Ruger Blackhawk New Model Opinions


Rail Driver
April 14, 2011, 12:37 PM
So I just picked up a Ruger New Model Blackhawk in 9mm/.357/.38sp

I'm not so sure I care for the grips. Does anyone have any advice on grip when shooting this thing? It's heavy, so I expect it will be fairly forgiving in the recoil department as long as I have a proper grip. I'm just not sure how to get that good grip on this thing.

I liked it at first, but I don't think I'll be keeping this one.

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April 14, 2011, 12:41 PM
i have an old blackhawk and when shooting .38spc its like shooting a .22 recoil wise the .357 on the other hand can give you a good push it you loadem hot
as far as getting a good grip on it well it kinda just fit my hand right so i never had an issue but the out of the box colt python not so much i guess it just persnal pref

April 14, 2011, 12:42 PM
All Single-Actions require a very strong grip if accuracy is to be attained.

You cannot let the plow-handle grip move in your hand or recoil will shift point-of-impact all over the target.

Some folks like to hook the pinky finger under the bottom of the grip to help prevent it rolling up in the hand as much.


Rail Driver
April 14, 2011, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the tips RC. Maybe I should talk to some cowboy action shooters? I'd think the SA revolver would be their forte. If nothing else, the thing looks INTIMIDATING.

April 14, 2011, 02:03 PM
I doubt if cowboy action shooters could help much with controlling recoil or target grade accuracy.

The little pip-squeak loads they shoot at very big targets at very short range don't have enough recoil to control.

The other SA accuracy secret I forgot to mention is, you have to use really good follow-through when the trigger breaks.

SA's have a very slow lock time compared to most guns, while that big honk'n hammer is trying it's best to move the gun the other way as it falls.


April 14, 2011, 02:05 PM
How much experience do you have with single action revolvers? I ask this because it is my opinion that a lot of folks don't spend much time getting to know them before looking for oversized rubber grips to make them feel like their more familiar double actions. As rcmodel said, you need a firm, consistent grip. SA's are much more sensitive to grip variations. Tuck that pinky under if your fingers are feeling cramped. I like to use a two handed Weaver hold, with the weak index finger on the front of the trigger guard, cocking with the weak thumb and resting it against the recoil shield for the shot. The strong thumb resting along the top of the grip panel. The new Rugers come with very thin grips that are not very well shaped. You might need some thicker ones without checkering.

April 14, 2011, 02:15 PM
My 357 Blackhawk is the easiest one of my handguns to shoot accurately. It may mostly be the excellent sights. I didn't care for the stock wood grips - they weren't bad but the shape and (lack of) texture was very different than my other handguns. In the end, I replaced the wood grips with Pachmayr Presentation grips. The Pachmayrs retain the traditional shape of the stock grips (unlike the Hogue monogrips which I also tried), and although the grip shape is different than any other gun I have, I really don't have to make any grip adjustments with the Pachmayrs installed. I liked the performance of the Presentations so well that I also put them on my Single Six .22.

If accuracy is your only criteria, the Hogue grips may be better than the Pachmayrs (if the finger grooves fit you), especially for one-handed, Bullseye-style shooting, but the Hogues are UGLY.

Rail Driver
April 14, 2011, 04:56 PM
Well, I like the wood grips, but they definitely could use some checkering or a wraparound finger groove. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, and unfortunately due to a local supply shortage, I won't be shooting anything out of it for awhile other than 9mm. I expect that the recoil from the 9mm will be somewhat less than .38sp or .357 am I right? I'm not recoil sensitive by any means, and I like a stoutly recoiling gun as long as it's not painful to shoot (like an LCR with full house .357's)

I noticed the slow lock time. It's noticeably slower than the 686's and model 19's that I've had. I wondered if it would affect my accuracy. When dry firing, the front sight never moves during my follow through, so I shouldn't have too many problems as long as I don't stick my fingers in the wrong place :eek:

Red Cent
April 14, 2011, 05:32 PM
Oh boy. No life after cowboy. RCM is correct in that we do not approach shooting a single action revolver except in a very fast manner. The "traditional class" shooting grip is comparable to the combat grip. With the pinky under the grip. Really we use the pinky to assist us in grabbing the revolver the same way every time. It takes a smidgeon of recoil away.

