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Old August 3, 2012, 02:52 PM   #1
Dragline45
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.45 Colt Redhawk..Ruger Only Loads?

Can the Ruger Redhawk in .45 Colt take the heavy Ruger only loads? Not that I plan on shooting those suckers regularly if I ever pick up this gun but it would be nice to have them on hand.

I handled one a couple weeks ago and just about fell in love with it. Really love the .45 Colt round and need a full size revolver to replace my 686 I had to sell last year. I think this will be my next serious gun purchase.

By the way how are the triggers on these, would it be similar to the GP100?
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Old August 3, 2012, 03:25 PM   #2
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Yes, the Redhawk can handle the "Ruger only" loads. It is a massive pistol.

I never found any Ruger factory trigger to be as good as a S&W. For Redhawks, by the nature of the design, the single action trigger is heavy and if you try to fix by changing springs you will have unreliable double action ignition.

A gunsmith can take out most of the creep found in the worst Ruger triggers.

And it should be like your GP100.
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Old August 3, 2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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The 45 Colt Redhawks are pretty much non-existant around here.
I'd love to get one with the 4 or 5.5" barrel.

Jim
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Old August 3, 2012, 05:13 PM   #4
Dragline45
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They have one NIB at a shop not far from me, I cant afford it right now unfortunately, also it is way overpriced. It's the first time I have seen one in person, I was disappointed when they wouldn't let me dry fire it.
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Old August 3, 2012, 07:42 PM   #5
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The Redhawk can handle whatever you throw at it. A common conversion is to take a .454 Casull cylinder from a Super Redhawk and slip it into the Redhawk with no other modifications. I love my .45Colt Redhawk.
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Old August 3, 2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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I want one but have not been able to lay hands on one yet.
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Old August 3, 2012, 09:00 PM   #7
RalphS
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I have 2 Redhawks and a GP-100 and shoot 50 rounds through one of them every week. They are my favorite handguns. I'm a recoil junkie.

The trigger on the Redhawk is not the same as the GP-100 trigger. It's a different design. GP-100 and Super RH have the same triggers. The Redhawk is different. Some people think the GP-100/SRH trigger is better. I like them both.

S&W triggers are great. Ruger triggers are good to very good. Don't get obsessed with trigger pull. The biggest problem people have with magnums is flinching. People flinch as much with S&W magnums as they do with Ruger magnums.

Reduced power trigger springs work fine. I've put them in all my Rugers and have not had a problem with light strikes. This is something you need to test yourself. Some guns may have problems. If you reload (and you should with 45LC) just use Federal primers and don't worry about light strikes.

If you get the 45LC, plan on sending the cylinder to cylindersmith.com for throat reaming.

If you have small hands, you may not like the Redhawk grips.

And finally, to answer your question, you can shoot Ruger only loads in a Redhawk. I've pushed 300 and 325 grain bullets to over 1200 fps out of a 4 inch 45LC Redhawk with no signs of pressure. The 325 grain Buffalo Bore 45LC bullet does 1270 fps. No signs of pressure, no damage to the gun. It's a heavy duty power tool.

Last edited by RalphS; August 3, 2012 at 09:12 PM.
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Old August 3, 2012, 09:32 PM   #8
feets
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That Redhawk will probably take bigger loads than you car to put through it. Even being a heavy gun the recoil can border on abusive.
Typical Colt loads will feel like a 38 Special. Good solid Ruger only loads will begin bucking a bit. The heaviest Buffalo Bore and CorBon loads will kick hard enough to change your opinion about the 45 Colt. Luckily, those loads are so expensive you won't buy enough to cause permanent damage to your wrist.

When I was shopping for my SRH, I had brand new 45C RH and 454 SRH guns side by side. I wanted heavy Colt artillery and these two were the finalists. The triggers were much better than I'd been lead to believe. Both had nice single action pulls. They were nearly identical in feel. When it came to DA, both had heavier pulls but they still felt nice. The SRH double action pull was nicer by the slimmest of margins. My friend (a competitive handgunner) shared the same opinion.
The gun store ranger behind the counter was babbling incessantly about how to shoot handguns, the proper hold, trigger pull, etc. He was a complete Miculek sack rider, including the pic of the two of them standing together at a match. To prove the superiority of a SW trigger, he pulled out a used 38 competition gun (I haven't got a clue what model) and had us finger the trigger. Yeah, it was impressive but I would NOT want a trigger like that on a gun with any kind of recoil.
When it comes to a heavy caliber hand cannon you really don't want a super light trigger. That thing needs to send lead through the tube only when you're ready.

