Ruger New Model Blackhawk


Ken C
March 19, 2013, 02:30 PM
Purchased a Ruger New Model Blackhawk convertible, .45 Colt and .45 ACP. Went to the range to try it only to discover a strange problem.

Flipped open the loading gate rotated the cylinder till it rested against the index and went to insert a cartridge and no go. The cylinder holes would not line up properly ... what ?!

The only way to insert a cartridge was to rotate the cylinder away from the index.

Both cylinders exhibit the same problem.

Now, I have other single actions, another Ruger Vaquero, a Colt SAA, so pretty sure the problem is with the gun and not me. Anyone ever have a similar problem ?

Sent the bad boy back to Ruger. Wonder how long this will take ? :confused:

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March 19, 2013, 02:36 PM
That's actually normal.

I think the New Vaquero doesn't exhibit this trait but, the New Blackhawk does. I'm sure that someone with more knowledge on this will chime in soon, but to me, it sounds normal. Drove me nuts too!

March 19, 2013, 02:40 PM
Don't you put those on half cock to load? I'm certainly not a single action revolver boy but perhaps that's true/normal/conventional.

March 19, 2013, 02:40 PM
That's normal for the newer blackhawks. They still beat the heck outta the others though due to their durability at higher pressures.

Gary A
March 19, 2013, 02:41 PM
If I understand you correctly, you are going to be sorry you went to the trouble of already sending it back to Ruger. On a New Model Blackhawk if you rotate the cylinder "till it rested against the index" it will have gone too far and the chamber will not align with the loading gate. It aligns in-between which some people have complained about for years. In the New Vaquero, Ruger has modified the action to line up with the cylinder when it clicks. On the Blackhawk, if you hear it click, you have gone too far and must circle clear around. It is a pretty simple matter with the Blackhawk to learn how far to go but it is also an old (if minor, in my view) complaint with New Model Blackhawks. Neither Your Colt SAA or your New Vaquero have this characteristic but it is normal for the Blackhawk.

Ken C
March 19, 2013, 02:46 PM
Ah crap !! Shoulda checked with you guys before I sent it back ! Oh well, live and learn ... thanks.

March 19, 2013, 02:47 PM
Yep, as stated, this is completely normal on ALL New Model single actions since 1973. It's one of the biggest gripes with the design. Only the New Vaquero and late model flat-tops have the reverse indexing pawl which solves this issue. The New Bearcat maintains its half cock notch.

March 19, 2013, 03:01 PM
Maybe you'll get a hat.. and no dunce hat puns from the peanut gallery! because that'd be bad

March 19, 2013, 08:12 PM
call them up and tell them to send it right back. this ain't their first rodeo (they will understand) and customer service is excellent.


Crunchy Frog
March 19, 2013, 10:17 PM
My only SA Rugers are New Vaqueros and a Flattop Blackhawk (which shares the "medium" frame of the New Vaq and its reverse-indexing pawl, so I don't have this issue.

In the cowboy action shooting world there are lots of "original" Vaqueros around. Some shooters have a "free spin modification" performed; when the loading gate is open the cylinder will rotate freely either way. I think one of the main reasons shooters have this done is to avoid the problem that the original poster described.

March 19, 2013, 11:37 PM
Totally normal for the blackhawks. It kinda weirded me out when I got mine. I have heard that you can get something called a reverse spin pawl and make the cylinders line up like you want...though there could be more to it.

It hasn't bothered me since I've gotten used to it. The blackhawk is a tank and I love it.

March 20, 2013, 12:00 AM
I haven't even noticed it on my .45 Ragtop. It does irk the hell out of me that I have to rotate the cylinder between clicks and line up the chambers with the clearance cut in the frame.
Not enough to get rid of my blackhawks or single sixes, but it irks me nonetheless.

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