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Ruger Blackhawk Convertible .45AP/.45LC

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by guitarguy314, Mar 4, 2012.

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  1. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Member

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    I have been thinking about buying the above revolver. But I had a few questions, and hope someone here may be able to help me.

    1. I have read many 5-star reviews of this gun, but I have also heard a few bad things. Does anyone own one? Have you ever had problems with it?

    -----A lot of what I have heard as far as problems go usually had to do with one of the conversion calibers firing oddly. ((Something about the barrel needing to be sent back to Ruger and bored out?)) If it matters, I do not shoot nearly enough to make a reloader cost effective, so only factory loads will be used.

    2. I have been looking, and the cheapest that I have found it is 499.99 at Bud's. Does anyone know any other online store that may have it cheaper?

    Thanks a lot!

    L
     
  2. Bassleg

    Bassleg Member

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    I have had one of 45 colt 45 acp Ruger Blackhawk Convertible for 28 years and have shot
    1000s and 1000s of rounds and it's a great gun mine it a 7'' barrel I think it is my favorite.
    They are about $525 here in Oregon so that price sounds good.
     
  3. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    I just this week bought a 1987/88 ' ish Convertible with a 4" barrel and some of the nicest stag grips I've held at Shooter's Service Center here in Portland (great shop for repairs, Small but honestly priced selection+ Odd hours)

    As the youngest is nearly potty trained in full, I can stop carrying my M&P .40 for fear of getting "waste products" in a less suitable gun, and I have a Shoulder rig on order with Ted Blocker (4-6 weeks... just missed the last production cycle for them, all made to order)

    ACP cylinder appears to have been the primary one, but both have a light line on them, gun is silky smooth, Good bore, and I'd be taking it out tomorrow morning If I didn't have to buy the younger girls a Bunk bed instead...

    I've run a series of primer-only wax rounds with zero light strikes, and spent the evening loading up some varied Universal +Oregon Trail cast loads. Nothing too Hot, but I've got a lot of time to spend with this revolver now.

    Trying a new powder a week right now, Just because I can :D

    [​IMG]

    $499 isn't too bad in my book, but I paid slightly more for this used one based on the value of the grips... I'd have never splurged on them individually, couldn't resist.
     
  4. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    Delete please, double post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  5. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    All I've read of the .45 version has been good. It's the 9mm/.357Mag version that has some possible accuracy issues due to the bullet size between 9mm and .357 being a couple of thou different. But the .45acp and .45Colt share the exact same bullet diameters so the barrel bore is perfect for either cartridge.

    Over time you may well find that it shoots more accurately with some specific bullet type, weight and power level. But that'll be a fairly small thing in the grand scheme of things.
     
  6. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    A fair warning re the .45 convertible Blackhawk. If you are buying it to blast away with a leftover stash of inexpensive .45 ACP ball ammo, as I did many years ago... be aware of it's evil conniving. It will lure you in with that .45 Colt cylinder. "Try me..." is it's siren's song. I did... then I had to have everything in .45 Colt. My first S&W, 9/02, would be a .45 Colt 625 Mountain Gun. By 11/02, I had amassed over 2,700 .45 Colt cases in ziploc bags under my bench.

    I swore I'd never reload. Oops. I bought a Dillon 550 11/02 'just' to reload .45 Colts. I soon added other calibers - some of which I had never owned. Everyone, reloaders included, donates brass to you when you start reloading. Another hobby - as if I needed it! I blame the .45 convertible. Be forewarned!

    Really, it is a fun piece. My infection morphed into S&W DA-capable revolvers - like the 625JM in .45 ACP. I could probably claim the .45 convertible was causal there, too!

    Stainz
     
  7. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    I have one and love it. Never had a problem with it. Sounds like a fair price to me. They are to find used and I would not sell mine.
     
  8. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Member

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    Thanks so much guys!

    L

    ((Double post? Did this thread post twice? Are you referring to my thread in the WTB section?))

    @ Bassleg - I am unable to find a 7'' convertible. I have found 7'' .45 Colt that you can buy the extra cylinder for for two hundred or so dollars. The longest SA convertible Ruger has on their site is a 5.5''. Where did you get the 7''? ((If you don't mind my asking?))
     
  9. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    Have a 5.5 inch, love it.

    Two tips:

    1) You can use a magazine from a .45 auto as a sort of speedloader (don't laugh, it works quite well).

    2) Assuming your gun is one of the older, larger frame variety, you can use the heavy-duty 'ruger only' .45 colt loads from Buffalo Bore. These will safely meet, and sometimes exceed, .44 magnum performance levels.
     
  10. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    No, my own double post underneath the image of my recent acquisition. Lag put 2 copies of my response up, and It looks ugly, hence my request to any passing Moderator to delete my mistake to cover my shame.

    ;)
     
  11. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Member

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    @ Dnaltrop oh. haha. I never even noticed.

    @ mikejackmin Yeah. I was looking to get the 5.5 inch myself. I don't have a .45 auto, so I'm afraid i won't be able to take advantage of that. It sounds cool though. And really... .44 mag power?
     
