View Full Version : which Ruger?

June 28, 2012, 09:47
I need in put from any Blackhawk and Super Blackhawk users. Is there a big difference in quality and performance between the two, accuracy is an issue, fit and finish?

June 28, 2012, 09:52
Try to get one that lawyer didn't puke on.

June 28, 2012, 12:28
The main difference between a Blackhawk and a Super Blackhawk is mostly caliber. The Blackhawks were chambered in .357 Mag., .30 Carbine, .32 H&R Mag. (I think), 9mm,.45 Colt, and maybe one or two other calibers. The Super Blackhawks were all chambered for heavy magnum calibers; .44 Mag., .41 Mag (again, not positive about the .41), and .357 Maximum.

There are also different grips on them. The BH has a grip and trigger guard resembling what you'd find on a Colt SAA, and the grip frame and trigger guard are made of aluminum. On the SBH, the trigger guard is squared off at the rear (and tends to bite your middle finger when shooting heavy loads) and is made of steel, not aluminum.

No difference in quality, accuracy, or performance that I've ever been able to find. Accuracy is dependent mostly on barrel length, and, as is the case with most handguns, the longer barrels tend to give you better accuracy than the shorter ones. There is absolutely no difference in the fit and/or finish between the BH and SBH.

June 28, 2012, 14:34
The .32. H&R magnum is chambered in the Ruger Single Six.

The .327 Federal is chambered in the Blackhawk.

Timber Wolf
June 29, 2012, 08:05
No difference in quality, fit & finish, or accuracy that I can tell. I only have one Super (.44 Mag.) but have several Blackhawks in .357/9mm, .30 Carbine (Old Model), .45 Colt/ACP, .41 Mag., & .45 Colt Bisley. Missed my chance at a 38-40/10mm several years ago, wish I had that one. Not all of the Supers have the squared trigger guard. Mine does not and looks like a Blackhawk but is marked Super. It does not have the distinctive look of the squared guard but for a shooter I like the regular guard better. If anybody has a Hawkeye they are giving away, please let me know.:)

June 29, 2012, 09:27
I have one Blackhawk in .357, and it's pretty darn accurate. It's one of the older ones, but before it came to me someone had sent it back for the transfer bar "upgrade". So the lawyers only burped on this one.

I get frustrated with how the new Rugers operate; no half cock, the loading gate locks the cylinder in place, and the ejector doesn't line up with the chambers at the ratchet points. Just pet peeves really, but I'd look for an old one.

As others have mentioned the main differences between the Blackhawk and the Super Blackhawk are frame size and caliber options.

Retired Bum
June 29, 2012, 15:29

Not to be contrary or anything but I own two Ruger single actions chambered for the .32 H&R Magnum and only one is them is the SSM aka Single Six Magnum.

The other is a "Buckeye Special" New Model Blackhawk Convertible. Two cylinders with the second one chambered for the .32-20 WCF. Ruger made 5000 of these circa 1989 for some distributor in Ohio.

The Blackhawk in .32 Mag is way too gun for the cartridge IMHO. I shoot it with .32-20 handloads that you wouldn't want to use in an old Colt or S&W so chambered. I can duplicate .327 Federal Magnum performance easily. If I knew a competent gunsmith who could do so, I would have the .32 H&R Mag cylinder rechambered for the .327 round. But, alas, not in my neck of the woods.....

And so it goes.

The Retired One

June 29, 2012, 22:54
I have a fair amount of Blackhawks both new models, old models and even some custom made ones. You don't say what you plan to use the gun for or what you consider good accuracy. I shoot some of my factory guns out to 100 yds with iron sights and they are capable (accuracy wise) of taking big game at that range. Most of my factory ones will take a wood chuck at 50 yds without to much trouble. My custom ones will shoot better than I can.

Ruger has had some accuracy problems with the Blackhawks in 45 long colt caliber. Reaming their chamber throats to a uniform size can usually take care of that problem. As far as that goes many single action revolvers could benefit from having their throats reamed. I have heard reports of accuracy issues with the new little 44spl but I do not own on so I can comment on it one way or another.

Also once in a while you find one with a rough chamber. It looks to me like a cutter was dull. A little polishing and that goes away.

