Skip to main content

Ruger Super Blackhawk 50th Anniversary

Ruger Super Blackhawk 50th Anniversary

Thirteen seems to follow me around. It's my wife's favorite number, one of my daughters was born on August 13, and I purchased my Ruger Super Blackhawk 13 years after it was introduced--and in the last year the company made the famous three-screw single-action handgun.

Though it's hard to believe I've had my gun for 37 years, it's even harder to believe this Super Blackhawk has been in continuous production now for half a century. Birthdays like this never go unnoticed, and Ruger has brought out a special edition to celebrate the occasion. And while it doesn't come in the spiffy mahogany presentation case the first Supers came in, Ruger has certainly done justice to this gun.

For starters, both the front and rear of the cylinder are highlighted with a gold line. In addition, the usual stamping telling us where to get a free or replacement instruction book has been moved to the underside of the barrel next to the injector rod. (That's a good place for it, and I hope this stamping stays there.)


The anniversary Super Blackhawk is treated to gold lines fore and aft on the cylinder and a high-polish blue finish. The hammer is left in the white and chromed.


In its place, the words, "50th Anniversary Super Blackhawk--2009" are inscribed in gold lettering stretching out from the rear of the front sight base to the end of the barrel at the frame. The gun is finished off with a beautiful polishing and final bluing that will suit both collectors and shooters alike, and the grips on this anniversary model are nicely figured cocobolo.

Holding this gun is sheer pleasure. The looks, lines and balance are superb, as is all the detailing. The adjustable rear sight is integrated into the top of the frame, creating a clean line and preventing the sight from snagging on the draw.

The sight assembly is fully adjustable for windage and elevation, and my only thought here is Ruger should redesign the windage screw with a slot that will fit more than a jeweler's screwdriver. The front sight consists of a Patridge blade attached to a one-piece base.

The hammer spur measures a full half-inch across, has deep serrations and is polished and chromed for durability.


Likewise, the trigger is finished in the same manner--again, almost target width--and broke at four pounds even with just a hint of slack. The dragoon trigger guard is easy to look at and functional, with no finger bite when the gun comes back in full recoil.

The gun has a wide, almost target-style hammer spur, and the nicely contoured rear sight sports the Ruger logo.

The New Model Super Blackhawk is made to handle the power and pressures of the .44 Magnum cartridge, and it has a massive cylinder that measures 1.740 inches across and is void of flutes.


The locking notches on the cylinder are off center of the charge holes for strength and durability. Timing on my sample revolver was nearly perfect but not quite, as evidenced by drag marks on the periphery of the cylinder.

The ramped blade, one-piece rear sight assembly is welded to the 7.5-inch barrel.

Tradition shooters of the single-action handgun like their guns without external safeties, and Ruger has certainly honored their concerns in a number of ways. First, it has incorporated its patented transfer bar on the so-called New Models. A transfer bar in the frame lifts upwards when the trigger is pulled, allowing the hammer to transfer energy to the firing pin--a safer design than the older-model Blackhawks, one that eliminates the safety notch found on other single-action guns.

Ruger has also redesigned the gun as to do away with the loading notch where you pull the trigger to the rear to release the mechanism so you can turn the cylinder and load the gun. When using the loading gate, the hammer and trigger must be fully forward to load the gun.

Opening the gate stops the motion of the transfer bar, trigger and hammer, allowing the cylinder to be unlatched from the locking bolt.

The grips on the anniversary gun are nicely figured cocobolo.

Over the years, Ruger has had an ongoing program wherein you can send your pre-1972 single-action revolver to its facility, and it will update your gun at no charge to the present day "New Model" status. On the return, Ruger will include all of the original parts to preserve the collector value of these vintage guns.

Barrel length on the Super Blackhawk is 7.5 inches. Some collectors have referred to longer and shorter barrels that allegedly have been installed on these revolvers, but my research showed that while a few 10-inch guns were shipped, shorter barrels are nonexistent.

This may be a special anniversary edition, but the Super Blackhawk's performance, balance and handling are unchanged. My range time with the revolver included shooting from a rest and casual offhand firing, and I could not have been more pleased with the gun.

