I need to convince a friend that you can shoot.38 special loads out of a .357


September 10, 2008, 06:13 PM
I'm going shooting with a friend this coming weekend and he recently acquired a blackhawk .357 from a relative. He's only been shooting .357 rounds out of it. I picked up a box of remington .38 special loads to shoot and when I let him know, he was a little iffy about shooting them. He is not real familiar with .357s and apparently didn't know you can shoot .38 specials out of them. Being somewhat new to shooting handguns myself, he's not ready to just take my word for it. How can I convince him that you can in fact shoot .38 special loads out of his .357 blackhawk? I guess me telling him, "I read it on the internet" isn't going to suffice :) Thanks.

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September 10, 2008, 06:26 PM
Let HIM read it on the internet.. Maybe even on this site. It's understandable for a newbie to not know all about guns/ammo/shooting. Or maybe have him call a trusted friend/relative who might know and clue him in.

September 10, 2008, 06:28 PM
I didnt know that until a few months ago when I was talking with a clerk at the local gun shop.

Find someone older and wiser that can explain it to him

September 10, 2008, 06:32 PM
Yeah, I'll just have to tell him to ask someone with more experience. He got the gun from his grandmother, maybe she'll convince him. I only found out recently myself, and I learned it from this forum. I can understand why he's skeptical. Can his blackhawk handle shooting full house .357 loads on a regular basis or does it risk some damage from the constant higher pressure?

September 10, 2008, 06:35 PM
Find an old retired cop.

Back in the day, they shot nothing but .38 Special for practice & qualification, then loaded the cylinder full of .357 for duty carry.

Or better yet, have him read page 13 of his Blackhawk owners manual again.

He did read the owners manual, didn't he?



September 10, 2008, 06:36 PM
Why not just have him contact Ruger by telephone, and let the gun's manufacturer tell him so.

September 10, 2008, 06:42 PM
I'm guessing he doesn't have the owner's manual. It's an older gun that his grandmother gave to him. I could be wrong though.

September 10, 2008, 06:43 PM
The information you need is right in the Blackhawk Instruction Manual. If you don't have the manual it's available online from Ruger. Look at page 13 in the Manual (http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/PDF/InstructionManuals/10.pdf) and there will be no further doubts. ;)

rcmodel, you are too fast!! The time it took me to post this you already had it posted!! LOL

September 10, 2008, 06:46 PM
Thanks, I'll print it off an bring it with me. :)

September 10, 2008, 06:48 PM
Now that that is answered, Yes, the Blackhawk could shoot full house .357s all day long and never even notice.

September 10, 2008, 06:52 PM
here is a link to the instruction manual on the ruger website.

its in the book that it says 38spl is ok in 357 mag.

ps wow I'm late to the party on this one.

September 10, 2008, 06:53 PM
It's an older gun that his grandmother gave to him.

Then I might add, if it's a three-screw, only load five!

Hammer down on an empty chamber is the only safe way to carry it loaded.

To load:
Load one, skip one, load four.

Then pull the hammer back and let it down on the empty chamber


September 10, 2008, 06:53 PM
On another note, at the gun show we went to on sunday, he bought a box of .357 loads. Once we left, upon inspection, they appeared to be reloads, should there be any concern shooting them?

September 10, 2008, 06:55 PM
rcmodel nailed it - it's in the owner's manual that the engraving on his barrel exhorts him to read.

One is well advised to not believe anything on the internet. Even here the posts aren't vetted and we all get a little nuts in the "love" and "versus" threads. The internet is where we learn that dihydrogen monoxide should be banned and that we shouldn't vaccinate our kids.

I can usually pop into any random "versus" thread and provide a couple examples of unchallenged horribly bad advice inside 20 posts. We say things in front of each other that really shouldn't be repeated in front of the inexperienced. We're family and know when we're kidding and that family will "fill in the blanks".

The absolute last thing I'd do is try to convince him of anything based on the contents of the internet.

The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion.

September 10, 2008, 06:56 PM
rcmodel, thanks for the info. We're just going to the gravel pit out behind his house (he lives out in the boonies). I don't think he'll be carrying it loaded, just loading once we are there and ready to shoot, but I'll let him know anyway, thanks again, its good to know.

September 10, 2008, 06:57 PM
I would never shoot a reload from an unknown source.

