Are Blackhawks getting better?

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TRanger

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
813
Location
Florida
I just purchased this .45 Blackhawk convertible. Its fit, finish, and overall quality are superior to the Blackhawk I got new in 1989. The trigger is FAR better than any Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, Bisley, or Vaquero I've ever owned; with the exception of my original .44 Magnum flat top Blackhawk. It seems better built than any of the three 50th anniversary Blackhawks I've owned. I looked this gun over for several weeks at my local dealer, along with another in .41 Magnum, before deciding to lay cash on the counter. Both revolvers impressed me as being about the best New Model Blackhawks I've seen. I am hoping it shoots up to expectations.
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wproct

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
399
Location
Ia
That is a very nice revolver. My most recent Ruger revolver was a blued steel Single-six that was made in 2015. I was really impressed with the higher gloss and deeply blued steel finish on this revolver. Much the same as you have stated, mine was nicer than I expected.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
263
Location
Northern Colorado
That does look nicely put together. Is the loading gate fitted properly? I can't tell from the picture. That's one of my anal pet peeves, although it's usually just a purely cosmetic issue.

I just bought a LNIB blued dual cylinder 45 cal Lipsey's flattop that has a few casting void surface pits on the left side, and the left back edge of the frame is rolled over a bit where it should be sharp. I bought it cheap, and just intend to shoot it and appreciate it for what it is. This gun was built in 2011. In my experience, Blackhawk quality has always been all over the place. I hope you enjoy your new Blackhawk. Let us know how it shoots?
 

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gnappi

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 4, 2023
Messages
249
Location
Florida
I have and have had many Blackhawk revolvers since the 70's and none "really needed" anything. I always took them for what they are, relatively inexpensive, mass produced and well designed revolvers that many have improved on at a substantial penalty in cost for superior fit and finish.

OP, I was surprised to see you had as many issues in the past with the BH and haven't ditched Ruger as a purchase option, I know would have :) It's good to see you hung in there and you're happy with this latest buy.
 

gnappi

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 4, 2023
Messages
249
Location
Florida
Another thought on Ruger quality.

I wonder if Ruger could get away with borrowing from Freedom arms Premier / Field grade idea which even some of the Italian SA makers are doing to cater to the SASS shooters that want a better tuned revolver?
 

TRanger

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
813
Location
Florida
Gnappi, it wasn't my intent to imply I've had "issues" with past Ruger Blackhawks. Like you, I have always regarded them as affordable, workmanlike handguns that give good service. I am simply impressed that this latest one exhibits a marked improvement over previous examples. Of course, the price has gotten a lot higher as well.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
9,572
Location
Dallas, TX
TRanger: I know what you mean. I have a 357/9mm Blackhawk. I did buy it used, but I don't think it was fired outside of the factory. Probably 5 years ago now. So relatively new.

The trigger is just phenomenal, as is the fit and finish. Just a Very nice revolver overall.

Makes you wonder if they put a little more care into the convertible models.

Sort of similar, but I would love to see more choices in their custom line. Like Smith and Wesson's Performance Center guns.

They don't need wild designs, like the GP 100 in 9mm a few years back. But just nice, higher end revolvers. Hand fitted parts, superior finish, top quality grips etc, ya know? I'd love to have one.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
24,812
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
"Another thought on Ruger quality.

I wonder if Ruger could get away with borrowing from Freedom arms Premier / Field grade idea which even some of the Italian SA makers are doing to cater to the SASS shooters that want a better tuned revolver?"

A better tuned, or whatever things Ruger would "borrow" from FA or some of the Italian makers would only drive up the cost of the guns from Ruger.

FA,, you will pay about $3000.00 for a firearm. Over 3x what a Ruger will cost. Why? Because FA spends more time, (read money) on hand working their guns. Plus,, despite the cost of a FA,, the production rate is MUCH less,, and as such,, I think currently,, they have a 2 year backlog of builds. If Ruger had a 2 year backlog,, can you imagine the amount of complaining we'd see?
Ruger has stockholders,, and a different business model than FA.

