Web Blast Extra: Lipsey’s .45 Convertible

Flat-Top Ruger Blackhawks

When it comes to firearms these are the best of times. No, scratch that, these are the best! of times. Yes, I definitely miss the old classics and we haven’t seen a new Three-Screw Ruger or Pinned and Recessed Smith & Wesson with Diamond grips for nearly 50 years. On the upside, where we once had relatively few choices when it came to a new firearm, we now have literally thousands of choices. And also on the upside, the fact that so many newer shooters want the newer guns means, in many cases, the old Classics found in used form at gunshops and gun shows often go for bargain prices.

We don’t have any of the old Classics, however thanks to the combination of Lipsey’s and Ruger we have the next best thing. When the Ruger .357 Blackhawk arrived in 1955 it had a flattopped frame, a three-screw action, and was basically the same size as a Colt Single Action. The Flat-Top disappeared in 1962, the three-screw action gave way to the two pin New Model action in 1972, and at the same time all Blackhawks were built on the larger .44 Magnum frame. Gone forever was that smaller, handier and easier to pack, original .357 Blackhawk. Well, almost.

In 2005, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Blackhawk, Ruger brought out a Flat-Top New Model downsized to match the original. As an extra-added bonus, Ruger brought back the original grip frame configuration, which had been lost in 1962. The original XR3 grip frame was an alloy, while the new version is all steel and both are basically the same size and shape as that found on a Colt Single Action. They didn’t even stop there, as the adjustable rear sight was a Micro once again. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say the 50th-year Blackhawk is even better than the original, as it was now all steel and could be safely carried with six rounds.
By John Taffin

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Sixgunner: Lipsey’s .45 Convertible Rugers

Test-Fire: Lipsey’s Ruger Flat-Top New Model .45 Colt/.45ACP x 5-1/2” Blue .45 Colt Loads

Bullet/Load MV (fps) 5 Shots/20 Yards (Inches)
Black Hills 250 RNFP 750 1-3/8
Federal 225 LSWCHP 817 1-3/4
Speer 250 Gold Dot HP 839 1-1/2
Winchester 225 SilverTip HP 782 1-1/8
Lachmiller 45-255LC/8.5 Unique 939 1-3/4
RCBS #45-255KT/8.0 gr. Unique 922 1-1/8
Hornady 255L/7.1 gr. WW231 748 7/8
Oregon Trail 250 RNFP/8.0 gr. Unique 833 1-3/4
Oregon Trail 250 RNFP/7.1 gr. WW231 769 1-3/8
Oregon Trail 250RNFP/18.5 gr. #4227 841 7/8
Oregon Trail 250RNFP/6.2 gr. N-100 818 1-1/8
Oregon Trail 255 SWC/6.2 gr. WW452AA 796 1-3/4
Speer 250 LSWC/7.8 gr. Unique 759 1

.45 ACP Loads

Load MV (fps) Shots/20 yards (Inches)
Black Hills 185 JHP 1,001 1
Black Hills 230 JHP 825 3/4
Black Hills 230 JHP +P 939 1-1/8
Black Hills 230 FMJ 817 1-3/8
Black Hills 230 RNL 892 1-5/8
Federal 185 JHP 945 1-1/2
Federal 230 FMJ 788 1-1/4
Federal 230 Premium H-S HP 928 1-3/8
Remington 185 JHP 1,071 1
Speer 200 FMJ 864 1
Speer 230 FMJ 847 1-3/4
Winchester 185 Super Match 800 1
Winchester 230 FMJ 845 3/4
Winchester 230 BEB 905 1
Oregon Trail 200SWC/5.0 gr. Bullseye 863 1
Oregon Trail 200 SWC/7.0 gr. Unique 1,070 1
H&G #68/7.2 gr. Unique 1,094 1
Lyman #452460/7.0 gr. Unique 895 1

Test-Fire: Lipsey’s Ruger Flat-Top New Model .45 Colt/.45ACP x 5-1/2″ Stainless Steel

.45 Colt Loads

Bullet/Load MV (fps) 5 Shots/20 Yards (inches)
Black Hills 250 RNFP 741 7/8
Blazer 200 JHP 929 1-3/8
Buffalo Bore 255 Barnes XPB 1,036 1-5/8
Buffalo Bore 255 KT 1,060 1-1/2
Cor-Bon 200 JHP 1,187 1
Federal 225 LSWCHP 806 1-1/4
Remington 255 LSWC 841 1-5/8
RCBS #45-270/20.0 gr. #4227 1,032 1-5/8
RCBS #45-270/18.5 gr. #4227 935 1-1/8
RCBS #45-270/10.0 gr. Unique 1,013 1
RCBS#45-270/8.5 gr. Unique 923 1-1/8
Oregon Trail 250 RNFP/8.0 gr. Unique 982 1
Oregon Trail 250 RNFP/7.1 gr. WW231 858 1-1/8
Oregon Trail 250RNFP/6.2 gr. N-100 831 1-3/8
Oregon Trail 255 LSWC/8.5 gr. Unique 969 1-1/2

.45 ACP Loads

Load MV (fps) 5 Shots/20 yards (Inches)
Black Hills 185 JHP 1,057 1-3/8
Black Hills 230 JHP 865 1
Federal 230 FMJ 889 1-1/4
Speer 230 FMJ 872 1-1/8
Winchester 230 FMJ 885 1-1/8

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2 thoughts on “Web Blast Extra: Lipsey’s .45 Convertible

  1. Paul Marander

    Another terrific article by Taffin, I have the .45 convertible in stainless with 5 1/2″ and LOVE it!! Thanks for the load data.I’ve tried a few of the loads and really like the load with 4227, one of my favorite powders of all time.Keep up the great work and keep giving Mr. Taffin more terrific assignments!!I need ’em!

  2. Rick Clark

    Mr. Taffin,

    I have loved the 44 Special since the Marines. I have a situation that you might be able to assist me with. Two years ago due to an accident I messed up my right wrist and the only repair was removal of two bones. I can use it but it is not as strong and wondered if you have some suggestions for either wrist braces or shooting gloves that would allow me to shoot 9mm to 45 acp again?

    Keep up the great work in AH and Guns! Semper Fi!



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