September 10, 2008, 07:03 PM
Archangel, I agree with you. Maybe I have some more convincing to do...;)

September 10, 2008, 07:06 PM
357s would be the same length as 38s except there were many 38 long colt revolvers that would be dangerous with the loads so they made 357 mag 1/10 inch longer.same diam case.:uhoh::rolleyes:

Black Knight
September 10, 2008, 07:07 PM
On your way to the range stop off at a good gunshop just to "check out the ammo". They should be a big help if they are any good.

September 10, 2008, 08:01 PM
Once we left, upon inspection, they appeared to be reloads, should there be any concern shooting them?

Are they factory reloads, i.e. did he buy them from a distributor stand, or did he buy them from one of the private sellers there? I've shoot plenty of factory reloads from both of my S&W's and Taurus .40 with no problems. It might still be considered an unkonwn source, but at least I know certain standards had to be met for the factory doing it.

September 10, 2008, 08:07 PM
He bought them from a private seller I think. I wasn't with him when he bought them, but I think he did mention the booth he bought them from.

Guns and more
September 10, 2008, 09:15 PM
I have a S&W model 65 which is a 357. I shot nothing but .38 at the range. Cheaper practice. No problem.

September 10, 2008, 09:38 PM
For quite a while (before they went briefly to the 10 mm Lite and eventually to the .40), the standard FBI carry was 38 special +P out of a SW 19-3 .357 revolver.

The caliber change was prompted by the 1986 Miami Shootout. Any source you find will detail that during the shootout, the handguns used by the FBI included 9mm SW 459's, and .38 and .357 revolvers--all the revolvers were loaded with .38 special cartridges.

September 11, 2008, 06:27 AM
Show him your shooting .38's out of your own .357 .

September 11, 2008, 06:28 AM
Show him you're shooting .38's out of your own 357

September 11, 2008, 06:31 AM
Make him read Keith, Jordan, Skelton ....

Man am I THAT old ?

September 11, 2008, 06:35 AM
Make him read Keith, Jordan, Skelton......

... man,.. am I THAT old ?...

September 11, 2008, 09:07 AM
Why are you doing all of the investigating? If he doesn't want to check it out for himself, let it go. Personally, when I tell someone something that I know for sure and then they dismiss it without even checking, I feel somewhat offended. It's like they're saying that my words don't mean enough to consider. Depending upon the situation, I may ask "wanna bet?" If they say ok to that, then I'll go get proof. Most of the time, though, I just let it go. One can't help someone who chooses to remain ignorant.

September 11, 2008, 12:24 PM
There is antoher GOOD reason for only loading five rounds..
If you load six,and you pull the hammer ALL the way back and then let it down..as you should...YOu won't get an ad when the hammer is being let down on a live round.
It can happen,trust me on that. !

^^ignore the above if you have a new model that is loaded by opening the loading gate and NOT having to have the hammer on half cock.

To answer the original question,I"ve been shooting .38's in my .357's for YEARS.

September 11, 2008, 02:05 PM
Load up 6 .38 specials when he's not paying attention, and then after you get done with that round, show him the empties :)

September 11, 2008, 02:57 PM
Only thing to remember to do regularly is this! Clean the cylinder frequently to get out the slight powder fouling ring that forms in front of the shorter 38spec. caseing and sometimes prevents a 357 case from sliding all the way in! I had a Smith 686 that had lots of 38s fired in it . I kept myself a once fired magnum case in my gun cleaning kit to check it.

September 11, 2008, 05:08 PM
Seriously, 4 consecutive 1 line posts a minute or two apart that are really 2 sets of doubles... That why the have an edit button in this forum. :neener:

September 11, 2008, 07:03 PM
I'm not upset about being the one doing the investigating, I just want to convince him because I bought a box of .38's that I want to shoot from his gun! It's not that he didn't believe me, he was just a little concerned about shooting an unfamiliar round out of his gun, and I really can't blame him. I've sinced explained it to him and showed "proof" and it's all cleared up, now we're ready to go shoot those .38s.

September 11, 2008, 07:13 PM
Hope you have a great time :)

Personally, I think it makes sense to question using ammunition you're not sure about. And it seems he had no problem with it once he got convincing information that it was ok. Never hurts to err on the side of caution.

September 11, 2008, 07:16 PM
ErikS, I agree with you there. I just showed him the online owner's manual

September 12, 2008, 12:11 AM
Don't tell him anything. When he gets tired of paying for shooting .357's all the time maybe he'll sell the Blackhawk to you cheap. ;)

September 12, 2008, 10:43 PM
Eh, uh....

