AN ANNIVERSARY RUGER!

The anniversary logo is on top of the barrel, filled in gold.

The anniversary logo is on top of the barrel, filled in gold.

I recently was able to acquire a LNIB Ruger Blackhawk 50th Anniversary edition Blackhawk.

I recently was able to acquire a LNIB Ruger Blackhawk 50th Anniversary edition Blackhawk.

Personally, I don’t have the funds or the temperament to be an ardent collector of much of anything, however I can be considered an “accumulator” of various firearms, especially Ruger Single action revolvers. In this classification, I only have one that is not chambered for the .44 magnum caliber, and that one is a .44 Special. I like .44’s! When I got a chance to add this 50th Anniversary Edition to my holdings at what I thought was a very fair price, I grabbed it.

The 50th year .44 mag Blackhawk is on the same frame as the .45 Colt models, with a 6.5" barrel

The 50th year .44 mag Blackhawk is on the same frame as the .45 Colt models, with a 6.5″ barrel

the 50th edition comes in an appropriate case.

the 50th edition comes in an appropriate case.

For the 50th anniversary version, Ruger went back to the “original” New Model Blackhawk Flattop, and others have remarked that these revolvers seem to be more precisely fitted than normal factory runs. They have good adjustable rear sights, ramp style front sights, and the Ruger lock system under the grips, which can be ignored. I had read that the grip frame was maybe Ruger’s most comfortable, but it is smaller than the Super Blackhawk or my .45 Colt Blackhawk. The custom Holly grips on my .44 Special Blackhawk fit almost perfect, for a perspective.The seller of mine said the grips hurt his hand – it HAS been fired, but not much. The grips furnished with the gun are the black, hard rubber type with an inset Ruger medallion, and I would have replaced them with something from my collection of custom grips, but none of mine except the Holly mentioned will fit. I’ll either have Zane Thompson make a set for me of some exotic wood, or make a set myself from my left-over Purple Heart. In their favor, though, the black rubber grips are a near perfect fit on this gun.

This model has the internal  lock, which is under the grips

This model has the internal lock, which is under the grips

The custom American Holly grips from Zane Thompson that grace me .44 Special Flattop are a near perfect fit on the anniversary model.

The custom American Holly grips from Zane Thompson that grace me .44 Special Flattop are a near perfect fit on the anniversary model.

Three Blackhawks - .44 Special Flattop, 50th Anniversary .44 mag Flattop, and .45 Colt.

Three Blackhawks – .44 Special Flattop, 50th Anniversary .44 mag Flattop, and .45 Colt.

While both these revolvers are on Ruger's "large frame" Blackhawk, the cylinder area of the .44 mag seems "beefier.

While both these revolvers are on Ruger’s “large frame” Blackhawk, the cylinder area of the .44 mag seems “beefier.

My anniversary model shows to have been begun in Newport, New Hampshire and final assembly completed in Ruger’s facility in Prescott, Arizona. The legal warning rollmark on such guns was placed under the barrel, and there were supposedly only 1,200 made in this fashion.

The 50th Anniversary model was introduced in 2006, and the last were produced in 2008, so they are not exactly rare as hen’s teeth. Probably of more value as a regular shooter than to be stuffed in a safe as an “investment”, they are still well worth having, and a tribute to a piece of Ruger history.

Note: Ruger also produced a 50th Anniversary SUPER BLACKHAWK!

(Sadly, no special 60th anniversary edition was issued in 2016!)

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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