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Ruger Blackhawk vs. GP100 reliability

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Glock Novice, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Glock Novice

    Glock Novice Active Member

    A quick question for the wheelgun gurus:

    Though both of these models are ostensibly very reliable, would the Blackhawk naturally be more durable simply because of its SAO design? This is against GP100, which, though just as well built, is a DA/SA.

    The intended purpose, for my novel, is as a farm/utility tool.

    Many thanks,

  2. whalerman

    whalerman member

    Both are as reliable as a rock. The only difference is the single action capability of the GP. I have both. Do check out the grips. Some don't like the SA style grips. Both have bunches of holster options. You can't go wrong either way. Did I mention that both are as reliable as a rock.
  3. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    The Blackhawk has a lot less parts. That should tell you something.
  4. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Firstly, nobody says SAO. It is simply a single action revolver.

    Secondly, assuming we're talking about .357's, both are plenty strong enough for the cartridge. It is ultimately meaningless but academically speaking, the Blackhawk (mid or large frame) is stronger in every regard. It does not have a swing-out cylinder and thus, will not shake loose in that area like a DA eventually will. It also has simpler lockwork which is inherently more robust. It also has a larger cylinder (both mid and large frame) and as such, you simply cannot stuff enough slow burning powder into the .357 case to hurt it.
  5. Glock Novice

    Glock Novice Active Member

    SAO failures

    I appreciate the swift replies. Still torn: absolute reliability is paramount for this application, but I have no familiarity whatsoever with the SAA type weapon. I suppose it might be better to stick with what I.know, though the .357 to 9mm cylinder conversion is a nice extra. If anyone has the time to humor me, what is the most common failure in a SAA type revolver?
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  6. Glock Novice

    Glock Novice Active Member

    CraigC, thank you for your well worded, concise answer. Exactly what I've come to expect from this wonderful community of like-minded enthusiasts .
  7. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Not a big deal at all, we're all here to learn.

    Failures are a rarity, enough so that I don't concern myself with it at all. Traditional Colt-style guns are notorious for failures in myths and legends but in the real world, it's a rarity with them too. Bill Ruger corrected all the perceived weaknesses with the Single Six in 1953 and further updated the design (some like it, some don't) in 1973 with the "New Model" action. Rugers of both eras are about as robust as they come so it's really nothing to concern yourself with.
  8. LTR shooter

    LTR shooter Well-Known Member

    I really believe one would be hard pressed to wear out either revolver or shoot to the point where the gun no longer functioned.

    I have a 1976 Blackhawk and for a 357 , it's simply massive! My 686 cylinder looks like something from a pocket gun in comparison to the one on the BH and I consider my 686 to be a pretty durable revolver. Also used to own a GP100 and wish I had not traded that one off. The best scenario is to have both Rugers!
  9. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Well-Known Member

    The Blackhawk is apparently considered an 'ugly tank' by some. (what's wrong with ugly tanks?) The GP-100 will likely need to be tuned up and refurbished... by your grandchildren. Chevy should build trucks that hold up this well.
    Get the one that fits your hand best and shoot with confidence.
  10. clang

    clang Well-Known Member

    Either one will last a couple of lifetimes. I would recommend stainless steel for more weather protection.
  11. mavracer

    mavracer Well-Known Member

    Your comparing a framing hammer to a claw hammer. In the years and 10s of thousands of rounds. I've seen a couple GPs that were mistreated erode and crack forcing cones and I've seen a couple blackhawks break a transfer bar one had a documented 17,000 rounds through it.
  12. whalerman

    whalerman member

    It will come down to two considerations. One, how does it fit in your hand. Secondly, do you want the double action option. Other than that, forgetaboutit. Either will last forever.
  13. Glock Novice

    Glock Novice Active Member

    Many thanks for the thoughtful replies-- I think I see a trend here. The truth is that this is meant to be a functional future heirloom of sorts. No matter what, it's going to ride in a SimplyRugged flap holster and be cleaned in the wee hours of the morning, before the livestock are fed. I have deep-seated personal preference for dull and durable tools over fragile shinies. Not particularly proud of this, but it's the truth. If any current or former owners have further advice in regards to the idiosyncrasies or maintenance of the Blackhawk for a SAA neophyte, it would be greatly appreciated. I've already done plenty of research, but I appreciate the input. Anecdotes or facts are equally welcome.

    On the other hand, such a request may be fodder for a fresh thread. In this case, the mods are welcome to close this one. Not that you need my permission.
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I do like a simple single action for rough outdoor duties. No crane, no ejector rod, no crane locks, none of that useless stuff to bend in a fall or something. Neither is concealable, really. That's why they make the SP101 and the LCR. :D

    This one's in .45 Colt. I do own a blued .357, too. It's not really a "dull" tool, but it is durable, and suitable for the formal BBQ after the cows are tended to. :D

  15. Glock Novice

    Glock Novice Active Member

    You Texans sure know how to do utilitarian in style. I'll never forget visiting an old friend in Abilene, TX and learning that truck ownership is about learning what you can't fit on an F-250 :eek:. I've already been beat around by my LCR enough, probably why I'm looking into something with a bbl length of at least 5". Cannot, however, argue with that concealability, or the sweet, sweet DA trigger pull.
  16. mavracer

    mavracer Well-Known Member

    This one is just shy of 55 years old and going strong still eats hot and nasty fire breathing 1500fps+ reloads like candy.
  17. Glock Novice

    Glock Novice Active Member


    That's an incredible track record. What parts, if any, have you replaced?
  18. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    Why would you suspect a 55 year old 3 screw BH would be needing parts replaced? It's just broke in.
  19. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    I've got a 48yr old Single Six that has seen at least 30,000rds in the 12yrs I've owned it and it has not had any parts replaced due to breakage.
  20. mavracer

    mavracer Well-Known Member

    I've only owned it for a couple years and have only beat on her a little maybe 500-600 rounds and only 100 or so have been hotties.I have no idea how much it got shot in the first 50. If my single six that dad bought before I was born (I'm 46) is any indication it would be impossible to tell. I would guess it's had well over 100K through it and you can't tell. The only thing I've replaced is the grips;)

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