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Ruger RedHawk .45 Colt/ACP


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Practically NIB. I got it for the Buy Now price of $850 on Gunbroker. Since all previous ones I’ve seen were going for above MSRP before, I decided to jump on it.

 

So I have two questions for inquiries to the Wire: 

 

1) I’ve seen mixed messaging about this being able to handle hot .45 Colt and Ruger-only offerings in the loading manuals. Is it just a sometimes thing that can be done or not at all? I know this is apparently the same frame as the .44 mag version.

 

2) I’ve got a “Tortilla” holster with Frontier floral carving from El Paso Saddlery coming. I’d like to get a 20s style Half Breed Spring Shoulder holster. Do you have any good suggestions?

A02B1B32-90FF-4980-851D-AB898A9F66C7.jpeg

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I wouldn’t go with really hot Thompson Center / Ruger Only loads, but that’s just me. I have read mixed reviews on doing this. Some say they handle it just fine but I have read that others have harmed their gun with a steady diet of hot loads. 
 

First, read the manual. If they say “no” in the manual, more than likely they may not warrant the gun should hot loads cause issues. 
 

By the way, you lucky dog, I have been looking for one of these for 3 years. Congratulations! :D

 

I finally changed tacks and decided to go for a Redhawk .357, a GP100, an S&W model 27/28, or maybe a 686. 

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Having loaded heavy in the past, I think Id stop at 44 mag energy levels, or load heavy projectiles at moderate velocities rather than maximum velocities. 250-280 grain are good performers. A 305 grain at 900 fps will knock the snot out of anything in pistol range.  If you need anything more, step up to a 454, 460, 480 or 500.

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Beautiful Lady ! 

This is My First Gen Redhawk 44 Magnum .

With Elk Stag Grips .

She loves HOT Hot hot loads of 44 Magnum .

Me Not so much .

I shoot 10gr of Unique with a 240 gr XTP Most of the time .

It's a tack driving round .

IMG_20220205_224947_718.thumb.jpg.5107dc5c9a1ba2915bcbd23185061e98.jpgIMG_20220205_224947_769.thumb.jpg.f450fc9e85fdca2f1ad47b166f6b31bd.jpg

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I spoke with Paul Pluff at Ruger about this topic for the Blackhawks and original Vaqueros. He said Ruger has never stated that their revolvers are suitable for loads greater than SAAMI specs.

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Whiskey,

I've owned a couple Redhawks in both .44 mag and .45 Colt.   In my humble opinion AND experience, the .45 Colt can handle stuff

within .44 mag pressures.   As far as a 'steady diet' of hot stuff,  the pistol can probably handle it a little bit better than

your wrist and palm.

 

NOTE:  At present, I have 2 Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunters in .45 Colt.   If I could squeeze a stick of dynamite into the chambers,

I believe they could take it.   BUT.....to insure my brass don't split, I've trimmed down some .454 Casull brass to .45 Colt length and load

them up just for those Hunters.   The .454 brass is stronger and uses small rifle primers.   

 

..........Widder

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Rooster Ron Wayne said:

Beautiful Lady ! 

This is My First Gen Redhawk 44 Magnum .

With Elk Stag Grips .

She loves HOT Hot hot loads of 44 Magnum .

Me Not so much .

I shoot 10gr of Unique with a 240 gr XTP Most of the time .

It's a tack driving round .

IMG_20220205_224947_718.thumb.jpg.5107dc5c9a1ba2915bcbd23185061e98.jpgIMG_20220205_224947_769.thumb.jpg.f450fc9e85fdca2f1ad47b166f6b31bd.jpg

Sweet!

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FYI, I have had very poor luck using the 45acp with the moon clips provided.  I get maybe 50% of rounds to fire so I just put them back in the little plastic bag and shoot 45 Colt.

 

While I don't shoot hot Buffalo Bore ammo through mine I do shoot plenty of 255 grain to 325 grain stuff through this and my Ruger Blackhawk with nary an issue. CAS loads are an absolute bore through these big Rugers. I have some Keith style 45 Colt loads that are perfect for this Redhawk. 

