.357 Flattop - Need info on proper box

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Moore-D

Bearcat
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
25
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Ontario, Canada
I purchased a .357 Flattop quite some time ago, and I would like to know what box is correct if I was looking to get one? Also, what is the going rate for such a box?
It's a .357 Blackhawk, Serial #16566. Not mint condition, just some small wear marks in the usual spots, and a turn ring on the cylinder. I will post some pictures this evening when I get home. Does this need the "uncatalogued" box, or did it have the catalogue number on the box by this time?
I am trying to read and learn as much as I can about this gun, so please bear with my ignorance for just a little bit?.......
Thanks in advance guys,
Moore-D
 

bigbore45colt

Hunter
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Apr 9, 2005
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Phoenix, AZ
Moore-D,

The only way to know for sure is to get a ship date from Ruger. Assuming it shipped at the same time as other guns in that s/n range did, then it does indeed need the uncatalogued box.

Catalog numbers don't start appearing on the 4 5/8" guns until late in the 2XXXX range.

Going rate? RENE 2008 Price Guide shows $365. If I were looking for one though, I'd probably go up to ~$400-$500.

Just my $0.02

BB45C
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,674
Location
Kentucky
"Legitimate" 6-1/2" guns start showing up around the 218XX serial number range, and that first run of "legitimate" 10" guns at 225XX. There are a few earlier guns of these lengths but I'm not aware of any that will "letter". This does not mean there aren't any, just that they are unlikely.

As BB45C says, the 4-5/8" guns prior to the introduction of the 6-1/2" guns will take the "uncatalogued" box, and an inquiry to TheFactory may result in only a description of ".357 Blackhawk" although on occasion they will tell ya "BKH3". The advice to "call it in" is excellent, and worth way more than $0.02 IMHO.

:D
 

Moore-D

Bearcat
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
25
Location
Ontario, Canada
What's the barrel length? Makes a difference.

At that serial number it should be 4-5/8" but ya never know.

Yes, it's a 4 5/8" barrel. I did call in last week and got a ship date of Sept 1958. I have read about people getting a letter from Ruger. Does that only apply to special guns? Or could I get one from them over the phone? Is there a fee for the letter from them?

Thanks again
Moore-D
 

Moore-D

Bearcat
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
25
Location
Ontario, Canada
Moore-D,

The only way to know for sure is to get a ship date from Ruger. Assuming it shipped at the same time as other guns in that s/n range did, then it does indeed need the uncatalogued box.

Catalog numbers don't start appearing on the 4 5/8" guns until late in the 2XXXX range.

Going rate? RENE 2008 Price Guide shows $365. If I were looking for one though, I'd probably go up to ~$400-$500.

Just my $0.02

BB45C

So I guess I would need an uncatalogued box then. I only paid a bit more than that for the actual gun!!! Being that it's not really a "collector grade" gun, I may not hunt for a box too hard. I have shot it a couple of times, and like I said above, has a few small wear spots on it. No dings or scratches, and no modifications done to it that I can see. No messed with screws and it's not converted. Has a real nice deep plum color on the gate and elsewhere. Pictures will follow.

Moore-D
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,674
Location
Kentucky
Moore-D, I have an "experienced" Type 1 that I shoot occasionally, and it's quite fun. I don't shoot magnum loads in it . . . just because. And I haven't been able to rationalize the cost of a proper box, either, but I am . . . um . . . frugal.

Handled properly, a little "exercise" shouldn't hurt your gun. Congrats on a nice find.

:D
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2002
Messages
1,860
Location
Marysville, CA USA
I agree with all above but would really like to know how many non catalog boxes Ruger might have ordered for the .357's. I have a 33xxx gun that is in a non catalog box and is numbered to the gun. I also know of one 41xxx ( I believe it's 41xxx) in ND that is also in a non catalog box. Did Ruger perhaps have plenty of non catalog boxes for all 42,689 guns? Juss wondering.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2002
Messages
1,860
Location
Marysville, CA USA
They all letter as BKH3's until 21xxx and then they switch to BKH34. I know this is about the time that the other barrel lengths started to show and Ruger went to the different catalog numbers. But, how many non catalog boxes were left by then? I'm not discounting that some were shipped in BKH34 boxes but I have yet to pinpoint the s/n range or date. Interesting huh?
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,674
Location
Kentucky
According to RENE, they were known as ".357 Blackhawks" 1955-57 (11XXX), BKH-3's 1957-59 (25XXX), and BKH-34 (or BKH-36) thereafter. The 6-1/2" guns started showing up in mid-1959 (218XX).

RENE also says that the earliest known BKH-34 box is in the 33XXX range which would have been like 1960. Apparently your gun is right in this time period.

Makes me think they shipped 4-5/8" guns in uncatalogued boxes for quite a while, like well after the introduction of 6-1/2" and 10" guns.

:D
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
I'd NEVER come across a non-cataloged box at any of the "local" (within 600 miles of here) shows in all my years of collecting until last spring....

361855986.jpg


I found this pair of Old Model .357 Boxes at the Salt Lake City show for a mere pittance!

flatgate
 

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
6,007
Location
Dawson, Iowa
We have a 31xxx range gun here that was even shipped in a 6-1/2" box with the 6-1/2 marked out and 4-5/8 penciled in. But I'm sure this is just a rare exception. Yes, get your ship date then you can go searching.
The non-cat number boxes didn't run out until about October 1960, about 16 months after the first of the new barrel lengths were first shipped (6-1/2" and 10").
It would not surprise me though if Ruger had a small supply of BKH-34 marked boxes printed by the time the first 6-1/2" and 10" guns were first shipped in June/July 1959. This is how we think the two known BKH-46 marked .44 flattop boxes came about.
Chet15
 

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