  12. madwell

    madwell Member

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    I have a 7" blackhawk convertible in 45. I think it was made in 1972 it is an older three screw model. shoots great. I haven't shot much long colt from it but I can put 6 bullets in a clover leaf with 45acp at 15 yards.
     
  13. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    I bought mine way back in 1975. Have always been pleased with it. I shoot it far more often with the 45 Colt cylinder than the 45ACP cylinder.


    [​IMG]

    I think you are a bit mistaken about having barrels drilled out. I seriously doubt that anybody has ever 'drilled out' a barrel. What I believe you are referring to is chamber throats in the cylinder. The chamber throat is the narrowest part of the chamber, all the way at the front of the cylinder. It is true that in the past Ruger sent out some cylinders with chamber throats that were too tight. Standard rifling groove diameter for both 45 Colt and 45 ACP is .451. Ideally, you want a chamber throat of the same diameter, or just a tad over that. Around .452 or .4525 is pretty much ideal for both calibers. In the past, some chamber throats were coming through too tight. That meant that the bullet was swaged down in diameter as it passed through the chamber throat, and then it was sized down a bit too small to be grabbed effectively by the rifling. The solution for this is quite simple, a gunsmith reams out the chamber throat just a bit to the proper diameter.

    Unfortunately, revolver manufacturers do not always get chamber throat diameters matched up perfectly with rifling groove diameter. Sometimes they are a bit too tight. Sometimes they are a bit too wide, which can be worse, allowing hot expanding powder gasses to squirt past the bullet, softening the sides of the bullet, which can be a principle cause of leading. 2nd Gen Colts were famous for oversized chamber throats.

    I really cannot tell you what the story is with chamber throats these days as they leave Ruger. But I can tell you how to choose the correct bullet diameter for your chambers if you reload. Lead 45 Colt bullets generally come in two different diameters, .452 and .454. .452 is the correct diameter for all 45 Colt revolvers made after WWII. Previous to WWII 45 Colt rifling groove diameter was .454, that is what .454 bullets were meant for.

    Take the cylinder out and point it at the ground. Obtain a couple of bullets each of .452 and .454 diameter. Drop a bullet into a chamber. What happens? The correct diameter bullet for any given chamber throat will hang up slightly in the chamber throat, and it will only take light finger pressure to push it through. Try this test with both diameter bullets in all six chambers. If a bullet falls right through, it is too small. If it hangs up and requires a lot of force to push it through, it is too big. The cylinder will tell you what size bullets it wants, and this will also tell you how close to spec the chamber throats are. If a .452 bullet hangs up in the chamber throat and needs a lot of force to be shoved through, it is a pretty good candidate for reaming to proper size. If a .452 bullet hangs up and slight pressure pushes it through, every thing is fine. If you have to go to a .454 bullet to get the same results, your chamber throats are slightly oversized, but probably not the end of the world. If a .454 bullet falls right through and hits the floor, the gun should probably be returned to be fitted with a new cylinder.
     
  14. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Member

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    Thanks so much! That is exactly what I was talking about! Do you think I should worry about this when buying mine? I will most likely buy new unless I can find an older one for a good price.

    I plan to shoot "cowboy loads" in .45LC. Does the cowboy part refer to the diameter, or just the powder charge? Should I find some other kind of .45 LC round to shoot? Please excuse my lack of knowledge. haha
     
  15. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy Again

    Cowboy ammo simply means they are relatively lightly loaded. Not mousefarts, but a bit lighter than SAAMI spec MAX loads. There is no official SAAMI spec for Cowboy loads. Official Single Action Shooting Society rules state that muzzle velocity for pistols be no more than 1000 fps and for rifles no more than 1400 fps. Most cowboy loads will be considerably under that.

    No, I would not worry too much about chamber throat diameter. Buy it and shoot it. If there is a problem, Ruger will make it right.
     
  16. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    An "average" cowboy load for .45 colt is a Lead, round nosed 250 grain bullet pushed somewhere between 700-900 fps

    I just bought a box of Oregon Trail Laser cast 200's to push a little faster and have some fun with my new toy, but for hunting rounds (non volume shooting) I'll move up to 250/300 grain hard cast lead.

    Berry's 200 grain plated worked really nicely with 5.6 grains of titegroup in my Schofield, (very mild on the Split-frame design) and I'm working my way down the ladder with slower-burning powders for the Ruger now.

    If you aren't reloading, you'll be using the ACP cylinder mostly... Blazer sells aluminum cased single-use rounds for under $20 a box around here. (about $0.38 a round)

    If you want to shoot .45 Colt, Off the shelf Cowboy stuff starts between $32-$50 per box of 50, ($0.64-$1 or more!)

    It's the caliber that turned me into a Mandatory reloader. You can buy a Lee loader, it's a little single caliber loader you literally hammer on to assemble rounds. but it's portable and can be taken into the field far more easily than a Turret press. They typically go for $30+. 20-30 shells a night and you'll make more than you can probably comfortably shoot each week.

    http://www.amazon.com/90263-Lee-Classic-Loader-Long/dp/B00162THL4

    I use a 4 hole turret myself, Best investment I've made in years.

