Best Single Action .357 Mag
Hunting, backpacking, camping, survival, you cannot buy better than the Ruger New Blackhawk Stainless .357 mag.
My first non-duty revolver was the Ruger Super Single Six with both .22 long rifle and the .22 Winchester mag cylinders. I bought this revolver in 1969 and have put thousands of rounds through this Ruger. My Super Single Six has the 6.5-inch barrel with a blue finish. Stainless firearms were rare then and not offered in the Super Single Six single action revolvers. For me, this is just fine as I take care of my weapons.
This 50-year-old .22 revolver has lots of blue wear but no rust. The holster I bought for the Super Single Six was the Bianchi “Lawman” leather holster. Fifty years later, this holster is holding up just fine. The point is, the Ruger brand is quality firearms which will last many generations. The Bianchi and Safariland brand are equally high quality and with proper leather care will last many years.
My personal preferences for non-duty work, I have always preferred a single action revolver. I guess my love for the single action revolvers stims from my formative years of watching John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy and the Zane Gray books I read. I have read many of the Louis L’Amour books as well. In fact, I was so inspired I wrote a short novel entitled “Death at Red Creek” which is now out of print.
Most print media’s driving force is tactical weapons and the best and latest carry conceal weapons. This is revenue based. From time to time I write for a couple publications. I have three articles which have yet to be published. So, the time-tested firearms such as the single action hunting revolvers, take a back seat to the ever reinventing its self, AR and 1911 products. The great thing about having this webpage is I can write about anything I want to. So, sometimes I write about single action revolvers as well and the original assault rifles, the lever actions. I will be writing about the only produced lever-action Ruger, so far, the No. 1 in .475 Linebaugh.
Ruger New Blackhawk Stainless .357 Mag
In the non-replica world of single action center fire revolvers, Ruger is King. There full-size rimfire revolvers are some of the finest in the world. So, it is natural for me to write about Ruger single action revolvers. Many hunters who carry single action revolvers for a secondary weapon, seem to think they need to have a .44 magnum or a caliber of equal or greater power. These weapons do have some knockdown power. I bought from Ruger their Super Blackhawk Bisley in the .480 Ruger. An excellent firearm (article on this website). However, I think the Blackhawk in the .357 mag is an excellent choice as well.
The reason I say the New Blackhawk .357 mag is an excellent choice, is the fact you can shoot .38 spl ammo in the same revolver without an extra cylinder to keep track of. Yes, the .44 mag can shoot the .44 special as well. The second thing I like about the .357 caliber is the wide range of bullet weight and design you can chose from. Hornady an excellent ammo, has five different offerings in the .357 mag and four in the .38 special offering. For this reason, I chose to test the Hornady brand in the 140 grain .357 mag which is designed for lever-action rifles. One round, two firearms concept. I also chose the Critical Defense 110 gr FTX for use in home and RV protection.
The .357 mag rounds are ideal for taking medium size game as well as to dispatch downed game. It is reasonable to pay 25 cents to put down game, instead of a dollar per cartridge for your rifle ammo. If you are like me, a lever-action fan, you can take medium size game with a .357 mag rifle. The Hornady’s 140 grain FTX “Leverevolution” #92755 ammo is made for the .357 mag lever-actions in our lives. This Ruger Stainless Blackhawk in .357 is perfect to partner up with your lever-action .357 mag.
Ruger New Blackhawk .357 Test & Evaluation
On an average Oklahoma day, windy, I took the New Blackhawk and some excellent Hornady ammo to the range. I decided to smack some metal targets in lieu of the paper hole punching. I arrived at the informal range and set up my equipment. Did I say it was windy? I set up the chronograph to check the velocity of the Hornady 140 gr FTX .357 mag rounds and the Hornady Critical Defense 110 gr FTX .38 special. The Critical Defense ammo is perfect for home or on the road defense. I also set up my video equipment. In the past I had this equipment blown over by the Oklahoma wind.
The Hornady 140 gr FTX .357 mag fired perfectly. I fired 80 rounds getting many hits at 20 yards on the six-inch plates. I had to adjust the sights to match my vision. In one string I fired six rounds knocking down six steel plates. Of course, this string was not videotaped. I had nine set up but when I knocked down one, sometimes two others would fall. Never the less, the New Ruger Stainless Blackhawk is very accurate. After I shoot a few hundred rounds more, I will be better able to knock down six out of six.
The action on my sample stainless Blackhawk is smooth as glass. I love the sound of the action as it is being cocked. The trigger pull is crisp after a slight travel. My sample does not have a hair trigger, nor would I want such a dangerous action. What I am saying is, for me, the trigger on my sample Blackhawk is perfect. Your preferences may be different. Preferences are like bellybuttons, everyone has one.
The Ruger New Blackhawk is a beefy revolver. I like this because this firearm is very strong. You can shoot thousands of the higher velocity .357 mag ammo without damaging this revolver. If you are so inclined, you can reload some real hand stingers without damaging the Blackhawk. However, if you reload .357 mag for your Ruger Blackhawk, stay a bit below the recommended maximum pressures. No firearm is indestructible. Error to the side of safety.
Within this article you will see photos of me carrying the New Blackhawk in the Bianchi “Lawman” holster and their western gun belt. The quality of the Bianchi brand has not changed over the last 55 years I have been buying their leather. If you invest the pesos in a high-quality firearm, such as this New Model Blackhawk, then you need to invest in the gear to carry said high quality firearm. You will not regret buying the Bianchi brand.
Final Thoughts: Ruger New Blackhawk .357
There is no argument on quality, dependability and just find American workmanship by American workers who designed and made my sample Blackhawk. This firearm is the strongest and finest single action .357 mag you can buy. I know some will not agree but, hey this is what makes America great. I love the way this sample shoots. Sight adjustment is very easy with a tiny slotted screwdriver. The Ruger New Blackhawk Stainless in .357 mag is perfect for hunters who like to take game with a revolver or as a secondary weapon for surprised encounters with furballs of teeth and claws. Because this revolver can shoot .38 spl as well, ammo is plentiful and cheaper than the magnum. Reloading the straight sided case of the .357 mag is very easy, once you get your dies set adjusted and set up.
For my single action center fire preferences, I always choose the Ruger brand. You just cannot beat their products. If you are looking to partner up your .357 mag lever-action rifle with a revolver, I highly recommend this New Blackhawk Stainless from Ruger.
Ballistics: Three shot averages
Hornady 140 grain FTX
.357 – 1428 1437 1434 = 1,433 avg fps, 639 ft pounds
Hornady Critical Defense 110 gr FTX
.38 Spl – 1000 1029 1055 = 1,028, 258 ft pounds
Specs: Ruger New Blackhawk .357 Mag.
- Barrel Length: 4.62 inches Stainless Steel
- Twist: 1:16 inches RH
- Overall Length: 10.50 inches
- Weight: 46 ounces
- Caliber: .357 mag. / .38 spl.
- Capacity: 6 rounds
- Grips: Stained Hardwood
- Front Sight: Ramp
- Rear Sight: Adjustable, elevation and windage
- Frame: Stainless Steel
- Finish: Satin Stainless
New Model Blackhawk Stainless Steel Single Action Revolver
Bianchi Leather, Division of Safariland Group
Bianchi Model 1-L, Lawman Holster
Leverevolution .357 mag 140 Gr. FTX