The Ruger Blackhawk is a great revolver. You don’t hear much about it though. It’s a tough workhorse, which embodies the improvements to single actions advocated by the great Elmer Keith. Its rugged adjustable sights, powerful chambering, and quality construction are the attributes of a great revolver. The Blackhawk, is not used in competition, or as a high-end hunting pistol. However, it embodies the traits of a great everyday working revolver. It’s a gun you can depend on to get the job done. I like the fact it is chambered in great calibers, some current and some discontinued. The 45 Colt/45ACP convertible revolver and the discontinued 38-40/10mm Auto are my personal favorites.
These guns match effective calibers with versatility. The 50th anniversary flat top models in 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum and 44 Special are a joy to carry and use. The 44 Magnum, 45 Colt, 44 Special and 38-40 Winchester, are excellent cartridges for general carry with a secondary use for self defense.
The Blackhawk convertible modes are very versatile and offer a good companion or back up to a primary side arm in popular defense calibers of 45 ACP and 9mm. The 45 ACP cylinder can be modified for the use of 45 Auto rim cartridges also. The 357 Magnum /9mm convertible is a popular hand gun with outdoorsmen and even survivalists, who may use 9mm hand guns as primary arms. The other magnum in the Blackhawk line is 41 Magnum. A powerful and useful cartridge which has a dedicated following of enthusiasts. The Blackhawk’s larger brother in 44 Magnum is an excellent revolver in its own right, the larger size and heavier weight help tame the full loads in this caliber.
In 1973 (FORTY YEARS AGO!) Ruger changed the action and loading procedure to enhance safety, as a result of litigation. The half cock notch was dispensed with, and the loading gate now releases the cylinder for rotation. This is a departure from other single action designs, it results in a revolver which will not fire if dropped and is very safe. I’m not a huge fan of this system, but I can live with it.The Blackhawk is not zombie hunter tacticool, genuine old west , or the fanciest BBQ gun, but it works! I hope it will be around for a long time to come.