This caused quite a stir in the gun industry since this new cartridge had only been invented in There he learned of a guarded new product development, the Remington. Bill Ruger obtained a quantity of pre-production cartridges along with the technical details behind the cartridge and promptly went to work designing a single-action revolver to fire this powerful cartridge. At least three prototypes were made on the Blackhawk. These were shown at the March NRA show.
It was later determined that the frame needed to be enlarged and strengthened to better handle the high pressures and recoil of the heavy magnum cartridge. Some of the early prototypes and guns were sent to various gun writers for testing. Elmer Keith had been instrumental in the development of the.
He had long urged arms and ammunition makers to develop this powerful cartridge. Ruger began to ship its. By early production was in full swing and the new Blackhawk. The gun was just built on a larger scale. It also has the Ruger trademark Eagle logo to the right of the cylinder frame rollmark. Not only would the gun handle the. It also had a no-collar base pin and long throw offset-slot steel ejector rod housing like its.
Some of the early guns also had the checkered black hard rubber grips like on the. However, the early production. The use of checkered black hard rubber grips soon gave way completely to the smooth varnished walnut panels. These smooth panels were much more comfortable for the shooter due to the considerable felt recoil of the heavy magnum cartridge.
The ejector rod button change resulted in the creation of the second type of. They can be found with either the checkered rubber or smooth walnut style grip panel. I believe most Type 1s were shipped in November There may have been a few shipped in December and possibly even early January. These guns are extremely rare and are some of the most sought after. This was to be the last major type produced. Estimates of to 2, believed produced have been given by different sources. No matter what the estimates, both of these longer barrel.
They are some the most desirable and sought after guns by collectors today. In addition to the four major types with three barrel lengths discussed above, there were some very rare and desirable variations produced. One inscribed gun, chrome plated guns for display at the NRA meeting s , and six factory engraved guns are known. There are the scarce Type 2a with a wide land cylinder base pin similar to the Ruger Single-Six.
There are also some very rare late production guns with the later redesigned XR3-RED grip frames that are found on the protected sight Blackhawks and Single-Sixes produced after the. Any of these are very desirable to the collector. However, validation of the installation of these parts from the factory is almost impossible.
The collector must usually rely on the shipping date and a discriminating eye to ascertain their validity. It appears that the Ivory grips were phased out during and the Stag by the time the grip frame was redesigned in The boxes had a yellow top with a black Ruger trademark Eagle inside a red wreath on the top of the box. They had a black bottom and white interior. These guns were initially referred to as the BKH4 model.
About 29, of the Ruger Blackhawk. These guns are very desirable and collectible today. But as the Quinn boys here on GunBlast. Estimated about made. A very few early guns had checkered black hard rubber grips but the very large majority had varnished smooth walnut grips. About 10, made includes about 2, estimated sub-Type 2a guns with the wide land Single-Six type cylinder base pin tip.
Type 4 — The ejector rod housing slot was straightened. About 14, total Type 4s made. Ah, but what a sweet addiction it is!! Of course, if you have any of these old guns that you want to part with please do not hesitate to contact me…. I just can not seem to get enough of them!! Bill Hamm Got something to say about this article? Want to agree or disagree with it? There will be two Digest magazines published every year. For more information and to apply for annual membership please visit www.
Click pictures for a larger version. A true Type 1, with the small serrated ejector rod button. Varnished smooth walnut grips and beautiful plum colored frame. Original checkered black hard rubber grips. Early Type 2, with varnished walnut grip panels. Framed first advertisement of the Blackhawk. Similar to a Single-Six base pin. The three instruction and parts manuals used during the. Example of the last major type, the Type 4. It has the straight slot ejector rod housing. It does not have the word Magnum, model number, or barrel length.
While not in mint condition, it is a very rare and desirable Flattop!! This shipper was originally white in color but has discolored to an aged brownish look Rare Type 4 Flattop.
This gun is pictured on page of John C. Found in its original box with all its papers. Found years and s of miles apart, I believe that they are both correct guns. A very rare configuration, but there is no way to validate that it came from the factory that way.