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Old 10-19-2011, 07:25 PM
canoeguy canoeguy is offline
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Picked up an old model "Three Screw" Blackhawk at my favorite gun shop today, actually paid less for it than I did for a new one I bought in 1979! 6 1/2" barrel, .357 caliber. It's got the old action, four clicks to cock it, have to put it on half cock to load it, can't carry a round under the hammer, etc. Serial number puts it at being manufactured in 1967. The revolver is in good shape except for the grips, just a little holster wear on the muzzle.

Part of the reason it was such a good deal is the ugly grips, but I thought "No Brainer, I'll just get a set from Ruger". Called them up today, they said they had them in stock, but they wouldn't sell them to me unless I sent the revolver back to them and have them update it to the new action with the transfer bar! They said they would not sell any parts for the Old Model Blackhawks unless they had been updated.

So, it looks like I'll have to find a set of grips elsewhere. Here's some pics:






Taking it to the range tomorrow, hopefully it will bring back fond memories of my first centerfire handgun, an almost identical .357 Blackhawk I bought as a teenager in 1979.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2011, 07:40 PM
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First, are those wood or plastic grips? They look a lot like Herrett grips that may have been painted and the wrong screws put in them. If they are painted- strip them and with a little work they will look good.


I know about how...well...unbusinesslike Ruger's customer service department can be.

I tried to get a "V" notch rear sight blade for a single six a while back, and they would not sell it to me without a serial number. I would have ordered it from Brownells, but they were out of stock. It's a rear sight blade for cryin' out loud!

I've sent two guns back to them and they've repaired them in less than two weeks- and they did send me shipping labels both times, but they are extremely frustrating on sales of spare parts- for no reason whatsoever. It makes no sense!
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Last edited by Andy Griffith; 10-19-2011 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:05 PM
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You should not have a problem getting grips off of someone on the internet post a request on the Single Action forum.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:05 PM
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They really want to rid the world of the old style Rugers.
They used to return your revolver w/ the old parts included in a bag but stopped doing that too.

Shouldn't be too difficult to find a set of Ruger wood grips to fit the XR3-RED grip frame. There's probably a few on Evil-Bay.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:20 PM
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I bet that member DANT can fix you up with the correct grips.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:34 PM
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numrich (egunparts.com). Try em for parts.

JR
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:07 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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A 1967 gun should have the Black Eagle stocks. The older Black Eagles are getting more expensive, the post-1972 Silver Eagles typically run around $30-35 and will fit and function perfectly too. Don't send it to Ruger unless it has serious mechanical issues that need to be addressed.
That's a good score, the unconverted 3 screw Rugers are getting harder to find and in a few more years will be like 5 screw S&W's in terms of desirability if they are not already.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:20 PM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
They really want to rid the world of the old style Rugers.
They used to return your revolver w/ the old parts included in a bag but stopped doing that too.

Shouldn't be too difficult to find a set of Ruger wood grips to fit the XR3-RED grip frame. There's probably a few on Evil-Bay.
I contacted Ruger once about getting a grip screw for an Old Model .357 just like this one and the first thing I was asked was, "Is the gun converted?" When I said "no" my gun was like a leper. They want nothing to do with them except converting them with that horrendous safty junk. I bought a 1969 Ruger Super B.H. used and converted with a bag of the old parts. I took it to the gunshop/gunsmith to swap parts back to original and the store owner said they couldn't do it. Then I was talking to the gunsmith and he said "Sure, I can do that and made it original. i don't know if there's some liability thing that scared the gunstore owner but I wouldn't doubt it.
BTW. I have taken apart Colt single actions dozens of times to fix springs and check sears, etc., but these coiled spring innards on the ruger stumped me. Except for a few, very few, exceptions, I won't get near a New Model Ruger with that rattly transfer bar in there. The solid quality of the early rugers are butchered with that conversion. But that's what you get when people sue you do death for shooting themselves in the foot.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:36 PM
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I had a Ruger Single Six 3 screw .22LR that I bought in the early 70's. I made the huge mistake of sending it back to Ruger for the transfer bar upgrade in the early 90's. It basically ruined the gun. The timing got screwed up and the trigger was terrible. I ended up trading it in on a new S&W.
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Old 10-20-2011, 07:14 AM
canoeguy canoeguy is offline
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Thanks for the info, especially about the Black Eagle and Silver Eagle grips. I have posted a "Wanted to Buy" in the classifieds....