I put a light trigger spring in the SRH to lower the pull and I've set it off a little earlier than intended a few times. There's no way I'm going lighter.
Dropping one step in the hammer spring gave me light strikes on occasion so I reinstalled the stock spring and went lighter on the trigger.
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Old August 4, 2012, 11:12 PM   #9
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If you look, Brian Pearce stated a couple issues ago in Handloader that the Redhawk "can take up to 45-50K psi loads". Ruger builds these things with a 100% margin of safety, so the what the gun can actually take is more than what you'd want to hang on to.

I have a 4" Redhawk in .45 Colt I've been doing load developement for. My last batch was one grain over book for Lil Gun and some locally cast 330 grainers I was ladder testing. Needless to say even though I only loaded and shot 18 rounds for that one session, the recoil was becoming uncomfortable enough that it was tenderizing my hand and I had to take a couple of breaks.
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Old August 5, 2012, 02:02 AM   #10
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The Redhawk and SuperRedhawk cylinders are slightly beefier than the large-frame Ruger single action cylinders so yeah, in 45LC they'll take anything you can throw at the big SAs and (possibly) "then some" by a small margin.

In terms of action strength over 20,000 shots the SAs *might* be more durable (simple and tough mechanism) but again the difference is marginal if any. In terms of "blowup resistance strength" the Ruger DAs have the small edge.
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Old August 5, 2012, 02:54 PM   #11
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SRH is designed for 65,000 CUP. WAY past .44 magnum so don't develop SRH loads with .45 LC brass and stick them into any other .45 LC, and that includes the Redhawk.

My SRH is loaded down to a piddling 250gr LSW at 1200 fps. The SRH can take that slug to 2000 fps.

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Old August 6, 2012, 02:12 PM   #12
Jim March
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Here's the problem with trying to load for an "extra strong" gun: as you approach the limits of what the gun and brass can do, very small added amounts of powder can lead to sharp spikes in pressure.

I don't doubt an SRH can cope with 65k. The problem is, you can get to a point where adding half a grain of powder to a 20gr+ charge adds 10k pressure.

Exploring the limits of a tough gun is...not for the unwary .
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Old August 6, 2012, 06:22 PM   #13
Deaf Smith
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I use 21 grains of 2400 powder, but max for the SRH is over 30 grains so I am not worried about hitting the max!

They get 1500 fps for 400 grain bullets in the SRH... but no thank you!

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Old August 6, 2012, 08:00 PM   #14
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I love my Rugers, but pushing any revolver cartridge (including the .500 S&W and .454 Casull)to perform like a rifle is a dangerous and very stupid idea. Just buy the Encore in a .45-70 and one bullet. That's all you'll need to convince you the whole idea was a big mistake. Ouch!

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Old August 6, 2012, 10:27 PM   #15
Deaf Smith
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http://www.realguns.com/articles/354.htm

And you will see Ruger made the SRH just for the .454 and 65k CUP.

Really it's amazing but, yes it's more powerful than the .35 Remington rifle round, on both ends. You sure don't plink with Doubletap .454 Casull 300gr WFNGC Hardcast at 1814 fps (although I guess the Federal DPX 250gr at a mere 1530 fps might be a good SD load!)

And that is why I load it down. Cool thing is even if I just load it to, say 250gr at 1400 (past a .44 magnum) it's still way below what it is designed for and it's like shooting .38 +p out of a .357 magnum.

That way both the gun and ME last longer.

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Old August 7, 2012, 04:46 PM   #16
laytonj1
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Quote:
And you will see Ruger made the SRH just for the .454 and 65k CUP.
Ruger designed the Super Redhawk for the 44 Magnum 25 years ago.
Years later, they decided to chamber it for the 454 Casull but had to go to a different steel (Carpenter steel) to withstand the pressure.

Jim
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