How well do 9mm/38-357 conversion cylinder guns work?

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1ruger

Single-Sixer
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Nov 19, 2009
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Sorry if I'm hashing ups some old subject here but I didn't see anything on this in my search.

How well do Blackhawk revolver shoot with the 9mm cylinders?
I expect they do not work very well?
With the barrel diameter of 38/357 being .357 and typical 9mm barrel diameter being .355 there must be some accuracy and leading issues?
 
Joined
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There are mixed reports. Some say they have had "nonchalant" accuracy, but others have been quite satisfied.

My own gun works OK with 9mm at relatively close ranges, but I haven't really done enough to report definitive results.

Since the only 9mm ammo I have used has been jacketed "ball" stuff, I have experienced no leading problems. That said, I intend to try some lead-bulleted stuff to see if there's an effect on accuracy . . . which I expect.

Welcome to RugerForum.

;)
 

461

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Jun 16, 2004
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Omaha, Ne. USA
I've had a few of them and have shot a few cylinders of 9mm through each one. Of the three or four I've had, none have been bad performers but also not match grade. I never worked up any loads to try and capitalize on any accuracy potential.

In the end, I think it's a neat ability but not one I really use too often. I just bought a 9mm cylinder for another .357 Blackhawk I acquired recently si I guess it's a capability I want to have.
 

jcart

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Feb 14, 2007
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I was wondering the same thing. I have heard good and bad.
I finally found one at a decent price. Now to find time for the range and find out.
 

Jeff H

Bearcat
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Cincinnati, OH
With the barrel diameter of 38/357 being .357 and typical 9mm barrel diameter being .355 there must be some accuracy and leading issues?

Most if not all lead I see these days are reloads. If you were a reloader, you could just use a .358 bullet seated in a 9mm case but why? it would be no cheaper than a 38spec or a 357 loaded to 38 pressures.


I've heard varying reports on accuracy but I don't own one so I have no real opinion.
 

Bobby Fett

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Mar 24, 2009
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461":3ouydxwz said:
In the end, I think it's a neat ability but not one I really use too often.

Exactly my opinion.

I've had two and both had poor accuracy with the 9mm cylinder.
 

8emem

Bearcat
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Feb 28, 2008
Messages
57
I did a lot of reload development (and bench rest testing at 75 ft) to see if I could get some consistency out of my Blackhawk 9mm cylinder. Never was successful. Every now and again a tight group could be printed if the undersize .355 bullet rattled down the bore just right, but in the end, not worth the effort. It is no more than a novelty at best for those of us going all out for 25-yard groups. There is nothing the 9mm cylinder offers that can't be done with more velocity and accuracy from the .357 cylinder.

On the other side of the argument, it is not hard to find 9mm ammunition at better prices than 38/357, and if you are shooting at short range (like 7 yards), the accuarcy limitations may not be noticeable.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
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Mar 10, 2002
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Redlands CA USA
Hi,

I don't have a 9mm cylinder, but did some playing around once that might be of interest to those who do...

I cast 124 gr LRNs for my nine, using a Lee tumble lube mold and straight wheelweights. Straight from the mold, they come out about .357" (nominal mold size is .356".)

I've loaded those bullets both sized and unsized in 9mm brass, and tried some of them unsized in .38 Spl brass. They were plenty accurate in the .38s when shot thru my GP, and though the unsized bullets produce a slightly "lumpy" 9mm round, they shoot well in my CZ-75B.

Perhaps a bit of experimentation will lead to a slightly oversized bullet like mine that'll work well in the conversions?

Rick C
 

BigBlock1

Bearcat
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Aug 18, 2009
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Jeff H":11vpmoo3 said:
Most if not all lead I see these days are reloads.
I have to disagree with that. With recent ammo supplies being the way they are (not so bad in the last month or two) I have been buying a box or two of .38/.357 anywhere I can. I don't care what brand or bullet it is as long as it goes boom. Most of the cheaper stuff I have been ending up with is LRN from the likes of Remington, and Winchester.

As for the .357/9mm thing, I really don't think it's as big of deal as people make it out to be. Look how popular the Ruger conversion Blackhawks are. How long have they been making them? Usually Ruger pulls crappy designs or ideas off the market rather quickly...

