Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk in 44 Magnum

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by sequins, Jul 1, 2015.

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  1. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Hello everyone, thanks for taking the time to read my post and hopefully reply, I hope for this thread to be about my decision to purchase my first revolver as well as the generalities of the Super Blackhawk/44 Magnum cartridge.

    First off let me say that I'm relatively new to the hobby only having owned guns for about 3 years. I'm 26 years old and came from a household that never owned guns and was vocally anti-gun, I didn't really have much of an opinion myself but I probably would have told you "Guns are bad... I guess?" when I was 16. Between then and now I've learned a lot and seen how thin the veneer of civilization can be in a city.

    After I got mugged at gunpoint I thought to myself I wanted a gun too. So, that was the way I got into guns, for the express purpose of defending my life after seeing how powerful the tool was. Because of that motivation, and my realizing after some research that I can conceal a duty pistol very effectively, my collection up until this point has been almost exclusively semiautomatic black 9mm handguns (the only exceptions thus far being longarms). Those guns are definitely good at what they do and are pretty fun for the range because of being full size, but they're all 9mm. I don't want to start ANY caliber debate whatsoever for self defense, I just want to mention that all my handguns are 9mm because I think we can all agree 9mm is a bit wimpy for a range cartridge if you want power, smoke, flash, and just head turning rock and roll range action.

    So, I thought to myself, I thought... I need something bigger. I need something flashier. I need a gun that calls a cold range all by itself while everyone picks their jaws back up off the floor. So after thinking all those thoughts naturally my next was...

    I need a revolver.

    Now, I've had these thoughts before, but I've always talked myself out of it. Revolvers are expensive, and heavy, and just range toys. And back when I only had one handgun those were good reasons, but now I have several and a range toy is starting to sound darn appealing. My friend has a Chiappa Rhino in .357 Magnum and he lets me shoot it once in a while. I simply adore it, shoots so softly and is a LOT of fun. I've heard that their extremely innovative bottom cylinder barrel is the reason for the superior shootability, and that other .357 magnums are much harder to handle but I've only ever fired his. Also I have no idea what loads my friend chooses and perhaps I was shooting very soft loads the time I handled it. They would have been factory and my understanding is that factory "magnum" loads aren't the real thing, even if they weren't meant to be light.

    For a long time I've thought I'd eventually just get my own Chiappa, but over time I've sort of changed my mind. I think I would prefer the old aesthetic even if it isn't as technologically innovative. I like the look of the Chiappa for it's own reasons, but it definitely doesn't look like a huge, traditionally styled American revolver which is what I've decided I want in this case, and by this point I'd already mentally bought whatever I ultimately decided was the best pick.

    I narrowed it down to three main points for consideration,

    Longer than 6"
    Chambered for something more powerful than .357
    Stainless steel and wood for the visual appeal.

    So I went right on to Davidson's Gallery of Guns website and I chose to purchase the 7.5" Stainless Steel New Model Super Blackhawk with the dragoon trigger guard, right there on the spot, and I'm waiting for it to come in the mail now. I chose the Blackhawk over the Redhawk because I've heard lots of folks always saying that you have GOT to have a single action in your life and I exclusively plan to use this for the range. I've been reading other threads from the past on this and other sites and I've seen complaints about that trigger guard and a general preference for the rounded guard. However, I have a strong preference for the visual appeal of the dragoon style and my motivations are hugely influenced by style in this case. I figure I can just plan to wear gloves when shooting it. I've linked the ruger "Spec Sheet" aka marketing blurb for the gun so everyone can take a quick look if they aren't familiar.

    http://www.ruger.com/products/newModelSuperBlackhawkStandard/specSheets/0804.html

    I'm very, very excited for this gun to arrive. So excited that I've written this long thing to get it out of my system until it shows up and I can shoot the heck out of it. I've held several Ruger revolvers at gun shows, and I have found almost all to be comfortable besides the SP snub which was simply small rather than bad, although I've never seen how comfortable they are fired. My biggest concern is that I'll have gone for too powerful of a caliber but I am pretty sure I could handle twice to three times as much recoil as what I was getting from the Chiappa, and the SBH weighs sooo much more so I'm optimistic.

    I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts, stories, pictures, customizations, or just general love for huge guns and powerful cartridges like the Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 magnum in particular.

