Why are so many more 44 Mag Blackhawks made in Plow than Bisley handle?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Macchina, Mar 12, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,000
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    No

    Howdy

    This is a Bisley grip frame.

    Bisley%20Colt%2038-40%207.5%20Inch%20Barrel%2002_zps0r3ne0i9.jpg




    Colt introduced the Bisley model in 1894 and it was only produced until 1915. It was introduced to compete with the premier target pistol of the day, the Smith and Wesson New Model Number Three.

    New%20Model%20Number%20Three%20Blue%2031022%2001_zpsmbzqn4z8.jpg




    Colt introduced the Bisley model at the Bisley range in England, hence the name. International shooting competitions had been taking place there since Queen Victoria granted the National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom a charter in 1890.


    It is absolutely true the Colt Bisley grip is not for everyone. I find that the forward sweep of the front of the grip tends to make the pistol point down a little bit. I have often theorized that the grip was designed this way because many shooters in the 19th Century did not shoot with a straight elbow the way (Bullseye) shooters do today. Many shot with a slightly bent elbow. I find if I bend my elbow slightly, the Colt Bisley Model tends to point straight ahead, not down.

    Notice the stance of the shooter at the left in this photo. That is what I am talking about as typical of many pistol shooters during the 1890s.


    JHSnookGeorgeArmstrongPJDolfen_zpscc30d702.jpg




    The Ruger version of the Bisley grip is quite different than the original Colt version. Notice the grip does not sweep forward at all.

    rugerbisley.jpg



    Personally, I have always felt the Ruger version of the Bisley grip was at least partially based on Elmer Keith's famous No.5 revolver.

    dscn7168b_orig_zpspr8cqi7b.jpg




    Notice the profile of the grip near the hammer is the same, without the intermediate curve near the base of the hammer on a normal Single Action Army.

    Second%20Gen%2001_zpsrap8uah0.jpg




    Anyway, regarding the shape of the grip for 'more powerful' loads, it is all relative.

    Before I started shooting Black Powder loads in my 45 Colt pistols in CAS, everybody warned me the recoil was much worse, and I would need a (Ruger) Bisley grip if I wanted to be able put up with the stouter recoil of Black Powder. For one thing, the Ruger Bisley grip is longer and allows one to cram one's entire hand onto the grip, without needing to curl the pinky under the grip.

    So I bought a Ruger Bisley Vaquero chambered for 45 Colt. Took it to exactly one match and then I sold it. Never fired it again.

    For me, the Ruger Bisley grip did offer anything. I am quite used to a standard plow handle single action grip rotating slightly in my hand in recoil. Perhaps if I owned a Revolver chambered for 454 Casull or 480 Ruger I would want a revolver with the Ruger version of the Bisley grip.

    But I have no desire to own such a revolver. My BP loads of 45 Colt are plenty powerful enough for me.

    The only 44 Mag single action revolver I own is this 44 Mag Flat Top Ruger. To be honest, I usually only fire 44 Specials from it anyway, so the plow hande grip is fine with me.

    Flat%20Top%2044%20Mag%2004%20enhanced_zps2kxvb8to.jpg
     
    Spug, 1KPerDay, 40-82 and 1 other person like this.
  2. labnoti

    labnoti Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,892
    I wish the Bisley were more available for .357. It is in the Vaquero in gloss stainless with the white grips. But hot and heavy .357 delivers enough recoil energy that the standard plow handle gets uncomfortable, at least one-handed. Weren't the original .44 Blackhawks with the plow handle and square-back trigger guard? What a knuckle-buster that must be. And to think the answer to the OP's question basically boils down to "tradition." We like our punishment traditional.
     
  3. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,000
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Fooey

    A factory 357 Mag fired from a plow handle grip is not too much to handle. Don't forget that soon after Smith and Wesson developed the 357 Magnum cartridge in 1935 Colt chambered the Single Action Army for it the same year. And the Colt is not as heavy a revolver as a current Blackhawk. Like I said before, just allow the grip to rotate in your hand.

    Three%20Screw%20357%20Magnum%2006_zps8sl8rill.jpg

    Flat%20Top%20357%2003%20SN%20altered_zpskboi20na.jpg




    Regarding your question about the square backed 'dragoon style' trigger guard, no the first Ruger 44 Magnum Blackhawks were the Flat Top models that had a round back trigger guard. They first appeared in 1956. This one is from 1958. In 1959 Ruger introduced the Super Blackhawk with the square back trigger guard.

    Flat%20Top%2044%20Mag%2003%20enhanced_zpsrnmmlqty.jpg
     
    1KPerDay likes this.
  4. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Burien WA
    Interesting, i had it backwards it's the Bisley handle that's more comfortable with recoil.
     
  5. MaxP

    MaxP Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,780
    Location:
    Virginia
    And this is why I refer to the Ruger and Magnum Research Bisleys as their respective interpretations of the Bisley. I am grateful both companies didn’t run with the original version.
     
  6. BobWright

    BobWright Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,737
    Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
    I applaud the fact that your interest was "piqued." I can't recall how many have had their interest "peaked."

    You, Sir, are apparently an educated man.

    Bob Wright
     
  7. BobWright

    BobWright Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,737
    Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
    As a matter of interest, many years ago I set up some Ruger Single Actions with various grip frames, i.e. the Bisley, the Dragoon, and the plowhandle, the XR-3 not being readily available at that time. I tested both .44 Magnum and .45 Colt handloads. In my experience, the Dragoon style handled heavy recoil the best, in my hands.

