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View Full Version : why should I not get a Ruger .30 carbine revolver?


tracyballard
August 14, 2008, 00:17
For some reason, a Ruger .30 carbine blackhawk with a 6-8 inch barrel appeals to me. anything really wrong with one of these? it's hard for me to decide between that or a vaquero 357 or 41 mag.

skeeterbay
August 14, 2008, 08:11
I guess it depends on what you are going to use it for and where you live. In my neck of the woods with bear and moose walking around. My pic of the three would be the 41 mag. If you want it for hunting and for protection when out in the woods the 41 is a fine caliber for that. Also it can be loaded down if recoil is a problem. Next on my list would be the 357 mag. The 30 cal is the last one I would choose. IMHO anything the 30 cal carbine can do in a pistol. The 357 mag can do a little bit better. The old 357 mag is a pretty useful cartridge. Easy to load for with a wide range of power choices and you can find it anywhere. Heck there is even a couple of 110 grain loads that are pretty fast. However it just depends on your needs. Ask yourself what you will use it for.


Edited to add: I am fond of the Blackhawk. It's hard to beat them for the money.

Skeeter!

vmtz
August 14, 2008, 08:19
If you want it go for it. For what it is worth, I can always find an excuse to "need" a new gun.

Fr. Vince

bykerhd
August 14, 2008, 08:19
Muzzle blast is ferocious. You always need ear protection.
They are accurate enough. They are also heavy and nowhere near as versatile as a .357, .44 mag or even a ,45 Colt version of the Blackhawks.
All that said, I still miss my old 3 screw .30 Carbine Blackhawk.
Sometimes anyway.

MAINER
August 14, 2008, 09:00
Going to reload?

1. Tapered case, set back and binds cylinder if not completely free of lube.
2. Headspaces on mouth, trimming to length critical for accuracy.
3. Bullets not heavier than 110grs to stabilize
4. Carbide dies not available or expensive.

Fun plinking and small game gun. Lots of muzzleblast! Tin can puncher extrodinaire. OK when surplus M1 carbine ammo was cheap, but a pita to reload.

I'd go for the Ruger .41 mag. Already have the .357.

tracyballard
August 14, 2008, 10:31
I don't really need this for anything, not going to reload, and the muzzle blast is one of the reasons it's drawing me closer.....I'm just fond of the .30 carbine round for some reason (I've never owned one), and I'd like to pick up an Iver Johnson carbine or enforcer one of these days as well.

MAINER
August 14, 2008, 19:43
That sounds like perfectly good reasons to get one. :D

Think of all the educational benefits you'll get! ;)

Hope you post your range reports.

G'luck!

Is this a 3-screw or a post 73 model?

tracyballard
August 14, 2008, 19:58
It will probably be a new one, whatever I can find down at the local Gander Mountain. They had a 41 mag 6 incher on sale for $325 a few months ago, maybe they can get a .30 for me.

nwobhm
August 14, 2008, 20:35
I wouldn't buy the 41 or the 30. Ammo cost becomes a factor and if I have to pay it may as well be worth it. Look at the Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 in 4 5/8" or 6 1/2. Same muzzle blast with even more power. The Super Blackhawks also come standard with the wide spur target hammer. Ruger even makes a nice little carbine in 44.

My favorite wheelgun of all is the Super Blackhawk 4 5/8" in 44. It's a nasty little sucker.:D

tracyballard
August 14, 2008, 20:38
the super blackhawk's nice, but I think I'd rather have a vaquero or blackhawk, even if I wanted a 44 mag it would be one of the old style frame vaquero's. The Super seems like more of a hunting gun, I'm looking for something with an old west feel to it.

Heat
August 14, 2008, 21:50
I just looked at a GPX-141 in 357 today..blued, big hogue grip, looked and felt nice in the hand..always wanted a wheel gun..only $439 NIB..is that a good price? alot cheaper than S&W...those things are pricey!

nwobhm
August 15, 2008, 07:25
Originally posted by tracyballard
the super blackhawk's nice, but I think I'd rather have a vaquero or blackhawk, even if I wanted a 44 mag it would be one of the old style frame vaquero's. The Super seems like more of a hunting gun, I'm looking for something with an old west feel to it.