The .357 magnum was developed FROM the .38 special. It's nothing more than a .38 special case lengthened roughly 1/8" and loaded to higher pressures.

Tell him to do some research on the .38 special, the 38-44 Heavy Duty, and the .357 magnum.

Seriously...there are people out there that do not know this?

September 13, 2008, 12:15 AM
I'm sure both of these answers have been given. 1. Have him call Ruger and speak to them directly. 2. The owners manual should say it. He can get it online, or request one from Ruger.

Regardless, he should request an owners manual just to have one. Also, the Blackhawk is a cool revolver. My brother has one I totally dig it! He got a deer with it a couple years back.

September 13, 2008, 03:42 AM
You're right about the manual. There are several posts on the first page with the link to that online manual...
It's not that he didn't believe me, he was just a little concerned about shooting an unfamiliar round out of his gun, and I really can't blame him.
Now that strikes me very strange. He is worried about firing Factory .38 Specials but has no problem with firing reloaded .357 Magnum rounds in his gun without knowing anything about those reloads. Wow, very strange indeed!! :uhoh:

September 13, 2008, 04:13 AM

"I would never shoot a reload from an unknown source."


I agree with this poster. I would only shoot 'reloads' that my husband loaded and from some VERY close gun friends that I absolutely trust for reloading and safety measures.


September 13, 2008, 04:30 AM
The Ruger Blackhawk is a fabulous gun! I am very biased being that I own one and LOVE it in 45Colt. I have shot other calibers in the Blackhawk!

Did you say that this is an older model or the New Model Version?

I agree with what the other posters said about reading the RUGER manual online if he does not have the original owners manual - old model or new model version.

Have him call Ruger if he is so worried about brand new ammuntion and, YES, 38Special ammunition can be used in a 357Magnum. Been there - done that in several of MY OWN guns (S&W and Ruger.), my late husband's guns, my groom aka husband's guns and GUNS that I did not own in 357Magnum that my friends owned. I would TRUST brand new factory 38Special and 357Magnum ammunition before I would trust an unknown 'load' reloaded by someone that I did not personally know well!

Have him check that RUGER website, other ammunition websites, other gun manufacturer's websites, etc. There are many famous gun books and authors out there who can help him.

Have him check out which model he actually owns in this Blackhawk - old or new model and the 'loading' instructions.

Best wishes, be safe and have fun!


September 13, 2008, 04:42 AM
Hornady and other companies have reloading and other books which explain what type of ammunition is this or that.

Several years ago, I bought a Hornady 2 piece anniversary book set (Cabela's in MI.) so I could LOOK (Read and learn!) at the pictures and explanations on what CARTRIDGE was what compared to other calibers. I only knew about 38Special, 38Special Plus P, 357Magnum and 22LR before I started to buy MY own guns, get more into self defense and into the shooting sports.




Best wishes again to both of you.


September 13, 2008, 07:08 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. Its all cleared up now, I showed him the online manual and he printed a copy of it.

September 13, 2008, 07:31 AM
Catherine, I'm not sure if his blackhawk is and older or newer model. His grandmother gave it to him recently, so I suppose it could be old. I'll let you know after tomorrow, we're going shooting:)

September 13, 2008, 07:35 AM
I see we got to "read the manual." I sure hope you can shoot .38 special out of a .357 because that's about all my .357's see. Reloads at that.

Excellent advice, Catherine. I think the Blackhawk is one of the most fun revolvers out there. I bought a .357/9mm convertible and absolutely love to shoot it. Mostly .38 special with some .357 thrown in. I've been dithering over a .45 lc, .45 convertible or an SBH in .44 mag. May have to resolve the dither by buying one in .45 and one in .44.

September 13, 2008, 03:25 PM

You're very welcome.

Mine are the Ruger New Model Versions because I did not start to buy my own guns until May 1998 and on. Mine were all bought NIB, back east, at my local gun store. I did NOT know jack squat about looking at a used gun and seeing if it was 'good' or not and I did not know a 'gunsmith', at THAT time. My late husband ONLY owned ABOUT 5 guns his entire life... SELF DEFENSE for us and plinking, as soon as he got back to his home state after Vietnam and around the world USN tours. He was ALWAYS into self defense/shooting not 'collecting'. He was a GREAT shot too - go figure! Grin. I was ALWAYS into the RKBA ISSUE as he was and into SELF DEFENSE even though I only knew the 'basics'. I became more interested in shooting, buying, looking and 'into' the shooting sports since 1998 because it was something that I FELL IN LOVE with! He owned more boats than firearms - new and 1 used over the years. He did KNOW sail and power boats including old Chris Crafts - the one that we restored together! Ha ha! Before that time, I only used my late husband's 357Magnum D/A=double action revolver for home self defense. NO ccw or vehicle carry with LOADED guns back there.