    Now, onto the subject of ammo. I have a question about which factory loads you'd recommend I try out for starters because I sure don't know a lot about .44 Magnum loads and I don't yet hand load. I'm pretty sure getting into revolvers will be my door into the hobby of reloading and I look forward to learning more, but at the moment I'm starting with the gun and factory loads. I was looking at the maximum powered loads from buffalo bore and thought it might be fun to try a cylinder of those just for kicks but, beyond a couple loads in particular that looked awfully hot and fun for a novelty I don't know what would make for actually enjoyable range time and target shooting.

    As an aside, when I was checking out SGammo I noticed that on the website they have all the ammunitions listed normally with the exception of 44 MAGNUM which is shown in all caps, compared to say 357 Magnum or 41 Magnum on the same menu. Maybe they're trying to tell me something about how comfortable and easy to manage these loads will be in my new Ruger? :D
     
  2. ivankerley

    ivankerley Member

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    congrats on your purchase :D
    i myself am getting a Ruger Super blackhawk Bisley Hunter in .44, an old friend is liquidating his collection a bit due to a move across country. Id have told ya a year ago no way, its stainless, flashy and the grip is weird compared to the traditional plow handle not what i thought id be interested in... but i checked it out and well a brother needs the cash and i cant quit thinking bout the darn thing, so sold! :D life's weird sometimes, i dont hunt its not practical but darnit its cool so ill stock up on ammo till i get to a point wheres i can toe into reloading etc. ammo is spendy for sure, aint much of a selection in regards to loads round here that ive seen
    best of luck
    gene
     
  3. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    Ruger makes a nice single action and the .44 is a great choice.
     
  4. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    If all you're doing at the moment is getting used to your gun, try as many different varieties of ammunition you can. Your gun may prefer one to another but you'll never know for sure until you try several. My guess all will do well.

    For many years the "standard" bullet weight for the 44 Magnum has been 240-250 grains but I load as light at 180 and as heavy as 300.

    In the '70s and '80s I had my maximum power phase and like most people I now shoot a lot of .44 Special and few magnum rounds. A 240-250 grain bullet at maybe 1,100-1,150fps is really all you need unless you're hunting "dangerous" game. In which case I go with a rifle. My SBH really likes 300 grain Hornady XTPs; you gun may prefer other weights.

    You might want to be wary of pure lead bullets. And even "hard cast" can lead your bore. A gas check bullet can mitigate that.
     
  5. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    I have a Super Blackhawk that I've owned for several years and it's a great revolver.
    Very accurate with reloads and a good hunting pistol.
    I think I've killed six deer with it , all one shot kills.
    It's fun to shoot .44 Special loads in it also.
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    If I wanted to hunt with a scoped revolver, the super blackhawk hunter would be the one. :D I own several blackhawks, but pistol hunt with a Contender in .30-30. I have taken hogs with my .357 6.5" iron sighted blackhawk, though. Some day, I'm going to take one with my .45 Colt. :D

    Love me some blackhawk/super blackhawks. :D Super quality revolvers for the money. Okay, they're a notch below a Freedom Arms, but hey, they function GREAT! They just plain do the job.
     
  7. CaptTripps

    CaptTripps Member

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    I have a SBH myself, they are great guns. Be aware, they are substantial, it would take 5-6 lifetimes of shooting, to wear one out. I have shot the Buffalo Bore 320 grain loads and I found them manageable. For 99.5% of your shooting, as noted above, 240 grain loads @about 1100 FPS are more than adequate. Here are some photos of my own .44 Magnum. I hope you enjoy your new gun.

    [​IMG][/url][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/url][/IMG]
     
  8. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Thanks for the advice on ammunition, I'm going to grab a couple boxes of 240gr from each of the manufacturers. Any in manufacturers in particular known to be the "best" the way some brands are much more highly regarded than others for 9mm or I presume any ammo?

    I'm going to save my brass so that's a consideration. I'm looking forward to clearing that first cylinder into my palm. This thread will get updated with loads of pictures as well as soon as she gets here.
     
  9. 46Slick

    46Slick Member

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    I have 2 SBH's, one at 7.5" and one at 4.625" barrels. Also 2 DA/SA, one a Smith model 69-3 4", and the other a Taurus raging bull 4" compensated. All are 44mag and fun to shoot. You won't go wrong with your pick. Just make enough room for your additions.
     
