When testing a sixgun I prefer to use a wide variation of loads as well as a large number. For these two Lipsey’s Ruger .357 Blackhawks, I fired more than 40 different loads through each of the two sixguns, going through 9mm’s, .38 Specials, .38-44’s, .357 Magnums and .357 Magnums with heavy bullets. I’m at the stage of my life when I cannot even come close to shooting the big bores as much as I once did. However, .357 Magnums are right at the top of my being able to “shoot as much as I want” threshold and I took great advantage of this situation with these two sixguns.

I’ve learned a lot since shooting that first Blackhawk 60 years ago, at least I hope so, and we do not always need a big bore sixgun for most of what we need a sixgun for. Plus I have a renewed appreciation of the .357 Magnum. Both of these New Model Flat-Top Blackhawks are excellent examples of Perfect Packin’ Pistols in they are very easy to pack and there’s very little which cannot be handled in the lower 48 with a .357 Magnum. Also the stainless steel version with its 51/2" Artillery barrel length is an excellent compromise between the easier to carry 45/8" Civilian length and the easier to shoot 71/2" Cavalry Model. Add in the fact this stainless steel version is like all New Model Blackhawks — virtually indestructible.