Ruger Blackhawk Convertibles


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Glockman17366
July 27, 2008, 09:05 AM
I put a .45 Colt/.45 ACP (4 5/8ths barrel) on order a few weeks back. The dealer said they've been on backorder for quite a while.

Anyone have any ideas why these guns are on backorder? Apparently, the .45 Colt (non-convertible) and .357 (non-convertible) revolvers are readily available.

I'm guessing Ruger may only build these convertibles once or twice a year...

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Gary A
July 27, 2008, 10:39 AM
Glockman - don't know about why they are scarce now. You're probably correct about being made in "runs". I just found one, 4 5/8", 45 convertible. I had one years ago. Since I plan to shoot mostly .45 acp in mine, I figured the alloy frame is a plus and my hands really approve of the new grip feel, especially for lighter recoiling rounds. Mine is very accurate and seems well-made but I have a problem with the sights with the .45 acp cylinder. The gun shoots pretty high. Using 230 grain ammo, I have to adjust my sight picture even with the rear sight screwed all the way down. Once used to it, I was centering groups very nicely. I like the revolver so much, I'll figure out the best way to "solve" the sights issue. I'll keep shooting it for a while before I consider doing anything. BTW, I also recently picked up a little Cimarron Thunderer with .45 acp cylinder. This 3 1/2 inch barrelled, fixed-sight little gem is not quite as accurate in my hands as the Blackhawk, but it shoots POA with 230 grain ammo. It's really sweet. Makes me consider getting a full-sized Model P.

I should say, the Ruger with the rear sight screwed all the way down, puts them in the center of a paper plate at 15 and 25 yards with a true 6 O'clock hold.

Quoheleth
July 27, 2008, 02:27 PM
There's a story about it in the 2008 Ruger Catalog, "Ruger After [Bill] Ruger" by Dick Metcalf that describes Ruger's new production philosophy as "lean manufacturing." As I understand it, they only produce Item X or Variation #5 of Item X when there is a demand for it among their distributors.

It can be frustrating for the buyer , but it's designed to keep inventory down and thus keep prices lower. In today's internet age it's not quite so bad...there's more ability to find what you want (look at Buds, for example) but it can still be tough (try finding a new 3" Sp101 sometime...the 2 1/2 are all over the place).

At least, that's what the article said.

Q

Dienekes
July 27, 2008, 11:35 PM
Worth waiting for, though. I got the exact same thing about ten years ago when they brought the .45 Convertibles back. I suspect the current quality will be a bit better. I had to get the chamber mouths reamed out to the proper .4525 and use .454 cast bullets; but it is an excellent shooting, handy, light gun--one of my favorites. I actually like it better than an old .44 flattop I cut to 4 5/8" many years ago.

I don't use the .45 ACP much but like the option. I did find that POI varied between the LC round and the ACP.

bigboredad
July 27, 2008, 11:46 PM
Hey Gary a on a barrel that short try a taller front sight that will make all the difference in the world

ClemY
July 28, 2008, 06:39 AM
I wanted a stainless convertible. They don't usually make them. I just bought a 7 1/2" stainless .45, sent it to the factory, had them put a 5 1/2" barrel on it and a .45 ACP cylinder. Works great (after reaming the chamber throats and recutting the forcing cone.)

tinygnat219
July 28, 2008, 07:38 AM
From what I understand, these items are discontinued, but are still available on the used market. Lean manufacturing? Well, hopefully it works for them.

I am still waiting to see the Ruger SP101 in .327 Federal that I have heard som much about. My gunshop hasn't seen 'em.

Glockman17366
July 28, 2008, 08:57 AM
"From what I understand, these items are discontinued, but are still available on the used market. Lean manufacturing? Well, hopefully it works for them"

That's incorrect, according to the Ruger website. There are some models (with the rosewood grips) discontinued, but the hard rubber checked gripped models are still availible.

I figure Quoheleth has it right...about lean manufacturing and production scheduling.

I just hope the wait isn't too long! But, I'm a pretty patient guy. However, I'm wondering if picking up the .45 Colt model is worthwhile...then returning it to the factory to have a .45 ACP cylinder fitted is worth the extra expense.
ClemY, what did those modifications cost you, if I may ask?

