View Full Version : Picked up a NOS Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine

October 21, 2014, 02:45
I just thought a quick shout about the new purchase I happened to make recently. It is a New Model Ruger Blackhawk in .30 Carbine. I don't particularly like this revolver in this caliber, but the price seemed kinda' right and it is NIB. I do know that these need to be kept clean in the chambers, but I probably won't even shoot it; trading or selling material most likely. Sorry, I don't have pics because the camera is in the garage with the '48 pan right now. Maybe later.


October 21, 2014, 08:41
Shoot it!


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October 21, 2014, 08:47
They are LOUD!!

October 21, 2014, 09:44
People always say that.

Are they really any louder than a .357 magnum shooting 125-grain bullets at top speed?

Retired Bum
October 21, 2014, 17:26
According to my records I bought a .30 Carbine Blackhawk New Model back in 1993. It was used and I got it for all of $150 including two boxes of USA white box ammo.

I have owned most of the various Ruger single actions over the years in just about every cartridge they have been offered in. Never had a bad one or one that disappointed me. But the .30 Carbine Blackhawk was the exception to that. When Ruger first introduced this model they claimed a velocity "approaching" 1600 fps using GI ball ammo. So I set up my chronograph and started off with some Korean War vintage LC 52. The real item, not that counterfeit Red Chinese crap with the LC 52 head stamp that has a history of wrecking M1 Carbines.

The LC 52 only did 1390 fps with an extreme spread of just over 200 fps for six shots. I fired six more rounds and got the same results. I shot white box USA 110 grain FMJ with similar results. Then six rounds of Winchester 110 grain JSP that did slightly better at 1425 fps but still a 200 fps plus extreme spread. The problem is that the .30 Carbine round needs a longer barrel to get complete burning of the H110 ball powder that was developed for this round. A big fireball indicates that powder is being blown out of the 7.5 inch barrel and then it ignites which produces the fireball. This explains the high extreme spread and there is nothing that can be done about it using factory ammo.

I hand load the .30 Carbine and using a variety of slow burning pistol powders and 110 grain FMJ bullets I tried to reduce the extreme spread. It just didn't work. So I went to medium burning powders like Unique. A bit better but still too high IMHO. I mounted the Ruger in my Ransom Rest for an accuracy test at just 25 yards to see if that high extreme spread in velocities would have a serious effect on accuracy. It came as no surprise that it did with six shot groups averaging about 2.75 inches. Not all that bad but not up to snuff as far as I was concerned.

I made one last attempt to improve the accuracy by using a Lyman round nose cast bullet that a pal of mine supplied me with. Loaded it with Unique and hoped for an improvement. Even at a chrono'd velocity of just 1150 fps and with an extreme spread of just 80 fps I wasn't satisfied with the 2.25 inch groups. I got better accuracy with my Ruger SSM 6.5 inch .32 Magnum using a 100 grain SWC that I cast and at the same velocity.

So I concluded that I was wasting my time with this revolver and put it up for consignment sale. Out of close to two dozen Ruger SA's I have owned over the decades this was the only one that I couldn't get to perform well.

And so it goes.

The Retired One