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Old July 23, 2012, 04:14 PM   #1
Mayor Al
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Ruger Blackhawk Flattop 44 magnum Chromed

I bought this gun at an auction last month. I have two appraisal responses from paid services and a number of personal responses (posts) on a couple of gun oriented websites The Pros point out that the Chrome plating does affect the value of the gun, but it may or may not affect the "buyer's desire".

The private comments from the guys on the Ruger owners and Ruger collectors sites are mixed. Most put the value at $600-$900 with the chrome being a negative impact. The Pros assign a value of $1200-$1600 for aftermarket chrome, and $1800-$2000 if we can show that Ruger chromed the gun before selling it.

So here it is. Blackhawk serial # 29725, 4 and 5/8th inch barrel, John Wayne graphics lasered into the Pearl/Faux-Pearl grips. It has been fired but shows NO wear anywhere. I need to know if the gun was 'Special Finished' at the Ruger Factory, or was it sold and the Chrome-plating done as a special order aftermarket upgrade?

two more photos below.
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Old July 23, 2012, 04:15 PM   #2
Mayor Al
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Here are the two last photos.

Any feedback welcome. I want to set a fair price, and get this gun on the net for sale soon.
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Old July 23, 2012, 04:35 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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I can't say where that Ruger was plated but it is not an expert job and I can't say much good about it or put a very high resale value on it.

The screw holes are dished by hard buffing and the screw slots are boogered from a rough screwdriver. The plastic "pearl" grips don't fit, either.

Then there is the sawn off barrel. If Ruger sold any 4 5/8" .44 Magnums, they didn't make it into the usual references.

Last edited by Jim Watson; July 23, 2012 at 04:42 PM.
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Old July 23, 2012, 04:37 PM   #4
ohen cepel
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It looks aftermarket to me also.

You should be able to get a letter from Ruger as to how it left the factory, that will clear up the question.
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Old July 23, 2012, 04:50 PM   #5
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That gun was originally sold by Ruger in it's ONLY config, with a 6-1/2" bbl, and probably blued - so it was modified after it left Southport.

While Ruger themselves did no chrome plating, they DID have a few guns chrome plated at a plating firm across the street from the Southport plant - but documentation's iffy.

The OP gun is a totally aftermarket custom, exhibiting a poor-to-middling prep job (polishing) prior to plating - a big deduction in value, putting the gun in the "shooter" class. ($400-$500 max)

BTW - Ruger did make 4-5/8" .44mag SBH's, but all were New Models.

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Old July 23, 2012, 04:50 PM   #6
Mayor Al
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Thanks for the honest comments. I have asked Ruger Records for any information about this revolver. I mailed the form and the fee on July 2nd, but the check has not been cashed of noon today.
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Old July 23, 2012, 08:34 PM   #7
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I do not by any means claim extensive expertise on the subject of Ruger flat top .44's, that said I have owned two, both acquired brand new. The first was #22362, bought by me in 1960. That gun was ordered by me thru a dealer with the fairly rare 7.5 inch bbl........ in 1963 I got screwed out of that gun by an unsavory dealer, and as I was in the military I had to have my father deal with that character which resulted in it's replacement with a 6.5 version numbered only 150 different than yours. As I said, both were NIB when I got them and I still own the second. Only God knows how many rounds have been thru that piece, but it's a real keeper, tho I'd still jump on old #362 if I came upon it!~

To the best of my knowledge production of the FT versions ceased in 1962, further, I saw ONLY one 7.5 that was factory original and I owned that one. I recall seeing a 10" factory version in or around 1957, but the vast majority were 6.5' Ruger WOULD rebarrel with a longer tube and that's exactly what I had done with my second gun. I know of no shorter versions of that model ever offered by Ruger. I suppose it's possible as they did offer several engraved versions with stag grips on certain models, but I never saw one.

I agree with the posters hereon that state the nickle/chrome finish on your gun is not factory.......surely it's not factory from that era by simply looking at the polish with slightly dished screw holes and rather ill fitting grips and what appears to be an overly polished grip frame.

All that crap aside, of all the Rugers I have handled and shot over 50 plus years the original FT's are at the top of the heap and I believe that if nothing else you'll find you have a real shooter.

Last edited by dogrunner; July 23, 2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old July 24, 2012, 07:48 PM   #8
James K
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I hope you didn't pay too much for that gun; it looks pretty at first glance, but I fully agree with the others that it is not factory work and not very well done. I suspect it was a worn or rusty gun that was "dolled up" specifically for sale.

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Old July 25, 2012, 10:48 AM   #9
Mayor Al
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James- Less than $400 .

I did find a company that makes grips similiar to the ones on my Ruger. What I think happened is the guy who did the work on this gun bought a set of "Generic" Blackhawk grips with the image etc. They are close, but obviously not a perfect fit.

I am considering getting a set of the plain white "faux Pearl" grips (no image) but the set designed for the early Flattop Blackhawks, so they will be a much better fit. I am reluctant to attempt to smooth the current grips for a better fit as I think it would destroy the finish of the grip and make them look worse than they do now.

Last edited by Mayor Al; July 25, 2012 at 10:56 AM.
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Old August 2, 2012, 09:05 AM   #10
Mayor Al
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I received my letter from Ruger about my Chrome Blackhawk.

Due to the floods years ago all they could tell me was that the gun (#29725) was produced in November of 1962. All other info was lost in the flood.

Needless to say I am a bit disappointed, but I really like the way this gun shoots !!!!
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