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Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?
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Author:  DEATH WIND [ Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

Has anyone done this yet? I am considering taking a .480 SS Bisley Blkhwk and making it look "Bisley Grisley"(machine thenTopstrap )..A close range cannon with a 3.6" and Banded Frt Sight :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Author:  jgt [ Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

Alan Harton built a 44 special from a Blackhawk .357 for me and milled it to look like a Vaquero. I do not know if the frame of the .480 would be a candidate for that though. I would check with your the gunsmith first.

Author:  Hondo44 [ Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

DEATH WIND wrote:
Has anyone done this yet?


Many many Blackhawks have been milled and welded to copy the Colt SAA in the days before Vaqueros. I haven't seen a 480 done yet.

But I see no safety/technical reason it can't be done. Cylinder strength is the issue (the weakest point), not the frame:

454/480 cylinders are not standard material; they are Treated Carpenter Custom 465® stainless, a premium quality, high strength, age-hardening stainless alloy. The frame is still just made of investment cast 410 ‎stainless, and the barrel is still standard Ruger made of Carpenter15-5 PH stainless steel, (already considerably harder than Custom barrels which are 416 SS, the equivalent of 4140 Chromoly, not very hard at Rockwell C26-C30).

Provide the frame info, 410 SS, to whomever is going to weld up the rear sight channel so they know to match their welding rod to it.

Author:  DEATH WIND [ Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

Thank you for that very informative useful information !

Author:  street [ Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

DEATH WIND wrote:
Has anyone done this yet? I am considering taking a .480 SS Bisley Blkhwk and making it look "Bisley Grisley"(machine thenTopstrap )..A close range cannon with a 3.6" and Banded Frt Sight :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Not a Bisley but a picture of a Blackhawk that was done by someone else. When ever someone says there is no such thing as an Old Model Vaquero, I like to show this picture. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Image

Author:  Varminterror [ Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

What will be easier than welding and milling the topstrap of a 480 SBH would be to simply transplant the guts of the 480 into a large frame Vaquero frame. Old 45 colt and 357mag Vaqueros can be had rather cheap, simply transplant the parts into the new host.

Author:  Bob Wright [ Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

Hondo44 wrote:

......................But I see no safety/technical reason it can't be done. Cylinder strength is the issue (the weakest point), not the frame:..................................



That topstrap takes a beating. It is possible to stretch a topstrap under recoil, especially if it has been modified. It is possible to render the gun unfireable without the cylinder letting go.

I've done that with a Colt SAA Army. The barrel angled down to the point the rear of the cylinder bound against the top strap. You don't have to blow it up to wreck the gun.

Bob Wright

Author:  Enigma [ Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

Varminterror wrote:
What will be easier than welding and milling the topstrap of a 480 SBH would be to simply transplant the guts of the 480 into a large frame Vaquero frame. Old 45 colt and 357mag Vaqueros can be had rather cheap, simply transplant the parts into the new host.


One problem might be acquiring the .480 cylinder; not sure how available they are. However, I agree that this is the method that I would pursue if I wanted a fixed-sight .480 revolver. I believe that I would have the cylinder opening opened up for a longer, larger diameter cylinder, and have a custom cylinder fabricated. This would allow the use of longer OAL cartridges, pretty much eliminating the rather slim difference between the .480 and .475 Linebaugh.

Author:  Hondo44 [ Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

Bob Wright wrote:
Hondo44 wrote:

......................But I see no safety/technical reason it can't be done. Cylinder strength is the issue (the weakest point), not the frame:..................................



That topstrap takes a beating. It is possible to stretch a topstrap under recoil, especially if it has been modified. It is possible to render the gun unfireable without the cylinder letting go.

I've done that with a Colt SAA Army. The barrel angled down to the point the rear of the cylinder bound against the top strap. You don't have to blow it up to wreck the gun.

Bob Wright


Bob,

A Colt SAA yes, but it's an erroneous comparison to Rugers. The metallurgy just doesn't compare and the frame is smaller than even Ruger's mid size frame.

Thousands of Rugers including Ruger Vaqueros have been chambered for more powerful cartridges than the 480 for years now by the likes of John Linebaugh and several others, with larger cyls that necessitated opening the cyl window which reduces the top strap thickness. There have not been any failures as you describe.

Author:  Hondo44 [ Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

Enigma wrote:
Varminterror wrote:
What will be easier than welding and milling the topstrap of a 480 SBH would be to simply transplant the guts of the 480 into a large frame Vaquero frame. Old 45 colt and 357mag Vaqueros can be had rather cheap, simply transplant the parts into the new host.


One problem might be acquiring the .480 cylinder; not sure how available they are. However, I agree that this is the method that I would pursue if I wanted a fixed-sight .480 revolver. I believe that I would have the cylinder opening opened up for a longer, larger diameter cylinder, and have a custom cylinder fabricated. This would allow the use of longer OAL cartridges, pretty much eliminating the rather slim difference between the .480 and .475 Linebaugh.


Acquiring a 480 cyl is not required for Varmunterror's scenario. The cyl (and barrel) come from the 480 donnor gun. They would be swapped with the Vaq gun. A custom cyl will work of course, but a very much more expensive project.

Author:  DEATH WIND [ Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Milling a Blackhawk Topstrap to look like the Vaquero?

Again thanks for the interesting thoughts and possibilities !

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