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DaveTN

What does “Flattop” mean on a Ruger Revolver?

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I’m not a Ruger guy, but I’ve been looking at them. I’m pretty clear on most models, but I keep seeing "Flattop" mentioned and I’m not sure what that means.

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https://thatweirdgunguy.com/2016/07/03/ruger-blackhawk-convertible-flattop-357/

The Flattop BlackHawk was the first center fire pistol designed and manufactured by Bill Ruger. Introduced in 1955 and known simply as the Blackhawk, it revived the almost dead single action and brought it into the 20th century. With adjustable sights and a frame built to handle the heavy 357 Magnum loads of the day, but still the same size as a Colt SAA, it was a perfect pistol for huntin’, packin’ or just plinkin’. Sadly, the original Blackhawk was short lived. In 1963, it was replaced by the Old Model or “Three Screw” Blackhawk which was a bigger and bulkier handgun designed to handle hot .44 Mag loads. Along with several new design and construction elements, the newer pistol had “ears” that protect the rear sight and give the topstrap an ungainly hump which the original Blackhawk lacked:hence the name “Flattop”. Many shooters bemoaned the discontinuing of the original Blackhawk or the Flattop as it was now known because it was a smaller, sleeker size than the newer and larger Blackhawk. Today original Flattops command a serious premium amongst Ruger collectors and are amongst the best built mass produced revolvers available.

FullSizeRender (5)

The Flattop’s grip is much thinner and shorter than the Vaquero/Blackhawk’s Dragoon-style grip.

 

But hope is not lost! In 2005, Ruger reintroduced the Flattop to celebrate the Blackhawk’s 50th anniversary, and because of overwhelming demand, continues to make and sell them in variety of calibers. The revolver I have to review is one of the newer ones.

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Thanks.

Quote

In 2005, Ruger reintroduced the Flattop to celebrate the Blackhawk’s 50th anniversary, and because of overwhelming demand, continues to make and sell them in variety of calibers.

So all the "New Model Blackhawks" are flattops? 

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33 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

Thanks.

So all the "New Model Blackhawks" are flattops? 

No,  Most are not but there are several Lipsey's Distributor Exclusives currently cataloged that are flattops.

If you look on Ruger's website they are listed under Convertible and Bisley models.

Edited by Garufa

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Look at the top strap above the cylinder.

Flat top

197260.jpg

 

Not a flat top

medium-6587.jpg

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I just looked at my .357/9mm convertible and, sadly, it’s not a flat top. Didn’t honestly think it was. It’s a beefy older revolver.

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I absolutely love the flattop. I have a 1960 variant that is awesome. All my experience with them is with the old models and not the distributor exclusive new releases. They do look good!  Are you looking to get the flattop exclusively or any Blackhawk?  I like the grip frame on the flap tops better for my hand. 

Edited by SRST51

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1 hour ago, SRST51 said:

Are you looking to get the flattop exclusively or any Blackhawk? 

Neither, I'm looking for a Vaquero.

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I tried those and switched to Taylor Smokewagon Deluxes. Personal preference of course, but don’t count the Colt clones out! 

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Great! Now I got to go look at mine. Hope its witch ever ones better? Enquiring minds need to know

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16 hours ago, SRST51 said:

I tried those and switched to Taylor Smokewagon Deluxes. Personal preference of course, but don’t count the Colt clones out! 

Thanks, I’m not ruling anything out in a Colt clone; other than on price. This will be a toy; not a collectable. I’m in the $500-$700 range; not the $1500+ range. The hard part for me is finding something in blue I like; I’m spoiled with the S&W blue revolves. Most all my guns I have now are stainless; because I use/used them. So with this I’m kinda wanting something in a polished blue. All those Colt clones (in that price range) seem to be the case hardened finish; that’s not an option at all for me.

I keep coming back to the Ruger Vaquero. I haven’t seen the New Blue Vaquero in person yet, but it appears to be a crappy flat blue in pictures. I may have to go with the stainless. I’m still trying to decide.

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Check out the Taylor Smokewagon Deluxe. Blued and case hardened for less than or equal to a Vaq. And I’m a Ruger guy on a lot of things. 

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Check out the Taylor Smokewagon Deluxe. Blued and case hardened for less than or equal to a Vaq. And I’m a Ruger guy on a lot of things. 

F90551A5-D51D-4218-BB58-3A072CAFAB60.jpeg

8EA28412-A072-4FDE-ADAF-7FB8FDFFC293.jpeg

CA916574-7342-4F81-96F6-43F1E13DD7E0.jpeg

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15 minutes ago, SRST51 said:

Check out the Taylor Smokewagon Deluxe. Blued and case hardened for less than or equal to a Vaq. And I’m a Ruger guy on a lot of things. 

That’s nice Photography. Did you do that? If not, who is that SIG in the corner, I can't make it out.

The barrel and cylinder on that look nice; I don’t want a case hard frame.

 

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2 hours ago, DaveTN said:

That’s nice Photography. Did you do that? If not, who is that SIG in the corner, I can't make it out.

The barrel and cylinder on that look nice; I don’t want a case hard frame.

 

Thanks! That is mine. It was a rush job but that you. I generally photograph people. 
 

I know what you mean about the bluing on the Rugers these days. It does have a flat appearance in comparison to Smith. 

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11 minutes ago, DaveTN said:

Possibly changing my mind! Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Now I might want this…

https://ruger.com/products/newModelBlackhawkConvertible/specSheets/5240.html

rdj07Qw.jpg

That is a sweet gun right there.  I used to hunt with a Blackhawk and always loved it.

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1 hour ago, DaveTN said:

Now I might want this…

Are you sure?

"The Lipsey’s Exclusive 10mm / 40 S&W convertibles are available with a 4-5/8” or 6-1/2” barrel."

 

 

Edited by hughd

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23 minutes ago, hughd said:

Are you sure?

Dang it man...the 40/10 only comes in Stainless. 😥

EDIT: And they can’t use a moon clip, how do they hold the round?

Edited by DaveTN

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2 minutes ago, TomInMN said:

@DaveTN, it is possible to blue at least some stainless steels.

Just think, you'd have the only one on the block.

Thanks, but that’s not an option. If someone is going to tell me you have to take that cylinder out every time you reload; that’s not an option either.

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So many great guns, such limited cash 😭

 

That Blackhawk is pretty sweet. I have a 1960 model “old model”. 
 

No transfer bar, have to cock the hammer to partial cock to load it like the good old days. My Taylor action is the same.  The blackhawks have the adjustable sites which is a nice plus, especially if you like to shoot at any distance. 

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