    There is a hand press version ( no hammering) for $40+, but you have to buy the die sets per caliber.

    http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Precision-Hand-Press-90685/dp/B000NOQIFO

    I say this now, for large bore shooting ANY reloading setup you go with will pay for itself in short order

    This weeks math,
    $65/500bullets = $0.13ea (Oregon Trail Laser Cast 200 gr RNFP)
    Large Pistol Primers $35/1000 $0.035ea (last purchase for me at least)
    Brass= negligble. Collected from shooting before buying my Reloading rig. Have a few hundred around in good shape.
    Starline Brass New = 500 for $95 currently. Buying new = $0.19 per round, and you can use it till the primer pocket wears out.
    Powder= 15-20 a can, Hundreds of rounds per can, never measured but lets arbitrarily call it a Nickle a shot unless someone with better experience throws a number out.

    Per round Guesstimate this week for me... $0.22 a round. Cold start from new brass.. $0.41 , Compare that to $1+ a shot if you're at the mercy of bad ammo supplies and poor merchant pricing.

    Especially if you turn into a Colt junkie like some of us poor souls.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  17. Gunner4h1r3

    Gunner4h1r3 Member

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    I too own a convertible .45LC/.45ACP Blackhawk. Mine is the 5.5" Stainless variant that sported faux ivory grips (put those on my blued Blackhawk .44 and have the rosewood panels on the .45 now). Shot both .45 ACP and .45 LC out of it and it has been pretty dead on. Just got all the reloading supplies for .45 LC and made 50 rounds of 250 gr LRNFP over HP38. Will have to wait until I get back from this underway to test 'em out. The reloading manual says it should run around 900 fps or so. We will see.

    Regardless it is an extremely fun sixgun to shoot, and you get funny looks when you start loading ACP rounds into a sixgun at the range.
     
  18. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Had to return a 357/9mm Blackhawk Convertible to Ruger. The 1 chamber on the 9 was cut to deep. Misfired every time. All the 45lc/45acp were OK.
     
  19. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Member

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    Thanks for the reloading links, but I just don't think I shoot enough to make it worth it. I may go once or twice a month...so max 200 rounds a month. It sounds cool though. Maybe it would make me go shooting more. XD

    I have now definitely made up my mind on the convertible. Now I just need the moolah.

    Does anyone have any recommendations as to where to buy the rosewood grips for a blackhawk?
     
  20. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    My Old Model convertible which I have owned since 1971 (first year production for the 45) has been a shooting machine for many years without a bobble.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    > And really... .44 mag power?

    Yep:

    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=41

    That's a 300 gr. bullet at 1,170 ft/s.

    Ross Seyfried wrote an important article on this topic for Handloader magazine some years back. I can't find it, but here's a closely-related discussion:

    http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/dissolving_the_myth.htm

    The short version of the story is that .45 colt brass is awfully strong, and older Blackhawks (not the newer, smaller-frame variety vaqs) are similarly tough. There's no reason why they can't be safely loaded to these levels, which surprises many people. Of course, many other guns, including original peacemakers, are not nearly as strong and must not be used with these rounds.
     
  22. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    I love that Linebaugh article, found it a few weeks ago myself when I first started considering buying my first Blackhawk, and while it's nice to "know" the guns are stronger, Reading someone who's really put them through their paces with precise controls puts me nicely into my Warm, Happy place.

    He makes his .45's by boring out the .44 mag to tighter tolerances, and the brass is little more than a Gasket.

    "The cartridge case in any firearm is simply a gasket to seal the hot gases away from the shooter and the firearm. Yes, it's critical that this component be of best quality and design. But overall the firearm itself contains the pressure. The reason the .45 Colt case bulges is the chambers in NEARLY ALL modern .45 Colts are grossly oversize."

    It convinced me that I really didn't need to step up to the .44 magnum Blackhawk, which keeps me loading fewer calibers more efficiently.
     
  23. pendennis

    pendennis Member

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    I've owned this one for over two-and-a-half years, and never a problem. It eats up everything from mild .45 ACP and .45 Colt, to some fairly "warm" .45 Colt handloads. Best of both worlds.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Member

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    Awesome! I'm very interested in hearing from someone who owns the new model. I'm more partial to the 5.5'' barrel but...have you had any problems with yours?
     
  25. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Guitarguy, given the cost of .45Colt ammo you'll soon see the advantages of getting into reloading. It would be cheaper if you buy .45acp. But even that ammo can be reloaded for considerably less than buying factory ammo.

    The great thing is that you can load up to various power levels and try different bullet weights. Over time and by recording the target results you'll get a feel for the recipe that lets the gun perform to it's maximum accuracy. Not to mention that it opens up the option to produce light bullet/weak charge "poofy" loads for recoil sensitive beginners yet still make sporty plinking loads and maybe even a box of some close to max pressure "arm shortening" rounds for some end of the day fun now and then.

    It seems that the bigger the caliber the more flexible it is for reloading to produce exactly the results you want. Not to mention hunting for powder and bullet options that generate the biggest and most impressive fireball effects.... :D
     
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