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American Handgunner Sept/Oct 2012 Digital Edition - Page 26

THESIXGUNNER JoHN tAFFIN the ruger .45 Flat-tops have Micro rear sights like “old school” rugers! Lipsey’s .45 CONVeRTiBLe both the blued and stainless steel .45 Flat-tops have extra .45 acp cylinders. hen it comes to firearms these are the best of times. No, scratch that, these are the best! of times. Yes, I definitely miss the old classics and we haven’t seen a new Three-Screw Ruger or Pinned and Recessed Smith & Wesson with Diamond grips for nearly 50 years. On the upside, where we once had relatively few choices when it came W FLaT-TOp RugeR BLaCkhawks to a new firearm, we now have literally thousands of choices. And also on the upside, the fact that so many newer shooters want the newer guns means, in many cases, the old Classics found in used form at gunshops and gun shows often go for bargain prices. We don’t have any of the old Classics, however thanks to the combination of Lipsey’s and Ruger we have the next best thing. When the Ruger .357 Blackhawk arrived in 1955 it had a flattopped frame, a three-screw action, and was basically the same size as a Colt Single Action. The Flat-Top disappeared in 1962, the three-screw action gave way to the two pin New Model action in 1972, and at the same time all Blackhawks were built on the larger .44 Magnum frame. Gone forever was either of the ruger .45 Flattop blackhawks are excellent perfect packin’ pistols. leather is by el paso saddlery. that smaller, handier and easier to pack, original .357 Blackhawk. Well, almost. In 2005, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Blackhawk, Ruger brought out a Flat-Top New Model downsized to match the original. As an extra-added bonus, Ruger brought back the original grip frame configuration, which had been lost in 1962. The original XR3 grip frame was an alloy, while the new version is all steel and both are basically the same size and shape as that found on a Colt Single Action. They didn’t even stop there, as the adjustable rear sight was a Micro once again. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say the 50th-year Blackhawk is even better than the original, as it was now all steel and could be safely carried with six rounds. left, top: the .45 acp cylinders really make the duo versatile. they shot great too! left, below: the .45 colt cylinders showed that having correct chamber throats pays off in the accuracy department. More And Better t 26 he 50th Anniversary Model of the .357 Blackhawk was, of course, a 1-shot, 1-year deal. That could’ve been the end of it except for the farsightedness of one of our top firearms distributors, Lipsey’s. When that original .357 Blackhawk arrived back in 1955, we were promised, or at least Elmer Keith thought so, future models chambered in .44 Special and .45 Colt. Neither one ever materialized mainly due to the arrival of the .44 Magnum, 1 year later. To safely hold the Continued on page 76 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER2012

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