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Old January 24, 2011, 10:44 AM   #1
Southern Shooter
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Ruger Redhawk Choice: .45 Colt--4.20" barrel OR .44 Magnum--5.50 barrel

I am about to purchase one of these two guns. A Redhawk .45 Colt with the 4.20" barrel and the Hogue Monogrip OR a .44 Magnum with the 5.50" barrel and the hardwood grip.

My choice is limited to these two guns.

I want this to be my backwoods gun for both the Southeast, where I live, and the times I spend camping or hiking in upper Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho ( Which, I am sure has much larger, dangerous animals ).

My choices of ammunition used in these areas would be Buffalo Bore, Grizzly Cartridge, Double Tap, or Cor-Bon. None of the generic stuff.

Which one would ya'll choose and why?

Thanks
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Last edited by Southern Shooter; January 24, 2011 at 04:09 PM.
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Old January 24, 2011, 11:22 AM   #2
mwal
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I would get the 5.5 44 mag only for the reason that a handgun with less than a 5.5 inch barrel is not legal to hunt with in WI where I deer hunt.
Either caliber would serve you well
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Old January 24, 2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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.45 Colt - best all around handgun cartridge ever invented. That is why it is so popular and has more history than any other revolver cartridge. Buffalo Bore "Heavy" .45 Colt with LBT bullet will smoke anything you run into.
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Old January 24, 2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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I like short barrels and the .45 Colt. No contest.
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Old January 24, 2011, 12:41 PM   #5
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I agree with the votes for 45 Colt. I've shot identical Redhawks with wood vs Hogue grip, and I prefer the Hogue.

The poster above is dead on about the 45 Colt being the best all around handgun cartridge invented. From mild to wild, it can do it all. I might add it can throw heavier, wider bullets with less pressure than a 44 Mag as well. I think the 4.2" barrel would be handy for packing, my Blackhawk is 5.5" and I sometimes wish it were shorter when hiking.

Last edited by RyeDaddy; January 24, 2011 at 05:53 PM.
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Old January 24, 2011, 01:14 PM   #6
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If I wasn't going to reload, the 44 Mag. You can get WW or REM loads at Wally or Academy in a pinch. If you get the 45, you will be astounded how easy it is to load and how much performance you can get with minimal charges. Example - my favorite load is a 275gr LFN under 10 grain of Unique for 1060.
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Old January 24, 2011, 02:13 PM   #7
jmortimer
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"Example - my favorite load is a 275gr LFN under 10 grain of Unique for 1060 fps." Exactly, .45 Colt LBT style hard cast bullet with large meplat at moderate velocity with Unique. Will shoot through, on a broadside, most any creature on earth. Just like a little freight train.
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Old January 24, 2011, 03:13 PM   #8
Alaska444
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I don't reload so for me, the choice is the 5.5 Redhawk which I am actually looking to buy right now since I spend quite a bit of my time in Northern Idaho as well. They simply have some big critters up there you don't want to run into.
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Old January 24, 2011, 04:15 PM   #9
publius
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I have both a .45 Colt in the Blackhawk 4 5/8 barrel and a S&W 629 6" barrel. The .45 sees much more field time. A .45 colt loaded w/ hard cast SWC's is going to penetrate anything in the Southeast. So will the .44 but I like that big 45 bullet. If you handload you can turn the Colt into a screamer, especially with the Ruger. It really comes down to personal preference, they will both do the job just fine.
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Old January 24, 2011, 04:33 PM   #10
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The .45 Colt. It will do everything the .44 Mag will do and the shorter barrel is easier to carry.
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Old January 24, 2011, 09:25 PM   #11
jmortimer
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Some people just like more noise and more recoil for no good reason.
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Old January 24, 2011, 10:44 PM   #12
Buzzcook
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If you plan to hunt with this, check you local regulations. Some states mandate a minimum barrel length for hunting handguns.

I prefer .45 Colt to .44 Mag.
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Old January 24, 2011, 11:08 PM   #13
Art Eatman
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The 5.5" will likely be more controllable in rapid fire, and there is that longer sight radius...

My .44 Redhawk is 7.5"; I have found I can actually shoot accurately and quite rapidly in double action, working more toward accuracy than speed. The modified Weaver stance makes control of recoil quite easy with 300-grain hot loads.
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Old January 25, 2011, 12:26 AM   #14
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I would measure the cylinder throats on both and purchase the one with proper throats. If both are proper or undersized I'd choose the 45 Colt, as bigger is always better but the difference between the 2 is miminal.

