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Thread: Ruger Old Model vs New Model

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Ruger Old Model vs New Model

    I'm sure this has been covered before, but every search on this forum came up with "the search terms are either too short or too common, please try different terms".

    If this topic has been covered, would someone smarter than me please post some links?

    I have finally decided to get back into Ruger single actions after a too long hiatus. Once upon a time, I owned a Single Six, a .357/9mm, a Super Blackhawk and a .45 Colt/.45 ACP. All were old models. As our family grew, I had to regretfully sell them off, one by one.

    Now, at 65, I find myself with a small cash surplus so I start browsing the various gun auction sites and I'm amazed at the premiums that the old models are commanding. I have never fired a new model but I'm familiar with the story about why the transfer bar had to be added. Down here in Texas, my dad considered it a necessary part of my safety training to explain why you never carry with a live cartridge under the hammer, and it seemed to be common knowledge around here...

    But, my question is this: Is it worth the premium to insist on replacing my long lost Rugers "in kind" or will the new models suffice for hunting plinking, and most importantly, pride of ownership?

    I distinctly remember the beautiful high luster bluing on my Super Blackhawk and I don't mind saying that fit and finish DO matter to me. My other Rugers just had a regular blue job, but were still solid and had a quality "feel" to them. So how do the new ones shoot look and feel, compared to the old models? As always, thanks for your input and opinions. Tt.
    "Treetop"
    Sgt. USMC
    1968-71

    "Accuracy has a suppressive power all by itself."
    Lt. Gen. George Flynn, USMC

    “The Second Amendment was not written to protect your right to shoot deer.
    It was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants…”
    Judge Andrew Napolitano

  2. #2
    Boolit Master tek4260's Avatar
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    Well, it sounds like you wouldn't be satisfied completely with a New Model and would regret not getting an Old Model.

    FWIW, OM Supers usually sell on places like Rugerforum.com for the same price(or only slightly higher) as a New Model. If you are getting a 44, make it an OM Super. The New Models simply don't compare.

    As far as OM 45's go, I'd buy a New Model simply because the premium on the Old Model 45 is too much. Also, they were introduced late in Old Model production and they are not nearly as slick and smooth as the Supers from the 60's

    Here are the last 2 Old Models I bought off of rugerforum. The 44 was $500, and the 45 was $800 which I thought was a deal considering it has a brass grip frame and a Super hammer and trigger.


  3. #3
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    I have three of the 4 models you mention, Single six, 357 conv and the SBH 44. All are newmodels and all are mid 1970's guns. The only major problem I have found with the to magnums I have is base pins back out. This is remedied by buying belt mountain locking base pins.

    I have never fired a three screw so I cannot state an opinion of whether they are better or not.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    i have both. for just shooting the new models are ok. i would get them and have fun and not worry about it.

    the nm is just as strong as the om. they are still rugers.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    I have both also...new model in 44mag and old model in 357....I do prefer the cocking sequence of the old models as opposed to the new models but I wouldn't pay a premium for a old model....my new model is a good piece of workmanship and a good shooter

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    I have recently acquired a non-converted old model SBH from 1970, and it has a certain appeal but after doing some shooting with it I think the New Model may be the hotter ticket.

    I want my Six-Shooter to be able to carry and (safely) fire SIX SHOTS!

    The NM I have is an heirloom from my dearly departed Uncle Tony and it is a 1976 Liberty edition.
    A very accurate .44 Magnum!

    The SBH is one of those guns that has a certain mystique that adds to my enjoyment of owning and shooting with them.

    You can get a barely used NM SBH for a very reasonable price and if it doesn't "scratch that itch" like you think it should, you can sell it and get every penny back and continue your quest for an old model.

    Treetop-Welcome back to the wonderful world of Ruger Single-Actions!



    Dave

    Member NRA

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    Treetop- sent you a Private Message with info about an Old Model for sale at a reasonable price.
    Dave

    Member NRA

  8. #8
    I paid $435.00 for a nice SBH 3 screw in good condition not that long ago, if you shop around there are deals available. I have a New Model Blackhawk in .45 plus a pair of 3 screw Blackhawks in .357, all unconverted. I paid $425 and $380 for the .357’s. The curve ball is that my New Model .45 is far more accurate than my 3 screw SBH. Still I just cannot stand the feel of the new model in my hand, I had some checkered stocks made for it by Lett, fancy walnut with Ruger medallions. My SBH 3 screw I changed the grip frame from the Dragoon to an Old Army and had purple heart grips made with Ruger medallions plus I switched the wide hammer to a thinner standard Blackhawk hammer. It’s a beautiful gun but again my New Model is far more accurate and lighter to carry. I’ve ordered a new mold for the .357’s but it’s on back order, a Lyman 358429.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have an old model SBH, an old model BH in 30 carbine that has been converted (but I got the parts and it's gonna get changed back), an OM 357 Blackhawk, and a 45 Colt OM Blackhawk. I also have several new models in the same calibers (excpet the 30 carbine)...Something about the OM that I like (the old style trigger and hammer action) but can't say either shoots better or worse than the others. All the old models I have are in wonderful shape (took just a bit of looking but they are out there) and frankly the prices for the OM's were about the same as a nice used NM...All about preference and of course the best deal is one or two of each..never enough Rugers to scratch the itch. Pics..top left is OMSBH, top right is 30 cal Old model and lower is 357 OM...I didn't pay over $450 for any of my old models and one was under $400.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master bigboredad's Avatar
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    you know it has a lot do with what you are used to shooting. I bought my first ruger single six when I was 12 and I have only owned new models for the the last 32 years and I love them all. I really would love to try a 3screw .44 or .45

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    I have both new and old models and they both have qualities that I like. The trigger and action of the old model is hard to beat even with no work the trigger of a 3 screw is usually much better than a transfer bar trigger. I do like the option of a full 6 shots with the new model and there are more calibers in the new model.
    It is much cheaper to get a 44 special in a new model then an old model !

