Welcome to Jercol's Back to the Basics. This is where I will post useful information, tips, and gear reviews about what I learn about Outdoor Survival, Activities, and Disaster Preparation. My only goal is to be informative, realistic, and at least a little entertaining.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Range Review: Ruger Blackhawk Convertible

So, when I took my class for the pistol permit, one of the guns we shot was a Ruger Blackhawk Convertible.  It's a pretty nifty single action (manually cock the hammer for every shot) revolver, it shoots .38sp and .357, swap out the cylinder and it shoots 9mm as well.

When I got my permit, the first gun I picked up was a Blackhawk Convertible of my own.  This is the stainless steel version with a 6" barrel, cost was around $650.

(Bic is for size comparison)

I took it to the range today, put 300 rounds of .38sp through it.  I brought another revolver and a lever-action Rossi R92, my intent was to run 100 rounds through each but circumstances didn't work out that way.  The silhouette range was closed (I guess it's only open on the weekends), so lever action was out, and I had a mechanical issue with my other revolver (erm, I forgot the tool to 'unlock' the safety).

I would have put up some range photos but I spent the first 50 rounds realizing the zero was off (the elevation was maxed out by the factory), then the next 100 rounds trying to get it zeroed.  Then my arms were so shaky (this is not a light-weight gun) that I wasn't having the most accurate day.  But, hell, was this gun fun to shoot.

First 200 rounds were remmington .38sp 130gr, last 100 rounds were some generic FMJ .38sp 150gr I picked up at Sports Authority.  As for accuracy, I can't really say one was more accurate than the other (I was trying to get a good zero for half the time), but the 130gr had less kick (no big surprise there).  By the time I had a good zero my arms were pretty shaky too.  Either way, it was plenty of fun to shoot and I can't wait to get it back to the range.

(all cleaned up after a day at the range)

As for the convertible part of the gun, it's ridiculously easy.  No tools required, pull a pin, slide the rod, and the whole cylinder comes out.  The whole process takes about 6 seconds.  I was really impressed with how easy it was and look forward to putting some 9mm down range.  I didn't try it this time, but during class we shot 9mm out of this thing and it was a blast.

Overall, it's a fun gun if you like single action.  The 6" barrel takes a little getting used to, it's definitely barrel heavy, but it also helps with the recoil.  Even the 150gr was easily manageable, and I really like the versatility with ammo.

In fact, it's so fun to shoot that now I'm considering getting a Ruger Vaquero to go with it.  I did say I was a cowboy at heart.

Edit: I took it to the range again today.  This time I went to the silhouette portion and I had a blast!  My zero from yesterday meant I was denting metal as soon as I pulled it out.  There's something so satisfying about shooting silhouettes, BANG.. ping,  BANG.. ping.  You see some targets fall, others bouncing around with the shots.  Very fun.

I was very impressed with the accuracy out to around 75 yards.  I'm sure it would be accurate out well past that distance but 75 yards was about the limit of my accuracy.  In other words, the gun is limited by me, not the other way around.  That's a good thing, because my skills will improve with more practice.

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