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New vs "Old" Blackhawk Quality

This is a discussion on New vs "Old" Blackhawk Quality within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Looking at adding a new 4-5/8" Stainless .357 Blackhawk and I'm wondering if the quality has become better or worse than when Bill Ruger was ...


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Old February 9th, 2020, 03:06 PM   #1
 
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New vs "Old" Blackhawk Quality

Looking at adding a new 4-5/8" Stainless .357 Blackhawk and I'm wondering if the quality has become better or worse than when Bill Ruger was at the helm. I remember wobbly cylinders, chamber throats out of spec and somewhat clunky actions. Are the new ones any better or do they still have these issues, or worse...?

Thanks !!

Pete



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Old February 9th, 2020, 04:54 PM   #2
 
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I remember when the old Colt Python was considered a premium quality gun.
I've read about the hand-fitted Winchester Model 12 being replaced by the cost-reduced 870, then the 870 Express
I've experienced first-hand how cheap materials, crappy steel and awful workmanship let a brand new Stoeger break the barrel lug after the 12th shell.
Then there are new Remlins vs old Marlins.

I bought three (maybe 4) old model Vaqueros because I like the heavier frame and all steel construction.

Last edited by bgavin; February 9th, 2020 at 04:59 PM.
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Old February 9th, 2020, 05:37 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgavin View Post
I've read about the hand-fitted Winchester Model 12 being replaced by the cost-reduced 870, then the 870 Express
870 is Remington.

Yes, it was the primary reason for the Model 12's demise, but technically the Model 12 was replaced by the Model 1200 Winchester.
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Old February 9th, 2020, 06:18 PM   #4
 
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Sorry... you are absolutely correct and I'm waaay over tired.
I understand the Model 12 was premium hand-fitted and precision fabricated until 1964.
Remington introduced 870 in 1950 as a cheaper stamped-parts competitor.

I have an 1981 870 Wingmaster, and it is wonderfully simple and reliable.
Other than picking up a rock or ?? in the slide, I've never had a lick of trouble with it.
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Old February 9th, 2020, 06:24 PM   #5
 
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Getting back to the Blackhawk...I have a 4 5/8 blued convertible that is about 3 years old. No issues at all.

Not sure what the past issues have been, but I love mine. It is accurate in both 358/38 and 9mm.
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Old February 9th, 2020, 07:06 PM   #6
 
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I've got a couple old model Blackhawks; one born on date is 1966 and the other is 1970. Then there's the new Model Bisley - born on 2016.
No issues with any of then - although I do prefer the three screw models to the new ones, but I'm old and tend to be somewhat "set in my ways"! LOL!

WYT-P
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Old February 9th, 2020, 08:46 PM   #7
 
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I have a 1980's model NM Blackhawk in 45 LC/45 ACP, a 1970's NM Blackhawk in 357, and a 2016 NM Blackhawk in 357/9mm. I haven't had any issues with any of them at all; the 1970's Blackhawk will regularly hit milk jugs at 50 or 60 yards with it's 6.5" barrel, and the 2016 Blackhawk with a 4 5/8" barrel just dropped a coyote at 45 yds last month both using 125 gn hornady xtps. I've never had an issue with any of the 3 and would say that they've all been great fit, quality, and finish; but I have always bought them as well as my Single Six for use not to be collector pieces or safe queens/collector pieces. My personal preference is the NM Blackhawks vs 3 screws, I don't personally like the thin trigger face on a 3 screw but that is in no way a disparaging remark just my own preference.

Last edited by Montana09; February 9th, 2020 at 08:49 PM.
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Old February 10th, 2020, 03:33 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgavin View Post
Sorry... you are absolutely correct and I'm waaay over tired.
I understand the Model 12 was premium hand-fitted and precision fabricated until 1964.
Remington introduced 870 in 1950 as a cheaper stamped-parts competitor.

I have an 1981 870 Wingmaster, and it is wonderfully simple and reliable.
Other than picking up a rock or ?? in the slide, I've never had a lick of trouble with it.
Many shotgun gurus will argue that the "older" Remington Model 870 ( especially the Tournament Grade ) was a better gun than the Model 12 ever was.
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Old March 25th, 2020, 06:48 PM   #9
 
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Ive got a few of each. 3 screw flat tops born in the 60s, and a few of the new models born since 2000. No problems with any of the. I do prefer the older ones. Bluing is better and I prefer the medium frame. Personal preference i guess.
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Old March 30th, 2020, 06:06 AM   #10
 
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I've had good luck with old and new Rugers, but I'll say that the finish on my OM's is a bit better than the New Models. Accuracy, aside from under-size throated .45's, has been a toss up. YMMv, Rod
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Old March 30th, 2020, 06:45 AM   #11
 
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I just bought a new 4-5/8" Stainless .357 Blackhawk convertible (extra 9mm cylinder) about one month ago. The fit and finish are top quality and my first outing at the range went very well - both cylinders very accurate (at least for me).

The only thing I might change are the wood grips. I have clammy hands and find my hands tend to slip when shooting higher power rounds (e.g. 357). I had the same problem with the wood grips on my 1911.
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Old March 30th, 2020, 08:20 AM   #12
 
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Talking in general terms, here, but the OMs I've had and still have are better and more consistent in terms of bluing, smoothness of action, polishing and triggers (as far as the triggers needing any work). Been shooting the NMs, though, as long as there have been NMs. The NMs have been more variable over the years, but some have been the equal of the OMs in every respect, including a couple of new production guns, while some have not. Just means I have to be a bit more selective and do more inspection with the NMs. No difference in terms of accuracy, though.
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Old March 30th, 2020, 09:14 AM   #13
 
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I have owned rugers for 45 years and have ones from the 60s and each decade since and still have good results with all of them. Ilove my 870s and I know police depts that have them form the early 60s and are still functioning fine.
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Old Yesterday, 03:23 PM   #14
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I have new model Blackhawk's and single six. I like them very much
I also have a original Vaquero Bisley in 45 colt. I've never had a 1950s or 60's
3 screw, but I think the old one's were most likely better. More hand fitting.
Winchester 12 were great, but I like a Remington 31 shotgun better!
The 31 was the forefather of the 870! All great shotgun's which I also enjoy!
American firearm's are great!
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Old Yesterday, 06:24 PM   #15
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I agree with Slingblade. About the only consistent difference I see between older and newer Rugers is blueing. Generally the older ones have better blueing. That's not universally true but as a generalization it's pretty accurate.
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