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Old November 30, 2012, 08:02 PM   #1
bhcarl
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Ruger Blackhawk .44spl or 45?

If you had your choice, which one would you pick and what barrel length? thanks
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:06 PM   #2
WIL TERRY
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BOTH.
BOTH barrel lengths.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:23 PM   #3
PeterGreg
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Blackhawk 5.5" .45C/.45acp got it a year ago
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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5 1/2 in. .44 Spl. The .44 has more steel in it. Lots of great loads around for it if you handload. I sure hope you do cause you are going to love shooting it.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:28 PM   #5
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I like the 6.5 inch in either one. I hand load, and cast lead. So cost difference between the two for me is a moot point.

Though my real fave is the .41 Mag with a 6.5 inch barrel.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:44 PM   #6
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I have both. The 45 has the two cylinders 45 LC and 45 ACP it’s the LONG barreled. I don’t have a ruler and I have had it so long I forget but I think its 10 ½ inch.
The 44 sp is a 5 inch. I would take the shorter barrel any day over the longer if it’s a target gun. The balance is much better. I am a 44 special fan so I will always pick the 44 over the 45 but, if you reload and or hunt get the 45LC. You can get factory rounds that are Ruger only that are very impressive. And if you hunt then get the longer barrel.
And last, if you get the 45, get the one with the second cylinder. It makes it much cheaper to shoot since a bargain 45 ACP is much cheaper than 45 LC.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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4.62" Blackhawk .45 Colt is a beast. .44 special, not so much.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:51 PM   #8
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Have both in 5.5 Bisley. Love them. Pack them in an El Paso Saddlery 1920 Cross Draw. Stand, sit, or ride. Stays put and COMFORTABLE.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:19 PM   #9
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I'd probably go for the .44 Special

I already reload for it and don't for the .45 Colt. Elmer Keith said the .45 Colt was better if one stuck to factory ammo, and the .44 Special was better for a reloader. Of course, the Ruger single actions didn't exist when he formed that opinion, but I like Elmer.

I would also prefer the shorter barrel. The longer barrel gets more horsepower from the loading - any loading - but the shorter barrel is nearly as fast and much easier to holster and carry.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:01 PM   #10
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I would prefer the 44 but would take the 45 because it's easier and cheaper to find ammo for it. Reloading is a plus and if you do the 44 would be a great choice. 5 1/2" is a great barrel length for what I use my guns for but your needs could be different. Kind of like underwear, it's a personal choice.
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Old December 1, 2012, 03:05 PM   #11
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Yup, my first Blackhawk was a .41 Rem. Never could deal with that plowhandle grip using hot loads. Traded it off and got a Bisley in .41 Rem. I plan on keeping that one. Forever. If you plan on shooting max loads try a Bisley.
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:04 PM   #12
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I bought both the 44 special and 45 Colt/ACP convertible Flattops in both barrel lengths cuz I couldn't decide. The 45 with 4 5/8" barrel is my favorite and a constant companion. I shoot more ACP's than Colts but both shoot really well.
I've had original Blackhawks in 45 and 44 mag for 20 plus years and like the new Flattops better.
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:59 PM   #13
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Up until the last post, no one had mentioned the different frames possibly involved, and no one has asked which .45? Big difference. The .44 Specials are all midframe flattops (and same frame limited distribution fixed sight New Vaqueros), while the .45 is either that same midframe flattop or the larger frame "regular" Blackhawk. The latter can take--and is the one you want--if planning to shoot "hot" or "Ruger Only" loads, a choice usually made for hunting. If you just say "Blackhawk,' it's usually assumed to be the large frame--meaning cylinder frame--(and typically with aluminum gripframe and ejector housing vs the midframes all-steel components). OTOH, if you're talking "apples to apples" platforms between the .44 Sp and .45, you'd be referring to the smaller midframe,...which is technically still part of the "Blackhawk" line, but usually just called "flattop."
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Old December 1, 2012, 10:07 PM   #14
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^ "4.62" Blackhawk .45 Colt is a beast. .44 special, not so much."

I guess I should have kept typing
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Old December 2, 2012, 02:53 AM   #15
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Dusty Wheeler quote : "I bought both the 44 special and 45 Colt/ACP convertible Flattops in both barrel lengths cuz I couldn't decide. The 45 with 4 5/8" barrel is my favorite and a constant companion. I shoot more ACP's than Colts but both shoot really well.
I've had original Blackhawks in 45 and 44 mag for 20 plus years and like the new Flattops better. "

I own a 4 5/8" blued flat top in 44 Special. I really like the gun, but in terms of weight - don't find it much different than my fullsized Blackhawk in 45 Colt. (I think Brian Pearce wrote in Handloader that he'd like to also see an alloy frame version of the gun, like the originals - for less weight.) Dusty, I wonder if you would please comment on the weight & handling of your 4 5/8" 45 Colt flat top versus the flat top in the same barrel length in 44 Special. Do they feel the same to you . . or different ? How does your 45 Colt 4 5/8" flat top compare to the standard sized Blackhawk in the same chambering ? This may also help out the original poster in this thread. I've never had the chance to ask someone that owns the guns in both 44 Special and 45 Colt and in both barrel lengths. (I'm thinking about getting a flat top 4 5/8" in 45 Colt too. But if they weigh about the same as a regular Blackhawk, don't know if I'd want to spend the money.) Thanks !
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:34 AM   #16
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.45 Colt all the way.