The Vaquero is probably the way to go. The only difference between the Blackhawk and Super Blackhawk is the hammer and caliber.

Blue Monster
August 15, 2008, 10:21
Make sure it is a "New Vaquero" they have slightly smaller dimensions and look/feel great. Ruger's wheel guns are rock solid absolutely issue free and tougher than titanium nails.
IMOSHO

tracyballard
August 15, 2008, 11:08
I just saw that new 50th anniversary blackhawk in 44 mag. now if I was going to get a 44 mag that would probably be the one, looks pretty nice.

Bawana jim
August 17, 2008, 10:21
My first centerfire revolver was a 30 carbine Ruger. I hated the gun for alot of reasons not the least of which was the muzzel blast. (like others here have said) It is the worst of any gun I have ever owned.

jim

bookertbab
August 17, 2008, 11:07
I have a SBH in 44 and it is a really nice gun. I also have BH in 357 mag and I like it but the grip is small and I like how the SBH fits me better. If you get the chance to try them out first it might help you choose what to get.

tracyballard
August 17, 2008, 11:15
thanks for the info, my hands are pretty big and some guns don't fit me very good (such as a Star Model A or B pistol, I have to jam my hand in that grip, they may look like 1911's but the feel is not nearly as good).

K. Funk
August 17, 2008, 15:16
I have been getting into 3 screw Rugers lately. I have a 3 screw .30 Carbine. I have nothing negative to say about it. It is a very smooth shooting revolver with not alot of recoil. My 3 screw .41 mag is a different story. .30 carbine can be one of the most accurate cartridges out of a revolver. I have not tried to reload specifically for it yet. I have an abundance of .30 carbine ammo. It is definitely something different.

krf

tracyballard
August 17, 2008, 15:51
I guess I'm torn between the novelty of the .30 carbine and the utility of a .357, or maybe even that 44 mag 50th anniversary Blackhawk. Maybe I should get one of each...

bykerhd
August 17, 2008, 16:05
Lots of folks like the Ruger Bisley grip frame. It doesn't work for me as my middle finger's knuckle gets smashed by the trigger guard. Painful.
But fit varies and it might work for you.
You should definitely handle the standard Blackhawks as well as the new style Vaquero and a Super Blackhawk, if you can.

Even better would be if there is a range where you could rent them to try. Buying a gun that doesn't work for you can be a very expensive mistake.
Trying out a range rental .45 Colt Bisley saved me from a much more expensive mistake as I fired less than half a box and couldn't take the abuse any longer.
It FELT great. Until I fired it.

MacRob
August 18, 2008, 06:56
The Blackhawk in .30 Cal. was made to allow the owner to take advantage of the huge supply of surplus ammo that was available at the time. Now that the surpluse is gone, and for all the reasons other posters have supplied, it doesn't make much sense to own one these days. But, if you are so inclined, go for it. For my money the .357 makes a heck of a lot more sense.

bykerhd
August 18, 2008, 21:01
I bought my .30 Carbine Blackhawk new back in 1969. As MacRob states, surplus ammo was readily available and quite inexpensive. It seemed like within a couple years the bargain priced ammo was gone. Reloading .30 Carbine was my introduction, and almost the end of my interest in reloading. There are lots easier cartridges to load.

I almost bit again fairly recently when the CMP started offering .30 Carbine ammo cheap. I think I have regained my senses, although a local shop has had a very nice used New Model .30 Carbine Blackhawk in the case for a very attractive price for a while. Fortunately they have it next to an equally nice used .45 Colt Bisley. My bad experiences with one remind me of the other. Lucky, I guess.

