely, the home hole for the pawl spring and plunger locates in the left side of the cylinder frame just above the rear grip frame screw. Here, the plunger goes in first.

Double check the schematic before reinstalling the mainspring assembly. What you're aiming to do is determine the correct position for the mainspring strut in the grip frame. To be more precise, the strut should be well settled on its frame step. Only after can you cock the hammer fully and withdraw the faithful paper clip. Perform a quick function check. When you pull the trigger the hammer should fall normally and the strut remain well seated. That being accomplished draw the hammer slightly to the rear and loosely place the grip frame on the cylinder frame. Before making this particular engagement a marriage by pushing the grip frame forward you must be certain of the following. First, the cylinder latch plunger (07700) will contact the bottom of the latch, not either of its sides. Second, the pawl spring is aligned to contact the left "ear" of the grip frame but not in danger of bending or being bent as a result of that contact.

In Drawing 7 note the end of the trigger spring (arrow A). It must be depressed enough to slide under the rear portion of the trigger when the frames are finally wed. Before that occurs you must first double check all the spring and plunger installations mentioned in the preceding paragraph. By the way, remember the ends of the trigger spring you unhooked? They both assume their final position in the revolver by resting on the trigger spring retaining pin (06300). See sub drawing 7C in Drawing 7.

Single-Ten function tests must be made. Here's the sequence to be performed after reassembly and before the revolver is charged with living ammunition. Cycle the gun several times. The cylinder should rotate freely and be engaged with the latch before each pull of the trigger. The trigger returns positively when released. The loading gate opens and closes normally.

About the gate on a never-fired Single-Ten, a potential owner with a less than sturdy thumb may feel operating the gate an overly tough proposition. Feel free to assuage such concerns. The gate will smooth out considerably after a couple of hundred rounds have traveled out the muzzle. This capability to improve with use may not be true of all revolvers. I'll draw an analogy that applies to the Single-Ten. Remember what the TV announcer said as the camera closely followed the treacherously long, uphill left, then right over a hump, then downhill and further right putt Tiger sank for a birdie on that awesome 17th hole Island Green? "Better than most."
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Author:Blood, Chick
Publication:American Gunsmith
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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