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Old February 7, 2012, 09:10 PM   #1
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GP100 vs blackhawk accuracy

Is either gun more accurate than the other? I want both but I'm trying to decide which to get first. Also Which has the strongest frame?
Someday I'll be good enough to know if a gun is accurate or not.
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Old February 7, 2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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My Blackhawk 50th Anniversary 357 Mag ,is more accurate than I am

And the Blackhawks are plenty strong...

....the cylinder walls of the Blackhawk 357 are very thick...but ethier can handle a lifelong diet of 357 Mag...
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Old February 7, 2012, 11:39 PM   #3
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From everything I've read, the Blackhawk is a tad stronger, though both handle some hot, hot loads. I always stay within reloading manual spec, but the high end loads have never bothered my blackhawk. With a 3 3/4" barrel, it's hitting the 10" gong consistently at 100 yards and probably 3/6 at 200 if you know where to hold. As far as 25 yard, bench-rested groups, I can't say. It's never been formally sighted in, but it hits what I am at. You have me curious now--I may have to sit down and do a formal precision check on it.
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Old February 8, 2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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The BH I believe is stronger and I can shoot it SA vs. SA better than the GP.
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Old February 8, 2012, 01:00 AM   #5
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I own a GP100 in .327 Federal.
I own a Blackhawk in .327 Federal.
I own a Super Blackhawk in .44 Rem Mag.

The difference in relative strength is a non-issue. They're all plenty strong for anything the cartridge cases can handle.

I did some comparison testing when the GP100 was new, and got exactly the same group size from its 4" barrel, as I did from the Blackhawk's 5.5" barrel, at 18 yards (same ammunition). The only difference was muzzle velocity.

I love the Blackhawk and Super Blackhawk, but the GP100 is a better general purpose revolver.
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Old February 8, 2012, 09:13 AM   #6
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If a NMBH is stronger it's not by much. You only have so much cylinder wall thickness. The BH may have a stronger frame. Since you plan on owning both I would choose if you want to start with a DA or SA revolver.

Personally I prefer the older six series DA Rugers. I have several .357 and .45 BH's, very fond of the convertible models. Just picked up the one.

Modified 50th ann. BH.
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Old February 8, 2012, 10:21 AM   #7
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The older Blackhawks would be stronger. With newer production guns, probably about the same, but there is probably less to go wrong on a single action vs double action.

I've had several Ruger SA revolvers over the years. I never shot any of them nearly as well as the Ruger or Smith DA revolvers I've owned. Not sure if it is the guns, or just me, but I shoot the GP-100 much more accurately
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Old February 8, 2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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Since the barrels and cylinders are probably cut with tooling from the same vender mechanical accuracy probablly varies as much between two blackhawks as it would between a BH and a GP. The major practical difference will be the BHs slower lock time. I'd also add that the balance of older 3 screw and 50th anniveersary guns is much better IMO than large framed NMBHs in 357.
As for reliiability and durability. Which is more reliable and durable a claw hammer or a ball peen.
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Old February 8, 2012, 09:15 PM   #9
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A ball peen, no claw to break----LOL
As far as strenght of the mid-size frame BH and the Ruger GP, they are pretty close to equal. As mentioned, the lock time on a SA is slower and this can effect accuracy.
The older NMBH is built on a larger frame and is very strong, but my thinking has always been, if you need that much more power, go to a .44M and skip the .357M.
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Old February 8, 2012, 10:49 PM   #10
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The large-frame Blackhawks in 357 are made on the same class of frame as the 44Mag SuperBlackhawks, from 1973 on. These are insanely strong for a 357, and are great for those who are just learning to reload . They'll tolerate more newbie errors than almost anything else. (For the record, only the 5,000 or so Ruger Redhawks in 357 and the Freedom Arms large-frame ('83 frame) in 357 are stronger, to my knowledge.)

As to accuracy:

The 357Mag Flattop Blackhawk 50th Anniversary gun that madcratebuilder owns is very accurate, because each of it's cylinder bores were reamed with the same bit/reamer set, in sequence. The first recent Ruger to get that treatment was the New Vaquero in 2004. The 50th 357 (first shipping in 2005) is an oddball among "Blackhawks" because it has the same mid-frame size as the NewVaq, and is similar in size and heft to a Colt SAA in 357. While it's not quite as strong as the large-frame series, the same cylinder is big enough to be reamed out to a 45LC or 45ACP, and function that way, so in 357 it's beefier in all directions than a GP100. So that gun and it's fixed-sight New Vaquero cousin are stronger than a GP100.

