Gun Show Find Flat Top

Help Support Ruger Forum:

dsf

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
8
Location
California & Oregon
Was waffling about what to buy at the Reno Gun Show (Colt Junior, P14 rifle, Remington 51 ... or nothing) and happened across a table with a few Ruger Blackhawks displayed, including a few Flat Tops and three screws. All in excellent shape, a few in boxes. Settled on this one -

IMG 0397

This is my 1st Flat Top and according to the serial number look up, we're the same age - 1958.

I wasn't aware Ruger originally used a small serrated ejector rod head. Other than not scratching the barrel it doesn't seem best, but of course will stay as is. The Micro sights are head and shoulders above anything current. As are the grips.

Gun hasn't been used much if at all. The hand abuts the cylinder ratchet at full cock just a tad before the sear engages the sear notch

Never been much of Ruger enthusiast beyond accumulating what I like, and have a liking for older stuff. But damn - this thing is terrific.
 

JCW64

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
457
Location
Louisiana
That Blackhawk appears to be a “Ross” variation based on the serial number and the front sight from what I can tell. If so, it has had the grips and trigger replaced and maybe the gripframe. The black hard rubber grips would be correct for the gun as well as the square ejector rod button . If it is a true “Ross” gun, the ship date would be summer of 1956. Does the front sight have “squiggly” lines to cut down glare on top of sight? You can search this forum for previous Ross threads to get more info If you like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dsf

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,201
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
My very first thoughts were; "This looks like a Ross variation!" The serial number appears to put it as a good possibility.

If it's a Ross variety,, that's a HUGE score!

The grip frame does appear to be a XR3.

Look at the front sight, from the top, looking down on it. If it has "squiggly" lines along the base of the sight, that's a good thing.
If the Ejector Rod Housing, is steel, has a "long throw, with an offset slot, a second good thing.
And as you've already mentioned, the serrated Ejector Rod Button,, the 3rd good thing.

Ross variations are known from serial number 14684 to 15483.
Approximately 800 of the Ross guns are suspected to be out there.

According to the current RENE Price Guide,, an excellent example of a Ross variation is approximately $1475.00
 
  • Like
Reactions: dsf
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,243
Location
Kentucky
It is possible that the grip frame could be the "correct" XR3 variety with the later substitution of the walnut panels for the original "black plastic" variety. Checking the marking in the grip frame will confirm one way or the other. Either way, it's a great find. Congrats. :)
 

dsf

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
8
Location
California & Oregon
Thank you to all for the information -

Yes, grip frame is marked "XR3" and the front sight blade and base each have the "sguigglies" running horizontal to the muzzle. My not so good photos -

IMG 0400
IMG 0401


I hadn't noticed the "ALCOA" name stamp on the grip until I viewed the above - I take it this is correct?

The wood grips each have a corresponding cut to accommodate the wings just under the top of the grip frame.

I prefer wood grips over the black plastic. Does not having the originals detract too much from value and, how hard are they to find?
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,243
Location
Kentucky
First off . . . YAY FOR YOU! Great find!

Yes, the ALCOA is correct.

For full collector value you'd need the correct "black plastic" grip panels. When you have 20 posts ("messages") or are a Supporting Member you can hunt for them in the classifieds here.

Welcome to the party. :)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: dsf

dsf

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
8
Location
California & Oregon
First off . . . YAY FOR YOU! Great find!

Yes, the ALCOA is correct.

For full collector value you'd need the correct "black plastic" grip panels. When you have 20 posts ("messages") or are a Supporting Member you can hunt for them in the classifieds here.

Welcome to the party.
Thank you - "blind pig" theory at play.

I've been here for about 15 years, a contentious post by the miscreant CD Fingers likely got me on board. I re-registered when the forum format changed - couldn't remember my name or password together and just figured to start anew.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,201
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
You have scored a gun many collectors would LOVE to find. A Ross for sure,, and most likely made in 1956.
I'd DEFINITELY spend the $10 & get a letter on the gun from Ruger.

