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Old February 6, 2019, 09:18 PM   #1
KEYBEAR
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A little Help With a Ruger Brass Grip Frame

I just bought a Ruger Super Blackhawk Old Model With The Brass Grip Frame . I will not have the Ruger until Next week (Monday) . The Gun looks very clean and came off an estate . Any and all Info on the Grip Frames will be good . The se. number is 80-57XXX
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Old February 6, 2019, 10:45 PM   #2
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The unconverted "old model" (3 screw) Rugers are of serious interest to some collectors.

They're good guns. Two things to remember, first Blackhawk and Super Blackhawk grips are not interchangeable. The Super's grip frame is slightly longer (taller).

The other thing is that if you send the gun to Ruger for any reason, they will convert the lockwork to the new (post 73) type used today. Even if you tell them not to, they will do it. They have to, per court order.

Hope you enjoy it, my New Model Super has always given me good service.
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Old February 7, 2019, 07:31 PM   #3
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I really was looking for info on the Brass Grip Frame only . I have shot the three screw Rugers for 60 years . My first one was around 1960 ,
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Old February 8, 2019, 11:14 AM   #4
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A Ruger collector once told me a little about the brass grip frame old models. From what I can recall...

Models with brass grip frames were supplied in very limited numbers, and I believe the brass grip frames were used for a short time because of a shortage of aluminum ones.

Ruger also sold small numbers of individual brass grip frames.

The brass grip frame ones weren't really marketed as a distinct model, so production numbers weren't well kept. Subsequent to those models being built, at least one individual was able to examine Ruger records and "authenticate" certain models, by serial number, that were built and shipped by Ruger with brass grip frames. I believe there might have even been some sort of model number suffix or marking on the original boxes indicating a brass grip frame on some of them.

Original models built and shipped with brass grip frames will bring significant premiums to Ruger collectors. But realizing the premium also necessitates some evidence that Ruger actually originally built a given Blackhawk with the brass grip frame. And I'm not knowledgeable enough to know how that's accurately determined.

Since Ruger also supplied individual brass grip frames, some owners and gunsmiths replaced the aluminum grip frames with brass ones on some Blackhawks. Those will not bring nearly the same premium as one originally supplied with a brass grip frame by Ruger.

There may also exist some brass Blackhawk grip frames that were supplied by other companies.

I was hoping someone with better knowledge than myself would chime in with more accurate information. But that's the best I can do, and I can't guarantee the accuracy of the information I provided since it's second hand. Unfortunately, the individual who originally spoke to me about the subject is no longer alive to ask again.

Edit: After posting I did a quick search, and there does seem to be some additional information available. Give it a try.

Last edited by BBarn; February 8, 2019 at 11:19 AM.
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Old February 8, 2019, 12:46 PM   #5
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Thank You so far . It is my understanding that a total of a little more then 4,000 were made . Not all came on new guns Ruger sold just Brass Grip Frames ($25) . I think most brass grip frames could be bought for Blackhawks / Old Army and Super Blackhawks on a new Revolver or on a used gun later . Ruger did try a second run of bass grip frames that were not used because of bad castings .
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Old February 8, 2019, 01:43 PM   #6
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Author R. L. Wilson in his book Ruger & His Guns says brass grip frames were available as an option from 1965-1972, with the majority being built on Blackhawks from September to December 1972. He adds that a total of about 4290 factory guns were built with the brass grip frames, in 357 Mag., 41 Mag., 44 Mag., and 45 Colt calibers. He also says about 1200 Old Army Revolvers were built with brass grip frames.

Wilson also notes that the brass grip frames were an option on Super Blackhawks from c. 1965-1967 and in 1971 and 1972. Then he states "some" Super Blackhawks were built with brass grip frames in the serial number 24000 range (which would put them in 1966).

A serial number of 80-57XXX would place it in the 1972-1973 time frame.

Those production numbers for factory guns with brass grip frames strike me as high, but I'm no authority and he is. So I'm not going dispute his numbers.

Last edited by BBarn; February 8, 2019 at 01:54 PM.
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Old February 8, 2019, 01:55 PM   #7
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I believe R.L. Wilson is very close to correct . The Super Blackhawk and Old Army use the same grip frames . I do see some after market brass grip frames Power Customs still make some a two piece Frame kind of like the Colt Single Action .
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Old February 13, 2019, 06:40 PM   #8
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Old February 14, 2019, 02:59 PM   #9
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I have the new models of the Ruger single- actions: no old models.

I don't know anything specific to Ruger brass grip frames.

The only knowledge I have is more of a question than definitive knowledge: Are the brass grip frames as strong as the aluminum or steel ones?


I seem to recall warnings about use of brass grip frames on single-action revolvers and 'max' loads- as in, the brass frame may not handle it well.

However, I don't know if this was in relation to black powder revolvers, or to all revolvers, or if Ruger adapted their brass frame to handle the pressure- better than others did.


I do know that there are two different Super Blackhawk grip frames. 5.5" and shorter tend to use the same grip frame as the regular Blackhawk. Over 5.5" tend to have the squared knuckle 'dragoon' type trigger guard. And then there are Hunter or Bisley grip frames as well.

To say that Super BlackHawk grip frame are different from Blackhawk isn't 100% accurate- at least with New Model versions.


If the barrel is the long one, then the statement about grip frames is accurate- to the best of my knowledge.


I had a crash course in these frames when I sent a 3-screw in to Ruger, who said they couldn't repair it and offered me a free New Model instead. Thus, I had a set of grips for pre1962 Blackhawk grip frames, for 1970 blackhawk [and ROA] grip frames, and for NM grip frames.
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Old February 14, 2019, 04:17 PM   #10
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There are actually 2 distinct old model SBH Dragoon grip frames...

The originals were even longer (by appx. 1/4") than the later ones...

https://www.gunblast.com/Hamm_Ruger-SA-GripFrames.htm

Brass grip frame should be marked "MR-3DB"...
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Old February 15, 2019, 09:42 AM   #11
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It would be cool if Ruger or Talo did a limited run of some new brass frame blackhawks.
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