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Discussion Starter #1
Can anybody verify that those Ruger/ TC Only loads can be fired out of newly produced New Model Ruger Blackhawks in .45 Colt? I just bought one in 7 1/2" to pair with a Marlin 1894. The intent was to be able to load for the rifle without destroying the pistol like what would happen if I accidentally fired a hot one out of The Judge.

I have seen nothing by Buffalo Bore or Ruger that specifies older Blackhawks are stronger than new Blackhawks.

Thanks
 

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It's the New Vaquero that has the lighter frame.

Blackhawks are exceptionally hardy, but there is a difference between a blackhawk that has only seen standard loads and one that has seen a steady diet of hot loads. I have yet to see one fail, but they will get a little loose with enough abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was surprised how light the piece feels and I'm only 150#. I bought this thing along with the Marlin 1894 because I read a comparison of all the 1894's that stated the .44 Mag was quite feeding finicky regarding ammo whereas the .45 Colt was extremely forgiving. The ballistics capability of the .45 Colt seems to nearly match the .44 mag and can approach 45-70 so figured it was a good combination. For economy, reloading appears to be a must. Can't believe how much they are asking for those "plinking" cowboy action loads. Some say the brass won't last as long as the .44 mag. I'm not a high volume shooter so this thing should do anything I need it to do on this continent.
 

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Brass will last quite a while, if the chamber dimensions aren't too generous. Yes, .45 Colt factory loads are ridiculous in price....

You mentioned that it feels light. You probably have blued model with an aluminum grip frame. Let me warn you.... those "Ruger Only" loads won't be pleasant to shoot. However, you can go a bit above factory level loads and see what suits your fancy.

FYI, as a general carry-about-the-ranch load, I have a 255gr. SWC over enough powder to hit about 1,000fps. Doesn't sound like much in this day and age but let me tell you it will do a number on a great many critters. I have 300gr. hunting loads too (and those work great let me tell you) but don't need those all the time.

Oh by the way you can put a steel grip frame on it if you really want to shoot the heavy stuff. Not only do you get more weight, of course, but the balance is a bit better. I like the Bisley style but one of the Super gripframes with a rounded trigger guard is a step in the right direction, also. Maybe you can find one of the cowboy action shooters that took a steel grip frame off of a Vaquero (new or old) to put a bird's head or some such thing on his/her gun.

Somewhere between factory level and Ruger level, you will find a happy medium that suits your needs with your gun. Have fun and good luck.
 

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I shoot a Ruger Bisley 51/2" and a Taurus repro Colt Lightening in 45 LC, if you aren't trying to magnimize the rifle to stretch it for deer hunting, a nearly 1000 fps load with a good CSWC like the Kieth style will do just about anything you want to do in either gun. I load mine to about 840-850 fps with Unique and I would feel confident with any deer, hog, or anything smaller. That .452 with the flat nose packs a huge punch when it hits. It may be doing a bit more velocity out of the rifle, I haven't chronographed it. Good luck with finding a combo that works for you.
 

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As Mike G said, heavy loads in the blued Blackhawks can be a knuckle buster. I've got a 4 5/8ths inch barreled blued Blackhawk and the hottest handload I run through mine is a 300 grain hardcast over 20 grains of H-110 in Starline cases. I get 1040 fps out of it and it's enough to puch holes in any animal I might see up here but the alloy grip frame and ejector rod housing make it a little light. That's why it beats the snot out of the middle knuckle on my middle finger.
Other than that, I'm really happy with it and all my other .45 Colt Rugers.
 

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I have seen nothing by Buffalo Bore or Ruger that specifies older Blackhawks are stronger than new Blackhawks.
Check with Ruger. A while back, Brian Peirce ran an article in Handloader to the effect that the newer series of BH revolvers were built lighter than the earlier models.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I finally fired the new Blackhawk. A buddy was intrigued with the .45 Colt vs .44 Mag so he loaded some of those Ruger Only loads, 250 gr Hornady XTP's ahead of 26.5 gr of H110. We chronographed them out of a Marlin 1894 at 1900 fps and just touching 1700 out of the 7 1/2" Blackhawk. The blast from the handgun easily overwhelmed my earplugs. The ears are still ringing today. Whoever said they'd hurt wasn't kidding. I had sprained my right pinky finger three weeks ago. Well, it's still very sprained now! Don't take for granted how much grip one gets out of that 5th finger! Since he loaded those to the max I sure hope it didn't hurt the gun. I fired some Cowboy Colts out of it first. These max loads were beasts.
 

