Ruger Old Army Takes 8-Point Buck and Bonus Game with New 240-Grain Bullet

Ruger Old Army with 8-point Georgia buck and bonus squirrel.

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As the concluding part of my 7-part video series, “Modern Percussion Revolvers,”  I planned to take deer and/or hogs with two stainless steel pistols. One was made by Pietta in Italy (Cabela’s Buffalo) and the other the American-made Ruger Old Army. In a pervious post I described how the Buffalo revolver took a small doe with two shots which demonstrated the potential usefulness of the revolver as a hunting tool.  Having multiple-shot availability is helpful if you have a wounded animal on the ground that might run off, you have the potential for several targets or you  might need another shot  to keep from being chomped upon by a wild hog.

Ruger Old Army with GA gator.

The Old Army was not new to me. Previously, I had  taken squirrels as well as finished off alligators beside the boat by sending a pistol bullet into their brains at point-blank range. The advent of Triple Seven powder, which gives higher velocities, and new percussion revolver bullets designed by Kaido Ojamaa provided a load that exceeded 500 fpe. of muzzle energy  giving the Old Army big-game killing potential. The details of these results are reported on a previous blog,  and will also appear in the 2013 Edition of the Gun Digest Annual.

While I had previously dismissed the percussion revolver in favor of more powerful single-shot muzzleloading handguns, others, such as Florida hunter Rudy Betancourt, had been quite happily killing deer and hogs approaching 200 pounds with these revolvers and Triple Seven loads. I arranged to get some of the new flat-nosed 240-grain bullets from Kaido Ojamaa in time to confirm that with a 35-grain load of  Triple Seven FFFg powder they  gave an average velocity of 987 fps and 519 fpe from the gun’s 7 1/2-inch barrel. (Inquire about the 240 and 255 grain versions of these bullets and 6-cavity molds for them from Ojamaa at

All I needed to do was to find a cooperative deer. Six set ups did not produce a deer that I could shoot because the animals were too far, running or  obscured by brush. Ultimately I went out before sunrise and set up about 30 yards from the boundary of an overgrown cut-over area and more mature timber. Deer frequently walked along this edge.

Because I had spooked deer before with the noise of cocking these revolvers (three distinct clicks), I pre-cocked the gun. This is a very dangerous practice, and I cannot recommend it.  If you must pre-cock the gun because you expect close-range game, make sure that there are no possible twigs, etc. that can touch the trigger as you raise the gun. Also do not put your finger inside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. Lay the finger alongside and above the trigger. I got into this habit  from years of shooting set-triggered muzzleloading guns that fire at a touch of the trigger.  There are single-shot muzzleloading pistols that you can “silent cock,” but not percussion or cartridge revolvers.  This is also a dangerous thing to do in a tree stand as the cocked revolvers will fall butt first with their barrels pointing upwards,  toward YOU, and frequently fire.

  Half an hour after I arrived at my spot a buck approached from the right walking the edge of the cut-over. When he reached a path, he hesitated and spotted something strange (me). He took two steps towards me along the path and stopped again. I had already raised and sighted the pistol on the deer. When it started to turn away I shot, putting the bullet at the point of the shoulder. The deer bounded off at the hit, and I heard it crashing through the small trees in the overgrown clear-cut before it went down.

The 240-grain bullet broke the shoulder joint and exited the buck after passing through its lungs. It had penetrated about 12-inches of deer on its diagonal path through the animal. The wound channel was perhaps not as big as it would have  been with a .44 Remington Magnum, but  was quite impressive. I cut up most of this deer for the freezer that afternoon and made deer burger from the cuttings the next day.

One problem that I found with the 240-grain bullet was that after two or three shots the other bullets would creep forward in their chambers under recoil pressures, hit against the barrel and tie up the gun as the cylinder was rotated.  These could be pushed back into the chambers under finger pressure and the shooting continued.  The slightly longer 255-grain version of this bullet may alleviate this problem.

The first meal from the deer used the boiled neck roast to make “Perlow with Green Balls.” The “green balls” come from the fact that  I also put Brussels sprouts in this rice-based dish. An approximation of this free-form recipe is given at the end of this post.

“Modern Percussion Revolvers. Part 7 B. Big game hunting. Blog version.”  is an 8-minute video that may be seen on YouTube by activating the following live link: if you have any difficulties in viewing it here.

A 12-munute version of this video with more information on hunting techniques and deer habitat is also on YouTube at:

Perlow with Green Balls

Perlows are rice-based dishes often done with chicken and/or wild meats to which peppers are added to make a spicy after-hunt meal. These are free-form creations, but most commonly have some fowl, any wild game meat, sausage, peppers and more or less vegetables as they are available. Traditionally they would be cooked in a cast-iron pot over campfire coals or on a wood stove.

This particular one was constructed with:

2-medium boiled ducks with meat stripped from bones

1 deer neck roast boiled and meat removed and shredded

12 Brussels Sprouts

6 small mushrooms

1 cup brown rice

2 cans tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

1 pound frozen butter beans

1 chipped large Spanish onion

1/4-chopped bell pepper

1 small diced very hot red pepper

1 medium hot round red pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pressure cook and shred all meat. Retain  broth. Add all ingredients to pot and boil until Brussel sprouts are tender. As rice cooks and absorbs broth (start with 4 cups of broth to one cup of rice), adjust liquid content as needed to keep from sticking. The dish, as shown here, is a very thick soup; but could be served dryer if desired.  The rice should be slightly firm and not cooked completely soft.

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3 thoughts on “Ruger Old Army Takes 8-Point Buck and Bonus Game with New 240-Grain Bullet

  1. Hovey, excellent series and extremely informative. Your work has written in stone the true potential that these revolvers are capable of, eliminating all doubt and obscuring all the incorrect info floating around the net . When used with 777 and a good ball or conical they will do anything a 357, 41 or 44 magnum can do and in most cases do it better.We have been taking deer and hog with them for over a decade.

    All of us, the serious percussion revolver hunters thank you for your efforts and valuable information. It is through hard work and having an open mind that has enabled you to provide this information to the masses and we appreciate it.

    I hope this article will not be the end of the subject and would like to see future ones taking hogs or bigger game. Keep up the good work!

    Once again, Thank You and have a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday!

  2. Just got my first ROA on a trade it is the Blued version with 7.5 in barrel. Also have a spar conversion cylinder to go along with it. Can’t wait to try it out lol.

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