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I know that freedom arms makes some fine single actions in .454 casull,is it possible to have a ruger blackhawk 45 colt modified to .454 or buy an extra cylinder like with the 45acp.I am wanting a .454 and thought this might be my cheapest route.
 

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Dave the easiest way to get what you want is to have your Ruger New Model Blackhawk 45 Colt converted from 6 shot to 5 shot. There are some other small changes that can be done at the same time that will beef it up even more such as shortening the forcing cone to near flush with the frame. You can also have them build the new cylinder to absolute maximum circumference which will give you another couple thousandths meat on the cylinder. I had this done on a gun years ago and it would handle a steady diet of loads I'm sure you would be happy with. I also had a two direction free spin pawl installed and a Reeder gunfighter grip frame mod done. My gun was a stainless 4 5/8 inch version, oh yes I had them polish the warning off the barrel too...smile.

Jesse
 

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Jesse,That sounds like the perfect conversion!Who did the work on your gun and what was the time frame on that work.Is the reeder gunfighter grip frame made to handle recoil better or is that personal preference?Thanks Dave
 

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Dave I found the gun fighter mod to help with heavy recoil and concealability but the bisley is generally thought to be better with heavy recoil by many, I didn't have a bit of problem with the gun fighter myself. My work was done by Phillips and Rodgers years ago and I don't know if they even exist anymore. There are many smiths that do this work, I suggest that you poke around a little and find one that you like. The 5 shot 45 Colt when loaded to it's fullest potential in a Blackhawk is the functional equivalent of the 454. I'd run the numbers on total cost including the gun and then see what kind of a price I could find a used Freedom Arms Model 83 454 for as comparison too.

Jesse
 

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You might want to consider the Bisley as a base model, that grip frame is the best on the planet for handling heavy recoil.
 

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As the owner of a Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Magnum and a Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Casull I can tell you that the entire revolver frame and barrel are exactly the same between the two models. The ONLY difference is in the cylinders . . . . . .

The .45Long Colt/.454 Casull Cylinder in the top SRH is made of a different material and has no fluting on the cylinder to retain the pressure of the bigger cartridges.

They are physically the exact same dimensions and they both hold 6 cartridges.

By the way I paid $650 for mine including the scope and it was barely shot by the original owner. The gun shop owner told me the original owner is a good shooter but is a "smallish" person. I will shoot almost nothing but Hornady .45LC in that gun due to the massive recoil of the Hornady 300gr .454 Casull!!!!!

By the way I have a friend who owns the Freedom Arms .454 Casull and it costs several thousand dollars.... he shoots his own loads and they are way milder than the Hornady loads but he knocks down all 10 of the full size ram targets at 200 yards at our range. I have not shot the targets because my hot Hornady's would go right through the steel plates according to the club guys. They only use lead bullets - the Hornady Cowboy .45 Long Colts are Lead Heads. I ma try those next time out.

GB45
 

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Golfbuddy45 said:
The .45Long Colt/.454 Casull Cylinder in the top SRH is made of a different material and has no fluting on the cylinder to retain the pressure of the bigger cartridges.
Just a bit of clarification, the use of an unfluted cylinder does not add any strength, only the use of stouter materials does that. The unfluted cylinder is more aesthetically pleasing to some, others like it because it adds a little more weight to a hard-kicking gun. But as the bolt stop notches are in the same place, the unfluted cylinder isn't one micro-whit stronger than the unfluted version.

The 454 in a handgun is something I've never had a need for, since I don't have to shoot obstreperous rhinos off my front doormat. It might be fun in a levergun though..............too bad we'll never see it in a Marlin! But the 44 Mag is usually enough for most things. 8)
 

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Can not refute what papajohn said about fluted vs nonfluted as a feature of cylinder strength - I was an Electronics, Industrial Systems, and Environmental Engineer and not a Gun Design Metallurgist - but I have read articles stating that in larger caliber rifles and revolvers unfluted cylinders are generally used. As papajohn stated the metals used are the most critical factor but consider that every BFR large caliber revolver has a nonfluted cylinder - is that for aeshetics or strength? Ruger uses a different alloy and heat treatment process to increase the cylinder strength but I have also read the unfluted cylinder is used to add strength. This statement on Wikepedia: Revolvers in the truly monster chamberings like .475 Linebaugh typically use a non-fluted cylinder to maximize the strength of the cylinder.