Timber Wolf
August 23, 2008, 05:39
The .30 Blackhawk is an interesting gun. It was the first pistol I ever shot as a teenager and the muzzle blast certainly left an impression on me. It only took me 35 years to get one and then only after aquiring Blackhawks in all the other standard calibers first. My .30 Blackhawk is the only "Old Model" in my collection. I figured I "needed" an Old Model and a .30 so why not kill two birds with one stone? I really like this piece and may actually get around to shooting it one day! Something about the click-clack of the Old Model cocking just sounds right. I don't know that a guy needs a bunch of them for shooters, the newer guns are better for that, but the oldies would be fun to collect. But then I only "collect" shooters.

ppo84
September 05, 2008, 10:42
never had any trouble loading .30 carbine, ain't as cheap as it used to be, but still pretty cheap to load. Jeff bartlett (GIBRASS.com) still has LC pull down brass for $65 per thousand. Never owned a .30 carb revolver, but the guy at the local shop I buy powder from goes on and on about his ruger every time I go in there to get more WW296.

Artful
September 05, 2008, 21:47
Originally posted by MAINER
Going to reload?

1. Tapered case, set back and binds cylinder if not completely free of lube.
2. Headspaces on mouth, trimming to length critical for accuracy.
3. Bullets not heavier than 110grs to stabilize
4. Carbide dies not available or expensive.

Fun plinking and small game gun. Lots of muzzleblast! Tin can puncher extrodinaire. OK when surplus M1 carbine ammo was cheap, but a pita to reload.

I'd go for the Ruger .41 mag. Already have the .357.

Actually Lee makes Carbide dies for 30 Carbine pick 'em up at Midway for under $40 a set - does it mean you don't lube - nope but not as often for me. I have some 130 grain bullets that shoot just fine. Like all rounds trimming to consistant length improves accuracy - haven't had too much problems with binding cylinder not like the 22 Jet my friend had. :eek:

They do shoot accurately and I was thinking about trying to get another cylinder in 7.62x25 for shooting up all that cheap surplus ammo now out there.

They do have an awful muzzle blast and part of that is the frequency of the sound - due to the smaller bore it's higher pitched and seems to penetrate hearing protection much more so then a 357 or 44 mag.
Wear plugs and muffs when shooting it is my advise. :wink:

STGThndr
September 09, 2008, 20:55
Ditto on the muzzle-blast thing. Even with a longer barrel. Been there, done that, prefer a .357. Actually I prefer the .44mag, as I didnt like the 6.5 inch .41 either. The .44 mag despite its size seems to have less muzzle blast all the way around. The .30 Carbine Ruger was just nasty and after the surplus ammo was gone I had no use for it. But- live, experience, and learn, thats what it's all about.

trucksurfer
September 11, 2008, 20:05
I have been reading through these fine responses and thought I would open my yap, for what it's worth.

I currently have two Ruger single action revolvers, and will not part with either for under four digits, I love them that much. I plan to add to that collection within the next year, but I'll be doing so in a picky manner.

My favorite, and most beloved Ruger is a 7.5" Stainless Blackhawk that some kind soul sent to John Linebaugh 10 years ago and had worked over. She is tight, and smooth. John, for those who don't know, does not seem to like the standard Ruger grips, and custom makes his own Bisley style grip, this one is stainless to match the rest of the revolver. He tuned and timed this fine gun, and I was able to pick it up for a pittance a couple of years ago. This thing LOVES 300 grain lead GC or jacketed bullets at around 1,100-1200 fps(so the manuals say). If you can see it, you can reliably hit it to 100 yards. If you play the elevation game, you can probably hit even farther. This gun is the cat's meow, and has given me the fever for more custom guns. Don't tell my wife, but I'm thinkin' of sending my other Ruger off to Gary Reeder for a trick job! She'll shoot me with it, but what a way to go!

