The Blackhawk was the second model of revolver offered by the six-year-old company (the first was the Single Six SA .22-caliber rimfire revolver). The Blackhawk found a ready market, and became a success in short order. Popularity of old-west style Colt revolvers was high, and the Blackhawk looks, points, and feels much like the Colt Single Action Army.
They're Not All the Same
Bill Ruger was a tinkerer, and loved to fiddle around with his designs (which were mostly variations of others' designs). This resulted in many of the company's guns evolving over the years, and the Blackhawk is no exception.
The gun pictured above was built in 1970 per the serial number. Stamped on the left side of the barrel are "STURM, RUGER & CO., INC." and "SOUTHPORT, CONN. U.S.A." in two lines. The left side of the frame is stamped "RUGER .357 CAL." and "BLACKHAWK" in two lines below the cylinder, with the trademark phoenix logo stamped to the right of the words.
This particular gun is an example of what's probably the most common Blackhawk, with a hump in the top rear of the frame to house the rear sight. Originally, the Blackhawk had a flat frame top with the rear sight inletted into it, and is thus known as the "Flat Top." Early Flat Top Blackhawks are more rare, and thus are more costly as a rule.
This gun is not a New Model. We'll discuss those on the next page.
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