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Definitely buy some aftermarket rubber grips if you are going to run hot hand loads through it.

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4 hours ago, Rooster Ron Wayne said:

Beautiful Lady ! 

This is My First Gen Redhawk 44 Magnum .

With Elk Stag Grips .

She loves HOT Hot hot loads of 44 Magnum .

Me Not so much .

I shoot 10gr of Unique with a 240 gr XTP Most of the time .

It's a tack driving round .

IMG_20220205_224947_718.thumb.jpg.5107dc5c9a1ba2915bcbd23185061e98.jpgIMG_20220205_224947_769.thumb.jpg.f450fc9e85fdca2f1ad47b166f6b31bd.jpg

 

WOW!

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4 hours ago, Rooster Ron Wayne said:

 

IMG_20220205_224947_718.thumb.jpg.5107dc5c9a1ba2915bcbd23185061e98.jpgIMG_20220205_224947_769.thumb.jpg.f450fc9e85fdca2f1ad47b166f6b31bd.jpg

 

Sexy beast! :D

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7 hours ago, Dirty Dan Dawkins said:

Having loaded heavy in the past, I think Id stop at 44 mag energy levels, or load heavy projectiles at moderate velocities rather than maximum velocities. 250-280 grain are good performers. A 305 grain at 900 fps will knock the snot out of anything in pistol range.  If you need anything more, step up to a 454, 460, 480 or 500.

I’m just curious because everyone has always spoken about .45 Colt being able to out perform .44 mag if loaded properly.

 

Would the hot Steinman or Buffalo Bore hard cast offerings work safely?

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6 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Whiskey,

I've owned a couple Redhawks in both .44 mag and .45 Colt.   In my humble opinion AND experience, the .45 Colt can handle stuff

within .44 mag pressures.   As far as a 'steady diet' of hot stuff,  the pistol can probably handle it a little bit better than

your wrist and palm.

 

NOTE:  At present, I have 2 Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunters in .45 Colt.   If I could squeeze a stick of dynamite into the chambers,

I believe they could take it.   BUT.....to insure my brass don't split, I've trimmed down some .454 Casull brass to .45 Colt length and load

them up just for those Hunters.   The .454 brass is stronger and uses small rifle primers.   

 

..........Widder

 

 

 

And honestly I’d never want to run hot stuff steadily. I just want to know if I can do so occasionally, like maybe a bear load or a .44 mag equivalent because I did think Ruger as tough with this purchase in mind.

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56 minutes ago, Whiskey Hicks said:

I’m just curious because everyone has always spoken about .45 Colt being able to out perform .44 mag if loaded properly.

 

Would the hot Steinman or Buffalo Bore hard cast offerings work safely?

You absolutely can. They will work safely. But if you notice when folks like Linebaugh, Freedom Arms, Hamilton Bowen, Dave Clement etc push a 45 they block the action, put in oversized base pins and go to a 5 shot cylinder ( along with a handful of other improvements) Some of these guys Im sure blew some stuff up along the way. They don’t do these things to simply jack the price up and throw out technical jargon to look smart, they do it for longevity.

Rugers are robust but not precision weapons. I would take caution with any max loads especially with the inconsistencies in their cylinders. 

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Just remember, Elmer Keith blew up more than one gun on the way to 44 Magnum!  Until the 357, 45 Colt was the most powerful pistol cartridge.  Some claim heavy bullet and black powder is the high point.

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1 hour ago, Whiskey Hicks said:

And honestly I’d never want to run hot stuff steadily. I just want to know if I can do so occasionally, like maybe a bear load or a .44 mag equivalent because I did think Ruger as tough with this purchase in mind.

I have read that occasionally it is okay. I am just leery of taking info from forums and running with it. 
 

