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First post (other then my intro post) and I figured I'd just jump right in on this one since for me these are Ruger's most interesting revolvers in a while.

So I have the cash for one or the other but not both. I don't have any revolvers but I have rented a few over the last few months to see if I liked them (S&W 686+, Ruger SP101, Ruger Blackhawk all in 357 but I mainly shot 38 special through them with only a few rounds of 357). This would be a range gun primarily so weight (up to a point), consealability, etc, aren't really a huge consideration.

Currently I am shooting 45 acp and 22lr so my thought was that maybe I want to look at a 45 acp revolver so I can just maintain a stock of one center fire ammo. I like the S&W 625 but it's pretty pricey. Since Ruger announced the new RedHawk 45 acp I have been really looking hard at the reviews but haven't found one at the shops around to try. I have read a few people say the RedHawk design is more difficult then the GP 100 or SRH to get the trigger smooth and light so I was wondering if Ruger gave this one the Match Champion treatment and polished the trigger internals. If anyone has shot one, can you give me a rundown on how the trigger is (weight, smoothness, clean break, etc)? Not sure I'd use the 45lc, it's a pricey round for a range gun. I am just getting into reloading the acp so adding LC to the mix isn't horrible but I am not a hunter and don't need heavy loads so in some sense the RedHawk would probably be underutilized.

On the other side of the coin, I like the 38 special though the 686 or GP100 and on the range rentals, they pretty much felt the same. The 686 maybe had a smoother pull with less resistance and the GP maybe had a lighter pull with a bit of stacking but the break felt pretty clean on both. I am sure these both had hundreds of rounds though them so they were pretty well worn in. So basically either one works for me. Tonight I stopped by an FFL and got to handle a Match Champion and a S&W 627 PC along with a stock GP100 and 686. They didn't have a 686ssr to try. So from that, dry fire and quick look, I really like the trigger on the Match Champion. Definitely beats the stock GP100 and 686. The 627 was a beautiful gun to me. The fit and finish was great but at a $1200 price tag, I'd expect that. The trigger was really smooth, even compared to the Match Champion and the single action pull was significantly lighter then even the Match a Champion but for the double action, the Match Champion felt lighter.

If I went with the 357/38, it might open up some interesting choices, lever actions, Ruger 77/357, etc. 45 LC opens up lever actions too but it could get a bit expensive to go play with that particular round.

So that's where I am on this, I am really feeling the Match Champion after playing with it today. My FFL said it'd take a month or so to get the RedHawk if I ordered it. I'm a little wary about ordering it without having had one in hand.

I am I guess 65/35 leaning towards the Match Champion and just making room for another caliber.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
Thanks
-Jim
 

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From what you said I think the Match Champion would be the good choice. Can't beat it, or a regular GP100 for a range gun. I have a 4" SS GP and I absolutely love it.
I also have the 77/357 rifle and it's a blast to shoot!
 

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I like the look of the new RH in .45C/.45ACP (5032).
Also like the look of the RH in .44Mag (5004).
Have the GP100 4.2" SS (1705).
Deciding whether to purchase the top two.
 

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I own a GP100 357 and a Redhawk 45 Colt. My Redhawk is brand new so I've only shot one full box through it. If I could only have one I'd keep the Redhawk for three reasons. First of all it's the newest so it still has that new car smell and because it's new I'm still really excited about it. That's not a very valid reason but I'm just letting you know how it has affected my reasoning. Okay, now on to cold hard logic.

Second, 45 Colt is my favorite caliber and I reload. In that regard I can shoot as much as I want relatively inexpensively and I can load it up from mild to wild. Last but not least the Redhawk is a 4" and the GP100 is a 6". For all around use a 4" barreled DA revolver is hard to beat. A 6" works just fine too but IMO the 4" barrel is handier for all purpose use.

Do not interpret any of this to mean I'm unhappy with my GP100. Quite the contrary. It's a great revolver and I'm never letting it go. However, your question was which one should you buy and the choices were a GP100 and a Redhawk. I'd choose the Redhawk mainly because of caliber. It also slightly more unique than the ubiquitous GP100 357. However the GP100 is ubiquitous for a reason. It's a tremendous revolver. I'm with some other folks in that I'm not particularly a fan of the Match Champion look but that's just cosmetic. All that matters is whether or not you like it.

