American Hunter - June 2014 - 59

Its lines follow the Blackhawk, but the Ruger
Hawkeye is a single-shot equipped with a
rotating breechblock that permits loading.

the hot new . Win. Mag., a . Mag.
case necked down to hold a .-caliber
bullet. Ruger had experimented with the
. cartridge in his Blackhawk revolver,
but there were problems that led him to
try a single-shot.
Truly unique in design, the Hawkeye
looked like a single-action revolver. It had
the plow-handle grip, a topstrap-covered
frame that housed what appeared to be a
cylinder, an ½-inch barrel, and the same
rugged, adjustable sights that were on the
Blackhawk. In fact, the Hawkeye was a
Blackhawk revolver, but in place of the
cylinder was a block of metal that manually rotated a few degrees to expose the
breech so that a single round of ammunition could be inserted directly into the
chamber. It was basically a miniature
artillery-type breechblock system. After
a cartridge was chambered, the rotating
breechblock swung back into place and
locked behind the loaded round. Until the

breechblock was locked into firing position, the hammer could not be cocked nor
the trigger pulled. The Hawkeye was only
produced through , at which point
Ruger had enough guns in inventory to
fill the sporadic orders received through
the early 's.
I don't remember seeing a Hawkeye
until several years after it went out of production. Aesthetically, I much preferred
it to the Fireball, but that was primarily
due to its close resemblance to a revolver.
At the time I was doing a fair amount of
handgun hunting for rabbits, and while the
Hawkeye would have been a great gun for
that, I was totally preoccupied with cast
bullets in . and . revolvers. By the late
's, when I finally developed an interest
in single-shot handguns and acquired a
Fireball, the Hawkeye had climbed to collector prices. My handgun budget didn't
contain sufficient funding to pick up one
of the little Rugers.

Single-Action Single-Shot

In , Bill Ruger made one of his characteristic brilliant moves and introduced the
Ruger Hawkeye to the world. Now we're
communicating, because you've already
figured out this was another single-shot
pistol, but not just another single-shot
pistol. The Hawkeye was chambered for
. ❘

Photo: Author

Photos: Forrest MacCormack

However, when topped with a pistol
scope, even one of the rather crude models available then, the Fireball could take
rabbit-size game beyond  yards. With
the advent of Leupold's  handgun scope
having long eye relief, the - could
pop prairie dogs and similar critters out
past  yards in the hands of really good
shooters. If you chose to use the factory
sights, who cared that they were difficult
to adjust? With a muzzle velocity of 
fps, there was no need to fiddle with your
zero for any varmint within reasonable
range. Remington didn't get rich off the
Fireball, but the company kept the gun
in production through the 's and early
's, when handgun silhouette shooters
discovered it. More on that later.
I reluctantly admit that I was one of
those dedicated Renaissance revolver
men who looked at the - and stuck
my finger down my throat to clear my
pallet. While I was doing that, some really
smart, clear-thinking handgunners took
the Fireball afield and enjoyed incredible
long-range small-game hunting. A few,
like Phil Briggs, who pioneered handgun
hunting in Arizona, even customized
early Fireballs and rebarreled them with
bigger bores for big-game season. It was
Phil who introduced me to the -,
helping me put many a tasty cottontail
into my Dutch oven.

 ❘  


http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - June 2014

Table of Contents
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover1
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover2
American Hunter - June 2014 - 1
American Hunter - June 2014 - Table of Contents
American Hunter - June 2014 - 3
American Hunter - June 2014 - 4
American Hunter - June 2014 - 5
American Hunter - June 2014 - 6
American Hunter - June 2014 - 7
American Hunter - June 2014 - 8
American Hunter - June 2014 - 9
American Hunter - June 2014 - 10
American Hunter - June 2014 - 11
American Hunter - June 2014 - 12
American Hunter - June 2014 - 13
American Hunter - June 2014 - 14
American Hunter - June 2014 - 15
American Hunter - June 2014 - 16
American Hunter - June 2014 - 17
American Hunter - June 2014 - 18
American Hunter - June 2014 - 19
American Hunter - June 2014 - 20
American Hunter - June 2014 - 21
American Hunter - June 2014 - 22
American Hunter - June 2014 - 23
American Hunter - June 2014 - 24
American Hunter - June 2014 - 25
American Hunter - June 2014 - 26
American Hunter - June 2014 - 27
American Hunter - June 2014 - 28
American Hunter - June 2014 - 29
American Hunter - June 2014 - 30
American Hunter - June 2014 - 31
American Hunter - June 2014 - 32
American Hunter - June 2014 - 33
American Hunter - June 2014 - 34
American Hunter - June 2014 - 35
American Hunter - June 2014 - 36
American Hunter - June 2014 - 37
American Hunter - June 2014 - 38
American Hunter - June 2014 - 39
American Hunter - June 2014 - 40
American Hunter - June 2014 - 41
American Hunter - June 2014 - 42
American Hunter - June 2014 - 43
American Hunter - June 2014 - 44
American Hunter - June 2014 - 45
American Hunter - June 2014 - 46
American Hunter - June 2014 - 47
American Hunter - June 2014 - 48
American Hunter - June 2014 - 49
American Hunter - June 2014 - 50
American Hunter - June 2014 - 51
American Hunter - June 2014 - 52
American Hunter - June 2014 - 53
American Hunter - June 2014 - 54
American Hunter - June 2014 - 55
American Hunter - June 2014 - 56
American Hunter - June 2014 - 57
American Hunter - June 2014 - 58
American Hunter - June 2014 - 59
American Hunter - June 2014 - 60
American Hunter - June 2014 - 61
American Hunter - June 2014 - 62
American Hunter - June 2014 - 63
American Hunter - June 2014 - 64
American Hunter - June 2014 - 65
American Hunter - June 2014 - 66
American Hunter - June 2014 - 67
American Hunter - June 2014 - 68
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American Hunter - June 2014 - 71
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American Hunter - June 2014 - 74
American Hunter - June 2014 - 75
American Hunter - June 2014 - 76
American Hunter - June 2014 - 77
American Hunter - June 2014 - 78
American Hunter - June 2014 - 79
American Hunter - June 2014 - 80
American Hunter - June 2014 - Cover4
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