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Old February 27, 2013, 08:46 PM   #1
wyobohunter
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Ruger Blackhawk knockabout varmint gun (30 vs 357)

I'm trying to decide between two chamberings for the Blackhawk. I have already identified some pros and cons for the two.

-357 Magnum in 6 1/2" (I'd be looking at the 7 1/2" if they made one)
Pros-
1-can double as a close range deer pistol
2-would work for OC situations for two legged varmints (although both above likely apply to the 30).
3-I already reload for it and have a fair amount brass, bullets, primers etc.
Con-Not as flat shooting as the 30 (? guess)

-30 Carbine in 7 1/2"
Pro-I've heard it is very accurate and flat shooting for a pistol load.
Con-I've heard it is very loud.

Mostly I want one for wearing while I explore the desert and hills of southwest Wyoming on my dirtbike. It'd be for taking occasional ≤100 yd shots on varmints/predators. Also good to have something along when out there a ways, just in case. I'm really not interested in hearing about other guns you think would be better so please respond only to the question of bhawk 30 vs 357 for intended purpose.

Anyone use one or both of these for a similar purpose? Very interested in trajectory and accuracy comparison... Load detail would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old February 28, 2013, 04:46 PM   #2
feets
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It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the little 30. It's not much louder than the 357 but does shoot flatter. It's got plenty of power for critters and bad guys. The guns will handle the same but the 30 will have less recoil.
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Old February 28, 2013, 05:11 PM   #3
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I own both and enjoy both but in this case I would go with the 357, you already reload for it, can shoot 357 & 38 ammo and it would also not be as loud, I dont care what anyone says, the 30 is loud out of the Blackhawk. Also if your interested in getting one in stainless the only option would be 357.
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Old February 28, 2013, 10:18 PM   #4
wyobohunter
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Ruger Blackhawk knockabout varmint gun (30 vs 357)

Is there a measurable difference in accuracy between the two? I'd like to be able to pop p-dogs at 30-50 yds and coyotes/wolves up to maybe 100 yds.

I am leaning toward the 357 unless the average 30 tends to have more useful accuracy.

Also, I'm guessing I could get the 357 to shoot nearly as flat (maybe 1800-1850 fps) using 125 gr XTP and H110. I use the same bullet for the little sp101 my wife carries. I realize these bullets are a little spendy for popping p-dogs but I wouldn't be doing any high volume shooting.

Thoughts?

Last edited by wyobohunter; February 28, 2013 at 10:25 PM.
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Old February 28, 2013, 11:31 PM   #5
wooly booger
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I have a buddy with a Blackhawk in 30 carbine...it is a standing practical joke to allow an unknowing someone shoot the thing without warning, especially with only foam ear plugs...The thing is loud..not just loud, piercing high pitched ear cringing loud.
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:11 AM   #6
wyobohunter
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Quote:
The thing is loud..not just loud, piercing high pitched ear cringing loud.
Good to know, I know I should but I don't always take the time to protect my ears when I'm just out farting around and a moving type target appears.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:40 AM   #7
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Go for neck shots on deer. Clean miss or clean kill. Of my various old models, the 30 is by far the most accurate.

Noise is a moot point, all handguns are loud and require protection.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
I would go with the 357, you already reload for it, can shoot 357 & 38 ammo
Ditto. Seems to be the logical choice. Out to 100 yards you aren't going to notice the difference, plus you can load heavier bullets if needed/desired.
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Old March 1, 2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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I have both. The .30 is a good little novelty and companion piece for the M1 carbine. But the .357 is the more versitile little work horse.
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Old March 1, 2013, 01:55 PM   #10
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I read elsewhere you can reduce noise in 30 carbine pistol by using Trailboss. They say it still is loud, but so is a .357.
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Old March 1, 2013, 02:17 PM   #11
damienph
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.30 or .357?

I have both as well. For what the OP is going to use it for, I would recommend the .357. However, I do not view the .30 Carbine Blackhawk as a novelty, neither do (did) the coyotes that have run in front of it.

