So Let Me Get this Straight (SBH / BH Grip question) ...


P. Plainsman
October 28, 2007, 12:32 AM
I sure do like .44 Magnum and .44 Special. Plan to start reloading the .44s soon. I used to own a 7.5" Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter. It was an excellent quality gun but just too unwieldy and heavy for me at 52 oz. (I love my S&W 629 4" at 41 oz.)

I'm thinking about trying another, hopefully handier single action .44 Magnum -- a 5.5" stainless Super Blackhawk (Ruger # KS-45N). It has the fluted cylinder (good) and weighs 45 oz (good!).

My question: Is it still the case that the 5.5" and 4 5/8" barrel SBHs use the same grips as the regular Blackhawk? So that I can buy aftermarket grips labeled "for Ruger Blackhawk" and they'd fit my 5.5" SBH?

I was at Hogue's website ( and noticed they had zero models of wood grips listed for the SBH, but had loads of models for the BH.

Thanks in advance for your help, folks. PS: Anyone have some experience with the 5.5" SBH? Do the plowhandle grips tear up your hand? I would be shooting it mainly with middling .44 Magnum loads (I love the Black Hills 240 gr JHP load) and a wide range of .44 Special.

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Jim March
October 28, 2007, 12:55 AM
First, read this:

Second: yeah, the SBHs with barrels of 4.68" and 5.5" have the XR3-RED grip frame, same as a standard post-'73 Blackhawk - except in the SBH it's steel versus aluminum.

That also means you can lighten up an SBH by switching to an aluminum grip frame. Hell, you can even throw an aluminum XR3-RED onto an SBH - even that Hunter. If you still have that Hunter, hell, I'd consider doing that, and having the barrel chopped and even fluted maybe for light weight :).

My view is this: if you have a Ruger SA that shoots GOOD, "right and tight" and a small gap but it's not quite the configuration you want, you might seriously consider modding it to what you want. Most of it (swapping grip frame/hammer/trigger in particular) can be home-brewed. Barrel chop and a custom dovetail front sight, not so much but not THAT expensive - you'll get just what you want, and to me a customized piece is just cooler :).

And a sane set of mods are unlikely to cause the gun to shoot worse than it's starting point.

If the gun doesn't shoot good, you need to sort out why. Maybe it's easily fixed, maybe the gun just plain left the factory "warped" and only a custom line-bored cylinder from scratch will help.

P. Plainsman
October 28, 2007, 01:11 AM
Helpful as usual, Jim. Having sold the Bisley Hunter, I now have a spare Belt Mountain stainless base pin in my parts drawer -- poor thing is waiting for a good home.

Can one buy a stainless Bisley grip frame from Ruger?

My ideal Ruger SA, I think, would be an AccuSport Bisley (periodic special-run 5.5" stainless Bisley .45 Colt) -- if they made it in .44 Magnum. Dang, that'd be a nice gun.

Jim March
October 28, 2007, 02:57 AM
Can one buy a stainless Bisley grip frame from Ruger?

Change "Ruger" to "Brownell's" and yeah :).

They sell a whole kit: hammer, trigger, gripframe. Just add the grip panels of your choice. Minor fitting required but it's a homebrew-compatible job.

P. Plainsman
October 28, 2007, 08:45 PM
Actually, it looks like Brownell's is no longer carrying the stainless "Bisley conversion kit" - only the blued one.

The stainless kit is listed on their website but you can't order it, and it's labeled "dropped by Brownell's."

Blued one does look interesting. I also have a spare blued Belt Mountain base pin ...

Jim March
October 28, 2007, 11:56 PM
Huh. Wonder what happened?

Somebody was threatening to do an aftermarket BRASS Bisley but only a handful were made. That's be sweet.

P. Plainsman
October 29, 2007, 12:46 AM
Since the "regular" Bisley Models are all blued, maybe Ruger just produces a lot fewer spare parts for the stainless Bisleys. OTOH, the stainless Bisley Hunter Model in .44 Mag is regular production, and seems to sell well. So I dunno.

After learning this about Brownell's, I'm musing about using a blued SBH and their kit to put together a 5.5" Bisley in .44 Mag. It'd have the fluted cylinder. That too would be a neat gun.

Honestly, the only beef I have with Ruger's blued single actions is the way they leave the sides of the hammer "in the white." Draws rust. If I got the SBH and liked it enough to Bisley-convert it, I'd probably have to go all the way and pay a gunsmith to blue the whole hammer -- make it what I want.

And then there'd be the question of some high-end aftermarket grips ... :)

November 6, 2007, 01:31 PM
delete this post

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