Skip to main content

Ruger New Model Blackhawk Hunter

Ruger New Model Blackhawk Hunter

RugerSuperBlackhawkHunterAside from the No. 1 rifle, I think the Blackhawk single-action revolver is Bill Ruger's finest gun-design achievement. I have an Old Model Blackhawk built in 1970 and a New Model Super Blackhawk made in '78, and I love shooting them.

First introduced in 1955 as a .357 Magnum, the Blackhawk has been chambered to a wide array of cartridges and has undergone several design changes over the years—most notably the 1973 introduction of the New Model guns. These have a transfer bar that prevents the frame-mounted firing pin from striking a primer unless the trigger is pulled. This safety feature allows New Model Blackhawks to be carried safely with a full six rounds in the cylinder.

RugerSuperBlackhawkHunterInfoNew Model guns also have a loading gate that interlocks with the cylinder latch. This permits the gun to be loaded or unloaded by opening the loading gate with the hammer down instead of having to draw the hammer to half-cock as on the originals.

The powerful Super Blackhawk made its debut in 1974, and one of the latest iterations is the New Model Super Blackhawk Hunter. It is offered in .44 Magnum, but the focus of this article is a Davidson's Gallery of Guns exclusive chambered to .41 Magnum. Why? Because I have a soft spot for the .41 Magnum. My Old Model Blackhawk is a .41 Magnum, and it's not just one of my favorite handguns, it's one of my favorite guns period.


The New Model Super Blackhawk Hunter's most notable feature is its ribbed 7.5-inch barrel that incorporates machined-in cuts to accommodate Ruger's excellent scope ring/base setup. Two rings ship with the gun.


Many people who buy one of these revolvers will scope it, but of course the gun comes with iron sights: a fully adjustable rear and a ramped front with orange insert. The front is set in a dovetail in the barrel's rib, so you can easily replace it if you want. And while the rear is fully adjustable, be sure to have a super tiny slotted screwdriver on hand to change the windage.

The rear sight is simple to remove for scope mounting. Turn out the elevation adjustment screw, then drift out the small pin at the front. Note there are two springs underneath. They fit into circular cutouts in the sight body and the topstrap, and while they're in there fairly snugly, they're not captured in any way, so be careful not to lose them.

Super Blackhawk Hunters are built of stainless steel and feature Ruger's good-looking black laminate stocks. If you pull the stocks, inside you'll find the gun's coil action springs—one of Bill Ruger's improvements over the flat springs used in Colt single actions of the day.

The Super Blackhawk Hunter's loading gate interlocks with the cylinder latch so you can load and unload the gun with the hammer down and gate open.


The resulting action is smooth and easy to operate. Part of this is due to the design of the Super Blackhawk hammer, which has a wider spur—it flares to a half-inch wide at the rear—and less upsweep than the hammer on standard Blackhawks. This, along with the nicely done serrations, makes it surer and quicker to thumb.

The Super Blackhawk Hunter has a good trigger. The one on my sample broke at three pounds even, with a variation of only an ounce or two over 10 pulls. There's very little creep or overtravel.

The frame on the Super Blackhawk Hunter is about a quarter-inch longer in the grip than on my Old Model gun, and the stocks are ever so slightly thinner than those on both of my Blackhawks by about 0.1 inch. The combination of the longer frame and thinner stocks made the Super Blackhawk Hunter fit my hand really well.


And when it comes to shooting comfort…well, for a magnum handgun I don't think you can beat a sensible cartridge like the .41 Magnum paired with a gun that weighs 53 ounces bare—66.5 ounces with a Burris 2x20mm handgun scope aboard. Don't get me wrong. I don't particularly mind the recoil of the .44 Magnum in my New Model Super Blackhawk, but the .41 is so much more controllable and pleasant while still being a powerful and effective cartridge.

RugerSuperBlackhawkAccuracyThe Super Blackhawk Hunter was enjoyable to shoot during accuracy testing from a rest as well as firing offhand with and without the scope. And it's accurate as well. Sure, at 25 yards with a scope you should get small groups, but I had several one-holers with the Winchester and Hornady 190-grain loads. I also fired a few three-shot groups at 100 yards with the Hornady 190s, and the gun could do two inches at that distance with that load when I did my part.

If you enjoy hunting with revolvers or simply want a gun that not everyone else has, the Super Blackhawk Hunter in .41 Magnum is worth a look. It's accurate, powerful and fun to shoot—a triple crown winner in my eyes.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Ruger Security 9 Compact

Ruger Security 9 Compact

This handgun lives up to what Ruger wanted to build: a solid, dependable, easy-racking carry/home defense pistol at a better-than-reasonable price.

Dealing with Subcompacts

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

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.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Small, compact semi-auto pistols are popular with concealed-carry firearm buyers, and these two models – the KelTec PF9 9mm and the Ruger LCP II .22LR – are no exceptions. They are effective for personal protection but only if you put in the time to practice.Compact Carry Pistols Are Effective With Practice Training

Compact Carry Pistols Are Effective With Practice

Handguns Staff - August 14, 2020

Small, compact semi-auto pistols are popular with concealed-carry firearm buyers, and these...

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...

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit againstJudge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law 2nd Amendment

Judge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law

Handguns Online Staff - May 07, 2014

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit...

See More Trending Articles

More Revolvers

As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, Dan Wesson brings back its legendary switch-barrel revolver.Dan Wesson Brings Back Its Legendary Switch-Barrel Revolver Revolvers

Dan Wesson Brings Back Its Legendary Switch-Barrel Revolver

Brad Fitzpatrick - November 13, 2018

As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, Dan Wesson brings back its legendary switch-barrel...

Ruger's reliable and accurate GP100 now offers an extra round of .357 power.Review: Ruger GP100 7-Shot .357 Magnum Revolvers

Review: Ruger GP100 7-Shot .357 Magnum

Brad Fitzpatrick - January 15, 2019

Ruger's reliable and accurate GP100 now offers an extra round of .357 power.

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.

With the help of a group of friends and fellow dreamers I now have my dream revolver.A Custom Revolver - Sometimes Dreams Come True Revolvers

A Custom Revolver - Sometimes Dreams Come True

Ed Head - March 04, 2019

With the help of a group of friends and fellow dreamers I now have my dream revolver.

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

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Handguns App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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