Ruger Blackhawk cylinder interchange

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2ManyRugers

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
5
I have a question on new model Ruger Blackhawk cylinders. Do they interchange with any other Ruger cylinder? A friend has a NM 357 stainless in 357/38, recent production with 38 prefix serial number, 6.5” barrel and protected rear sight. He wants to get a 9mm cylinder. Can he adapt a cylinder or is he limited to just a purpose built 9mm from another NM? Is his frame the same mid frame as a Lipsey flat top 357/38/9? Is his frame/cylinder the same as a early 1970s NM 357/38/9? Thank you.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Sep 18, 2002
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Lake Lure NC USA
Welcome to the Forum,, (sorta!)
:D :D

Ok, in general,, you need to be a bit model specific. Old Models,, (3-screw guns,) and the New Models have different enough dimensions,, in fit to where they don't interchange. Now that's out of the way,, let's discuss the New Models only.

Basically,, the biggest thing is to match the OAL of the cylinder. Measure from the rear of the ratchet, to the front of the boss on the existing cylinder,, and look for one that's the same,, or a few thousands longer. If the same,, most often, they will drop right in. If a few thousands long,, the boss can be CAREFULLY honed to allow it to fit. Timing is most often not an issue,, but alignment should ALWAYS be check prior to firing live ammo.
I'm thinking the cylinder diameters are the same for the Blackhawks & the Flattop Blackhawks so that shouldn't be a problem. Since you mentioned stainless,, he will not find any OM stainless cylinders,, because there were never any stainless 3-screw OM's built. But the NM's, in stainless should all fit as long at the OAL is the same.
Frame sizes,, the Blackhawk is a larger frame than the mid-sized Flattop frame. But I do THINK the cylinders are the same. I don't have a Lipsey's FT to compare any with. The Blackhawk frame size from 1973 to current Blackhawks are the same.
 

NikA

Buckeye
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I'm fairly certain flattop cylinders are smaller, especially because the 45 Colt flattops have thinner cylinder walls and are not recommended for top-level Ruger-only loads.

Haven't had my coffee yet, but I seem to recall that the 2 digit prefix indicates a full size frame in Ruger centerfire SA revolvers, and that there was a recent run (Williams?) of full size 357/9 Blackhawks that might be a candidate for finding a spare cylinder (or a whole gun).
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Apr 3, 2009
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People's Republik of California
The flat Top Blackhawks and the NEW Vaqueros are made on the mid size frame (same as the Old Model .357 Mag.) The exceptions are the Flat Top and New Vaquero 44 mags and the FT 41 Mag, they are large frames like all the regular Blackhawks.

The Mid size Ruger frames use a cyl .060" larger in diameter than the Colt SAA cyls.

The Ruger 357 mid size cyl will handle any load. The Ruger .44 and 45 midsize cyl is not for the hot "Ruger Only" loads!
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Ale-8(1) said:
Hondo44 said:
The Ruger 357 mid size cyl will handle any load.

I'd say ". . . any SAMMI-spec .357 load". JMHO :wink:

That would be safest.

But I don't think you'll find all 44 and 45 "Ruger Only" loads within SAMMI-spec. In fact Lyman reloading manuals actually state that their 45 Colt Ruger and Thompson Contender Only loads exceed specs.
 

2ManyRugers

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
5
Thank you for the replies. Sounds like a full frame 357. I’ll prod him to make a 357 Bain and Davis out of it.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
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Kentucky
Hondo44 said:
Ale-8(1) said:
Hondo44 said:
The Ruger 357 mid size cyl will handle any load.

I'd say ". . . any SAMMI-spec .357 load". JMHO :wink:

That would be safest.

But I don't think you'll find all 44 and 45 "Ruger Only" loads within SAMMI-spec. In fact Lyman reloading manuals actually state that their 45 Colt Ruger and Thompson Contender Only loads exceed specs.

Oh, I agree. I don't know that I've ever seen any data claiming 44/45 "Ruger only" loads to be SAAMI-spec. :)
 
Joined
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Kentucky
Hondo44 said:
Makes me wonder if there is any 'Ruger Only' 357 ammo.

:lol: I'm quite sure that there have been a multitude of handloads that would surely qualify for that classification. And I'm likewise sure that some of the "super high performance" stuff we see for sale would likewise qualify, but they simply don't use that nomenclature. Folks are so used to the strength of the Ruger revolvers that it's almost a given.
 
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