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Thread: 44 Blackhawk Hunter

  1. #1
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    44 Blackhawk Hunter

    I just cannot seem to see any way around it. I tried to cure the craving for big bore hunting gun with a CVA single shot, but it just did not work out for me. I had originally looked at the Blackhawk hunter but did not have the funds to buy it. So after my try with the rifle, I decided to just wait for the funds to come in for the Ruger. I think I will be set to go sometime in the middle of next week.

    I've been doing a lot of looking, seeing what kind of experience people have had with theirs, but nothing is too recent really. So I wanted to get a feel for what others think of their hunter models. Still like them, or wish you would have gone for something else?

    I'll be getting a Burris 2x20 to top it with. I have the Lee 240 SWC, the Lee 310, and the Lyman 429640 HP(but may also have a pin that will allow me to cast flat points - that's another story). I am hoping the 429640 will be the ticket.

    I'll be buying a newer model(I assume they will not have any of the older stock), which in my research should mean that the throats should be pretty uniform. I am somewhat concerned I might have to deal with the dreaded barrel thread constriction. I had to deal with that on a 45 colt Blackhawk I got a while back.

    Thought I might see how people are liking theirs after having it for a while. I am getting it specifically to hunt with. I want to be able to reach out to the 100-yard mark hense the scope.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    mine is one of the first ones from back in 92-93 time frame, and overall its been a very good revolver.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by lefty o; 02-02-2018 at 09:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man gunarea's Avatar
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    Hey newton
    I hope you mean a Ruger Super Blackhawk. After shooting the Blackhawk in 44 mag(ouch), I passed on that.
    My wife has an old model three screw which she only shoots competitively. She liked my old gun so well it was a defensive move on my part to keep mine as mine. Hers was purchased used, many years ago. The old moldel three screw of mine was bought new at our local gunstore in 1968. A model 1911 Colt commander was traded in on the new Super Blackhawk after finding out the hard way, 45acp is inadequate on feral hogs. Here in Florida, my 44 is a bit much on most anything but hogs. For hunting, the hollow point just makes a mess. I have both Lee and Lyman mould in the 310gr, both are double cavity but I use the Lyman slug for competition shooting. Of course there is the famous 429421 of which I have four different moulds which produce four different projectiles. For steel under 100m I have switched to a Lyman 215gr SW just to conserve lead. My old three screw has many state level titles hanging off of its barrel. Just to round out the stable, I bought a new, new model super Blackhawk in stainless steel. It is a nice firearm but I have never quite gotten used to the transfer bar feel in the trigger. As such the new model has never been taken hunting. It has been used in many shooting competitions and preforms with milder target ammo equivalent to the older guns. Never had a malfunction in any of them, all three are still factory original. Here is a real world heads up, when loaded up with the 310gr slug, do not whip it out and take a shot from the hip. Although it will stop an angry sow in her tracks, it will take days just for the swelling to go down in my wrist. Gotta give the Ruger super Blackhawk a thumbs up. If you did in fact mean a Blackhawk, never mind.
    Roy
    Shoot often, Shoot well.

  4. #4
    The Brass Man Four-Sixty's Avatar
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    To the OP, are you considering the Bisley frame?

    I could just never master the plow handles frame unless I shot it constantly.
    “Useful undertakings which require sustained attention and vigorous precision in order to succeed often end up by being abandoned, for, in America, as elsewhere, the people move forward by sudden impulses and short-lived efforts.”

    Alexis de Tocqueville

    The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It's called denial.

    "Inferno" Dan Brown

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    I have a Bisley one that has become my favorite designated hunting revolver. I plan on putting a belt mountain pin and a reduced trigger return spring in it and leaving it alone. The factory sights are good and it is just plain kick butt accurate. If you look at the photos in my album you can see some results in the form of venison. I would strongly recommend a simply rugged holster with shell loops on the holster and the "Chesty Puller" chest carry rig. Mine put two deer in the freezer and jars this year with 3 shots. I don't use a scope on mine but that may change someday of my eyesight fades.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I shot the Lee 310 out of a 9 1/2" SRH and it is the most accurate load I have ever shot out of a revolver at 50 yards.

