Blackhawk Stainless or Blued?


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Rob47
December 4, 2011, 09:22 PM
I am looking at a Ruger Blackhawk in .357, should I get stainless or blued?
Stainless costs ~$80 more but is easier to clean.

Opinions?

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rcmodel
December 4, 2011, 09:44 PM
Stainless isn't easier to clean.

It shows cylinder end burns far worse then blue.
It scratches way easier then blue from normal handling.
The actions are generally rougher feeling then blue.


It's only claim to fame is, it doesn't rust as easily.
But it can still corrode if you don't take care of it with occasional proper cleaning & lube..

And it is flashy like a new dime if you like that sort of thing.

rc

fireside44
December 4, 2011, 09:56 PM
Stainless all the way dog.

jad0110
December 4, 2011, 09:57 PM
Honestly, I'd just go with the one that "does it" for you most. I'm a blued revolver junkie, so that's what I'd go with, even if it didn't cost $80 less. Stainless is fine, but it just doesn't have the warmth and character of a blued gun, particularly if that blued revolver is sporting a nice set of wood stocks. But that's just me.

I too find blued finishes easier to clean most of the time.

highpower
December 4, 2011, 09:58 PM
My .357 Blackhawk was made in 1976. It still looks excellent. With proper care it will continue to look that way.

http://highpower.smugmug.com/Other/Ruger-Single-Actions/i-GXG23p9/0/XL/IMG0459-XL.jpg

Colt Officers model made in 1930 also still looks good:
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Other/Colt-Officers-Model/i-pss95Ws/0/XL/IMG0768-XL.jpg

Lucas_Y
December 4, 2011, 10:06 PM
I went the blued route. Stainless just doesn't do it for me.

Rob47
December 4, 2011, 11:04 PM
Well it looks like a blued Blackhawk .357 is in my near future. :D

BTW
It comes with rubber grips, where can I get some wood ones?

TennJed
December 4, 2011, 11:09 PM
Both:D

Seedtick
December 4, 2011, 11:48 PM
I have and like both. I am a bit more partial to stainless.......some days?

It shows cylinder end burns far worse then blue.You can purchase gun wipes that will remove the stains rc was talking about. I've been satisfied with this one (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/550811/adco-e-z-brite-cloth-lead-and-carbon-wipe) and I'm sure there are others that will also work.

Don't stress over which one to get. Just get both. :D

Seedtick

:)

fireside44
December 4, 2011, 11:56 PM
Try buffing light scratches out of bluing.:)

Rob47
December 4, 2011, 11:59 PM
I like the idea of a blued revolver, but I don't want to be rebluing constantly.

Does anybody know where I can get wood grips for a blackhawk?

gdesloge
December 5, 2011, 12:01 AM
"The actions are generally rougher feeling then [sic] blue."

I have not heard this before, nor has it been my experience.

Is there something I am missing here?

gd

newrugersafan
December 5, 2011, 12:02 AM
Try case colors on stainless:)
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d162/stobbem053/DSC01954.jpg

kbbailey
December 5, 2011, 12:45 AM
....Stainless....
I have both and prefer stainless
Blue will eventually show holster wear much worse.
My ejector rod shroud (aluminum) doesn't match the blue on the gun (steel).

Gary A
December 5, 2011, 01:57 AM
I have had both and overall prefer the blued guns because the alloy grip frame and ejector rod housing make the guns lighter to carry and (for me) change the balance for the better. I think for a dedicated hunting gun and shooting heavy loads, the added weight of all steel would be a plus, but for general purposes, I like the blued better. Everything I just wrote goes double for the 357 version.

LTR shooter
December 5, 2011, 02:42 AM
Stainless costs ~$80 more

The stainless Blackhawk 357 is an all steel revolver. The blued is not. The aluminum on the blued models make it a much less expensive gun to produce. The gripframes on the blued Blackhawks I've owned never matched up well to the blued steel frame. I finally settled on a 1976 stainless model.

Now the blued flat top 357 and blued Bisley are all steel.

shiftyer1
December 5, 2011, 03:03 AM
They both benefit from the same care. If you like a more worn used look go with blued, stainless takes a while to develop character.

Rob47
December 5, 2011, 07:56 AM
So in this case the blued blackhawk is actually not as strong as the stainless version?

kbbailey
December 5, 2011, 09:12 AM
a stainless .357 BH is a heavy gun...I'll say that.

jmr40
December 5, 2011, 09:14 AM
The stainless Blackhawk 357 is an all steel revolver. The blued is not. The aluminum on the blued models make it a much less expensive gun to produce. The gripframes on the blued Blackhawks I've owned never matched up well to the blued steel frame. I finally settled on a 1976 stainless model.