All that said they are fine revolvers and very well made. If you are planing on hunting with one and want to scope it I would find a 7 1/2" hunter model with the scope mounts/dovetails in the top strap. Either a Blackhawk hunter or a Bisley hunter model. If your looking for a woods bumming gun/belt gun for walks then a standard model with a 4 5/8" or a 5 1/2" barrel would be my pick.

The old flattop models are nice but getting to be a collector item so they bring bigger money. Also if your planing on loading heavy grain bullets with heavy charges of powder I would go with one of the newer models. I tend to treat my older models a bit easier.

If money is no object and you want the very best in accuracy or something in a hand cannon caliber (475, 500 linebaugh) then I recommend you check out Hamilton Bowen of Bowen Classic Arms or Linebaugh custom six guns. Either can build you a custom blackhawk that will surely satisfy you.

June 30, 2012, 12:47
"I can duplicate .327 Federal Magnum performance easily. If I knew a competent gunsmith who could do so, I would have the .32 H&R Mag cylinder rechambered for the .327 round. But, alas, not in my neck of the woods....."

Hamilton Bowen at Bowen Classic Arms has rechambered a lot of both Ruger and S&W (Model 16-4) cylinders from .32 H&R to .327. You can just send the cylinder, not the whole gun. Bowen is as good a revolversmith as exists.

Retired Bum
June 30, 2012, 13:18

Thanks for the info about Hamilton Bowen. I have seen an example of the shops work that was done on an "old model" Blackhawk that the owner had converted to the .41 Special wildcat round. It was just simply beautiful.

I know that Bowen's work is pricey but unless it is completely out of the ball park I wouldn't mind having that Blackhawk .32 Mag cylinder rechambered to the .327 Federal Magnum. So how does one contact the Bowen shop? If you have a link I would certainly appreciate it.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

June 30, 2012, 16:23
Bowen's website has an email address. If you email him he will get back to you in a day or two. Just tell him what you are looking for.

Edited to add here's his email address. That's how I always get a hold of him with questions.


Retired Bum
June 30, 2012, 22:37

Thanks for the link.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

Dave Hume
July 03, 2012, 18:37
Have/had both....357 Blackhawk, .44mag Superblackhawk. The SBH has a small casting rounded deft around the hammer edge on one side that milling and polishing did not take out that does not affect functionality, but is obvious. It just shows that it came from a casting. Anyway, I love it. Accurate as heck.

The .357 Blackhawk had an annoying habit of loosening the extractor rod (screwed into the barrel down a ways). Had that come off once or twice when shooting. Somewhat disconcerting, expecially since after it happened the first time I put some locktite on it.

Both guns are very accurate and I love their 'feel' when cocking and firing. Both improved with Pachmeyer grips. FULL LOADS are digested with ease in both guns, as they are like tanks (look at the size of that topstrap).

That is all.

Retired Bum
July 03, 2012, 20:44
I got my first handgun when I was fourteen years old. A Ruger Single Six .22 LR with fixed sights on the 5.5 inch barrel. Put thousands of Remington .22 LR's through it by the time I had turned seventeen. Then off to the US Army after graduatiing high school. Came home from Vietnam four years later and my old man had sold the Single Six without a word to me. I paid $65 for that Ruger in 1961. That was a lot of money to me as I was working in a grocery store for $1 an hour which was the minimum wage back then. Oh well.....

Since then I have just about all the Ruger SA's except for the rather short lived .357 Maximum. Bearcats, Single Sixes, Blackhawks, and Super Blackhawks. All "old models". And a gang of New Model Single Sixes, Blackhawks, Super Blackhawks, Vaquero, and at least three assorted Bisleys.

The only one that I just couldn't warm up to was a NM .30 Carbine Blackhawk. Only mediocre accuracy and that was locked in my Ransom Rest. It was not uncommon to get as much as a 300 fps deviation from shot to shot with GI issue ball ammo and Wichester white box. These same loads when chrono'd in my Inland M1 Carbine gave reasonably uniform velocities. I came to the conclusion that the .30 Carbine cartridge was just not compatable in the 7.5 inch Ruger. Can't win 'em all.....