Gary A
July 28, 2008, 10:47 AM
bigboredad,

You said on a barrel that short try a taller front sight that will make all the difference in the world

and you are absolutely correct. That may be what I do, but the Blackhawk front sight is silver-soldered onto the barrel and is neither pinned or dovetailed. Front sight blades can be easily replaced on the Hunter series but I think this would be more of a problem. The revolver seems so good in every other respect that I will very likely look into doing just that, though.

Gary A
July 28, 2008, 12:54 PM
Oops! I was way wrong on my new Blackhawk Convertible. I only thought I had screwed the rear sight all the way down. Looking at it today, I had (forget now) 4 or 5 more clicks. (Brain Freeze?) It is now all the way down and next range visit I suspect things will be closer to POA than last time. At least now I can go up if I went too far down. Also, Ruger does sell front sight blades but doesn't seem to sell taller ones. Lots to learn yet, but I am pleased that my "problem" may have been more between my ears than with my revolver. Easier to fix. Sometimes.

bigboredad
July 28, 2008, 09:43 PM
Hey gary just give them a call they do have taller front sights and the ones i"ve gotten from them i just paid for the shipping and received them very fast. If i can find the extra one I'd send it to you

Gary A
July 29, 2008, 12:19 AM
bigboredad - thanks for that information. I'm going to shoot it a little bit more and then see what (if anything) needs to be done. I'm presuming that once I got a taller sight, it would require a gunsmith to remove and replace the existing sight, right?

ArmedBear
July 29, 2008, 01:03 PM
I'm presuming that once I got a taller sight, it would require a gunsmith to remove and replace the existing sight, right?

Ruger's sights are all just held on with a screw, right?

All the ones I've seen, on adjustable-sight guns, are. Use Loc-tite.:)

EDIT: Hmmm... It seems the Blackhawk sight is soldered on. My SBH and 22/45 Target have screw-on front sights. I wonder why Ruger would solder on some sights, when the screw-on sights work fine.

Gary A
July 29, 2008, 09:24 PM
Dunno, the Hunter series have pinned front sights that can be changed out. Wish the Blackhawk did. Oh well, I'm hoping to get things squared away next range trip.

bigboredad
July 29, 2008, 09:42 PM
if you have stailess the front sight is held in with a roll pin blued guns are unfortunately soldered on but a easy change out with any competent smith and the bonus of that is he can put the roll pin in so that you can change to ma shorter sight if the need arises

Quoheleth
July 29, 2008, 11:08 PM
I am still waiting to see the Ruger SP101 in .327 Federal that I have heard som much about. My gunshop hasn't seen 'em.

From what I gather, just about everyone at Ruger is on-deck for the SR9 recall work. And LCPs have had a few glitches...

Perhaps these might have something to do with the delay...

Q

nambu1
July 30, 2008, 02:52 AM
I bought mine about 10 years ago and enjoy shooting it. I usually keep the 45 Colt cylinder in, but do switch for my son.

Glockman17366
July 30, 2008, 07:14 AM
Well, my .45 Colt/.45 ACP convertable is in...gun shop called yesterday.
Thanks for all the replies, gents!

Gary A
July 30, 2008, 09:36 AM
Glockman - enjoy your new 45 convertible. Most folks really love theirs.

tuna
July 30, 2008, 07:04 PM
I love mine, the only problem I find is when using the ACP cylinder and cheap lead reloads, it tends to bind up. No problem with jacketed rounds and absolutely no issues with the LC cylinder, which is usually in place.

Texasred
August 3, 2008, 09:16 PM
Does the convertibles have some sort of alloy frame as opposed to the other blackhawks?

Gary A
August 3, 2008, 10:25 PM
Does the convertibles have some sort of alloy frame as opposed to the other blackhawks?
Yes, generally it does. You realize we are talking about the grip frame, right? The frame which absorbs the pressure and recoil is steel on all of them. In the past, they have made some limited runs of convertible Blackhawks in stainless steel which had steel grip frames. Also some limited runs of convertible Vaqueros with steel grip frames in both blued and stainless. The standard production blued convertible Blackhawks come with alloy frames. I have never heard of a problem with them other than some people prefer the balance of the steel grip frame and some folks don't like that the finish is not an exact match and alloy doesn't touch up as easily. They are plenty strong. In fact, I believe Ruger made the earliest .44 magnum Blackhawks with alloy grip frames and mainly changed to steel to add weight for recoil purposes. I tend to prefer the steel grip frame, but since I intend on shooting mostly fairly brisk .45 acp loads in mine, the alloy is a perfect balance of weight and strength for me.

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