How to Align a Ruger Blackhawk Rear Sight

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The Ruger Blackhawk is a single action pistol that is significantly different from other single action pistols available. The Blackhawk utilizes Ruger's transfer bar lock, frame mounted firing pins, all coil spring mechanisms and, most importantly, adjustable sights. The ability to align a Ruger Blackhawk rear sight to account for windage and to adjust for elevation combined with the fixed front sight will give you the edge on any shooting range. You can align your sight easily at a firing range because you will need to fire test your adjustments to be as accurate as possible.

Items you will need

  • Ruger Blackhawk (any model)

  • Small Phillips head screwdriver

Aim and fire your Blackhawk at your target. You want the center of the bull's-eye to "sit" on the top of the front sight and keep the front sight centered in the opening of the rear sight when you are looking down the barrel. Collect the target and note where, how far and to what direction your bullet was off center.

Adjust the elevation first. If your bullet hit the target low, turn the screw on the front of the rear sight counter clockwise. The front is the flat part of the sight facing you when you aim. You can turn this screw by pinching the edge of the screw with your finger and rotating it or you can use a small Phillips head screwdriver. Turn it only a very small amount. Aim and fire the Ruger Blackhaw again. Keep adjusting the elevation in small increments, test firing and reviewing where the bullet struck the target until it is at the right elevation. If you are striking the target too high, turn the screw clockwise to lower the elevation.

Look at where the bullet is striking the target and note if it is to the right or left of the center. This drift in the trajectory is effected by the windage, or amount of force wind has on the bullet. To compensate for the windage, adjust the rear sight again, using the screw on the right side of the sight. Turn the screw by hand or with a screwdriver counter clockwise to move the point of impact of the bullet to the right, and clockwise to move it to the left. Do this in small increments, test fire, review where the bullet strikes and continue to make adjustments until it is striking dead center. When your elevation and windage have been adjusted, you will have completed the process to align the rear site.


  • Never align the rear site while the trigger is cocked or while holding the trigger to the rear. Doing so can create a situation in which the pistol may fire by accident. It does not take much to jar a pistol that is already half in the firing position. If it fires unexpectedly it can cause injury.


  • When taking aim, it is important that you learn how to look down the barrel of your pistol and through the sights with both eyes open. Do not close one eye. By keeping both eyes open you will increase your sense of depth to the target.
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