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I posted a while ago about wanting a SBH hunter and I still would like to have one but the price is a little out of my reach right now, I saw and handled a SBH with the 4 5/8 barrel at a gun show this weekend and it sure felt goood in my hand, my ? is how does this shorter barrel effect accuracy, is this to short of a sight plain to be used for shots to 100 yds and how is the muzzle jump would this be a good candidate for Magna-Porting?
 

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furbis,
    I'm kind of a newcomer to serious handgunning, having just got my SBH 4 5/8" last summer. I had fired handguns and reloaded for them before but never did much accuracy work or practiced a lot.
     Since I got my SBH I've been practicing quite a bit and I've improved a lot. I can hold about 2 inches at 25 yds, 3 inches at fifty yards, but when I move back to 100 yds my accuracy goes to pot. I can usually get 3 or so into the black, but I always lose at least two shots from each cylinder full. As a comparison, I have shot a 6.5" .357 blackhawk and I do better at 100 yds with it, though I haven't shot it enough to give real data (that gun is not mine). In my very limited experience, the longer barrel is easier to shoot well.
       Having said that, there are a number of people who are able to shoot very well at long range with short barrels, but I would say it takes dedication and practice, or a lot more natural skill than I have!                     IDShooter
 

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Actually with my 4 5/8" Blackhawks in .45 Colt (and the 4 5/8" .44 Super Blackhawks I used at times in the past), I find they are a bit easier for me to shoot well at shorter ranges, and they are definitely not any handicap at the ranges at which I shoot actual live critters. With any of the 4 5/8" guns I have had, dropping coyotes is easy out to 100 yards or so, but change to a smaller item like the head of a rabbit and then the range gets cut to no more than 50 yards or so. Most of the shorter barrelled Blackhawks I've had regardless of caliber have tended to shoot into anywhere from 1" to 1 1/2" at 25 yards when using a rest (rest = any solid object with a rolled up towel on top), and all of the Blackhawks I've had that shoot into one big hole at 25 yards have been in the 4 5/8" length. If accuracy seems to drop off at 100 yards, try widening the notch in the rear sight, or have a gunsmith thin the front sight to 1/10". Cutting a bigger notch in the rear is best initially because it is cheap to replace if you don't like it. Also something that seems to make it far easier to shoot well is to make your own front sight with a square rear face or undercut like on a Ruger MK II, and replace the rear sight with eaither a Millet or a Bowen, and make sure those sights are plain black, no white outline, no colored inserts, just BLACK. Intrinsic accuracy of the shorter barrel should actually be better than the longer barrels, since the barrel is proportionally stiffer and less inclined to flex. I like them enough that I haven't packed any Blackhawk longer than 4 5/8" for almost 20 years now....soon as I wear out the barrel on my 6 1/2" Single Six, it's getting a 4 5/8" replacement too.
 

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rgp,

I have a Blackhawk in .45 Colt, 4 5/8 barrel.  On occasion I've used it to shoot metalic silhouette matches....chickens at 25 yards, pigs at 50 yards, turkeys at 75 yards and rams at 100 yards.  I have a set of Herrett stocks on it as the only modification.  I used a hunting load of a 250 grain cast bullet loaded to 1250 fps.  My best score was 30 hits on 40 shots with my fair share on the turkeys and rams.  Great revolver, and great fun to shoot!

Lobo in NM
 

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My stainless 4 5/8" .45 Blackhawk is definitely my favorite handgun and possibly the easiest sixgun to shoot well that I've ever owned...I was using heavier loads in mine too until I whacked a couple of critters with lighter loads and they promptly expired, have been using light loads ever since. Only mod on my short Blackhawks are the sights (they were actually smooth right out of the box, didn't even need to lighten the trigger pulls), just to make it easier to hit at extended ranges.
 
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