.357


.30 carbine
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Old March 1, 2013, 02:28 PM   #12
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Old March 1, 2013, 02:30 PM   #13
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My BH 357 and Uberti 45 Colt

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Blackhawk 800x447.jpg (121.9 KB, 156 views)
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Old March 1, 2013, 03:47 PM   #14
wyobohunter
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Ruger Blackhawk knockabout varmint gun (30 vs 357)

Thanks folks. I'd really like one of each but due to my allowance I have to settle for one. I'm going for the .357 (after wifey is convinced I need it and... This will be my last gun, ha!).
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Old March 1, 2013, 04:06 PM   #15
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I have a .30 Carbine Blackhawk and it is a neat gun that I enjoy. Even still, I most often find myself posting opinions on why it's NOT one that most folks should get, or would enjoy.

Honestly, my motivation is purely honest: I feel that the most helpful information is to reveal the warts and if any perspective buyer can look at those warts and assess them, and still decide the gun is for them, then HECK YEAH! My opinions may be helpful. I know that when I'm looking for information on a gun that has my interest, what I really want to know are the negatives. So that I can look at those complaints and see how they stack up before I buy.

So, my complaints with the .30 Carbine:
--that long barrel looks cool, but it's a bit unwieldy. Fun for shooting on range day, but would be a royal PITA to belt carry...and while riding around on a 4-wheeler? Perhaps a chest carry, crossdraw kind of deal, or stuck in a case mounted to the vehicle. I just know that when I'm hauling handguns to the range, there's always one big long goofy one and it's just not quite as easy to deal with.

--yep, it's loud. That doesn't bother me a bit because I've got very sensitive ears so I don't shoot anything, anything without quality ear protection. But if you intend to go outdoors and snipe at critters -- you've got a tremendous problem on your hands if you don't intend to wear ear protection. You'll damage your hearing and I don't think that's just an assumption. It's an ear-splitting 40,000 PSI crack.

--with factory ammo, every .30 Carbine Blackhawk is a royal pain in the tuckus with regards to case ejection. I've never heard of one that isn't and mine is no different. I remember the horrified feeling I had on the first day I owned my revolver when I couldn't get through a full box of Federal American Eagle without removing the cylinder to get the brass out. This "feature" is mostly related to the .30 Carbine being a clearly tapered case, but it could probably be cleaned up a bit with some better chamber polishing & finishing. But this is a real and not imagined phenomenon.

--with handloads, you can tailor the power level to a point where the brass ejects easier but it comes at the cost of velocity. It does help to mop out the chambers between loads or every other cylinderful. But a big ding against the .30 Carbine is that it's much more time consuming or difficult or just plain annoying to load at the load bench. The tapered case and high pressure means that it grows in length and in the B'Hawk, case length is critical, and if you don't have that case length in a sweet spot, the revolver gets tied up like a bank vault. If you trim them too short, the firing pin will not light them off. And this is not even addressing the lack of bullet choices for .30 Carbine or the fact that you must lube .30 Carb cases to size them.

It may sound like I hate my .30 Carb B'Hawk. I definitely do not! It's cool, it's louder 'n all holy hell and it blows a big fireball and all with very little felt recoil. It's just a big handful of fun and it's also fun to have something that's pretty much different than what most folks have at the range. It's exceedingly accurate and it does a terrific job at long distances -- I've played with mine at 100 yards on a few occasions.

I won't be selling mine. But I find myself much more drawn to the .327 Federal Magnum which is very, VERY similar when it all comes together. The .327 Federal fixes a bunch of my complaints about the .30 Carbine in a B'Hawk (while introducing a few new problems! ) but if the question is:

.30 Carb B'Hawk vs. .357 Mag B'Hawk for varmints & such in the outdoors: I'd go with the .357 Magnum. Or better yet, I'd take the .327 Federal over both, but -ONLY- if you are a handloader.
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Old March 1, 2013, 04:49 PM   #16
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I've had a lot of "last guns"...LOL
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Old March 1, 2013, 06:17 PM   #17
wyobohunter
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Ruger Blackhawk knockabout varmint gun (30 vs 357)

Thanks Sevens. Great info, I didn't know about most of the stuff you shared.

