For several years now, big bore revolver shooters have favored the Ruger Bisley for
its ability to
comfortably handle the heaviest loads available. The combination of the strength of the frame, along with
the shape of the grip, trigger, and hammer, enable the Ruger Bisley to digest loads that would
destroy a lesser revolver, while mutilating a perfectly good shooting hand in
the process. Ruger's Blackhawk has all the strength of the Bisley, but the
shape of the grip frame is more punishing to the hand of most shooters, when
The ability of the Bisley model to handle heavy recoil without
excessive pain has led a few custom gunsmiths to use the gun exclusively for their
five-shot big bore conversions. The longer grip frame, smooth curved
trigger and lower hammer are, for most shooters, much more comfortable when touching
off the heaviest of revolver cartridges.
The centerfire, large frame Ruger Bisley has always, since
introduction, been availably in only one barrel length, that being seven and
one-half inches. The finish has always been blued chrome-moly steel. The only
choice to make was that of caliber.
There is nothing wrong with a blued finish on a sixgun, but in some
climates, it doesn't take long for it to turn brown. Many, if not most,
Bisleys will have a bit of tarnish on the sides of the hammer after a couple
of years. For a working gun in coastal or humid areas, a stainless
gun just makes more sense. Finally, the excellent Ruger Bisley is available, in limited numbers, in
stainless steel. Ruger has produced their Bisley Vaquero in stainless for a
few years, but has not, until now, offered the regular Bisley in this
The Bisley Vaquero is a nice gun, but doesn't have the
superior adjustable sights that are preferred by most serious shooters and
Even better than the stainless material used in this
sixgun, in my opinion, is the fact that this new Bisley is fitted with a five and one-half
inch barrel. Leaving those extra two inches off of the barrel makes it
much more packable in a hip holster than the seven and one-half inch blued gun.
The new stainless Bisley is available in only one caliber, that being .45
Colt. This is an excellent choice, as the .45 can handle bullets heavy enough
for any intended purpose.
Rumors of the stainless Bisley have been
circulating for a couple of months, and I was finally able to obtain one through my local dealer. Upon
opening the package and lifting the lid on the plastic gun case, it was
immediately apparent that this was indeed a handsome sixgun. The nicely
figured wood stocks and the satin stainless finish complimented each other
very well. The sights are, thankfully, blued for a better sight picture. All
other metal parts are stainless steel.
I could find no flaws in the fit and
finish. It has always seemed to me that Ruger has taken extra care with the
Bisley models to produce a superior product. The cylinder of the revolver is
unfluted with a well-executed roll engraving encircling the area in front of
the bolt notches. The hammer is the low-swept Bisley style with a serrated
thumb piece. The trigger is curved to match the rear of the guard and has
been, as previously mentioned, polished smooth. As stated earlier, this is
one great-looking sixgun.
Aesthetics, while somewhat important, are not what a great sixgun is
about. The proof is in the shooting. I gathered up the new Bisley,
along with an old model Blackhawk and a large can of ammunition, for some paper punching
and rock busting. I thought it worth the effort to shoot the old
Blackhawk along with the new Bisley to compare the difference in felt recoil between
Ruger's first .45 and their latest. When shooting normal .45 Colt loads, the
recoil characteristics of both guns is very easy on the hand. However, when shooting heavy loads, such as
a 335 grain bullet at near magnum velocities, the Bisley grip frame is much
easier on my hand than the grip of the old Blackhawk. The Bisley also has
the added weight of the stainless steel grip frame, unfluted cylinder, one inch
longer barrel, and stainless ejector rod housing helping to tame the
recoil of these heavy kicking loads.
The ability to more comfortably handle recoil
is, in my opinion, the main reason to prefer the Bisley over the standard
Blackhawk. I like the feel of the XR-3 and XR-3 RED grip frames better, but
upon pulling the trigger on a heavy load, the superiority of the Bisley grip
frame is readily apparent.
The trigger pull on the new Bisley was smooth as it came from the factory.
I lightened the weight of the pull a bit by lifting one leg of the
trigger return spring from its stud under the grip panel, resulting in a very nice
trigger pull without any serious trigger work involved.
The new Bisley
grouped, as expected, in the two and one-half to three inch range at twenty five yards with my
standard plinking ammo, but the best groups were obtained using the excellent
Cast Performance 335
grain wide long-nose bullets. These bullets, loaded with a healthy dose of
Li'l Gun powder, produced groups of two inches and under. I have not
yet worked at developing special loads for this sixgun, which I believe will
produce even better accuracy.
This new stainless Bisley is, in my opinion,
the best Bisley that Ruger has produced to date. It is available in limited numbers and only from one
distributor, that being Accu Sport of Bellafontaine, Ohio. Have your dealer
call for price and availability. The guns are selling faster than they can
get them in.
This is a sixgun that many shooters have wanted Ruger to produce
for a long time. With proper encouragement, perhaps Ruger will make it a
standard catalog item. You can write to Ruger at: Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., Lacey Place, Southport,
Check out the full line of Ruger products
This new stainless Ruger Bisley will most likely be the standard test gun
for heavy .45 Colt loads here at Gunblast.com. We like it.
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