The special anniversary Super Blackhawk, which is available only in 2009, comes with the carrying pouch pictured in the lead photograph.

The usual stamping on the barrel has been moved to the underside of the gun and replaced with gold lettering the length of the barrel.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Teaching New Shooters

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

Handgun Basics

Handgun Basics

SIG Academy's Hana Bilodeau joins Rich and Jim to discuss the essential skills all handgunners should master.

KelTec CMR30 22WMR Review - Compact, Versatile & Fun to Shoot

KelTec CMR30 22WMR Review - Compact, Versatile & Fun to Shoot

Designed for lightweight, low recoil accuracy, the CMR30 .22 WMR features a nice, single-action trigger, ambidextrous dual non-reciprocating operating handles, ambidextrous safety and heel catch magazine release. The KelTec CMR30 is a .22 Magnum carbine that holds 30 rounds in each of its two flush-fit magazines. That's a lot of firepower for a 3.8-pound, semi-auto, collapsible truck gun. It comes out of the box as you see it, including Magpul sights and ambidextrous, non-reciprocating dual operating handles. She's a straight blow-back tack driver that delivers a ton of fun.

KelTec P17 22LR Pistol – Feature Packed, Accurate & Fun to Shoot

KelTec P17 22LR Pistol – Feature Packed, Accurate & Fun to Shoot

If you're in the market for a 17-round, compact .22LR pistol that's feature packed, then the P17 is definitely an option for you. At less than 14 ounces fully loaded, and barely longer than a dollar bill, the P17 is concealable for pretty much anyone. The threaded barrel, Picatinny-style accessory rail, ambidextrous safety, ambidextrous magazine release and three (3) 16rd magazines come standard. That's a lot of value added in such a small package.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase.SIG P320 Accessories and Upgrades Accessories

SIG P320 Accessories and Upgrades

James Tarr - December 14, 2017

The number of accessories and aftermarket upgrades for the SIG P320 is only going to increase.

The new Ruger-57 looks to put a charge into the 5.7x28mm pistol market—and you know you want one.Ruger 57 Pistol Review Reviews

Ruger 57 Pistol Review

James Tarr - June 05, 2020

The new Ruger-57 looks to put a charge into the 5.7x28mm pistol market—and you know you want...

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo with these 10 low-priced pistols.10 Cheap Guns Under $250 Compact

10 Cheap Guns Under $250

Evan Brune - September 24, 2015

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo...

With the introduction of the XD-M Elite line of pistols, Springfield Armory one-ups itself.Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision Review Reviews

Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision Review

James Tarr - August 21, 2020

With the introduction of the XD-M Elite line of pistols, Springfield Armory one-ups itself.

See More Trending Articles

More Revolvers

The Heritage Rough Rider revolver is the perfect vehicle for teaching, small game hunting and, of course, plinking.Heritage Rough Rider American Flag Revolver – Beauty Shot Revolvers

Heritage Rough Rider American Flag Revolver – Beauty Shot

Stan Trzoniec - March 24, 2020

The Heritage Rough Rider revolver is the perfect vehicle for teaching, small game hunting and,...

The new Wrangler is built on the legacy of the Ruger Single-Six revolver.Ruger Announces New Wrangler .22 LR Single-Action Revolver Revolvers

Ruger Announces New Wrangler .22 LR Single-Action Revolver

Handguns Digital Staff - April 19, 2019

The new Wrangler is built on the legacy of the Ruger Single-Six revolver.

The Colt Single Action Army, adopted by the military in 1873, is without doubt one of the most iconic firearms in U.S. history.A Relatively Affordable and Working 2nd Gen Colt SAA Revolvers

A Relatively Affordable and Working 2nd Gen Colt SAA

Bob Campbell - February 04, 2019

The Colt Single Action Army, adopted by the military in 1873, is without doubt one of the most...

For those who simply want the best in a concealment weapon, it's hard to beat this one.Handgun Beauties: Kimber K6S Classic Engraved Revolvers

Handgun Beauties: Kimber K6S Classic Engraved

Stan Trzoniec - February 01, 2019

For those who simply want the best in a concealment weapon, it's hard to beat this one.

See More Revolvers

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now