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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw a NIB Ruger Blackhawk Flattop, 50th Anniversary .357 this morning. The thing is pristine. Question is, and I know this will vary regionally, what would be a fair price for this handgun, in your respective areas, of course?

I did a search earlier, and this link is to the most recent thread regarding the 50th anniversary.

http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,69338.0.html

Do any of you Blackhawk experts have any new updated info? Gunbroker shows a few going anywhere from $450 on up to $550 with a pretty casual average of ~$500. Are these pistols pretty good shooters? Never been around any Flattops like this, but have read plenty of good things about them. I am curious about how satisfied folks that have them are with theirs.
 

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Well, I'm no Blackhawk expert DWB, but from the lack of responses you've received, looks like neither is anyone else.

I have no experience with the 50th Anniversary .357 Blackhawk, but I do own two of the Flattops in .44 Special, one in 4 5/8ths, the other in 5 1/2 inch. The 5 1/2" remains unfired in the box (purchased when this was a limited production run for Lipsey's and before I knew they would become a regular catalog item...so much for an investment. ::)), but the 4 5/8ths has proven to be a good shooter. I have no reason to believe the .357 would be any different.

These .44 Special Blackhawks have the steel grip frame and ejector rod housing as does the 50th .357, and I like the balance better than those original Flattops I've handled, with their alloy grip frames. The triggers were a bit heavy, with noticeable creep, but it didn't take much to bring them up to par. I did find the excessively thin black plastic grips on these Flattops didn't do the revolvers justice and replaced them with a little bit thicker elk stag grips from Patrick Grashorn. http://grashornsgunworks.com/index.html

I stand by my earlier opinion that these Lipsey's .44 Specials and the 50th Anniversary Blackhawks have a better finish and deeper blueing than what seems normal for Ruger pistols. I've never been able to confirm it , but I believe these underwent a little extra care during polishing.

The .44 Special begs to be shot with cast bullets and I've happily given in to it's wishes. Mine came alive with the "Skeeter Load", 7.5 grains of Unique pushing a 250gr Keith SWC, or quite often a 265gr K/T SWCGC.

I do see a few of the 50th .357's at the local gunshows and NIB examples are offered at prices similar to those you've been seeing. The deals available when these were discounted are history.

Roe
 

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We got one for my son when he graduated college with the intention of converting it to .44 Sp. Two things happened. Lipseys introduced the .44 flat top and we shot the .357. Great shooter. A much better piece than the new blackhawk. If you are buying it to shoot it you will have a great shooter. reflex264
 

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CDNN had them for less than $400 in recent catalogs, but they may be out of them by now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have heard of CDNN mentioned on MO before, but had never gone and checked them out. Some of their prices are pretty good. I had heard or read somewhere that they were sold out of the 50th Anniversary of the .357 Blackhawk a while back, but again, their prices were pretty good. Do they have stores located in various places, or are they just pretty much internet based sales? I know we don't have anything quite like that up in this neck of the woods.
 

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My understanding is CDNN's sole retail outlet is in Texas somewhere, mostly internet sales.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well...

I bought it. NIB 50th Anniversary Ruger Blackhawk - - .357 mag., 4-5/8" barrel, yada, yada, yada. Nothing really special about this pistol, as it sounds like there quite a few made, except this one is mine. ;D ;D

Did manage to get it out, adjusted the sights with a partial box of 158 gr JHP's and had some fun. Accuracy with the 158's was so-so and I was getting 2" to 3" groups at 50 feet off-hand with it. It was still printing a tad to the left and high. For grins and giggles, I finished up a partial box of 125 gr JHP's and was really impressed (either with myself or the pistol). With the 125's the groups printed a tad left, but on the numbers for elevation at 50 feet, but more surprising was that all twelve rounds could be covered with a $0.50 piece at 50 feet using an off-hand grip.

Since then, I have loaded up another 250 rounds with 125 gr JHP over 15.5 gr of 2400. I also stripped it down to the frame, put some crocus cloth on the obvious wear marks and polished things up a tad. The thing is about as smooth as butter now, and I am waiting for some warmer weather and enough time to get back out with it.

I will re-regulate the sights to correct for the left printing groups, and put it over some sand bags to regulate for 25 yards. Following that, I am anxious to see what I can do at 50 yards with this handgun. I might even try some other 158 grain loads. I think I have a coffee can full of .357 brass loaded with 158 gr SWC cast and a moderate load of W-231, Bullseye, or Unique -- need to do an inventory. I don't want to give up on the 158's just yet, but those 125 JHP sure did print nicely.
 

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Two-to-three inch groups offhand at 50 feet is nothing to sneeze at. Buy yourself a beer. ;)

I've long heard it said that Ruger 357's of all varieties tend to prefer bullets of 140 grains and heavier, and my experiences back that up. It might simply be a matter of matching the bullet to the right powder and velocity. But far be it from me to tell you what YOUR gun likes!

This is precisely why we suggest trying a lot of different loads. How do you know if your gun likes it if you don't let it tell you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Took it out again yesterday for a couple of hours (at 12*F, that was about all my hands could stand). Re-regulated the sights at 25 yards and was shooting from a rest. After getting the 125's to print where I wanted, I tried some other loads. My 158 gr SWC with a modest charge of HP-38/W-231 in the .38's printed a nice 1-1/2" group at 25 yards, but about 3" high. The 158's XTP's (last of that lot, loaded with VV N-320) printed a decent 2" group about 1" high. The 125's JHP w/ 15.5 gr of 2400 printed a real nice 1" group on the button. Like I said, all the load testing yesterday was from a rest (over a folded carhartt vest).

After getting the sights where I was wanting them, it was time for some fun. I happily banged away at 25 yards - - off-hand, two handed, etc. Just for fun, there was a soda can stuck in the snow at about 50 yards - I was able to make it dance about 50% of the time. There was a family of four down the road aways - they stopped what they were doing and came up to see what I was shooting. Must have been the sound of the loads with 125's and 2400 that attracted them. One of the younger gals wanted to shoot it - she had never shot a .357 (or a single action, for that matter). After a quick set to on safety and operation of a single action, she tried six rounds. She was busting clays at ~20 yards and went three for six with it. Afterwards, she handed it back and said she had never "felt" a concussion quite like that from a handgun. Her boyfriend wanted to give it a whirl as well, and afterwards commented he had never fired a .357 before either and the 9mm was the "biggest" he had shot up to that point.

The look on their faces was well worth the twelve rounds they fired. They seemed sort of surprised when I told them, that while these were a "fair" load, they weren't nearly as heavy as some. If it ever warms up some more, I will get the 15.5 gr of 2400 and the 125's chrono'd to see where these are putting me at, velocity wise. According to the books, it should put me in the 1300 to 1350 neighborhood, but it will be interesting to see.
 

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I'm like Reflex, I bought it with the idea of turning it into a 44. I kept it a 357 and I'm glad I did. Only problem I see is the dang thing is too heavy to pack. I wished the grip frame was alloy.
 
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