Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32

Thread: Rugers old and new....

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default Rugers old and new....

    There is often some confusion about the Ruger Blackhawk and Vaquero revolvers, the old and the new and the newer and which guns can be loaded to higher pressures than say an S&W or Colt. Well this controversy generally just applies to the 45 Colt caliber guns as any gun barrel stamped 44 magnum will safely shoot any 44 magnum ammunition as long it is loaded to SAAMI specifications. Ruger has been making center fire revolvers for well over fifty years. There have been few changes over these decades and these changes were done for various reasons. In the name of safety, market demand and manufacturing ease, to name a few. Here is a short rundown of the models of past and present.

    The original Blackhawk, had what was designated the XR3 style alloy grip frame with hard rubber, checkered grips and a flat top cylinder frame with a Micro brand adjustable rear sight. We called it the Blackhawk but would later call it the Flat Top.

    Then later Ruger made the Blackhawk with the XR3-Red (redesigned) grip frame (Manufacturing) with walnut grips and this was then called the Blackhawk. Previous Blackhawks were then called Flat Tops. Some were made with a flat top but most XR3-Red framed guns were with the familiar reinforced cylinder frame with humps around the rear sight. Then in 1973, we began to call it the Old Model Blackhawk because Ruger introduced the New Model Blackhawk with different lock work. (Safety)

    Later, in the 1980’s Ruger introduced a fixed sight model named the Vaquero. (Market) It was a new model because of the lock work but it wasn't the New Model Vaquero because there never was an Old Model Vaquero.

    But wait there is still more; most recently, Ruger has begun to make all Blackhawk and Vaquero models with the old style XR3 grip frame, with black hard rubber (synthetic) grips. These are called the New Style Blackhawk (Alloy frame) and New Style Vaquero (Steel frame), respectively. Not officially so named just used to differentiate from older New Model guns. But I'm not through. Ruger also, in the past few years, has remade the old flat top cylinder frames with the old Micro adjustable rear sights; these are flat tops and are called New Flat Top Blackhawks. They have the new, old XR3 frame and are made in 357 and in 44 magnum for the 50th Anniversary models of the 1950’s introduction of those calibers in Flat Top Blackhawks. Now, this same gun is also made in an old caliber that Ruger never before made, but in an old style of Ruger, a New Flat Top Blackhawk, in 44 special. Limited, 4 5/8" and 5 1/2" barrel lengths are available from a few shops.

    Ruger's redesigned version of their Vaquero, this New Style Vaquero, with a lighter cylinder frame and an all steel XR3 style grip frame, are much lighter in weight and are not as strong as any variation of the original Vaquero. These new Vaqueros are what most of us call the New Vaquero or sometimes the New, New Vaquero, even though there never was an Old Style Vaquero…….until now. It is these newest Vaqueros that cause so much confusion about hand loads in the 45 Colt caliber guns. These newest or New Style or New Model Vaqueros cannot be loaded with the same higher pressure loads of the previous Vaquero (heavy frame) or Blackhawk models.

    The new Flat Top Models have the same XR3 steel grip frame of the New Style Vaquero but have a much stronger cylinder frame of the Blackhawk but likely not as durable as the Blackhawk cylinder frame with the reinforced sight channel.

    The New Model Vaquero, with its light and dainty steel grip frame is only made in 357 and 45 Colt. The older, heavy frame Vaquero was made in 45 Colt, 44 magnum, 41 magnum, and 357 magnum.

    In the older, heavier Vaquero with the heavy cylinder frame, there is also a model with the Bisley style grip frame. These old Bisley Vaqueros are capable of taking the same loads as any of the new, New Model Blackhawks, the old New Model Blackhawks and the Old Model Blackhawks, too. It is just the new Vaquero, with the redesigned old grip frame, and milled down lighter cylinder frame that cannot use heavy 45 Colt loadings.


    Now why do some think this is confusing??
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,602

    Default

    Good refresher,thanks

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,816

    Default Thanks for posting that.

    Murphy:
    This must be some of that stuff, you're spose to have forgotten.

    No problem now, you've got it down in black and white.

    It's Good information, and Interesting too.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  4. #4
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,555

    Default

    Uh.... Wow, I guess you could always just load high pressure and test it. If you still have a hand after you pull the trigger, you know your gun can take it.

    Personally, I would rather just use a modern weapon I KNOW is designed for higher pressure loads. Better safe than sorry. I'll go for a S&W 460 for my bear medicine.