If you don't reload I'd strongly lean towards the Match Champion. 38spl ammo is a lot cheaper than 45 Colt and even slightly cheaper than 45ACP ball ammo.

Happy hunting and I'm sure you'll be very pleased with either one.

PS: Welcome aboard.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

I was in your situation a few years back and decided on the 38/357 cartridge for my uses. The 45 Colt cartridge is very interesting (and historical) but for my EDC and plinking I went with the very versatile 38/357.

Here in IN I won't ever need anything bigger than a hot 357 round for anything so from a cost and reloading standpoint it was a good choice for me.

You mentioned that the new gun will be primarily a range gun so I would suggest the MC or even consider a longer barreled GP100. I'm not positive, but I believe the MC has the big bead Novak fiber optic front sight. I had a Wiley Clapp SS GP100 and sold it and got a 6" standard GP100. I do not regret my choice. The Novak front sight on the Wiley Clapp is NOT a target sight by any means. It is a combat sight for sure....meaning it will start obscuring any target 10 yards away (at least it did for me). I did not care for that front sight for my range plinking.

The triggers on GP100s can be smoothed out just by shooting them. You could mess around with different springs if you wanted. They are very versatile guns.

As you mentioned, the 38/357 platform opens you up to a bunch of different gun choices (levers, single actions, bolt guns etc). I would definitely consider the MC or like I said check out a 5"-6" regular GP100.

If you are still looking at 45 Colt, I would also suggest looking at a convertible Blackhawk. If you aren't a single action shooter now, you might be once you picked one up. They are a blast! Don't dismiss them.

Good luck on your choice.
 

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I do not know the price your FFL quoted on the redhawk but you can have it in a couple days at a fair price.
Ruger Redhawk 45ACP/45Colt Revolver 4.2in Satin Stainless 6 Round Hardwood Grip

Here is a decent deal on the Match Champion. I have bought several guns from grabagun and I get almost all of my magazines from grabagun. http://grabagun.com/ruger-gp100-match-champion-stainless-357mag-adjustable-rear-sight-6rd.html

Honestly for the purposes the OP stated he could get the job done and probably do it better with a 22lr. But he wants a 45 cal centerfire. There is nothing wrong with that.

People try to be gunsmiths. If you want a smooth shooting double action pistol you need to send it to a gunsmith. If you could do just as good of a job with a dremel tool and an Arkansas stone competitive shooters would not send their new gun to several gunsmiths who are months behind. Competitive shooters often wait for 6 months or more to shoot their new pistol.

I have had three revolvers worked over by a gunsmith. I didn't really spend a lot of money on any of the pistols. They shoot great and they were much improved over the stock gun I bought from Ruger. Including the springs none of the gunsmiths charged over $100 to slick up a revolver. People saying they can do just as good of a job at home is like saying I bought a miter saw and now I am a master carpenter.

Usually when an FFL says they need months to order a gun they do not have the capital to make a minimum order from a distributor or they need to sell a certain number of guns at once to get a free gun. I do not mind waiting and helping a FFL get that deal. But in return I expect to get my gun at a 10% markup or at cost. No I am not paying full price and waiting forever so he can get a free gun.

One small FFL I deal with gets great deals on ammo. But to get a great deal he has to buy a pallet of ammo or a hundred thousand rounds. He has regular customers who will pony up the cash to get a bulk deal on ammo. All through the 22lr shortage I got gouged for two boxes of CCI standard velocity. I really didn't gouged, i paid the going price ($45 a brick). The rest of the ammo I got was wholesale and less than walmart charges for 22lr or 22 mag if they have it in stock.
 

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And that writer is not allowed to mention it specifically, but there's a Kindle ebook on the convertible Redhawk available on Amazon.com that covers the gun in detail.

If you want ONLY a .45 ACP revolver to shoot ONLY ACP, you may find this is not the model for you.
It's unduly heavy for that purpose, the trigger can be taken down some in SA, but not much in DA (both are quite heavy out of the box), and it may take some experimentation to find an ACP load that shoots well in it.

In such an ACP-ONLY case, I'd recommend a good Smith & Wesson.
Lighter, triggers can be much better, and clips are a LOT cheaper. :)
Denis
 

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I'd go with both!
 

