Another good choice for SHTF handgun.

Ruger New Model Blackhawk Covertible

Let’s start by me saying: This is not my only gun.  It is not my first choice for a defensive handgun.  It is however a good gun to have on you if you need one.  Its also a fun gun to shoot.  Ruger Blackhaws are very durable and reliable.  They almost never break down and if they ever do, they are easy to work on.  Cowboy action shooters put thousands of rounds through theirs with very little maintenance.


Ruger Blackhawk with 9mm cylinder

The Ruger Blackhawk Covertible comes with an additional cylinder so multiple calibers can be fired through the same gun. In this example, the revolver is primarily a .357 magnum, but with a quick change of cylinders, it can fire 9mm pistol rounds.  Because .38 Special and .357 magnum fire a bullet .357″ in diameter and the 9mm bullet is .355″ no barrel changes need to be made.  The adjustable sights on the Blackhawk allow you to adjust the sights for one cartridge or the other so you can always have a 6 o’clock hold or dead on hold.

What makes this revolver great is its versatility.  As you probably already know any .357 magnum can fire .38 Special rounds with no problems.  In a pinch you can also shoot .38 S&W and .38 Super Auto.  The .38 super Auto is semi-rimmed and will work in a .357.  Don’t tell me it won’t, I’ve done it.  With the addition of the second cylinder chambered for 9mm, the gun becomes quite valuable when ammo is scarce and hard to come by.


9mm cylinder for Ruger Blackhawk

As you can see in this photo, the second cylinder has a step where the rim of the 9mm round stops.  This little step basically head spaces the round.

Besides holding just six rounds, the only real down side of the Ruger Balckhawk is that it is a single action revolver.  Single action means the trigger only fires the gun.  It must be cocked manually.  On a double action revolver, the trigger both cocks and fires the weapon.


Ruger Blackhawk with a Bisley hammer

On this particular revolver I fitted a Bisley hammer.  The new hammer is much lower than the original making it easier to cock with one hand.


White outlined rear sight and low Bisley hammer

Single action revolvers are loaded and unloaded through the loading gate.  Unloading and feeding one round at a time through the loading gate makes single action revolvers slower to reload than a double action revolver with a speed loader and much slower to reload than an auto loading pistol with multiple loaded magazines.

If you are looking for a reliable handgun with the capability to fire the most common handgun ammunition in the world, here it is.  If you want big bore capability, Ruger also makes single action revolvers that can convert from firing .45 Colt to .45 ACP.  I chose the .357/9mm because I thought those rounds were more common.  When the SHTF I want the ability to shoot what’s available.


About krasinsk1 Big John Tutorials

I've been an active shooter, reloader and gunsmith for 30+ years. I hold a Bachelor's degree from Montana State University and a Master's degree from the University of Oregon. I enjoy studying, collecting and shooting just about every type and kind of firearm.
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3 Responses to Another good choice for SHTF handgun.

  1. Pingback: Selecting Your First Handgun: Actions | Home Gun Training

  2. Pingback: Negligence from the New York Times | Home Gun Training

  3. gunsafetypro says:

    Single action revolvers are very underrated. You can get a Chiappa .22 revolver for dirt cheap as well and it is surprisingly durable. I use it for teaching the single action revolver in my classes.

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