    Less pleasant out of a SBH and I think that affected grouping there.

    Ever handle a Bisley grip frame?

    I would love A Bisley Hunter,

    BUT a SRH is probably the best hunting platform
    Last edited by TCLouis; 02-03-2018 at 11:56 PM.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    The SBH Hunter was one of my favorite 44s. I traded a SRH Hunter for it and never looked back. I put a 3MOA Reddot Sight on it and at 100s, Lee 310s Aloxed lubed, I could keep everything in 3" post-it note.

    Lefty

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    I'll be needing that for squirrels and such.....

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    If you want a 100yd Ruger SA revolver, it would be highly advised to have those throats at least looked at and pin gaged to see what they measure. I have done tons of cylinders and virtually none are even. It's how Ruger makes them that is the reason for this. The good part is that most are undersize and so they can be precision honed to an exact size and usually I can get them within .0002" of each other.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  9. #9
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys. I figured that most people with them are still happy with them.

    Just for clarification, it will be the hunter model not just the super blackhawk one. That was one of the hardest things to weed through when doing research into the gun because the super blackhawk is pretty prevalent and the hunter seems to be a sleeper. I kicked around the idea of going with just a regular super blackhawk, but I really want to be able to reach 100 yards(with practice of course) and I know that my eyes wont be that great with iron sights on a pistol. So, I need a scoped gun and the hunter model fits the bill just great I think.

    I will be getting the bisley frame. Ever since I saw it I liked it. For some reason it just looks really good, and even more so on the hunter model with a scope. I have not shot one before, but I don't do a lot of shooting with the plow grips either so I do not think it will be too hard to get acustomed to. I have read that its a love/hate thing with that grip, but when you really start to look close 90% of the guys who do not like the bisley grip come from shooting a lot of plow grips and it seems(to me) that the bisley just feels 'weird'.

    I'm going to somehow try to adopt a holster to attach to my binocular chest case. I always wear it hunting so I might as well take advantage it. I really like the idea of having two hands free without having a rifle slung over my shoulder. It is going to make it way easier to climp the hills and hollers here in the Ozarks.

    Doug, I will for sure be checking the throats - I know your the resident master of them, so if they need work I'll be in touch. I am hoping, really hoping, that I will luck out with a "good day" gun and not a Monday/Friday one. I had to do some work on my 45 blackhawk after I got it years ago along with having to send it back to Ruger one time. At least they have great customer service.

    I have heard that the 'newer' manufactured guns with the warning stamped under the barrel have much better consistency with their throats. I think the barrel thread constriction is a luck of the draw thing though, just depending on how much they tightened it. I have wondered if those constrictions could be 'helped' by shooting a few boxes of jacketed rounds through them? I firelapped the one in my 45, but it is a blued gun and I have heard the Ruger stainless guns are much harder.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    You will either be in the old folks home or broke from buying ammo before you get rid of a choke with j words.

    Modern throats are much better but of all the newer ones I get with even throats, they run about 5 or 6 out of 10 will be even and most of those are the medium framed guns so yes they have gotten better.

    If you don't have pin gages when you get your new one, use a boolit that fits good and see how even the drag fit is in the throats if there is a tight one or loose one you will feel it if your "gaging" boolit is a snug fit.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I was chomping at the bit for that revolver when Ruger introduced in in '93 or so, and bought the first one that landed at the shop. Never did hunt with it - tastes and preferences change, after all - but it's a good shooter. Couldn't tell you what the throats WERE. I firelapped the bore to deal with a bit of frame crush, and the throats are happy with .432" slugs now.

    Had a scope on it, don't anymore. Just don't like optics on handguns. The extra weight of the scope rib atop the barrel is nice for mitigating recoil.

