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Old June 29, 2013, 12:49 PM   #1
feets
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Ruger death match did not end well

I took my Super Redhawk in 454 and the new-to-me Redhawk in 45 Colt to the range to see which one was going to stay and which was going away. It wasn't pretty. Both guns wear 7-1/2" barrels and weight about the same.
I stoked them with a variety of loads and let them bark at 10 yard targets.

First up was a batch of lightweight Cowboy loads. 265 grain lead over 5.5 grains of Trail Boss. The SRH chuffed and put together a fair group of holes in the paper, all within 2" of one another. The Redhawk puffed a few rounds here and a few rounds there. It was kind of hard to see the grouping since they scattered badly and I had sighted in the scope on my 45 Colt Contender using the same target.

Fresh targets went up and I stepped up to real ammo.

This round of shooting was done using 270 grain Thunderheads over 18 grains of 2400. Here's what the SRH had to say:



The Redhawk answered with this:



That was a little annoying so I changed to 255 grain round nose lead over the same 18 grains of 2400.

The SRH did this:



The Redhawk followed with:



All loads had about the same results. The SRH worked well for me and the RH ended up in it's Wonderland, as in I wonder where it will land.

This Redhawk target is a mix of the Thunderheads, RN lead, 300 grain silhouettes, and even 335 gr WNFP over 22 grains of H110.




I made a thorough inspection of the Redhawk before completing the transaction. It's a nice tight gun. Perhaps a bit too tight. Some of the colt cases that poofed out when fired in my old Vaquero would not fit in the Redhawk cylinder but dropped right in the Super Redhawk and the MGM built 45 Colt Contender barrel.

I'm going to clean these things for detailed measurement. I don't have a range rod but I should be able to turn one on the lathe after I have actual bore measurements.

Kinda frustrating.
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Old June 29, 2013, 01:13 PM   #2
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At 10 yards, you should have all the holes touching from both guns. I don't know what is wrong, but I have seen better groups at that range from a smoothbore than you say were fired from the RH. There is something very wrong - barrel crown, maybe. Even a gun with an out-of-spec bore or chamber throat should not do that badly.

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Old June 29, 2013, 02:29 PM   #3
feets
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I broke out the machinist tools and took some measurements.
The bore on the RH is 0.4509" and the SRH is 0.4515".
The cylinder bores on the RH are consistent at 0.4509 and the SRH is 0.4516.

The lead I was shooting today all came in around .452 so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The cylinder gap on the RH is .0045" minimum and .0085" at maximum. That gives me .004" in thrust.
Cylinder shake seems to be the same between both guns but I didn't set up a fixture to measure it.
Both barrels have similar crowns.

If there' s a mechanical issues I'm not sure what it is.

I guess I'll load up more test rounds and let a friend fiddle with it.
I've got some .451 and .452 jacketed stuff from 185 through 300 to run next time around.
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Old June 29, 2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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At ten yards, I would send it back and let Ruger fix it. Mine is a tack driver and is good to go.
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Old June 29, 2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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Here's an interesting tidbit from Ruger. They list the start dates for the serial numbers online. The first Redhawk produced in 2013 wore 503-65138. 2012 started with 503-63809.
My gun is very close to the 2013 starting number. The label on the box says it's a KRH-45, not a KRH-45-4 like the current 4" variants.
Ruger has not made 7-1/2" guns in 45 Colt since 2007.

KRH-44 5001 44 Rem Mag 7.50"
KRH-44R 5003 44 Rem Mag 7.50"
KRH-445 5004 44 Rem Mag 5.50"
KRH-444 5026 44 Rem Mag 4.20"
KRH-45-4 5027 45 Colt 4.20"

Mine is catalog number 5023. perhaps it was a distributor special.

Last edited by feets; June 29, 2013 at 03:28 PM.
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Old June 29, 2013, 03:56 PM   #6
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0.4509 is too tight. Ream it out to .4525
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Old June 29, 2013, 06:04 PM   #7
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I know that's a bit tight but it shouldn't cause accuracy issues like I saw this morning.
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Old June 29, 2013, 06:24 PM   #8
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Have you checked your rear sight? The problem you’re having is so unlike Ruger. Could the recoil be changing its point of aim?
I would also shoot 3 rounds out of only one chamber at a time and see if you can get any better groups.
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Old June 29, 2013, 07:12 PM   #9
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Remember my thread about the pistol rest I built? I think I'm going to drag it out next time to see if it's me or the gun.
I scrounged around in my bullet box and dug out my variety of 45 caliber bullets. I'll put together a variety of loads and try it again.
I'll start with the mouse fart stuff and if it's still spraying far and wide I'll sit down with my rest and run everything through it, 185 gr jacketed to 335 gr lead.

I've never had a Ruger shoot like this. My Vaquero has a cylinder too tight for .451 bullets to drop through but I've nailed 1/2" smiley faces with it at the same distance and even picked off the occasional bowling pin at 200 yards.
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Old June 30, 2013, 11:42 PM   #10
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I slugged the barrel and found significant constriction where the barrel screws into the frame. The bore (as best I can measure) drops down to .4447".
The slug I pushed through the bore met great resistance at the frame. It came out with lands measuring .4443" in a .451 bore. That, my friends, sounds ugly.

A call to Ruger is in order.
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Old July 1, 2013, 07:40 AM   #11
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Neither one is looking very good if that's the best they'll do at 10 yards.

Send them both back to Ruger.
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Old July 1, 2013, 12:32 PM   #12
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That was certainly helpful.
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Old July 1, 2013, 02:50 PM   #13
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Sorry, didn't see the need to waste much bandwidth with it. I thought post #2 from James K covered it pretty well. As he says, something is very wrong with both guns. Send them back to Ruger and they'll fix them, or waste your time and money screwing around yourself. Your choice.
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:33 PM   #14
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I might be able to talk Ruger into replacing the frame. The constriction in the bore has been my main concern but I've been looking at the hammer pin hole in the frame. It's not round. You can actually see the pin move around as you pull the hammer back.

Hammer down means the pin is at the top of it's hole.



Hammer under tension moves the pin lower in the hole and opens a gap above it.




I guess I got a Friday afternoon gun. Out of my 5 Rugers this is the only one with these problems. The others may not be on par with custom built guns but they are nowhere near this sloppy.
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Old July 4, 2013, 04:12 AM   #15
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My redhawk was pretty tight in the bore where the barrel screws into the frame.

After firelapping I slugged the barrel again, then opened the throats so my bore slug dropped through easily, and then opened up a bullet sizing die so the sized bullets pushed through the throats with light finger pressure.
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:15 AM   #16
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I don't cast my own and surely don't have time to take up that hobby. It's difficult enough for me to find time to reload.

Lots of guns have bore restrictions in the frame but they're seldom more than a few thousandths of an inch. This bore is plugged up more than what I'd deem acceptable. Lapping this thing would take literally hundreds of lapping bullets.
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