PDA

View Full Version : 44Mag super blackhawk or 45LC blackhawk?


shinbone
01-02-2011, 8:31 AM
On my list of guns to buy this year is a Ruger Blackhawk. I never really liked shooting revolvers until I tried my first single action- a 357mag New Vaquero. I can't even begin to describe how much fun it is to hit steel plates with a powerful single action revolver. Definitely want my own now.

I want something powerful, so I'm leaning towards either 44mag or 45LC. After reading up on the 45LC cartridge, Im learning its a low pressure round thats pretty gentile. Apparently nothing like a 44mag. But Ive also found that 45LC can be hotrodded to near 44mag specs. Im liking the idea of 45LC in a Blackhawk because there's just nothing more "old west" than this combo. However, will the Blackhawk withstand a consistent diet of "Hot" 45LC? Or is it better to just get a 44Mag Super Blackhawk?

Anyone with experience with either or both, I'd appreciate a response. Thanks!

GM4spd
01-02-2011, 8:36 AM
If you get the right Blackhawk 45LC some came with a 45ACP cylinder
which makes it really versatile. Pete

pyromensch
01-02-2011, 8:40 AM
i had a couple of s&w 629 in 44 mag, that i got rid of, and i bought a vaquero in 45lc. i handload, and you can get bullets of greater weight than a 44. i have loaded them pretty hot, and haven't had any issues, other than sometimes the cylinder pin would slide out, upon recoil. that was when it was new, 10 yrs ago.
with the 44 mag you can shoot specials in it, but as you mentioned the 45lc is loaded low for the older handguns.
me i went 45 lc, i think that you would be happy with either.

shinbone
01-02-2011, 8:43 AM
I handload too. 44 bullets are expensive! I can't get into casting at the moment. Can you use 45acp bullets in 45LC? Those are a whole lot cheaper.

GunDog
01-02-2011, 8:44 AM
I've got the Ruger Bisley in .45 Colt and I enjoy shooting the hard hitting Buffalo Bore rounds that are available for steel plates at 200 yards. Makes my S&W Model 629 seem like a light weight.

NapaCountyShooter
01-02-2011, 8:46 AM
I really like the versatility of the 45 LC cartridge. I'd go for the Blackhawk myself. Rolling your own would be a must through. Don't worry about either gun living up to a diet of hot rounds. Rugers are built to take it.

pyromensch
01-02-2011, 8:47 AM
I handload too. 44 bullets are expensive! I can't get into casting at the moment. Can you use 45acp bullets in 45LC? Those are a whole lot cheaper.

sure, in the newer firearms. the old 45 lc had a .454 bore, the new ones are .451-.452

shinbone
01-02-2011, 9:01 AM
I really like the versatility of the 45 LC cartridge. I'd go for the Blackhawk myself. Rolling your own would be a must through. Don't worry about either gun living up to a diet of hot rounds. Rugers are built to take it.

sure, in the newer firearms. the old 45 lc had a .454 bore, the new ones are .451-.452

Good stuff to know. 45 Colt it is. :D

toby
01-02-2011, 9:04 AM
I too have both and the nod goes to the 45 Colt..

B Strong
01-02-2011, 11:33 AM
I dig Ruger single actions too:

http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/8753/mvc861s.jpg

Top left, old three screw Ruger SBH flattop 7 1/2" .44 mag.

BH .45 4 5/8" Tuned by Bowen, Ivories.

SBH .44 mag 2" Magnaport custom.

My .02 would be to go with the SBH in .44 mag and handload.

GUNNTZ
01-02-2011, 11:37 AM
I love my SBH in 44mag!! Fun to shoot, recoil is manageable, pretty damn accurate and just looks cool.

zdragon
01-02-2011, 11:52 AM
here's my Ruger Blackhawk 45acp/45LC convertible.....

http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/6584/p10501132.jpg
By zdagon52 (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/zdagon52) at 2011-01-02

zdragon
01-02-2011, 11:53 AM
I handload too. 44 bullets are expensive! I can't get into casting at the moment. Can you use 45acp bullets in 45LC? Those are a whole lot cheaper.

yes....but make sure you don't use nickel plated brass.

dfletcher
01-02-2011, 1:01 PM
On my list of guns to buy this year is a Ruger Blackhawk. I never really liked shooting revolvers until I tried my first single action- a 357mag New Vaquero. I can't even begin to describe how much fun it is to hit steel plates with a powerful single action revolver. Definitely want my own now.