    Peacemaker grip vs. Bisley. I personally cannot abide the Bisley grip, in much the same way that I cannot abide a flat mainspring housing on a 1911 - both point low for me. That's what you want to be checking over simple aesthetics.

    Mine's mostly a safe queen now. My revolver preferences have shifted largely toward double action - GP-100 and Redhawks - and I rarely bother to thumb the hammer back anymore.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  12. #12
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    I picked her up on Saturday. I'm happy.

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    I have to say that it is a nice gun. It definitely has some fit and finish issues. I'm not going to bock at them, I get it happens with a production type gun. The only thing that may be an issue(I really do not think it will be though) is the barrel does have a slight cant to it. Once I get the scope on it I'll make the descision if its too bad or not.

    I had no intention of getting too involved in load development until I get the scope on it. However, I had to shoot it so I loaded up some powder coated and gas checked lee 240 SWC's with Unique. I started with 9 grains, then up to 9.5, and settled at 10. It took a bit to get the sights adjusted because I was not sure if it was me or the gun shooting left. I had to adjust the rear blade significantly right of center to bring the shots to the center of the target. I am not sure if it is a result of the barrel cant or not, but its shooting center of target now.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That is 9 shots on paper at 25 yards. I know its a 3.5" group, but I am pretty excited about it seeing how I was having a pretty difficult time holding the gun steady anyways. I was shooting off a spike driven into the side of my shop wall with some rope wrapped around it. I have it there so I can load a round then step out the door and shoot it across the chrony. For not being a pistol shooter I thought that the group was decent.

    I shot 3 across the chrony and got an average of 1170 fps. I guess that is considered a medium load. Recoil was very mild I would say. I shot a total of 35 this weekend, waiting for the scope now and then more serious load development will take place. I had 5 rounds left that I took to the bench and shot at a railroad tie I have set up at the 100 yard mark. I hit it 4 out of the 5 shots, which again I thought was pretty good seeing how it was difficult to see - I have it painted the same color as the front sight is on the gun.

    I did some measureing of the gun cylinder/bore. I started with the throats, they all come in real close to each other(if not exact) at .432". The bore does have a slight constriction. A slug that passes through it measures ~.4286". I started another into the muzzle, then pulled it back out, and got a measurement around .429" and some change. It is very difficult to measure like that. When I run a very tight patch in the bore I cannot feel anything, so it seems to make sense that the constriction is around .001" or under.

    I know its enough of one to cause that slight bit of leading that happens just past the forcing cone, but not down the rest of the barrel. I am not sure what I might do about it just yet. I did not clean the barrel at all in those 35 shots, and I am sure I could shoot another 35 based on the ammount of lead I see. I might firelap a few rounds in the future. It did help my other blackhawk I did it too.

    The one thing I need to work on is the grip. I am having a hard time deciding on how to hold it. The way that feels most comfortable to me, which makes me feel in control of the gun, puts my trigger finger at a significant angle downward to the trigger. I am going to try and get a cheap/used grips to try some modifications on. I think maybe if I slim them down some it will help.

    I know people have a love/hate with the Bisley frame, but I do not think the standard frame would be any more comfortable for me to be honest. The other blackhawk I have is comfortable enough, but its also a lot lighter and smaller. When I grip this gun like I would the weight of it makes me feel like I am not in control. I think it will all come with practice.

    Thats pretty much it for first impressions. I am happy with it. A lot happier than I was with the CVA. It cost almost 3 times as much, but I think its worth it in the end. I am going to be really excited when deer season rolls back around.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    thats pretty typical of ruger, they seem to have issues indexing a barrel, and have for a long long time.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Got the scope in and on today. I know a lot of people think its a horror to see a scope on a single action, but I honestly think it makes this gun look even better.

    I had my mind set on the nickel version of the scope, but I ran across some pictures of stainless guns with black scopes on them and I really liked the contrast. After seeing it on mine now I am fully convinced its the way to go. I really like the scope too. It is clear and super easy to get on a target. It sure is an eye opener though to see just how much you shake/move holding a pistol.