Every gun I've bought has been my last one as in "the last one I bought". Somehow she misinterprets that every time.
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:01 AM   #18
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A 357 is more versatile overall. You don't need ear splitting noise for a ranch gun but you might like the 30 carbine for a dedicated varmint gun do to the smaller bullets. Even a 327 sharts to become ear splitting when compared to the 32 mag. The 30 carbine is even hotter and uses slower burning powder so it's not as efficient. If you want something around 32 caliber for a ranch gun the 327 mag Ruger GP100 is a nice gun. I just wish Ruger would wake up and offer a 6" barrel on the GP frame in .327. They do have a 5.5 inch black hawk with 8 shot cylinder. The 327 allows you to fire 32 long, 32 mag and 327 interchangeably but the 30 carbine allows you only to shoot 3o carbine.
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Old March 2, 2013, 02:17 AM   #19
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common

Well, you used to able to walk in about anywhere and get .38/357 ammo. I'd think .30 carbine is no where near as widely available, discounting the current madness.

One of my knockabout revolvers for a long time has been Ruger B-hawk
4-5/8 in .357. I have no idea how many rounds I've put through it, and I bought it used. Loaded with a midrange 158 LSWC ( 1000 fps+) it has been everything a GP woods tromper should be. Carries nicely in an repro "aviators holster" chest rig.
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Old March 2, 2013, 08:33 AM   #20
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My 30 three screw has no trouble with case ejection and is way more accurate than my old model flattop 357.
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Old March 2, 2013, 11:14 AM   #21
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First off, forget questions about accuracy. Except where there is a clear feature of the gun, like the .357 convertable firing 9mm cylinder where hard jacketed bullets are slightly undersize for the bore, accuracy is going to be a matter of the individual gun and ammo (and shooter) combination.

Second, the .357 Mag shoots .38 Spl as well, giving you a wide range of options.

Third, the .30 carbine bullets are all RN or HP profile, and designed to work best at rifle (carbine) speeds. Also bullet weights top out considerably less than the .357 Mag. SWC bullets provide a different and usually better level of effectivness on game than RN where there is no expansion.

This isn't to say that the .30 carbine round will not do useful service. But, over all, for a game round, small or big, the .357 Mag is a better choice.

And, you can plink with it just fine, too!

The Ruger .30 carbine is a neat gun, and not just a range toy, but overall, the .357 Mag is a better choice.

Your hearing is your business, but both will screw it up permanently if you shoot them without ear protection!
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:21 PM   #22
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My choice for varmints is the .32H&R. Partly cause the platform I shoot it in, partly cause it shoots flatter with less noise than the .357. The .30 Carbine doesn't even enter my mind.

Currently I can't think of any "hunting" .32 H&R platform being made. Maybe Charter or Taurus is still making one with a 4" barrel, can't recall. You can however get a GP100 or a Blackhawk in .327 and just use H&R loads. But ...................the best platform for the .32H&R is still the Ruger Single Six. Not hard to find on the used or NIB market.
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:22 PM   #23
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Get a basic reloader kit and you can roll up some very mild 800fps 357 small game plinker loads and still set up to a 180gr hardcast load for bear defence and all other in between.
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Old March 2, 2013, 03:34 PM   #24
jackpine
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357 orver 30 carbine any day. 30 carbine just hurts to shoot even with ear protection, loud is an understatment. If I were getting a blackhawk for field use I'd go with 45 colt. With 357/44/30 carbine you can get a loud crack out of hot loads, in 45 colt it's more of a pop then a crack.
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Old March 2, 2013, 04:01 PM   #25
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IF you reload, I think there is a better choice than either, but of the 2...the .357 has to get the nod. It is more practical and you will enjoy it more while it will do anything/more than the .30 will do. Also, there is a reason the .30 Blackhawk is kinda rare...nobody wants them.
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