I want something powerful, so I'm leaning towards either 44mag or 45LC. After reading up on the 45LC cartridge, Im learning its a low pressure round thats pretty gentile.

Depends on who's pulling the trigger .....:p

Mofo-Kang
01-02-2011, 1:20 PM
I have a convertible Blackhawk .357/9mm that I love. I wouldn't hesitate to get a .44 or the .45 convertible model. They've got a rep as being tanks.

Argonaut
01-02-2011, 1:25 PM
If you are shooting long range or hunting, The 44 mag would be better, For fun, HD, range time I would buy the 45 LC preferably with the 45ACP cylinder.

shinbone
01-02-2011, 1:39 PM
yes....but make sure you don't use nickel plated brass.

Do nickel plated cases stick in the cylinder?

If you are shooting long range or hunting, The 44 mag would be better, For fun, HD, range time I would buy the 45 LC preferably with the 45ACP cylinder.

Is this because the 44 is more accurate?

ScottB
01-02-2011, 1:50 PM
If the ability to shoot tamer practice loads is the issue, remember you can shoot .44 Specials out of a .44 Mag.

.45 LC is the tame load for a .454 if you want to go big.

Argonaut
01-02-2011, 1:58 PM
Do nickel plated cases stick in the cylinder?



Is this because the 44 is more accurate?

No, 44 mag if anything, is less accurate but with the additional velocity is it a much better long range handgun (if there is such a thing?) I standardize my 44 cases to all magnums and load it up or down as I want so there is no confusion with 44 special brass. You wont want to shoot the hot magnums all the time. They are best saved for field and "social" work

zdragon
01-02-2011, 3:00 PM
Do nickel plated cases stick in the cylinder?



No....but for some reason it wouldn't take the 45acp bullets with mine, brass would.

quiet-wyatt
01-02-2011, 7:38 PM
...and i bought a vaquero in 45lc. i handload, and you can get bullets of greater weight than a 44. i have loaded them pretty hot, and haven't had any issues, other than sometimes the cylinder pin would slide out, upon recoil. that was when it was new, 10 yrs ago.

Shinbone,
Just remember - the ORIGINAL Vaqueros (pre-2005) can handle the hot loads - NOT the "New Vaquero" models... The "New Vaquero" can only handle the standard .45 Colt loads... And also keep in mind that Ruger NEVER acknowledged that the ORIGINAL Vaqueros were designed to handle the hot loads...

Personally, if you want a hot-shooting round, go with the .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk - That's what it was designed for...

ojisan
01-02-2011, 7:54 PM
:iagree:

.44 Mag Super Black Hawk for rompin' stompin' loads and lots of 'em.

.45LC New Vaquero for fun.

1JimMarch
01-02-2011, 10:33 PM
OK. Couple of points here.

You want the 45LC/45ACP convertible IF you can find a combination you like.

The "standard cataloged" Blackhawk 45 convertibles are blue, with an XR3-RED grip frame (the "standard" Ruger plowhandle a bit bigger than the smaller New Vaquero "XR3" grip frame) and have your choice of a 4.68" or 5.5" barrel. It's built on the large frame and can take 44Magnum-class 45LC+P loads. Grip frame and ejector housing are aluminum, total weight is 42oz for the 4.68" version.

If that's what you want, cool. If you want some other combination, it gets trickier. You either have to roll it yourself, such as installing a Bisley hammer/trigger/grip kit onto one of the above or doing a barrel swap if you want longer, or find one of the relatively rare "distributor special runs" that turn up now and again.

There's now a special run in the distributor channels of New Vaquero stainless convertibles. Those will be limited in power in 45LC to the same kind of loads the Colt SAA (post-WW2) can handle - 255gr hardcast @ 1,000fps or 200gr JHP @ 1,100ish.

Next thing is, new or used? THIS IS IMPORTANT: large-frame Ruger SAs made "recently" (roughly 2007 or so) had their cylinders drilled and reamed with the new process, with one bit/reamer set doing all six bores in sequence. The resulting cylinders are more accurate in every dimension and don't suffer from uneven throats or chamber sizes. Ruger started this process with the mid-frames like the NewVaq and has transitioned it to the large-frames. Best way to spot the "new type" large frames is to look for the "Ruger warning label" - if it's on the side of the barrel, it's the old process, under the barrel and it's new.