My other Ruger is a SBH Hunter in .44 mag. It will accurately shoot the hyper-fast 1,400+fps loads, but I won't. I like my hands, wrists, and arms too much to try to kill myself with super +++P loads in anything. It isn't a bad gun, but as stated before, I want something better. I'd like to have it slicked up and tuned too. It's nice, but leaves something to be desired.

I have owned several other Blackhawks and SBHs, and liked each of them for various reason. My first was a stainless Blackhawk in .357 mag. I loved that gun, and it went a lot of places with me. However, as others have stated the grips were all wrong and I traded it off. This is why I will be picky i my next purchase, I will only buy Bisley gripped Blackhawks. The standard Blackhawk grip, which Colt purists decry (as if Colt ever made two grips the same! Their quality control made FEMA look like a well oiled machine! I have yet to see ANY Colt handgun that didn't need extensive work to be USABLE!) as too big, is actually too small for many of us ham handed SOBs. The SBH grip fits well, though the square backed trigger guard hits you and that puppy can hurt, my right middle finger has the scars to prove it! So if I get myself another SBH, I will have the trigger guard rounded off.

One of the most useful types of Blackhawk you can get, especially if you're not going to reload, and I am surprised no one else has mentioned this, is the convertible. You can get a newly manufactured one that has cylinders in .357 and 9mm, or one with .45 Colt (arguably the best revolver cartridge EVER) and .45 ACP (arguably the best auto cartridge EVER). I think you can even get that convertible package in the Vaquero, but I may be wrong, and if I am there are lots of 'smiths that can fit a spare cylinder for you, or Ruger will do it too.

The allure of the .30 Carbine is great, I have been in your shoes and slobbered over one at a gun show...money about to jump out of my pockets. That said, I am glad I never succumbed, the cost of ammo and the attention you must pay to reloading rifle cartridges for such a gun would take a lot of the plinking fun out of it. With my .45 Colt, I can load up some "slop" loads where I don't trim, or chamfer or clean the primer pockets because I know I am just going to blow them off for kicks.

For my opinion on which to get, if a convertible in .45 isn't available, then go pick up one in .357/9mm. Then go and buy that .44 too, and shoot lots of .44 Special loads in it.

Then go buy yourself a press and start reloading.

Just the mindless rantings of a Nebraska fella waiting for the rain to stop so he can go shoot!

STGThndr
September 12, 2008, 05:16
Another (off) point FWIW, or not.... The main reason Ive never kept a Ruger single action is exactly the grip shape and the front-heavy feel caused by the BIG front sights and the bulky topstrap. The Colts and Colt clones have a far better balance, even if less structurally strong. Then again it's supposed to be a handgun, not a rifle. Having said that, Ive never fired a Vaqeero tho I d like the somewhat heavy feel of them. Too bad it isnt in .44mag.... Just my two cents worth. Dont know anyone with one but would like to shoot one sometime... till then my Uberti Colt clone in .44 mag will do.

trucksurfer
September 12, 2008, 06:38
STG, pick yerself up a Vaquero in 44 mag, and load it full of powder and watch it NOT shoot itself loose or blow up. You'll throw rocks at the Colts and clones then.

However, if you're like me and don't care for super-duper hyper velocity 2000 fps handgun cartridges and their associated recoil, then by all means, stick with the Colts & etc.

With the exception of the smallish grip on the Blackhawk, I have yet to find a Blackhawk I DON'T like, big sights and all. Ruger needs to do something about that the grip frame, or if I get one I'll have it 'smithed. The birdshead is a fun option, weird though. I don't care for the regular BH grip, but the birdshead is great.

I will affirm my original opinion to tracyballard, buy a BH convertible in .45, or if that isn't available then settle for the .357/9mm. If you MUST get the fixed sight Vaquero because you are nostalgic of the old west, then get yourself a .45 and you won't go wrong.

firefuzz
September 12, 2008, 07:13
Did anyone mention the terrible muzzle blast?:biggrin: I got rid of the one I had after about 50 rounds, wearing ear plugs AND muffs was more than I wanted to mess with. A buddy still has his and the firing line at the range clears when he shoots it and people talking at the range house 50 yards BEHIND the firing line put on their hearing protectors. LOUD doesn't even come close, that cartridge when fired in a pistol has a particular frequency "crack" that penetrates most standard hearing protection.

