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Blackhawk 30 Carbine - The Desolation of Smaug

This is a discussion on Blackhawk 30 Carbine - The Desolation of Smaug within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; It's all Neon Horse's fault. We were having a discussion about SA revolvers, calibers, etc. and I keep telling him how much I like my ...


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Old January 7th, 2017, 05:25 AM   #1
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Blackhawk 30 Carbine - The Desolation of Smaug

It's all Neon Horse's fault.

We were having a discussion about SA revolvers, calibers, etc. and I keep telling him how much I like my BH in 30 Carbine but Neon has a phobia about blued guns (and fun too, I guess) so he was gonna wait for Ruger to make a stainless BH in 30 Carbine before he took the plunge. Or something like that.

I've been selling guns and not buying any and I already had my 30 Carbine BH base covered with a really sweet 3 screw from the end of old model production. But our conversation got the ol gears moving and a crazy idea developed....

The key to my crazy idea was to find a relatively cheap BH in 30 Carbine for another FrankenRuger project. The OMs are getting a bit spendy and production of NMs are hit and miss but I was open for any decent victim, old or new. And then lo and behold I found this:



Unconverted OM from the first year of production with a 4 digit serial number and only $325. Perfect. The finish is thin, worn and freckled and the grips were tired and chipped. But the action was good, lockup tight, rifling OK, etc.

Measure, mark, clamp and break out the hack saw...



In my assortment of miscellaneous gun parts I already had an unfinished carbon steel grip frame in the white, short blued ERH, screw and other related parts. Brownell's had the front sight I wanted and a .308 brass pilot for my facing/crown kit. Here's a quick mock up to see where it's headed.



"Smaug" - A 3.75" birdshead Blackhawk in 30 Carbine. If nothing else it oughtta be a fire breather.

To this point it's been quick and easy to cut the barrel, face the muzzle and cut a new crown. Now the fun part of fitting the grip frame and polishing it up. Once it's all put together I want to shoot it to see just what monstrosity I created and if I really like it I'll have Ford's reblue it. If it turns out just kinda "meh" then I'll Cerakote it black myself and call it good.

It's probably been done before but I don't recall seeing one. There may be a good reason why......



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Old January 7th, 2017, 05:36 AM   #2
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I accept most of the premises in this thread. Also, I would like to emphasize that I hate fun.

This project is cool. Mixing it up and making something different.

I think that hammer needs to be swapped.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 05:43 AM   #3
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I think that hammer needs to be swapped.
Agree. A SBH hammer would be better.

Smaug 2.0 perhaps.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 05:47 AM   #4
 
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I like that a lot....will be looking forward to seeing it finished...
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Old January 7th, 2017, 08:11 AM   #5
 
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Cool project Waveform! I like it, but agree w/ Neon about the hammer. I could be convinced either way on the finish options. You do nice work so blued w/ pretty grips is probably best. If you also plan a reloading project to try to develope a .30Carbine Short Barrel load for some practical purpose then maybe Cerakote makes sense. Does "SMAUG" stand for Small Mean Anti Unicorn Gun? One thought keeps coming to mind.... use double hearing protection! Keep pics coming on this project.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 09:17 AM   #6
 
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Oh it will be a fire breather all right..............mine is cut to 4 5/8 and it is
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Old January 7th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #7
 
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Oh man Waveform, what did you do? Why couldn't you have done that on a new model, the 3 screw is getting harder and harder to find in the .30 Carbine. Lord have mercy, do like the idea though, just not on a 3 screw. BTW I doubt you will be able to use H110, WW296, or 4227 or the like in reloads due to the short barrel. (excess unburned powder) You might try Unique which is a faster burning powder, however I'm not sure how much powder to use as none of my manuals show that for the .30 Carbine, with the exception of the lead cast 115grn. and the 130grn. which recommends a starting load of 5.5 and 4.9grns. respectively of Unique.

I do like the performance and accuracy of my 3 screw 7.5" barreled Blackhawk using reloads with the slower burning powders along with my companion M-1 Carbine as well. I know that shooting lead thru my M-1 Carbine is definitely not recommended due to the gas piston in the carbine.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 10:30 AM   #8
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.........If you also plan a reloading project to try to develope a .30Carbine Short Barrel load for some practical purpose then maybe Cerakote makes sense. Does "SMAUG" stand for Small Mean Anti Unicorn Gun? One thought keeps coming to mind.... use double hearing protection! Keep pics coming on this project.
I load 30 Carbine now but just a standard load with H110. Might try something that burns faster but then again I'm not real comfortable deviating from published data. We'll see when the time comes.

