Ruger Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
Are the new 45 blackhawk's as strong as they used to be or are the frames different now?
I believe there are two frame sizes now, the older New Model Blackhawk, and the more recent flat top Blackhawk frame. The flat top is smaller than the NMBH frame, and not quite as strong. If you are intending to load .45 Colt to "Ruger Only" pressures, go with the NMBH, not the Flat Top.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
17,044 Posts
It's not the strength of the frame that is in question .... it's the diameter of the cylinder, but it only applies to 45 cal Blackhawks, not 357 Mags. The slightly smaller "flattop" cylinder frame is probably a bit stronger than the larger BH frame. If you look closely at a conventional BH cylinder and a flattop cylinder (45 cal), the conventional cylinder is considerably thicker and will allow the use of "Ruger Only" loads with chamber pressures of 30k psi (14k psi is the SAAMI max). The mid-sized frame is still stronger than Colts or many other clones so it can take up to 23k psi, which is still a pretty powerful load.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
It is mainly the cylinder in 45. Below is a new Lipsey flat top convertible in 45/45ACP.



Besides being slightly shorter the new cylinder has thinner wals than the older Rugers in 45.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
By the way, I am not knocking the new smaller Rugers. They have the Colt SAA "feel" but it means these are not the Ruger SAs to stuff your hot Ruger/TC Contender only loads in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
It is mainly the cylinder in 45. Below is a new Lipsey flat top convertible in 45/45ACP.

Besides being slightly shorter the new cylinder has thinner wals than the older Rugers in 45
Similarly, here are photos of a New Model Blackhawk in 45 colt and a New Vaquero in 45 Colt. Note the thinner cylinder walls. I measured the Blackhawk cylinder walls at about .060 and the New Vaquero Birdshead from Talo at about .040.

152156
152157
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
17,044 Posts
In the above photos, look at the thickness of the cylinder walls between the chambers. It really brings home the concept of thinner walls in a New Vaquero or Flattop versus a standard Blackhawk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
As others have said, it isn't frame size - it is the cylinder. In 45 Colt the thinner cylinder walls are pronounced. In other calibers, not so much. There is more than adequate thickness with 44, 357, etc. Of course, even the New Vaquero in 45 colt is strong enough for any standard pressure cartridge and quite a but more. After all, even the original Colt 1873 Peacemakers were shooting 255 grain bullets at 1000 fps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Actually there's no evidence that the mid-frame Rugers are stronger than Colt SAA's or replicas. In fact, we had .45ACP convertibles and 21,000psi data for Colt SAA's before the New Vaquero was even introduced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
the bolt notches appear centered - ala s&w in the pictured flat top.

looking at my super blackhawk - the same notches appear just past tdc.

so, where is the thinnest part of the cylinder?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
so, where is the thinnest part of the cylinder?
According to my micrometer, the thinnest part of the New Vaquero cylinder are the interior walls between each of the six charge holes. At the rear of the cylinder (near the pawl) all of the charge hole walls are thinner. Charge hole bore is larger here vs. the front where the throat bore diameter is narrower. Walls between charge holes and the outside surface (between the flutes) are markedly thicker than the interior walls between each hole.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top