My groom/husband, not my late husband, and friends own some 'old model ones' and they will keep them that way. They own some new model ones along with other more 'expensive' single action revolvers.

Ruger explains about the old model and new model single action revolvers on their website and you will find this information elsewhere.

Take care.


September 13, 2008, 04:11 PM

I see we got to "read the manual." I sure hope you can shoot .38 special out of a .357 because that's about all my .357's see. Reloads at that.

Excellent advice, Catherine. I think the Blackhawk is one of the most fun revolvers out there. I bought a .357/9mm convertible and absolutely love to shoot it. Mostly .38 special with some .357 thrown in. I've been dithering over a .45 lc, .45 convertible or an SBH in .44 mag. May have to resolve the dither by buying one in .45 and one in .44.



I think that 2 or more guys on here, maybe one of them is Cajun Bass (?), owns one like yours too. I did hear that your style convertible is SWEET. I do know that the regular 357Magnum in them is SWEET too. I know several men, as stated elsewhere, that own Blackhawks in 44Magnum... they LOVE them. I love my Blackhawk in 45Colt - circa 1998-2001.

I literally FELL in love with single actions when I first 'discovered one' sitting in a showcase at my store back east. It literally took my breath away. Ha ha! I exclaimed how PRETTY she was, the historical LOOK of it to me being a NEWBIE or novice in my own gun buying and not just looking at my house gun as a TOOL - it was really 'his' but mine to use. I said that the single action revolver was as pretty as some fine boats that I had seen, sailed and wished I owned but did not. I was STRUCK by the single action revolver and had never really owned one, shot one nor knew anyone back 'there' who owned one either. By golly, it was at that time that I wanted to buy 1, 2 or 3 guns with my savings (I had my own gun fund money from my paychecks.) and the REST is HISTORY! Ha ha. I discovered single action revolvers AFTER buying some of my other handguns. I saw a sweet b/p (Black powder.) one in a Ruger single action too. The 'Army' (?) one that is NOW discontinued at my former store too. I did not buy an Army one though. I had to have Chad explain THAT to me versus the other single actions. I had NEVER seen one of those before either AT THAT TIME. I had never really 'shopped' at gun stores as I did BOOK stores until I started to buy my own guns. I did buy a rifle once for my late husband with him with me - my money - his Christmas gift after we moved into the house that we built after his USN time.

That Hornady book, other gun books that I own, my former Gun Digest and my library books explained cartridge size to me along with those PICTURES. My late husband took out our house ammo and explained American and Metric measures to me showing me 38Special, 38Special Plus P, 357Magnum, 22LR, and later on 9MM for my Glock Model 19C. When I went into a store, I asked to see what such and such ammo LOOKED like so I had a clue on the size and looks compared to just 'book reading'. My late husband tried to explain thousands and so forth in math sizes to me too.

By the way, I LOVE to shoot 38Specials too - it is a good caliber as is 357Magnum, 45Colt, 44 Special/44Magnum, 22LR, 9MM, etc.!

I own 3 Ruger Single Actions. One in 45Colt-Blackhawk and two in 22LR-Bisley and the Super Single Six-22LR/22WMR. They are the ones that I bought back in 1998-2001. I can shoot the gong far away for ME (50Yards.) and up close and personal self defense shooting too. They are GREAT guns and straight shooters. NOT one problem ever and I don't put 'stuff' or extras on my guns... no offense. I did have a scope for my late husband's S&W Model 41. He used it both ways. His Christmas gift from me to him.

I read YOUR post about your Blackhawk convertible to my husband here. He said that he HEARD that they were VERY nice too.

Take care.

Catherine - A Ruger Blackhawk - my heart be still! Grin.

September 13, 2008, 06:02 PM
Catherine, thanks again for the advice and wisdom. It sounds like you're passionate about your guns and sport and it's good to hear. I've learned a lot from folks like you on this forum and still have a ways to go but I'm making progress and it's good that people are willing to take "noobs" like me under their wing and help us out, it's appreciated.
Hope everything is well in Montana. I'd love to make it back out there some day, I spent a few weeks out there one summer about 5 years ago backpacking and fly fishing around Yellowstone and the Bozeman area and I loved it. It's a long trek there from here in Maine though.

