First revolver, questions...


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Ergosphere
September 11, 2008, 07:43 PM
I'm looking into getting a revolver to use as an "outdoor gun" when camping or hiking. At some point, I'll probably get a Puma 1892 model lever-action carbine to go with the revolver. :) In my state, we have black bears (some are habituated :uhoh:), mountain lions, and of course 2-legged predators. As I'm not very familiar with revolvers, I have a few questions.

Originally I was thinking about .357 magnums, but now I'm looking at Ruger Redhawks or Blackhawks in .45LC. These have the potential for high-pressure loadings, and for light plinking loads I have .45ACP bullets. I reload, so the cost of ammo is less of an issue. In fact, one Blackhawk model is available with an interchangeable .45ACP cylinder... is it possible to get a .45ACP cylinder separately for the other Blackhawk .45LC models?

I'm aware of the operational difference between single and double action revolvers. Normally I'd prefer DA since it can be cocked and fired SA, and it's easier to reload, but for my purposes either would be fine. But I want something especially robust and durable... a gun that will last forever, even if it sees plenty of use. Are the DA mechanisms as robust as SA?

(I'll probably have more questions later, but I'll stop here and post these to get things going.)

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batmann
September 11, 2008, 09:36 PM
My advice, for what it's worth, get a Ruger 4" Redhawk in .44Mag and your rifle to match.
The reason, you can shoot .44 Specials and the heaviest .44M loads, ammo is plentiful and cheaper than .45 Colt.
The Ruger is hell for strong and in combo with a good lever action, should be more than enough for any Black bear.
If you decide to go with a SA, go with a Super Blackhawk.
I really think you will like the .44M as IMHO, I think it is one of the best all around calibers there is.

almostfree
September 11, 2008, 09:41 PM
I agree. A redhawk is what you are looking for. It is about as robust as you are going to get. A Dan Wesson wouldn't be too bad if you can find one in good condition. The prices are usually pretty low.

However, there is nothing wrong with a GP100 either. It is also robust, simple, and with the right loads can really pack a punch. It is also a lot easier to shoot than a .44 mag or .45 colt with heavy loads.

Ergosphere
September 12, 2008, 12:16 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I'll probably stick to .45 Colt... at least that way I have some bullet commonality with .45ACP, and potentially cartridge compatibility with an extra cylinder. The difference in the cost of factory ammo doesn't matter because I almost exclusively shoot handloads. With the Ruger's ability to take high pressure .45 loads, I don't see a ballistic advantage to .44mag, either. Am I missing some reason to prefer .44mag?

Ok, so the Redhawk is built like a tank too. That's good. :) But my question remains: are single-action designs sturdier? I ask because I've read (for example) that you can eventually damage the crane in a DA revolver by flipping the cylinder closed (not that I'd do that) which suggests it's at least somewhat delicate. Obviously SA cylinders don't swing, but I'm curious if they're more durable and robust in general. I prefer something as indestructible as possible. ;)

calaverasslim
September 12, 2008, 12:57 AM
While I disagree slightly with these 2 gentlemen as to choice of weapons, I have to totally agree with caliber. Ruger, yes, but I strongly recommend the SBH with a 4.63" or 5.5" barrel. You don't need a seperate cylinder to change calibers, just stuff 44 special in the gun to plink with. And carry 44mag for serious shooting. Truth be told, you can load 44 special to high velocity for protection also. No matter what some folk proclaim, you should not load the 45 to 44 mag levels. not good on the gun.

Your also looking for sturdiness and the Super Black Hawk gives you that and versitility also.

A good strong side holster and your good to go.

Loading the 44 special and the 44 mag in the same dies is a money saver also.

Just mho

Cosmoline
September 12, 2008, 01:08 AM
SA's are not any sturdier per se than DA's. What they are is lighter for size. Compare the weight of a Super Blackhawk with a Super Redhawk to see what I mean. The DA requires a notch more frame size. The other big difference, aside from loading method, is PRICE. You can find super blackhawks for $350 or less used, but you will almost never see a Redhawk or SRH for that price.

Neither are delicate, but slamming the cylinders shut on a wheelgun is a noobish misuse of the firearm. It does not increase speed. You won't break it but you will wear it out faster and loosen it up, requiring a retune. Anyway it's bad technique.

