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How to know if used Blackhawk is a convertable?

This is a discussion on How to know if used Blackhawk is a convertable? within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Hey, Just was wondering how to tell if a used NM Blackhawk 357 originally came as a convertible or not. I suspect mine could be ...


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Old March 21st, 2011, 03:37 PM   #1
 
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How to know if used Blackhawk is a convertable?

Hey,
Just was wondering how to tell if a used NM Blackhawk 357 originally came as a convertible or not. I suspect mine could be but it only came with the 357 cylinder. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.



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Old March 21st, 2011, 03:43 PM   #2
 
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It would say convertible on the frame near caliber designation.Be safe.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 05:27 PM   #3
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long shot, Not true. There is no marking on the frame other than "Ruger 357 Magnum Cal New Model Blackhawk".

CMS, If you still have the factory box with the end label in tact, the catalog number will indicate if it is a convertible. Example: BN-34X. BN=New Model Blackhawk, 3=357 Mag, 4= 4 5/8" barrel length, and X=Convertible 9mm cylinder.

If you don't have the end label, you can call the records section at Ruger and they will research your serial number on the spot. What you want is the "X" in the catalog number. Unfortunately, Ruger never had a dedicated serial number range for convertibles and lumped them in with other 357 Blackhawks so the serial number itself is not revealing.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 05:44 PM   #4
 
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Isn't the last 3 numbers of the serial number stamped into the cylinder on the convertibles?

Page 11 https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/.../blackhawk.pdf

Last edited by NAASilent; March 21st, 2011 at 05:47 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 05:55 PM   #5
 
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Sorry bout that!Be safe.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 05:59 PM   #6
 
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Well, hot apple sauce!

If the last 3 digits of the serial# statement in the manual is true (thanks NAASilent), I apparently have a 1977 357/9mm convertible!

Ruger didn't mention it when I sent it in last year for some work but they did transfer the last 3 of the serial # to the new cylinder that was fitted just like the original cylinder was.

Do you all who have a convertible in 357/9mm use the 9mm cylinder much?
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Old March 21st, 2011, 06:59 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMS View Post
Well, hot apple sauce!

If the last 3 digits of the serial# statement in the manual is true (thanks NAASilent), I apparently have a 1977 357/9mm convertible!

Ruger didn't mention it when I sent it in last year for some work but they did transfer the last 3 of the serial # to the new cylinder that was fitted just like the original cylinder was.

Do you all who have a convertible in 357/9mm use the 9mm cylinder much?
Yep. 9mm is easy shooting and cheap plinking. I don't reload, so 9mm for under $10.00/box is great. Some say it loses a bit of accuracy, but I don't shoot well enough to notice.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 07:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAASilent View Post
Isn't the last 3 numbers of the serial number stamped into the cylinder on the convertibles?

Page 11 https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/.../blackhawk.pdf
Not stamped; electric pencilled.

The OP may have to clean the cylinder carefully to find the numbers.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:39 PM   #9
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NAASilent, Only a myth. Having the cylinder engraved with the last three digits of the serial number has absolutely nothing to do with it being shipped as a convertible or non-convertible. Most cylinders are electric pencil engraved with the last three digits of the serial number, which also includes the cylinders for non-convertibles. I have a gaggle of Ruger SAs and three of them are convertibles. Most (but not all) of my non-convertibles have the three digits engraved. One of my Blackhawk convertibles has neither cylinder engraved and I know for sure it was sold as a convertible because I bought it new and have the box with the end label.

One thing about Ruger .... never say "always" or "never" because they seldom are accurate.

I also have two Ruger SAs with the last three plus an "X". I called Ruger to see what the X was for and was told it indicates a replacement cylinder. This can happen on a gun that was returned for repairs or on a brand new revolver when the cylinder didn't meet final inspection specifications. My Colorado Centennial Single-Six has the last three plus a "C", which indicates a CC roll marked cylinder. Ruger also told me why they engraved the cylinders. When the cylinder is fitted to a specific gun, often they have to machine the front face down to get the proper B/C gap. Additionally, many cylinders have cosmetic issues and must be "cleaned up". Of course this removes the bluing so they engrave the last three on the cylinder face to marry up the gun with the fitted cylinder after it comes out of the bluing tanks. Sometimes the cylinders fit and do not have cosmetic blemishes so they do not require rebluing or marking. For stainless revolvers, the same holds true except it's for cosmetic issues, not rebluing.

Last edited by Iowegan; March 21st, 2011 at 08:44 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 10:03 PM   #10
 
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I wasn't aware that other cylinders were engraved with the last 3 as well. I just remembered seeing the reference when I read through the convertible manual in preparation for a purchase. I just ordered a .357/9mm in stainless steel today.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 03:52 AM   #11
 
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I just picked up my BRAND NEW Blackhawk .357Mag/9mm convertible yesterday and there are absolutely no markings on the gun to indicate that it is a convertible. As a matter of fact, the cylinders are identical with the exception that the .357 round will not go into the 9mm chambers. Enjoy!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:21 AM   #12
 
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Clarification: on the Old Model single-action convertibles only the "extra" cylinder was marked with the last three serial number digits . . . the .22 Mag, the 9mm, and the .45ACP.

The procedures have changed since then, however, and I cannot keep up with all that.

And of course there are always exceptions . . . as IOWEGAN says, "never say never/always".

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Old March 22nd, 2011, 03:23 PM   #13
 
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Great info everyone. Thanks for your replies!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:00 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Specs View Post
Yep. 9mm is easy shooting and cheap plinking. I don't reload, so 9mm for under $10.00/box is great. Some say it loses a bit of accuracy, but I don't shoot well enough to notice.
I prefer the .357 round but agree the 9mm is a fun & cheap date. Mine shoots to the same point of aim but the 9 loses drops quicker after about 50 yards.
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