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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    Well guys, I finally got it.

    If anyone is curious what you get when you order a Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk, let me detail the the exact items I received.

    1. Manual for the blackhawk line (A bunch of other ruger stuff was tucked into the manual, marketing stuff)

    2. A lock and key, it looks like a master lock but it has ruger branding. A ruger branded masterlock perhaps?

    3. The gun, in a plain plastic bag.

    4. All of this was inside of a gray plastic hard case, that is spring loaded I think so when you open it the case tries to lie completely flat open. It also has a handy clip to stick the manual and receipts and etc back into for long term storage. I didn't buy the gun for a hard case but the hard case is easily superior to the ones I've received from Sig Sauer, Beretta, Heckler and Koch, and ESPECIALLY better than the keltec box I got which literally was only big enough to hold the pistol, and barely at that. When I added a pinky to my magazine it wouldn't fit in the box with a magazine seated anymore.

    Now, let me give you some pictures before I move on...

    [​IMG]

    20150707_191841_zps6c0gtrj8.jpg

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    20150707_164504_zpsigcphnel.jpg

    I'll be sure to give you some additional photos when I go to the range (targets, range day shots in general).

    Now, on to my thoughts and questions! Since this is my first revolver I'm sure a few of these will be basic questions but just bear with me if you will.

    So for starters there are definitely cylinder lines as well as a few scuffs on the top of the frame, reaaaaally minor scuffs that I wouldn't find out of line from a factory just handling it from the line to the box, or from FedEx not handling the package with utmost care...

    20150707_211249_zps2qgkaqcr.jpg

    20150707_211607_zpsqf0mx7vx.jpg

    You can see a faint line, and if you were me and got to look at it up close you'd also see tiny little "tool marks" that are little lines perpendicular to the cylinder line shown. The cylinder line is faint in the photo but I chose to photograph it because a visual inspection revealed the cylinder line almost instantly.

    I also feel like the barrel is slightly rusted. The grooves of the rifling are distinctly red, however I've heard from the internet that that might just be copper fouling. It looks red to me though, and it's distinct enough for me to readily notice it visually. It's just a slightly uneven red coating. It looks pretty matte though which makes me think it's either VERY fine surface rust or some kind of coating- not something I've ever noticed in any of my 9mm handguns from which I fire exclusively jacketed ammunition and which I would certainly expect to see copper fouling from if a single factory round is indicative of copper fouling. In fact, in my automatics I was always told to inspect for any barrel fouling but that it only needed to be cleaned if it could be detected by eye or swab, certainly not a problem to be found after one factory round.

    I'm pretty sure it's either rust, or something protective, but I ran a swab down it and it came out dry. Nothing came out decently on my camera and I don't want to post what would essentially be a bigfoot photo of "rust" so I hope my words will serve to describe what I saw.

    I guess I just want to know if all of this is normal or if it sounds like it got unduly abused along the way? I've never bought a new Ruger so I don't know what to expect. I'm not worried about the little scuff or the cylinder line I just want to make sure I paid the "new in box" premium for a reason, because a lot of used guns have "just" a small scuff etc.

    Now that I've gotten by "critical" thoughts out of the way, let's get to the good stuff!!!

    First off, the weight feels great to me. I was expecting it to maybe feel noticeably heavy or uncomfortable to hold at arms length for a period of time but I did some dryfire practice and it was no problem. I was also happy to see Ruger prominently stated in the manual that dryfiring was not a problem, very reassuring.

    I also found the dragoon trigger guard to be no impediment at all when simply gripping the gun. I'm curious if my technique is poor because of that, but I do a "thumbs forward" grip with my support hand cupping the grip and mostly grabbing my shooting hand rather than the grip itself. My left thumb only directly contacts the tiniest corner of the dragoon trigger guard, with the rest of my hand holding my other hand essentially. There is not enough room between my shooting hand fingers and the trigger guard to put any of my support fingers in the gap, not even a pinky. The grips actually feel very small to me and if my shooting hand thumb webbing clears the hammer of the gun, then the meat of my first knuckle on the pinky actually hangs below the bottom of the squared grip. There is not enough grip left for my support hand to grab any of it, my fingers cover the entire "shaft" of the grip. It felt very comfortable in dry fire (of course), but I might need to get some bigger grips!

    The sight picture is very good, the blades leave a nice wide open target acquisition gap and are very easy to read. Adjustable for windage and elevation on the rear sight which is also quite nice. I hope it will hold it's position under heavy magnum loads but I trust Ruger to install a factory sight that works.

