Ruger Super Blackhawk 10.5" Barrel - Marushin
I have had a Marushin 8mm revolver before, a Taurus Raging Bull, but was disappointed with the performance and frustrated with the fiddling around with shells.
Once I discovered Tanaka's revolvers, there was no going back...until now. I've seen a number of reviews claiming high power from recent Marushin revolvers and the single action Ruger Super Blackhawk caught my interest (partly because I found the Tanaka Colt SAA a bit disappointing).
When a "mint, boxed" one came up on the forum for sale thread, I quickly snapped it up.
In the Box
Mint and boxed tends to imply that I would get a box, but (so far) I have yet to receive one (rather annoyingly, as I would have offered less than the asking price had I understood the box was not to have been included...)
Thankfully, though, everything from the box was included, so, as well as the huge gun, the loading tool, manual/leaflet, scope mount (nice touch) and small bag of 8mm BBs (what remained of them) were all there.
The obvious first impression is of too much barrel for the gun. Ten and a half inches puts this gun into rifle territory, barrel length wise, but it is designed for long range, big game hunting in real steel form, using a scope, so maybe it is unfair to hold this against the gun. If it really bothers you, there is a shorter barrelled version as well (in black, as well as the silver featured here).
Otherwise, the gun is quite appealing. The hammer is a hefty looking and feeling chunk of metal, which cocks with a satisfying click. The cylinder, too, feels solid and well made.
This extends to the frame of the gun, which, although plastic, is (rarely for a silver gun) the heavyweight material used in WA and KSC slides and gives the long, but quite spindly gun a weight similar to the bulkier Tanaka S&W 500.
The grips are bit disappointing, being plastic and too shiny, but the Ruger medallions are quite good.
There are quite a few metal parts on the gun, with the cylinder, hammer, trigger and loading gate all being, expectedly, metal, but parts of the lower frame and grip are also, impressively, metal. There are also those 6 big brass shells.
OK, so we have covered the facts that it is very long, but what is it like otherwise?
It feels quite good in the hand. Not as heavy as the real thing would, of course (sadly, no airsoft revolver ever does. For that you would need steel and wood and that would cost!), but a match, pretty much, for Tanaka's standard setting guns.
Starting up at the front of that long barrel, which looks very well shaped from the photographs I have seen, there's a large block with a high blade sight (in plain black) atop it, screwed to the barrel. The barrel widens, slightly moving back to the frame, and there is a fully function extractor rod (in a metal lug - More weight) under slung towards the rear.
The left side of the barrel is craftily marked. It looks like the correct Ruger markings, but actually reads "BEFORE USING GUN - READ WARNING IN INSTRUCTION MANUAL AVAILABLE FREE FROM"/"-------- MADE IN JAPAN BY MARUSHIN INDUSTRY CO., LTD --------", where the second line would refer to Ruger on the real thing (or a Tanaka Ruger), which might disappoint a few people.
There is a working cylinder pin on the frame, again in metal, which allows you to remove the cylinder, a feature Tanaka have only just added to their Colt SAA model.
The frame itself is marked "RUGER .44 MAGNUM CAL"/"NEW MODEL SUPER BLACK HAWK" on the left side. This seems really bizarre to me - Why have fake markings on the barrel, but not on the frame?
The right side of the frame is bare save for a rather ugly and intrusive ASGK mark, which is unusual for Marushin.
Photographs I have seen of the new model super Black Hawk, show a banded marking with the calibre on the cylinder, as seen on the Tanaka Ruger Super Red Hawk. This gun bears no sign of any markings at all on the cylinder, although I cannot be sure Ruger didn't ever make a similarly unmarked gun at some point.
With the hammer cocked the cylinder spins freely, with just a light ticking as it does so, which feels pretty realistic.
Where many people believe Marushin revolvers score highly over Tanaka ones is in having removable shells. This gun features a swinging gate on the right side of the frame, through which the big, brass 8mm shells need to be pushed one at a time (no free swinging crane as on a double action revolver).
The BBs are dropped, one in each, into the fronts of the shells and need pushing down to form an airtight seal, using the provided tool.
The bottom of the frame and the grip are a separate part to the main frame, just as with the real Super Black Hawk and are made of metal, rather than heavyweight ABS as the rest of the gun. This makes the grip and trigger guard feel very solid and gives it a different colour to the rest of the gun, but all photos I can find of real Super Black Hawk's in silver also exhibit a different finish between the parts, so you cannot cite this as a fault on the Marushin gun.
Overall, I'm not convinced the silver finish is as realistic as, say, Tanaka's S&W 500 in silver, but it looks pretty good, as most silver airsoft guns go.
The grips are plastic, trying to look like dark rosewood. These aren't the worst examples I've seen, but no-one's likely to think they are really wood. They feature good looking Ruger medallions on both sides. Gas, of course, is loaded through a filler valve on the base of the grip and the reservoir is held between the grips, making the fitting of real steel replacements nigh-on impossible.
