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Old August 29, 2013, 09:02 AM   #1
Southern Shooter
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Ruger New Model Blackhawk .357 Magnum Durability??

I have been looking at some of the heavy, hard-hitting .357 Magnum ammo produced by companies like Double Tap http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...roducts_id=337 . I have a Ruger New Model Blackhawk .357 Magnum http://www.ruger.com/products/newMod...eets/0316.html and was wondering how durable these guns are shooting large numbers of this level of .357 Magnum ammo. Or, should such be used sparingly?

Thanks
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Old August 29, 2013, 09:22 AM   #2
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My experience with Ruger Blackhawks is you will probably wear out first. I had a old three screw (small frame) and a number of new Blackhawks. Shoot any factory load in them and don't worry.
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Old August 29, 2013, 09:39 AM   #3
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You'll wear out first. I know someone with an original 5-digit 3 screw Blackhawk that's still working great and it's older than me.
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Old August 29, 2013, 09:49 AM   #4
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I have a 5 digit 3 screw and two newer SBK 357 and they will handle just about anything you are willing to load and shoot out of them.
Of all the wheel guns I have ever owned Ruger is the toughest.
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Old August 29, 2013, 10:17 AM   #5
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Back in the rocks and dynamite days of IHMSA I shot one in 357 for a while. We were loading them so you had to use two hands and some belly to eject an empty and then throw the case in the trash can. Then I went to 44 mag and reduced the punishment to the guns a bit. Never broke a gun even doing stupid stuff like that. There is no such a load being produced by anyone not seeking a lawsuit. I have no doubt that anything you can purchase to shoot in a Ruger will not hurt it. At least that’s my personal experience with these guns.

Last edited by eldermike; August 29, 2013 at 02:40 PM.
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Old August 29, 2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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I've got one of those old 5 digit 3-screws as well. Mine is from 1967, though I picked it up in a pawn shop a couple years ago. That Double Tap Ammo is my "bear load" for hiking. It'll take two hands to keep control, but it shouldn't harm that gun. I can only handle a couple cylinders of that stuff before I download to .38s.
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Old August 29, 2013, 12:23 PM   #7
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The only problem I've ever had shooting extra hot 357 loads in my Ruger Blackhawks is setting the recoil plate back enough on two guns that the primer flowed past the recoil shield and locked up the cylinder. After properly fitting new recoil plates the problem went away.
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Old August 29, 2013, 01:26 PM   #8
357 Terms
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I load my 357 hunting rounds pretty hot (180grn XTPhp at about 1350fps)my Blackhawk has shot hundreds of these loads and countless others, no signs of wear at all.

My grandkids will get this Ruger after I'm gone, and probably treat it the same, and then pass it on.
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Old August 29, 2013, 01:37 PM   #9
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Your grandkids may be trying to wear it out.
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Old August 29, 2013, 02:02 PM   #10
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The great-grandkids!
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Old August 29, 2013, 02:13 PM   #11
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I have a new model Blackhawk in .357 (6.5"), and it eats the same top end handl0oads that my Model 28 does. Loads that are too hot to use in a model 19 or 66 (or, it turns out in a Contender or even a Marlin carbine!)

The Ruger will shoot these loads, recoil, and then look at you and say "What? That's ALL you got?"

Seriously, don't worry about wearing out a Blackhawk with any factory load, even the hot ones.

Sure, it can be done, I suppose, but it will take a LOT of rounds, several times the cost of the gun in ammo, before you get even close...
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Old August 29, 2013, 02:15 PM   #12
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Blackhawks are known to say "you talkin to me"? LOL!
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Old August 29, 2013, 02:46 PM   #13
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Blackhawks are known to be tough, and rightfully so. It is a well-deserved reputation.

That being said - they CAN in fact be worn out. I bought a used New Model (DOM is 1974) from my LGS, and it was not particularly accurate and would misfire occasionally. Sent it off to Ruger and they replaced a number of small parts, springs and plungers. Also re-timed it and even threw in a new set of wood grips.

