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Ruger New Bearcat Convertible

WestPoint65WestPoint65 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
edited February 2016 in Ask the Experts
I recently bid on and won through an auction a Ruger New Bearcat. Imagine my surprise when I picked up the item and found that I had no ordinary Bearcat. What I had won was a new in the box, unfired, Bearcat Convertible. The first thing I noticed in the box was an index card placed there by the previous owner that read, "Do not ever fire this gun with the magnum cylinder." Under the flap in the corner of the box I found the magnum cylinder in its unopened plastic bag. It had a small tag visible thru the bag with the last three numbers of the gun's serial number. After I got home, further research revealed this gun was made in1996 and was right in the middle of the serial number range of the approximately 1000 convertible models Ruger produced and subsequently recalled. The magnum cylinders were recalled due to alleged timing issues. According to additional information, only about 300 of the cylinders were returned to Ruger. As much as I wanted a shootable Bearcat, this one will remain unfired by me.

Just wondering if anyone out there has any additional information on the current value and collector interest in this gun. Oh, in addition to coming in its original box, it also came with the original serial numbered shipping box. Quite a lucky find I would say.

Comments

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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'd rather have one of the 300 that were fixed.
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    Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,374 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If I did not turn it over for a profit, I would show it to a real gunsmith and get it fixed so I could swing both ways.
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    WestPoint65WestPoint65 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The recalled cylinders weren't fixed or replaced, Ruger compensated the owners who returned the recalled magnum cylinders with a $40 payment. To my knowledge, no magnum Bearcats were ever made other than the approximately 1000 listed in the 1996 recall. Some custom conversions were done, but not by Ruger.
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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    From my experience as a long time handgun collector. You won the jackpot on that one. Likely it would have substantial collectors value. Over and above what you paid for it as a shooter.
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    tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    There was an old model Bearcat convertible made also, that was also recalled. Those are worth SERIOUS collector $$.
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    gruntledgruntled Member Posts: 8,218 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    It is my understanding that the problem was flame cutting of the frame not timing of the cylinder. I never quite understood why that would be a problem with the Bearcat & not any other .22 lr/.22 mag revolvers.
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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by gruntled
    It is my understanding that the problem was flame cutting of the frame not timing of the cylinder. I never quite understood why that would be a problem with the Bearcat & not any other .22 lr/.22 mag revolvers.


    Being flame cutting was the problem. Maybe it was because Ruger got burned with that issue, with the .357 Maximum revolvers. Didn't want to happen again. I would think the top strap on the Bearcats, was a lot thinner than on the Single Sixes. So that it would be much more apparent cosmetically.
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    jeffb1911jeffb1911 Member Posts: 2,112 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think the "problem" was that they did not want to deal with whatever issue the gun had. I knew a guy who had one and shot it regularly before they were recalled, and he kept it. He claimed he never had any problems with it at all.
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    tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The problem, was actually frame stretching, when fed a steady diet of 22 WMR rounds, because the top strap was so diminutive. The problem came from using a barrel sized for the bullet of a 22LR, while the magnum is actually 0.003" bigger bore in diameter, and is jacketed, not soft lead.

    Yes they used this same barrel dimension in the early Single Six models as well, but later converted over, as the heeled bullet of the 22LR is still reasonably accurate in the larger bore.

    EDIT 1

    quote:Thanks, for all the information and theories on why a recall was necessary. Tsr1965, your explanation makes perfect sense. It is a beautiful little gun, but if the price is right, I might have to let this one go at some point. I'm more into shooting my guns than just looking at them. I've owned a stainless Single Six convertible for several years and have rarely fired it with the magnum cylinder.

    In all actuality, unless the WMR cartridge is one of the newer ones designed for short barrel use, you are not gaining but only 100-150 fps from the short barrel, over the long rifle cartridge. Nice display of fire, but not practical.
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    WestPoint65WestPoint65 Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks, for all the information and theories on why a recall was necessary. Tsr1965, your explanation makes perfect sense. It is a beautiful little gun, but if the price is right, I might have to let this one go at some point. I'm more into shooting my guns than just looking at them. I've owned a stainless Single Six convertible for several years and have rarely fired it with the magnum cylinder.
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