Ruger Blackhawk: What To Look For?


PDA






Dirty Dawg
July 12, 2008, 11:07 PM
I've had the bug lately to buy my first real revolver and have the bug for a Ruger Blackhawk but admit that I have no real idea what to look for in this gun. If you were looking at this pistol, what caliber, barrel or other features would you look for and what would be a fair price for new/gently used?

Thanks!

If you enjoyed reading about "Ruger Blackhawk: What To Look For?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Ben Shepherd
July 12, 2008, 11:48 PM
First-
Welcome to THR

Second-
Go to the top of this thread, read the sticky about revolver check out. Then print it out.

Third-
Used price should be 200-350ish depending on condition.

You didn't talk about intended use, so I'll suggest the 4 5/8" model as an excellent all purpose gun. That barrel length balances and handles well.

Virginian
July 13, 2008, 12:13 AM
I'd suggest a 6-1/2" in 357. My first centerfire many years ago. For $87.00. Still going strong.

Dirty Dawg
July 13, 2008, 12:23 AM
Thanks guys. I did read the thread and found it very helpful. Still, to make sense of some of the pistols I've seen, I need to know what 3 screw and non-prefixed mean. I assume this refers to older pistols, which I am also drawn to, guess I kinda like the squared off trigger guard. That said, I ran into a 50th anniversary 44/6.5" that really caught my eye. Anyhow, right now I think I'd like the 6.5" but I'm open to caliber but holy cow, they sure have a lot of options there. 357 sounds good too.

machinisttx
July 13, 2008, 12:46 AM
The older 3 screw guns are NOT safe to carry with all six chambers loaded unless it has been back to the factory for the "free safety upgrade". They have a half cock notch like a Colt or SAA replica. New Models do not.

The squared off trigger guard is Super Blackhawk(.44 magnum) only. I don't remember offhand what year the SBH came out, 70's maybe?

The 50th anniversary guns(both the .357 and the .44) have the original XR3 grip frame which is really close to the same size as a Colt or SAA replica. All other Blackhawks use the new style XR3-RED grip frame which is larger. I don't think I'd want to touch off any full bore mag loads with the smaller grip frame.

Dirty Dawg
July 13, 2008, 01:15 AM
Thanks for the info Machinisttx. Considering everything, looks like I need to focus on the newer models although I have to say, I have a .45 Bond Arms derringer and it's not bad so how bad could the XR3 grip be? :D

Bacardi151
July 13, 2008, 01:26 AM
I just bought a used Blackhawk. I chose a "convertible" model because I liked the idea of being able to use 45 ACP and 45 Colt (LC) by simply switching matched cylinders. I also chose one with a 7.5" barrel because its use was going to be a paper puncher. I paid $365 and think I got a good deal. It has a couple areas where the blue rubbed off, but otherwise it is in great condition. It is very acccurate using both types of ammo.

mtngunr
July 13, 2008, 02:16 AM
Being mainly a .45 guy, about the only cautions I'd add would regard that caliber......45 Colt Blackhawks and old/big Vaqueros often have undersized cylinder throats, an easy/cheap fix (ie www.cylindersmith.com), and the 4 5/8ths" bbls often have a front sight that's too short (not-easy/return-to-Ruger-fix).....otherwise, sound, nearly immortal guns, and one of my favorites for that reason alone....caliber? pick one......length? pick one.....

MCgunner
July 13, 2008, 12:05 PM
I have a 6.5" .357 and a 4 5/8" .45 colt. I sorta like the 4 5/8" barrel length. I find I can shoot it about as well. Yeah, it costs a little velocity, but in .45 colt, you have room to loose some. LOL

I want a blued 4 5/8" .41 magnum. I'll fill that desire some day.

Dirty Dawg
July 13, 2008, 12:26 PM
Thanks again for the info, you guys have really helped me out. I wish I had more examples here in town to handle and compare but having this kind of input makes a big difference.

I've also (just recently) been looking at the Beretta Stampede. It looks like a nice pistola. How does it compare to the Blackhawk?

nambu1
July 13, 2008, 12:29 PM
My first center fire pistol was a 6 1/2" 357 mag. and I am very happy with it. I have owned it for 37 years. The only problem I have with it, is that my wife now claims that it is hers. So I had to buy a similar one in 45 Colt. It also is a fine weapon. I do not think you can go wrong with whatever one you choose.

warski
July 13, 2008, 12:32 PM
I chose the .357/9mm convertible Blackhawk. I've shot some .357s and .38 specials through it, but mostly I've had a "blast" running about 1000 widely available 9mm bullets through it.