    I do like those Rugers though. Always wanted a Vaquero in 45 colt/45 ACP configuration. (they did make those, right? dual cylinders?) It wouldn't be my first choice for bear protection though.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Between mentally adjudicated and cybersapce
    Posts
    555

    Default So Murphy....

    What you're saying is my new, NEW Model Stainless Steel Blackhawk 45LC is good to go?

  6. #6

    Default

    Gun Notes: The .45 Colt - Dissolving the Myth, Discovering the Legend
    by John Linebaugh
    When Colt's Patented Firearms Manufacturing Company came out with the .45 Colt in the Single Action Army or "Peacemaker" model in 1873 little did they realize what they had created. In the following years the gun; and the men who used it; whether for good or bad, would be remembered in story and legend, and yes in MYTH. Secondly, what made the .45 Colt such a great round during the black powder era was, capacity, caliber and bullet weight. These are still its strongest points today thanks to the fine components we have available. Add to that a strong gun capable of fine accuracy and now we can discover the .45 Colts POTENTIAL..

    DISSOLVING THE MYTH

    Bear in mind that to discover the potential of any cartridge requires a strong modern well made firearm to contain and fire the round safely. The main argument against the Colt .45 is that there are thousands of "unsafe" Colt SAA blackpowder revolvers out there just waiting with mouths open to swallow your new high pressure reloads. This is a fact of life but I assume the reader of this report is a safe, intelligent person and an experienced handloader. This entire report is based on facts proven in the popular and strong Ruger Blackhawks and Bisley models chambered for the .45 Colt Cartridge. I have felt a need for a long time to set the record straight as to the full safe potential of this fine gun and round. This material is not about Colt SAA, Dakotas, or any other import. These are fine guns in their own realm, but require safe, carefully assembled handloads of much LESS PRESSURE than we are talking about in the uger Revolvers.

    AGAIN, ALL THE INFORMATION IN THIS REPORT PERTAINS "ONLY" TO NEW MODEL RUGER SINGLE ACTION BISLEY OR BLACKHAWK REVOLVERS.

    How strong are the Ruger Blackhawk and Bisley model revolvers? Reports from the prestigious H.P White laboratory prove to us that most American Made revolvers offer approximately 100% safety factor with current Industry standard pressure level ammunition. Example: The .44 magnum is loaded to 40,000 CUP (Copper Units of Pressure). H.P Whites lab reports states that the Ruger Super Blackhawk was destroyed in a controlled test at approximately double that Pressure. (80,000 CUP) The Smith and Wesson Model 29, also in .44 magnum caliber showed comparable results. Today we have stronger guns chambered for the .44 magnum (Redhawk prime example) but the Model 29 S&W and the Ruger Blackhawk gave life to the .44 magnum cartridge. The strength and design of these guns satisfied the industry at the time (1955) and the standards were set from these firearms. By careful measurement and a little simple mathematics we find that the Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt caliber is approximately 80 % as strong as the Blackhawk in .44 magnum caliber. Some may argue that the .45 Colts usually are fitted with fluted cylinders while the new .44 Rugers are nearly all unfluted. Exceptions to this rule are Flatop .44 magnum Rugers, THE GUN THAT WAS MADE FIRST BY RUGER FOR THE .44 MAGNUM ROUND. Lately Ruger has produced some special run of guns in .44 Magnum chambering that again have the fluted cylinder feature. Also a few early Bisleys were fitted with FLUTED cylinders in .44 caliber. However most were unfluted roll marked cylinders. But the most important factor we have found here is there is very little difference in strength between a fluted and non-fluted cylinder. The strength of the cylinder can vary more from the quality of the material, the tensile strength of the part due to different points of hardness. When steel is heat treated it can easily vary a couple of points. This is only a few thousand pounds of tensile strength but this is likely to mean more to absolute strength than the difference in the design of the part in the argument between "fluted" or NON-Fluted". The important fact is that the initial part (in this case the cylinder) was OVER ENGINEERED to account for these variables. They are amply strong to safely handle any safe load. To DEFINE SAFE: ANY LOAD THAT DOES NOT EXCEED THE INDUSTRY'S RECOMMENDED MAXIMUM OPERATIONAL PRESSURE.. In the case of the .44 magnum, this is 40,000 CUP. Not to exceed 43,500 ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM.

