Last year Sturm, Ruger & Co. (Dept. ST, 200 Ruger Rd., Prescott, AZ 86301; 928-541-8820; www.ruger.com) marked the single-action Blackhawk’s 50th anniversary with the introduction of a special-edition .357 Magnum Blackhawk that featured many new innovations while appealing to shooters from a particularly nostalgic angle. Well, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the .44
Magnum Blackhawk, and Ruger is celebrating it in style with a refined Flattop version of the time-honored revolver. Our sources tell us that Ruger will also be offering a special set of matched pairs of the .44 Magnum Flattop and the .357 Magnum Flattop revolvers with special serial numbers for a limited time.
As loyal Shooting Times readers know, original Ruger Blackhawks were often referred to by shooters as the “Flattop” because the rear sight did not have the protective sight shoulders of later models.
Ruger 50th Anniversary
.44 Magnum Blackhawk
|Manufacturer:||Strum, Ruger & Co. Inc.|
|Model:||50th Anniversary .44 Magnum Blackhawk|
|Barrel Length:||6.5 inches|
|Overall Length:||12.75 inches|
|Weight, empty||45 ounces|
|Safety:||Trigger-actuated transfer bar with loading gate safety interlock; operator-activated internal lock to block hammer|
|Sights:||Micro adjustable rear; ramped front|
|Stock:||Checkered hard rubber with silver and black medalions|
|Cylinder Capacity:||6 rounds|
The prototype for this year’s 50th Anniversary .44 Magnum Blackhawk that Shooting Times obtained has that flattop topstrap that was so popular back when the Blackhawk revolver was first introduced. Our sample of this special new revolver has a 6 1/2-inch barrel, a grip strap that has a feel very similar to that of the grip strap found on the original Flattops, checkered hard rubber grip panels with silver and black medallions, and an adjustable Micro rear sight.
The top of the revolver’s barrel is engraved and gold filled with the words “50 Years Of .44 Magnum 1956 to 2006.”
The action, of course, is the Ruger New Model action, but it now incorporates the key-activated action lock that Ruger brought out new last year. This action lock is installed inside the grip frame at the base of the mainspring and hammerstrut. When the device is activated the hammer can’t be fully cocked and the transfer bar doesn’t lift into firing position. The simple but effective mechanism is completely covered by the grip panels. The commemorative revolver also features Ruger’s newly patented reverse indexing pawl for easier loading and unloading.
The 50th Anniversary .44 Magnum Blackhawk celebrates 50 years of the successful manufacture of a great sixgun in proper fashion. It is sure to be a big hit with the many Shooting Times readers who have wished for Ruger to return a .44-caliber Flattop to its line of single-action revolvers.
As soon as production guns become available, ST will conduct a thorough shooting review and report our findings.