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Old August 20, 2014, 04:08 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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What can you tell me about this Blackhawk?

It is apparently in .44Mag. I have seen advertised before (I think) and revolvers being a less popular market, I guess it didn't sell last time.

I am not necessarily in the market for one, but I'd like to know all I can about this model as I may go to see it all the same.

It is described as an "Old Model" Super Blackhawk, but what does that mean in terms of specs and age? I'm talking about known strengths, weakness, design traits, good or bad etc

I believe the gun pictured is the actual gun on sale as I remember it having an unfluted cylinder last time too. It may be a shop given the "studio" style photos.

Here are the pictures:





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Old August 20, 2014, 05:10 AM   #2
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Old model large frame SBH. Great find. If it's unconverted (without the transfer bar conversion) even better.
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Old August 20, 2014, 05:28 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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It is an Old Model Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum.

Old Model meaning made between 1959 and 1973 with conventional single action lockwork. That is, the hammer hits the firing pin directly without a transfer bar and it is fully safe to carry only with the hammer down on an empty chamber.

(As Gster mentions, if it went back to Ruger for any reason since about 1980, they would have installed a transfer bar to make it safe with all chambers loaded.)
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Old August 20, 2014, 05:39 AM   #4
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If it has been converted, Ruger would have returned all the original parts; I'd consider those an important part of the deal, if that were the case.

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Old August 20, 2014, 05:50 AM   #5
Pond, James Pond
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Wow! That old!
Anything from 40-55 years old!!

Surely the transfer bar (assuming you mean that metal flap that I can see in my Redhawk) is a good thing to have?

It would mean the six shooter could be carried as a six-shooter, not a five-shooter!!

Am I missing something?
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Old August 20, 2014, 06:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Surely the transfer bar (assuming you mean that metal flap that I can see in my Redhawk) is a good thing to have?
From a safety standpoint, yes, but a lot of folks would like to have the gun as it was originally configured, or at least have the original parts available to make it that way.
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Old August 20, 2014, 06:15 AM   #7
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a small word of caution... the flat back ( I think they call it dragoon style ??? ) trigger guard, can cause knuckle bleed on the boomer calibers, after a few rounds...

but... that doesn't detract from the collectability of the revolver... & the rubber presentation grips can be added, if you are having the knuckle issue...
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Old August 20, 2014, 06:26 AM   #8
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The thread extolling the virtues of the Blackhawk .45s being able to handle the Ruger only loads is well-known.

But how does the Old Model Super Blackhawk in .44Mag compare in build to the Redhawk which I have held and shot hottish loads through?
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Old August 20, 2014, 07:53 AM   #9
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The Super Blackhawk is designed and built for .44 Magnum and will shoot a lot of them. It has fewer and simpler moving parts than the Redhawk.
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Old August 20, 2014, 08:32 AM   #10
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Does it have the Redhawk's strength of frame?
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Old August 20, 2014, 08:42 AM   #11
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Very nice revolver and tough as nails.
I have Two and one has been heavily abused and still works flawlessly.
IMHO the SBH is a tougher gun over the RH or SRH
Less moving parts as stated.
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Old August 20, 2014, 11:45 AM   #12
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Yes, you are most definitely missing something - owning this gun.
Wish I still had mine, from that era.
About the only complaint was the cylinder pin popped out with regularity, with full power loads.
But there's an easy after market cure for that.
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Old August 20, 2014, 12:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
But how does the Old Model Super Blackhawk in .44Mag compare in build to the Redhawk which I have held and shot hottish loads through?
As with any production guns, they are able to handle all SAAMI spec loads...

That said, they will both handle any sane load...

However, the cylinder on the Super Redhawk is a bit longer...This allows bullets to be seated out a bit further, thereby making room for a little more powder in the case at 'theoretically' the same pressure...

There are more than a few cast bullets, and a couple jacketed, that have two crimp grooves in order to take advantage of the longer cylinder...
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Old August 20, 2014, 12:26 PM   #14
Pond, James Pond
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However, the cylinder on the Super Redhawk is a bit longer...This allows bullets to be seated out a bit further, thereby making room for a little more powder in the case at 'theoretically' the same pressure...
I have the plain old Redhawk, not SRH.

Any idea how the cylinder length compares to the standard RH?

Quote:
Yes, you are most definitely missing something - owning this gun.
In this respect I agree but, regrettably, I would need much better reason than "I like it" to warrant buying it.

If they allowed handgun hunting for anything other than small game here, I'd be somewhat more tempted, but they don't. Seems like over kill on "Bugs".

To buy it I am legally required to get rid of something else as I am on the cusp of a storage limit for the safe I have.

A new safe is not an option. While selling my Ruger MkIII and getting a Kadet adapter would be one way around the limit, it would mean any ideas of an AR down the road being history.

Complicated, tedious, but that is the law and I have to work with it.
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; August 20, 2014 at 01:25 PM.
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Old August 20, 2014, 03:36 PM   #15
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That is an unconverted Old Model (Three Screw) Super Blackhawk. If that is indeed the actual gun, it looks pristine. I'd jump on that!

(The beavertail hammer spur is an indication that is not converted. Conversions don't have that hammer spur.)