Get a .357 and be happy for life.

Rob

trucksurfer
September 12, 2008, 07:33
Originally posted by firefuzz
Did anyone mention the terrible muzzle blast?:biggrin: I got rid of the one I had after about 50 rounds, wearing ear plugs AND muffs was more than I wanted to mess with. A buddy still has his and the firing line at the range clears when he shoots it and people talking at the range house 50 yards BEHIND the firing line put on their hearing protectors. LOUD doesn't even come close, that cartridge when fired in a pistol has a particular frequency "crack" that penetrates most standard hearing protection.

Get a .357 and be happy for life.

Rob

I always wondered why the US Army didn't just go with a carbine chambered in .357 Mag in the first place. Would have been a vaatly superior weapon. Don't anyone give me the line about engineering problems with rimmed cartridges in magazines, they built the largest office building in the world in 16 months, they could have figured out how to make a powerful, existing cartridge work in the new carbine.

firefuzz
September 12, 2008, 07:37
Originally posted by trucksurfer


I always wondered why the US Army didn't just go with a carbine chambered in .357 Mag in the first place. Would have been a vaatly superior weapon. Don't anyone give me the line about engineering problems with rimmed cartridges in magazines, they built the largest office building in the world in 16 months, they could have figured out how to make a powerful, existing cartridge work in the new carbine.

The old 9mm Largo cranked up a little would have been just about that. Kinda like the 9x23.

Ro

Brad's
September 12, 2008, 23:33
I'd say the report and fireball. Even though it's not a big ol' magnum it can still fill a mans pants if you get what I mean...BRAD

davedude
November 17, 2008, 20:35
I had a .30carbine blackhawk for a number of years. wish I'd never sold it. I loved the muzzle blast and the reaction from folks at the range. I didn't have much problem reloading for it, just had to keep the cases the correct length. It headspaces on the rim.
As a matter of fact i used to load shot, ball and anything else i could and still allow the cylinder to rotate. 130 grain spire points? No problem!
It was really fun to take down to the texas coast to plink cans and other debris among the dunes in remote areas. The easy and extreme accuracy of the .30 carbine blackhawk platform has to be experienced to be believed. What a fun revolver.:beer: :beer:

Dave Dude

1006587
November 18, 2008, 07:30
There was a short aside about the .30 Carbine Ruger in a recent Handloader magazine. The author stated that it was the probably the most accurate handgun he ever fired. He went on to say that the muzzle blast and noise level made it unusable in the field. The case design makes it more difficult to reload. He noted that the case length is the same as the Magnums and the magnums give much better performance with their larger bullets. It was a fun pistol to shoot but not very practical.

davedude
November 18, 2008, 09:22
Used to really enjoy the change to twilight from daylight while at the range with the .30carb blackhawk. You get a better sense of the size of the blast when you able to see the mongo fireball. :biggrin:

Dave Dude

trucksurfer
November 18, 2008, 09:54
You can get the same thing with about any revolver, just load a healthy dose on H110.
I have some warm loads for .45 Colt that have a rather loud report and very visible muzzle flash (out about 1'-2' from the muzzle) mid-afternoon with that powder.

Jailguard
November 18, 2008, 11:52
has any one ever considered converting one to 7.62x25 talk abot a cheep center fire plinker. On the same question I wonder if any one makes a leaver gun that could be sonverted?

yarro
November 19, 2008, 22:05
As long as you do not leave oil in the chambers, they work fine. My buddy plans on using his M1 carbine and .30 carbine blackhawk for SHTF. He shoots well with both. The .30 carbine blackhawk is loud, but not that bad when compared to my 10" M16 upper. I say if you want it then buy it, shoot it, and enjoy it.

-Yarro