Rare Ruger Super Blackhawk

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Rock

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
35
Location
So Cal
A funny thing happened to me on the way to Christmas in 1966. A good friend and shooting buddy of mine had bought a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag early in the year and since both of us had been doing a great deal of handgun hunting, guess we were ahead of the times on that, I had been shooting his gun quite a bit.

I decided that I needed one of the Ruger’s and ordered one from my favorite firearms and outdoor supply outfit in my area. I determined this would be a real nice Christmas present to myself.

I came in on Dec 24 in the morning to pick up the Ruger, the owner Alex brought out the box and we opened it to inspect the revolver, when I picked it up something seemed odd, as I continued to inspect the gun it occurred to me that the barrel length seemed off, remember I had been shooting one of these Blackhawks quite a lot during the year. I mentioned to Alex that the barrel seemed short he mentioned to me that drinking on Christmas Eve day was not a great idea. Finally he brought out a tape measure and we measured the barrel, well despite his accusation of drinking we determined that I was right, the barrel measured 6½ instead of the listed 7½ stated on the box.

Alex was upset that he had been delivered a defective gun and asked me if I would like him to get me another gun, I had owned a number of single action Colts with shorter barrel lengths and the shorter barrel did not bother me at all so I told him all was well and took the Ruger home.

Over the years I had asked a lot of sharp gun guys if they had ever heard anything about a Ruger delivered with a mismarked box or any Super Blackhawks with short barrels, no one had any information on the subject.

I was up at my daughter’s home visiting last summer and her husband and I had went to the range to do some shooting, we were sitting in the club house having a refreshing beverage after shooting and were talking guns with several of the club members. The subject came up regarding strange guns we had owned and I relayed the story about my Ruger and one of the guys mentioned the Ruger Forum, he stated that there were some very knowledgeable collectors on the site and someone may have an answer regarding my odd ball gun.

Well I got around to joining up here awhile ago and was reading past posts on the collection area just to gain a little knowledge and ran into a post from stickshooter regarding his purchase of a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 6½ barrel, this explained a lot about my gun. Real nice to finally have some answers after all these years.

As stated, the Ruger was purchased in December of 1966 and had been in my possession continually since the purchase, it has been pretty much a safe queen as shortly after the purchase I was involved in a lot of big game hunting with rifles and later bought a Thompson Contender with a 14” barrel in .44 Mag and used it almost exclusively for hunting use.

The revolver is in pristine condition and probably has at most a couple hundred rounds ever shot through it at best. The serial # is 24373 and I am sure one of the original few 6½ made. I have the box and paperwork including the original sales slip stating it has a 6½ barrel at delivery.

I would appreciate any comments from the collectors out here regarding the number made and any other pertinent information that could be shared. I am sure after reading some of the posts that I could get a letter from Ruger confirming its authenticity and will probably do so if someone will inform me what steps to take.

This is a great gun site with a lot of very knowledgeable gun enthusiast on board, I am very happy to be a new member of this great forum.
 

mike722

Buckeye
Joined
Jul 10, 2002
Messages
1,699
Location
tallahassee, florida,usa
yep, the 6 1/2 inch Super will bring quite a premium over a standard gun. There were about 600 of these made after the barrels were mistakenly cut 6 1/2 inches instead of 7 1/2 inches at the factory. Instead of wasting the barrels, the boss decided to install them on the guns and ship them out. The serial number range these are found is usually 24xxx-25xxx, and they were shipped in a standard 7.5 inch box. A 95 percent or better gun in the box will bring around $1000 or more, compared to around $600 for the same age gun with a standard barrel length.
If you would like a factory letter to verify this gun shipped with the 6.5 inch barrel, call Ruger at 1-603-863-3300 and ask for Records. The kind ladies on the phone can send you the letter , no charge.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
About all one can add to mike722's post is an image.....

102016674.jpg


:D

flatgate
 

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
5,694
Location
Dawson, Iowa
Rock:
24373 is the third earliest I've heard of on this model. The earliest I've had reported is 24324 (Now with 76 sn's documented of the 600 or so produced).
Chet15
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,239
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Rock; As you have seen, the knowledge here abounds. You do have a desirable gun. And to have the original box & papers etc. WOW! I'd definately call & get the letter.
 

Rock

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
35
Location
So Cal
Unbelievable, I have asked questions about this gun for over forty years with no information available, and this was with several very fine gunsmiths who were friends, as well as very knowledgeable gun owners, and in less than twelve hours on this site I have my answer.

I want to thank all you guys for your interest in my question, and the excellent information.

In a way it is kind of funny how things work out, I am not under any circumstance a gun collector, I am a hunter and shooter, and have been reloading since the late fifties, but firearms to me have been a necessary tool to enjoy the shooting sport.

In addition to the Super Blackhawk I also have a Ruger Redhawk in .357 the stainless steel model with 5½ barrel that I find out after reading posts on the forum is another fairly rare revolver. I also have a Ruger # 3 in 45-70, and an early model .44 carbine. I also own a Super Single Six that was purchased three or four years before the Blackhawk that has been my companion in the field for all the years I have owned it, I used the .22 Mag cylinder exclusively until my son decided he wanted to shoot it with the standard .22 cylinder to save money.

In later years I added a Ruger Red Label and one of my favorites a Ruger Model 77 heavy barrel 25-06 that has been a splendid rifle. So I guess in some funny way I am a little bit of a collector due to my odd choice of firearm purchases through the years. Once again I want to thank you for your sharing of knowledge, it is greatly appreciated.

