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Ruger Blackhawk 50 Year Anniversary .357. Is it as strong as a regular model Blackhawk?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by possumbelly220, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. possumbelly220

    possumbelly220 Member

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    I read somewhere that the 50 year model is not as strong as a regular model and should not be used with full-house loads. Any truth to this?
     
  2. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    Short answer:. It's fine with any SAAMI_spec .357 ammo.

    Longer answer: The 50th Anniversary .357 reintroduced the medium size cylinder of the very first .357 Blackhawk. Ruger had for some years used the same large cylinder for all Blackhawks which was unnecessarily bulky for a .357. The medium cylinder is smaller but there's plenty of steel between chambers.

    Ruger builds the New Vaquero on the medium cylinder frame. It's not large enough to handle .44 Magnum or "Ruger only" loads in .45 Colt.
     
  3. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    I can't begin to imagine why Ruger would change the Blackhawk recipe to bake 1 cake.
    I am not a Ruger expert however.
    Having the reputation of "built like a tank" would be too much to jeopardize by putting out a weaker little brother of such a well proven design.
     
  4. Delawarean

    Delawarean Member

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    It is weaker because it's smaller.

    Probably doesn't matter with .357 Magnum.
     
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  5. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "I can't begin to imagine why Ruger would change the Blackhawk recipe to bake 1 cake."

    If I understand correctly, there are actually two kinds of Blackhawks. One has a slightly smaller frame, closer in size to the Colt SAA. One has a frame that's noticeably larger. I believe that most of the smaller ones are sold as "Vaqueros" with fixed sights.
     
  6. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Yes it's built on the mid size frame however the mid size frame is plenty strong enough for any sane 357 load even heavys from the likes of buffalo bore.
     
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  7. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    It's a mid-frame but as a .357, it matters not.
     
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  8. MidRoad
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    MidRoad Contributing Member

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    New model vaqueros:)

    Old model vaqueros are on the larger frame. Except for the newly released 44 mag vaqueros, those are also on the "larger" frame.
     
  9. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Regardless of what model it's called I'm sure Ruger has not introduced a center fire revolver that anyone would consider weak.
    That is their claim to fame.
     
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  10. possumbelly220

    possumbelly220 Member

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    Thanks for all the input everyone. I didn't figure there was any "weakness" about it, after all it is a Ruger Blackhawk! I have three loads that are very accurate in it, 21 grns of 296 under a Sierra 125 grn hp, 6.1 grns of Universal under a 158 grn cast bullet, and 14.5 grns of 296 under the same cast bullet.
     
  11. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Member

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    I think you crossed wires between .357 on the medium frame, and warnings about "Ruger-only" .45 Colt loads on the medium frame.

    I have a 50th Aniversary .357 Blackhawk, and it is still a tank of a revolver for a .357. It will shoot any .357 load you will want to put in it, except maybe insane, long-seated, Redhawk-only loads.
     
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  12. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The 50th anniversary gun went back to the original Ruger frame size. Which also closely matches the old Colt SAA in size. To me it is a huge improvement. For many years all Ruger single actions used the same size frame and cylinder from 357 up to 45 Colt. And compared to the Colt guns are freaking HUGE. Those guns are built like tanks, but anyone looking for a gun that even remotely looks and handles like the old Peacemaker they are awful.

    Ruger still builds their 44 caliber Blackhawk revolvers on the big frame size, but the New Model Vaquero in 45 Colt and 357 mag are on the much smaller frame. The 357 will take pretty much any load. The 45 Colt versions are not to be used with the hotter loads suitable for the older large frame guns and the Redhawk.

    I've had a few Blackhawk revolvers over the years and just never could warm up to them and ended up selling them. The new, smaller framed versions that much closer match the original Peacemaker does have my interest. I'll probably eventually go back to one.
     
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  13. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    They also made the new, smaller Blackhawk in a flattop 44 special.
    BTW, the first Blackhawks, whether 357, or 44, were in the smaller flattop three screw style with the XR3 grip frame. The Super upsized the gun and the New Model Blackhawk made them all bigger.
    I've had just about every model and size, now with one 3 screw Super, one new Flattop 44, a 1976 stainless 357 and an unfired mid 70s 357/9 convert. Oh, yeah. A 45/45 convert.
    They're all tough.
     
  14. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I currently have an older 3 screw Blackhawk (.357 Magnum), an older Vaquero (.45 Colt), and a newer Flattop Blackhawk (.44 Special). They're all well built and more than adequate to handle just about any load I can come up with to run through them.

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  15. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    My 50th Anniversary .357. It's still quite beefy.

    QuC6Xxi.jpg
     
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