September 14, 2008, 12:02 AM

I answered your PM. We have friends in the Livingston area, close to Bozeman, MT and close to Yellowstone National Park (Part of MT and WY.). We go over there and they visit us several times a year. We 'shoot together' - a group of us from ALL over the country including the Montana residents. (Natives/them and 'transplants' as I am.) We visit Yellowstone and Glacier several times a year along with the 'Bob' - Bob Marshall Wilderness which is close to us - about an hour away. Wilderness is all around us.

I love Maine too. More in a PM to you.

If you get out here again, send a PM to me. My husband and I will show you our Deer Creek Rifle Range.


If you would like to shoot with us even at a NON event, fly out without guns, we will lend you some of ours. Seriously. Been there - done that! Most of us 'gun nuts' are VERY friendly, LOVE to share and not only an elk dinner or cowboy coffee around a camp fire! We shoot together, eat together - eat out and home cooked, share hot coffee, camp, hotel, shoot some more, hike, show each other our guns and gun STUFF, look at scenery around here, etc. We have a good group of people including some of us who are oldies but goodies. Veterans, younger ones - kids of friends, some women come out here sometimes, mainly guys, all kinds of people in all professions and backgrounds. We are ALL highly opinionated too! LOL Look out!

I am NO expert and started out late in life with My Own Guns. I know what I own and shoot. I know some about what some other guys/gals shoot but there are TONS of guns that I do NOT know anything about because I have not been exposed to them, seen them, shot them or known anyone who owned them except from a board or a BOOK.

We were all NEW once in any sport and in any specific interest. We learn and most gun people are just as SWEET as boaters. Always there to help another person. I have found it to be that way with almost ANY shooter anywhere and I am not kidding you. I would say that the 90 to 95% of them that I personally met and know and knew-some are deceased now... were KIND, smart, encouraged me as my late husband did when MOST of my friends thought that I was NUTS to want to get into guns more since I was not the 'gun type' to them. I was mainly a swimmer, boater and READER for MY sports/hobbies. The gun people let me try their guns and asked if I wanted to TRY them almost anywhere that I went from an indoor to outdoor range to gun clubs and events. I was asked to join several clubs too.

More in the PM - best wishes and stay safe - have fun!



September 14, 2008, 10:02 AM
Catherine, you are much too modest. I've noticed you are pretty knowledgeable about firearms. The decade of study shows.

I consider myself something of a new shooter. I started with a Winchester Mod 69 .22 (still have it) in the 1950's and learned to shoot handguns with a pellet pistol and an S&W M&P .38 special probably made in the 1920's (still have that one, too). Most of my "gun" experience came from about 30 years in the Army Reserves. I restarted about 4 years ago with an S&W 22A to relearn how to shoot. Seems that the guy who could pick up a 1911 once a year and shoot Expert years ago got turned in with the field gear when I retired. It's been a fun 3 years becoming a gun nut.

My first SA revolver was a Super Single Six. Absolutely a joy to shoot. Shooting the single six made buying the Blackhawk much easier, since I knew how it would probably shoot. The BH is not quite as accurate with 9mm. I haven't shot it with the 9mm cylinder nearly as much as with the .38/.357 cylinder. I probably need to spend more time with the 9mm. I have a GP100 and an S&W 442. With 4 revolvers in either .38 or .38/.357 almost all my reloading is in .38. Makes it easier to keep up on the shooting stock. The only "problem" I've seen shooting .38 in my .357's is that the lead bullets will cause a buildup in the cylinder. It takes a bit longer to clean the revolvers to remove the lead.

A fellow at the range yesterday had a brace of Vacqueros in .38. Those were fun to shoot. So now I guess I've got the wants for a Vacquero, .45 and .44. My daughter hasn't been willing to drop out of college so I can support my gun habit. Kids are always so selfish.:D

September 14, 2008, 01:31 PM
I ran into this question re: my SBH in .44Mag. I have no desire to shoot .44 Specials in it, but another shooter wanted to do that in his revolver.

