4 5/8’’ barrel
This 1981 vintage Ruger New Model Blackhawk revolver has seen much use. The firing pin transfer bar looks like it may be getting just a tad thin; if it breaks, the revolver will not fire so I’ll probably soon be sending it out for some preventive healthcare. Other than that it has held up very well, it is an old friend and one reason why my .45 Vaquero has never been my field gun. I owned this revolver for some time before I purchased the Vaquero; on the very rare occasions when it seemed advisable to pack along a single-action large-bore blaster, out of habit the .41 Magnum came along. When shooting the hot hunting class loads, my accuracy is better with this revolver than with the Vaquero.
Around 18-years ago, I was dead-set on using the Blackhawk for taking a black bear via an outfitter but a surprise delivery of divorce papers caused me to restructure my budget to below the poverty level. I canceled the hunt and lost my deposits. Subsequently I lost the house, the savings, and a few years of wages. Back in those days, I was audacious (to a fault according to the divorce papers), well practiced with the Blackhawk, and in good physical shape. Today it would be irresponsible for me to try such an adventure; hunters owe it to the outfitter, and to the game, to show up in top form. I figure it would take me no less than 2-years to tune up my revolver shooting skills and harden my physical condition to the minimum levels needed for a successful bear hunt. There is enough discretionary cash in the piggy bank to pull off this old dream but I doubt that I now have the dedication needed to prepare; the desire for a revolver bear hunt just isn’t inside me anymore.
Ballistic tables show overlap in some of the commercially available hunting class loads for the .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .45 Colt; the .44 Magnum offers the most choices and is the benchmark on the upper end of power for the three. Heavy loads for the .45 Colt often eclipse the heavy loads available for the .41 Magnum. Your taste may differ but of the three, my shooting eye prefers the .41 Magnum.
The only commercial “light” load that I remember ever being available for the .41 Magnum was Remington’s 210 gr. lead semi-wadcutter, which launched at around 960 fps. There are only about 120 rounds of them left on my rack; had I known they would be discontinued I would have rafted a great number more of them.