(There's a known exception: the 44Magnum Blackhawk Flattop 50th Anniversary gun of 2006 was the first large-frame to get the new cylinder process, and it has a side-warning barrel. It's blue, 6.5", has the smaller XR3-type grip frame and goes for dirt cheap at CDNN Investments right now - $450 last I heard. It's a great starting point for customization and many have been either chopped, "Bisley-ized" or both.)

Sadly, Ruger will NOT sell a 45ACP cylinder to somebody who has a 45LC gun. This is just disgusting in my opinion.

I personally am very picky about my guns. If given a choice between a used convertible 45 with a side-barrel warning label and a brand new underbarrel gun for $200 more, I'd pay the $200 to get a gun I knew was built better. But that's me.

To understand what the 45LC is capable of in this class of gun, study John Linebaugh's notes on the subject:

http://www.customsixguns.com/writings.htm

In his article on the 45 he explains that despite running at lower pressure than the 44Mag, the increased case volume can more than make up the difference if you use it right - meaning a heavy hardcast slug and slow-burn powder. Several sources for this type of ammo now exist commercially from Buffalo Bore and others.

The 45ACP cylinder is damned useful too. Cheap factory practice ammo for starters, but also the ability to use cheapo 1911 GI mags as speedloaders is cool - just thumb rounds into the loading gate :). Ain't exactly "the cowboy way" but it works. What also works great in the 45ACP (plus 9mm and other rimless rounds) is tube-loading. Start with brass or plastic tubes of the right diameter, plug one end permanently while leaving an air hole, rig a cap for the other end, stick it in the loading gate, blow on the back of the tube while spinning the cylinder. It can be as fast as a DA speedloader with practice.

(That still leaves you with "how to empty it" - at some point I'll have built my planned CO2-powered ejector system and put a video up on youtube...yeah...I'm that warped :D.)

ON EDIT: I went back and read Linebaugh's article on the 45LC. This was written many years ago; I can recall reading it for the first time roughly 2001-2002 or so. He complains about sloppy Ruger chambers. Most of that was corrected with the new cylinder boring process!!!

Audi5000
01-03-2011, 4:30 AM
I'm pretty sure most guys that load the 45 hot do it in a Ruger of one flavor or other. You can probably get similar versatility out of the .44 between specials and mags, but 45 just seems more natural in a single. :)

trautert
01-03-2011, 4:42 AM
And just for fun, consider the .41 Mag as well. I have all three, and gravitate toward the .41. :)

Did I miss it, somewhere? Get both! Or rather, all three!

Tom

quiet-wyatt
01-03-2011, 7:59 AM
(That still leaves you with "how to empty it" - at some point I'll have built my planned CO2-powered ejector system and put a video up on youtube...yeah...I'm that warped :D.)

Now THAT is something I'm looking forward to seeing!

shinbone
01-03-2011, 11:57 AM
Great info, Thanks!

Ive been doing alot of research myself and find that a common load for the new Blackhawks in 45 Colt is 26.5grains of H110 under a 250gn XTP bullet. Seems like this recipe was fine tuned for the newer 7.5" Blackhawk.

And that's what I'll be going for, brand new 7.5" Blackhawk in .45 Colt. If I want rounds with less pressure, I'll just load lighter rounds/lighter charges.

That CO2 ejector idea sounds great! Please post the youtube link when you get around to it.


OK. Couple of points here.

You want the 45LC/45ACP convertible IF you can find a combination you like.

The "standard cataloged" Blackhawk 45 convertibles are blue, with an XR3-RED grip frame (the "standard" Ruger plowhandle a bit bigger than the smaller New Vaquero "XR3" grip frame) and have your choice of a 4.68" or 5.5" barrel. It's built on the large frame and can take 44Magnum-class 45LC+P loads. Grip frame and ejector housing are aluminum, total weight is 42oz for the 4.68" version.

If that's what you want, cool. If you want some other combination, it gets trickier. You either have to roll it yourself, such as installing a Bisley hammer/trigger/grip kit onto one of the above or doing a barrel swap if you want longer, or find one of the relatively rare "distributor special runs" that turn up now and again.

There's now a special run in the distributor channels of New Vaquero stainless convertibles. Those will be limited in power in 45LC to the same kind of loads the Colt SAA (post-WW2) can handle - 255gr hardcast @ 1,000fps or 200gr JHP @ 1,100ish.

