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Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 #197161 01/17/2019 3:16 PM
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karl Online Content OP
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Hello All
I picked up a Target Gray SRH in 454 late last year and finally got out to the range last night for for some shooting. Pretty quickly I ran into issues of light strikes on a variety of loads, mostly in 454 with a few in 45 colt at the end of the evening. Factory Hornady 240gn XTP wouldn't fire at all, while I had mixed luck with handloads with Remington 7 1/2 primers. Factory 45 colt did much better, but still a few light strikes and FTF. This being my first serious foray in to trouble shooting this platform are there any suggestions into where I should start?

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: karl] #197164 01/17/2019 4:39 PM
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jamesfromjersey Offline
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is that a used or new handgun??


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Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: jamesfromjersey] #197167 01/17/2019 4:54 PM
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karl Online Content OP
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It is used and I am at least the 3rd owner. I checked the manufacture date, but don't remember the details right now (I was under the impression that the "target gray" stainless look was dropped a while ago). It is the gray finished stainless version. I was going to start this weekend by giving it a good cleaning (beyond the bore and cylinder) and making sure the firing pin is moving freely. Firing single action or double action didn't seem to make any difference.

Last edited by karl; 01/17/2019 4:57 PM.
Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: karl] #197173 01/17/2019 6:21 PM
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I'm 99% confidant a previous owner got a spring kit to improve the trigger pull and replaced the factory hammer spring with a lighter one. I tried that on my target grey 480 SRH and had some issues with inconsistent ignition. I put the factory spring back in and it's been 100% reliable with at least 5000 rounds through it.

It's an easy fix.

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: Paul_H] #197177 01/17/2019 7:09 PM
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Karl I'm having similar issues with a SRH 454 target gray model.
I bought mine used as well. I had the most trouble with CCI small rifle magnum primers. I had my gunsmith order and install a new Ruger factory spring and still had problems with said primers in both single action and especially double action shooting. Next I tried CCI small rifle non magnum primers, Rem. 71/2, and winchester small rifle primers. These seemed to function in single action but still had an occasional FTF in double action mode but seemed to work in single action mode. Finally I bought and loaded up some Federal 205 primer, with these I have not had any FTF in either single or double action shooting but I have not shot more than a couple hundred rounds so the jury is still out. I wish someone made a stronger hammer spring for the SRH's. Good luck with your gun. I'm looking forward to hearing your results.

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: grayghost] #197183 01/17/2019 9:45 PM
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Jeff460 Offline
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Try getting a longer firing pin from Bowen Classic Arms to make it more reliable. They market such, because a light-striking of the firing pin with a lightened trigger pull, negates the advantage of altering the trigger pull. Cylinder and Slide also market upgrade parts and I have worked with both of these fine companies. I vouch for both from personal dealings.

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: Jeff460] #197200 01/18/2019 3:42 AM
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I too have a target gray SRH in 454. I have about 3000 rounds through it. At about 2500 was getting 4 out of 6 light strikes. I sent it into ruger and they ended up replacing most of the springs. Since I've had it back i get one out of about 50. Have not tried the longer firing pin but i also read that there may be issues with the transfer bar not getting completely out of the way which can cause light strikes. Please let us know if you find a solution.


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Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: adbhowler] #197203 01/18/2019 2:38 PM
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karl Online Content OP
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Thanks for the pointers everybody.
I pulled it apart last night and everything looks fine. The transfer bar has a little divot on the back side from the firing pin (not sure how deep this is, but it could contribute to the problem). That was the only sign of wear that I could find beyond some rub marks on the side of the hammer. I did find replacement springs on line and found that they have separate springs with different part numbers for the 44 vs 454 and 480 (KY00400-DA for 454/480) hammer strut springs, so I ordered a new one. I also ordered a new transfer bar.

My pistol has a firing pin bushing retaining pin that looks like it was placed and then finished with the frame. Not a fun project to put a longer firing pin in. Other forums were saying that many gunsmiths won't do it and it's best to return to Ruger. As an alternative, many folks suggested shaving down the hammer stop on the hammer by a few thousands. The machined surface here is quite rough and it would be easy to polish it smooth and take off several thousands. Before I try that though, I am going to try the new spring and transfer bar and see if I can center the hammer with some thin shim washers to eliminate side wall drag. If that doesn't work, I will take the old transfer bar and thicken it with some shim stock and super glue to simulate shaving down the hammer stop. I will also pick up some Federal 205M primers. Looks like enough to keep me entertained for a while.
Thanks again for the pointers and I'll post back with what I find out.

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: karl] #197204 01/18/2019 4:16 PM
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Karl thanks for the report. I've been getting by with no issues using the Fed. 205 nonmagnum primers but would like to hear how the 205 magnums work out. They maybe a better choice for powders like H110. I've read that some of the magnum primers have thicker cup material but not sure about the 205 magnums primers. Also it would be nice to hear how your other modifications work out. Thanks

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: grayghost] #197205 01/18/2019 4:46 PM
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The firing sequence with the transfer bar is like some Rube Goldburg set-up. Rube Goldburg was a cartoon drawing genius who
did drawings showing a series of dependent operations working together to make something happen. Like a chicken laying an egg that drops through a funnel and rolls down and land's on a fulcrum, that in turn makes another object drop into something. You get the idea. I say check it all out, but do not disregard the extra lengthened firing pin. Why? Because a better design will be reliable and just smoothing things up will not be a long-term solution.

