If you own a Ruger Super Blackhawk single action revolver, the Belt Mountain replacement base pin is a solution to a problem you may not have. My first .44 magnum revolver was an old single action imported by Herter’s, with a 4″ barrel. The thing kicked like the proverbial mule, and I generally had to take a screwdriver and check all the fasteners after each session of shooting. I finally gave up on it when the cylinder base pin began to “shoot loose” with regularity. This pin didn’t just pull a little out of place – it would shoot off the gun and land several feet away, finally becoming lost forever in the brush. While I have never had such a situation with a Ruger, evidently it is common enough for Belt Mountain to devise a fix for the problem. Their replacement pin has a tighter fit and a better notch for the base pin latch to catch in. For even more insurance that your pin does not work loose under recoil and try to back out, they offer a heavy duty locking base pin, with a set screw that tightens against the barrel. The pins may be had in a standard style in locking or non-locking, a knurled locking, and one that revives the look of the Elmer Keith #5 revolver. I chose the knurled locking style for my revolver, as the knurled end looked as though it would provide a better grip when removing the pin.
The Belt Mountain pin is certainly affordable, and can probably be installed by the majority of revolver owners. This is fortunate, because the instructions than come with the pin have no illustrations to guide the user through the installation. To that end, here are some photos that I think should help.
If you have even a basic knowledge of the single action revolver, you should know how to remove the cylinder. This is done by fully retracting the cylinder base pin and lifting the cylinder out of the action on the right hand side, with the loading gate open.
Next, check the fit of the new pin by inserting it in the frame.Again, the fit should be tight, and the pin should push against the transfer bar. Check the Belt Mountain Instructions and the Ruger manual for further details on this.
The ejector pin and spring are in a housing screwed to the muzzle end of the barrel, with the screw on the right hand side as you look down the barrel from front sight to the muzzle. Remove the screw while holding the ejector housing close to the barrel. The screw should stay in the housing with minimal pressure. With the ejector rod out of the way, the “old” base pin can easily be removed.
Next, replace the cylinder in the frame and push the base pin in place to hold it there. With the original pin, I often had to do some wriggling to get this done, and since the Belt Mountain in had a tighter fit, you may have to wiggle it around even more.
A word about the little “wrench” that tightens the base pin against the barrel, you will also need to use this to remove the base pin, so keep it handy! I found that the next to smallest wrench on my Leupold scope adjustment tool fits this set screw, and I can find it a lot easier.
While I was not anticipating a need for the Belt Mountain pin to keep my base pin from shooting loose in the Ruger, I had hoped the tighter pin would help with my other cylinder “problem”. It did not, but does make me feel the system is maybe stronger. more secure, and definitely looks a little better to those who notice such small things. By the way, Belt Mountain does not recommend their pin for folks like me. They advise only purchasing one if it is really needed to keep the cylinder in place. Still, with both of my Ruger revolvers, the base pin had enough forward-backward play that it could be pushed in a bit farther after supposedly locked in place with the factory set-up. The Belt Mountain locking pin eliminates this. Reading reviews on the internet of this product has shown that at least some Ruger owners have had their stock pins pull forward under recoil, if not all the way out of position, at least far enough to prevent the revolver from firing. While even Belt Mountain suggests only using their product if you really need it, many Ruger owners automatically install them in all their revolvers, and even custom revolver builders like Hamilton Bowen and Gary Reeder use them as a matter of course in their custom guns.
BELT MOUNTAIN ENTERPRISES INC.
P.O. Box 353
Belgrade, MT 59714
(406) 388 – 1396