RUGER .45 BLACKHAWK 4 5/8" vs. 5 1/2" BARREL (CCW)

RUGER .45 BLACKHAWK 4 5/8" vs. 5 1/2" BARREL (CCW)

This is a discussion on RUGER .45 BLACKHAWK 4 5/8" vs. 5 1/2" BARREL (CCW) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I will be moving to Arizona, and applying for a CCW permit. My sidearm will be a Ruger Blachawk Colt .45. I have shot one ...

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Thread: RUGER .45 BLACKHAWK 4 5/8" vs. 5 1/2" BARREL (CCW)

  1. #1
    Member Array jsmosby's Avatar
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    RUGER .45 BLACKHAWK 4 5/8" vs. 5 1/2" BARREL (CCW)

    I will be moving to Arizona, and applying for a CCW permit. My sidearm will be a Ruger Blachawk Colt .45. I have shot one with a 7 1/2" barrel for over 30 years. I need a shorter barrel length for CCW.

    Could you please advise me on the advantages/disadvantages of a 4 5/8" barrel vs. a 5 1/2" barrel.

    I am concerned that the 4 5/8" barrel may be significantly less accurate at 25 yards. I am also concerned that the 5 1/2" barrel may be difficult to conceal even with a high hip carry.


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Welcome.
    No disrespect to your question but what are you defending yourself from at 25 yds?
    At that distance between me and the BG I would be very mobile and dialling 911.
    Most shootings take place inside of 10 yds, even 10 feet.

    I understand you wanting the most accurate gun for peace of mind but you should concentrate on concealment, comfort and ease of use.

  3. #3
    Member Array jercamp45's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmm........

    Though certainly not the ideal CCW handgun, it will do the job!
    The 4 5/8 bbl is easy to carry(LAW IWB) and quite accurate. I carried one up in the Oregon cascades for awhile for general duties, till I got another 1911. The Ruger stayed around for hunting trips.
    Slow to reload, but those six have alot of thump!
    Whereas the Ruger is a great field gun.....I think I'd look at something else for a CCW defensive piece. But that is me.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Big gun for CCW...

    I've owned a Ruger Blackhawk in .357 magnum with longer barrel for about 35 years and am familiar with the gun. I believe it is a little large for concealed carry, and must be thumb cocked before each shot, making it slower than a double action revolver. It is also a slow gun to reload, if 6 shots are not enough to settle the situation.

    When I carry a revolver, I usually pick a .357 magnum snubby like the S&W model 66 shown below, which is pretty easy to conceal and quite accurate out to 15 yards:


  5. #5
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    The barrel length won't really matter much far as "defensive accuracy" is concerned.

    I would not recommend carrying a single-action as a CCW piece...in fact, I would strongly advise against it for the reasons already stated. You have to cock between shots and reloads are slow (and how are you going to reload one-handed should the need arise?).

    I love single-action revolvers for a hunting/trail gun but with better options out there, they're a poor choice for a defensive gun. You can stick with Ruger revolvers (currently the best on the market IMHO) but go double-action. Take a look at the 3" GP100 or the SP101.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array p8riot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmosby View Post
    I will be moving to Arizona, and applying for a CCW permit. My sidearm will be a Ruger Blachawk Colt .45. I have shot one with a 7 1/2" barrel for over 30 years. I need a shorter barrel length for CCW.

    Could you please advise me on the advantages/disadvantages of a 4 5/8" barrel vs. a 5 1/2" barrel.

    I am concerned that the 4 5/8" barrel may be significantly less accurate at 25 yards. I am also concerned that the 5 1/2" barrel may be difficult to conceal even with a high hip carry.
    Welcome!

    That'd be a great backpacking gun, excellent for Javelina, Coyote, and the occasional Cougar, but unless you are well practiced (i.e. fast and accurate) with a single action revolver I'd caution against it. Besides that, it is a heavy piece to CCW.
    "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

    The second amendment is the reset button of our Constitution.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    The Ruger .45 black hawk is a good field gun but due to reloading time it is not a good choice for ccw. You would be better off with a mid sized .45 auto

  8. #8
    Member Array jsmosby's Avatar
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    RUGER .45BLACKHAW 4 5/8" vs. 5 1/2" BARREL

    Thank you for your comments. Just to clarify.

    1) I also shoot double action. I shoot, however, with one hand (my father was a Marine officer, and qualified as "expert". He taught me how to shoot). So, I have more confidence, in terms of accuracy, with a single action. I am also not interested in spraying the landscape with bullets, due to legal liability.