Out of all the Ruger SA's I owned during a 50 year span I suppose my favorite is a 1984 purchased 6.5 inch SSM in .32 H&R Magnum. Superbly accurate with my cast SWC handloads. I once locked it in the Ransom Rest and fired 50 rounds at 25 yards. My group was 1.65 inchs center to center with all but three rounds going into a smaller group that measured 1.39 inchs. Not too shabbly for a revolver purchased NIB for about $200 back then.

And so it goes.

The Ruger Shooting Retired One

July 04, 2012, 19:40
If you are considering .44 mag as a calibre I'd be looking for one of the flat top .44's that Ruger made about 2006. I have a pair, a friend has a pair, another a single, and they all outshoot any of the Super's we've owned (about 8 Supers for the 3 of us). They seem to have better fit and finish than the regular Supers (maybe in the eye of the beholder, eh?), but the accuracy isn't. That's an empirical statement. The don't have the oversized, bastardized squarback grip frame, it's the size of the Colt SAA. I don't know why they made the one run of these and quit, but they are nice guns, as are the flat top .357's from 2005 I believe.
If you're looking for a smaller calibre a Blackhawk is what you will get. Although they made a small run of Supers in .41 Mag about 10 years or so ago, otherwise the Supers would be all .44's.


July 07, 2012, 08:26
Go for the Super Redhawk. Accuracy is amazing and the grip is much more user friendly than the crappy sloped grip of the BH/SBH(non-Bisley). Never cared much for the single actions as I don't enjoy loading one cartridge at a time.

My friend has a .30 carbine BH and it shoots just fine. Maybe you got a lemon retired bum.

July 09, 2012, 09:41
I had and got rid of a 5 1/2" barrel Super ? Blackhawk in .44 mag.
It had the standard Blackhawk grip frame.
Not the longer, square back trigger guard version.

It was uncomfortable to shoot due to several quite sharp edges and my pinky waving in the breeze due to the shorter grip frame.

It was a stainless gun and would have been easy to "dehorn", but I am now looking for a Bisley instead.
A .357 Bisley Blackhawk I have is the most comfortable Ruger to shoot of the several I have owned.

July 14, 2012, 12:56
Any issues between blue and stainless steel ,I'm almost set on a 44 mag in SS 71/5 '' I have had blue before and the 44 was more accurate than the 45, I thought it was just my shooting. But from the feed back so far it was what you all describe, great information , THANKS GUYS

July 15, 2012, 17:18
Stainless is a bit more forgiving about cleaning and the elements.
It WILL corrode, just not usually as quickly.

Also, holster wear and minor scratches will be apparent on either stainless or blued guns, but more so on blued.

July 27, 2012, 21:26
I have had ruger Blackhawks , Super Redhawks . Last week traded plus cash for a Redhawk 44 magnum7-1/2 Stainless have not shot it yet yet but is my first Redhawk. May use it to trade again. Want a 45acp revolver. Do hope to enjoy shooting a couple of boxes of 240gr.@ 1550fps.

Retired Bum
July 27, 2012, 22:47
If you are in the market for a .45 ACP caliber revolver then the only realistic choice is a S&W. I have two modern Smiths in .45 ACP/.45 Auto Rim. A Model 25-2 6.5 inch 1955 .45 Target and a 625-2 Model of 1988.

AFAIK the 625 series is still in production. Mine is a five inch but there are four inch and three inch guns out there as well. I would look for an older no lock model if at all possible. Only 1000 of the 1988 marked revolvers were made. S&W didn't know if they would be well received or not when they were introduced that year. The 1988 proved to be quite popular so S&W put the model into full time production as the Model of 1989 and then introduced the three and four inch barrels.

One word of caution about the stainless N frames in .45ACP/.45 Auto Rim. Don't try and hot rod the round and turn it into something like a .460 Rowland. S&W advises that only standard pressure rounds be fired in the 625. I have shot factory Corbon +P .45 ACP rounds with no ill effects in mine.

One advantage, at least in my opinion of a S&W .45 ACP revolver is the ability to shoot the .45 Auto Rim cartridge. None of those pesky half moon or full moon clips to fool with. I handload the .45 Auto Rim using Remington brass although now Starline offers it as well. Any load safe in a M1911 pistol is safe in the 625 series.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

TideWater 41009
July 30, 2012, 11:24
Great suggestion regaring the S&W revolvers, Retired Bum.

Remember, Ruger is not our friend.