    The Ruger Blackhawks and Bisley models chambered for .45 Colt are approximately 80% as strong as the same Ruger chambered for .44 magnum. This means we can load the .45 Colt to 80% of the pressure of the .44 Magnum round and still maintain the 100% safety level. 80% of 40,000 is 32, 000.

    To check our findings we again turned to H.P White Labs and their findings paralleled ours. Ruger Blackhawks in .45 Colt caliber were destroyed in controlled test conditions at approximately 60,000 CUP pressure levels.

    We went further on our own here and purposely destroyed several cylinders with loads that were later pressure tested in Industry Standard Pressure barrels that proved pressures were in the area of 60,000 CUP. Now that we know just how strong the guns are we are working with perhaps you figure you can heat up the a loads a bit. Such "logical thinking" jaspers will get a REAL LOAD. Overloading often times does no visible harm, but stress and fatigue go unnoticed till something lets go. In this era when shooters and hunters are looked over very critically we need safe responsible hunters, shooters and HANDLOADERS.. THIS MEANS YOU.

    FRAME STRENGTH

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneriver View Post
    Gun Notes: The .45 Colt - Dissolving the Myth, Discovering the Legend
    by John Linebaugh

    I'm wondering what would be your point in posting John well written article.
    Do you have an opinion on this Ruger revolver?

    Are you disputing Johns opinion?

    Are you disputing my opinion?

    What gives??

    John Linebaugh's knowledge has never in conflict with my own I just want to know your point before I delete his copyrighted material.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    What you're saying is my new, NEW Model Stainless Steel Blackhawk 45LC is good to go?
    Yes. They didn't change anything except the grip frame on the Blackhawk. I have a new one and shoot the same loads as the older model.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9

    Default yes I have an opinon on that gun and its the same

    as yours and John's ..I posted his writing just to add to the fine info you posted..also to add that the factory pressure for .45 colt is 14,000....the New Vaquero can go as high as 20,000 without any damage to the gun..also I thought the other poster might like to know that the New Model Blackhawk was sent to H.P. White lab and they blew it up at 62,000 pressure..which I think is incredible..I don't pay any attention to copy material that is on the web..

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneriver View Post
    as yours and John's ..I posted his writing just to add to the fine info you posted..also to add that the factory pressure for .45 colt is 14,000....the New Vaquero can go as high as 20,000 without any damage to the gun..also I thought the other poster might like to know that the New Model Blackhawk was sent to H.P. White lab and they blew it up at 62,000 pressure..which I think is incredible..I don't pay any attention to copy material that is on the web..
    Ok, I understand. You didn't annotate anything further and your point was unclear. Thanks for clearing that up. John is writing about the Blackhawk and Bisley framed Blackhawk, he does not mention the Vaquero, old or new and certainly the new lightweight Vaquero isn't in this category.

    I would like to emphasize the point about 30,000 CUP (or psi) being the practical limit of the 45 Colt in these guns. That would be playing it safe and still deliver serious thump. Thanks again for straightening me out.

    About the copyright, we're not supposed to be posting that matereial on this sight. Personally I think its ok as long as credit is give the author, which you did. Here's the whole article, he does prove his point and I agree across the board.

    http://www.customsixguns.com/writing...g_the_myth.htm
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  11. #11

    Default

    Murphy,
    I'm not that familiar with the new small size vaquero. Would it be possible to have a custom 5 shot made from one of these that could handle the 480 ruger or is the frame to small or weak for that? I suspect that if it won't take a 44mag it probably won't handle a 480 but I'm not sure if a 5 shot cylinder might give it the strength it needs.

    Thanks.

    Eric

  12. #12

    Default

    Well would you like to shed light on the ruger single six then? haha it should fit right in there

  13. #13

    Default I'm not Murphy, but I'm bored and

    have an opinion...as the previous posts state the New Model Vaquero (small frame) will handle pressure to 20,000 without damage....so will that fall into the presure for the .480..I would venture a Guess that it would not...with the small frame at about 32 ounces I would think that shooting a .480 would be like a hand cannon...The New Vaquero will however drive a 270/280 grain bullet at 1,000 to 1,100 fps @ 20,000 pressure with the right powder which is enought to shoot through a moose broadside with the right bullet..The old Vaquero will handle anything the NMB or Bisley will...

