.30 Carbine Ruger Blackhawk, Who Has One, What Works Best For You?

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Ed Harris posted this 28 May 2017

I recently picked up one of these, who else has one?

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ken T posted this 28 May 2017

I have one I bought back in the 70's.It shot extremely high.I soldered a .125 extension on the front sight to get it sighted in at 100 yds.I used the Lyman 31133 cast bullet in it as well as Speer half jacket plinkers and 110 grain jacketd hollow points.I haven't fired it for years.They are very noisy.

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aka Carbine Dave posted this 28 May 2017

I have had one for several years. I have found I really don't like the toofes rattle I get from factory ammo. so far I like the lyman 3118 115gr. fp sized .310" loaded to about 1.580" with 4.9 of Unique and a #wsr or other small rifle primer. and speer plinkers in 100 gr. or 110 gr. fmj or sp, with 11.9 gr. IMR-4227, this power gcharge is also what I used for the sierra #2110 110gr. spritzer hp seated to1.736.which lets the cylinder turn, all are crimped to about .332" anymore than this seems to effect accuracy . the latest project is a shot load( I weird that way) from 7.62 nagant brass. anyway these work ok for me and don't make my toofes rattle, and the lead bullet load will cycle my buddies m1 carbine.

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Ed Harris posted this 28 May 2017

I fooled a bit with the .30 Carbine Ruger Blackhawk when I worked for the company, but never owned one until recently. My memory of firing the revolver when at Ruger in the 1980s was that military ammo was unpleasantly noisy and chronographed about 1400 fps, comparing to the 7.62x25 Tokarev, but with a heavier bullet. Chambers needed to be kept clean and free of oil as any residues not removed causes cases to set back and bind against the recoil shield. 



I never used handloads, but agree with what others have posted here and elsewhere that the .30 Carbine Ruger is best viewed as a “rimless .32-20” which safely handles ’92 Winchester style rifle loads. The New Model Blackhawk cylinder does not have the recessed case heads of earlier guns, so there is adequate head clearance from the cylinder to use trimmed .32-20 brass. This makes it easy to keep moderate .32-20 loads separate from full-up “Ruger Only loads” in .30 Carbine brass.   Starline .32-20 brass drops into my Blackhawk cylinder without trimming.

My New Model Blackhawk was made in 1978. Cylinder gap is pass 0.003”, hold 0.004” with cylinder throats a uniform .310” all the way around, so the gun will be shot straight up with no mods. Cartridges loaded with Hornady 90-grain XTP bullets, which measure .309", chamber nicely. Cast bullets sized to .311” and loaded in Starline brass similarly drop into the chambers of their own weight, as long as the exposed ogive is smaller than .310 to enter the throats. I  have ordered a 31-100T mold cut to fit from Accurate which has its .310 nose with specified "nose tolerance negative." I ordered the plain base 100-grain mold initially because I wanted to approximate .32-20 ballistics and don't intend to hotrod it. I want to see how low I can go and still have a load which will cycle the GI M1 carbine for use as a small game gun, sort of like a semi-auto .32-20.  If I want higher velocity I’ll probably just load jacketed bullets.

 

Tom Ellis at Accurate molds is also going to cut a mold of the same profile with 0.09” gascheck shank added at the base, for .645” overall length and about 118 grains in wheelweights. I'll use this mostlyin the M1 Carbine if I need to drive loads a bit harder than are optimum for the plainbased bullet, but will try it in the revolver also, both with and without its GC.

This should be a good-shooting revolver. I'm looking forward to the first range trip after the mud dries out.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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John Carlson posted this 29 May 2017

Bought one in 74.  Never shot cast, 100gn Speer plinkers and 110gn hollow points.  Flat shooting and the LOUDEST gun i've ever owned.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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SouthDakota1 posted this 30 May 2017

Greetings Mr. Harris,

You pose interesting question....I too am an owner of a 30 Carbine Blackhawk, in fact several of them at various times over the past 20 years or so.  Anyway, the 30 Carbine is a hoot to shoot, and does make an excellent small game and general plinking round if loaded properly.....the loud blast and fireball of a full strength 30 Carbine is not "loaded" correctly for a pistol. My current 30 Carbine was obtained around 2007 or so at a super discounted rate...hard to refuse.  At that time, I took your recommendation from one of your writings stating that a 30 Carbine is best considered as a .32-20 for load effectiveness in a Blackhawk.  That made good sense.  I've experimented with loads of around 5.0 grains of unique and the following cast bullets: Accuracy 31-115A; Lyman 311316 and Ideal 311359 (classic 30 Carbine cast bullet).  Bullets were sized to .309" to fit cylinder chambers.  Nominal weights were around 117 grains.  Remington brass was used, as well as Reminding 5 and a half small pistol primers.  Anyway, the best bullet used thus far is Accurate's 31-115, with #311359 a close second.  For some reason, #311316 has "OK" accuracy, but the "excessive" sizing from .314 cast to .309 probably effects it.   From a rest at 25 yds, the Accurate 31-115A bullets groups around 1 inch or so from a bench rest....not to bad for a "plinker".

