Ruger Super Blackhawk in 30 Carbine

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    1. #1
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      Ruger Super Blackhawk in 30 Carbine

      I was checking price, performance and availability on several Ruger SA revolvers and found this one listed at my LGS. It checks out with 965 ft-lb energy putting it between the .357 and the .41 mag. Is it useful as a hunting gun for medium-large game? I was disappointed to see Ruger does not sell a small carbine for it. I liked the .30 Carbine back in the service (about 1960).

    2. #2
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      I think the ballistics data you are quoting is for the .30 Carbine fired in a rifle- or carbine-length barrel, not a revolver. My Speer #12 manual (handgun section) indicates the highest velocities they got from a Ruger Blackhawk in this caliber was a 100 grain bullet (round nose Speer Plinker) at 1589 feet per second, and the 110 grain Varminter at just over 1400 FPS. These loads would yield 568 ft/lbs and 478 ft/lbs of energy, respectively, putting them in a virtual tie with several popular .357 Magnum loads (which were tested in a shorter barrel). Same energy as a .357, but using a lighter and smaller-diameter bullet? Great for coyotes, raccoons, and other smaller varmints, but not a good choice for deer, in my opinion.

    3. #3
      Senior Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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      To my knowledge, Ruger only offered the Super Blackhawk in one caliber: the .44 Magnum. They did offer a Blackhawk in .30 caliber Carbine for a while. As far as hunting small to medium sized game, you'd be better off with the a .357 Magnum.

    4. #4
      Junior Member oldranger53's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
      To my knowledge, Ruger only offered the Super Blackhawk in one caliber: the .44 Magnum. They did offer a Blackhawk in .30 caliber Carbine for a while. As far as hunting small to medium sized game, you'd be better off with the a .357 Magnum.
      I concur with the above.
      I own a Ruger Super Blackhawk Stainless Steel in .44 mag.
      Somewhere back in memory, I THINK I remember the "Super" Blackhawk being offered in .357, but I'm getting old and not as good in the memory department as in earlier days.
      To be honest, I don't know what the difference was/is between the Blackhawk and Super Blackhawk models.

      In my opinion, the .30 carbine round started out life being a compromise for certain soldiers who felt under-armed with only a .45 on their hip in combat - either that or they were not good enough shots, thereby having a rifle issued to them. Because of that, the .30 carbine round was never intended to do much except the bearer FEEL better while carrying it through hostile territory.
      I'd personally rather have one or two .45's on my hip than any .30 carbine, for any purposes - but that's just me.

    5. #5
      Junior Member Reddog1's Avatar
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      About thirty years ago I had a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .357 cal. Nice gun in total but not much fun to shoot due to recoil and size of grip. My .44 Super Blackhawk was actually better to shoot but both nice guns. I disagree with the above statement by oldranger 53 that the .30 cal carbine wasn't much good as a weapon. It had better range than the .45 for sure and more accurate when the adrenaline flowed through the veins. Didn't have knock down power of M-1 or M-14 but in close combat or urban environment it was just fine and very easy to handle. But can't imagine using the caliber for hunting when there are so many better rounds out there.

    6. #6
      Senior Member Bisley's Avatar
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      I had a Blackhawk chambered in .30 M1 Carbine, back in the early '70's...before it was common practice to wear ear protection. My ears are still ringing, but it did shoot good.

    7. #7
      Senior Member Bob Wright's Avatar
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      Many years ago I had some correspondence with a man up in Montana who was very enthusiastic about the .30 Carbine Blackhawk for taking pronghorn. Not sure what bullet he used now, but he used a heaping helping of H110 powder.

      As the the Super Blackhawk, three screw models had 7 1/2" barrels, Dragoon grip frames, low, broad hammer spurs and a deluxe high polish blue, all in .44 Magnum only. Now the only thing that distinguishes a Super Blackhawk is the hammer spur and .44 Magnum caliber.

      Bob Wright

    8. #8
      Senior Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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      The original Ruger .44 Magnum revolver was a Blackhawk, introduced in 1956 just three months after S&W came out with their model 29 in that caliber. This was a "flat top" revolver with a fluted cylinder. In 1959, Ruger introduced the Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum. The difference was a non-fluted cylinder and a dragoon styled trigger guard. In 1973, the Super Blackhawk went two-screw with the transfer bar safety system.

      The Super Blackhawk was reserved only for the .44 Magnum cartridge and has never been made in any other caliber for general sale by Ruger. It remains a fine hunting single action revolver.

    9. #9
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      I bought one new in 1969.
      Same experience as Bisley.
      Ears rang for a week after 1/2 box of ammo.

      They were built on the larger Super Blackhawk frame to accommodate the cartridge, but had the standard Blackhawk grip frame, hammer, etc, and were not finished in the high polish blue of the Super Blackhawks.
      Same price as the other Blackhawks also back then.

      Muzzle velocity was advertised as being 1550 feet per second out of Ruger's 7 1/2 inch barrel.
      They are heavy, recoil isn't bad, the cartridge can probably be similar, or slightly more effective than a .327 Magnum, if handloading.

      Do yourself a favor and buy a .327 Magnum Blackhawk, unless you are a collector.
      The .327 offers the option of plinking with less powerful, and noisy, loads.

    10. #10
      Junior Member opos's Avatar
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      I have a 30 carbine in the 7 1/2" bbl Blackhawk (not Super)....hand load deal only unless you are made of money...sort of like the 45 Colts....Huge fireball and Huge bang but oh so fun....100 grain "plinkers" and 110 grain fmj with 2400 is what I've just started loading...loading a bit lighter than the loads for the carbine to tame things a bit...recoil is not significant....just a real display and loud (stress loud) report...wear dual ear protection...stress dual ear protection. In the thumbnail pic above you can see it looks similar to a Super (this is an old model from 1969---2nd year produced) but has a fluted cylinder and has the rounded trigger guard. This one was converted to the transfer bar but within the next couple of weeks will be back to the original configuration...not a transfer bar kind of guy.

    11. #11
      Senior Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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      My first center fire revolver was a Ruger Blackhawk with a 6 1/2" barrel which my wife bought for me as a Christmas present in 1968. I hand loaded for that gun and found that the 160gr Norma JHP with 16 grains of 2400 to be great for Virginia deer. It is a hot load but the Ruger takes it just fine. I still have a few of these loads in a safe. I'm pretty certain that Norma bullet is no longer available.

      I bought my Super Blackhawk in either 1973 or 1974 (not exactly sure which year). I also loaded for that one and liked the Speer 225gr 3/4 JHP over 23 grains of 2400 to do great. The Sierra 240gr JHC was good with 22 grains of 2400 or 296 (can't recall the number of grains for that one since I was not real fond of it). The longest shot I ever took with a handgun was with that Super Blackhawk on a metallic silhouette range. A hanging ram at 200 meters (that's 656 feet). Open sights from a rest. I thought my stuff didn't stink when I made that shot.

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