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how do you like the blackhawk 357 6.5 barrel?

This is a discussion on how do you like the blackhawk 357 6.5 barrel? within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I think I have decided to buy a new model blackhawk 357 in stainless. It comes only in a 4.62 inch and 6.5 inch barrel. ...


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Old May 8th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #1
 
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how do you like the blackhawk 357 6.5 barrel?

I think I have decided to buy a new model blackhawk 357 in stainless. It comes only in a 4.62 inch and 6.5 inch barrel. I like the looks of the 6.5 but would like some advice.



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Old May 8th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #2
 
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My first was a 6 1/2 stainless lost it in a thieft, still miss it . I replaced it with a blued model in 6 1/2 and got another in blue in 4 5/8 all in .357 . I regret not going stainless on both.
I use the 6 1/2 for hunting and the 4 5/8 for packing, however for me I do better with the longer barrell , with it I just seam to go on target with out thinking, on the shorter I need to pay more attention to the target. It's probably just me as I just about did everything with that stainless as it was my first handgun, first love you know , also in my hand the 6 1/2 just seems to balance a little better. I just ordered a superblackhawk in 5 1/2 to see how that lenght compares
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Old May 8th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #3
 
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I'm picking my Blackhawk convertable 4.7" .357/9mm Stainless tomorrow. I'll be sure to let you know how it shoots
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Old May 8th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #4
 
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I like the 4-5/8" best but if Ruger made one in 5-1/2", I'd look really closely at it. To me the 6-1/2" is a bit too long to pack all day especially if I'm riding in a P/U.
Barrel length is a personal preference though, I'd get the one I liked, it's going to be your gun & should please You!
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Old May 8th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #5
 
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I prefer the balance of the shorter 4 5/8" and don't notice much of a difference in accuracy I have a couple 6 1/2" blackhawks and love them for range use but not for packin. I don't even have a holster for anything longer than 5 1/2"
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Old May 8th, 2011, 04:03 PM   #6
 
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My blued 6 1/2" .357 BH was the first revolver that I owned back in my late teens. I packed it hiking in the hills, fishing, camping, under the seat of the truck, and of course used it for target shooting. Still have it today that is almost 28 years ago now.... I didn't find it a problem 'packing' on the hip. Always glad that it was there! More glad that I never had to pull it!

Now, I like the .45 Colt in 5 1/2" length for packing, but really it is personal preference. This just happens to be mine .


As for accuracy... any barrel length can be accurate. However a shooter usually shoots 'better' using a longer barrel (longer sight radius). I know I do. Also you gain some velocity over the shorter barrel.

Last edited by rclark; May 8th, 2011 at 04:08 PM.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 03:08 AM   #7
 
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I like the caliber now, much more than in the past. I only shoot 38 specials. The 6.5" is a little long in a hip holster, but my favorite S/A is a 7.5" that I use for cowboy fun. A Blackhawk in any barrel length other than the buntline + is fine for me.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 04:46 AM   #8
 
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I use one in 6 1/2" that I bought new in 1979, well over 25000 rounds of hand loaded thru it. I used it for jack rabbits at ranges out to 175 paces. It works well for the longer ranges. For everyday use a shorter barrel would be easier to handle and carry, I have a Colt Trooper 357 and a Security Six, both 4" for that.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 05:20 AM   #9
 
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I've had two .357's in that longer barrel length (and currently have a .41 and .44 magnum in that length as well), but find that the shorter barrel is the one that I carry when woods bumming. If you're interested in a range gun only, or one that you'd carry in some sort of shoulder or cross-chest rig, then the 6-1/2" would probably work out for you. I've currently got a trio of .44 Specials (two in 4-5/8" and the other a 5-1/2" model) as well as a pair of .41 and .44 Magnums with 6-1/2 barrels...all 5 are flat tops with steel frames. By far, the 4-5/8" models are the best for carrying. Dale53 who posts here often, prefers his 5-1/2" Special, and I respect his vast experience, but for me, the shorter tube has the edge. BTW, good choice on the stainless option; for canoe trips, back packing etc where you can't baby your firepower, it makes a lot of sense.

Here are the benefits of the shorter length in my experience:

1. The difference in actual group size for me, shooting from a seated, back supported, gun between the knees (Keith's long range position), is almost negligible. At 25 yds, it's on the order of 1/4"!!! I'm 65 yrs old now with eyes that need correction...

2. With steel frame models (the flat tops), the balance is better for me with the short barrel. It hangs better when shooting two-handed, offhand, and far better when I'm using one hand. The difference is even greater with the alloy frames. The longer tube is just too muzzle heavy and I drop shots out the bottom of the group.

3. Toting that long barrel around is a pita...even with a good holster and gun belt; the problem is length. Sitting in a deer stand with one on, even with a hi-rise type of Tom Threepersons holster is an exercise in "tilt". In a ground stand, the muzzle is sticking in the dirt...in a car..the cushions are the same. I do find that on horseback it's OK, but tractors, garden or farm variety, it's a pita. The short barrel is an easy packer; fits well in a holster, up high enough to keep out of the dirt, seat cushions etc and even works in a rear jeans pocket for informal carry up to the target butts and back if you're hesitant about leaving a revolver and ammunition on a bench while in front of the firing line.

4. If you're worried about velocity loss, that two inches of barrel difference equates to roughly 50-75 fps. It's possible to get that amount of difference, shot to shot in a single box of factory ammunition from either barrel length...I've chrono'd it! At hand gun velocities, that's negligible in my book.

5. And lastly, to my eyes, the short barrel looks better...purely subjective, I know, your eyes may see it the other way 'round!

Buy what you like, but do give the short barrel some consideration...I'd try them both at the range and give that portability issue some thought. Lastly, you might give the .44 specials or .44 or .41 mag's a look...bigger bullets, lots of loadings, and let's face it...they're what real men carry! LOL

Best Regards, Rodfac

Last edited by Rodfac; May 9th, 2011 at 05:25 AM.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #10
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If it were me I would go with shorter barrel

If I had do all over again I would go with the shorter barrel. Here is a picture of my 357 blackhawk.

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Old May 9th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #11
 
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I'll be the contrarian here. I love my 6.5" .357 NMBH. It's a range gun. I bought it because I think I always wanted a "cowboy" gun. I grew-up watching TV in the 1950s (yes, we really had TV in the 50s). I also wanted adjustable sights and the strength to handle what I could load-up. That made the choice simple. I like the barrel-heavy balance. For everyday carry, its usually a 1911. But, that BH is a real blast.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 11:37 AM   #12
 
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bwfelton
Be sure to pick the one that suits YOU. We all have preferences which may or may not suit you.
Please let us know which you pick.
Good luck in your selection, & good shooting.
Frank
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Old May 10th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #13
 
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I purchased a new Blackhawk 357, 6.5 barrel, in stainless. I have to wait 11 days from tomorrow when I fill out the paper work. I found a good price on a Galco holster on Amazon.

Thank you for all of your help
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Old May 10th, 2011, 01:02 PM   #14
 
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Shoots like a champ
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Old May 13th, 2011, 07:57 AM   #15
 
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Congratulations.
I'm sure it'll be the right choice for you & you are the one who needs to be pleased.
Let us know how it shoots.
Good shooting!
Frank
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