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View Full Version : RUGER .45 BLACKHAWK 4 5/8" BARREL vs. 5 1/2" BARREL (CCW)


jsmosby
02-27-2007, 11:58 PM
I will be moving to Arizona, and applying for a CCW permit. My sidearm will be a Ruger Blackhawk Colt .45. I have shot one with a 7 1/2" barrel for over 30 years. I need a shorter barrel length for CCW.

Could you please advise me on the advantages/disadvantages of a 4 5/8" barrel vs. a 5 1/2" barrel.

I am concerned that the 4 5/8" barrel may be signficantly less accurate at 25 yards. I ams also concerned thta the 4 5/8" barrel may be significantly less accurate at 25 yards. I am also concerned that the 5 1/2" barrel may be didfficult to conceal even with a high hip carry.

m1371
02-28-2007, 7:19 AM
I will be moving to Arizona, and applying for a CCW permit. My sidearm will be a Ruger Blackhawk Colt .45. I have shot one with a 7 1/2" barrel for over 30 years. I need a shorter barrel length for CCW.

Could you please advise me on the advantages/disadvantages of a 4 5/8" barrel vs. a 5 1/2" barrel.

I am concerned that the 4 5/8" barrel may be signficantly less accurate at 25 yards. I ams also concerned thta the 4 5/8" barrel may be significantly less accurate at 25 yards. I am also concerned that the 5 1/2" barrel may be didfficult to conceal even with a high hip carry.

I'm going to throw this out there as a point for you to ponder.

A CCW permit is normally thought of being meant for self-defense and 25 yards isn't what I would consider "justifiable self-defense" range.

11Z50
02-28-2007, 8:02 AM
I have a 4 5/8 Blackhawk .45 ACP/LC convertible. I pack it open carry when hunting and find it a great deal handier than a 6" or longer barrel. I also sometimes use it in an HD mode. It shoots very well with both ACP and LC. No problem hitting center mass on a silhouette at 25 yards. With hot loads in LC it's a tad hard to handle, very similar to .44 Mag with stiff loads.

-hanko
02-28-2007, 8:38 AM
I will be moving to Arizona, and applying for a CCW permit. My sidearm will be a Ruger Blackhawk Colt .45. I have shot one with a 7 1/2" barrel for over 30 years. I need a shorter barrel length for CCW.

Could you please advise me on the advantages/disadvantages of a 4 5/8" barrel vs. a 5 1/2" barrel.

I am concerned that the 4 5/8" barrel may be signficantly less accurate at 25 yards. I ams also concerned thta the 4 5/8" barrel may be significantly less accurate at 25 yards. I am also concerned that the 5 1/2" barrel may be didfficult to conceal even with a high hip carry.
:rolleyes: I'd be concerned you could even conceal a blackhawk.:rolleyes:

I agree with M1371.

Have you ccw'd before??

-hanko

Directshot
02-28-2007, 9:26 AM
I've CCW'd or sometime now. I also have found smaller frame is better ( remember Concealed means OUT OF SITE) I also have to aggree with M1371, unless the target is stationary at 12 to 15 feet facing you with a weapon, walk away from the fight.... if it moves on you.... I prefer a .45 3".

CalNRA
02-28-2007, 9:36 AM
:rolleyes: I'd be concerned you could even conceal a blackhawk.:rolleyes:

I agree with M1371.

Have you ccw'd before??

-hanko

yeah that.

A blackhawk is, ahem, slightly overkill for a CCW. Do some better research on what CCW means.

E. Fudd
02-28-2007, 10:41 AM
For high hip carry, even 4-5/8" will be hard to keep concealed, especially during those hot AZ summers. I suppose you can try an inside the waistband holster, but I don't think I've ever seen one advertised for the Blackhawk...

Quite frankly, I don't think there are many folks using single-action revolvers for self-defense, much less for CCW use. They make great open-carry field guns, but are slower to load, reload, and fire multiple rounds with than more modern designs. If you must go revolver for SD, at least use a double-action revolver. There are a number of S&W models with shorter barrels in .45 ACP., .44 Special, etc.

Suggest you check out the many, many semi-auto alternatives out there much more suitable for CCW use: lighter, flatter, smaller, higher capacity, faster to reload, more concealable, night sight options. Many in the same price range as a new Blackhawk.

In .45 ACP recommend you check out compact Glocks, Springfield Armory XD, Kahrs. If you are willing to go 9mm or .40S&W, there are many more subcompact options as well.

Also agree that, unless it's some bizarre scenario, (e.g. ambush out in the desert, crazed sniper, etc.) encountering a 25 yd. or beyond threat is very unlikely. You are talking across the street distances. The odds are, most SD scenarios will be 7 yd. or less (e.g. max distance in a very large room) and something that will give you consistent handsize groups at those distances should be adequate. Of course, the more accurate, the better...

