Ruger's new .454 & .480 super blackhawks
Many of us, myself included, have trouble with open sights even under the best of conditions. So what are your options? If you are a hunter, and I suspect that many of you who purchase one of these revolvers are hunters, you will want to equip your new Ruger with some sort of optic. Well you can have your Ruger revolver drilled and tapped for a scope mount from a number of manufacturers like Leupold and Weigand. But if you don’t want to have holes drilled into the top of your revolver’s frame, you have several viable options. We tried three types, and they all have their merits. The simplest, smallest and least intrusive is by JP Enterprises (www.jprifles.com) and consists of a small mount that fits in the recess that houses the rear sight and will accept one of their JPoint holographic-type sights. We went with one of their 4 MOA units. If you want to mount something larger, like a scope or a tube-type red dot, Weaver produces a slick mount that is a no drill, no tap variety, but you will be limited as to the what you can actually mount as the rail is rather short. We sourced our Weaver base from Brownells (www.brownells.com), and while it’s perfect for a scope, it is a bit problematic for a tube-type red dot. Enter Weigand Combat Handguns, Inc. (www.jackweigand.com). We got our hands on a prototype model of the new scope base (also a no drill, no tap type) that was made specifically for this application. This base was designed to withstand the stresses associated with the .454 Casull and to offer no compromise with regards to stability. The rear portion is mounted to the rear sight recess and the front part of the base encapsulates the front sight base (minus the front sight blade) giving two solid mounting points. With this sight base, the sky is the limit as far as optic options are concerned as the rail is adequate in length. We used all three throughout this test and all delivered. It just boils down to preference.
We got the opportunity to test the new .454 Bisley on porcine flesh at Hog Heaven Outfitters of Johnston County, North Carolina. I got lucky on the first morning when a 214-lb boar made the mistake of showing up. The shot was broadside at about 20 yards, and required only one Garrett 365 grain .45 Colt +P Hammerhead to seal the deal. My testing was now complete. Later in the year I paid a visit to Action Outdoor Adventures in Hondo, TX to try the new Super Blackhawk in .454 on a large bovine. A 2,000 water buffalo bull was the target, and we stalked up to within 25 yards of the big bruiser.
Using the fork of a small tree in the thick brush as a rest to stabilize the Super Blackhawk, I didn’t want to take any chances when so close to such a strapping example of bovine flesh. The bull moved clear of the scrub brush that was obstructing the path my bullet would have to travel to make terminal contact. The hammer on the big Ruger was already thumbed back and ready to strike a primer. I centered the red dot of the Ultradot Four on the upper part of the shoulder of the broadside bull, and squeezed off the first of five rounds occupying the Ruger’s stainless steel cylinder. The Ruger barked and bucked as the heavy bullet twisted its way out of the barrel. The shot looked and felt good, but as animals weighing a ton typically do, he ran off crashing through the thick foliage.
We took off in a sprint attempting to flank the wounded bull. We made it to a clearing, setting up for the next shot that would surely and hopefully come. The bull cleared the thick stand of trees and scrub. He saw us and despite making us visually, he came anyway. Bovines, be they milk cows on the farm or Cape buffalo in the Selous, are unpredictable and quite frankly, at least to me, a bit scary. But on he came, looking right at me. Since he seemingly didn’t mind my presence, I took the opportunity to drive another Garrett 405 grainer into the beast’s shoulder, triggering him into a sprint. I managed to put another behind his shoulder as he was going away as he crashed onward. Within thirty minutes of the last shot, we saw a dark lump lying motionless in the tall grass. On approach, Jack Huntington and I both put a couple more rounds in the prostrate beast just for good measure. It’s unsettling when a “dead” buffalo again finds its legs. The necropsy proved the worth of Garrett’s heavyweight .45 Colt load with two bullets found poking through the skin of the offside shoulder, the third having exited.
In summary, Ruger and Lipsey’s have finally given us what we want. What was once a custom-only and cost prohibitive proposition is now only a phone call, and less than $1,000.00 away from being yours. We all have reason to rejoice. Evidently Ruger is listening.