Example: I was told by a guy that my original Vaquero is just as strong as the Blackhawk, even though the Blackhawk has more meat on the top strap. I asked Ruger. They said the Vaquero was just as strong as the Blackhawk. Then said “with SAAMI spec’d loads.” :blink:

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11 hours ago, Dantankerous said:

FYI, I have had very poor luck using the 45acp with the moon clips provided.  I get maybe 50% of rounds to fire so I just put them back in the little plastic bag and shoot 45 Colt.

 

While I don't shoot hot Buffalo Bore ammo through mine I do shoot plenty of 255 grain to 325 grain stuff through this and my Ruger Blackhawk with nary an issue. CAS loads are an absolute bore through these big Rugers. I have some Keith style 45 Colt loads that are perfect for this Redhawk. 

I took her to the range tonight and destroyed about 8 moon clips trying to twist or pull the brass out. A guy gave me the Wilson Combat tool, but I still couldn’t make it work properly.

 

Is there some kind of finesse I should be doing? I have a feeling that a tool that fills the brass from beneath would work better.

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2 minutes ago, Whiskey Hicks said:

I took her to the range tonight and destroyed about 8 moon clips trying to twist or pull the brass out. A guy gave me the Wilson Combat tool, but I still couldn’t make it work properly.

 

Is there some kind of finesse I should be doing? I have a feeling that a tool that fills the brass from beneath would work better.

 

2 minutes ago, Whiskey Hicks said:

I took her to the range tonight and destroyed about 8 moon clips trying to twist or pull the brass out. A guy gave me the Wilson Combat tool, but I still couldn’t make it work properly.

 

Is there some kind of finesse I should be doing? I have a feeling that a tool that fills the brass from beneath would work better.

I've shot a lot of Moon clips, half and full.  Though they are not trouble free, I have had more issues inserting than extracting.  That usually depends on the brand of brass and moon clip and how well they play together.  Never had an issue such as you experienced.  Gut feeling is to first deep clean all the chambers in the cylinder, go to a moderate load and try again.  Next step to polish / hone the chambers.  Best of luck - when they work, they are good fun.

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1 minute ago, Rip Snorter said:

 

I've shot a lot of Moon clips, half and full.  Though they are not trouble free, I have had more issues inserting than extracting.  That usually depends on the brand of brass and moon clip and how well they play together.  Never had an issue such as you experienced.  Gut feeling is to first deep clean all the chambers in the cylinder, go to a moderate load and try again.  Next step to polish / hone the chambers.  Best of luck - when they work, they are good fun.

Oh, the full moon and all six empties ejected just fine. The problem was trying to pull the empties from the clip itself after ejection.

 

it was enough to make me feel like a chimpanzee getting frustrated trying to crack open nuts.

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13 minutes ago, Whiskey Hicks said:

I took her to the range tonight and destroyed about 8 moon clips trying to twist or pull the brass out. A guy gave me the Wilson Combat tool, but I still couldn’t make it work properly.

 

Is there some kind of finesse I should be doing? I have a feeling that a tool that fills the brass from beneath would work better.

 

I used a pencil end. Stuck it in the empty case and popped it out.

 

Check out Buffalo Bore's website and read some of the articles Tim Sundles has written on his technical articles page.

 

I believe BB still makes a standard pressure 45 Colt round that might be what you want. His heavy Colt 45 +P is whomp stomping. Look into it. Tread lightly. I have shot that stuff from a Blackhawk Bisley just fine. I do not make a habit of it though as it is HOT. I'd feel fine about using it in my Redhawk for a deer camp side arm but unless you're in Grizzly country, a heavy-for-caliber 44 mag or 45 Colt solid at normal pressures is more than enough for black bears.

 

If you really want a MAGNUM BY GOD BEAR DEFENSE handgun load, look into 454 Casull on up.

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3 minutes ago, Whiskey Hicks said:

Oh, the full moon and all six empties ejected just fine. The problem was trying to pull the empties from the clip itself after ejection.

 

it was enough to make me feel like a chimpanzee getting frustrated trying to crack open nuts.

