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Ruger New Model Blackhawk 45 Colt Review

Reader Reviews: Handgun User Reviews - Shooters' Favorite and Least Favorite Handguns

User Rating 5 Star Rating

By RFalche

Ruger New Model Blackhawk 45 Colt Review

45 Colt Ruger New Model Blackhawk w/Custom Grips from Rio Grande


Handgun Make and Model: 

Ruger New Model Blackhawk

Purchase Price; New or Used?: 

$575.00 New

Type of Handgun 

Single Action Revolver

Accuracy Rating 


Fit, Form, Function: Comfort and Reliability 

Ruger's outstanding semi-replica of the original Colt SAA (Single Action Army) is a reliable standby of the Cowboy Action Shooting Crowd. Classically styled with a number of improvements over the original, the Blackhawk looks great and performs flawlessly.

Centerfire or Rimfire (Include Caliber) 

Centerfire, 45 Colt

My Review 

Ruger's outstanding "replica" of the original Colt SAA (Single Action Army) is a reliable standby for Cowboy Action Shooters. Classically styled with a number of improvements over the original, the Blackhawk looks great and performs flawlessly.

Most shooters are familiar with Cowboy Action Shooting (or CAS as it is commonly known), a competition utilizing handguns, rifles, and shotguns commonly available during the frontier era. Participants dress in period costume and dub themselves with an appropriate cowboy "handle." The sport has been gaining adherents for years as replica guns are improved and become more reasonably-priced and accessible.

I got caught up in the craze and decided to immerse myself in the world of the Wild West by purchasing a handgun specifically designed for Cowboy Action Shooting, the Ruger New Model Blackhawk in 45 Colt.

The Blackhawk differs from Ruger’s other standard cowboy offering (the Vaquero) in its utilization of an adjustable rear sight and raised front sight. The more classically-styled Vaquero has just a rear notch cut into the frame which lines up with a simple blade front sight. Ruger also added an internal firing pin on all of its cowboy revolvers. This eliminated the need to carry the gun with the hammer over an empty chamber to prevent accidental discharges.

Aesthetically, the Blackhawk is true to its roots and has the simple lines one would expect from a western style revolver, and varying finishes are offered. While my revolver came with a faux ivory grip, which was comfortable and easy on the hand, most Blackhawks come with a cheap-feeling black plastic grip which most shooters will want to replace. "Convertible" 45 models come with a 45 ACP cylinder which is easily changed out to save money on ammo, as the full-sized Colt ammunition costs a pretty penny.

My Blackhawk shot great out of the box and had surprisingly little recoil for such a powerful round, which could have something to do with this gun’s heft. The 4.62" barrel Blackhawk weighs in at a beastly 39 ounces unloaded, but the balance is so good you hardly notice. The action and trigger pull were smooth and with no sight adjustments I could consistently place shots in groups within inches of each other.

Overall, this was a great revolver for the price and while suited to CAS competition, Ruger quality ensures that the Blackhawk could easily double for a home defense weapon in a pinch.

Would you recommend this to a friend? 


Russ Chastain, About.com Hunting, says:

I've edited the review just a tad to reflect the fact that none of Ruger's revolvers are truly replicas; they are more accurately called "resemblers," as they resemble old guns, but have considerable design differences. - RC
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