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Don't see many posts on this version of the Super Blackhawk 44 mag, so thought I would share my story on this gun and will do it in two parts to avoid a lengthy post. This is Part One.

The gun is the 0811 SBH 5 1/2" barrel 44 mag.


This version of the SBH has the distinction of being the only SBH with a fluted cylinder.


I bought the gun, this summer, for several reasons, but mostly because of its 5 1/2" barrel length, my favorite length in SA revolvers. Also got the gun because I have been shooting 44 mags most of my life and love the cartridge.

The gun really does have a nice balance in the hand. Feels more like a Blackhawk than a Super Blackhawk with its very reasonable 45 ounces of weight. It's a lighter and trimmer gun, too, than the Super Redhawk with a 5 1/2" barrel. What's not to like?


I learned that answer to that question in a hurry on our first range trip. My second shot and my fourth shot with this gun actually drew blood and I do mean blood. Despite my best efforts to grip the gun, firmly, the gun swiveled so back so viciously after the shot that hammer came back and punctured not only my shooting glove, but also my hand underneath, leaving me with nasty and painful gouge. That's a first ever for me and I've been shooting 44 mags of all kinds for forty some years. What the heck?

The problem is the small XR3 Red grip frame Ruger uses on this gun. That's the same grip frame, by the way, that us used on the Single Six. Imagine holding your Single Six, but instead of a 22 LR on top, you have a 44 mag. You get the idea.

Now, I can understand Ruger's decision to go with this grip frame. It does keep weight down and, for sure, it avoids that dang dragoon trigger guard with its nasty spur. Bad as this setup is, I'll take it over the dragoon trigger guard versions, any day.


Still, I was heartbroken. Even though I loved the barrel length and the balance on this SBH, it had to go. I'm a shooter, not a collector and no way could I afford to shoot something that inflicts pain, so we headed right back to our local shop where we purchased the gun and traded it off on another gun.

Had a change of heart, overnight, though. Crazy me, but a little voice in my head kept telling me to give the gun another chance. Just something about this gun that called to me. Call it woman's intuition or whatever, I couldn't give up on it.

Thanks to our wonderful local shop, we were able to buy the gun, the next day at the same price. Yup, something to be said about buying guns from a good local shop.


Turns out that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The story does have a happy ending. On to Part Two.
 

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I just ordered a SBH 5.5" (stainless) Friday, and my FFL emailed today that it is ready for pick up.

My plan is to shoot .44 Special through it and leave the .44 Magnums for my S&W Model 29.

Would the SBH Hunter grip frame fit my new 5.5" gun? Looks like it would make it easier to handle. Otherwise I'm not interested in rubber grips or way oversized wood stocks.
 

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Wow, what kind of loads were those that caused so much flip to take a chunk of hide out of you even with gloves?

I have the BH with the 6-1/2" barrel and the XR3 frame and it's not as comfortable to shoot as my 10-1/2" SBH. I don't really mind the squared guard myself.

I definitely agree with you about your favorite length single action, even though I don't have a .44 in that length. The one you posted about is a fine looking specimen! The 5-1/2" is, in my opinion, just the right length for pulling from a holster, and long enough for help in the sight radius department.

I'm glad you decided to give it another chance. I'm sure it was sorry for hurting you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Armybrat, pretty sure you could swap to the Hunter grip frame - the rest of the gun is a Super Blackhawk. Going to the Bisley Hunter grip, though, would require the rest of the Bisley package, I suspect - trigger, hammer and so on. Love the Bisley, but swapping over to that grip would really jack up the cost.

Haven't shot 44 Specials in this gun, yet, but I think you'd do very well with those. It's a great cartridge. Guess that's why we also bought a Bisley 44 Special Flat Top.


1466, I was using factory 44 mag hunting loads. I'm sure most folks, especially guys, wouldn't have the same problem. What can I say? I'm an old gal and just feel lucky to still be able to shoot 44 mags. :)
 

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I just ordered a SBH 5.5" (stainless) Friday, and my FFL emailed today that it is ready for pick up.

My plan is to shoot .44 Special through it and leave the .44 Magnums for my S&W Model 29.

Would the SBH Hunter grip frame fit my new 5.5" gun? Looks like it would make it easier to handle. Otherwise I'm not interested in rubber grips or way oversized wood stocks.
Yes it will fit any Ruger SA ever made including the single six, except of course the Bearcat which is one piece with the main frame.
 

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Armybrat, pretty sure you could swap to the Hunter grip frame - the rest of the gun is a Super Blackhawk. Going to the Bisley Hunter grip, though, would require the rest of the Bisley package, I suspect - trigger, hammer and so on. Love the Bisley, but swapping over to that grip would really jack up the cost.
Actually Bisley trigger and hammer not required to use a Bisley grip frame. Standard parts work fine. Just FYI.
 

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SBH 5.5" Stainless was my first 44 mag. Absolutely love it. Did get the middle finger knuckle rap at first, but now, even if I run max loads out of my Hornady manual, it feels awesome.
It also can still turn a few heads at the range when you let one off.
 

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I have 2 of the same SBH 5.5" . They will bit and draw blood with stout 44 mag. loads. If you don't hold just right.
44 specials shoot a lot nicer .
I put Hogue grips on mine.
 

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I bought the same gun but haven't shot it yet. Range time this weekend!

However, i have a Herrets shooting star grip as a backup plan. It jacks up the visual lines, but extends the grip down and should help with the roll.

Nice story!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
AB, that should make a fine 44 Special shooter, but you might try some of the lighter 44 mag loads, too. Had some 185 grain PMC loads, awhile back, that weren't too bad, but ran out before I could try them in the 5 1/2".
 

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Thanks, I'll look for some. My hands are getting a bit arthritic, so a lot of even standard factory loads are uncomfortable.

Really bought this one in mind for one of my sons who is a camper & hiker (along with his two boys) when he travels out west to visit friends.
 
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