    The trigger seems excellent to me, obviously it's single action but the weight is light enough I would want to take a measurement before I gave a number because it feels light. I think myself good at taking a shot without rocking my sight picture but with this kind of sight radius it feels like it's going to be an extremely solid shooter.

    I have a feeling my true praise will come from the shooting of this gun and it meeting my expectations. It's easier to put complaints into words as they are typically technical and require explanations, but I love the heft, feel, and look of this gun. The grips, the stainless steel, the length, the curves and angles, the way the cylinder looks... Everything feels very right about this gun so I can't wait to do a range day and tell everyone about it!

    Now, time to wind this post down and get to my final thoughts... Maintenance related things!

    I have no idea what to do in particular for stainless steel that I wouldn't do for tennifer, so I'm in bad shape in this regard. Can I wipe it down with CLP, put some hoppes in the bore, and call it a day or do I need to be a little more or less hardcore? Should I pay attention to make darn sure I lube any areas in particular? The manual didn't really give much advice besides "be sure to lube it right" which was surprisingly vague as it just made me anxious about what I should do.

    Also, when I was removing the cylinder upon first getting home it came out fairly easily, but putting it back on was kind of tough. The cylinder pin seemed to stick on the way back in so I just pushed it harder and when it finally went "all the way in" the cylinder wouldn't rotate at first. After "jiggling" and actually making the pin seat fully all was well, but I worry that "jiggling" is probably not a great method of parts assembly. Although maybe it is!

    I just wanted to ask if I need to be more careful on cylinder removal/attachment as it seemed like kind of a pain if you weren't willing to righteously jiggle, as less than a mm in either direction won't let the pin seat perfectly to allow cylinder rotation. Once I got it back on it worked fine so I figure maybe it's just a tight fit.

    I'm also curious if freely spinning the cylinder is a bad idea. I'm talking lowering the loading gate and giving 'er a spin. Man it feels cool to do but I don't want to damage anything.

    Thank you everyone for reading and contributing to this thread, I am now in love with revolvers.
     
  2. CaptTripps

    CaptTripps Member

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    First off, its probably not rust. Stainless can rust and discolor but more than likely it is grease/oil residue from the factory. BTW you should be using a brush to clean your barrel. The scuff marks are normal, especially on a more brushed finish as a factory gun. Because the "ridges" polish marks are "higher" than a flatly polished gun, they are easier to smear. But I wouldn't worry about it. Same with the polish marks around the cylinder as well as the drag line from the cylinder bolt, that is caused by the bolt rising into its notch, somewhat prematurely. Its not a big deal and can be minimized, but it fine how it is. The cylinder pin sticking, on mine was normal, try partially cocking the hammer back and forth.
     
  3. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Give us another report after you shoot it. You'll have a whole other bucket of feelings on all these factors then. :D
     
  4. arspeukinen

    arspeukinen Member

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    I have the exact gun you described. Very fun, but the sights don't adhere to me hitting a 200meter ram at the silhouette range. Up to 100 meters it's fine if you can see the target.

    I shoot only full power handloads with it - grip it incorrectly and the squared trigger guard will hurt you. A pachmayer grip or similar prevents this, but ruins the aesthetics, so I go with slick wood grips.

    Add some loctite to the screw in front of trigger guard, it may come loose under recoil.
     
  5. arspeukinen

    arspeukinen Member

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    Not sure if someone mentioned, you can lighten the trigger pull by releasing one of the trigger spring "legs".
     
  6. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Do people usually lighten their SA revolvers? I hadn't even thought of that. I'm going to shoot it first but I'll keep that in mind. I'm taking a friend to the range on Saturday.

    Does anyone have a good pictographic on revolver grip techniques or such? I'm watching hickock45 videos (that guy loves 44) and I think my grip looks a tad like his, with support hand awfully low.
     
  7. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    You don't want to hold a "hogleg" with a very high grip. I tried that and something odd with the recoil dynamics caused it to shoot strongly to the side (it was a long time ago and I don't recall if it was right or left). As soon as I dropped my hold down so the web of my hand just sat on the middle of the back straps curve at the neck the guns shot just fine. As it happens with my large hands this put my pinky naturally just under the butt. But the real secret seems to be that the web of the hand should be sitting in the middle of the sharper curved portion at the neck.
     
  8. gazpacho

    gazpacho Member

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    When I grip my SAs I take hold of it, then relax my grip until the gun starts to droop a bit. I give it a little wiggle and then re-grip it. That moves my hand farther down on the plow handle. When the gun fires, the plow shape will push back and the hand will slide up on the grip some. This uses up some of the recoil energy, which would otherwise all go into you hand. (I don't think I worded that quite right.) As the gun comes back down, I let the weight of the gun reposition my grip.