Smaug is the fire breathing dragon in The Hobbit. I expect this will be a fire breather with the short barrel so that made me think dragon and Smaug. I like your acronym though - this could be just the ticket when hiking in unicorn country. Just gotta find some unicorn horn for grips.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 10:49 AM   #9
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Oh man Waveform, what did you do? Why couldn't you have done that on a new model, the 3 screw is getting harder and harder to find in the .30 Carbine. Lord have mercy, do like the idea though, just not on a 3 screw. BTW I doubt you will be able to use H110, WW296, or 4227 or the like in reloads due to the short barrel. (excess unburned powder) You might try Unique which is a faster burning powder, however I'm not sure how much powder to use as none of my manuals show that for the .30 Carbine, with the exception of the lead cast 115grn. and the 130grn. which recommends a starting load of 5.5 and 4.9grns. respectively of Unique.

I do like the performance and accuracy of my 3 screw 7.5" barreled Blackhawk using reloads with the slower burning powders along with my companion M-1 Carbine as well. I know that shooting lead thru my M-1 Carbine is definitely not recommended due to the gas piston in the carbine.
I was waiting for someone to call me out for cutting down a 3 screw. And I get it - I love my old 3 screws in 30 Carbine, 357 Mag and 22LR. But there's one thing I left out of the OP and which helps to explain how I was able to buy an early 3 screw 30 Carbine for only $325 - the barrel had a minor bulge a little before the front sight. So the barrel on this one was already kinda roached and that's what made it the perfect candidate - cheaper than a used new model and has all the cachet of being an unconverted 3 screw. It had a serious issue but with what I had in mind it didn't matter. I could look long and hard for a very long time and not find another perfect candidate like this at this price point. (To be honest I sometimes wonder if I didn't pay too much.)

And if the whole project is a bust I can still ship it in for the free transfer bar upgrade and Ruger will pay the shipping both ways. And while it's there I can pay them to re-barrel it and refinish it. So that's my fall-back plan but I don't think I'll need it. I think I'll like the novelty when it's done.

I do have some Unique and lots of 110 gr round nose bullets. Maybe when the time comes some cautious load development might be in order but only if I can get some good input from the experts. I'm not too eager to experiment on my own.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 11:30 AM   #10
 
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Don't sweat cutting the 3 screw up. Shooter grade is shooter grade. If it was restored, then someone would complain you were trying to pull a fast one.........so you can't win. Do as you please, that's what I do.

When I carried my 3 screw 44 flat top into my smith to get cut down.......I thought a couple guys hanging in the shop were going to lynch me..........LOL!!!!
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Old January 7th, 2017, 01:25 PM   #11
 
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While my 30 Carbine is a NM, I use 32-20 brass and fiddle around with 32-20 loads and 32 Mag loads. Still plenty of umph without all the blast and fire. BUT,, you cannot use 32-20 brass in a OM 30 without having to work on the cylinder face.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 01:53 PM   #12
 
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for a couple hundred dollars he could get the gun ceracoated or hard chromed and have the equivalent of a stainless gun. I have a 35 year old security six tha twas hard chromed and hunted with for many years and no problem with the finish
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Old January 7th, 2017, 03:52 PM   #13
 
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You're forgiven Waveform, Just giving you a hard time, I know you've got that beautiful in the box 3 screw BH, along with that new M-1 Carbine you just picked up. I'm anxious to see what the modified .30 Carbine with the birds head grip looks like after it's finished, not to mention the range report.

Note the reloads I quoted you were both using cast lead bullets of 115grn and 130grn, with the Unique. Should be safe using the starting load with 110grn jacketed projectiles.

I noted you stated the barrel had a slight walnut right before the front sight. you might want to have the frame magna fluxed prior to going thru all the work to make the revolver beautiful again. JMHO
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Old January 8th, 2017, 10:12 AM   #14
 
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Great idea Waveform! I concur with bwinters and his hard chrome option. When you mentioned stainless in your post hard chrome is what sprang to mind when I saw your project. FWIW blue should be stunning if it turns out as expected.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 11:26 AM   #15
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I am definately followings waves path on this one, should be splendid.
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