Ruger 50th Anniversary Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum Revolver


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

January 9th, 2009




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Fifty years after its introduction, Ruger’s Super Blackhawk can certainly be called an overwhelming success. It was a hit right from the beginning in 1959, when Ruger first started producing what was to become the flagship of their single action revolver line. Finished in a superior high polish compared to the standard Blackhawk guns, wearing a long grip frame with a distinctive dragoon-style trigger guard, there was nothing quite like the Super at the time. For more details on the Super Blackhawk, I will refer you to my previous article written back in 2001, and more importantly to Bill Hamm’s in-depth look at the history of the Super Blackhawk.

For this piece, we will concentrate upon the Super Blackhawk that Ruger is now building to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of that legendary sixgun. The old Supers were built with a high polish blued finish that shone like a mirror, and Ruger has thankfully given a high polish finish to the anniversary gun as well. The one that I received here is very well-fitted, better than any gun that I have seen from Ruger in quite a while. The grip frame is perfectly fitted to the cylinder frame, and the highly-figured wood grips fit very well to the grip frame. The gold lines around the cylinder and the gold lettering atop the barrel are very tastefully done. The ejector rod housing is polished blue steel, and well-fitted to the barrel and frame. The barrel/cylinder gap is an even four one-thousandths (.004) of an inch. The wide hammer spur and wide trigger add a touch of class. This anniversary gun is classic Super Blackhawk in every way.

The trigger pull on the test gun released at a crisp three pounds, seven ounces, and the sixgun weighed in at just a hair over three pounds. The gun wears a seven and one-half inch barrel. The chamber throats all measured just barely over .430 inch, just enough to press in a .430 inch diameter bullet. Perfect. Shooting the Anniversary Super was a real pleasure. I had no insert for my Ransom Rest to fit the Super, and had to do the accuracy testing the old fashioned way, holding it in my own two hands rested over a steady support. Accuracy most likely suffered as a result, but the Super Blackhawk still exhibited match-grade accuracy, placing five shots into less than one and one-half inches repeatedly at twenty-five yards, and the one and three-eighths inch group shown is representative of the groups fired with this sixgun. It would put two or three into the same hole, but I would always pull one or more out of the group. I shot mostly my own handloads using Mt. Baldy Keith bullets over a charge of Hodgdon Titegroup. I wasn’t pushing for high velocities or trying to see which load gave the best accuracy. The shooting of the Anniversary Super was much more relaxed, and I just spent the time nostalgically enjoying the milestone in this great revolver’s history. My first single action revolver was a Ruger Super Blackhawk, and shooting this anniversary gun brought back many fond memories. The only factory ammunition that I fired in the Super was the superlative Grizzly Cartridge ammo using the Belt Mountain Punch bullet. This bullet will penetrate better than any that I have ever tested, but I mostly chose it to use here because the brass bullets just looked so good with the gold trim on the Super. Seems like a stupid reason to shoot up expensive ammunition, but it felt right at the time.

There is no need to ramble on about the Super. We have covered that here before. The pictures tell everything that needs to be told about this commemorative of one of the world’s best single action sixguns.

Check out the full line of Ruger products here.

For the location of a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the Anniversary Super Blackhawk online, go to

To order the Grizzly Cartridge ammunition, go to

To order the Belt Mountain Punch bullets, go to

Jeff Quinn


For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to: To buy this gun online, go to:




Chamber throats are perfectly sized.





Grizzly Cartridge Company's Punch Bullet loads.



Grips are beautifully figured and well-fitted.





The Anniversary Super Blackhawk is not only beautiful and powerful, but very accurate as well.

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Ruger's 50th Anniversary Super Blackhawk.





The Anniversary Super Blackhawk comes with a special Anniversary box... well as a soft case.





Warning mark has been relocated to the bottom of the barrel.





Good news for sixgun purists: the Anniversary Super Blackhawk has no internal lock.



Like all New Model Super Blackhawks, the Anniversary model features Ruger's transfer bar safety.





The Anniversary Super Blackhawks are being produced in a special serial number range.



Ruger's 50th Anniversary Super Blackhawk is a sixgun worthy of its distinguished history.