Ruger Bisley Blackhawk 44 Special


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Feb 27, 2022
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If you have read any or Elmer Keith's writings, you probably have come across reference to his #5 SAA Colt in 44 Special.
Keith was constantly tinkering, always looking for improvement in his weaponry. The #5 is the culmination of his improvements on the Colt SAA.

No one has ever attempted to duplicate Elmer's revolver in a factory production gun. This one is likely the closest you'll get.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Lipsey's, the distributor that frequently collaborates with Ruger to introduce special runs of non cataloged items. Back in 2010, they made up a batch of Blackhawks using a combination of parts that Ruger had never done before, in a caliber not offered before. The result was a nifty revolver Elmer probably would have given his left nut for 100 years ago.

Built on the smaller Blackhawk Flat Top frame, and sporting the steel grip frame and hammer from the Bisley and chambered in 44 Special.
Now factory 44 Special ammo is held to very low pressures, which is something of a mystery as the caliber was introduced in 1907 and it could have been bumped up at least a little bit for the metalurgy of the period, but it was not. It's actually loaded to lower pressure than the 45 Colt.
I'll be rolling my own and bumping up a power just a tad to the 950-1000 fps range. Still authoritative, but not near as punishing as 44 Magnum.

Anyway, found one last week and brought it home yesterday.
This is the 4-5/8" barrel. Lipsey's also had guns with 5-1/2" barrels made. Several years later, they did it again, but this time in stainless.


Compared to the Super Blackhawk, the frame is shorter.


Couple of other 44 Specials from the safe.
S&W Model 24
Taurus Titanium snubby


Powder coated cast bullets in 2 different styles to be tested.