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 Ruger Blackhawk 9mm Cylinder
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Advanced Member

4547 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  5:32:06 PM  Show Profile
A question for the experts:

A friend wants to sell me a 9mm cylinder from his old model convertable Blackhawk he sold years ago without the 9mm cylinder. He says that it will fit my new model Blackhawk no problem. Fact or fiction and is this something that requires custom fitting by Ruger or gunsmith if it is interchangeable?


Pack slow, fall stable, pull high, hit dead center.<BR>

Junior Member

273 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  7:04:57 PM  Show Profile
while i don't claim to be a revolver expert, any time you are changing cylinders between revolvers you should have it at the very least checked by a professional gunsmith.

cylinders must be timed, you might "get lucky" and the cylinder will need no timing or you might drop the cylinder in and when you fired it get lead in you hands or eyes or worse.

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Advanced Member

3029 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  7:15:48 PM  Show Profile
Matter of fact, I have one, never fired and still in the red cloth
bag in the original Ruger clinder box. And no, its not for sale.
Never could find any worthwhile use for it as the old single six
convertable 3 screw Ruger just loves any .38 or .357 ammo. However,
before you buy it, first try it in YOUR Ruger and see if cylinder
gap and timming work. Then load a few "primed only" cases and make
sure it fires properly. Better yet, contact Ruger for a definate answer. Bullet diameters are slightly smaller also, so might
effect accuracy.
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Senior Member

1551 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  9:13:54 PM  Show Profile
Suggest error on the safe side and return the pistol to Ruger and have a cylinder fitted. I got a price for SS at $125 + shipping.

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Senior Member

2113 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  9:49:36 PM  Show Profile
jim_lemay has it right. Assuming the cylinder from an old model Blackhawk will work in a new model, the gun needs to go back to Ruger for "fitting." Call Ruger's Product Service at (603)863-2000 after this week since they are on their annual 2-week shutdown. One of the techs can tell you if it will work.

Your friend ought to give you the 9mm cylinder since it won't simply "drop in" a 357 Blackhawk. Without being fitted to a particular gun, it is useless...and worthless.

My humble 2-cents worth,

"What is truth? No wonder jesting Pilate turned away. The truth, it has a thousand faces -- show only one of them, and the whole truth flies away! But how to show the whole? That is the question."
--Thomas Wolfe, "You Can't Go Home Again" (1934)
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4570 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2003 :  10:03:10 PM  Show Profile
He says that it will fit my new model Blackhawk no problem.

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as it is by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed."

NRA Life Member

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Advanced Member

5243 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  07:26:31 AM  Show Profile
usually cylinders from the old models will not fit into the new model, that being said , I have a old model , if you don't buy it and if he has a decent price on it let me know

Edited by - gskyhawk on 08/08/2003 07:28:32 AM
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Senior Member

1095 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2003 :  10:30:19 AM  Show Profile
gunpaq, I'm not that familiar with the differences between old and new model Blackhawks, but I have no reason to question gskyhawk on this point.

But even if it drops in and appears to function correctly, it would still need to be checked for cylinder/barrel alignment. The tool for this is a bore diameter rod called a range rod, which is inserted down the barrel and into each chamber in turn. It must enter each chamber without any sign of hanging up. If it doesn't you will be shaving metal from the bullets on firing, which is bad for accuracy and potentially unsafe.

A friend of mine has a dual cylinder Blackhawk, and he reports that accuracy is inferior when shooting 9mmPara compared to .357Mag. There are differences in bullet diameter, and the 9mmPara has a longer jump to the rifling, both generally bad for accuracy.

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Starting Member

15 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  10:05:19 AM  Show Profile
Let me share with you all an expensive lesson that I just learned:
I bought a newer model Ruger Blackhawk(2 screw, not 3)in .357/38. Then I proceeded to buy online a 9mm cylinder for over $50. I could tell immediately that it was too short, lacking almost 1/8inch between the barrel and the cylinder. I was not sure if this was a gunsmith-fixable-problem, so I found a good revolver gunsmith in Carson City,NV and he agreed that the new 9mm cylinder(despite brand new condition) would not work, being too short.
Meanwhile I bought a manual online, which warned that the numbers on the cylinder must match some of the serial number of the gun and the other cylinder, related to the timing. (By the way, it also says in the manual, that Ruger will give you a manual free for the asking if you buy a used Ruger! So, you can be a fool, like me, and buy one for $10 to $20, or you can contact Ruger!)
OK! I learned: 1)Read this forum and heed the advice of the many counselors here!
2)Check with a good, careful gunsmith.
3)Contact Ruger, Contact Ruger,& Contact Ruger!!!!!
4)All the above BEFORE you buy anything like this!
5)My dad was right when he quoted:"A fool learns by experience, and a wise man learns from the experience of others!"
I hope some wise man learns from my experience, which is why I am submitting it to you all.
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Starting Member

4 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2011 :  02:23:52 AM  Show Profile
Originally posted by bear47

Let me share with you all an expensive lesson that I just learned:
---snip---(By the way, it also says in the manual, that Ruger will give you a manual free for the asking if you buy a used Ruger! So, you can be a fool, like me, and buy one for $10 to $20, or you can contact Ruger!)

That's too funny, my Blackhawks has it stamped right into the barrell to contact Ruger for a free manual!
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Senior Member

2393 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2011 :  1:59:40 PM  Show Profile
I DO have both old and new model .357 convertable Blackhawks. And, no, an old model cylinder will not fit a new model nor the other way around. The old model cylinder is smaller in dia. (at least mine is) as well as having a different length. Also, it appears that another new model cylinder probably will not fit due to different fixed bushing lengths from gun to gun rather than an indexing problem.
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Senior Member

1062 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2011 :  2:15:42 PM  Show Profile
I agree about contacting both Ruger and a competent gunsmith skilled with this type of revolver. Ruger tends to be very conservative in their answers, probably to suit their attorneys, but you can often get a better answer if you call and talk to a technican.

In some cases you can fit other cylinders to a Ruger revolver. I bought an original Vaquero in .44-40 and got a great deal on it because nobody around here wanted to pay for expensive .44-40 ammo. Since Ruger's .44-40 barrels are .429 diameter, just like their .44 Mag., I bought an new condition unfluted Super Blackhawk cylinder for $60. I got a barrel bushing from Bowen's made for just that type of fitting and had a local first rate gunsmith fit it. Now it shoots .44 Mag., .44 Special, or .44-40 at a total additional cost of just over $200 but everything has to fall into place just right in order to do this. It is quite accurate with all those calibers, by the way.

Another note on Ruger, IF they agree to fit a cylinder, be aware that they undo any trigger job you may have had done for liability reasons. I found that out he hard way with my .41 Mag. Blackhawk.
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