Mounting a scope on the 45 Blackhawk
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When I first looked at this Blackhawk at the shop, it had a Tasco scope on it. I returned a couple of days later after careful consideration and they had sold the scope off of it. At that point I thought that would be fine, I didn't not think I wanted a scope on it. They knocked $50 off the price and I was on my way.
After shooting the 2 boxes of factory ammo that I bought with the gun, it was obvious that if I planned on shooting beyond 20 yards, I would have to add a scope of some sort.
I picked up a Tasco ProPoint (red dot) site. It came with rings but no mount. Finally found a mount for it, a B Square that I did not have to drill and tap to install. The quality of the B Square mount is nice. It is well designed and should be rigid. Their directions for installation leave a lot to be desired, especially for someone like myself who has never seen one of these mounts. There are 21 pieces to the mount and not a single diagram.
Assembled the mount and installed the red dot. Then all heck broke loose, literally. I had failed to lock down 1 set screw in the mount and the recoil actually destroyed one of the Tasco rings that came with the ProPoint.
Remember the $50 I saved when I bought the gun? I try not to think about it. I went out and bought another set of rings, "better ones", Weaver, and put it all back together again with Loctite.
Well everything went along just fine for a while. Killed hedge apples with it all winter and into the summer. I was really enjoying the gun and becoming confident with it. Then as deer season grew closer, I put together the rounds I thought I would be hunting with and set out for a little practice.
I fired off all the shots I wanted with my deer rifle, picked up the pistol and oops, the red dot had been left on. A dead battery with a red dot is like looking through a window. No center mark or reticle or anything, just clear glass. That was enough frustration for me to take a hard look at a low power scope. The last thing I need is to pull a bead on a deer only to find a dead battery. Found a used Bushnell Trophy at a good price and set out to zero that in. Trying to make the scope stay put in the rings became an obsession. Bought yet another set of even "better rings", Leupold, and still the scope slid everywhere.
Long story short, with help at the gun shop, we decided to try a piece of black tape in the bottom half of each ring. Problem solved. 3 cents worth of black tape my $50 rings now performed as they should. Cut a 6 shot group at 20 yards with all holes touching. Moved the target out to 100 yards and started scattering lead all over the paper. I gave up and walked down to within 20 yards of the target fired a couple of flyers and then busted the mount screw at the back of the base and really beat up the scope.
It just keeps getting better. I am not sure if it is persistence, stupidity or just plain stubborn but I refuse to be beaten by this project. 2 and half hours of drilling, cussing, drilling, digging and finally got out the broken screw. So I sat down for a smoke break and I am holding the pistol just kind of looking it all over and wondering why the hell it is again that I ever got involved in this project. Then I found something interesting. I noticed an ill fitting seam/joint where the handle frame and cylinder frame meet. Well now I am feeling pretty dumb. All 3 screws in the bottom of the Blackhawk are loose. There was easily enough movement to cause whiplash and slide the scope around in the rings and obviously enough whiplash to snap the mount screw. OK Fine, now that we know the problem, let's get it fixed. The scope was too far gone to use, so I switched back to the red dot.
Called B-Square and they assured me they would get a new screw and recoil clip(it disappeared in the grass where I was shooting) out to me in the mail. I re-tapped the threads and now here I sit waiting for B-Square. After several phone calls and a request to have them overnight the parts at my expense, they arrived on 11/14/02.
I am normally a patient guy. Ok, not really, but I was not impressed with the level of service. I could have ordered a new mount from one of their distributors and had it in 2 days.
The parts arrived, not exactly overnight but, ok fine, they're here. I spent the evening putting it all back together again. Did my dead level best to install it exactly as the instructions said. No diagrams remember. Got it all back together and everything looks fine. I started to use the air ratchet or impact and decided that might be overkill.
I went to the indoor gun range at lunch. Burned up 30 rounds or so and felt like I should be ok in the field with the red dot provided I kept a battery alive. Only took 1 shot with the 45 during deer season and blew it.
Meanwhile, I looked up the service information for the scope on Bushnell's web site. It required a $10 prepay to have them take a look at it. That seemed reasonable so I typed a letter explaining how the damage had occurred and requested that they have a look at it. The web site explained that Bushnell would send me a letter with their recommendation within 20 days.
13 days from the time I mailed the scope off to them, I walk out onto my front porch and there lays a box from Bushnell. I all but ran to my desk with it and opened it up. To my amazement, they not only replaced the scope but they upgraded it. Granted, they have discontinued the model that I sent in but I really figured they would have some laying around and simply replace it, if I were lucky.
My hat is off to Bushnell. That is excellent customer service, above and beyond the call of duty.
The new scope is on the 45 and I am ready to take it out for a test drive. Have to wait till turkey day is over but I am normally a patient guy. Think the neighbors would mind if I pop off a couple rounds in the back yard? I have enough ear plugs to go around.
The saga continues. With the new scope, the first three shots were as good as anyone could hope for, low but in there just the same. I moved the elevation a few clicks, switched to a new target and broke a mount bolt on the 5th shot.
I give. I took the gun to the shop and explained the problem to the gunsmith. He completely understood and told me that is why he quit selling the B-Square mounts years ago. Fine, drill, tap it, weld it, do what ever it takes but put on a mount that will stay there. I always heard that getting an education can be expensive.
This little learning experience has not been totaled up yet but it has certainly been one of the more expensive lessons I have learned.
Picked up the pistol from the shop today. He had done what looks to be a great job installing a Burris mount and rings. Got the scope mounted and I am ready to try it out this weekend.
Did you ever see the movie "Ground Hog Day?" Not sure I even want to try this but we'll see.
I have to throw this in here. B-Square was cordial on the phone and they are going to exchange the mount for some other product of my choice within reason. My complaint is this: If the product fails under recoil or has the potential to fail under recoil, why doesn't any of their marketing text indicate that the "5.5 inch universal Blackhawk mount will not handle the recoil of larger calibers"? Evidently, they make a longer mount that uses the rear sight bolt and also clamps to the front sight. Why don't they steer people toward that mount in their marketing? Sure could have saved me a lot of grief and money.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:23 PM