I consider a gun like a Blackhawk in a "special only" caliber to be a waste of money.

Make it a .44mag and it's got my attention.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:50 AM   #17
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Keep in mind the new Ruger 45C flattops won't handle "Ruger Only Loads". The 44 spl flattops will handle the Skeeter load very well. In fact, a lot of reports of people going beyond that and doing fine. I stop at the 7.5 gr of Unique in the Skeeter load. It's a tack driver with that one.
I don't see how you can go wrong with either the 44 spl or 45C.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:58 AM   #18
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Ruger .45 Colt Blackhawk is a beast. Buffalo Bore Web Site
"Heavy .45 Colt +P - 325 gr. L.B.T.-L.F.N.(1,325fps/M.E.1,267 ft.lbs.) - 50 Round Box. These Heavy .45 Colt +P loads are safe in all LARGE FRAME Ruger revolvers. (includes Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, all pre-2005 Vaquero, Bisley, Redhawk)"
I'm happy with a 255 grain SWC with 10 grains of Unique.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
"Heavy .45 Colt +P - 325 gr. L.B.T.-L.F.N.(1,325fps/M.E.1,267 ft.lbs.) - 50 Round Box. These Heavy .45 Colt +P loads are safe in all LARGE FRAME Ruger revolvers. (includes Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, all pre-2005 Vaquero, Bisley, Redhawk)"
Exactly, BUT THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE NEW BLACKHAWK FLATTOP or the New Vaqueros. They're build on a medium frame, not the large frame.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:35 PM   #20
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Stick with the lighter stronger New Model Blackhawk and avoid the Distributor Special Flattop or the Vaqueros and you can shoot as hot a load as you can tolerate. Again, the .45 Colt Blackhawk is a beast. The mid-frame Flattop and the Vaquero are still good to 20k psi which is plenty strong for most purposes.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:39 PM   #21
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.45 Colt

Been a big fan of the .45 Colt for the past 30 years. 7.5" Blackhawk convertible (2), 5.5" Vaquero & Vaquero Bisley, & a pair of 4 5/8" Vaqueros (stainless). Also have a New Vaquero 5.5" in .45 Colt.

Never been much of a fan of the .44 Special. Nothing wrong with the round, its just that I have .44magnums, .45 Colts, & .357s, so I never had a need nor a desire for a handgun in .44 Special only. Likewise, the only .38Spl I have is a Colt Agent snubnose. I shoot the Specials out of the Magnums, but except for a very small gun, can't see the use for a Special only...

Just my opinion, and worth what you paid for it.
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Old December 2, 2012, 03:00 PM   #22
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.45 Colt. More case volume, bigger bullet, rich history and it can do anything you need it to do in a BH frame.
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Old December 2, 2012, 06:50 PM   #23
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I had 4-5/8" Blackhawk that would shot a clover leaves with just about any ammo (handloaded). The .45 Colt is very versatile for handloading - lots of bullet and powder choices, and it does really well with the older, flaky powders or with, say, H110 for real butt kickers. Use 6 grains of Red Dot with a 200-grain SWC if you want to shoot a lot with something that is not beastly. The grip on my BH always seemed to be just a bit too small, even for my medium sized hands. I traded it for a Blackhawk Bisley .45 with a 7-1/2" barrel. The grip is very comfortable and the gun, also, very accurate.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:36 PM   #24
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I don't currently have a scale worth a hoot to weigh the "standard" Blackhawk witk alloy grip and ejector rod housing against the all steel Flattop, both in 45 Colt with the same barrel length.

Subjectively they feel about the same weight but the Flattop seems better ballanced to me while the "standard" Blackhawk feels more muzzle heavy. I do have an all steel 5.5" SS Bisley that is MUCH heavier than the 5.5" Flattop.

You might want to check the listed weights on the Ruger website.

The Flattops feel much closer to Colt SAA and seem handier to carry. There is no doubt the "standard" Blackhawk 45s will handle heavier loads than the Flattop 45s. I just like the feel of the Flattops...
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Old December 3, 2012, 12:12 PM   #25
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Dusty - - - thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

Regards, - - - -
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