  10. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I purchased this stainless steel SuperBlack hawk 1982 or 1983. According to my memory this was the first year these revolvers were available in stainless.

    DSCN0480.jpg

    I like my Superblack Hawk, it is accurate. I had the trigger worked on. Only continuing complaint is the squared back guard hurts my support hand. When the revolver recoils that square back section just eats the fingers on recoil. So I wear a glove on that hand.

    I did have the transfer bar break after several decades and thousands of dry fire practice cycles. When the transfer bar breaks the revolver will not go bang. A new transfer bar was relatively cheap and easy to install.


    ReducedSuperBlackhawkhammerrecessbe.jpg

    ReducedSuperBlackhawkcylinderoutDSC.jpg

    A couple of years ago I bought a three screw version. These were discontinued about 1972 and were dangerous as all heck if six rounds were loaded. I read a number of accidental discharges, some in the holster, when the hammer was struck by something. That put a big, bad, 44 Magnum hole through their thigh. Ugh!

    Still it was interesting to me that the three screw had recessed cylinders. Un needed with today’s solid head brass, and a pain to clean out!


    DSCN1325threescrewblackhawk.jpg

    IMG_0284cylinderrecesses.jpg

    These are big guns and better suited to a shoulder holster. I have found mine to be accurate and it hits steel targets with a big bang. It has all the recoil I want to handle. When you get into reloading, the classic Keith load was a 240 LSWC 22.0 grains 2400. I have shot thousands of this load and it can’t be beat. To cut recoil I have cut it down to 17.5 grains 2400 with a 240 LSWC, works fine.
     
  11. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    I think you will find the grips somewhat lacking. Get a set of Hogue decellerator with finger grooves. Get a pair of shooting gloves as the trigger guard can hit your middle finger at the joint. Plus the finger groove grips give better control of recoil. Get into reloading if you want to shoot alot.
     
  12. CaptTripps

    CaptTripps Member

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    I have never had a problem with the rear of the guard smacking my fingers, but I have small hands, so maybe that helps. People mis-understand how these guns will recoil, they think that the gun rotating upwards is a sign of poor gripping power or too slick of a grip. The fact is that the grip was designed to flip the gun upward with recoil. You should have a firm grip but be aware that recoil will flip it back and upwards. Its part of the design, and helps mitigate painful recoil to your hands, once you understand it.
     
  13. murf

    murf Member

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    slamfire1,

    a toothpick works well for cleaning the crud out of chamber recesses and cylinder bolt notches.

    murf
     
  14. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    3 screws are the only way to go in SBH :D

    Had several. All shot great.
     
  15. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Slamfire, those pictures are beautiful. There is just something very appealing about a large stainless steel revolver to me and those pictures just affirm how pleased I am with the decision to get this gun.

    Does anyone else have a holster opinion? For the range I can just keep it in a soft case of course but I do go out to the woods often and might consider using it as a sidearm; And in general I prefer to have a holster or sling or what have you for each piece in my collection.

    I see Galco makes both a shoulder and an owb holster, with the weight I agree it might be better in a shoulder but if anyone else who has done it wanted to weigh in it would be appreciated.
     
  16. CaptTripps

    CaptTripps Member

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    I want to try one of these when I can scrape the money together.

    http://www.diamonddcustomleather.com/Chest_Holsters.php

    I hike a lot with a backpack on and I like the idea of a chest rig not interfering with my pack straps. Plus it seems like a comfortable way to carry a heavy pistol.
     
  17. GyMac

    GyMac Member

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    I have a Ruger SBH with the 5 1/2 inch barrel. I prefer the fluted cylinder. It is very accurate; I've gotten groups under 1 inch at 25 yds. I haven't hunted much with it, but I've killed one deer and a grouse with it. I replaced the base pin with a Belt Mountain after the original moved forward under recoil. I have a Bowen adjustable rear sight on it. I also replaced the grips with Pachmayers and it has made the gun much, much easier to shoot (for me). I reload for the .44 Mag and almost all of my loads have a 240 grain SWC over Unique for 1050-1100 fps. Even at that reduced velocity I find my trigger finger getting beat up by the front of the trigger guard. The one real problem I have is the front sight. I have my rear sight bottomed out and I have just enough elevation for 25 yds. A higher front sight would be preferable.
    Congrats and good luck!
     