    All that takes practice, but the grip is rather ingenious in its design, and you will probably get a feel for what the gun naturally wants to do.

    Ignore all that if you are a recoil junky.

    As for a holster, if it really is a range toy, then you need a western rig, complete with drop holster and cartridge belt. DO NOT hang that monster on the same belt that holds up your pants! Wear the western rig over your pants belt. It will fit fine.

    I suggest cowboyneeds.com for a good, inexpensive rig. Or, you could talk to Rudy at Black Hills Leather And have him build you a masterpiece. Of course you may have to wait a year to get it. I had him make me a sweet rig with a 6.5" SA in a strong side drop holster, and a 3.5" Birdshead SA in a weakside crossdraw. I wear it every Halloween, and tell the kids it's fake. :evil:
     
  9. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    Exactly!
    I won some money for my dad on a bar bet; whether a 12 year old could shoot that .44 mag Blackhawk offhand. :)
     
  10. GTS Dean

    GTS Dean Member

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    A 7.5" .44 Mag SBH (in blue) was the first handgun I ever bought in 1981. The finish was superb and it was a seriously accurate piece with handloads. The best thing I ever did was put a set of Pachmyr Presentation grips on it. Hot summer days and full-house loads made for sweaty hands and skinned thumb knuckles from recoil. I killed several whitetails with it. I let it go when I got my stainless Redhawk in 1983, which I still have and dearly love.
     
  11. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Well, I finally took it out shooting so I thought I'd show off a picture of the kit I got for it and a target from range day. It was a lot of fun to shoot and a total dream to handle honestly. I did a box of 50 rounds (American Eagle 1230 fps) with the lovely factory grips and no gloves. I felt like my natural grip was comfortable and effective and of course I wasn't rushing any of my shots in the slightest so that was good.

    This thing was really handsome to look at and handle down at the range so this was one of my most fun New Gun range visits yet.

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    This target is from 10 yards, and it has seven holes in it because I had never fired a .44 and decided to only load one cartridge to see what it felt like, and then I did a cylinder afterwards. It was a joy to feel the strong blast and power and I hope you like these pictures. I'm very happy with my purchase and intend to get additional Ruger revolvers (Perhaps a GP100 in .357 :D).
     
  12. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

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    Congratulations on getting a SBH. They are great revolvers. I would suggest getting in to reloading soon. Ammo is quite expensive these days and once you are set up to reload, you can generate four times the ammo for the same money - means more shooting pleasure.

    If you enjoy reading shooting articles, I would suggest finding some writings from Elmer Keith or Skeeter Skelton concerning revolvers and the .44 caliber. I am older and recoil bothers me more than it used to. My normal .44 load now is what many refer to as Skeeter's load (250 gr LSWC over 7.5 gr Unique). It is a nice shooting load for us older folk.
     
  13. sixguns

    sixguns Member

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    I bought my SBH in 1976 and yes still have and shoot it. Reloading is a must unless you have lots of money or very seldom shoot. Also have the Super Redhawk in 44 Mag picked it up in 2012.
     
  14. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    There is nothing more satisfying than shooting the magnum pistols! I am like you in that I shoot mostly 9mm and enjoy it but breaking out the 357 and the 44 just opens up a whole 'nother can of worms at the range. The mere sound is enough to get your blood boiling!
     
  15. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    I've found that a lot of times new barrels need to get some burnishing from shooting before they tighten up. So it's quite possible that your groups will close up. And of course with you being new to single actions as your grip becomes more consistent and stable that'll help too.

    Either way though that's pretty decent for a first outing for both you and the gun. And be honest now, you probably felt a touch of flinching with more than a few of the shots after the first one was out of the muzzle, eh? :D

    That's one good thing about shooting these big wrist wreckers. If you can learn to shoot them from a sea of purest calm knowing that all hell is about to bust loose then you'll never have a wink of flinch issues with anything lesser.
     
  16. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Yes, I was amazed at how much my flinch was able to wreck shots despite the very short trigger travel distance. My 9mm DA shots arent as far to the bottom left as my .44 SA shots were at their worst., which definitely hints at where my problem lies. I did my best shooting at the beginning before I started flinching, and then again at the end when I was focused more on overcoming the flinch than anything else.

    I look forward to shooting it more however and I'm quite optimistic about my next outing. I'm going to make an effort to go weekly for a month or two to accelerate my acclimation to the recoil. I really couldn't be happier with the gun so I'm sure once I get my mind right I'll be shooting sweetly.

    I have to go very slowly to mentally overcome it at the moment, but hopefully not for long!
     