I will call Ruger next week and talk to them about acquiring a letter regarding the Super Blackhawk. I will also try to take a picture of the revolver soon and share with the group.
 

weaselmeatgravy

Moderator
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Moderator
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Colorado native, Vermont transplant

DHENRY

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
6
Location
N.E. Ohio
Rock,
One of the things I find most attractive about the 6-1/2" SBH is the deep, glossy finish.
Nothing better!
Don
:wink:
DSCN1319.jpg
 

SteveRuger

Hunter
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
2,388
Location
Northern, Utah. USA
All of the Super Blackhawks from around 3500 serial # up into the 81- Prefix gun have the High Polish "Mirror Finish"! Also the Super Blackhawk 50 th Anniversary Under SB-00100 have a better finish much like the other High Polished Supers. The Super above that have a High Polish just not the Mirror Polish.
 

Rock

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
35
Location
So Cal
DHENRY,

Thanks for sharing the picture of your excellent Blackhawk, mine is in similar condition with a very nice finish and very smooth action. Many of the gun manufactures in the fifties and sixties produced some beautiful weapons. I own several Colts from those eras that are just top notch revolvers as well.

It amazes me that if what one member stated that there were approximately 600 of the 6½ barrels produced that after forty plus years you would think more than 76 would have been found or accounted for somewhere. I guess that is the allure of collecting anything, the mysteries that often are never resolved. It makes you conjecture was Ruger doing overseas sales at that time and some went other places in the world, or did some production manager made a decision to suspend production of Blackhawks with an incorrect barrel, who knows.

In my case just a complete stroke of luck allowed me to acquire one, as I had mentioned earlier, I have never been a collector of firearms, my choices were always based on some hunting or shooting interest that a particular firearm seemed to be a fit for at the time. That being said, I am happy that I do own something unique that is also an excellent weapon regardless of its length of barrel.

I believe all gun owners owe a huge thanks to true collectors, it allows all of us to view and admire the best of show in all types of weapons, these same collectors because of their interest also have some of the most complete information regarding the many types and brands of weapons, they are an irreplaceable knowledge source.
 

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
5,694
Location
Dawson, Iowa
Rock":14tahnp8 said:
It amazes me that if what one member stated that there were approximately 600 of the 6½ barrels produced that after forty plus years you would think more than 76 would have been found or accounted for somewhere. I guess that is the allure of collecting anything, the mysteries that often are never resolved. It makes you conjecture was Ruger doing overseas sales at that time and some went other places in the world, or did some production manager made a decision to suspend production of Blackhawks with an incorrect barrel, who knows.

The 6-1/2" Super Blackhawk was made in error. The employee at the factory thought they were cutting barrel stock for the .41 Mag., but it turned out to be .44 caliber barrel stock (I think that out there somewhere there should be some 7-1/2" .41 Mag. Old Models also, produced because of this same reasoning).
It is not surprising that only 76 have 6-1/2" Supers have been noted. Remember that all firearms are sold to the public, so the other 524 or so 6-1/2" Supers are hiding away in closets and vaults of folks just like yourself, unbeknownst to them the rarity of such a gun (you finally received info about your gun 43 years after it was made!). This is what makes Ruger collecting so interesting....because 80 to 90 percent of the rare Rugers ever made are still out there waiting to be found. You can't say that with Colt or Winchester because anybody who has one of those automatically thinks they have a high priced firearm, and base that thought only that the gun is "old".
Chet15
 

HDPickup

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
3
Location
South Florida
I also have a 6 1/2" Super Blackhawk that is NIB, never fired etc..I have all the original boxes and the manual, although I'm missing the warranty card that I see pictured. My serial number is 25064 and was shipped in Sept of 1966. I do have the letter from Ruger stating that mine shipped as a 6 1/2".
Can anyone help me out with the warranty cards to make my kit complete? The manual was sent to me by Ruger with the letter so I don't have the original manual. I'm not sure if this affects the value any.
Any comments?????
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2002
Messages
1,775
Location
Marysville, CA USA
Rock

I'm curious if your box has the 7 1/2" barrel length marked out on the end label. I've seen them both ways. Also, do you recall if you got the cardboard shipping sleeve with your gun when you purchased it? Nice story and neat ending to finally get the rest of the story.

GW
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2002
Messages
1,775
Location
Marysville, CA USA
HDPickup said:
I also have a 6 1/2" Super Blackhawk that is NIB, never fired etc..I have all the original boxes and the manual, although I'm missing the warranty card that I see pictured. My serial number is 25064 and was shipped in Sept of 1966. I do have the letter from Ruger stating that mine shipped as a 6 1/2".
Can anyone help me out with the warranty cards to make my kit complete? The manual was sent to me by Ruger with the letter so I don't have the original manual. I'm not sure if this affects the value any.
Any comments?????
With a complete package (boxes) as yours I would definitely look for and add the manual and warranty card. Most likely a 1965 manual and a 5 cent warranty card. I have several spare 5 cent warranty cards and may have a correct manual. I'll check and pm you.
 

HDPickup

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
3
Location
South Florida
I do have the brown over pack box with mine (serial number on side of box). It is getting very brittle and is flaking away so it just sits in the safe. The red/black box looks brand new.
On the end of my box, they used a black marker to cross out the 7 1/2" and wrote in 6 1/2". I also forgot to mention that I have the original hang tag from J.C. Penneys that shows a price of $116 which I believe was retail in 1966.
I'll try to post pics. Any help on the cards and manual would be great. Not sure how PM works so may take me awhile.
 

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