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Friends: I am considering buying a Ruger Blackhawk convertible in either the .357/9mm or the .45 Colt/.45 ACP format. Assuming that these are actually .357 and .45 Colt revolvers, my question is What kind of accuracy can I expect to get in the 9mm and the .45 ACP modes? What are their general reputations? Thanks. --c
 

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Howdy Mr. Corky,

I have never owned any of the convertible Blackhawk revolvers. However I have owned two different Vaqueros with the dual cylinder. Both were in .45 Colt/.45acp, one with the 5.5 and the other the 4.75 barrel. It is my understanding the Vaquero (old style) were essentially the Blackhawk with fixed sights made to resemble the SAA revolver.

I found the accuracy of both rounds to be more than acceptable in both revolvers. Both would shoot better than I can anyway, and I am a fair shoot at least.

Hopefully someone who owns a Blackhawk with dual cylinders will be able to give you a more precise response on how their revolver handles both rounds too.

twoguns
 

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I had a 4.75" Blackhawk in .45 Colt / ACP, and I foolishly let it get away from me in trade for a Commander. The .45 Colt round shot really well in the Blackhawk, but I found that lead deposits from cast bullet reloads in .45 ACP tended to render the gun pretty much useless after about three cylinders full, requiring a full cleaning of the cylinder. Apparently a small amount of lead would scrape off into the headspace ring, and subsequent rounds wouldn't chamber fully. I cured that problem by shooting only jacketed rounds in ACP. No problems with the Colt cylinder, however, as headspace is accomplished on the case rim.

I see the convertibles as a way of shooting surplus ammo, as there are better platforms for both the 9mm and the ACP calibers. Personally, I prefer the .45 Colt round in a revolver. This is not to say I'll be getting rid of my 625 in .45 ACP, however. :)
 

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Hello Corky- I went on the Berry's Bullets web site to see the difference between 9mm and .38. The 9mm is .356 diameter and the .38 is .357 diameter. If the smaller 9mm were shot through the barrel built for the .357 I would think it wouldn't be as accurate, but I don't own one and don't know for sure.
 
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I do not yet have any experience with the .357/9mm convertibles. I have several .45 Colt/.45 ACP convertibles. Subject to the same issues as the .45 Colt, the .45 ACP cylinders shoot very well. The .45 Colt chamber throats in the past have tended to be pretty tight. They are often cured by reaming the throats to .4525
 

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I've shot both the .45 and the middle-bore models. I don't recall anything in particular about the .45, but I recall that the 9mm was not accurate when shot through that gun. Perhaps other rounds would have been, but the 115-grain ball we were shooting was sort of a mess. Cheap, though. And the .38s were accurate from the gun.

There's no such thing as a free lunch - I suspect that no gun that is designed to accomodate two different cartridges that require different bore diameters (and I include the Single-Sixes in this) is going to be accurate with both. Oh well - it's a convenience thing. The gun will likely be accurate with one of the cartridges, and you'll still be able to shoot the other one acceptably well. :)
 

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I've got an older three screw Blackhawk 6.5 inch .357/9mm convertible.

I was curious as to the difference in accuracy using the 9mm cylinder. A 9mm bullet is .002" undersize for the .357" groove diameter and technically the undersize bullet should give only mediocre accuracy at best.

So I got out my Ransom Rest and the Blackhawk grip inserts and set up a target at 25 yards. I had three different rounds with me to test. Federal's .357 Mag 158 gr JHP factory load, Winchester' s .38 Spl 148 gr HBWC factory load, and the German made RWS/Geco 9mm 124 gr FMJ factory load. The results were just about what I expected. The Fed 158 gr Mag load gave the best results with twelve shots into 1.75 inches. The Win .38 Spl HBWC did just slightly worse at 2.10 inches. The Geco 9mm was all over the target with 7.50 inch group and that was the best of three that I shot that day.

The only 9mm revolver that I have owned that gave good accuracy is my S&W Model 547 three inch heavy barrel. But it of course has the proper .355" groove diameter barrel.


Roadster
 

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Have observed a friend load testing his 357/9mm covertible. Like the previous posts, the 9mm rounds were all over the paper, while the 357 loads were accurate.

Have several 45 LC/45 acp convertibles. Jacketed 45 acp bullets were very accurate, but had some trouble with lead loads. Turned out the lede from the 45 acp chamber to the throat was very short, and lead loads that had the full bullet diameter (.452) out of the case produced the same problem LelandRay posted. Wanted to use same lead reloads that were used in other 45 acp pistols owned, so experimented a little. Used a 45 acp throater to increase the lede in the 45 acp cylinder, which eliminated the problem with lead loads.

Really like the versatility offered by having a 45 acp cylinder.
 
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