Last edited by Jeff460; 01/18/2019 4:48 PM. Reason: plural correction
Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: Jeff460] #197775 02/19/2019 3:12 PM
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karl Online Content OP
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Update on the FTF in a SRH 454
I ordered a new transfer bar and hammer spring and installed them along with two 0.005" shim washers on either side of the hammer in attempts to center it in the frame to reduce sidewall drag (pain to install, but it eventually worked).
I was at the range last night and got it to fire the previous FTF hand loads. I then tried the Hornady factory loads and it fired 2 out of 6. I then ran 40 454 loads with either Remington or federal primers (20 each) and they all went bang on the first shot. I ran a bunch of 45 colt through it and they all went bang to. I did start paying attention to making sure that the cartridges were all seated as deep as possible. There was a tendency for them to hang up a little even though I had cleaned the cylinder (very different experience from my GP100). It's working a lot better then before, but I don't want a gun that won't shoot factory loads. I'll collect some more factory loads and give them a try before messing around more.

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: karl] #197781 02/19/2019 7:59 PM
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Jeff460 Offline
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Bowen Classic Arms advocates that approach. Ruger revolvers often need help with reliable ignition as their design is quite robust. Smith and Wesson revolvers parts can make use of them also but Bowen Classic Arms is a Ruger outfit.

Last edited by Jeff460; 03/04/2019 9:04 PM. Reason: Clarification change
Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: Jeff460] #197925 03/04/2019 5:33 AM
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This may sound odd but thus far has been fool proof. I take a 5 grain brass weight washer and place it under the base of the hammer spring. Has thus far worked perfectly and no more light strikes. Doesnt affect trigger pull at all. Just barely increases the power and compression of the spring.

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: tradmark] #197929 03/04/2019 2:09 PM
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karl Online Content OP
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Thanks Tradmark!
GrayGhost had suggested that solution in a PM a week ago but I haven't had time to try it yet. I am not familiar with that specific washer, but i'll find a stainless washer that will fit and try that. I did peruse the Cylinder and Slide website which said they were ~8 months out on any pistol work! I hope the washer trick will be enough to make it reliable.

Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: karl] #197933 03/04/2019 4:39 PM
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Jeff460 Offline
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Bowen Classic Arms has extra-long firing pin replacements for Super-Redhawk DA revolvers and they run $15.95. Order it and if you need it installed do it yourself or have a local gunsmith install it. Or watch a You-tube instructional video and see how it is done. Bowen Classic Arms has instructional notes on the two styles that Ruger has used so you can get the one that works for your gun. Bowen Classic Arms are excellent in what they make. Both as to their custom revolvers and their excellent parts. I hope you will look at their website and see what you can find out.

Last edited by Jeff460; 03/04/2019 7:48 PM. Reason: One source is BEST
Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: Jeff460] #197940 03/04/2019 9:03 PM
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Jeff460 Offline
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Bowen Classic Arms also have stronger hammer springs to add impulse strength with the extra-long firing pin. Just look it up under their Parts Catalog on-line. They also sell the tool to replace the firing pin on their site. And Hamilton Bowen mentions TK Custom and the washers they sale to assist in the performance of said part.

Last edited by Jeff460; 03/04/2019 9:19 PM. Reason: Addition and clarification
Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: Jeff460] #197943 03/04/2019 10:24 PM
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karl Online Content OP
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Thanks for pointing that out. The tool is for the late model screw in firing pin bushing and looks like it would work well. You can buy flat bladed security screw bits that will do the same thing. An internet search will eventually turn up the size needed.

I'm working with an early model SRH which is pinned from the side. The instructions I've seen are to drill out the end of the pin enough so a punch gets some bite and then drive it out. Replace the pin with some drill rod stock or grind it down to shorten it and give you a flat face to drive in with. While those are options, the solutions don't return the firearm to original condition without a lot more work to blend a new pin to match the contour and then refinish the pin and surrounding frame. I've got the target gray model which isn't produced anymore and I'm not sure if Ruger could/would match it and was supposedly a tumble process in a specific media.

A washer or stronger hammer spring sounds much easier.

Last edited by karl; 03/04/2019 10:24 PM.
Re: Light Strikes and FTF in a SRH 454 [Re: karl] #198680 04/08/2019 3:57 PM
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karl Online Content OP
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Update
Tradmark sent me two washers that fit over the hammer spring bar. They measured ~0.090" together and shortened the hammer spring by that much. After careful assembly (suggest doing it in an empty room so the washers are easy to find after they go zinging off) it seems to work well. I went to the range saturday and and only had 1 missfire on a hornady factory load that had miss fired the previous trip to the range. It went bang the second time. In the end, I replaced the transfer bar, replaced and shimmed the hammer spring and put a 0.005" washer on each side of the hammer to keep it centered. I think the new spring and washers likely had the most effect.

Now to run bucket of hand loads through it.


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