    Scope on, but no rounds in the cylinder, the gun weighs in at 4lbs 2.2oz.

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  15. #15
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    On a side note, the grip feels way different today when I picked it up and handling it to get the scope on straight.

    I think I had convinced myself that my trigger finger had to be at a 90-degree angle to the face of the trigger, which meant I had to hold it lower than what felt good. Last night I thought about how a person's finger is angled toward the trigger when shooting a rifle, and then it all started to click in my head. You can hold this gun with all fingers on the grip real nice, but your trigger finger is slightly angled down. Not a big deal really. Might be if a person had huge hands though.

    I might still do a little custom work on the grips. Some light finger grooves would be really helpful in placing the hand the exact point every time.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub

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    Nice SBHH! I went with a four power, on two of the three hunters.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    c as far as the canted barrel, where do you look to check, where the barrel rib/frame meet? I got lucky with mine in that area, it seems perectly lined up. I just really, really hope I don't have any barrel constriction! I do not want to mess with fire lapping, in fact it makes me nervous, the thought of shooting boolits covered in abrasive down a brand new barrel gives me the willies!!!
    An armed man in a citizen.
    An unarmed man is a subject.
    A disarmed man is a slave.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oklahoma Rebel View Post
    c as far as the canted barrel, where do you look to check, where the barrel rib/frame meet? I got lucky with mine in that area, it seems perectly lined up. I just really, really hope I don't have any barrel constriction! I do not want to mess with fire lapping, in fact it makes me nervous, the thought of shooting boolits covered in abrasive down a brand new barrel gives me the willies!!!
    Yea, where the top rib of the barrel meets the frame. You can see just one corner of the barrel rib above the frame slightly, and the other corner below. You could also feel it where the ejector housing meets the frame. Its not enough for me to be concerned with. Shoots fine as is and doesn't seem to effect the way the scope works. For the more OCD type people it would drive them nuts I am sure.

    From what I am hearing, if there is much of a barrel constriction on these guns there is just not much to do except for Taylor throat reaming. If there is not much of a constriction then it probably just means a little extra cleaning when it comes time. I do have a slight one. I decided to clean the gun last night before I move on with my testing of the heavier boolits. I have fired exactly 50 rounds of the lee 240gr SWC with Unique. I also did fire one round with the 290gr Lyman boolit using W296, in hopes I had enough daylight to record velocity, but light had run out.

    In those 51 shots I had leaded the barrel enough to make it a pain to clean, but not enough to say it isnt worth it - if that makes sense. I should have taken some pictures. One problem I know is that I am using a way too hard alloy. I knew this before hand, but just was too lazy to change it thinking I might make it work by using gas checks. I will probably melt the rest of the boolits down and just make the right alloy for when I get real serious about practice. For now I don't mind the cleaning.

    I might run a few cylinders of firelapping at some point though, just to see if I can smooth things up a bit. I would not be afraid of it at all. I did it, very cautiously, with a blued blackhawk and everything turned out fine. It sure did slick up the barrel in that one gun - very noticable difference.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    ok, well, like I said I don't even know if it has constriction yet, we'll see. you mentioned taylor throat reaming... could you explain that a bit more? do you mean the throats of the cylinder or the forcing cone in the barrel... I am pretty sure that's what its called?
    An armed man in a citizen.
    An unarmed man is a subject.
    A disarmed man is a slave.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oklahoma Rebel View Post
    ok, well, like I said I don't even know if it has constriction yet, we'll see. you mentioned taylor throat reaming... could you explain that a bit more? do you mean the throats of the cylinder or the forcing cone in the barrel... I am pretty sure that's what its called?
    I am no expert at any of this, just an arm chair internet wanna be gunsmith/shooter.

    Taylor throat reaming is done to the forcing cone. I've never had it done, just heard its the only way to truly remove a tight constriction - plus I think there are some other benifits? I'm not sure.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check