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44 spl to 44 mag

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Old 03-07-2015, 10:16 AM
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Default 44 spl to 44 mag

I had a New Model Ruger Blackhawk in 44 mag with a fluted cylinder (not a Super Blackhawk) but sold it.
I have a chance to buy the same model in 44 spl and I was curious that if I so desired could I get the cylinder's bores milled out the additional .125" to accept the mags case?
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Old 03-07-2015, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by bronko22000 View Post
I had a New Model Ruger Blackhawk in 44 mag with a fluted cylinder (not a Super Blackhawk) but sold it.
I have a chance to buy the same model in 44 spl and I was curious that if I so desired could I get the cylinder's bores milled out the additional .125" to accept the mags case?
No. The 44 Special Blackhawks - a limited run - cannot safely be reamed out to 44mag.


The Lipsey's Special Edition Flat-Top 44spcl New Model Blackhawks are made on a smaller cylinder frame (and cylinder) than the current standard Blackhawks and super blackhawks, similar in size to the old model 357mag Blackhawks. As such, they have a smaller cylinder, meaning thinner side walls that cannot take the extreme pressure of the 44mag cartridge. That's the very reason that they were produced in 44spcl rather than 44mag in the first place. The 50th anniversary blackhawks and these lipsey's special 44spcl's are "mid-frame" blackhawk models that can't swallow the 44mags.

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Old 03-08-2015, 06:08 AM
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Thanks NoMercy. I guess the average person wouldn't know this. And the dimensional difference if likely small enough that it wouldn't be noticed without using mics or calipers.
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bronko22000 View Post
Thanks NoMercy. I guess the average person wouldn't know this. And the dimensional difference if likely small enough that it wouldn't be noticed without using mics or calipers.
You're right, it's pretty hard to tell, and frankly, it isn't readily apparent by model or marketing that the Flattops are smaller (although a lot of folks were REALLY excited when it was announced and spread it far and wide online).

Unless you have the Flattop sitting beside a standard Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk, or are REALLY familiar with the Ruger single actions, it's really hard to tell the difference visually. It gives itself away immediately when you pick it up though, as it's about 10% lighter with a VERY different balance. Again, only really helps if you have them side by side, or are rather familiar with the standard blackhawk.

The 44spcl Flattop shares the same cylinder dimensions as the New Vaquero, which is almost identical to the old model 357 Blackhawk cylinder dimensions. The 44spcl Flattop cylinder is 1/10" shorter length and 6/100" smaller diameter than the 44mag Super Blackhawk or 44mag original Vaquero cylinder. Six hundredths doesn't sound like much, but it means pretty significant thinning between the chambers and over the cylinder stop notches.

Here's a picture showing the difference in cylinder diameters. Pretty hard to tell that the outside diameter is smaller, but you noticed immediately how much thinner the walls between the chambers are for the mid-size frame cylinder.



44mag would physically fit in the cylinder, so it COULD BE REAMED, but I wouldn't be confident that it could be done safely.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:55 PM
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Yeah I can see the difference even on the outer diameter. The cylinder walls are really easy to see the difference. I was curious. I have a .44 mag S&W29 (an older one with recessed cylinders) so I can shoot it if I want to feel the recoil. From what I understand the .44 SPL is really fun with moderate loads and 200 gr bullets. And I have a Rossi .44 mag cowboy rifle that will shoot the 44 spls so all I need now is a good horse under me and some wide open spaces. (oh I got the hat too!)
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:50 AM
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It is better to have a 357/44 magnum caliber gun that will shoot 38/44 special ammunition.
Than having a 38/44 special gun that Will Not shoot magnum ammunition.

JMHO
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