As for the Italian makers, different country, different rules & different business models. Wages & expenses are totally different there.

Having had the honor of actually visiting both FA and Ruger manufacturing plants,, and actually seeing how the guns are made,, I can attest to the fact that FA has a MUCH smaller place, workforce, and in general, everything that Ruger has at it's disposal.
And at Ruger,, it's actually AMAZING watching them build guns as good as they do, in the amount of time, with the production levels, all while making them affordable to the masses.
Many complain about the "quality" of Ruger guns. They think they should get Rolls Royce quality at Volkswagon prices. I'm actually amazed at the quality, of a mass produced product, being offered at the price point they are sold for. Ruger excels at this.

There is a reason FA charges what they do, same as Rolls Royce charges more for an automobile.

For the complainers,, I ask; "Can you build a factory, to mass produce, a top quality, hand built, product, in a very timely fashion,, and sell it at a very low price for the masses to afford?" If so,, I challenge you to actually do it.

The amount of hand building that goes into a FA requires skilled LABOR,, and labor expenses translates into a higher costing firearm. A skilled gun builder like the ones who build FA handguns,, are much different than many of the workers at Ruger. Ruger Corp made history a few years ago, by building ONE MILLION firearms in a year. Then followed it by building TWO MILLION firearms in a year. In it's entire history, I do not think FA has gotten anywhere near a million forearms period.
The difference in mass production, and hand building.
Both have their place.

But back to the OP's comments & thoughts.

Ruger does listen to consumers. And they do try hard to build a top quality product within the guidelines of their production desires. And yes,, they strive to improve things as much as they can. Have they improved their products? From what I've personally seen, discussed with the folks at Ruger,, I can say that "Yes,, they have."
Add in the fact that if a person has an issue with a Ruger,, the company has stood behind their products for decades. They fix the issues as best they can. If they can't fix it,, they offer a replacement in some form. But occasionally,,,, they get a customer who demands much more than they should,, and well beyond what is normally offered. (Such as a hand tuned, hand fitted, perfect gun, at a cheap price.)
Looks like you are experiencing the results of Ruger trying hard to build a better mass produced Blackhawk. Kudos!

Will Ruger satisfy each & every customer every time? Absolutely not. And it doesn't matter what company, business or whatever,, none ever will. None of us are 100% perfect, 100% of the time, satisfying each & every person, or employer we encounter. I've had a small percentage of my customers who were not satisfied. Even after I made attempts to correct things as much as I could.
 

gunzo

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
1,945
Location
Kentucky
Seen some great Rugers. Some, disappointing.

High production numbers can only be a reason for spotty quality, but not a given & could be corrected. Not an excuse. Having spent 48 years on the floor with hands on in a manufacturing environment I know more consistent quality could be achieved without greatly slowing the production numbers or increasing the price. Certainly not taking it to custom shop prices.

Ruger seems to have chosen to accept a certain number of returns for repair, & another gamble of customers that will settle for what they get, whether they know any better or not. Good or bad, it seems to be a decision by them on where they want to be in sales.

Otherwise, the folks that expect a Lincoln for a Ford price will always exist & that may or may not be another subject.
 

wproct

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
399
Location
Ia
I don't think these conversations involve only Ruger. I find myself only looking at pre-lock Smith & Wesson double action revolvers when I am in the market. Doesn't mean that the newer models are poor revolvers, just my preference.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
9,572
Location
Dallas, TX
Ruger seems to have chosen to accept a certain number of returns for repair, & another gamble of customers that will settle for what they get, whether they know any better or not. Good or bad, it seems to be a decision by them on where they want to be in sales.

This is somewhat related:
When I worked in the IT department of a large company, I joined a computer club. We had guest speakers come to give presentations.