Best Regards........Marc

Marc A. Moore

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Ken T posted this 10 October 2017

I finally tried the .32-20 cases in my .30 carbine NM Blackhawk.I didn't have to trim the Starline cases.I used the Lyman 31133 HP and 4.0 grains of Unique.It was a very pleasant and quiet load.Much different from my previous use of the revolver.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 10 October 2017

Good topic.  I'm one of the many who has one and found it FAR TOO LOUD.  NEED to develop loads with cast.  THANKS!

 

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Ed Harris posted this 13 October 2017

So far my Savage .32-20 bolt-action sporter, fired off sandbags with open sights is more accurate at 100 yards than the WW2-era M1 carbine, but .32-20 Winchester '92 "rifle charges" in carbine brass with 7.2 grains of AutoComp, 8.5 grains of Alliant #2400, 10 grains of IMR4227 or 13 grains of IMR4198 with the Accurate 31-100T cycle the carbine reliably.

In the Ruger revolver so far I've had best results using the mild .32-20 REVOLVER loads which are safe in my Colt Police Positive and S&W 1905 Hand Ejector, using either 3.2 grains of Bullseye or 4.5 grains of AutoComp with 31-100T, in .32-20 brass.  I will try some of the carbine loads as well, but the Ruger is so pleasant to shoot with standard .31-20 loads at 900 fps, I hardly see the point.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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spfd1903 posted this 14 October 2017

Ed

If using the 32-20 brass, am I correct to assume it has to be re-sized in a .30 carbine sizer die. I have had the Black hawk for two years now and find the best groups with an NOE gas checked 115 grain and 2400 powder. Still testing an LBT 130 grain gas check bullet, but have not found the right powder/charge that it likes.

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Ed Harris posted this 14 October 2017

It does not have to be.

If using Starline brass which has been fired from my 1920 Colt Police Positive and reloaded using the RCBS .32-20 Cowboy dies, reloaded rounds using the Accurate 31-105T bullet "fit" and shoot accurately either from the Colt or the .30 Carbine Ruger.  The thinner .32-20 brass provides enough neck clearance in the .30 carbine chamber so that rounds assembled in .32-20 brass with .314 diameter bullets chamber easily, and once fired in the .30 carbine chamber regular .30 Carbine dies will work fine with .32-20 brass as long as you load bullets of .312" diameter or larger, which are required to "fit" the thinner .32-20 necks. The Accurate 31-105T bullet has a .310" diameter bore riding portion north of the crimp groove, with "tolerance negative" so that it enters most ,30 Carbine Ruger chamber throats easily, when bullets are crimped in the crimp groove, using Starline .32-20 brass of 1.280-1.285" length.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Dale53 posted this 19 October 2017

This is a great thread. I don't even have a .30 carbine, but I can sure see the potential of the Ruger .30 Carbine revolver as a very practical hunting gun for small game. I have that issue covered very nicely with my .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Mag revolvers, so it doesn't affect me, personally. However, this info should be VERY helpful for those who have one or have an opportunity to get one.

Being able to use .32/20 brass would make it much more interesting for me.

So, KUDOS. to those who contributed to this very helpful thread...

Dale53

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GP Idaho posted this 19 October 2017

Well, I have a Universal M1 carbine and that nice Colt 32-20 that Richard D. sold me. I have all the dies, sizers and brass for both. Seems like all I'm missing is the Blackhawk.  I'll add it to my ever expanding scroll of "Needs"  Gp

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Ed Harris posted this 19 October 2017

I have one I bought back in the 70's.It shot extremely high.I soldered a .125 extension on the front sight to get it sighted in at 100 yds.I used the Lyman 31133 cast bullet in it as well as Speer half jacket plinkers and 110 grain jacketd hollow points.I haven't fired it for years.They are very noisy.

On my Ruger I cut down the rear sight blade in the adjustable rear sight, and then deepened the notch, which enabled me to get a good 50-yard zero with 105-grain Accurate 31-105T bullets in .32-20 loads with 3.4 grains of Bullseye or 4.5 grains of AutoComp,  Then .30 Carbine full charge loads shoot "ON" at 100 yards, which works for me!