The trigger is a solid feeling piece of metal with a short if not a little heavy pull, with ridges running vertically down it. It looks machined, but I suspect it be cast and finished to look that way.
The hammer is equally solid looking. The latter withstood a few fanning sessions without harm, if you feel like doing your 'Man with no-name' bit.
So, much like the Taurus Raging Bull I tested almost 3 years ago, the gun is pretty good, if not the ultimate in terms of replication, but how does it shoot? Was the Bull a rogue? Have thing simply improved in terms of accuracy and power? Or are Marushin revolvers still more show than go?
Accuracy of the Raging Bull had been laughable, so I was interested to see how the Super Black Hawk performed.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
As you can see it was actually fairly good. I must admit to be being a little surprised at how well it shot. Although the single action does tend to make you re-aim after each shot, this doesn't automatically result in good accuracy.
The best 5 of 6 shots were grouped 40mm (1.75 inches) across. This set of 6 is shown as circles and was fired double handed. Other than the flyer at the top (still in the bull), the shots are commendably close to the aim point, too, with one dead centre on the 5!
The squares are 6 shots fired, cowboy style, single handed. The best 5 here are 75mm across (3 inches), but my arm was taking the strain a bit (I know, what a weakling) on the last couple of shots, so I would still rate this as pretty good as, however you measure the 75mm, it includes an outlier. The best 4 from this set are only 40mm across.
Power wise, though, things were not so rosy.
Over 10 shots, the Super Black Hawk averaged only 132 fps (using 134a gas) indoors (at just 11C).
However, to put that into context it was with .34g BBs, so roughly equivalent to 200fps with .2g BBs - Pretty weak for a gun with such a long barrel, but it should yield around the equivalent of 250-260fps with Green Gas or with 134a at around 20C.
I decided to try another set of shots with Propane. These produced an average of 224fps at 11C, which equates to just over 1J at 20C.
The drop off in power was quite noticeable, suggesting cool down could be a problem, too, but maybe the ambient temperature was just too low to assess fairly. 262 fps is not too shabby, but under 200 is poor for an NBB.
None of the figures suggest that these guns can approach the fps figures I have seen quoted elsewhere (300+) unless they are dramatically effected by ambient temperature. They are OK to plink with, but the leisurely flight of the big BBs is little use for skirmishers and are disappointing to anyone used to even a decent springer, to be honest.
However, I will retest the Super Black Hawk (assuming I still have it) when the weather warms up to see if the velocity does improve more than expected.
Update December 2007:
I tested the gun again with Ultrair Summer gas (Green) and saw a 3 shot average of 306FPS with .34g BBs at 20C, quite a bit higher than the 11C tests suggested.
hkssr20det on Airsoft Barracks (ASB) also commented that his figures were higher than I had seen.
It was shooting low 400s (420-430) with .27s and green gas at 65-70F. Still shooting upper 380s with .34s.
And it is easily the most 'accurate" Marushin I have shot.
I find that usually my readings are a little bit higher than yours, but this was a huge jump. just interesting to me.
He further went on to test the Super Blackhawk and these were his results
.34, green gas, 55 degrees F
Avg - 341.16
the numbers are way down from when I checked it this summer. Still higher than yours, but I would imagine the gun is very temperature sensitive.
Which suggests that the Blackhawk does respond well to higher temperatures, but also that maybe they vary in performance from example to example more than you might expect.
Trigger pull was 1365g (48 Oz), which is a medium-heavy weight pull for a gas revolver. Having said that, the pull is short and precise and feels lighter than the figures suggest.
Unusually for a revolver, but to Marushin's credit, the Ruger Super Blackhawk can be field stripped.
This only involves removing the cylinder, by depressing the pin lock and withdrawing the cylinder pin from the front of the frame, but it is realistic and seems to have spurred Tanaka into releasing a modified SAA, which also features this ability.
Overall, I think I like the Marushin Ruger Super Black Hawk more than I did the Tanaka Colt SAA.
There's no doubt that the Tanaka is better finished AND a lot more powerful, but where the shells got tiresome on the Raging Bull, I find them amusing on the Ruger, with the working extractor and the fixed cylinder and gate.
Whilst not up to Tanaka's quality levels, the Ruger is nicely made and feels good and solid in the hand. It is impressively accurate (especially after my experience with the Raging Bull from Marushin), although the power is disappointing from testing in cold weather and I do not expect a dramatic improvement with increasing temperatures.
If you want a single action revolver with shells for playing around with target shooting, then the Marushin Ruger's your only choice, but it's a pretty good one.
If you want the most practical airsoft revolver for skirmishing, though, look to Tanaka's guns still.
Weight : 1065g (extra 110g with scope mount)
Realism : ****
Quality : ***
Power : **
Accuracy : ****
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