This will get a brawl going http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=12

The 44 usually shoots well with just about any type of ammo while the 45 Colt can sometimes be a real pain to find that "right" load for best accuracy but it works for me.

I've got a couple revolvers in 45 Colt but the only Redhawk I own is a 5.5" in 44 Magnum (has slightly oversized throats) and it's one great revolver and it shoots 240 to 270 hardcast bullets very well.

Last edited by Ole 5 hole group; January 25, 2011 at 12:33 AM.
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Old January 25, 2011, 07:47 AM   #15
dalegribble
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i did not see any big advantage in ballistics, one over the other. the advantage goes to the 44 mag for availability, cost and power if you're somewhere these boutique ammos are not. so i say 44 mag.
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Old January 25, 2011, 11:57 AM   #16
Art Eatman
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Drifting: Why does this "availability" thing keep coming into discussions? Are we all so forgetful that we don't buy before we actually need the ammo? Are we all so forgetful that we'd leave the ammo at home?

There are times when I can't help but feel that if availability is a problem for a shooter, he's too bleeping stupid to be allowed to own a gun.
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Old January 25, 2011, 01:35 PM   #17
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Well Art I'd have to say availability does matter, about a year and a half ago if you ran out of 45 colt ammo here, and didn't reload ,then you were out of ammo period, the 44's may have been in short supply but could still be had.
Having said that ,I have both ,reload for both and see no real advantage either way,I carry the one I like to shoot.
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Old January 25, 2011, 03:13 PM   #18
Art Eatman
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Thanx. Interesting. But, the way my peedunkle little mind works, if I lived in a place where such an ammo shortage could occur, I'd either stay well-stocked-up or take up reloading, even if it were just a Lyman tong tool and a Lee dipper.

A point to ponder, a vignette from history: My grandfather moved to Austin, Texas, in 1922. His bank had no monthly service charge if the account balance was $200. So, his zero point in his check book meant $201 still in the account.

Ammo? My zero point would likely be at least a couple of 50-round boxes.
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Old January 25, 2011, 09:32 PM   #19
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I love both of those cartridges and shoot several revolvers in both of them. It's a can't lose decision! I do shoot more .45 Colt than .44 magnum though. Even though my 629 is one of the most accurate revolvers I own, I still love shooting my SA .45's. However, I reload for all of them and can easily make whatever type of load I want. If I didn't reload, I would have to vote for the .44. You can buy different levels of loads for the .45 Colt if you look hard enough. But it's a lot easier to find different .44 mag loads on the shelves.
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Old January 26, 2011, 02:20 PM   #20
Kilgor
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Can't get Garrett Hammerheads in .45 colt, so the obvious choice is the .44 magnum.
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Old January 26, 2011, 06:39 PM   #21
jmortimer
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"Can't get Garrett Hammerheads in .45 colt, so the obvious choice is the .44 magnum".
The Buffalo Bore is as good as or better than Garrett.

Last edited by Art Eatman; January 26, 2011 at 09:02 PM. Reason: Snark removed.
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Old January 26, 2011, 09:01 PM   #22
Art Eatman
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This is a hunting forum, not a day-care center. Act like grownups--fake it. Works for me; been doing it for decades.

Absent data, some opinions are not "obvious".
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Old January 26, 2011, 09:17 PM   #23
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Praise be to Art.
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Old January 26, 2011, 09:45 PM   #24
Kilgor
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Quote:
The Buffalo Bore is as good as or better than Garrett.
The Garrett Hammerhead is heavier, faster, and has a better designed bullet (weight forward) than anything Buffalo Bore makes in .45 Colt. In additon, Buffalo Bore's .44 mag load is also heavier and faster than any .45 Colt load they produce. Advantage: .44 magnum.

Better top end ammo choices, plus cheaper and more available plinking ammo, plus I prefer the 5.5" barrel are the reasons that I would choose the .44 magnum given the two options above.

The .45 Colt would serve his purpose just as well, but I would choose the .44 magnum for the reasons above.
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Old January 26, 2011, 09:53 PM   #25
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I own both of those two Redhawk models in those two exact calibers and barrel lengths. I carry the 45 Colt and I highly recommend it. I do reload so that may have a slight impact on caliber. To me a big factor is I would rather carry the shorter lighter gun if you're carrying it any distance. I carry mine in an El Paso Tanker model shoulder holster.
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