I didn't understand - there is a cheap little hooked tool, caliber specific, that does the job neatly - look at sites where they sell the clips!  If you can't find one, I'll send photos and you can improvise.

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1 minute ago, Dantankerous said:

 

I used a pencil end. Stuck it in the empty case and popped it out.

 

Check out Buffalo Bore's website and read some of the articles Tim Sundles has written on his technical articles page.

 

I believe BB still makes a standard pressure 45 Colt round that might be what you want. His heavy Colt 45 +P is whomp stomping. Look into it. Tread lightly. I have shot that stuff from a Blackhawk Bisley just fine. I do not make a habit of it though as it is HOT. I'd feel fine about using it in my Redhawk for a deer camp side arm but unless you're in Grizzly country, a heavy-for-caliber 44 mag or 45 Colt solid at normal pressures is more than enough for black bears.

Thank you! I was hoping that since the full cartridge went in so easily, filling the void of the case seems like a pretty good idea.

 

And I’ll check out those loads.

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I use the end hook of a big bungee cord to remove the cases.

I just cut the ends off of an old bungee cord and have two inexpensive removal tools. 

 

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https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1015352775?pid=866285

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1015363475?pid=447470

These two things really do work well, you can also take a piece of 1/2" copper tubing, glue a 90 degree elbow on one end. Cut to 9" long and then cut a notch halfway across the end about a 1/4" deep. This will let you pop out the empties easily.

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13 hours ago, DeaconKC said:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1015352775?pid=866285

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1015363475?pid=447470

These two things really do work well, you can also take a piece of 1/2" copper tubing, glue a 90 degree elbow on one end. Cut to 9" long and then cut a notch halfway across the end about a 1/4" deep. This will let you pop out the empties easily.

The top tool is what the employee at the rang gave me, and I was still butchering the poor moon clips.

 

I don’t blame the tool. I just couldn’t figure it out.

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Excellent price for condition.
A week back, there was a #5403 Redhawk, 44 mag, 5.5" stainless on guns.com for almost $1400.
Add in shipping, FFL fee, background check, 10/30 day CA waiting period... too price, too much PITA to bother with it.

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Are they tough as nails?  Yes they are!  Can you break one, yes you can.  That is why I do not stray from all the warnings about max loads in any firearm.  I once saw a Super Blackhawk blown to pieces at a range.  I guess the loads were .44 mag +P+.....made me a believer and it was messy!  I love my .44 Redhawk and respect its limits.  

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10 hours ago, bgavin said:

Excellent price for condition.
A week back, there was a #5403 Redhawk, 44 mag, 5.5" stainless on guns.com for almost $1400.
Add in shipping, FFL fee, background check, 10/30 day CA waiting period... too price, too much PITA to bother with it.

Yeah, after shipping, gunbroker fees and the transfer see I was only paying 1015.

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I don't think revolvers are going to ever return to a lower price.
Today, I could sell my GP100 357 and SP101 22 for triple what I paid for them new.

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24 minutes ago, bgavin said:

I don't think revolvers are going to ever return to a lower price.
Today, I could sell my GP100 357 and SP101 22 for triple what I paid for them new.

 

Same here. I have been offered ridiculous cash on the spot for several of my Ruger DAs and one of my Ruger BHs that normally would have been very tempting. 3x what I paid exactly for the big bores. I did not blink an eye when I responded, "no". Don't wanna sell 'em, love shooting them, and I'll need to mortgage the house to replace 'em! Since I reload all the calibers I shoot ammo scarcity never existed for me. These prices are insane!

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I've mentioned it before, but prices are never going to come down.

My 1960 4 bedroom ranch sold for $14,000 new in 1960.
The family beach house in San Diego, sold for the same in 1947.

In 1938, a new Chevy half-ton sold for less than $600.
At today's prices (20x of 1938) that Chevy should be $12,000... that's a laugh.

I suppose if I want a Redhawk bad enough, I will pony up the $$ for it.
I'm thinking these will soon be relics of the past, and unavailable at any price.

https://www.in2013dollars.com/us-economy

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