This is why I'd never own a blue one again. No matter how hard you try, you will eventually get scratches on the painted aluminum parts. They will never match the rest of the gun.

Gary A
December 5, 2011, 01:09 PM
Rob47 asked So in this case the blued blackhawk is actually not as strong as the stainless version?

Both guns are equally strong as regards to shooting. The aluminum grip frame on the blued version is not a stressed part. The actual frame and the cylinder are steel on both versions. Only the grip frame and ejector rod housing are aluminum on the blued version. I suppose in terms of severe drop tests, the stainless grip frame is "stronger" but there is no difference in regards to shooting. There would be some difference in regards to recoil. I believe the original .44 Magnum Blackhawks had aluminum grip frames also and were strong enough but they were quickly changed over to steel to provide more recoil absorbing weight, not because the aluminum grip frame was not strong enough.

I've got aluminum wheels on my Wrangler and they work just fine.

As far as scratches go, I'm accumulating scratches and wear faster than my guns so I'm not going to worry about it.

MCgunner
December 5, 2011, 01:27 PM
I have both. My stainless is a 4 5/8" .45 Colt. My blued is a 6.5" Blackhawk. After 20 years, they both look good, but I don't carry either all that much except when outdoors or hunting with them. Both are supremely accurate and quite strong/powerful.

Blued is lighter due to the anodized aluminum grip frame, which will fad and look a little off color to the rest of the gun, and the aluminum ejector shroud. Stainless is all steel and a few insignificant ounces heavier. I prefer stainless, the look of it and the corrosion resistance of it, but it's not a biggy. I carry stainless guns AND blued. The blued just get all worn looking, but they still shoot straight and that's what counts.

I liked my stainless .45 so much I put stags on it (sanbar, the best) and had some quality engraving done. It still looks sharp and it's an outdoor working gun. I just wanted to personalize it a bit as I know I'd never trade or sell it, shoots too danged good.

Anyway, six of one, half dozen of the other. All these stainless haters are more than likely conservative in nature and purists. Stainless guns have been around for 40 years, but some refuse to acknowledge the material's strengths as it flies in the face of tradition to them. Well, now days, there's titanium and scandium and polymer and all sorts of irritants to the traditionalists. Me, I see the strengths in 'em all and won't close my mind to the possibilities of other materials of construction than blued steel. I'm sure if these traditionalists were born in 7000 BC and suddenly transported to the present, they'd probably prefer atlatls and stone spear points to a .460 Weatherby. :rolleyes: There are lots of these types around and this sort of thinking has its place if you're buying a black powder gun for reenactments or something. If you just wanna look at the gun, choose what suits your eye. But, new materials have their place with working guns, depending on the job at hand. A single action revolver isn't a pocket gun, of course, but neither is it traditional. A Blackhawk is a modern firearm, not a '73 Colt clone. It has legitimate uses afield, not that the '73 Colt is useless, but I like the strength and accuracy of my blackhawks for hunting and hiking. IMHO, material of construction between blued and stainless is just a matter of personal tastes as either will work in the field. It ain't like the blued gun is going to corrode to dust while you're out on a week long backpacking trip or something. It's just a matter of personal taste. Feed your own desires, either will work for you.

BTW, Highpower, what are those grips? I bought a pair of grips very similar to that and out of the same type of wood at a gun show out of a box of assorted used stuff. I have no idea who made 'em, but they sure feel good to me. I kept 'em on my .357 for hunting. They don't really look right to a traditional eye, but they work. :D

Rob47
December 5, 2011, 01:29 PM
Do the blued 44 mag Blackhawks use aluminum too?

Gary A
December 5, 2011, 01:33 PM
Do the blued 44 mag Blackhawks use aluminum too?

No. The very earliest ones did, but not for a long time since. Steel is more recoil-damping.

bsms
December 5, 2011, 01:46 PM
I like both. If you go blued, remember waxing your revolver with Johnson's paste wax or another non-abrasive wax works well.

Gary A
December 5, 2011, 02:13 PM
Ditto on the Johnson's wax.

MCgunner
December 5, 2011, 03:35 PM
I wax my blued shotguns for use in the salt marsh. This does work well.

Seedtick
December 5, 2011, 04:08 PM
"The actions are generally rougher feeling then [sic] blue."

I have not heard this before, nor has it been my experience.