The large-frames from 1973 forward had their cylinders drilled out "all six at once" with six bit/reamer sets. These sometimes varied between chambers, harming accuracy. Ruger switched the large-frame SAs to the new single-reamer system (same as the mid-frames) in 2007. These "new type cylinder" variants can be IDed by the "lawyer's warning billboard" ("read the manual", etc.): the old system had the warning label on the side (or pre-dated the warning labels) while the new cylinders have the warning label UNDER the barrel.

(There's an exception: the large-frame Blackhawk Flattop 44Mag Anniversary gun NOT marked "Super" released in 2006 has a side-barrel warning but the new cylinder process. Good starting point for a custom if you want a 44Mag.)

Mid-frames have the improved cylinder no matter where the barrel warning is.

Large-frames with a second cylinder in 357/9mm or 45ACP/45LC convertable follow the same rules as to the cylinder making process.

OK. Now let's throw one more thing in there .

From 2004-2007 were "golden years" for Ruger quality control in general. Ruger was on a friggin' roll and making really sweet guns. By late 2007 and into 2008, the "great Obama gun rush" started, plus Ruger introduced a lot of new models - the LCR, LCP, SR9 and more. Quality took a bit of a dive. By early 2010 it picked back up, and now it's very damned good - almost no trouble reports whatsoever.

SO! You want an accurate Ruger? Get one made from 2004-2006, or brand spankin' new recent production. Avoid an "Obama gun rush years" piece. Get one with the cylinder made the right way. Run "the checkout" on it no matter what (see stickied post, this forum).

I bought my Ruger SA in 2005. I wanted the new-type cylinder, and the 50th 357 was at the time rare and pricey. (They ended up making about 16,000 through 2007ish, so there's now plenty out there if you look.) I went with a New Vaquero in 357 and modded the hell out of it. It's my daily carry piece, no regrets, dead nuts accurate.
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Old February 8, 2012, 10:59 PM   #11
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I don't think that strength and accuracy is an issue at all between the two.

It boils down to versatility vs. cool factor.

I vote cool factor.

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Old February 9, 2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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it is not the gun that shoots accurate its the shooter!!I like my GP over the BH.I like da
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Old February 9, 2012, 10:31 AM   #13
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smith K38 anf OM Black Hawk

I forever blamed the BH's trigger and lack of overtravel for it being much less accurate than my K38. I was proven wrong once I finally discovered the bullet alloy, sizing diameter, bullet design, lube, velocity and pressure thst it liked. It was a long and rewarding journey but now the BH can keep all it's shots in the 25 yard Bullseye X ring (Yes, that's right - the X ring) at twenty paces off of a home made rest, two hand hold. It is amazing how true those smart old geezers were who say that your gun is capable of much greater accuracy than you are "with the right load." It is also amazing how true the need is to experiment and methodically develope the best load.
If you only shoot jacketed stuff, on average I'd guess the GP is more accurate.
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Old February 9, 2012, 10:40 AM   #14
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Were talking about two different revolvers. Are you going to shoot S/A? If thats the case then a Blackhawk. Whether you get the mid frame or large frame (like mine) there plenty accurate enough and of course few 357 magnums are stronger than the Blackhawk. Jim March described the Blackhawks well.
The GP100 is an excellent all around 357 magnum. If your thinking of also shooting DA at times then the GP100 is one of the best out there. They are plenty accurate and most people will never know the difference between the GP100 versus the Blackhawk. When it comes to the strenght the Blackhawk will win . A GP100 will shoot any factory 357 magnum but if you are thinking reloading then the Blackhawk is the best option.
I have both and most people that own Rugers will get both as time goes on.
Good luck,
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Old February 9, 2012, 05:51 PM   #15
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Thanks for schooling me on these rivers guys but it didn't help any! I still want every ruger revolver!
Someday I'll be good enough to know if a gun is accurate or not.
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Old February 9, 2012, 06:58 PM   #16
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In that case, when you go down to your gun shop. If they have the GP-100 for a decent price, buy it. If they have a BH instead ... buy it. If they have both... Either buy both, or flip a coin . Either way you walk away 'satisfied' with your choice . Personally .... well .... BH all the way, but that's the kind of guy I am.
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