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I have an older Blackhawk with a 4 5/8" barrel. The first time I shot stout loads, I knew I'd need to do something about the recoil. I got a set of grips from Steve Herrett that fixed my problem by moving my middle finger out of the way. Note that the grips are about 3/8 longer than the original grip frame so my pinky has more handle to hold on to.

 

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My two Ruger .45s (7.5" & 4.5") are the old three screw models. My handload with a 255 grain cast bullet gives 1060fps in the shorty and 1250 in the 7.5". A fine load I've used for many tasks.
 

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Blackhawk

Can anybody verify that those Ruger/ TC Only loads can be fired out of newly produced New Model Ruger Blackhawks in .45 Colt? I just bought one in 7 1/2" to pair with a Marlin 1894. The intent was to be able to load for the rifle without destroying the pistol like what would happen if I accidentally fired a hot one out of The Judge.

I have seen nothing by Buffalo Bore or Ruger that specifies older Blackhawks are stronger than new Blackhawks.

Thanks
The only appreciable difference in any Blackhawk is that the very early models were recalled to install a transfer bar safety. Otherwise there is not a dime's worth of difference except to die-hard Ruger collectors. Feel free to shoot anything produced commercially in it for the caliber you feel man enough to handle. The gun sure will handle it. But I wouldn't make it a habit of shooting a steady diet of hot rounds in ANY firearm to reduce the added stress and wear on it. The Blackhawk will last a lifetime if cared for properly.
 

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I refused to send any of mine back in for the transfer bar mod. I was used to the old style lockwork and they worked fine and perfectly and needed nothing.
 

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It's the New Vaquero that has the lighter frame.

Blackhawks are exceptionally hardy, but there is a difference between a blackhawk that has only seen standard loads and one that has seen a steady diet of hot loads. I have yet to see one fail, but they will get a little loose with enough abuse.
I shoot both the SBH in .44 and the old Vaquero in .45 and the SBH has exceeded 61,000 HEAVY loads. I shot IHMSA and now hunt with up to 330 gr boolits. I use 335 and 347 gr boolits in the .45.
Neither gun shows or measures any wear. I use STP on the pin, front of the cylinder and on the ratchet. It lubes and cushions.
Shooting dry or with just gun oil is abuse.
 

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Can anybody verify that those Ruger/ TC Only loads can be fired out of newly produced New Model Ruger Blackhawks in .45 Colt? I just bought one in 7 1/2" to pair with a Marlin 1894. The intent was to be able to load for the rifle without destroying the pistol like what would happen if I accidentally fired a hot one out of The Judge.

I have seen nothing by Buffalo Bore or Ruger that specifies older Blackhawks are stronger than new Blackhawks.

Thanks
If it is one of the new flat top models built on their midsize frame, then absolutely NO, they are not to use the Ruger only loads. This is the frame originally used for the 32, 30, and 357 models. As far as I know, these are only distributor exclusive models right now on this frame in 45 and they are not in the general Ruger catalog yet. But, there are Vaquero models in 45LC that are built on the midsize frame and they also should not use the Ruger only loads. Here's what the flatop looks like, note the smaller amount of meat on the lower frame in front of the cylinder compared to the larger frame BH: http://www.lipseys.com/itemdetail.aspx?itemno=RUNVB-455X&items=exclusives
 

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I see no reason to shoot that havey of a bullet just to make a hole in paper, nor for deer either, and its really not a bear gun. Shooting max loads out of any gun will shorten the life and make for a painful experience. Its just a macho thing that young bucks do until they wise up :D

Better to shoot lighter bullets around 225 gr -240gr and NOT a max powder charge. This will be more accurate and much more enjoyable to shoot, and will make coming back to this gun seem pleasurable instead of punshing. Even if yer a big tuff guy you will shorten the guns life and shooting max loads always presents a bit of danger in changing conditions, especially hot days when the shells were loaded for a cold day, this will also make for very inaccurate loads.
 

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For light loads...

I like to use 255gr lead RNFP bullets over a case full of TrailBoss. Hodgdon has reloading data for them.

As long as you don't crimp too much, the brass can last a long time with light loads. And if you get a mouth split -- you can always cut them down to Schofields! :)
 
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