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Discussion Starter #1
I went up to a small gunshow near the house today. I have been on the lookout to replace the 4" Redhawk in .45 LC I ended up returning to Ruger last year. To my surprise I stumbled across a 5 1/2" gun and the seller accepted my offer. After i bought it I continued to the end of the aisle and low and behold there was another Redhawk in .45 LC, also with a 5 1/2" barrel. Ended up buying it also, so now I have 2! Both guns are near new in the boxes, one appears to be from 1999 and the other from 2002 according to the date on the spent cartridge envelope.

I'm going to shoot them both and keep the one that shoots the best if there is any difference - I really don't need two.

What are these gun realistically going for nowadays? I checked Gunbroker and prices were all over the place - I can't believe they are all real sales. I paid $650 for one and $700 for the other which came with extra grips and front sights.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
pics

I'll see if I can figure out how to post some on this site. They are identical except the SN on one is about 20,000 digits higher than the other.

Hope to get out and shoot them tomorrow; the temperatures were in the single digits today.

We need pics!
 

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Ausmerican.
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Two..... congratulations.
And you know what they say..... Pics. or it didn't happen..... :D
 

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Congrats!
We are visual bunch spoiled by technology.
They say a pic is worth a thousand words. Just trying to save you carpel tunnel surgery. :D
 

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tvfinak-- Nice pair of 45s! I have the 5.5 44 mag and really like it.
The Redhawk is tough, reliable, and the single spring design produces a descent trigger pull.
 

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Heck of a find. Seems that's the way it always goes or you find them when there's no green in your jeans. I haven't seen but 1 5.5 in my area. It took time but I finally ran across a 4.2 and it came home with me. Enjoy finding which one is the most accurate and see if you don't keep both in the end!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
tried it out

I went down to the local outdoor range last night - kinda chilly at about 10 deg. I loaded up a box of ammo with some 310 gr cast bullets and 20 to 22 gr,. of Li'llgun powder. I also had some unknown loads for the Redhawk I'd had last year and some target loads I'd put together for my Colt.

The heavy loads were impressive but very tolerable. There were no signs of pressure even with 22 gr. - the cases fell out of the gun. I'd try some heavier loads later this week. I'll have to watch how much the cold weather affects the pressure - Lil'gun works well at low temperatures but I haven't used it much in warmer climates.

The stock wood grips were another matter - they don't work at all with heavy loads. I ended up gripping the gun with my little finger under the grip like I would my Blackhawk. Not conductive to good accuracy but I was able to shoot it pretty well anyway.

The trigger pull is heavy for me but both the single and double action are acceptable. I'll have to investigate getting a lighter trigger pull spring installed in the future - any suggestions from others that have been that route?

I like the 5 1/2" barrel much better than the 4". I may get it magna-ported since I'll only be shooting heavy loads in it; it may become my carry gun in bear country when I'm not carrying my .500 S&W.

Got to load up some more rounds for a couple more trips to the range before the close down for the month of Dec. Also have to change out the grips- I got a Hogue mono-grip and a Pacmyer wrap-around with one of the guns.
 

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tvfinak.... Try a few aftermarket grips before you Mag-na-Port your 5-1/2" 45C Redhawk. Mag-na-Port may visit two uninvited effects: burn front sight; drive recoil into palm & elbow.

I, too, heavily favor the 5-1/2" Redhawk, mine an old .44 with the hammer pin tab on the left side. The Redhawk owner should understand these words of Bill Ruger: "I copied the Redhawk grip directly from Smith & Wesson's .44 magnum." The hump is a 1/4-inch higher on the Redhawk; that's about it.

I found the Redhawk grip comfortable with .44 Special, a bear with .44 magnums. I have narrowed the toe on the Pachmayr Presentation and removed the grooves from the Pachmayr Gripper, and over the years settled on a stock or thinned-toe fix of the Presentation. To sugar it off, before slotting the muzzle, I'd try every grip available.

Unless you have salami fingers, the wide finger grooves of the Gripper are apt to spread your fingers, which will cause vertical stringing on the target.

Muzzle brakes and grips are personal. Consider: the value of your Redhawk with bastardized muzzle may be very much less than the unmolested revolver.

The Redhawk single action may be lightened to 3-1/4 pounds, not lighter, with knowledgeable use of fine ceramic stones----without resorting to a light mainspring. Ruger designed the lockwork to malfunction when the single action is set lighter than 3-1/4 lbs. Unlike the case carburized S&W trigger & hammer, the Ruger parts are through-hardened; knowledgeable tuning will not ruin them.