It does not really matter but maybe there is a metallurgist out there on M.O. who can answer this just to help with our well rounded education. Personally from a purely "LOOKS" point of view I like the unfluted cylinders on my S&W Custom .357 and the Ruger SRH .454 Casull.

GB45
 

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GB45 I'm not a metalurgest but maybe I can help. PJ is essentially correct about fluted VS non fluted cylinders, but I would add one thing. If the circumference of the cylinder is increased and the cocking notches are cut accordingly you may get a slight increase in relative strength. I have always requested the 5 shot configuration on the guns I've had built because that design places the cocking notches over the web between the chambers on the cylinder instead of on top of the chambers as in the 6 shot design. This is where the greatly increased strength comes from on the 5 shot design in custom single actions. I also requested maximum cylinder length and circumference on my 5 shot guns for the same reasons. More meat on the maximum circumference equals more strength, more length equals a shorter forcing cone ala Freedom Arms designs which increases frame support around the forcing cone area which also equals more strength. I'm not aware of John Linebaugh building any 6 shot guns in 475 Linebaugh although I'll be first to tell you my knowledge of his work is limited. John did build some very heavy six shot guns in 45 Colt but I'm not sure he still does.

Jesse
 

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Golfbuddy45 said:
...but I have read articles stating that in larger caliber rifles and revolvers unfluted cylinders are generally used.
??? ???


We can go back and forth on the relative strength of fluted vs non-fluted cylinders but beyond the slight difference in weight and the cosmetics there is no practical difference. The wall thickness between the individual chambers and between the chambers and the outside diameter of the cylinder, including the locking bolt cuts, remain the same. As long as the steel alloy and the heat treating are consistant, the strength will be as equal as modern manufacturing will allow. It really becomes a moot point when one considers these revolvers are built to offer nearly a 100% safety factor...in other words where the .44 magnun is generally loaded to 40,000 CUP, a controlled test by H.P. White Labs found a Ruger SBH was finally destroyed when pressures exceeded 80,000 CUP. The same results held true for a S&W Model 29 with it's fluted cylinder.

Need another example? Freedom Arms, who unquestionably make some of the strongest and best built revolvers ever produced, use non-fluted cylinders on their flagship Model 83. Proof of the superiority of non-fluted cylinders you might say. Not so fast...they also offer fluted cylinders as an extra cost option ($85.00), not only on the .454 Casull, but on the "monster magnum" .475 Linebaugh and their own .500 Wyoming. If fluted cylinders were actually weaker, do you think for a minute FA would offer this option and compromise the renowned strength of their revolvers?...with no disclaimer?...let alone offer it at all.

Roe
 

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Excellent point, Herr Barenjager. 8)

I was basing my assertion on what I read a few dozen years ago, as spoken by a metallurgist, though I'm unable to recall the source from the depths of my smoggy memory. (Damn cigarettes! :mad: ) But what was said was that cylinder flutes are a throwback to the blackpowder era, when BP fouling needed a place to dwell so it didn't gum up the gun quite so fast. Cutting flutes takes up expensive machine time, and makes the cylinder slower to clean, while unfluted cylinders offer a smooth, shiny canvas for engravers to work on. But as the metallurgist said, it does not offer any strength advantages over a fluted version. The primary reason most revolver cylinders are still fluted is that it's traditional, and it shaves a little weight off. Personally, I prefer fluted to unfluted, all my favorite handguns have them. ;)



Hey............weren't we talking about the Ruger Blackhawk?
 

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My Bisley .45 Combo Blackhawk has both...fluted for .45acp and non-fluted for the .45 Colt.

Depending on the revolver, either way can look very good. Even though they are D/A, Redhawks and Security Sixes look very good with the flutes. The Rossis from the '90s that had the non-fluted cylinders were well executed to

It is funny how gun makers take the opportunity to charge more for less machining. They do it with heavy-barrelled rifles and non-fluted cylinders.

Jon
 
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