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Old March 27, 2011, 07:45 AM   #1
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Ruger Redhawk .45 Colt 4.2 inch barrel

I have own three Ruger DA revolvers (an SP-101 and two GP-100s) for many years, and I truly like everything about them. I also enjoy the .45 Colt round and believe it is one of the most flexible and under-appreciated loadings (sadly, somewhat lost in the "modern" world of new, semiautomatic-oriented cartridges). My only .45 Colt DA revolver is a wonderful Smith 625 Mountain Gun. However, I am seriously considering purchasing Ruger's current production Redhawk (not SRH). I have read several reviews that suggest there are significant quality and manufacturing issues (not design problems) with this revolver, which would certainly be atypical for DA Rugers.

Therefore, I would appreciate your experiences -- both favorable and adverse. Thank you.
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Old March 27, 2011, 07:55 AM   #2
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Ditto RWK. Considering one too.

Thanks for the post; I too look forward to info on this gun in 45LC. I like the round too, and I've since gotten rid of my judge. So I'm looking for a DA revolver in this caliber too.

Unfortunately, all that I can contribute is that everywhere I check on buying one wants close to 9 bills for it. One shop said they'd had one before. When asked about their impressions of the gun, the proprietor just said, "Same as other Ruger DAs."
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Old March 27, 2011, 07:57 AM   #3
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I've got one, put may be 500 rounds through it without a hitch. I did have the chambers opened up and cut to the same diameter by (but apparently he's not taking work now). It's fun to shoot but I get a lot of leading. I think I just have not found the right combination of bullet and load. Unfortunately I have not had the time to work with it more in the past year so I just load up jacketed bullets.
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Old March 27, 2011, 08:15 AM   #4
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Manufacturing issues can happen to the best of them.

My Redhawk Hunter (7.5", 44 Mag, w/ scope cutouts) was built in the 80s. I bought it used, and on the second box of ammo, the barrel broke off and tumbled downrange.

Turns out they were trying a new lube that they didn't find out until later that it was not good. So when they machine torqued the barrels into the frame, they were really stressing the metal. Many rounds later, the barrel would break off.

But Ruger dealt with it admirably. The shop I bought the gun from (used) picked up the shipping charge and sent it to Ruger. Ruger re-barreled it for free and sent it back working.

Ruger has a great reputation for fixing problems quickly, so it is probably that any manufacturing problems they had when the review guns were made is ironed out now. If not, and you really like the gun, buy one with the knowledge that Ruger will make it right if there's an issue.

BTW, the DA trigger on Redhawks is far superior to that of SP-101s and GP-100s. I did the work on my SP-101 mechanism (lighter spring, polish certain areas) and the stock Redhawk's is STILL better.

45 Colt* is a great round, especially for the hand loader. It is too damned expensive to shoot any quantity of otherwise. In a Ruger Redhawk, you can make 45 Colt loads that make 44 Magnum seem a bit light in the loafers. (although you will cure yourself of that pretty quickly) Or, make light loads that are easy to shoot, yet accurate and cut nice big holes in the target.

* - It is '45 Colt', not '45 Long Colt'. I'm sad to see so many manufacturers give in and print '45 Long Colt', because it means there are some people out there who would try to load 45 ACP in it. There never was a '45 Short' or '45 Short Colt' so the 'Long' part is superfluous.
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Old March 27, 2011, 08:20 AM   #5
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By the way...

You may want to also consider the 44 Magnum model with 5.5" barrel, or a used 45 Colt with longer barrel. (I think they made a 45 Colt in 5.5" barrel)

5.5" barrel will make it much more fun to shoot, but without being overboard, like my 7.5". It will also make it a legal hunting gun in a lot of places, and will of course be more accurate due to the longer sight radius and less felt recoil due to the higher weight.

It is a perfect barrel length for a gun of this caliber.

44 Magnum is also a great caliber, and if you don't handload, you can shoot Specials through it, which have about the same power as standard 45 Colt. But the ammo is equally expensive.
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Old March 28, 2011, 06:02 AM   #6
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wish I had them pics

Of era boxes labeled long.

In fact, I heard there was short, medium, and long.

Oh, I had a 5.5" 45 Redhawk; it was superb. It took incredible abuse as a test and development platform.
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Old March 28, 2011, 07:48 AM   #7
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I thought I remembered hearing something about a .45 Short Colt too so I pulled out Cartridges of the World. A quick review of that shows only one .45 caliber Colt cartridge, the .45 Colt. Maybe it was omitted for some reason but I doubt it. Possibly the Long designation was to differentiate between .45 Colt and .45 S&W Schofield? Since the Schofield could be loaded in most .45 Colt guns this sounds plausible but I have no idea if that really is the reasoning.

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Old March 28, 2011, 08:10 AM   #8
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I believe the long was to differentiate between the short S&W Scholfield and the longer .45 Colt. I'd say that would be a good purchase, though. In the short barrel, the velocity is going to suffer, and the .45 colt offers the option of a pretty heavy bullet. Even out of the short barrel, it will be a decent round. I'm a fan of the shorter barreled guns, as I will more likely have them with me.
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Old March 28, 2011, 01:55 PM   #9
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The .45 Schofield is the "short" .45 cartridge. Back when the US military used both, they began using the term "Long" to differentiate between the two.
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Old March 29, 2011, 12:15 AM   #10
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I have both the Redhawk and Super Redhawk. My Redhawk is a 44mag and my SRH is a 454 casull. I love shooting the 45 colt out of it, less recoil and less expensive. Never had a problem with either. bought the 454 new the year they first chambered it in 454. I bought the 44 used the year after the 454. Both have great triggers and are accurate. You won't be dissappointed.
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Old March 29, 2011, 08:48 AM   #11
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I have a Redhawk 45 colt. It's new production. I've only put a couple hundred rounds through it. It gets a bit heavy by the end of an IDPA match. OTOH that weight soaks up a lot of recoil. I ditched the factory grips and put on Pachmayrs. Timing and lock up are excellent. I don't have anything negative to say about it. I wish I had bought it years ago.
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Old March 29, 2011, 11:25 AM   #12
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I think my eyes would "bug out" if I saw my barrel heading downrange w/o the rest of the gun!
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Old March 29, 2011, 11:47 AM   #13
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I've owned both the RH and SRH in .44mag. I used them for hunting and target shooting and shot some pretty hot loads through them including Garrett. Never had any problems with them. Accurate and dependable with good triggers.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:37 PM   #14
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Dear RWK:

Like you, I like the .45 caliber pistols. I have a Smith Modle 25 and a Smith Modle 625. With the 625 I shot a boar at point blank range with the 200 grain Hornady XTP bullet loaded to 1020 feet per second. The bullet ranged diagonally through ten inches of neck muscle. The bullet entered at the neck's base and took out three inches of neck bone only to lodge behind the jaw on the opposite side. I prefer Smith & Wessons; however, you don't have to hold your head in shame ownig a Ruger; they are fine guns.

Semper Fi.

Gunnery Sergeant
Clifford L. Hughes
USMC Retired.
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