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ken T posted this 19 October 2017

I have one I bought back in the 70's.It shot extremely high.I soldered a .125 extension on the front sight to get it sighted in at 100 yds.I used the Lyman 31133 cast bullet in it as well as Speer half jacket plinkers and 110 grain jacketd hollow points.I haven't fired it for years.They are very noisy.

On my Ruger I cut down the rear sight blade in the adjustable rear sight, and then deepened the notch, which enabled me to get a good 50-yard zero with 105-grain Accurate 31-105T bullets in .32-20 loads with 3.4 grains of Bullseye or 4.5 grains of AutoComp,  Then .30 Carbine full charge loads shoot "ON" at 100 yards, which works for me!

I modified the rear sight before I worked on the front sight.On this revolver there wouldn't have been any rear sight left by the time I had it sighted in.I should have sent it back to Ruger but I was in the Army at the time and your location can change rather rapidly.

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gregg454 posted this 5 weeks ago

Got my eye on a old model. Be next week before I get to see it. One thing I'm wondering is no one here talks about the Lee soup can? Its the 113 gr Lee 2-Cavity Bullet Mold C309-113-F 30 Caliber gas check bullet. I'm lucky mine cast fat and I have had good luck shooting them in 7.62 X25 in Cz 52 and a Marlin 94- 32-20. Overall little length little short for my Marlin 94 cl.to feed well. But shot turkey with the marlin and it was dead right there. about 80 Yds. Have used it in 30-30s. I think it should work well in the 30 carbine Black hawk????? Just a thought boys and girls??? ALSO bet its next to imposable to fine a OLD MODEL SBH grip frame?????depressed

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Ed Harris posted this 5 weeks ago

Can't speak for others, but I simply don't care for the Lee molds, or for "group buys."

They are a compromise to fit the gun of whoever designed it, but most have various things wrong which I don't care for. 

When you can get a custom mold in your own design, dimensioned for your gun, in your alloy, with 3 weeks delivery time, at moderate cost from Accurate, why would anybody want a group buy mold which they have to wait on and which probably won't fit?

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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gregg454 posted this 5 weeks ago

I get that  Ed. That just why I quit the program Must be 10 years ago. on another board. That was when there was not the some what reasonable price options there is now.( We are still talking right at just south $100) The buys then was you pay your money and took your chance. Or buy like a Lyman and take your chance. The other thing is Ed this was not one of the group  buys but  its a lee stock mold. But even so if its a stock mold its still a lee mold with all that known quality or lack of there of. Being 64yr old  to darn old to restock my mold shelves now. .  

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BHyett posted this 4 weeks ago

I have owned two; neither one lived up to the advertisement nor the promise of the gun writers. The potential was there, but getting close to the potential meant the cases stuck. The only factory loads that would extract easily were W-W 110 grain hollowpoints. The military ammunition often stuck two cases in each cylinderful. 

The cylinders were visibly rough, I sent it back to Ruger to have them smoothed and they sent it back slightly improved. The cases still stuck and I came to the conclusion the factory wanted the cylinder walls rough to keep the case from backing out and locking the cylinder. A tool and die maker friend drilled and tapped the head of a case, inserted a threaded rod to spin it, and we expanded the body to use polishing compound to smooth the chambers that were rough. This action helped.

Loading it down helped, especially when using W-W brass. The loads that worked well were with Unique and 2400 with both cast and Speer 100 grain half-jackets. For cast, I bought Lyman 311359 that were sized .311, with lube and gascheck and loaded them with 3.5 grains Bullseye for plinking loads. 

The pistol was scoped and used for predator control, keeping dogs out of our calves and the neighbor's sheep. It was successful as the dogs would run when they saw rifle or shotgun, but not run when the saw a pistol. Several dogs should have run, we killed seven one Spring. However, this pistol was sold when someone liked the scope on the pistol and offered a good profit.

I bought a second one two decades later out of nostalgia when offered at a good price. However, a summer of the same cse-sticking problem and it was traded. The guy who bought it had thousands of rounds of .30 carbine and the Mojave Desert to unload them in. 

Country boy from Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Ed Harris posted this 1 hour ago

Had fun with the .30 Carbine Ruger at the range yesterday,  got hard 100-yard sight dope now.  Best loads use EXACTLY the same bullets, sized same .311 diameter, with same powder charges which gave best results in the TT33 in 7.62x25mm.  K.I.S.S. principle.  Best load 7.4 grains of AutoComp with Accurate 31-100T.  Also very good is compressed case full, about 13 grains of IMR4198, some unburned powder,  but very accurate.

Also good 5.2 grains of Bullseye which show well in the TT33.  Fouling Shot article off to Glenn for use.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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