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneriver View Post
    have an opinion...as the previous posts state the New Model Vaquero (small frame) will handle pressure to 20,000 without damage....so will that fall into the presure for the .480..I would venture a Guess that it would not...with the small frame at about 32 ounces I would think that shooting a .480 would be like a hand cannon...The New Vaquero will however drive a 270/280 grain bullet at 1,000 to 1,100 fps @ 20,000 pressure with the right powder which is enought to shoot through a moose broadside with the right bullet..The old Vaquero will handle anything the NMB or Bisley will...

    I like that. you should start every post with "I have an opinion"

    I didn't mean to come off so ...er...rough around the edges.

    You make a good point about the new Vaquero and the 480...geez, not even gonna work. The Blackhawk isn't a big gun. Old or new, and that frame has been used for 5 shot conversions by a three or four good pistols smiths routinely to make 475 LB conversions as well as 500 LB and the 454, which pressure wise is the toughest of the bunch. The 480 would be an ideal 5 shot conversion for a 4 5/8 or 5 1/2" Blackhawk. Contact Hamilton Bowen, he's done several of them and he would be a my first choice. But it will be made on a Blackhawk frame.

    I consider the 480 more practical than the 475LB, because you'll load to 480 ballistics mostly anyway because it's more pleasant to shoot in that light weight gun. I reached the limit of my handgun recoil tollerance with that mighty 475 and began to cut cases back for an efficient load with 400 grains at 1100 to 1200 fps. That can be done in the 480 case and 5" of barrel. John made both my 475's on Blackhawk frames.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Between mentally adjudicated and cybersapce
    Posts
    555

    Default Thanks Murphy.

    I have a question on presure's.

    In the Linebaugh article below, he states:
    "The Ruger Blackhawks and Bisley models chambered for .45 Colt are approximately 80% as strong as the same Ruger chambered for .44 magnum. This means we can load the .45 Colt to 80% of the pressure of the .44 Magnum round and still maintain the 100% safety level. 80% of 40,000 is 32, 000."

    I assume this reduced pressure is a result of the larger internal boring of the 45 cylinders and barrel. Providing less stuctural strength due to the reduce metal thickness.

    My question is, if the 45 has less pressure capability how is it the stronger/ more powerful of the two cartridges when hand loaded? Is it due to the larger buller diameter and weight? The ability to load heavier bullets and still send them down range at comparable speeds of lighter bullets out of the 44?

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BowHunter89 View Post
    Well would you like to shed light on the ruger single six then? haha it should fit right in there

    There is a single six in 32 H&R mag here in town I have my eye on for my granddaughter, she's turning 13 I think. Most 13 year old girls would like a good revolver for their 13th birthday, right.??

    This is the 22 LR frame single six, not a Blackhawk frame. It is my opinion that this small frame revolver could be used for calibers up to 357 mag in a six shot configuration but may have to go to five shot. I base this on cylinder diameter and frame strength. I don't think it could be opened up beyond that because of barrel diameter and cylinder frame window dimensions would limit uses. I don't think it could be used for calibers as big as forty.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  17. #17
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    There is a single six in 32 H&R mag here in town I have my eye on for my granddaughter, she's turning 13 I think. Most 13 year old girls would like a good revolver for their 13th birthday, right.??
    I would think so, but I don't know if a 32 would be the best pick unless she is already a gun nut. I would say 22 unless she has one and 38/357 next due to ammo availability (everything from wax and rubber to 200 grain hot loads can be found with little trouble in 38/357) as well as the expanded number of shooting events they open up for her. I have a niece in Arizona that has been doing mounted shooting as well as target events from age 9 with 357 Balckhawks. Get the cool 32 for you and give it to her down the road someday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    It is my opinion that this small frame revolver could be used for calibers up to 357 mag in a six shot configuration but may have to go to five shot. I base this on cylinder diameter and frame strength. I don't think it could be opened up beyond that because of barrel diameter and cylinder frame window dimensions would limit uses. I don't think it could be used for calibers as big as forty.
    A 357 or even just a 38 on the single six-frame would be a great starter gun for young cowboy action shooters. Need to get Ruger and SASS after that one Murphy! Maybe call it the Youthhawk or in the spirit of cowboy shooting and the old west call it Kid-Hawk.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Between two lakes in Alaska
    Posts
    952

    Default 41 Special?

    In the hazy back of my memory...there was an article in Am. Handgunner about a 41 special...built on I believe a single six frame. Don't remember any of the details. Ring a bell with anyone?