We run light lead bullets from about 750 to 1000 fps. Thats the 38s. The 45 shooters will push a lead cast weighing 160 to 250 gr. Fps will range from about 650 to 850. Some of 'em go faster.

I shoot, between cowboy matches:cool:, a Smith M29 6 1/2"nickel 44 Mag. And I often shoot a Ruger Blackhawk 7 1/2" 3 screw in 44 Mag. I use the big Blackhawk in side matches. Long Range Pistol. I generally load up a 240 gr lead cast w/gas checks (legal) to about 1100fps. No, I am still going to use gas checks.
When you are attempting long shots offhand with a pistol you cannot strangle the firearm and expect to shoot accurately. The Blackhawk has a crisp 2# trigger that I let suprise me and I allow the plow handle to rotate freely. I can put six in a six inch circle at 100 yards.

Normally those (yours) triggers need to be tweaked. I would gues 5-6#s and a little creep. Be aware there are a handful of cowboy shooters who have not had anyone work on their firearms. My old 3 screw Blackhawks have 1.5#s triggers as do my Winchester replica 1873s.

Load a midline round, take a comfortable two hand hold shootingstance, line 'em up and start th squeeze. The trigger. Hold the pistol snug enough not move. Leave the pinky off the bottom. Let 'er roll up and back. Whether you strangle or cradle, if you do the same thing every time, the results will be the same everytime:evil:.

BTW, you can take one load, say a kinda hot 158 gr 38 and shoot it in a gun like yours or, say a Smith M19. Guess which feels softer.

Red Cent
April 14, 2011, 05:37 PM

Rail Driver
April 18, 2011, 03:19 PM
Took the blackhawk out shooting the other day, and I must say... While the 9mm shoots inaccurate as all getout (about 8" groups at about 30ft), it's a soft shooter, and may be enough for defensive purposes in a pinch. I didn't shoot any .38 or .357 out of it yet, but I plan to in the near future before I decide whether or not to get rid of it. I think the 9mm conversion is a bit of a "gimmick" and I (unfortunately) fell for it.

Jim NE
April 18, 2011, 06:02 PM
Rail Driver, I don't really know if it's a gimmick. I've recently purchased 9mm ammo at Cabela's for as little as $9.99 for a box of 50, and I don't think I've ever seen .38 ammo that cheap. I sure miss the .357 Blackhawk I owned 25 years ago. Always regretted selling it.

April 19, 2011, 11:30 AM
9mm covers the earth. Being able to use it is no small thing.

April 19, 2011, 12:09 PM
I have a Super blackhawk, and honestly I love the grips. The only reason I would consider changing the grips on my pistol would be to help keep from banging my middle finger on the trigger guard with heavy loads. (square trigger guard).
It was a challenge at first, as I have until recently never owned a single action pistol, but with lots of practice, it its more than capable of accuracy to hunt with.
Dry fire practice for hours on end helped get me adjusted to the pistol when I first brought it home.

April 19, 2011, 12:24 PM
I'd imagine that the smaller .356 diameter of that 9mm wouldn't be optimum for accuracy. I'd absolutely agree on the gimmick angle. There is nothing performance wise it can do that can't be covered by the .38 sp through +p loads in that blackhawk platform. They are great guns, super versatile, accurate and fun. Plus a great reason to get started reloading, if you don't already. New they feel a little rough around the edges, just shoot the snot out of it and it'll smooth out.

April 19, 2011, 08:38 PM
Using the 9mm cylinder works well for me since I can buy 9mm for a lot less than 38 spec. If it's not as accurate as 38 or 357 from the BH, I can't tell, since I am only a mediocre shot now that I have bifocals and blurry vision. I think the 9mm is great fun ini the BH, but use 357 if sd or hunting.

Rail Driver
April 27, 2011, 02:08 PM
After shooting the gun a few more times, and handling it some more... I think I'm going to swap it out (preferably for a compact 1911). Anyone interested? I'll be listing it shortly.

April 27, 2011, 10:19 PM
I've been saving my funds for the Blackhawk357/38/9mm and A.S.A.P.I'll get one but I just bought a Ruger-single Six in stainless 22 this week now I'm starting over again.I wish I could find a 9mm full size revolver new.Not the security-six that someone else put 5000 rounds through.The 9mm round is still affordable at $10 dollars for fifty rounds.

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