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Another of dad's beloved 357's, I'm sure this gun has had more than its fair share of use. He had so many similar models to this one it's hard for me to really tell them apart in order to provide any history. The hammer and surrounding area appear to be showing some signs of rust, but I haven't yet had a chance to clean anything from his collection.

Ruger's website shows a manufacture date of 1984 - based on that alone, I'd be pretty confident this was purchased new and is a "one owner" pistol.

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It is exactly what you have described. This gun is in 357 Maximum which is a very hot 357 load with a longer case. You can shoot standard 357 and 38 specials in it. Some of the 357 maximums had a problem with flame cutting of the frame at the cylinder gap. It needs to be cleaned like all the rest. The Ruger Blackhawk is a favorite on many and a very reliable gun. Cleaned up it is a 600 to 700 dollar gun.
 

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I was wondering - a 357 SUPER???

But 357 MAXIMUM - I think I read that they were built as Supers - longer grip, square triggerguard, different hammer.
 
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