Andy,

The grips that are on it are definately plastic, could be imitation Herrets, a cheap copy of them, for sure ugly. I'll see how the revolver shoots with them today.

Last edited by canoeguy; 10-20-2011 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:00 AM
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When Ruger does the safety conversion all they do is swap parts. So if you need to send an Old Model in to them first remove and retain the parts they replace.
After they return it to you with the conversion parts installed just swap them out with the original parts you retained.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:10 AM
Maddog 521 Maddog 521 is offline
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I believe that Ruger stamps the gun to show that they made the change. The stamping changes the value also.
If you have trouble finding grips go to the Ruger forum and someone will have what you are looking for.

Last edited by Maddog 521; 10-20-2011 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:15 AM
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I believe it is the underside of the main frame or on the top of the grip frame,forward of the trigger slot they stamp a letter. But it is out of sight,you would have to take off the grip frame to see it.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:25 AM
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This is one of the reasons I won't own a Ruger.
It's their way or the Hi-Way.

Every once in a while I get the feeling Ruger doesn't like guns,

AFS
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:41 PM
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A large GS I work at in the early 90's would not put a used Ruger out for sale unless they first sent it back to the Factory for conversion.

Alot of 3-screw Rugers got converted. The GunShop's view was one of liability,,that being past along by the factory in offering the free service.
People still bought them up in converted form. It's been since 1973(?) since Ruger stopped making the 3-screw..so unconverted guns are getting harder to find but not (yet!) really scarce.

I've never liked nor owned the new style action but many people don't find them objectionable.
I didn't even like the aluminum grip strap & ejector housing on the guns so how could I put up with a transfer bar action conversion..
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:32 AM
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I owned a New Model Super Blackhawk for a few years and had no trouble with it. But I really preferred the old clicking hammer and the half-cock notch to load of the original design.

I much prefer the stainless guns, which have stainless steel extractor rod housings, not the light alloy ones on the blued guns.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:35 AM
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Had the same issue several years ago when I contacted Ruger about a grip frame screw for my 3-screw Blackhawk in .30 carbine. Wouldn't sell me one unless I sent the gun in for the conversion. I said "No thanks" and gave my money to Lee's Gun Parts instead.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:47 PM
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I had one with 6.5 inch barrel in .41 Mag. Old style action, no transfer bar. When compared to an "updated" gun with the transfer bar, I could tell the trigger was MUCH better. Darn lawyers.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:02 PM
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In the 1960s I worked for an insurance company that insured a jeweler in Alaska. His employee took some valuables to mail; in his waistband was a Blackhawk with all six loaded. It fell on the Post Office floor and he gut-shot himself and later died of it. Soon after, the foolishness began at Ruger, Surely this was not the only incident, just the first time I ran into it. Used to be when something like that happened, people just said "Hmm, he shouldn't have done that.." Now it has to be someone else's fault-arrrgh.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:35 PM
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I guess I haven't had the problems with the newer Ruger BHs others have described. I have two, a BH in .30 Carbine and a .44 Mag SBH. I have fired both extensively with no difficulties. Maybe mine are unusual?
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:04 PM
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if you send a 357 max blackhawk back to ruger you won't get the gun back again. they will offer you another gun instead and since they already have your gun you don't have much of a choice in the matter.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canoeguy View Post
Picked up an old model "Three Screw" Blackhawk at my favorite gun shop today, actually paid less for it than I did for a new one I bought in 1979! 6 1/2" barrel, .357 caliber. It's got the old action, four clicks to cock it, have to put it on half cock to load it, can't carry a round under the hammer, etc. Serial number puts it at being manufactured in 1967. The revolver is in good shape except for the grips, just a little holster wear on the muzzle.

Part of the reason it was such a good deal is the ugly grips, but I thought "No Brainer, I'll just get a set from Ruger". Called them up today, they said they had them in stock, but they wouldn't sell them to me unless I sent the revolver back to them and have them update it to the new action with the transfer bar! They said they would not sell any parts for the Old Model Blackhawks unless they had been updated.

So, it looks like I'll have to find a set of grips elsewhere. Here's some pics:






Taking it to the range tomorrow, hopefully it will bring back fond memories of my first centerfire handgun, an almost identical .357 Blackhawk I bought as a teenager in 1979.
Well Canoeguy your pics won't come up on my 'puter but I offer you these pics of my old Ruger Blackhawk .357mag. It's a 2-screw made in 1973, the first years Ruger came out with the transfer bar.

I hope your Blackhawk is as much fun to shoot as mine is. The weight and balance are awesome. Congratulations on your find.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:16 PM
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I really like the 3 screw Blackhawks, unconverted of course.

Here's a good Ruger story. A couple years ago I called Ruger to see if they would rebarrel a 30 carbine 3 screw for me and reblue the gun. It was bought as a shooter and had a way oversize forceing cone. Ruger and I came to an agreed price for the work and I removed all the original internal parts and they send me a shipping box. I sent them the revolver.

About a month passes and I receive a letter from Ruger saying that they regret to inform me that my revolver had to be destroyed and they would make it right by offering me "a new ruger firearm of my choice". I called and they could not tell me exactly what happened, but my revolver was no more. I assume they ruined the frame trying to remove the old barrel.

Anyway I tell them that I would like a new SR556. They balk at the request trying to say the letter was a mistake and should have said "a new Blackhawk of my choice". Well I said it says a new firearm of my choice and I choose an SR556.

I got my new SR556 about two weeks later.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:48 PM
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If you need a screw, or a grip, or a sight, just give Ruger the serial number of your friends converted revolver.

Eli Whitney did invent interchangeable parts just for this situation!!



Unless they get the Bureau of ATF to change to ATFP (P=parts)
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:11 PM
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You can probably find the grips at a gun show, or check both Ruger boards on the Net. Many custom grip makers offer them.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:21 PM
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I sent my 3 screw Ruger .357 back when they first offered the repair and they sent me a prepaid box, put the new parts in , sent the gun and the OLD parts back with it. It took about 3-4 weeks as I recall. I took the original grips off and put on larger rubber grips and I like them a lot bettter. I can see why they wanted to change out the parts for safety and of course future law suits. But I don't understand why the won't do it now (probably not for free anymore) but to confiscate the gun is silly.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:29 PM
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Did you get your black Eagles ?
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  #28  
Old 10-06-2012, 06:23 PM
ACP230 ACP230 is offline
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I have two Old Model .357s and a New Model .41 Magnum. All bought used. One of the .357s has an auxilairy 9mm cylinder.

Different guns for sure but the newer .41 has a very good trigger.
I was a bit surprised at that.

I have gotten used to the New Model since it was the only .41 Magnum
Blackhawk I could find when I bought it.
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  #29  
Old 10-06-2012, 07:24 PM
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Yes, I found a set of original grips on Ebay for $25 or so, have shot the revolver a lot, I really like it.

Also found an original Bianchi flap holster with the Ruger eagle on the flap, the Ruger "Practical Holster", a great holster for a great revolver.
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  #30  
Old 10-06-2012, 07:29 PM
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steamloco76 steamloco76 is offline
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A friend of mine, who is an gun shop owner, recently had a serious problem with his 1990 era MKII Standard which was a gift from his grandfather. He returned it to Ruger. They called him a week later stating they would no longer repair any Mark I or Mark II pistols. The Ruger CS rep told him Ruger sold their entire parts inventory for the MK1 & MKII to Numrich- Gun Parts Corp and he would need to source the repair parts there and have his own gunsmith fix the MK II. Ruger did however offer to refinish the pistol (stainless) for $85 plus $25 return shipping.

My friend asked why they decided to abandon the MK II's. They said they would replace his pistol with a like model MKIII for $200 difference, but they would KEEP his MKII as they deem them unsafe because they lack the magazine safety.
.
He made Ruger ship the heirloom MKII back and ordered the parts to have it fixed from Numrich

Last edited by steamloco76; 10-06-2012 at 07:32 PM.
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  #31  
Old 10-06-2012, 07:40 PM
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"if you send a 357 max blackhawk back to ruger you won't get the gun back again. they will offer you another gun instead and since they already have your gun you don't have much of a choice in the matter."

Not too surprising given the frame gas-cutting problems encountered with .357 Max in revolvers. But the question I have always wondered about was why this problem was not discovered much earlier, during product testing? Or maybe there was no intensive product testing ever performed by Ruger before the BH in that caliber was placed on the market?
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  #32  
Old 10-06-2012, 07:47 PM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Fred View Post
I really like the 3 screw Blackhawks, unconverted of course.

