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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Ruger Hawkeye - Single Shot Pistol:

Ruger built just over 3,000 of these unusual handguns - with an 8.5 inch barrel - on the Blackhawk frame - starting in 1963 and ending production in July 1964.
- Researching information is a bit confused as Ruger have also built a rifle called the Hawkeye .. but the Hawkeye pistol was built as a single shot handgun to fire the .256" Winchester Magnum calibre round.


The .256" round was made by necking-down a .357" Magnum case to take a .257 dia. bullet weighing 60gn that made 2,350 ft. per second velocity as a powerful factory varmint load.

.256" Winchester Magnum Flanking a .357"Mag. Case.

- Now, I'm no genius and when I saw pictures of this rare and unusual Ruger - I imagined that the 'block' or single shot 'cylinder' swung out to expose a chamber in the block to accept the cartridge .. WRONG.

The 'Block' doesn't have a chamber - it works as a breech-block for the chamber which is in the back-end of the barrel. - It does have a spring loaded, in-line firing pin that is wacked by the hammer.


This is something like the rolling block of the early (1865) Snider-Enfield breech-loading rifles in .577" calibre.
Snider Rifle Block has an angled Firing-Pin.
 
- The Hawkeye firing-pin and spring are numbered 16 & 17 in diagram below:
 
 
How the Ruger Hawkeye actually functioned only came clear to me after seeing a story about the .256" Winchester Magnum in an old 1964 Gun Digest I bought at last Saturdays MAMS Show at Riccarton Racecourse. (If you were planning on going to see these antiques displays and sales tables ..well sorry mate but you've missed it eh).(Mainland Arms & Militaria Shows).
 
The cylinder / breechblock is released and rolled anti-clockwise (to the left) to expose the chamber and permit the fired round to be extracted to the rear by using the "single-action style" under-barrel ejector (6 & 5 in above diagram).
 
That's it Folks..
 
So - should I ever be lucky enough to find a rare  'Hawkeye' I may remember how it works!
 _____________
 
- Now the MAMS show was good and worthwhile - I bought five old books, a pound of Pyrodex "P", x200 #11 caps and x100 Hornady .457" balls for my ROA. - all well priced - and I saw a lot of  familiar old faces to chat with.
 
The most fascinating exhibit at the show was seven  MAXIM machine-guns recently un-earthed and extracted from a concrete wall here in rural Canterbury. - I'll try to bring you more information on this asap.
 
Marty K.