I have never lightened the mainspring of a Ruger centerfire revolver, and think that it could only compromise the accuracy I sometimes demand.

As you have two .45 Colt Redhawks, consider for each:
* slug barrel.
* look for a short, concentric forcing cone.
* plug strike to check chamber-to-bore alignment.
* bench at 25, 50, 75 & 100 yards.

The great interchangeable-insert front sight of the 7-1/2" and 5-1/2" Redhawks should have been carried to the 4"/4.2"; unfortunately, it was not.
David Bradshaw
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
grips etc.

Thanks for the input and tips. I got a set of Hogue Monogrips and the Pachmayr finger grooves with one of the guns, I'll try them both at my next range session. Whatever works out closest to my 629 is most likely what I'll end up using. The wood grips are pretty but just don't work with heavy loads which is what I got the gun for- I have enough target guns already including a Colt New Frontier in .45 LC and an early Model BH .45 with both cylinders.

I also shoot my well used 629 at the range Sunday and in cleaning them both later I did compare the two grip - I was surprised to see show close they are but i didn't realize Bill had copied the N frame. For me, that is great! I also compared the weights - the Redhawk with wood grips is an oz lighter than my 6 1/2" 629 Classic with the original Hogue grips. However, the S&W has more of the weight in the forward barrel so it is balances different and handles the recoil with less muzzle flip.

Having two identical guns to compare and chose between is a real treat. The older one has one obvious advantage - the barrel is not canted like most every other .45 Redhawk I've seen. The other isn't as bad as some I've seen but it is visibly off top center if you look close - perhaps I'm just too picky.

The forcing cones on both are pretty well centered with only slight circular machine marks that should clean up. The muzzle crown on the older one is a bit off center but not too bad; the other is pretty well centered. Cylinder slap and cylinder -barrel gap is good on both of them - I need to get a rod to check barrel -cylinder alignment ; does anyone sell them?

I shoot only cast bullets so I'll probably need to ream the cylinder throats - both appear to be pretty tight. I'll slug them and the bores in the near future when I get a little free time. The proof is in the shooting however, and my range closes down on Dec. 1st for a month - bummer but it is cold and dark in Dec.

I cleaned up a few burrs in the action but didn't try to improve anything otherwise. I'll have a bit more time later this month over the holidays. The heavy SA pull is my biggest complaint with the action but it I'm sure I can improve both DA and SA.

I'll see if I can get some good close up pictures and post some comparisons in the next week or two.

Thanks again!


tvfinak.... Try a few aftermarket grips before you Mag-na-Port your 5-1/2" 45C Redhawk. Mag-na-Port may visit two uninvited effects: burn front sight; drive recoil into palm & elbow.

I, too, heavily favor the 5-1/2" Redhawk, mine an old .44 with the hammer pin tab on the left side. The Redhawk owner should understand these words of Bill Ruger: "I copied the Redhawk grip directly from Smith & Wesson's .44 magnum." The hump is a 1/4-inch higher on the Redhawk; that's about it.

I found the Redhawk grip comfortable with .44 Special, a bear with .44 magnums. I have narrowed the toe on the Pachmayr Presentation and removed the grooves from the Pachmayr Gripper, and over the years settled on a stock or thinned-toe fix of the Presentation. To sugar it off, before slotting the muzzle, I'd try every grip available.

Unless you have salami fingers, the wide finger grooves of the Gripper are apt to spread your fingers, which will cause vertical stringing on the target.

Muzzle brakes and grips are personal. Consider: the value of your Redhawk with bastardized muzzle may be very much less than the unmolested revolver.

The Redhawk single action may be lightened to 3-1/4 pounds, not lighter, with knowledgeable use of fine ceramic stones----without resorting to a light mainspring. Ruger designed the lockwork to malfunction when the single action is set lighter than 3-1/4 lbs. Unlike the case carburized S&W trigger & hammer, the Ruger parts are through-hardened; knowledgeable tuning will not ruin them.

I have never lightened the mainspring of a Ruger centerfire revolver, and think that it could only compromise the accuracy I sometimes demand.

As you have two .45 Colt Redhawks, consider for each:
* slug barrel.
* look for a short, concentric forcing cone.
* plug strike to check chamber-to-bore alignment.
* bench at 25, 50, 75 & 100 yards.

The great interchangeable-insert front sight of the 7-1/2" and 5-1/2" Redhawks should have been carried to the 4"/4.2"; unfortunately, it was not.
David Bradshaw
 
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