Once we had a guy from HP come to talk. He told us about the printers HP makes. He actually said they calculate how much in sales they can get by releasing a new product before it's been fully tested knowing they would get a certain amount back in for repairs. Versus waiting for the printers rolling off the line to be perfected.

They usually chose to release a flawed product because they would make more in sales because of the hype over a new product.

It's really kind of funny.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2009
Messages
502
Location
Flat Rock, NC
A Ruger is a bargain. They seem to all work, right out of the box. I have repaired very few that weren't monkeyed with.

I recently treated myself and bought a new Colt 3" Python. One of most expensive mass produced revolvers in the industry except for the Korth. First time to the range the action locked up at 33 rounds, end of the 25 mile trip. I returned home, took the side plate off filled the action up with LSA Breakfree (the action appeared to be lubricated with REM Oil thin as water) and blew it out with the air. Must have been a chip from the factory left in the action or attached to a part. A week later back at the range, at the 30 round mark, the cylinder release froze up and could not be operated by hand but could be pried back with a screwdriver so the trip wasn't wasted like before I was able to fire 100 rounds. I took the firearm back home to clean, after cleaning barrel cylinder with attention to the ejector star outside and under I dryfired double action 12 or so times went to open the cylinder again, frozen. Now I started measuring things like the cylinder locking pin and the receptacle the pin engages in the ejector star. Seems the pin is cylindrical and the hole in the ejector star is slightly tapered at the bottom. That means the pin got jammed into the hole causing the latch to seize in the hole. I mounted the pin in the drill motor and tapered the tip of the pin a thousand or so. I have since fired another 200 rounds with no failures.

You would have thought after 2-3 years Colt/CZ would have gotten a handle on QC after they had such a disastrous introduction of the problematic NEW Python.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2009
Messages
502
Location
Flat Rock, NC
I worked for GE and we had a very advanced Xerox copier that gave trouble from day one. After a month or so of the train of Xerox repairman Xerox brought in a "team" of repairmen. After a day or so of working on the machine they were standing around the machine no one was doing anything to it, I was heading down the hall to the lab and I said to the "team" "you can always tell it is a Xerox Machine by the number of repairmen standing around it scratching the ass trying to figure out how it works". The next morning the Xerox machine was loaded onto a truck and was replaced with another one.
 

Bad Barlow

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
609
Location
Norcal
A Ruger is a bargain. They seem to all work, right out of the box. I have repaired very few that weren't monkeyed with.

I recently treated myself and bought a new Colt 3" Python. One of most expensive mass produced revolvers in the industry except for the Korth. First time to the range the action locked up at 33 rounds, end of the 25 mile trip. I returned home, took the side plate off filled the action up with LSA Breakfree (the action appeared to be lubricated with REM Oil thin as water) and blew it out with the air. Must have been a chip from the factory left in the action or attached to a part. A week later back at the range, at the 30 round mark, the cylinder release froze up and could not be operated by hand but could be pried back with a screwdriver so the trip wasn't wasted like before I was able to fire 100 rounds. I took the firearm back home to clean, after cleaning barrel cylinder with attention to the ejector star outside and under I dryfired double action 12 or so times went to open the cylinder again, frozen. Now I started measuring things like the cylinder locking pin and the receptacle the pin engages in the ejector star.
The trigger on my new Python sucks bad.
The trigger on my new Flattop doesn't suck.
Answer to OP is YES.
 
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
475
Not much help, Triggers are subjective. Do not even say why your trigger on the Python sucks or anything at all about the quality in comparison.
 

Bad Barlow

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
609
Location
Norcal
The double action trigger pull is pretty smooth, but heavy.
The single action pull is just as heavy as the double, because right before it breaks the pull weight goes UP,and the hammer is visibly raised,.020", like a mini double action.
Overall,the gun is beautiful , but I can't shoot it well,so I am on a waiting list for a "New Python " specialist gunsmith.
Next August, he's so backed up with sucky Pythons. It's a common problem.
Probably a lawyer instigated situation.
 
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