Works great now (thanks Ruger!).


I was told beforehand that the gun had been used in CAS, so I have no quarrel with my LGS. I gave it back to them for inspection when I first noticed the misfires, and they basically handed it back and said "it's probably fine". That legendary Blackhawk toughness is deeply ingrained - as you can see from this very thread. But the point is that if you shoot the living snot out of it you may have issues and no, it won't take 2 or 3 lifetimes.


I would guess that my particular specimen had at least 10,000 rounds down the tube when I got it, and probably closer to 20,000. But there is no way for me to know.
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Old August 29, 2013, 02:46 PM   #14
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Thank you. I was hoping to hear this kind of feedback.
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Old August 29, 2013, 03:12 PM   #15
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Since the New Model Blackhawk .357 is built on the same frame and cylinder as the Super Blackhawk, you would have to run it mighty hard to do any real damage. tubeshooter is correct that you can wear one out, but you can wear out anything if you use it enough!

But as far as "breaking" it, I believe you'll find that to be a tall order. Probably the only guns stronger than a NMBH in .357 are a Redhawk .357 or Freedom Arms 87 .357.
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Old August 29, 2013, 03:33 PM   #16
newfrontier45
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Quote:
I would guess that my particular specimen had at least 10,000 rounds down the tube when I got it, and probably closer to 20,000.
You can wear out a Blackhawk but it takes a hell of a lot more than that.
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Old August 29, 2013, 03:46 PM   #17
tubeshooter
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You're probably right.

I said it was a guess, and that there's no way for me to know.


The gun was not totally disabled, it would just misfire sometimes. I suspect a transfer bar issue (one of the parts replaced), possibly among other things. They replaced the pawl, cylinder stop and loading gate too.



I remember reading about a torture test involving a Blackhawk, and I think it was well into six figures before total failure. Some insane number too - not just barely 100,000. So again, I believe you - certainly for total failure.
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Old August 30, 2013, 01:47 AM   #18
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Most of the time when you see a Blackhawk that is "worn" to the point of something not working right (finish wear doesn't count), it is the result of abuse or mis use rather than over use.

you can screw up, even break a Ruger with enough abuse. And playing cowboy games with a revolver not tuned for it could be enough abuse.

You can even blow them up, if you try hard enough.

But used in the normal way, with normal ammo, and properly cared for, they are nearly immortal.
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Old August 30, 2013, 05:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Since the New Model Blackhawk .357 is built on the same frame and cylinder as the Super Blackhawk, you would have to run it mighty hard to do any real damage.
You can blow anything up given the right (wrong) circumstances...

That said, the answer above is the correct one...
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Old August 30, 2013, 06:53 AM   #20
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I'd worry about wearing out a Ruger Blackhawk about as much as I'd worry about wearing out a crowbar.

I'm sure it can be done, but I'm not willing to work that hard at it.
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Old August 30, 2013, 07:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
...was wondering how durable these guns are shooting large numbers of this level of .357 Magnum ammo. Or, should such be used sparingly?
Despite the rather extream views other have posted, all macines wear out. All machine wear increases proportional to the loads placed upon them (heavy loads). Nevertheless, I know of no other handgun that is likely to outlast a Blackhawk by comparison.
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Old August 30, 2013, 09:09 AM   #22
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I'll also add that a powder technician once told me that you couldn't put enough of the "right" powder (i.e. H110, 2400, #9, 296) into a magnum case to blow a Blackhawk or Redhawk as there is just not enough room.

Now fast powders are another matter entirely and it's one of the reasons I use them very sparingly in big cases.
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Old August 30, 2013, 10:31 PM   #23
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You mean a case full of Bullseye would make it go boom?

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Old August 31, 2013, 12:31 AM   #24
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"nearly immortal"

Now there's a turn of phrase. Well said 44amp.
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Old August 31, 2013, 07:07 AM   #25
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a .357 Blackhawk may even be able to withstand near .353 Casull loads, but don't quote me on that
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