Next thing is, new or used? THIS IS IMPORTANT: large-frame Ruger SAs made "recently" (roughly 2007 or so) had their cylinders drilled and reamed with the new process, with one bit/reamer set doing all six bores in sequence. The resulting cylinders are more accurate in every dimension and don't suffer from uneven throats or chamber sizes. Ruger started this process with the mid-frames like the NewVaq and has transitioned it to the large-frames. Best way to spot the "new type" large frames is to look for the "Ruger warning label" - if it's on the side of the barrel, it's the old process, under the barrel and it's new.

(There's a known exception: the 44Magnum Blackhawk Flattop 50th Anniversary gun of 2006 was the first large-frame to get the new cylinder process, and it has a side-warning barrel. It's blue, 6.5", has the smaller XR3-type grip frame and goes for dirt cheap at CDNN Investments right now - $450 last I heard. It's a great starting point for customization and many have been either chopped, "Bisley-ized" or both.)

Sadly, Ruger will NOT sell a 45ACP cylinder to somebody who has a 45LC gun. This is just disgusting in my opinion.

I personally am very picky about my guns. If given a choice between a used convertible 45 with a side-barrel warning label and a brand new underbarrel gun for $200 more, I'd pay the $200 to get a gun I knew was built better. But that's me.

To understand what the 45LC is capable of in this class of gun, study John Linebaugh's notes on the subject:

http://www.customsixguns.com/writings.htm

In his article on the 45 he explains that despite running at lower pressure than the 44Mag, the increased case volume can more than make up the difference if you use it right - meaning a heavy hardcast slug and slow-burn powder. Several sources for this type of ammo now exist commercially from Buffalo Bore and others.

The 45ACP cylinder is damned useful too. Cheap factory practice ammo for starters, but also the ability to use cheapo 1911 GI mags as speedloaders is cool - just thumb rounds into the loading gate :). Ain't exactly "the cowboy way" but it works. What also works great in the 45ACP (plus 9mm and other rimless rounds) is tube-loading. Start with brass or plastic tubes of the right diameter, plug one end permanently while leaving an air hole, rig a cap for the other end, stick it in the loading gate, blow on the back of the tube while spinning the cylinder. It can be as fast as a DA speedloader with practice.

(That still leaves you with "how to empty it" - at some point I'll have built my planned CO2-powered ejector system and put a video up on youtube...yeah...I'm that warped :D.)

ON EDIT: I went back and read Linebaugh's article on the 45LC. This was written many years ago; I can recall reading it for the first time roughly 2001-2002 or so. He complains about sloppy Ruger chambers. Most of that was corrected with the new cylinder boring process!!!

Blademan21
01-03-2011, 4:27 PM
Lets not forget the Ruger 454. Able to shoot 45LC,S&W 460 and the 454 out of the same wheelgun. You better reload cause that puppy would be just too fun to shoot.

1JimMarch
01-03-2011, 5:09 PM
Lets not forget the Ruger 454. Able to shoot 45LC,S&W 460 and the 454 out of the same wheelgun.

DON'T EVER SHOOT S&W'S 460 CAL OUT OF A GUN ONLY RATED FOR 454.

Better yet: don't give advice on the forums that is radically unsafe.

quiet-wyatt
01-03-2011, 7:52 PM
Lets not forget the Ruger 454. Able to shoot 45LC,S&W 460 and the 454 out of the same wheelgun. You better reload cause that puppy would be just too fun to shoot.

You CAN'T shoot a S&W 460 out of the Ruger 454 - case length is too long. And as Jim March said - You shouldn't either!

snafu510
01-03-2011, 8:30 PM
I think the CDNN price for the 50th anniversary flattop is still $379. I tossed my paper catalog and the web catalog pdf doesn't have prices listed. They don't show the .357 anymore.

I bought one about a year ago. Haven't shot it much but I really like it.

Blademan21
01-03-2011, 9:08 PM
DON'T EVER SHOOT S&W'S 460 CAL OUT OF A GUN ONLY RATED FOR 454.

Better yet: don't give advice on the forums that is radically unsafe.


My bad Jim. Its the 460 that can shoot the 454 & 45LC as well. Sorry to get your panties in a bunch;).

Fishslayer
01-04-2011, 10:39 AM
I dig Ruger single actions too:

.

Interested in the SBH in your photo, top left.

My LGS has what appears to be that exact model, finish is excellent, grips appear much more worn than the rest of the gun, but easily fixed. It almost looks like the seller put on an old set of grips to sell it & kept the originals?

I'll be going down for a closer look today or tomorrow. Barrel's a bit longer than I was looking for, but the price is right.

Anything I should know about that particular model?

Thanks.