    Hence, all of my bisley models are now back to Super Blackhawk or Blackhawk configuration.

    100_7663_zps6d23c47b.jpg

    As a Bisley:

    101_0011_zpstbrpeouj.jpg

    Back to Blackhawk:

    100_8380_zpsclggvgao.jpg



    Bob Wright
     
    drband likes this.
  8. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,905
    Location:
    The West Coast Of New England
    You aren't alone...

    I am not a fan of the way the Bisley feels or recoils...
     
    Jack B. likes this.
  9. MaxP

    MaxP Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,780
    Location:
    Virginia
    Bob, heavy recoil is a relative term! :D Keep in mind at this point, I'm pretty numb...

    That .50 Alaskan I posted a picture of would sling a 525 at 1,600 fps. Trust me when I say that you wouldn't want a plow handle controlling that rodeo!
     
    adcoch1 likes this.
  10. BobWright

    BobWright Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,737
    Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Admittedly my loads were far from that. I did have a 350 gr. cast .45 load that was around 1300 f.p.s. that did generate stout recoil. Also some 350 gr. .44 loads which did get one's attention.

    I have never had the funds, nor the time, to hunt anything that my .44 or .45 could not take with aplomb.

    And in the twilight years of my life, do I intend to.

    Bob Wright
     
  11. Cowhide Cliff

    Cowhide Cliff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    711
    Rugers bisley grip is made wrong
     
  12. MaxP

    MaxP Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,780
    Location:
    Virginia
    Care to elaborate?

    Wrong for what?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  13. CaptHank

    CaptHank Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    Ft. Pierce, FL
    Speaking of Ruger Bisley Hunters, I couldn't pass this up. I also have the Hunter Model in 22 LR/22 Mag and 41 Mag. Next of the list will be a 45 Colt, Hunter.

    IMG_1831.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
    MaxP likes this.
  14. MaxP

    MaxP Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,780
    Location:
    Virginia
    Very cool, CaptHank!
     
  15. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,617
    Location:
    NM-south of I-40
    As far as I'm concerned all Bisley grips are made wrong. They just feel weird to me and I'm the only one I'm interested in pleasing.
     
    Salmoneye and Cowhide Cliff like this.
  16. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,000
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Like Max P said, heavy recoil is a relative term.

    My Black Powder 45 Colt loads are performing pretty much the way they did in the 1880s.

    A 250 grain bullet moving about 800 fps.

    Not a problem for me with a plow handle grip and allowing it to rotate slightly in my hand during recoil.

    No desire for anything more powerful, the only thing I shoot with them are steel plates.
     
  17. Kabic

    Kabic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Messages:
    105
    I had to go back and watch this video

     
  18. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    6,468
    Location:
    Rural, far beyond the beltway, Northern Virginia,
    Driftwood Johnson.

    Once again, you have kindly and thoroughly both entertained and educated me (and others, I have no doubt).

    It is always a treat to come upon your illuminated (in more than one sense) responses.

    Thank you. :)
     
  19. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,000
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Howdy Again

    Ian's videos are always terrific.

    I have two Colt Bisley model revolvers.

    There is another one going up for auction next week.

    This one is the much rarer target version.

    This one is chambered for 44 Russian, and there were only 62 Bisley Traget models chambered for that cartridge.

    I did get a chance to examine it earlier this week, and would love to own it.

    Unfortunately I suspect when the bidding ends it will be far beyond what I can pay.


    https://live.amoskeagauction.com/m/lot-details/index/catalog/7/lot/308?url=%2Fm%2Fview-auctions%2Fcatalog%2Fid%2F7%3Fpage%3D4
     
  20. JN01

    JN01 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    873
    Location:
    E Tennessee
    I don't like the way they feel or point for me and I find their humpback look hideous. The standard plow handle works well for me, but I never had a hogleg that shot anything more powerful than a .357 Magnum though.
     
  21. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    8,785
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    A man's got to know his limitations.
    I don't want anything hand held controlling that rodeo.
    I'm not sure what my recoil limit is, but I'm pretty certain that 525 at 1,600 takes aerial photograph of it.
     
    Macchina and gotboostvr like this.
  22. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4,910
    I have a 6.5" 357 Blackhawk with a plow handle grip. My 7.5" SBH in 44 magnum also has the plow handle grip. I was taught to curl my pinky under the grip and let it roll up a bit with the recoil. That's what I do, and even heavy loads are comfortable for me. It might be different if it were a 50 caliber or something like that. I will probably never find out.

    My FiL has a 7.5" SBH with the Bisley grip. I really don't like it. It feels awkward to me. He says that his Bisley has easier recoil than my plow handle. My feelings are the opposite. Different strokes for different folks. I should probably mention that he grips revolvers more tightly than I do, and he has never been comfortable with curling his pinky under a grip. We are both very large people (6'6" and 6'8"), so I have no idea how he manages to cram his whole hand onto the grip of a K-frame S&W, but somehow he does.
     
    MidRoad likes this.
  23. Cowhide Cliff

    Cowhide Cliff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    711
    I feel the same way actually. Never could get the feel of them.
     
  24. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    20,153
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    I know I wouldn’t shoot the damned thing!
     
    Arkansas Paul and MaxP like this.
  25. Macchina

    Macchina Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    969
    Single? Just a hunch...
     
    Arkansas Paul and MaxP like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice