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  #1  
Old 03-09-2020, 03:52 PM
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Default Was gifted a Ruger Old Blackhawk 3 screw

A family member gave me a Blackhawk 6.5" 3 screw revolver over the weekend. Most of the wheel guns I own are older S&W's, with the exception of a single really nice Colt SAA. The serial number dates this particular gun to 1963. Its in pretty good shape not withstanding a few blemishes here and there. I have already sourced a pair of period correct Ruger black eagle medallion walnut grips to replace the cheap faux stag's that it's currently wearing. I'm excited to get out and shoot it as I understand these guns are really good shooters and seem to have quite the following. Honestly, I would probably never have entertained the idea of owning one if it weren't gifted to me but now that I have it, I really like it!



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Old 03-09-2020, 04:09 PM
Sixgun100 Sixgun100 is offline
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Wow! Very nice gift. Ruger makes some fine Single Actions and the older one are highly prized. Enjoy!
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:10 PM
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They are great guns. mine’s from 1969. Does it hopefully have the original parts in it and not the transfer bar conversion? That sure is an early one. I thought Ruger was still making the original Flat Top then but I’m no expert.
Edit: Just checked and looks like the Flattop ended in 1962 which makes a 1963 made gun first year production. The Flattop had a XR3 grip frame like a 1st generation Colt SAA but yours (and mine) have the slightly longer reach XR3 RED (redesigned) grip frame.

Last edited by Wyatt Burp; 03-09-2020 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:15 PM
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One of the very finest single-action revolvers ever produced. You are very fortunate. Sincerely. bruce.
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:23 PM
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What caliber? Did I miss that somewhere? I love the sound of an unconverted 3 screw cocking. Fun shooters too. Congratulations!
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:31 PM
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Be careful. They can be addictive :-)
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:33 PM
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Thanks guys. It is an original .357 6.5 and the transfer bar conversion was never done, thankfully. From what I can tell, I think the "ears" were added to the flat tops on either side of the rear sight 1 year before this guns production. It reads 1955 - 1962 for flat tops and 1962 - 1972 for the change. So maybe mid year 1962? Who knows? Anyway... yes, I'm a happy camper with my newest acquisition. I'll be even happier when the correct grips show up and I shoot it!
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnieBoy View Post
It reads 1955 - 1962 for flat tops and 1962 - 1972 for the change. So maybe mid year 1962? Who knows? Anyway...
Nice gun!
These folks know...

Click here: Ruger Blackhawk Serial Number History
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:43 PM
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I used to have a 357/9mm 6.5 inch OM blackhawk but I traded it in towards my 29-2. I always still think about that one
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnieBoy View Post
It is an original .357 6.5 and the transfer bar conversion was never done, thankfully.
Unless their policy has changed, Ruger will not sell you any parts for it until the change has been done at the factory. I have a 3-screw that I needed a grip frame screw to replace one that had a buggered slot. They asked me for the serial number, and said nope, can't sell you any parts until you return it for the conversion. I politely declined and sourced the screw elsewhere.
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticSire View Post
Unless their policy has changed, Ruger will not sell you any parts for it until the change has been done at the factory. I have a 3-screw that I needed a grip frame screw to replace one that had a buggered slot. They asked me for the serial number, and said nope, can't sell you any parts until you return it for the conversion. I politely declined and sourced the screw elsewhere.
I would tell them to pound sand! One word... Numrich
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Old 03-09-2020, 05:51 PM
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When I was a kid in 60s I had one of each Rugers made. The stag grips on OPs gun look like Jay Scott which were the better phony stags. Of my original Rugers I only have a Single-6 and a SBH. I like the 3screw but lost interest in Ruger with new model. The 45/8" 357 drove me nuts. I bought quite a few before I got one that had enough adjustment to sight in. The 6.6" guns didn't have that problem.
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  #13  
Old 03-09-2020, 07:29 PM
Walter Rego Walter Rego is offline
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Nice gun and I'm sure it will be a fun shooter. Something that is really nice about the old Rugers is that you can get a factory letter for only $10. No, it does not have the kind of detail that you get from Mr. Jinks. But what you will get is model number which tells you the original configuration, the month (but not the day) that it shipped, and the shipping location. It is printed on a special letterhead with a gold seal, and they also include a (reprinted) manual for the gun. That's good enough for me for only $10.

Here is a link to the order form:

https://ruger.com/pdf/letterOfAuthenticity.pdf

Correction to my earlier post: The Ruger letter will show the month and year of manufacture but not the shipping date. Although we can assume that for popular models the guns shipped within a few weeks of the manufacture date.

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Old 03-09-2020, 07:31 PM
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Unconverted 3 screws are the best. To all those who think they need to send them back to be "improved" ...please don't. Sell the originals to us enthusiasts and buy a New Model. You will be just fine with the transfer bar on the New Models and the rest of us will be better with original 3 screws.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:34 PM
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While not as aesthetically pleasing as a S&W, those Blackhawks are great, STRONG old revolvers. Pretty cool gift if you ask me.
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
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While not as aesthetically pleasing as a S&W
... eye of the beholder ... LOL

And it's leaps and bounds more attractive than a similar single action S&W.
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:56 PM
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Congrats on your gift!

Finding a similar one with 4 5/8 barrel would make you a dandy set.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:28 PM
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I had two of those converted to .44 Special a few years back. Nice .357s, but even better .44s.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:31 PM
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Just remember to load it and work the action like an original Colt. Never let the hammer down from half cock if you don't want the ugly turn line on the cylinder.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:06 AM
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Be careful! Three screws multiply quicker than K frames at my house
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:04 AM
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Default RIDICULOUS 3-SCREW PRICING

Went to a show last Sun. & saw a dealer with a 357 for $1,200. Another in slightly better condition for $1,500 and a Flat Top for $1,800. That's crazy! Bought a 357 3-Screw four yrs. ago for $390 (made 1969) & an unfired 44 FT 2 1/2 yrs. ago (made 1959) for $580. Don't shoot the 44 much, but the 357 is my favorite SA (more than my two Colt SAAs).

Hank M.
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:40 AM
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Those faux stag grips will sell very well on that auction site. I've sold a few there.
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hang-Fire Hank View Post
Went to a show last Sun. & saw a dealer with a 357 for $1,200. Another in slightly better condition for $1,500 and a Flat Top for $1,800. That's crazy! Bought a 357 3-Screw four yrs. ago for $390 (made 1969) & an unfired 44 FT 2 1/2 yrs. ago (made 1959) for $580. Don't shoot the 44 much, but the 357 is my favorite SA (more than my two Colt SAAs).

Hank M.
Those prices seem very high to me. Was there something special about those particular guns? Early flat tops with rare grips, maybe? I didn't even consider my pistol to be worth $500.I don't really care how much its monetary worth is, it belonged to a family member who was/is very dear to my heart and wouldn't sell it for 20 or even 100 times that amount!
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Old 03-10-2020, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Frame Keith View Post
Those faux stag grips will sell very well on that auction site. I've sold a few there.
Maybe they would, if they weren't broken. When I removed the grips for inspection, a piece of the front corner came apart from the bottom of the left grip. Its the primary reason I searched out a pair of decent factory medallion walnuts (already on the way). Otherwise, I may have kept the gun as is, even though I'm not particularly keen on those faux stags.

Edit: I think a pair of ivory grips would look great on this gun. I'm sure the Ruger ivory grips that came on these guns as an option fetch a pretty penny! Hogue has a pair of poly ivory panels that look decent for $60 and a pair of micarta panels for $115 that look even better. I'll stick to the (cheaper) factory walnuts for now.




Last edited by JohnnieBoy; 03-10-2020 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:39 PM
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I have a Ruger Blackhawk OM .357/9MM Convertible, all original. You have a real treasure.
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Old 03-10-2020, 04:54 PM
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I had the same grips on my SBH back in 60s. I forget the reason but one grip panel cracked. I put originals back on and they are still on the gun. My old Single-6 has factory Ruger Walnut grips. Very dark and close grained like burl. Gun has been carried a lot and although there is no finish on grips they are like glass.
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Old 03-10-2020, 05:51 PM
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Very nice gift!
Great early Ruger B/H

question for the Ruger folks,,Used to be when you sent a Ruger SA back for conversion to transfer bar style,,you did get the old parts back in a small plastic bag.
...then some time later, Ruger seemed to decide NOT to send the owner the old 3 screw lock parts back w/the converted gun.

Some are telling me that they do in fact send the old lock parts back to you (again,,still do,,never stopped doing so..??)

It's been a long long time since I worked in a shop that dealt with these and sent any back.
Can anyone confirm what the Ruger policy is now,,and maybe was in the past if it was different.
Just wondering really.
I personally would never send one back. But a couple places I worked sent EVERY 3-screw back for conversion before resale as a liability safety net of sorts.
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:29 PM
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Keep that hammer on an empty cylinder Read the manual on loading.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
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Keep that hammer on an empty cylinder Read the manual on loading.
Yessir, I am well aware of the protocol on how to load and handle single action revolvers. Load the first chamber, skip the 2nd and then load the other 4, resulting in leaving the firing pin with an empty chamber.

Thank you for the concern, Highhawk1948!
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:06 AM
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My very first revolver was a very early Blackhawk flat top in .44 Magnum (Ruger brought out their .44 Mag revolver before S&W did). As I remember it had a 4-digit SN. It was also the beginning of reloading for me, using a .44 Lee Loader. In the late 1960s I very foolishly sold it to a friend because I wanted something different, and also because the Blackhawk was so brutal to shoot with full power .44 Mag loads. One of the many guns I wish I had kept.
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:32 PM
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I've got a 1959, 6.5" .44 Mag Blackhawk. The loading gate has turned plum color, the grip frame is grayed on the front and the back, the front sight was expertly replaced by Jim Hoag and it's a ball to bang away at steel plates at 100 yds with mild reloads.

They are fun.

Bill
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:22 PM
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Grips showed up a day early and fit nicely. The patina and the condition of the grips perfectly match the condition of the gun, appearance wise. Mechanically speaking, I don't think this revolver has seen too much use at all, its super tight. Just a skosh dinged up here and there is all. Still in pretty darn good shape over all. Its okay, she's in a good home now. Time to go give her a good test drive!



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Old 03-11-2020, 07:56 PM
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It doesn’t look like it has a turn line. Do you know how to prevent one? Just Incase you don’t. Don’t drop the hammer from the half cock position. Always bring the hammer to full cock then put it down. It’s a treasure.

I have 2 unconverted. I is a .357 flat top the other a single six. Both are fun to shoot but unfortunately came with turn lines.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:35 PM
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Wow where is my luck,congrats you are a blessed man!
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:47 AM
firefighterjohn firefighterjohn is offline
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Grips showed up a day early and fit nicely. The patina and the condition of the grips perfectly match the condition of the gun, appearance wise. Mechanically speaking, I don't think this revolver has seen too much use at all, its super tight. Just a skosh dinged up here and there is all. Still in pretty darn good shape over all. Its okay, she's in a good home now. Time to go give her a good test drive!



Wow, those factory grips look great! So, I know it's been a couple months since your last post, but how'd it shoot?
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:15 PM
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JohnnieBoy JohnnieBoy is offline
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Wow, those factory grips look great! So, I know it's been a couple months since your last post, but how'd it shoot?
Thank you, I thought so.

It shot flawlessly! Complete tack driver. I have only shot .38 through it, next time I take it out I'll put some .357 through it. Great gun, very happy to have it!
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