I believe the situation is almost identical to the .38 Special / .357 Magnum situation. The .44 Magnum case is longer, and is commonly loaded to higher pressures. .44 Specials can be safely fired in .44 Magnum chambered revolvers, but not the other way 'round (case length prevents it.)

dihydrogen monoxide should be banned

Yes. I always thought this was safe, until I read about some college hazing ritual involving drinking large quantities of this stuff, resulting in death. I'm expecting an MSDS sheet on this shortly. :)

September 14, 2008, 04:55 PM
dihydrogen monoxide should be banned
Yes. I always thought this was safe, until I read about some college hazing ritual involving drinking large quantities of this stuff, resulting in death. I'm expecting an MSDS sheet on this shortly.


The purer the dhmo, the faster it corrodes firearms. A very dangerous chemical. I have it on good authority that over-exposure can result in rapid death and anyone who has had any contact with it will eventually die.:D

September 14, 2008, 05:56 PM
greener -

Thanks for that. Other than this is shameless thread drift, I appreciate the information. I had no idea anyone had put this much effort into explaining the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide. I was especially concerned about the tissue damage that can occur from exposure to the solid form, and I will be careful this winter.

(Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing? We can all thank Al Gore... :) )

September 14, 2008, 06:12 PM
Happy to report that all went well ;) We put a box of .38's through it and almost a whole box of .357's, but then the rain came. I was really impressed with the blackhawk, its a straight shooter, I was really impressed with the accuracy, and it was definitely more to do with the gun than the shooter :)

September 14, 2008, 08:31 PM
JeffDilla: Good to see your .38 special trial went well with the Blackhawk. The first 50 rounds I put through mine were .357. I was darned impressed with how well it shot and the low recoil. I checked the ammo to make sure that it was really .357 and not some light load. The low-recoil probably has something to do with the weight and grip. Mine now gets a steady diet of .38 specials.

dmazur: Remember that contact with the vapor can be rather dangerous, also. About 10 years ago, I made some contributions to the on-going research into dmho, hydric acid and hydrogen hydroxide. Goes to show that my 3 degrees in chemistry were not entirely wasted.:D

September 14, 2008, 08:43 PM
Greener, I was really impressed too. This was the first time I had ever shot a handgun larger than .22 caliber. I started off shooting the .38's and after about 18 rounds, moved up to the .357's and was pleasantly suprised. We mostly shot the box of remington .357 loads I bought but we shot 30 rounds of the reloads he bought at a gun show last weekend. Luckily we had no major incidents with the reloads, but they were very inconsistent regarding power, some felt like .38s and some felt like very hot .357 loads. You never really knew what to expect with each pull of the trigger, it was enough to make me never want to shoot reloads from an unknown source again. All in all it was a great day of shooting and made my urge to buy my own .357 A LOT stronger. I just have to work on saving up...:)

September 14, 2008, 10:26 PM
You certainly started with an excellent revolver to move up from .22. I've bought reloaded ammo from Georgia Arms and Dick's Sporting goods. Those were very consistent. The only inconsistent reloads I've had were just after I started reloading and decided to try light loads with Unique. Mostly "bangs" but enough "pops" that I decided not to try that again.

September 15, 2008, 07:06 AM

GREAT news about your day at the range! I am glad that both of you had a fun and safe day.


September 16, 2008, 09:26 AM
I shoot quite a bit of .38Spl ammo in my 2 Ruger SA revolvers... a short barrel "Sheriff's Model" Vaquero, and a 50th Year .357 Blackhawk. Most of the serious .357Mag ammo has A LOT of muzzle flash from the Vaquero..I havent measured, but is is only about a 3-5/8" barrel.

I did make a special 'tool' to clean the cylinder after shooting a bunch of .38Spl ammo..took a fired .357Mag case, punched out primer, notched the open end a bit, and epoxied that case to a short piece of cleaning rod. A quick push-in-and-turn breaks up the .38Spl leftover crud ring

September 17, 2008, 10:26 PM

I can't encourage you enough to determine if your friend's "older" Blackhawk is one of the original "3-screw" designs or the newer "2-screw" one.

The 3-Screws do NOT have a firing pin block and thus if the hammer gets accidentally struck from the rear (due to a drop, etc.), it WILL go off with the potential to kill.

The original Colt Peacemakers were of that design too, and shooters learned more than a century ago that this type design MUST be loaded so there is no round in the cylinder in front of the firing pin!

Ruger offers a free factory conversion for all original 3-screw models to add a firing pin block in a way that does mess up the gun.

Please, check it out in the Ruger manual to see how to identify the differences. It is super-easy to tell.


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