Colt46
September 12, 2008, 01:32 AM
I've got the '92 puma and ruger bisley. Love big bullets at moderate velocity.
Love both guns, but the '92 always brings a smile to anybody's face when they shoot it.

Ergosphere
September 12, 2008, 03:32 AM
Thanks -- I hadn't noticed the price difference! Looks like there's a blackhawk in my future... ;)

Ergosphere
September 12, 2008, 02:27 PM
Another question... just how big is the BH with a 7.5" barrel? At over 13" long, it seems like it should be huge, but the photos look reasonable. Does anyone have a picture of someone holding a 7.5" bbl. BH? I'm having trouble judging the size from just a photo of the gun, with nothing else for reference.

I'm thinking 5.5" might be a good choice.

stormspotter
September 12, 2008, 03:18 PM
Not a Puma but a Browning B92 in 357 mag. with matching Ruger 50th Anniversary 357 mag.


http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k10/ema567/100_3213.jpg

jjohnson
September 12, 2008, 03:55 PM
Oh, baby:what:

I don't know how many were made but the Puma was available in 454 Casull for awhile. The 454 is a "magnumized" 45 Colt, so the case is longer and won't fit in a companion revolver, but if I were actually afraid of those critters you mentioned, you can pack a lot :eek: of wallop into the .454 cartridge and still use .45 colts in it. Recoil in a lightweight carbine with a hard buttplate should be entertaining but not lethal.:uhoh:

I have Pumas in 357 and 45 Colt, and they're great companions to the Ruger convertibles that go with them. For my money, I think I'd go with the .45 if you're in "dangerous critter" territory and wonder if you're going to get surprised fishing or something. Mid-power SWC cast lead .45s will still take other game without having to use the full power stuff that rips hides and leaves "parts" all over the place. The Puma (or 92 design) is a handy, graceful, fine carbine within the pressure limits.:D

StrawHat
September 12, 2008, 04:05 PM
Double action revolvers are not delicate. I have a S&W 45 ACP with a 4" skinny barrel and it has handled more rounds than most revovlers get as it was one of my competiton revolvers.

That said, a single action revolver is built with fewer parts are they are a bit stouter. Also, depending on what breaks most SAs can still be fired with broken parts.

Not two much commonality in bullets if your ACP is a self loader. Most of the 45 LC bullets don't feed well. If the ACP is a revolver, your home free.

Good luck.

Ergosphere
September 12, 2008, 04:50 PM
Those are purrrty, stormspotter.

StrawHat, my point is that the .45 LC should handle 230 gr. loads fine for plinking at the range. And if I can find one with a .45ACP cylinder... ;) but I'm having difficulty finding one.

c1ogden
September 12, 2008, 11:01 PM
I like the Ruger Blackhawk and I love the S&W models 19/66.

I think the .357 is a better choice than a .44 or .45 as the ammo is significantly cheaper, is much easier to come by, and is available in a much wider variety of loadings.

machinisttx
September 12, 2008, 11:33 PM
I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but 99.9% of the .45 ACP bullets out there are not going to be compatible with the Colt cartridge--especially when it comes to heavy loads.

Ergosphere
September 13, 2008, 02:53 AM
I think the .357 is a better choice than a .44 or .45 as the ammo is significantly cheaper, is much easier to come by, and is available in a much wider variety of loadings.
Again, since I load my own ammo this is not much of an issue. The marginal cost difference per box for my reloads is about $2; that is, I can reload 50 rounds of .45 Colt for about $2 more than 50 rounds of .357.

I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but 99.9% of the .45 ACP bullets out there are not going to be compatible with the Colt cartridge--especially when it comes to heavy loads.

For heavy loads, I'd agree. Otherwise there isn't much difference; normal .45 Colt loads use 255 gr. bullets. For light plinking loads, why wouldn't a 200 or 230 gr. work? Of course I'd need heavier bullets for "field use" loads, but I don't expect to shoot those nearly as much.

One more question: any opinions on 5.5" vs. 7.5" barrel length? I'm leaning toward 5.5" while asking myself why Ruger doesn't make a .45 blackhawk with a 6.5" barrel...

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