MCgunner
July 13, 2008, 12:41 PM
No need for convertibles for the handloader.

As for the Stampede, probably a good gun for cowboy shooting. I use my Blackhawks in the field to hunt with and just for carry. I prefer the strength of the Blackhawks and the adjustable sights. All depends on what you're going to do with it, but the Blackhawks are FAR stronger than the Colt clones when you want hot loads or just for durability and longevity. You can't really use the versatility of a caliber like .357/.38 with a fixed sight gun, either. There's quite a bit of difference in POI with light to heavy loads and my guns' elevation screws are marked for the light and heavy loads I use.

The Colt clones look cool, but just don't work as well for me. YMMV

mtngunr
July 13, 2008, 01:17 PM
any of the Colt-psuedo-copies will have some variation of Colt lockwork, which will fail much sooner than Ruger....you might get two-weeks out of Colt-type, or two-years, but sooner or later the bolt/trigger spring will break, and/or the bolt....whereas, the Ruger might go for your lifetime without needing repair....might....the New Vaqueros are more Colt-sized than old Vaqueros/Blackhwks....best of the Colt-copies would be the USFA line....decisions, decisions.....terrible, ain't it?

Matt-J2
July 13, 2008, 02:16 PM
It's a Blackhawk. If it looks like it has recently exploded, might be a good idea to pass on it. If it looks like it has not exploded, then it's probably as good or better than when it left the factory, even if that was 32+ years ago.

Having recently held a 4 5/8" barreled 357 version for the first time, I was rather impressed with the way it handled. Definitely on my 'must buy' list now.

mtngunr
July 13, 2008, 02:33 PM
Yep, I've owned several OMBH's in various calibers and sizes, an OMBH .45 Colt, .357 (2ea, one converted to .44Spl), and a flattop .357 2nd year production...they did a good thing in bringing back the smaller-framed .357....very Coltish feel even if balance is a bit different

Dirty Dawg
July 13, 2008, 05:06 PM
It's a Blackhawk. If it looks like it has recently exploded, might be a good idea to pass on it. If it looks like it has not exploded, then it's probably as good or better than when it left the factory, even if that was 32+ years ago.

That's what I wanted to hear! Looks like I'll stick to the Blackhawk but I'll take a closer look at the shorter barrels though the 6.5 sure seems to have a nice feel to it for me. I may even save up some pennies for fancy grips!

Hey Matt, I see you are in Appleton. Very nice little town. I was up there once to see the Cowboys play the Packers. Heck of a great time! I'd love to get back up there sometime.

rcmodel
July 13, 2008, 05:13 PM
If it looks like it has recently exploded
I would pass on the ones that have been used to drive barbwire fence staples with the butt too.

Other then that ------------

rcmodel

Matt-J2
July 13, 2008, 08:17 PM
I dunno about barbed wire fence staples, but the .30carbine Blackhawk I recently acquired had certainly been used as a hammer on more than one occasion. Still shoots just fine when I do my part, and never complains. :)


Dirty Dawg, the 6.5" versions are nice as well, if you go with that length I highly doubt you'll be disappointed.
Appleton's pretty nice only been here a few years myself. Doesn't hurt that Scheels, gun dept and all, is in the local shopping mall. :p

MCgunner
July 13, 2008, 09:35 PM
I dunno about barbed wire fence staples, but the .30carbine Blackhawk I recently acquired had certainly been used as a hammer on more than one occasion.

Tacking up wanted posters, maybe? :D

I'd want a stainless one for nailing. Blued ones have an aluminum grip frame.

Matt-J2
July 14, 2008, 12:11 AM
Probably! :D

Yeah, this one's an aluminum frame. I thought it was when I bought it, then I knew it was for sure when I removed it. Lets just say that was a learning experience I won't soon forget. Trying to compress the hammer spring onto that strut by hand was...not fun. The process may have resulted in my creating a whole new language, or at least dialect. I finally looked about and realized I have a reloading press that could do all the effort, a that hole at the end of the strut probably wasn't there by accident. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Ruger Blackhawk: What To Look For?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!