NM Blackhawk Back From Ruger. Shooting Erratically.

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Gene

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
245
Location
State Of Jefferson
I bought a used NM Blackhawk with a 5 1/2" barrel that was born in 1980. I tried to install a Super BH hammer in it but it was a no go.

I mentioned this before in another thread but I sent it to Ruger who practically rebuilt it installing the SBH hammer and also installed a new trigger, cylinder latch, all springs and plungers and installed a new upgraded rear sight. They also adjusted timing and end shake and safety checked it and even test fired it.

They returned it and get this, NO CHARGE! Customer service doesn't get any better than that!

Anyway, I finally had time to take it to the range the other day. I set up a large target at 25 yards. Aiming dead center only two rounds out of six even made it on paper. I tried another 12 rounds with the same result.

I finally moved the target closer to 15 yards and tried again. Same results. I tried using a rest and off hand. Made no difference.

I was using top flight ammo from Buffalo Bore and Double Tap.

My question is, what do you think I should try next? Set the target at 10-20 feet and see what happens? I'm not the best shot in the world but definitely not the worst and with a 5 1/2" barrel, I think at 15 yards, ALL shots should have at least been on paper.

Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

grobin

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
846
As unlikely as it seems I'd check the sights to see if they are loose. I've a couple laser bore sights I got from Amazon. I'd try that next. As the ammunition isn't a problem the last thing is to check the cylinder and bore deminsions.
 

Chuck 100 yd

Hunter
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
3,251
Location
Ridgefield WA
Where to start ? All the basics need to be in order to expect accuracy. I would check dimensions of the chamber throats,bullets,bore diameter,check for excess barrel thread choke, etc. if all seems well,I would first have a known good shooter fire it. Shooting from a rest. If it still just sprays bullets around,another call to Ruger would be in order.
 

s4s4u

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
1,891
Location
MN, USA
My question is, what do you think I should try next?

Please don't take offense, but I suggest having others shoot it. Most of the "this gun shoots like crap" threads end up being user related. Single action revolvers can be finicky as to grip tension and trigger technique.
 

Gene

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
245
Location
State Of Jefferson
Thanks for the replies!

grobin, good idea on checking the sights! That might be an avenue to persue.

Chuck100, as grobin said to check dimensions and things, I'm sorry but that's beyond my capabilities. I know, it's sad but I'm not talented as you folks. Thanks though!

s4s4v, I understand that but I let my son who is fairly proficient at shooting, shoot it and he couldn't get it on paper either.

Maybe I'll send it back to Ruger but...when they told me they had test fired it, I'm thinking it might have at least shot to point of aim.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts!
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,776
Location
People's Republik of California
Did you shoot it before sending the Ruger?

Could be why it was sold.

Shoot three shots from the same chamber, and each of the other chambers, each chamber on a different target. This will identify which chambers are misbehaving.

Then you'll have some info to share with Ruger. And when you call them ask for a shipping label. Let them know it was supposedly test fired, but it's not right.
 

Gene

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
245
Location
State Of Jefferson
Hi Jim!
I was hoping you would come aboard!

No, unfortunately I didn't shoot it before sending it to Ruger.

Thanks so much for your input and I will do what you advise. Always good advice from you and I thank you!
 

wildcatter

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
461
Location
OHIO
One thing I always recommend before blaming a Ruger for an accuracy especially not to be able to hit a paper Target at 25 yards let alone 15.

I think it would be very good information for you to have someone else load it, using two empty cases at random spots then without you knowing what Chambers have the empty cartridges go ahead and shoot, I've seen many people say it's not me it's the gun and catch themselves flinching erratically when loading the firearm in this manner and not knowing where those two Chambers are. It could save a trip 2 Ruger, just an idea.
 

Enigma

Hunter
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
2,146
Location
Houston metro area, TX
Ruger test fires their revolvers at 15 yards, IIRC. Their 'accuracy' standards seem to be quite flexible. If you end up returning it to them, ask them to include the test target when they return it.

If you know anyone (a person or a gun club, for example) who owns a Ransom Rest (AND a set of Ruger SA grip inserts), ask them to allow you to shoot the gun for group size. That will eliminate about 90% of the human equation from the results.
 

David Bradshaw

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
933
“... I set up a large target at 25 yards. Aiming dead center only two rounds out of six even made it on paper. I tried another 12 rounds with the same result.

I finally moved the target closer to 15 yards and tried again. Same results. I tried using a rest and off hand. Made no difference.

I was using top flight ammo from Buffalo Bore and Double Tap."
----Gene

*****

How many hundreds of times have you DRY FIRED your revolver without gun movement before, during, and after hammer fall? As for ammunition, forget magnum-class, shoot target loads.
David Bradshaw
 

grobin

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
846
As to dimensions have a gunsmith check them. Should not be real expensive as many smiths are setup with test rigs just for this. BTW you can do a poor man's version by loading just one chamber at a time and firing test shots. When some chambers show up with bad accuracy you know there is a problem, most likely with the cylinder.

Using random fired cartridges in a test load—after you have verified that the test above works—will determine if you have a problem. Also testing with target loads is a good idea—save some money.
 

Gene

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
245
Location
State Of Jefferson
Thanks for all the suggestions gents! I've been shooting firearms for well over 50 years and I know I can't shoot as well as I used to in my youth.

