Unneccessary, difficult...Impossible?


October 31, 2012, 10:15 PM
Hey guys,

Just a bit of a thought experiment...

Assuming I had more money (hahaha!) than sense; would it be possible to convert a ruger blackhawk to double action?

If you absolutely need a flimsy reason, let's say it would be so I could fire super hot loads as most double actions don't have the integrity for thumping loads.

((It would still have the loading gate, no swing out cylinder etc.))

So, could it be done?

How would you do it?

Thanks guys,


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Jim K
October 31, 2012, 10:47 PM
I won't say it is impossible, given enough time, money, and reseach, but it sure isn't feasible. I am pretty sure a whole bunch of DA revolvers could be bought for what the research and design work alone would cost.

As to DA revolvers not having "the integrity for thumping loads", I think a Redhawk or an S&W Model 29 or X frame would have enough "integrity" to handle about as much "thump" as most folks could take.


October 31, 2012, 11:46 PM
Oh certainly.

But isn't it true that you can loosen a M29? I wouldn't put the same 45 colt loads I could use in my blackhawk through my M25. N frame or not.

Never heard about loose Rugers ever, but still. I forgot about those x-frames. hehe. oops.

What all would have to be done though? Would only internal changes be necessary, or would work on the frame need to be done as well?

Thanks for the reply Mr. Jim.

November 1, 2012, 12:03 AM
Interesting to postulate, but I would just go with a Redhawk or Super Redhawk. If it were not available in the caliber that I wanted, I would rebarrel and ream the chambers. You would wear out 3 or 4 S&W 29's before you would the Redhawk. An before someone calls me a hater, I own several of each.

November 1, 2012, 12:43 AM
That's the point. I;m not foolish (read: rich enough to piss off a gunsmith by making him build random contraptions) enough to try it. Just a fun thought experiment.

But...they don't blue redhawks *look of horror*

November 1, 2012, 12:55 AM
But...they don't blue redhawks *look of horror*

Not sure, but I think you're kidding. They do indeed and they're pretty.

November 1, 2012, 10:22 AM
Don't see why it couldn't be done, but I'd rate it as difficult. Most of the hassle would be the double action hammer and making everything fit. Might/probably would require some mill work inside the frame. Degree of difficulty would likely go up if you only wanted to use the original screw hole locations, otherwise you'd be welding the originals closed and drilling new ones with all the hassles involved in that.

Jim Watson
November 1, 2012, 11:23 AM
One advantage of a single action is that it is relatively small for caliber.
There just is not enough room in the receiver for DA lockwork.
If you had a mechanical genius design a system that would fit, it would likely have a very heavy trigger pull due to lack of leverage.

I think it would be a very long term project to wear out a Redhawk.
Or a Dan Wesson.

November 1, 2012, 12:44 PM
Part of the strength & durability of a Single-Action is owed to the permanently fixed cylinder on a base pin that doesn't have to swing out on a henge to load it.

I am also of the opinion there is not enough room inside the frame of a Blackhawk or any other SA for the necessary lock-work changes to make a SA a DA.

If you mill out the frame to make the room, it is no longer as strong as it was.


November 1, 2012, 12:58 PM
Here's a blue one -
There were at least two more like it for sale there.

November 1, 2012, 02:49 PM
BBBill - Sorry about the confucion, I meant to say that the don't blue Redhawks in 45 colt. haha

Thanks for the reply's guys. Very interesting.

Mr. Watson - Are Dan Wesson's that strong?

November 1, 2012, 04:41 PM
No reason that you can't have a blued one converted to 45LC. Barrel bored and re-rifled. Cylinder reamed. That's about it. Hamilton Bowen can do it. There are others that don't come to mind at the moment.

November 1, 2012, 10:35 PM
I have the same education as my father, and EE degree, but he wound up designing military guns and vehicles and I wound up designing military electronics.
We both wrote a lot of proposals, won a few, and would up working very hard to full fill design contracts.
But if I had to write a proposal on the engineering project to convert my Ruger Blackhawk to double action, there are so many unknowns that the contract would have to be for a feasibility study.
Before I even priced out the feasibility study, I would have technician take apart the S&W, Colt, and Ruger double actions with copies of Kuhnhausen's books on each one. I would ask him to take each one apart and put it together faster and faster while explaining what each part does.
I would have a mechanical engineer make up something in his CAD work station showing what if for glomming on the extra parts used in the 3 double action revolver designs used as examples.
With the technician and ME burning up hours on my charge number, I would have $30k into the proposal before I got management to agree on the proposed verbiage, schedule, and cost in the feasibility study we would try to sell the to customer.
But that is how big engineering organizations operate without taking risks.
You could just start modifying your Blackhawk and fabricating parts and you might get something working.
Myself, having repaired broken Colt and Iver Johnson double action revolvers, I would be very afraid of too many variables.

November 1, 2012, 11:20 PM
You're taking a trigger that's basically just a sear-tripper and trying to change it into something that also pulls back the hammer. You would wind up replacing, at a minimum, the hammer and trigger, and making various other changes. I can envision a basic trigger bar mechanism for pulling back the hammer that would theoretically work, but the real question is what would have to be modified for it to fit.

Jim K
November 2, 2012, 08:57 PM
If you have time to play, and have some stiff cardboard and scissors, draw an outline of the Blackhawk frame on paper and tack it to a corkboard. Then cut out various hammer and trigger designs and try to fit them into the frame outline using push pins as pivots. If you can actually fit the parts in, then you can begin to think about how to work the cylinder stop, transfer bar, etc.


November 3, 2012, 10:30 AM
While it might be possible to convert a VW beetle to front wheel drive it would be much easier and less costly to simply trade it for what you want. Of course if you have a LOT of time on your hands......

November 3, 2012, 11:34 PM
By the time you got done you would have a Black Hawk that was converted to a Red Hawk.

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