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And that writer is not allowed to mention it specifically, but there's a Kindle ebook on the convertible Redhawk available on Amazon.com that covers the gun in detail.

If you want ONLY a .45 ACP revolver to shoot ONLY ACP, you may find this is not the model for you.
It's unduly heavy for that purpose, the trigger can be taken down some in SA, but not much in DA (both are quite heavy out of the box), and it may take some experimentation to find an ACP load that shoots well in it.

In such an ACP-ONLY case, I'd recommend a good Smith & Wesson.
Lighter, triggers can be much better, and clips are a LOT cheaper. :)
Denis
what makes the ruger trigger heavy is the notch in the hammer where the sear rests is to deep. A gunsmith with the proper tools can cut the hammer down in less than 5 minutes and ever hammer he cuts will be exactly the same so the gun does not become a drop hazard. I am sure the springs ruger selects are no help either. The ruger redhawk that shoots 45 acp is a 45 long colt. If the OP ever starts reloading the 45 long colt those moon clips will end up resting in the gun case.
 

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I'm on the fence, Ruger has a track record of doing short production runs on these special firearms, discontinuing them, then the price sky rockets. GPs have been a round for a long time and will continue but not sure how long the 45Colt/ACP will be around, just about the time you want something bigger, they're no longer available....so I can't really help ya. :)
 

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On the Red trigger-

Both pulls on both samples were very heavy.
Gun II was fractionally less than Gun I.

Neither compared well with a custom Red worked over by Bowen.
The DA can't be taken down much farther, but the SA on the Bowen was about half of what the two convertibles ran.

You can only go so far on the Redhawk, its action is quite different from the GP & Super Red.
Denis
 

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I would go with the Match Champion for a range gun. If you are getting into reloading essentially all you would need to add is a set of dies and a shellholder and a couple of minor accessories. Medium frames such as this seem to have the ideal dimensions for reduced trigger pull weights compared to large or small frames. I think they tend to make an ideal range gun as they are not too heavy not too light.

I have had in the past four RHs and have now one Redhawk. As DPris notes the gun is relatively heavy (about 46 oz vs. 38 for the MC). If tuned by a decent gunsmith single action can be reduced to about 3.5 to 4 lbs. Due to the design double action will need to be about 10 to 10.5 lbs from what I have found to fire reliably all brands of primers. I will note I had one that would fire Federal primers reliably and Corbon ammo at 8.8 lbs DA using a Wolff 12 lb mainspring. It also had a Bowen extended firing pin and minimal headspace. I do not have a Match Champion but do have a tuned GP100 and the pulls are 7.4 lbs and 2.5 lbs in single action. It could be reduced slightly with the shims that are in the MC. In the past I have had several S&W N frames in .44 mag and .45 Colt. With tuning they will come in with a single action of 2.25 to 2.5 lbs and a double around 7.5 lbs.

One other thing I would consider is trigger reach. A large frame gun usually has a greater trigger reach which may be a consideration. Custom grips can allleviate this to a degree but not completely.
 

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Grips won't change the trigger reach on this model.
They're as small as you can realistically go & the backstrap's fully exposed.
Denis
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the great info guys. I think I am pretty convinced on the Match Champion. Might have to think about a dedicated 45acp wheel gun if I want to go that way.
Got a few more weeks until pistol permits are ready so I can mull that over a bit.

My local FFL has a S&W 625jm I tried out that was nice but I didn't like the stock or the serated trigger. Had a nice trigger pull though. They were a little high on the price of the 625 but their Match Champion price was about right though compared to pricing elsewhere.

All these tough choices ;)
Thanks again,
-Jim
 

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I couldn't stand the Miculek grip, but fortunately the Smiths are very easy to find alternatives for, infinitely more so than the new Ruger convertible Redhawk. :)

I dislike serrated triggers on DAs, too.
Those can be dealt with.
Or, look for an older dedicated .45 ACP Smith.
Denis
 

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686 or the 625, both is best. I'll never get used to the trigger pull on the Rugers, too much S&W I guess. The 625 is the funnest revolver I have. I replaced the JM grips with Hogues, then later tried the JMs again and stayed with them. Bought a set for my 586 but they are smaller than those on the 625, don't know if I'll be able to use them or not. I shoot 99.99% double action so if you are a single action guy the Rugers should be ok after trigger jobs.
 
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