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph View Post
    I have a question on presure's.

    In the Linebaugh article below, he states:
    "The Ruger Blackhawks and Bisley models chambered for .45 Colt are approximately 80% as strong as the same Ruger chambered for .44 magnum. This means we can load the .45 Colt to 80% of the pressure of the .44 Magnum round and still maintain the 100% safety level. 80% of 40,000 is 32, 000."

    I assume this reduced pressure is a result of the larger internal boring of the 45 cylinders and barrel. Providing less stuctural strength due to the reduce metal thickness.

    My question is, if the 45 has less pressure capability how is it the stronger/ more powerful of the two cartridges when hand loaded? Is it due to the larger buller diameter and weight? The ability to load heavier bullets and still send them down range at comparable speeds of lighter bullets out of the 44?

    A good question, I'm glad you asked.

    Your last para "the 45 has less pressure capability" yes but even if we load it to say 40,000 we have a large safety window before reaching 64,000 psi and truth be know many 44 mag loads exceed the 40,000 level. BUt we don't have to shoot the Colt at equal pressure. Here goes;

    The power of a cartridge is based on several principles. Generally muzzle energy is considered, and rightfully so but that number doesn't directly relate to a cartridge's effectivness in the field. I suppose we could call this killing power but as you know it is given many names and numbers to try to correlate the power level of one cartridge to another more effectively in the field. The Momentum or the Taylor knock out values are also used to try to express meaningful numbers.

    Bullet weight, bullet diameter and impact velocity will determine how much damage a bullet will do at impact, given common bullet construction. This makes sense for most folks but some think energy, most easily increased by upping velocity, is the best factor. Lets look at that.

    When a bullet is pushed out the barrel by the pressure from the burning powder, it is accellerated at the rate of force on the base. That force is simply pounds per square inch times the square area of the bullet base. Consider the area of the .430" diameter bullet. Area is pi r*r. r=d/2=.2150" squared that is .046225 and * 3.14150=an Area of .14522" Multiplying this times pressure gives us 40,000 * .14522= 5808 inch pounds of force.

    The same applied to the 45 Colt at 40,000 psi gives us 6420 inch pounds. We can reduce the pressure to 36,186 psi and equal the energy/power/momentum of the 44 mag with a force of 5808 pounds. .1605" squared * pressure of 36,186 = 5808 in. lb..

    That is the same weight bullet for each caliber, at the same velocity, so the energy level is the same, momentum is also equal but with the large bore greater force is applied at the business end. Which one is going to leave a bigger hole? Which one has higher TKO numbers?

    At comparable pressures/bullet weight/velocity, the 45 Colt will equal the performance of the 44 mag, some say exceed it. Here is this fact of physics; with equal bullet weight and pressure, the larger bore will exceed the energy level of the smaller. (see above) It is this reason that some folks say the 45 Colt is all the 44 is, they'er right.

    There are other considerations. The 45 will have slightly lower sectional density and theoretically penetrate less. Possible so. You could say the large bore has greater surface area going down the bore so friction woould be higher. We could also say the sign of the moon may effect it too, but we cannot measure it.

    Applying the principles and a little common sense will tell you that a 300 grain bullet from the old 45 Colt or from the 44 mag would indiscriminately ruin the day of any bad guy or beast.

    Note: This was all done from memory without scanning my witts off the internet and using only the services of a ten key calculater. So there may be errors but I'm still right......long live the 45 Colt.


    TKO=W*V*C/7000
    (C is bore size.)
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default Ruger or S&W

    From OneRiver's post: "Example: The .44 magnum is loaded to 40,000 CUP (Copper Units of Pressure). H.P Whites lab reports states that the Ruger Super Blackhawk was destroyed in a controlled test at approximately double that Pressure. (80,000 CUP) The Smith and Wesson Model 29, also in .44 magnum caliber showed comparable results."

    This goes against the commonly held opinion - esp. of Ruger fans - that the SBH is a much stronger gun that the S&W 29. It would be interesting to know what the failure mode was on each gun.

    The significantly lower pressure of failure of the .45 LC Blackhawks is also interesting. I guess loading them to .44 Mag pressures - i.e. 40k psi -still gives the shooter a safety margin of 50% or so if nothing goes wrong!

    Another interesting finding would be to compare a stainless steel gun to equivalent carbon steel guns. Except for some of the super alloys stainless steel is normally not as strong as carbon steel.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •