Thoughts On Blackhawk v. Redhawk

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I'm thinking I'd like a .45lc/acp for Christmas. I am very happy with my GP100 .357, so I'd like to stay in the Ruger family. With my GP I shoot single action 90% of the time, so the Blackhawk wouldn't bother me in that respect. On the plus side for the BH is the 5.5 barrel length. On the negative side, slow to load and will have to swap cylinders. The RH is 4.2 inch barrel and uses moon clips. The gun will most likely see far more acp than lc, due to cost of ammo. For those who have shot one, or both, how are the triggers and are the moon clips a hassle? What are you overall thoughts and impressions of both revolvers? The gun will only be used for plinking, at the range, and as a night stand backup.
 

CT8

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The Blackhawks recoil will seem about double the Redhawks recoil. I have shot both and that is my opinion as I owned a Black hawk in the early 1980 that being said which ever you choose will be a wonderful revolver. My opinion was in 44 mag and is 45 acp will be a [censored] cat in comparison.
 
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If you're very happy with the GP100 you'll likely be happy with it's bigger brother. I prefer the Blackhawk but that's more personal than anything else. I like S&W and Colt double action revolvers. Moon clips usually work well, at least with S&W.
 
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Owned a Super Blackhawk in 44Mag 7.5", later owned a Super Redhawk 9.5". Rue the day 25 years ago I sold that Redhawk. In the top 10 of "bad decisions" of my life. One of my co workers carried a pair of custom 4.5" stainless Super Blackhawks in a shoulder rig. Ran 6 rounds of 265gr Hornadays over a max load of WIN 296 through one of those snubbies of his, and never again. Seems counter intuitive, but Blackhawks need to be held a bit loosely so they pivot up after the shot to cut the felt recoil. Holding onto a Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk too tight, and man it hurts. Bruise you right at the base of your thumb. Night and day difference between felt recoil in a Blackhawk vs a Redhawk. Triggers are Ruger bad, which means they ain't [email protected] quality. Blackhawks can be slicked up without too much trouble. Don't know if there are any aftermarket/lower tension hammer/main springs out there. Redhawk triggers are more problematic to correct and really need a proper gunsmith to slick it properly (IMHO). At the time I had mine, a few companies offered aftermarket spring kits. Like CT8 said, shooting 45 ACP, and most lower power 45LC rounds, will be easy no matter the pistol. If you have a penchant for hot 45LC rounds, it might affect your decision.
 
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Ruger makes excellent guns. I have owned about 5 of them. Never any problems. I once had the 22LR 22MAg convertible. It was a real shooter. I am sorry I sold it.
 

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I don't shoot my .44 BlackHawk anymore - but still like to watch someone else give it a try. wink
 
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I have a Ruger Blackhawk Convertible in .45 ACP / .45 Colt. It's a nice, well balanced, accurate gun. I bought it new back in the early 90's, and shoot it quite often. It's nice not to have to mess with Moon Clips like you do with the double action wheel guns in .45 ACP. The Moon Clips are a hassle. You need the tool to go with them, or else you'll struggle with them. If you get one, I doubt you'll ever sell it. I'll never get rid of mine. It's amazingly accurate in .45 ACP. Mine has a 6-1/2" barrel and gets good velocity out of both cartridges.
 
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Originally Posted By: CT8
The Blackhawks recoil will seem about double the Redhawks recoil. I have shot both and that is my opinion as I owned a Black hawk in the early 1980 that being said which ever you choose will be a wonderful revolver. My opinion was in 44 mag and is 45 acp will be a [censored] cat in comparison.
Come shoot my 45 Colt Blackhawk with the "Ruger Only" loads sometime and you might change your opinion on the 45 Blackhawk. The ones I load are 26gr of Win 296 under a 250gr bullet...a 44 mag case will only 24gr of 296 under a 240gr bullet, and shoot it at a lower velocity than the 45 Colt load I mentioned. In a strong enough gun, anything that 44 Mag can do 45 Colt can do better. Elmer Keith hot rodded the 44 special rather than the 45 Colt because he kept blowing up Colt SAAs while the(much stronger) S&W Triple Lock held up. Now, we have 45 Colt guns that are far stronger than what Elmer used. Plus, 45 Colt actually understates its diameter rather than exaggerating smile All that aside, I've never liked Ruger DAs but they make a great SA gun. The Blackhawk would be an easy choice, and I back that up with the fact that I own one.
 
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I just watched the Ruger video to disassemble a Redhawk. It looks much (not exactly) like a larger GP-100. I'm sure that Wolff has a spring kit for it, and to polish the action isn't that hard. Woodcraft has micromesh colored sanding sticks (part no. #150860) that work great for lots of small parts. The hammer can be smoothed with a q-tip and some polishing compound in the hammer hole and shaft. As to the original query, I have never shot either one, but I'm guessing that the hump in the grip of the RH will help dampen recoil more.
 

