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The 357 Max - not your everyday Blackhawk

This is a discussion on The 357 Max - not your everyday Blackhawk within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I feel in love with the 357 Maximum back in the 80s, shooting this awesome cartridge in a 10" Contender. The Max was a great ...


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Old December 21st, 2012, 07:57 AM   #1
 
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The 357 Max - not your everyday Blackhawk

I feel in love with the 357 Maximum back in the 80s, shooting this awesome cartridge in a 10" Contender. The Max was a great alternative to the 44 mag out of a Contender as to recoil. Not that the Max wasn't a fireball to shoot in its own right in that Contender, but I could handle it. The 44 mag in a Contender was just too much for me. Not fun.

I still shoot and load for the Max, but now out of 12" Contender. Naturally, then, I've been on the lookout for a Ruger Blackhawk in the Max to add to the fun, but given that they only made the Blackhawk Max from 82-84, you don't find them that often.

Brought this one home the other week. Made in '84, the last year of production and, best of all, it appears to have never been fired! I will be shooting it, though, but only with 180 and 200 grain bullets to minimize the flame cutting issue which led this fine cartridge to an undeserved early grave. Although the box and gun says Blackhawk, note that it uses a Super Blackhawk grip and hammer. Also note the extra long cylinder and stretched frame to accommodate it. You won't see another Blackhawk or, if you prefer, Super Blackhawk like it.

Gotta head to the loading bench to get ready for some Max fun.




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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:11 AM   #2
 
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Sweet! A nice looking Blackhawk. It will likely be looking and shooting well at the range. I had a .357 mag Blackhawk in SS years ago I regret trading. I've never shot the Maximum but hunted with a .44mag Redhawk years ago.

I see folks locating great finds like yours and wonder what I'm doing wrong.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:42 AM   #3
 
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Jealous!
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Old December 21st, 2012, 11:25 AM   #4
 
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They are sweet guns. I had a chance to buy a couple of them when they first came out. I decided I didn't need one and if I later decided I wanted one I'd get it another time. Little did I know they would be a short lived model. It seems just like yesterday seeing 2 or 3 of the Maximums sitting in the glass showcase at the GS I had worked for. Oh well if you snooze you lose, which I did.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 12:31 PM   #5
 
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It's a real beauty.
Congratulations, enjoy.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 01:30 PM   #6
 
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Very nice NCG.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 01:53 PM   #7
 
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WOW Ncg - now it's my turn to sit down! That is a spectacular find - NIB, unfired, etc. Congratulations! LOVE IT!! They're special Blackhawks and I'm always on the lookout for them (not as bad as Coogs but still.....) I love the dragoon style grip frame. By the way, Midway had some brass in stock not long ago in case you need any. I think a box of 100 was around $24.

Thanks for sharing!

Wave
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Old December 21st, 2012, 02:56 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
WOW Ncg - now it's my turn to sit down! That is a spectacular find - NIB, unfired, etc. Congratulations! LOVE IT!! They're special Blackhawks and I'm always on the lookout for them (not as bad as Coogs but still.....) I love the dragoon style grip frame. By the way, Midway had some brass in stock not long ago in case you need any. I think a box of 100 was around $24.

Thanks for sharing!

Wave
Hi Wave

Been buying up Max brass since it became available, again, this year. Remington runs a batch every other year, so you need to buy when you can. The 400 rounds of brass I bought the last few months should do me for another couple years.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 03:26 PM   #9
 
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Awesome! Very nice Ruger NCG

Great find, good luck with it & happy shootin'
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 06:23 AM   #10
 
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Fantastic cartridge! Have a few Maximums here. Here's a few of them.

10 1/2" max


7 1/2" Bisley-ized max



Above with the new grips



Competitor



No pic, but also a H&R Handi Rifle in the Max as well. Really a performer with the longer barrels.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 07:00 AM   #11
 
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Nice set of Maximums, there, BlkHawk73. Given the condition of my new Max, I've thought about keeping it, as is, and not shooting it ... but only for a few minutes. The Max is just too good a cartridge not to shoot and load.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 08:54 AM   #12
 
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My 10 1/2" might not get much, if any action even though it is used. The rest...yeah, they're shooters. Just gotta get phase II of the gun room, the vault. done so i can get the loading gear back up.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 01:02 PM   #13
 
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Excellent Blackhawk what an addition to your Rugers.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 12:08 PM   #14
 
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North Country Gal....
The classic powders, dating from the SRM prototype Maximums, remain IMR 4227, H4227, and Win 680. Win 680 having been replaced by Accurate 1680.

Hard to beat 4227 all-around, especially with cast bullets. Win 680 & AA 1680 get punch-up going with heavy jacketed 180 and 200 grain bullets. No air space with fine ball 680 and 1680.

Accuracy tends to favor 680 & 1680 at top loadings. IMR 4227 & H4227 tend to best accuracy about two grains below maximum charge. Small rifle primers only. The Maximum uses the stronger Cap & Ball mainspring.

IMR and Hodgdon 4227 is the best powders to start handloading.

Don't forget that you may shoot .38 Special and .357 magnum in the Maximum, both turning finer accuracy with some loads, especially .357 mag.

I devoted my attention to the 10-1/2" barrel, although I would have to call the 7-1/2" a true sleeper with .357 magnum ammunition.

Now, I have a question: has your "late" Blackhawk Maximum an elevation screw with 8-clicks per rev, or 16-clicks per rev? The first Maximums came with 8-click per rev elevation screws.

The name ".357 Maximum" comes from William Ruger, Jr. The prototypes were stamped "SRM-1" through "SRM-7," of which one had a 7-1/2" barrel; the other six had 10-1/2" barrels. While one would think "SRM" stands for "Sturm Ruger Maximum," I was told "No, SRM doesn't mean anything. They're just letters." And yes, the production revolver is a Blackhawk, despite SBH dragoon grip frame. (And that uisn't the whole grip frame story.)

Congratulations and Merry Christmas on selecting such a fine revolver,
David Bradshaw

Last edited by David Bradshaw; December 23rd, 2012 at 12:33 PM.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 07:31 AM   #15
 
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Hi David

That's about where I was planning to go on the reloads. I already use AA1680/Hornady SSP 180s in my Contender (awesome load) and I have the the 4227 and 180 XTPs ready to go for the Blackhawk, just need to get time to sit down and so some loading. I may also try the 200 grain XTPs to see how they do.

Definitely a later gun with the 16 clicks per revolution.

My only issue, at this point, is deciding to scope it or not scope it. Iron sights are a real battle with these old eyes. Scoping will require drilling and tapping, though - something I dread doing. Can't use a Weaver no drill and tap mount for a Blackhawk, either, because the Max has a longer frame and so on than a standard Blackhawk. Darn it all, the gun is just to pristine to go altering it and, when I need to reach out there, nothing beats my Contender. Got the long range end covered, already.

Oh, yeah, that's right. Elgin Gates originally called it the 357 Super Mag.

Hey, Merry Christmas to you and all our great folks on this forum!

Last edited by North country gal; December 24th, 2012 at 07:40 AM.
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