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Scoping the Ruger Bisley Super Blackhawk 454 Casull did not come without some  trepidation. I’ve put scope on firearms that sent me flying backward while my eyeballs remain at their original location, but the scope always stayed put. I’m not camera friendly, but my son Joe did captured one of those moments. His sense of humor is clearly tipped toward my wife’s side of the family. Uncle Jimmy, I suspect.

The point is that if a scope system is properly installed, it will stay in place. Subsequently, I did heed all of the Weigand Combat cautions, instructions and red flagging, with two exceptions. I did not slide the scope forward so that the adjustment towers were in contact with the rear of the front ring because that positioned the scope oddly and I felt placing the rings very close together would subordinate lateral support. If you’ve ever had your lateral support subordinated, you know how painful that can be. Additionally, where the Weigand instructions provide ring fastener torque values, I deferred to the ring manufacturer’s instructions, which were significantly different. I figured Weigand was the expert source for the rail, but there are many ring and mounting configurations and that component’s manufacturer would know best.

The Burris scope and ring selection

Burris Xtreme Tactical wide aluminum rings with steel hardware, item #420180 $59.99, and a Burris 2x20mm handgun scope, item #200218 $275, were selected for this application for a number of reasons. The set up is light; less weight, so less stress and strain on the mount system. The rings fashioned of hard coat aluminum are very light in weight, 4.4 ounces, but the attaching and ring cap hardware are robust and the internal contact ring/scope surface of the rings is 4.76 square inches. By comparison, a set of steel rings intended for a big time magnum rifle weigh nominally 5.1 ounces and have a full 1 square inch less interior contact surface.

The Burris 2x20mm handgun scope had all of the right qualities; a useful magnification, rugged construction, so superfluous features or pieces to fail at an inopportune time. Handgun hunting, with exception, is done at relatively close ranges. 2x magnification enlarges the target to more than a meaningful degree, the reticle is stable in size without concerns for front or rear focus reticle placement, fields of view is wide and unobstructed. The Burris 2x20mm also happens to be a featherweight to better withstand recoil forces and to not add burden an already hefty handgun.

Company Burris
Product Model Handgun Scope  (200218)
Magnification Fixed 2x
Objective Lens Diameter mm 27
Clear Objective Lens Diameter mm 20
Ocular Lens Diameter mm 35
Reticle Type Plex
Finish Matte Black
Tube Material Aluminum
Focal Plane Position Rear
Tube Diameter “ 1
Field of View ‘ @ 100 Yards 21
Eye Relief Range “ 10 to 24
Exit Pupil mm 10
Click Value ” @ 100 Yards 1/2
Adj Range ” @ 100 Yards E/W 80/80
Length “ 8.9
Weight Ounces 7.0
MSRP $275

The Burris scope is made with high grade optical glass and lenses that are larger in diameter than similar scopes. Probably what accounts for the bright, clear, image when looking through the scope. All of the optics are index matched and Hi-Lume® multicoated for protection of lens surfaces and optimal, glare free light transmission from start to end of day hunting.

The scopes internal erector systems is double sprung with steel on steel adjustments to assure the scope holds zero and that adjustments are precise and repeatable even when mounted to a handgun with major thump. Finally, the scope is waterproof and nitrogen filled to to prevent internal fogging even in adverse weather conditions. The product is backed by a Burris Forever Warranty.

Great, Joe… How did it all work out?
Three types of 454 Casull ammo were run through the Ruger Super Blackhawk as seen below; Buffalo Bore Heavy 454 Casull 360 grains @ at 1385 fps MV, Speer Handgun Hunting 300 grain @ at 1456 fps MV and Hornady Custom 300 grain @1534 fps MV. Velocity is actual as chronographed.
The Ruger is a 5 shot and one cylinder full of each type was fired initially. Weigand recommends checking hardware after firing each 10 shots until 100 shots are fired and then checking every 100 shots. The torque was checked on the scope ring caps and cross bolts and both were found to be as installed. The distance between scope adjustment tower and front ring was checked as 0.464″ prior to shooting and 0.459″ after shooting, but then I realized I did not use the same reference points. On recheck, the scope had not budged in the rings. I was not able to check the aft rail fastener at this point, but there were no signs of the ramp lifting or loosening and the front 6 fasteners checked as installed. I did check the aft rail fastener and it had not loosened in use.

10 more rounds of each ammo type were fired, for a total of 45 rounds, with pretty much the same results in regard to torque. If any loosened, the shift was not perceptible to the torque wrench. My wife went on to shoot two boxes of 45 Colt ammo to check out the scope and to make some noise. She found the combination accurate and easy to shoot, however, the heft of the combination had her shooting off of shot filled bags.

And then I squeezed off 10, 5 shot 1″ groups at 100 yards….

Yeah, not really. The Super Blackhawk has a great deal of mechanical accuracy. During an extended evaluation period, the big 454 Casull shot most anything under 2″ at 50 yards from a Ransom Rest, an approach I think is an appropriate test of a firearm’s potential for those who have that level of marksmanship skill. For me, shooting from bags, 50 yards was more of a 4″ group size experience with 454 Casull ammo, a bit tighter with 45 Colt ammo.  The switch to a scope helped.

I don’t shoot scoped handguns often, so when I do, it take a little work before things feel familiar. In this case, about 15 rounds fired. The scope image is bright, it fills the eyepiece and the reticle is crisp and easy to see even against a mottled background. At 2x, it is also easy to hold steady and the long eye relief allows for a comfortable hold. Group sizes fell comfortably under 3″ at 50 yards and that was enough to warrant the scope’s use. How much better can I get with practice. I suspect somewhere between where I am now and the mechanical accuracy potential uncovered by the ransom rest.

Weigand Combat Weig-A-Tinny® mount is a well made and useful accessory. At a time when companies hang the term “tactical” on every rail produce offered and charge 3x the price of competitors with the same or similar products, the Weigand mount is an absolute value at $129. It looks good, works good and from all indications, it will do so for a long time. Nice add to the Ruger Super Blackhawk and it took only 15 minutes to remove and restore the Blackhawk to original and pristine condition.

Scoping Ruger’s 454 Casull / 480 Ruger Bisley Super Blackhawk Part 1
Scoping Ruger’s 454 Casull / 480 Ruger Bisley Super Blackhawk Part 2

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