Sure 9mm is going to be less accurate, but nobody is talking about distance here. BIG difference whether your target is 15 feet or 100 yards away. I woulnd't go hunting with a 9mm .357, but I'd certainly feel safe protecting myself from 2 legged predators at close range with one.
 

BigBlock1

Bearcat
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Aug 18, 2009
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While we're talking about it, can anybody confirm or deny if the .357 "Convertible" Blackhawk barrel is the same as any other standard .357 Blackhawk?
 

rhatimi

Bearcat
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Dec 25, 2008
Messages
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Just to make things a little more complicated. Is there any difference between a convertible .357 blackhawk and a normal blackhawk? I guess what i am trying to ask is if any ole .357 blackhawk will accept the 9mm cylinder :?:
 

22bond

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Aug 21, 2009
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Texas
I own 2 6" and 1 4 5/8". They all are more accurate than I can shoot them. The 4 5/8" 9mm is more accurate for me.
 

BigBlock1

Bearcat
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rhatimi":hbuyzfwn said:
Just to make things a little more complicated. Is there any difference between a convertible .357 blackhawk and a normal blackhawk? I guess what i am trying to ask is if any ole .357 blackhawk will accept the 9mm cylinder :?:
As far as I know they're the same, except maybe the barrel, which I'm still wondering about.

I know there are several people who have put 9mm cylinders in regular Blackhawks.
 

bob308

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Nov 21, 2009
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gaedeners pa.
i will have to try mine out as soon as i get it home. got a 6.5 inch barrel one for $425 at an auction in another state. got to do the dealer thing.
 

Montelores

Buckeye
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Oct 29, 2009
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"Is there any difference between a convertible .357 blackhawk and a normal blackhawk? "

I asked this question of a Ruger CS person a few months ago, and he replied that the guns are the same.

Monty
 
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yessir, debate goes on and on, and for the most part this is what it is for, the availability and means to shoot NUMEROUS calibers of ammo out of the same gun (total like 8 or 9??) mostly .38s of all shapes and sizes as well as the 357 magnum, and then the 9mm, also throw in any of the "shot loads" voila...great ,all around package....
accuracy?? in the hands of a GOOD shooter, I would not want to be any distance downrange...get yourself shot I'd bet........
enjoy and as often said "practice ,practice, practice.........." :roll:
 

Tommy Kelly

Buckeye
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Apr 24, 2008
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MISSISSIPPI
I have one and the accuracy seems fine with the 9mm hardball ammo I have shot. I don't dwell on accuracy but for my light plinking it shoots fine. My wife really likes it and enjoys shooting either 38's or 9mm through it. She doesn't care for 357's at all. We mostly shoot cans turtles and snakes she does fine with either 38's or 9's. I also bought a 45 convertable and have never tried the acp cyl and also own a single six conv. and have never used the mag cyl for it. I like the versatility of being able to use different ammo in the guns. And with the recent ammo it is nice to be able to purchace whatever ammo you can find and have a gun to fit several different types. I reload for most of my ammo needs so the crunch hasn't bothered me that much and I have a fair supply loaded up. But the components are more scarce than ammo now. Whenever the components become available again I will stock up more and won't worry about this type of problem in the future. Now 9mm ammo is easy to find and a lot less costwise than 357 ammo. I could stop right now and never buy any ammo or components and my grandkids would be shooting out of my stockpile when they were old and grey but I enjoy it and will keep fooling with it till I die.
 

roaddog28

Single-Sixer
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Mar 20, 2009
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260
Location
Winchester, CA
I have been debating whether to look for a New Model Blackhawk 9mm/357 4 5/8 barrel. I had a regular 357 and it was a great revolver but I did some horse trading for another revolver I really wanted. In California the shortage of ammo is depressing. It seems the only thing in the stores is 9mm. I am not a reloader and all of my revolvers are 357s or 38 specials. I saw the price on Ruger for the convertable and I can't justifiy the expense. Question? What is a good used Blackhawk convertable in 9mm/357 going for?

Thanks,
roaddog28
 

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