  18. JackCrow

    JackCrow Member

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    I have a 7.5" SBH and it is one of my favorite pistols. It is fun to shoot and is very accurate. It is a heavy gun which does a good job of taming the effects of recoil.

    You will find that the SBH is a very different animal than what you are used to, but once you get the hang of it you will really enjoy yourself.

    Keeping your brass is a very wise idea as you will find that shooting only factory ammo is an expensive proposition. Learning to reload will be worth the effort and will save you money once you are past the initial expenses.

    Congrats on your new Super Blackhawk and welcome to world of big bore revolvers!
     
  19. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    I have large hands and use a textured glove which helps to prevent any slipage. The Hogue grips have worn through in places and I had to replace my gloves as they wore through in the web. I guess I shoot at least 100 rounds a week. Thank goodness I know how to reload.
     
  20. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    Because the person carrying the gun did not understand how to load and carry a single action, we must blame the gun (and maker)...

    Load 5 and carry on an empty chamber...

    Ruger would have fixed it for free, and/or sent you the transfer bar for free...

    This is how to check for transfer bar pinch (the cause of broken transfer bars):

    http://www.cylindersmith.com/Transferbar.html
     
  21. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I love my 7.5" Blackhawk in 45 Colt.

    The factory grips work well for me.

    I also have an old West German 44 magnum SA revolver. I don't enjoy shooting magnums out of it and usually shoot 44 specials.
     
  22. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    Super Blackhawk

    I bought my Super Black hawk in 1984.To date I've cast ,loaded and shot three 5 gallon buckets of wheel weights threw this revolver and many thousand full power jacketed rounds.It still locks up hammer,cylinder,and trigger with one click,tight as new.Those full power 300 grain loads will sting your hand though.I'm on my second set of rubber grips also. hdbiker
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  23. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    A SBH in stainless is high on my want list, maybe later in the year. Already have a S&W Model 29-2 that is a hoot to shoot, so a SBH would double the fun.

    Bought my first Ruger wheelgun in 1959 (the Single Six at the bottom), followed by the Blackhawk .357 in 1968, the SP101 .357 in 1993, and then the New Vaquero .357 in March. All of them shoot great and will be keepers for my grandkids.

    00f25bd404d2f176bc3077985759b07d1bb7a36.jpg
     
  24. sequins

    sequins Member

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    I'm picking it up tomorrow, and plan to shoot this weekend. I'm real excited and can't wait to fondle it. As soon as I can I'll be loading this post up with new pictures tomorrow!!

    That vaquerro looks lovely by the way, and the sp101 is one I've considered as a carry gun if I ever stray from automatics. Nice collection!
     
  25. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    You're going to love it. A single action will be a little slower to load until you get up to speed but there's something satisfying in handling every round and every empty casing during the process when speed isn't a requirement.

    A further note about the fit/size of the stock grips. If you have large hands it's tough to get a good fit around the "neck" of the gripping area. For me this resulted in the "Dragoon bite" on the back of my middle finger from the guard smashing back and hitting the thin skinned area.

    As pointed out above there are various options for grips. But many of them ruin the classic look of the gun with filler areas to shift the hold down.

    I went with another option since I do a lot of wood working. I made some new grips with a thicker and fuller shape around the upper area. At the same time I slightly reduced the flare towards the butt end so the ring finger has a little more of a wrap. The results were amazing. I can now shoot full house Magnum loads without any ring finger contact from the guard. And the larger contact area of the upper portion against my palm also spread out the shock into my hand so I didn't have a sore hand after a dozen rounds.

    So keep the idea in mind if you find you get bitten by the guard or that a dozen or so full power loads leave your hand feeling like someone hit you with a hammer.

    My own hope is to come up with some sort of way of having multiple sighting points so I can lob the bullets out to 50, 100 and 200 yard targets with good results and without a scope. And maybe even 300? They would need to be larger sized pieces of old cardboard boxes to do it but I really like the idea of stretching the boundaries like that. And the SBH is just the sort of handgun to do this.
     
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