FloatingBrick

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Thanks for the replies. I ordered a Blackhawk 45lc/acp and look forward to unwrapping it on Christmas. The use of moon clips in the RH, the slightly longer barrel on the BH and a price difference swayed me to the BH. Now I have a related question - as I was reading about BH/RH I saw several references to the 'New Blackhawk' which I take to mean the model now on the market. Am I correct that this new model is built on a smaller frame than the old one? If so, where does it leave the new model in terms of Blackhawk only rounds? Not that I would shoot a lot of heavy loads, but it would be nice to try a few. Again, thanks for any info.
 
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"New Model" refers to guns made after 1973. The older models can be determined by the 3 screws in the frame. Both models have the same sized frame. The newer Vaquero's are built on a slightly more slender frame, not the Blackhawk's. New Model Blackhawk's can digest any hot load made out there. Cor-Bon, Buffalo Bore, Garrett, and all the others are good to go. Handloading manuals usually list stronger loads for only Blackhawk and Super Redhawk Models. You've got a good, solid revolver. I doubt you will ever shoot it loose with any safe .45 ACP or .45 Colt load.
 

FloatingBrick

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Thanks bilt460 for the clarification, and it's good to know that it will eat whatever I feed it. I can't wait to get out to the range and see how it feels.
 
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You'll love the gun. Just as a piece of advice, when I got my SAA Clone(my first single action) I couldn't get it to group for the life of me. A guy at the range watched me struggling and gave me a piece of advice that's stuck with me-"Let it roll." A standard 45 Colt(and 45ACP for that matter) "pushes" more than it "smacks" in recoil. The grip shape of the SAA and every other gun patterned after it is noticeably rounded. If you slacken your grip on it during recoil, the gun will tend to roll back in your hand. Avoid a death grip on the gun, and instead let it do that. Once I started doing that, my groups tightened up and my fixed sight SAA shot to POA. Granted, you can fix POA problems on the Blackhawk, but no amount of sight adjustment will tighten groups.
 
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I'd like to try a Blackhawk some day, but all I have besides .22's in revolver is a Super Redhawk with 9-1/2" barrel. I like plinking with it especially when using W296. Well, it became one of my plinkers since I no longer hunt. I have a little itch for a SA .22LR/.22WMR but I still have to many times I go to the locals and .22LR shelves are bare. I still have a bit of it, and plenty of CCI .22WMR but lately considering a 45LC SA. A friend is going to bring a few SA revolvers on our next range time so will see where that goes.
 
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i dont have a ruger bh 45lc/acp convertable, yet, tho my brother does and it is a real gem. i do have ruger single actions in 45lc, 45acp (birdshead grip), 357/38/9mm and 22lr/wmr. all are great, with the exception of the birdshead grip, which i cant quite figure out yet, tho i love 45acp. once you start down the ruger single action path there is no return, be warned. and next come bond arms derringers.
 
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Originally Posted By: jstert
i dont have a ruger bh 45lc/acp convertable, yet, tho my brother does and it is a real gem. i do have ruger single actions in 45lc, 45acp (birdshead grip), 357/38/9mm and 22lr/wmr. all are great, with the exception of the birdshead grip, which i cant quite figure out yet, tho i love 45acp. once you start down the ruger single action path there is no return, be warned. and next come bond arms derringers.
As a Smith and Wesson fan who dislikes Rugers in general smile , I have to admit that I've been really taken with my single actions and don't plan on getting rid of them. I only have two-a Blackhawk 45 Convertible(that I only ever shoot with 45 Colt) and a Single 7 in 327 Federal Magnum. The Single 7 is a real gem. Lipsey's commissioned them a few years ago-they came in three barrel lengths and I think the original plan was to only make 2000 in each length. Enough folks jumped on them that I think they made an additional 1,000 or so in each length. The day I heard about it, I called three shops and asked them order one for me-I'm glad I did because only one shop actually came through. Mine is the 5 3/4. I'll also add that my Single 7 had a few issues out of the box-it had a "hitch" in the trigger, the chambers didn't line up with the loading gate, and I couldn't get the gun to group to save my life even at stupidly close distances. I called Ruger and explained my problem, and had a Fed-Ex pre-paid label in my email inbox within a half hour. A week and a half later, the gun showed up on my doorstep. It was reported to have a new hand, new cylinder, and a recut forcing cone-apparently the timing had been off, which caused all the issues. It also had a 7 shot 25 yard target in the box with a 2" group-since then I've known that if the gun doesn't shoot right, it's my fault. I would love to see Ruger make a 32-20 on either a Single Six or a Blackhawk frame. The Blackhawk frame could probably hold 8 cartridges and hold up to the old "92 model only" 32-20 loads. In addition, I have a friend who has an old 3-screw unconverted Blackhawk in 41 Magnum. I've told him that if he ever decides to part with it, all he has to do is just call me smile
 
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