    2) As to slow reloading, that is solved by carrying two Blackhawks.

    3) As to 25 yards, in the Trolley Square shooting in Utah, the police officer was shooting at a distance of 40+ yards since he was up against a shotgun. While most defensive shooting happens within 10 feet, I don't think that you can eliminate the other type if you happen to be a bystander. I would hope that we would all have tried to do something if we had been at Trolley Square.
    Last edited by jsmosby; February 28th, 2007 at 11:30 AM. Reason: Extra line number.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Forum. If you've decided on the .45LC Blackhawk then I'd say the 4 5/8" would carry easier and draw quicker, though it may be a minimimal advantage over the 5 1/2". The 5 1/2" should tame a bit more recoil though due to the added weight up front. For me, I'd probably handle both and decide which felt better balanced and pointed more naturally. How are you planning on carrying those, OWB or western rig?

    If you get two matching Blackhawks you HAVE TO post pics!
    Jack

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Having both guns, I can tell you I find there is no real difference in performance, but the shorter barrel might be a tad bit easier to draw from a tight to the body concealment rig.. The minor difference in length shouldn't make much difference in concealment. Usually the grip frame causes more trouble to conceal than the barrel.

  11. #11
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    shgorter barrel is better for concealment. I think once you carry for a while you will decide 2 guns are heavy and a real pain in the butt to carry/conceal.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  12. #12
    Member Array jsmosby's Avatar
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    Thanks for the good advice, gentlemen. I think that you are right about the 4 5/8" barrel being the more practical choice (concealability).

    If worn with a long coat (winter in northern Arizona), the quickest way to access such a revolver in a defensive situation would appear to be either by pulling it from: (1) a coat pocket; (2) a cross-draw belt holster with a tightened screw; or (3) a shoulder holster. Otherwise, you're fumbling with unbuttoning a coat, sweeping the coat back, and drawing from a hip holster with a neutral cant.

    One possible way to offset the disadvantages of a single-action pistol would be to carry a second piece, perhaps a .44 double-action Bulldog in a shoulder holster. It is, after all, standard police practice to carry a backup pistol.

    Any thoughts on these ideas.

  13. #13
    Member Array airbornerangerboogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmosby View Post
    Thanks for the good advice, gentlemen. I think that you are right about the 4 5/8" barrel being the more practical choice (concealability).

    If worn with a long coat (winter in northern Arizona), the quickest way to access such a revolver in a defensive situation would appear to be either by pulling it from: (1) a coat pocket; (2) a cross-draw belt holster with a tightened screw; or (3) a shoulder holster. Otherwise, you're fumbling with unbuttoning a coat, sweeping the coat back, and drawing from a hip holster with a neutral cant.

    One possible way to offset the disadvantages of a single-action pistol would be to carry a second piece, perhaps a .44 double-action Bulldog in a shoulder holster. It is, after all, standard police practice to carry a backup pistol.

    Any thoughts on these ideas.
    I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to wheel guns, but even BUG single or double action wouldn't be as effective as a single 9mm, 40, or 45 auto. I'm assuming that your talking about bringing both guns into play at once to off-set the cyclic rate of fire. Usually a BUG would be a smaller piece that could be brought into play if the main carry was out of action (out of ammo, not functioning, ...). Where as on my main carry I worry about how fast I could put in a fresh mag., the double wheel gunner now has to reload 2 empty guns. Unless they're both the same caliber it then becomes a reaction time nightmare even with a speed loader. (just my 2 cents)
    “Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.” James Dean
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  14. #14
    Member Array Arisin Wind's Avatar
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    Way back in my younger days I carried a 7 1/2 inch 45 Blackhawk. Usually in my waist band with the loading gate open to hold it. Never felt under gunned or at a disadvantage. In fact the few times I had to pull it the situation quieted down quickly.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    I've always loved Single-Action Army style revolvers. A Ruger Blackhawk .357 4-5/8" was my first centerfire handgun, and back when I drove trucks for a living, it was my constant companion. That's a weapon I wish I still had (among others). Excellent shooter, very accurate, comfortable. Recently I picked up an old-model Ruger Vaquero in .45 Colt, with a 3-3/4" barrel and birds-head grip. Really nice to pack and shoot.

    For defensive purposes, however, I'll take a 1911. There's just an enormous advantage in firepower, along with being single-action, which is my preference.
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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