I'm really not that sensitive to recoil and know how to shoot and know how to pull a trigger. I qualified "expert" in the Marines with a 1911 and have shot all types of revolvers and pistols in the past including many from .44 Mag on down.

I'm not saying I'm an expert but I really do know how to shoot and again, I'm not recoil sensitive but maybe I do have a very slight flinch in my old age.

Like I stated earlier, my son who is proficient at shooting had the same results as me. Two shots in a close cluster at the bottom of the targets. Somethings amiss and I'll try to figure it out.

Thanks again and I'll be going to the range to try it again and I'll try all your suggestions.
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,330
Location
Butte, MT
Well, I'd move closer and closer to see if hitting low, high,right, left, or key holing first. If you have to high a front sight for example, get could be shooting way way low. I had one gun that was this way. At 25 yards ... no hits. Had to move into 10Y or so before it was shooting bottom of target (paper plate) as I recall. Adjusted rear sight all the way up, and still was way low, so had to get out the o' file and start lowering the o' front sight. Oh yeah, I have a Sheriff .44 Special New Vaquero that has the opposite problem and I can't do nothing about it (needs a new taller front sight by at least 1/8"). Not a smooth bore is it? ;) hah!

Maybe I missed it... What caliber?
 

David Bradshaw

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
933
“.... I've been shooting firearms for well over 50 years and I know I can't shoot as well as I used to in my youth.

I'm really not that sensitive to recoil and know how to shoot and know how to pull a trigger. I qualified "expert" in the Marines with a 1911 and have shot all types of revolvers and pistols in the past including many from .44 Mag on down.

.... I'm not recoil sensitive but maybe I do have a very slight flinch in my old age.

.... my son who is proficient at shooting had the same results as me. Two shots in a close cluster at the bottom of the targets.”
----Gene

*****

Gene.... let’s back up a moment. Clues you provide do not include cartridge your Blackhawk is chambered for! Sounds like you’re shooting pretty hot ammo. If so, switch to target loads for now. Shoot another handgun alongside your Blackhawk; preferably a small caliber, light recoiling auto or revolver. If you shoot the other handgun well, is it or is it not a single action?

If you were taught in the Marine Corps to tightly grip the pistol, and you have maintained this training through life, you must now LEARN to RELAX YOUR GRIP. You cannot fight the gun and shoot straight. The tendency when spraying bullets from a single action is to choke tighter, and it is all wrong. Handgun silhouette proved to thousands of marksmen and markswomen that you cannot strangle your way to the podium!

A death grip spells death on consistency, thus death on accuracy.

DRY FIRE is where it’s at. See for yourself whether you FOLLOW THROUGH. Forget the malarkey about alternating loaded & empty chambers. Anyone can flinch when they expect the gun to fire and it doesn’t; it’s nature.

The single action, specifically a big bore single action, is played like a musical instrument.

Until I have specific information derived at the target, I am obliged to look at the shooter. A horrible revolver should at least keep its shots on a 12” @ 15 yards. Put up a 2-foot square of plain cardboard @ 10 or 15 yards, hold center on the blank cardboard, and squeeze gentle as taking a baby’s pulse.
David Bradshaw
 

Gene

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
245
Location
State Of Jefferson
I wish Ruger would have sent the target that they test fired it with when they sent the gun back. You would think after test firing it and if it was shooting all over the place, they would have corrected it or contacted me.

Rclark,
It's .45 Colt. That's exactly what I'm going to do. Start out at about 10 yds. and see what's up. Like I stated, both my son and I had two shots each that grouped together at the very bottom of the target at both yardages.

David,
Good info there! I may be holding too tightly as we were shooting pretty hot ammo. I will take your advice accordingly and thank you.

For some reason, I can't find any standard pressure .45 Colt ammo anywhere around these parts. I live in Siskiyou County and I'm close to Oregon and even went up there and searched and everyone was out of .45 Colt.

Also, being in liberal Calif., I cannot order ammo online anymore and have it sent to me. It must go through an FFL dealer. I know the FFL holder here in our little town and see if he can scrounge some up. All the ammo in .45 Colt I have I bought online from Buffalo Bore and Double Tap before this silly law went into effect.

So, I'll be headed back to the range soon and start out at close range and see what happens. I'll report back on what happens. Thanks again to all with your suggestions!
 

s4s4u

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
1,891
Location
MN, USA
For some reason, I can't find any standard pressure .45 Colt ammo anywhere around these parts. I live in Siskiyou County and I'm close to Oregon and even went up there and searched and everyone was out of .45 Colt.

Also, being in liberal Calif., I cannot order ammo online anymore and have it sent to me. It must go through an FFL dealer. I know the FFL holder here in our little town and see if he can scrounge some up. All the ammo in .45 Colt I have I bought online from Buffalo Bore and Double Tap before this silly law went into effect.[/quote

Sounds like it may be time to start handloading. For the cost of just a few boxes of that "boutique" ammo, you could obtain all the necessary parts and ingredients.
 

Joe in Fl

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 22, 2005
Messages
87
Location
Cocoa, Fl
Have the throat diameter checked on each chamber. A lot of Rugers in 45 Colt had/have undersized throats that choke the diameter of the bullet down to a smaller diameter than the bore. This can be cured easily by opening up the cylinder throats. Usually not too expensive and will make a huge difference if in fact this is the problem.
 
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