Here's a good Ruger story. A couple years ago I called Ruger to see if they would rebarrel a 30 carbine 3 screw for me and reblue the gun. It was bought as a shooter and had a way oversize forceing cone. Ruger and I came to an agreed price for the work and I removed all the original internal parts and they send me a shipping box. I sent them the revolver.

About a month passes and I receive a letter from Ruger saying that they regret to inform me that my revolver had to be destroyed and they would make it right by offering me "a new ruger firearm of my choice". I called and they could not tell me exactly what happened, but my revolver was no more. I assume they ruined the frame trying to remove the old barrel.

Anyway I tell them that I would like a new SR556. They balk at the request trying to say the letter was a mistake and should have said "a new Blackhawk of my choice". Well I said it says a new firearm of my choice and I choose an SR556.

I got my new SR556 about two weeks later.
Man, I like that story. It redeams all the Ruger paranoid ripoffs others say they pulled off here as to those stupid transfer bar safeties. Good for you.

Last edited by Wyatt Burp; 10-07-2012 at 06:46 AM.
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  #33  
Old 10-06-2012, 07:52 PM
Wyatt Burp Wyatt Burp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
If you need a screw, or a grip, or a sight, just give Ruger the serial number of your friends converted revolver.

Eli Whitney did invent interchangeable parts just for this situation!!



Unless they get the Bureau of ATF to change to ATFP (P=parts)
Funny should mention Eli Whitney. I just him sent my Old Model cotton gin in to get converted and they told me I couldn't have it back for safety reasons. But they would give me their *** New Model instead!

Last edited by Wyatt Burp; 10-07-2012 at 06:46 AM.
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  #34  
Old 10-06-2012, 08:12 PM
UncleEd UncleEd is offline
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I may be wrong because it's been a while since I played with Ruger SAs but I believe the New Vaquero features Colt-sized grips and those grips should fit the very old Blackhawks. Try giving a call to one of the grip makers who cater to Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), also know as Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS).

Dozens of people have been hurt by the old three screw revolvers and Ruger has paid out thousands upon thousands of dollars in damages. Do a search of a Wall Street Journal article of about 10 years ago detailing all the woes the company has had with the three-screw models.
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  #35  
Old 10-06-2012, 08:14 PM
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Eli Whitney did not invent the idea of interchangeable parts. That existed long before he was born. His contribution was more along the lines of figuring out how to make precision interchangeable parts. And his early efforts were none too successful, as many of his "interchangeable" parts often required the judicious use of a file to make them fit. But that fact was not well publicized.
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  #36  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:31 AM
steveno steveno is offline
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first of all gas cutting will happen with any magnum revolver and just more of it with a 50,000 cup round but it only goes so far and stops. if you use 158 gr or heavier bullets and stay away from ball powders the problem is greatly reduced. another problem with the Ruger as a short cylinder that prevented the use of most heavier bullets unless you shortened the cases a little bit. another thing that didn't help the Ruger was that it was released directly to shooters before the writers got a chance at it. whether or not a gun or round is any good it will get bad mouthed if the writers don't get first chance at it.
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  #37  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:53 PM
2152hq 2152hq is online now
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Not to awful long ago I picked up 3 screw Blackhawk 6" in 357 at a small gunshop. It's worn and well used but the action is still timed and tight.
The 'bad' part is that there is a drilled and tapped scope mount hole, just one, right in the middle of the top strap.
IIRC, Bushnell(?) sold a scope mt for these that required one hole to be D&T'd. Anyway..

It was priced very right with the wear and 'damage'.
Right in the same case were 2 used New Model 357's in great condition for more $$ of course.
He would have liked to sell me one of the N/Models,,but was very happy to get rid of the gun with the scope mt hole in the frame.

So for $125 it was mine. I had a Ruger steel grip strap/trigger guard already (for the New Army) and bought a steel ejector rod housing. The aluminum parts are really beat.
My thoughts were of course a caliber conversion..44sp,,45AR,,even 45Colt. Maybe I'll just leave it in 357.
The hole in the top strap will easily disappear in the rebuild. I knew that as soon as I saw it.

Just something about those 3 screw Ruger S/A's.
Maybe shoulda kept the 44mag Flat/Top I did up.
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