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Early Blackhawk frame vs "New Model"

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Brian Williams, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    I was perusing the glass cases at a local establishment and they had a couple of used Ruger blackhawks in 357 and I asked if I could check one out. They were thick and blocky chunks. I was wondering if the old model flattops were a lighter frame and smaller cylinder dia?????.

    I have handled a couple of blackhawks in 45 and 44 but never had a 357. their big frame was nice for a 45 or 44 but it seems clunky for a 357 after shooting my S&W 13 or 586 so much. Are the new models BH's the same cyl diameter as an N frame Smith????

    anyway I am now jonesin' for a early model S&W M&P any way but just wonderin' about the early flattop Blackhawks
  2. J Miller

    J Miller Well-Known Member


    The original Flat Top 357's, and the later 3 Screw 357's were made on the same frame. This frame and cylinder size was very close to the same size as the Colt SAA. Some say identicle. I don't know, never measured either.

    The other calibers were made on the bigger .44 frame.

    When they went to the New Models, they made all the calibers on the same frame.
    You are right the NM .357's are heavy and clunky. Especially if they are the all steel Vaqueros. In my hands they just don't ballance at all, and weigh too much.

    It does make for a very strong revolver though.

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