AZ has excellent CCW and/or defensive pistol classes that are highly recommended. I'm sure you'll get good recommendations for suitable 'hardware' there.

Good luck.

bwiese
02-28-2007, 11:13 AM
JSMosby,

For your purposes, the ~1" barrel length difference is moot.

That 1" of sight radius might be useful for longer range handgun hunting, or for accuracy in target shooting. For defensive center-of-mass applications, it's irrelevant. Get the bbl length that conceals the best and which offers the best balance.

As a side note, the longer bbl will help burn slower powders more completely, but with modern commercial 45Colt loads that should not be an issue, esp as you should not be using handloads/cowboy loads in a defensive/CCW app.

For your apps, even one of the 3.5" Ruger 'Birdshead's" models would work (though I do think those are out of production now).

Range is immaterial for CCW applications - if you're shooting at a distance, questions can be raised. Real-world defensive apps calling for drawing your weapon are likely in very close quarters, under ~25 feet (not 25 yards!)

While others may have derided your wish to use a Ruger SA wheelgun for CCW/defensive apps, I don't have the stones to challenge your comfort with a gun you've apparently had 30 years of experience and ease with, which is worth a lot in a stressful situation. Depending on your size, this gun could conceal well in a shoulder rig under a jacket, esp with a shorter bbl.

Do note that CCW means 'concealed' and you don't wanna risk any 'flashing' that could be perceived as aggressive/threatening (as opposed to clearly accidental). Fortunately, AZ is a legal unlicensed open-carry state so I think accidentally exposing a CCW gun (with no threats associated with its exposure) would just transition to less-stringent open carry restrictions.

Also note that in AZ you can open carry, without a license, and it is fairly commonplace, so that may be an option for you too.

I would emphasize that you should not carry a Ruger SA revolver for CCW or defensive use unless it's a New Model with transfer-bar safety, or has been retrofitted by Ruger into that status. Otherwise you can't safely carry 6 rounds, and you have to load five and have hammer over a dead chamber.

Speed of reloading to me is moot because in legit self-defense scenarios you're not in an extended firefight. If you have to shoot lotsa rounds (ie. more than one cylinder) you really shoulda figured how to GTF Outta Dodge with 1-2 rounds.

I too love SA wheelguns, and given my 6'5"/250 size could conceal one in a shoulder rig - esp the new slightly-smaller-frame Ruger New Vaquero or (in my case) the 50th Anniv Blackhawk Flattop in 357. I absolutely love this latter gun of mine, handle it well and with comfort, shoot well with it, and it could be a rational CCW piece. Certainly it will be a nice open-carry piece when I travel to AZ!

lazuris
03-01-2007, 8:55 AM
Dumb question, why get a CCW in AZ? Its an open carry state. Just strap that badboy in a visible holster and have at it. When i lived there i used to carry a Raging Bull 454 in 454 casull on a custom made cowboy rig. No one ever threatened me with that beast on my hip. On a side note though, i am now an inch shorter in my right leg versus my left after hauling that beast around with me. lol

1911whore
03-01-2007, 9:05 AM
I had the gun in .45 LC/ACP convertable with the 4 5/8 and found it to be a pleasurable gun to shoot with either caliber. I didnt reload for it but my opinion is even with hot factory .45lc it was a soft shooter. Maybe that is becasue I was reloading for the .44mag and shooting it much more often. My concern is a single action 6 shooter for CCW is not the best tool. at 25yds the gun will do fine but not a "justiable shooting. What if a reload is necessary? Just my opinion, I mean there were plenty of old west fellas that did just fine with this type weapon but if you are dead set I would say for all practicality of "the tool" 4 5/8 would serve you best as far as concealability and speed out of the holster and speed to target and balance etc. Just my 2cents.

461
03-01-2007, 10:47 AM
It's up to you on what to carry, this is still America believe it or not and the choice is (and should be) yours. Most of all you should choose a gun you are totally comfortable and familiar with, if that's a Blackhawk then so be it.

The 4 5/8 inch barrel is no more or less accurate than any other length, it just offers less sight radius to the shooter but it's still better than most revolvers and autos commonly used for defense. The gun itself is more than capable of 1"-2" groups at 25yds all day long with ammo it likes.

Sutcliffe
03-01-2007, 4:12 PM
Unless you spend a lot (I mean an awful lot!)of time shooting with a single action it isn't the best CCW option. Especially in the large, heavy Blackhawk frame.
For open carry it's not so bad as it's going to get you noticed and most criminal types will seek easier prey.

If you must carry a single action, I'd go shorter barrel as it's faster to clear and easier to actually conceal.