  17. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    We were shooting an Anaconda last week and the young lady I was with could handle it with one hand with acceptable accuracy at 15 yards. She understood how to handle the recoil pretty well and didn't seem to flinch or even hesitate. She just let the gun settle back down on the target and fired off the next round. Impressive!
     
  18. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    A good basic "trick" I've used and which I've told to others that also found it helped is to focus not on the trigger break and the BANG! but on a smooth pressure build that moves the trigger to the rear travel limit and then follow through by holding it there all through the recoil. When the dust settles you should be standing with the trigger held back firmly. By focusing on the smooth and complete trigger motion the break surprises you the way it should. Otherwise you tend to want to react to the anticipation. And that leads to a flinch sure as shootin'. There's other reasons for a flinch of course. But if you're normally a good shooter with a lesser caliber then it may be that all you need is to shift focus back to the basics of the smooth pull and proper follow through.
     
  19. double bogey

    double bogey Member

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    Enjoy your new gun. I have a 10.5" Super Blackhawk, and just got a 4 5/8". have not fired it yet, too much work going on.
     
  20. sequins

    sequins Member

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    I just took another trip to the range today and tried some different loads. I was shooting Fiochi at 1180 FPS and I was doing much better.

    20150718_153151_zpswgam857i.jpg

    That target is from 20 yards, and despite the flyer it's pretty right. I need to slightly adjust the sight I think and then I'll be in a very good place. This revolver has become my favourite gun almost overnight, and my bag of .44 brass is steadily growing size. I'm going to have to order a few books on reloading and start that process soon.

    I've improved my grip and continued searching the net for tips, which I think has definitely improved my performance with the revolver grip. The slightly lighter load and my better grip and improved confidence meant I had a series of excellent targets. I never went beyond 20 yards although I did close it up to 10 yards and shot one handed for a couple of cylinders. I should have taken a picture of that but I managed to get a couple darn nice center hits, despite also having some atrocious flyers in there as well. I wouldn't typically want to shoot it one handed but the recoil impulse wasn't really unpleasant and I kinda thought it felt a little better although much less accurate.

    I've ordered a few boxes of .44 special in various weights and velocities, as well as a couple of the even higher powered .44 magnum loads so I'll soon try both ends of the spectrum there as well.

    I'm tempted to get a Super Redhawk now just to have even more .44 options :D
     
  21. sixguns

    sixguns Member

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    That's excellent shooting! You can join me anytime. :D

    And show me how it's done...
     
  22. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Congratulations, and might I add an excellent choice also. You can't go wrong with a SBH, IMO. It will last you a life time, and then some if taken proper care of.

    Back when I got my SBH they, were only going for $200 NIB. So wanting one as badly as I did, a friend of mine wanted to buy one of my 870's, a nice looking rather new Wingmaster. So I sold the WM to him for like $250, bought the NIB SBH and a set of reloading die's. I haven't looked back or regretted selling that WM, and that SBH is still running as good as the day I bought, maybe even better.

    I later bought a SRH in the early 90's, Leupold scope, and although it's a really sweet wheel gun, there's just something about a SBH that the DA doesn't provide.

    GS
     
  23. sequins

    sequins Member

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    Gamestalker (And anyone else with an opinion), how strongly do you feel about the DA versus SA option for SRH vs SBH?

    I'm curious if a .44 Magnum Super Redhawk would be a worthy second addition so I can have the DA/SA comparison, or if a different .44m would be a much better idea? Gamestalker, it sounds like you think SAO is the way to go on the 'Hawks but I was really strongly considering the SRH so I want to explore the idea a little further. One of my favourite things is to take a buddy out and shoot a couple different examples of the same caliber. I have a lot of 9mm but only the one .44 magnum so I definitely need another, and if other Ruger's are as good as this one I'm sure I'd be happy with the quality.

    If anyone else has thoughts on whether I should get the DA/SA option to compliment the SAO option let me know as I love .44 magnum and want another one.
     
  24. sixguns

    sixguns Member

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    First off, the SA and DA in general are equal for accuracy and precision.

    Where the difference from the SBH to the SRH is; Ruger really stepped up the game and went with a cold hammer forged barrel with CNC locating and drilling the cylinder holes for very uniform alignment and hole sizes which is the major bulk of it.

    Don't rule out a GP100 in 357 that is an awesome gun too.
     
  25. hseII

    hseII Member

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    If the Ammo Box says, " x revolver only", and SBH isn't one of them, don't shoot it in your SBH: those +p 340 grain loads cause a touché of a timing issue in an SBH.
     
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