As for the grips,, often they were swapped out due to the occasional over tightening caused the screw to pull through etc & break the inside of them. NOT a hard thing to fix. Swap grips & you'll be good to go!
TIP: Buy a nylon spacer/bushing to put inside the grip frame, in between the grip panels. You'll need one 1/2" long. I normally file about .005 off my spacers due to the fact that the grip frames are often a little narrower than 1/2". The spacer will keep you from overtightening the screw. I put them in all of my Ruger SA's.

Another small detail.
Look at the screw head on the rear sight. The adjusting screw. See if the head has a small witness mark for the click adjustment. That should be there.

Again, KUDOS on a great find!
 

dsf

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
8
Location
California & Oregon
You have scored a gun many collectors would LOVE to find. A Ross for sure,, and most likely made in 1956.
I'd DEFINITELY spend the $10 & get a letter on the gun from Ruger.

As for the grips,, often they were swapped out due to the occasional over tightening caused the screw to pull through etc & break the inside of them. NOT a hard thing to fix. Swap grips & you'll be good to go!
TIP: Buy a nylon spacer/bushing to put inside the grip frame, in between the grip panels. You'll need one 1/2" long. I normally file about .005 off my spacers due to the fact that the grip frames are often a little narrower than 1/2". The spacer will keep you from overtightening the screw. I put them in all of my Ruger SA's.

Another small detail.
Look at the screw head on the rear sight. The adjusting screw. See if the head has a small witness mark for the click adjustment. That should be there.

Again, KUDOS on a great find!
Thanks, I checked and it's there on the elevation screw.

I've done the grip screw over torquing, usually on S&W J frames, and "once burned" am extra cautious. I have a long nylon tube that I cut to fit on alot of my revolvers. This one got theirs the 1st time I replaced the grips. :)
 

vlavalle

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 10, 2022
Messages
50
Location
Chandler, AZ
Was waffling about what to buy at the Reno Gun Show (Colt Junior, P14 rifle, Remington 51 ... or nothing) and happened across a table with a few Ruger Blackhawks displayed, including a few Flat Tops and three screws. All in excellent shape, a few in boxes. Settled on this one -

View attachment 1062
This is my 1st Flat Top and according to the serial number look up, we're the same age - 1958.

I wasn't aware Ruger originally used a small serrated ejector rod head. Other than not scratching the barrel it doesn't seem best, but of course will stay as is. The Micro sights are head and shoulders above anything current. As are the grips.

Gun hasn't been used much if at all. The hand abuts the cylinder ratchet at full cock just a tad before the sear engages the sear notch

Never been much of Ruger enthusiast beyond accumulating what I like, and have a liking for older stuff. But damn - this thing is terrific.
I am also a big Ruger enthusiast, and I own two Ruger Blackhawks. My first I bought in 1965 new, and still own it. I have attached a couple of pics of my .357 Mag and its holster (I used o quick draw) here! But I would like to ask you what caliber yours is. My .357 Mag Blackhawk is not a Flattop, as the upper frame bar is raised towards the rear. However, my second Ruger is a 45LC/54ACP convertible flattop, and it looks just like yours, with the upper frame bar going straight (Flat) across the top. Is yours a .22?

These are called 3 Screw Rugers, and without having the update made, it will 'fire' when dropped or hit, just like in the Old West days, and they kept an empty chamber to prevent damage from this. I had mine updated for 'free' (it cost me $100 for shipping!) by Ruger 8 years or so ago, so now it is safe fully loaded. I do not have a holster for my 45 Ruger Blackhawk.
 

Attachments

  • DSCF0007a.JPG
    DSCF0007a.JPG
    537.3 KB · Views: 35
  • DSCF0003.JPG
    DSCF0003.JPG
    648.9 KB · Views: 33
  • Like
Reactions: dsf

Latest posts

Top