Is there something I am missing here?

gd

I'm not the voice of experience as I only have 1 in stainless but that one isn't nearly as 'slick' as my blued Blackhawks. It was easy to slick up the action on the blued guns by stoning/polishing out tool marks. That stainless gun was terrible. I thought I never would get the creep out of it and there were razor sharp edges all over it that had to be knocked off.

But in the end..........it was definitely worth the little bit of extra work.

Seedtick

:)

MCgunner
December 5, 2011, 04:56 PM
My Stainless is indistinguishable from my blued gun far as action and trigger are concerned.

Rob47
December 5, 2011, 07:29 PM
What is a fair price for a new stainless 357 blackhawk?

BYJO4
December 5, 2011, 07:46 PM
Over the years, I have become a stainless fan and now all my handguns are stainless. I've never had any problems with the trigger and I think SS is easier to maintain. I shoot my guns regularly and they all look virtually new.

Old Tool Guy
December 5, 2011, 10:30 PM
I was just looking at a stainless .357 Blackhawk 6.5" barrel and they come with a nice looking wood grip. Don't the blued versions with wood?

Rob47
December 5, 2011, 10:32 PM
No the blued 357 blackhawks are only available with hard rubber grips.

Does anybody know if the blued GP100 is all steel?

willypete
December 5, 2011, 10:35 PM
IIRC, Ruger uses stainless steel action internals on their blued guns. Could be wrong. Fact check, plz?

Stainless steel does tend to gall more than blued steel, which CAN lead to a rougher feel. However, I've never experienced this with SS vs. Blued Rugers.

To OP: Blued will be lighter and may please you aesthetically. SS will be lower-maintenance. Either will shoot just fine. As was stated earlier, the burn marks on a SS cylinder can easily be cleaned using a metal polish. Stainless scratches are easier to buff out than blued, and once buffed, will match the finish of the gun.

Super Sneaky Steve
December 5, 2011, 10:39 PM
A stainless gun with fake (or real) ivory grips is a thing of beauty. Give it some mothers mag polish now and then so if you're ever stuck on an island you can signal planes for help.

Gary A
December 6, 2011, 12:09 AM
The blued GP100 is all steel.

MCgunner
December 6, 2011, 12:51 PM
I kinda prefer stag grips to ivory, but that's personal taste.

http://i47.tinypic.com/vwx4qt.jpg

http://i50.tinypic.com/2j4sqxx.jpg

CraigC
December 8, 2011, 10:30 AM
You can purchase gun wipes that will remove the stains rc was talking about.
They also remove metal.


It comes with rubber grips, where can I get some wood ones?
http://www.clccustomgrips.com


I don't want to be rebluing constantly.
Where do people come up with this stuff? With proper care, which is not at all unreasonable, a blued sixgun will outlast your grandchildren.


Blued is lighter due to the anodized aluminum grip frame
They have not been anodized for several years. They carry a teflon coating similar to the finish they've put on 10/22's since 1968. If aluminum parts are a hindrance, they can easily be replaced with steel. Or the grip frame can be polished bright.


Ruger uses stainless steel action internals on their blued guns.
Not on Blackhawks.

Bush Pilot
December 8, 2011, 12:31 PM
You can't go wrong with either stainless or blued. I personally prefer stainless after spending many years in Alaska and found the finishes on stainless to show much less wear after hard use.

highlander 5
December 8, 2011, 12:44 PM
Of the 7 or 8 Ruger revolvers I own only one is blued and that's a Bisley and it's only made in blued. I prefer stainless as I admit to being lazy about cleaning my guns. As far as rough triggers go I had MagNaPort do a action job on a Blackhawk that's stainless in 44 mag and it came out the nuts.

Gary A
December 8, 2011, 07:17 PM
I probably like blued a bit better but would normally choose stainless for its relatively "tougher" characteristics, but my favorite Blackhawk is the .45Colt/.45acp convertible particularly in 4 5/8 inch trim. I shoot a lot of 45 acp in these and .45 acp is widely available, easy to shoot, accurate, and relatively inexpensive (just a little more than .38 special and a little less than .357 magnum), and easy on the ears. This version is not only available only in blued, but the weight and balance of the alloy grip-frame and ejector rod housing revolver is, to my mind, just perfect for the 45 acp power level. It is, IMO, the best of all worlds, everything needed and nothing not. My favorite handgun, period.

Another plus of the .45 acp cartridge in these single-action revolvers is their short length enhances both loading and extraction of fired cases and their relatively low pressure ensures that cases generally fall free of their own weight without needing an ejector stroke.

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