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45 Auto shootout

This is a discussion on 45 Auto shootout within the Range Reports forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; Nice day, today, so we headed to the range for a little shooting fun. Decided I needed to shoot up some our aluminum case Federal ...


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Old 10-18-2016, 04:07 PM   #1
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45 Auto shootout

Nice day, today, so we headed to the range for a little shooting fun. Decided I needed to shoot up some our aluminum case Federal 45 auto ammo since we have a good supply. Just for fun, I decided to compare two of my favorite 45s to see which would shoot best for me, so here they are. On the top, is my SA Mil Spec 1911 and, on the bottom, my Ruger Blackhawk Convertible, 4 5/8" barrel with the 45 Auto cylinder installed. Two very different guns, of course, but also two of my favorites.


Shot 6 warmup shots with each gun on separate targets to get get in the groove with each gun, then settled in and shot groups at 20 yards from a standing position (as always). Which gun would shoot best for me?

First up, the 1911 Mil spec. Never ceases to amaze me what this no-frills 1911 can do and, once again, it delivered.


Next up, after some warm up shots, the Blackhawk. Now this gun, at heart, is really a 45 Colt, but I do enjoy shooting 45 auto with it and the cylinder is properly throated for 45 auto, so I know the gun is accurate with 45 auto. Just didn't expect it to be this accurate, but not complaining.


An the winner is ...


Not in terms of accuracy - too close to call on that score - but I do prefer the better control I get with the Blackhawk. It's an easier and more comfortable gun for me to shoot, as evidenced by the fact that I just wanted to shoot it more than the 1911. Have always found that the shuffling of the action on a semi auto to be just a little bit distracting to my follow though, plus, I just prefer the grip and balance of a revolver, especially a single action revolver. Lastly, the romantic in me just adores a single action revolver. Not that a 1911 is ugly, but the cowgirl in me loves the Blackhawk.

The Mil Spec is one gun I will NEVER sell, by the way, so don' get your hopes up. Hope you enjoyed my little 45 auto shootout.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:19 PM   #2
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Great comparison of 2 different .45acp shooters NCG

You know I'm revolver ignorant, so here comes my questions.

1. Does it need moon clips?

2. How is it with .45LC, accuracy wise?

3. Do they make the .45 convertible in the flat top 5.5" barrel model?
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:08 PM   #3
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Glad to help, Moakes

No, no moon clips needed with the Convertible Blackhawk 45 Auto cylinder. The extra 45 auto cylinder is cut and throated, specifically, for the 45 auto. The front of the case (mouth) on a 45 auto round rests against the back of the cylinder throat, keeping the round from moving any farther forward. Being throated, specifically, for the 45 auto is a big plus for accuracy. As you can see, no problem keeping up with a 1911.

The Redhawk is a different story. You are using the same cylinder to shoot both the 45 Colt and the 45 Auto. The cylinder is cut and throated for the longer 45 Colt, not the 45 Auto. That means the only way to keep the 45 auto round from falling too far into the cylinder is with the moon clips. This also creates an accuracy issue when shooting 45 auto in the Redhawk because the bullet has to travel some distance, unsupported, just to get to the throat. Accuracy is okay, but will never be in the same class as with the Blackhawk setup. As I mentioned with the Redhawk 45 Colt/45Auto, buy it for the sake of the 45 Colt, not for the 45 Auto. It's basically a 45 Colt that can shoot 45 auto in a pinch.

45 Colt accuracy in the Blackhawk is every bit as good as the 45 Auto, if not better. Being a standard large frame Blackhawk, it can handle the hottest Ruger only 45 Colt bear loads, too. Very, very versatile gun.

Yes, Lipsey makes periodic runs of the Blackhawk 45 Convertible in a Flattop and I see it listed on the Ruger website, now, so you might want to take a look. As with all the Flattop models, they come and go as far as production runs. Keep in mind that the Flattops are built on the original medium frame, so no shooting the Ruger only 45 Colt loads. Will certainly handle those standard warm 45 Colt hunting or self-defense loads, though. Wouldn't take much to talk me into adding one to the collection, for sure. Love these Blackhawks.

Last edited by north country gal; 10-18-2016 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:05 PM   #4
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Thanks for showin that comparison to us, NCG. Great shootin again too.
Now ya done went'n made me peek into the Ruger Site again.
I wish that .45 flat top didn't come with those genuine simulated ivory grips. Of course they can be changed.
But that made my eye catch the .357/9mm one, with the wood grips.
That would be a dang good beer can slayer, usein pretty cheap 9mm ammo, plus have .357.
Probably a good paper puncher too, with it's extra 7/8" of barrel.

moakes, I noticed Kentucky Gun Co. has the blued with white grips .45 Colt/.45 ACP flat top.

Last edited by gunjunkie; 10-18-2016 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:03 AM   #5
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GJ, my 357 Flattop is actually one of the most accurate 357s I've ever owned. Ranks right there with any high grade Smith 357 I've shot. Not that I'm trying to enable, here, or anything.
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Old 10-19-2016, 07:22 AM   #6
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NCG, I wish I could see a video of you shooting these two pistols, just to watch you stance, hold, tirgger control, etc. You shoot so consistently good, that lessons could be learned from you.
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:50 PM   #7
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Great shooting as always. The Blackhawk must be something to win out over the Springfield.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:22 PM   #8
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Thanks, again, guys.

As for me doing a video, I don't think the world is ready for an old granny shooting big bore revolvers. One thing I do that I strongly recommend is dry fire practice. Another is air gun shooting. I do a lot of both.

Seabee, I'm just a nut about revolvers. Nothing against bottom feeders, but revolvers are what I prefer to shoot. Definitely a bias in this shootout.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:29 PM   #9
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Thanks NCG & gunjunkie for the info.

It's on my list to get a revolver & it will be a BlackHawk Convertible, but your .45 report has me wavering from my .38/.357/9mm combo which seems very versatile.

I just love that .45 caliber.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:47 PM   #10
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As I said, glad to help. If it makes a difference, of the two convertibles, you get excellent accuracy with both cartridges with the 45. Definite difference in accuracy with the 357 and 9mm in the 357 convertible, though. Not that the 9mm is horrible, but just not in the same league as when shooting 357s. Of course, with the 357, you can still shoot 38s, too. Very versatile gun.
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