    Get an old model Super for the high polish blue and the 3 screw action and then get a few new models to round out your set.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    A bit late at the party but here's my take on it. I've got 3 new models and one old model. A lot of hoopla about the triggers being that different. I can't feel any difference between the amount of pull/travel or overtravel between any of them. I find the noise and clicking annoying on the old model. I don't know how anyone uses them for hunting unless the critter is deef or you're sitting with a revolver at full cock. Those things are seriously loud. Not a problem for paper punching of course. The trade off of the new models is I can carry 6 rounds without worry and I don't have to worry about snagging/bumping the base pin release and the pin dropping on the ground. (it doesn't come out on the new models) The grip on the old model is smaller...I'm not saying that's better or worse...it is what it is. I put Hogues Monogrip on the NM .45....the NM Super .44mag. came with Hogues and the old model in .357 I like just the way it is...factory grips. Pricewise, the NM .45 was $300 (gun show) the NMS .44mag. was $400 (gun shop) and the OM .357 was $400 (private sale) All fine revolvers and as usual Rugers good/better than average finish. I did look at a brand spanky new Super Blackhawk 2 weeks ago and the grips didn't even come close to fitting the revolver. I could see parts visible through the gap!! Audie...the Oldfart...

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    As usual, all really great replies with honest opinions and some really good advice! 45Driver even sent me a link to a really nice looking O.M Super Blackhawk.

    I can't wait to get back into Rugers, now that I've finally made the decision. Local gunshow coming up this weekend + I bid on a nice O.M. SBH on one of the online auction sites.

    I plan on handling some N.M. Rugers this weekend, even if they won't let me try the trigger. Tt.
    "Treetop"
    Sgt. USMC
    1968-71

    "Accuracy has a suppressive power all by itself."
    Lt. Gen. George Flynn, USMC

    “The Second Amendment was not written to protect your right to shoot deer.
    It was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants…”
    Judge Andrew Napolitano

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I have a new blackhawk 45/45 convertible, the trigger is good except for the take up which I will be doing something about very soon.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonie View Post
    I have a new blackhawk 45/45 convertible, the trigger is good except for the take up which I will be doing something about very soon.
    Moonie, did you get one of the new "Flat Tops" in 4 5/8" or 5 1/2"? Keep us informed on your progress. I would particularly like to know about the chamber throats and whether it has a "tight spot" at the threads.

    I've heard that Ruger has corrected the two problems in the "Flat Tops". Thanks, Tt.
    "Treetop"
    Sgt. USMC
    1968-71

    "Accuracy has a suppressive power all by itself."
    Lt. Gen. George Flynn, USMC

    “The Second Amendment was not written to protect your right to shoot deer.
    It was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants…”
    Judge Andrew Napolitano

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treetop View Post
    Moonie, did you get one of the new "Flat Tops" in 4 5/8" or 5 1/2"? Keep us informed on your progress. I would particularly like to know about the chamber throats and whether it has a "tight spot" at the threads.

    I've heard that Ruger has corrected the two problems in the "Flat Tops". Thanks, Tt.
    I did not, I got a standard NMBH 7 1/2" as I plan to use it for hunting and wanted to be able to shoot the Ruger only loads.

    I've not measured anything on it yet, only had a chance to shoot it a little.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    New vs. old

    Having both new and old models, I find pleasure in both of them. I'd never sell my old models (one .357 I had since I was 17,now 60).The new models are easier to work on for me and easily as sturdy .Maybe moreso.The last two new models I got were so smooth, it was like they had action jobs.If I was buying my first one, the new models in larger calibers or the anniversary mod.357 are just great guns.I got more than I need but I just want more,more,more.I LOVE SINGLE ACTIONS. Best wishes,Glen

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by glenkans View Post
    Having both new and old models, I find pleasure in both of them. I'd never sell my old models (one .357 I had since I was 17,now 60).The new models are easier to work on for me and easily as sturdy .Maybe moreso.The last two new models I got were so smooth, it was like they had action jobs.If I was buying my first one, the new models in larger calibers or the anniversary mod.357 are just great guns.I got more than I need but I just want more,more,more.I LOVE SINGLE ACTIONS. Best wishes,Glen
    Thanks Glen.

    Since I started this post, I have acquired two old model 3 screw Rugers. I found them at an estate sale and bought both for a fair price. One was a Super Blackhawk in .44 magnum and one was a .45 Colt/.45 ACP convertible Blackhawk. Neither appeared to have been fired much at all and were in excellent condition!

    Tomorrow I'm going to our local gunshow to look at a NM Super Single Six in .22 caliber. You're right, these single actions are very addictive! Tt.
    Last edited by Treetop; 11-16-2012 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Left a word out!
    "Treetop"
    Sgt. USMC
    1968-71

    "Accuracy has a suppressive power all by itself."
    Lt. Gen. George Flynn, USMC

    “The Second Amendment was not written to protect your right to shoot deer.
    It was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants…”
    Judge Andrew Napolitano

  19. #19
    Boolit Master bigboredad's Avatar
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    you will love the super single six. I bought mine when I was 12 that was 32 years ago. I wanted to be a cowboy so I bought the 4 5/8 model. I lost count of how many jack rabbits cottontails snake lizards and countless other animals it has taken and the number of rounds that have been down that barrel. It still is my most prized single action

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