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Old June 23, 2013, 12:41 PM   #1
feets
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Redhawk action work

I've been bitten by the Redhawk bug. it looks like an older 7-1/2" specimen in 45 Colt will be coming this way. It's supposed to be like new with an extremely low round count. Famous last words, eh?

I expect the typical old Redhawk trigger, not the newer better finished parts.

What are the no-touchy parts of the Redhawk action? I've done work on my Super as well as my N-frames and other guns but have not worked a Redhawk or Ruger Six variant.

If this gun is as clean as I'm lead to believe I'll probably shim the trigger and hammer to eliminate dragging and stone the guts. I do not believe in light trigger/hammer springs.

Any suggestions?
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Old June 23, 2013, 12:50 PM   #2
Dixie Gunsmithing
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To tell how much it has been fired, swing out the cylinder, and look at the bottom of the top strap of the frame, right at the barrel end. If you see a pretty good burnt line across the strap, it has been shot a good bit. Plus, look at the front of the cylinder, at how discolored it is around each chamber.

Also, if you don't have a bore light, open the cylinder, and use a piece of white paper, like a mirror, to direct light into the bore to check the rifling. A business card is handy for this.

What does the finish look like, does it look like it was mis-handled, or handled a lot?

Last, check the overall feel of the guns action; is it crisp as a new one, or is there slop in the cylinder, hammer, or trigger, etc.
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Old June 23, 2013, 01:26 PM   #3
Sarge
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Another factor with Redhawks is how well the hammer pin fits on a given example. If you've got a lot of slop there, forget getting an 'icicle' SA pull.

I've had better luck with blue Redhawks than stainless ones, for some reason. But generally I will reduce the SA notch on the hammer until creep disappears and touch up the surfaces just enough to remove any resulting burrs. A trigger stop can be accomplished by drilling through the assembly plunger port in the trigger guard, tapping that hole and using opposing set screws. I will only do that to a blue gun.

I get along just fine with factory springs and the as-offered DA pull. The Redhawk is an excellent design.
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Old June 23, 2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Dixie, I appreciate the input. I'm familiar with inspecting used revolvers. Still, it's kinda hard to do through pictures when the gun is still a thousand miles away. While I've got a solid collection of Rugers, this will be my first Redhawk.

My skills with firearms lies somewhere between the kitchen table "smith" and professional gunsmith. As an amateur machinist, I have a far greater respect for mechanical fiddly bits than the typical hack. With that comes a strong understanding of fitting/finishing metal pieces into assemblies.
My typical approach is to use what's there and simply improve the fit. Very rarely will I actually modify the shape of the parts. The deepest I've been on a gun was the welding up and fitting of almost every moving part of an Iver Johnson M1 carbine variant. That poor thing had been seriously bubba'd and needed extensive rework. It was a nice, tight, straight shooting gun when I sold it.

Sarge, that bit about the SA notch is the kind of info I'm looking for. If the hammer pin is crap I might try to find another one to build and fit to the action. I'll probably skip the trigger stop. After all, this will be a big heavy six shooter to be used while standing on my hind legs, not a bench rest rifle.
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Old June 23, 2013, 03:46 PM   #5
Dixie Gunsmithing
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Before I would spend a bunch, ask if they will e-mail you a photo of the top strap, and the cylinder face. I've seen several dealers have these photos available.
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Old June 23, 2013, 04:14 PM   #6
feets
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The gun looks clean in those areas but not scary I'm-trying-to-hide-something clean.
It really does look like a low mileage gun. The way I see it is if it's a total dog I can probably get away with sending it back to Ruger.
I have a big Vaquero that we tried using in world fast draw events. Needless to say, that heavy cylinder beat the guts out of the gun. Ruger repaired the gun at no charge.
The only reason I'm buying one so far from home is due to it having a fair price. Someone local to that rather rural shop told me about it.
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Old June 23, 2013, 05:21 PM   #7
Sarge
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My old blue 5 1/2" 44 digested pounds of W296 and 300 grain XTPs "10.9mm Ruger Magnum" loads; see ".44 Magnum Heavyweights" by Layne Simpson, Shooting Times/March 1992. It never loosened significantly and the trigger job, as well as the trigger stop, remained constant. Kick myself in the arse regularly for letting a fella talk me into selling it.

The basic Redhawk trigger has a lot of over-travel and fitting a stop improved my unsupported shooting substantially. In fact that's the reason I added it. Different strokes...
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Old June 23, 2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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Interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind.
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Old June 25, 2013, 08:54 PM   #9
ClydeFrog
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gemini customs....

A top shop for Ruger DA revolvers is Gemini Customs, www.geminicustoms.com .

If you want to go the DIY route, then there are sources available to you.
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Old June 26, 2013, 08:03 AM   #10
Rifleman1776
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You are the best 'trigger job' person your new Redhawk can have.
Mine was fairly hard on the trigger when I got it new. I went through every spring in two different sets of custom springs. (Wolff and Bullseye). Finally went back to the factory spring and it stayed there for twenty years. Secret is in using the gun. I also used a teflon based lube like Break-Free. The bearing parts just naturally slickered up to where I actually prefered shooting double-action.
The answer to your question is simple: use, lube, enjoy.
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Old June 26, 2013, 10:01 PM   #11
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My Vaquero with half a billion rounds through it smoothed out nicely but I'd rather enjoy that smooth action work now rather than 13 years from now.

I don't mind firm factory springs. They don't bother me in the least. The quality of the finish on the parts is another story. When I pull a trigger I know what the mechanical fiddly bits inside are doing. I can actually picture the pieces moving against one another. When the fit isn't mirror smooth it bothers me. I picture grit and trash grinding away at the parts.

Lube is used sparingly. It attracts dirt and grime. Teflon lubes with their solid particles don't appeal to me. Maybe it's a result of the garbage like Slick 50 and other automotive abuses but I don't care for it.
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Old June 26, 2013, 10:58 PM   #12
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I agree with rifleman. My NIB Redhawk took about 200 live rounds to settle in, and about 2000 live rounds to smooth out quite a bit. At 3k rounds per year that was about 8 months for me, but I can see wanting to hurry it along.

I am up to about 7k rounds now and don't see any need to send it in. My hunting buddy has one in .44 with about 20k rounds through it lifetime, that thing is sweet sweet sweet smooth.

Best of luck,
P
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