According to Ruger Factory records, cumulative totals combined for all Blackhawks shipped from the Ruger factory by the end of 1972 was 328,387. This figure does not include Super Blackhawks.
The Ruger single action revolver like the old Colt single action was traditionally carried with 5 rounds in the cylinder with the hammer resting on the empty chamber. In 1973, after several years of intensive engineering and testing Ruger made firearms design history. Sturm, Ruger & Co. introduced a line of single action revolvers that could safely be carried with all six chambers loaded, the Ruger New Model. The Ruger New Model single action revolvers are the most mechanically advanced revolvers on the market. As the hammer is cocked, a transfer bar comes into position between the firing pin and the hammer thus eliminating the possibility of a misfire. Two hardened pivot pins replaced the familiar three frame screws. Production and shipments of New Model Ruger single action revolvers began in January of 1973.
To celebrate the nation’s 200th year every Ruger firearm produced in 1976 was roll marked with the legend: MADE IN THE 200th YEAR OF AMERICAN LIBERTY.
The New Model Blackhawk in .357 Maximum was introduced in 1982. The new magnum has a larger frame than the standard Blackhawk with a “dragoon” type trigger guard. The Ruger catalog listed the Maximum in 7 ½ and 10 ½-inch barrels in blued steel only. On a trial run, less than a half dozen were produced in stainless steel. Ruger employees ended up with the stainless guns.
In honor of 50 years of continuous production of the Blackhawk .357, a special commemorative Blackhawk Flattop was produced during 2005. The Flattop was back! The .44 Flattop was honored in 2006 with a similar offering.
Ruger produced the two millionth Blackhawk in 2005. The number reached 2,000,000 with a New Model Blackhawk in .45 Long Colt caliber, blued with a 5 ½-inch barrel. It is a one-of-a-kind revolver, heavily inlaid with three colors of gold in a classic floral vine motif. Embellishments were applied at the Ruger Studio of Art and Decoration by master engraver Paul Lantuch. Sturm, Ruger & Co. donated the 2,000,000th Blackhawk to the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) to be a part of their auction to assist in raising funds for their legislative, legal, and political efforts. The event was held on April 13, 2007.
The New Model Blackhawk is offered in a variety of configurations; stainless steel, or blued, or a combination of both, in almost every caliber ever designed for a handgun and with a multiple choice of barrel lengths. A Bisley model in a variety of calibers and barrel lengths in blue or stainless is also available.
2020 marked the 65th year of continuous production of the Ruger Blackhawk single action revolver. The Ruger Blackhawk has introduced generations of firearms enthusiasts to single action revolvers. In the face of stiff competition, both domestic and foreign, Ruger continues to dominate the single action market with durable, dependable Made in America revolvers.