Here is one I recently picked up at a gun show, traded a Model 29 S & W even Steven for it (valued at $700):



Do you reckon I like them?



And, for the record, mine are not converted. They have just been fitted with standard Blackhawk hammers, which I prefer.

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Old August 20, 2014, 04:05 PM   #16
g.willikers
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Hows come two of them still have such long barrels?
Did you misplace your hacksaw?
You do realize that you're in danger of having an arsenal, don't you?
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Old August 20, 2014, 04:10 PM   #17
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The 'what' is a three screw OM has been covered. Just a word on the load 5. This dates all the way back into the middle 1800s. You put the hammer on half-cock. On half cock, the cylinder now rotates freely so you can load your cartridges. The loading gate doesn't do anything but open up to allow you to shove shells into the chambers. The procedure is to load one, skip one, and load four more. This rotates the 'empty' chamber under the hammer when the gun is taken to full cock and then lowered onto the frame. Never take off half cock and lower the hammer as this will leave a ring on your cylinder (cosmetic I grant you, but still a no-no if you care!). If you know the proper procedure for loading a single action, the OM and replicas are just as safe as the newer revolvers with the transfer bar. No difference. Personally if you want a TB because it makes you more comfortable, go buy one... But leave the OM unconverted for the rest of us that may want one.

With the two pin NM Ruger with TB, you simply open the loading gate, and the now cylinder rotates freely so you can load all six if desired. I find myself still just loading five as it has been done for 'ages', but your certainly don't have to.

Oh, and the OM (S)BH is just as strong as the NM (S)BH. No difference.
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Old August 20, 2014, 07:01 PM   #18
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Two words, BUY IT!
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Old August 20, 2014, 07:48 PM   #19
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While on the subject of transfer bars, here's my take on the subject. I've had one Super Blackhawk converted by the factory, and bought two already converted. Fortunately Ruger did return my original parts for the Super Blackhawk, and I un-converted it. Also the two I bought have been returned to original. I had some parts, and located enough to do the two guns.

I've found that gun converted by Ruger end up with very heavy trigger pulls and sort of a "clackety-clack" action. My Super Blackhawk often over drove the cylinder, skipping a chamber at times during firing. All now have very good actions and excellent triggers.

I'm not opposed to the transfer bar, as I have several New Model guns and they are very good to excellent in trigger let-off and action cycling. If you must have the transfer bar, buy a New Model. If you want to keep a three-screw for sentimental reasons, keep it as is and put it away and don't shoot it. Either that, or learn to handle a western style Single Action.

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Old August 20, 2014, 10:35 PM   #20
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New Super Blackhawks have the "beaver tail" hammer too, at least my Hunter does . . . .



Great find! I'd leap on that puppy!!

RJ
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Old August 21, 2014, 06:46 AM   #21
Salmoneye
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Quote:
I have the plain old Redhawk, not SRH.

Any idea how the cylinder length compares to the standard RH?
Don't quote me on this, but I 'think' I remember the Redhawk and SRH have the same length cylinder (@1.750"), and that the difference is in the diameter of the cylinders...

Pretty sure the SBH has a cylinder length of 1.710"...
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Old August 21, 2014, 09:24 AM   #22
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recoil junky said: New Super Blackhawks have the "beaver tail" hammer too, at least my Hunter does . . . .
True, that is the only characteristic common to all Super Blackhawks now.

But Three Screw Super Blackhawks returned to Ruger for the transfer bar conversion will have standard Blackhawk hammer spurs, not the beaver tail one. As I said, the OP's photo shows an unconverted Three Screw model.

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Old August 21, 2014, 09:35 AM   #23
Pond, James Pond
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At the risk of being a PITA...

... could anyone post pictures of what the transfer bar actually looks like fitted to an Old Model SBH, as well as what the conversion-fitted hammer should look like?

Still giving serious thought to going to see this gun, but would like to go "armed" with all the facts so I can make an informed appraisal of it and it would not be the first time that someone posts a generic picture of a a gun on that website instead of the actual item....
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Old August 21, 2014, 10:20 AM   #24
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Old Model meaning made between 1959 and 1973 with conventional single action lockwork.
I just want to point out that the Super Blackhawk (.44Mag, non fluted cylinder, steel ejection rod housing, new hammer and trigger, and the Dragoon style grip frame was not on the market all that long before Ruger changed the lockwork in 73.

Ruger had produced a Blackhawk in .44 Magnum prior to the introduction of the Super Blackhawk, so your Super isn't a 1950's gun. I don't recall the actual production date, but I think it was either very late 60s or early 70s.

Ruger experts, feel free to correct me on this...

I have never personally had a converted old model. I have had an old model Blackhawk, and several new models. According to what I have read, people generally agree that the trigger pull on the converted guns is worse than on the originals, and worse than that on the New Models, as well.

Which is why people put the original parts back in converted guns.
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Old August 21, 2014, 01:54 PM   #25
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Super Blackhawks were originally produced starting in 1959. The production of flattop .44 magnum Blackhawks and Super Blackhawks overlapped for about 4 years. From the looks of the grip medallion (assuming the grips are original), the gun was made sometime after early 1971. Ruger changed to the silver medallion about that time. A partial serial number will narrow it down some more.

Looks like a nice gun.
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