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Thoughts on the Redhawk 45

This is a discussion on Thoughts on the Redhawk 45 within the Range Reports forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; With all the political posts, of late, thought someone should hold down the fort on the shooting posts. Okay, tough job, but I'll do my ...


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Old 11-11-2016, 08:24 AM   #1
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Thoughts on the Redhawk 45

With all the political posts, of late, thought someone should hold down the fort on the shooting posts. Okay, tough job, but I'll do my best.

Been shooting the Ruger Redhawk 45, of late. As you might recall, it's the one that can shoot both the 45 Colt and, using moon clips, the 45 auto.


Yesterday, we packed up an assortment of revolvers to take a break from shooting bottom feeders and headed to the range. Along with the Redhawk, I brought a variety of 45 Colt loads, as seen here. Over on the right, we have typical low power cowboy loads in the Fiocchi. In the middle, we have a more standard load from Wisconsin cartridge company. Finally, on the left, we have true "Ruger Only" 45 load in the HSM 325 grain +P bear loads. Mostly I wanted to see how the Redhawk small grips handled the bear loads.



Have to report that recoil with the 45 Colt bear loads was, in a word, nasty. That I expected, of course and I could tolerate it, because, hey, I am a self-confessed recoil junkie, after all. Getting my hoped for level of accuracy was another matter, though. If I used a high hand grip on the gun, the grip would move enough under recoil for the trigger guard to smash my grip fingers to the point of drawing blood. Ouch! That meant moving my grip down and also using an almost death grip to secure the gun to avoid injury. Unfortunately, such a grip is NOT conducive to accuracy. Best I could do at a close up range of 16 yards was this group, but most groups were much worse, some just downright embarrassing. Okay group on this one, but no happy dance, here.


Sadly, even the other loads were marginally accurate in the Redhawk. The Redhawk hated the 250 grain JHP standard loads. Could not get much more than a shotgun pattern at 25 yards. The cowboy loads were okay, but cowboy loads are not intended for bullseye work, anyway.

Bottom line, at this point, is that I suspect the Redhawk is an accurate revolver, at least with the right loads, but that grip, while nice in the hands, is too small and slim for the weight of this massive revolver. Just very difficult for me to get a consistent grip that I could use with all loads. Too much movement and slipping in the hands under recoil. Overall, love the gun, but not so much the grips. Sorry to say, the Redhawk may end up being traded. No matter how much I otherwise love a gun, I cannot abide one that I can't shoot well.

Still very much in the 45 Colt business, though, thanks to our 45 Colt Blackhawk Convertible. Definitely the more accurate shooter for me, both with 45 Colt and 45 Auto, not to mention being more nicely balanced. As I've posted, before, the Blackhawk will keep up with a good 1911. It is a proven performer with all loads. Much more satisfying gun to shoot. This one is a keeper.



Just when I was feeling down and not sure if it was the gun or me just having an off shooting day, I put away the Redhawk and, out of frustration, grabbed another revolver off the bench that Bill had been shooting. This one is a collectible, by the way. It is a gorgeous, mint condition S&W Model 17-3, made in 1974 in 22 LR, of course. As for ammo, Bill had an open box of Federal Automatch, handy, so rather than hunt up some match ammo, just grabbed six of the Automatch and stuffed them in the Smith. Then I picked out an unused bull at 27 yards (laser measured) and, using a six o'clock hold, calmly touched off the six rounds. (What a relief after shooting the bear loads!.)


I could see the yellow appear on the target with the first shot, but after that, had no idea where shots were landing. When I was finished, looked though the binos and my jaw dropped. Just when I thought things were pretty bleak, I shoot my best standing position group of the year. Happy dance on this one? You bet and with the range being crowded with deer hunters sighting in their rifles for the upcoming deer season, it got noticed. Not that I cared, though. Beautiful gun and a beautiful group. Doesn't get any better.


Guess I can say it was the Redhawk, not my shooting.
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Old 11-11-2016, 09:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north country gal View Post
With all the political posts, of late, thought someone should hold down the fort on the shooting posts. Okay, tough job, but I'll do my best...........that grip, while nice in the hands, is too small and slim for the weight of this massive revolver. Just very difficult for me to get a consistent grip that I could use with all loads.........
I know you have to really force yourself to do these shooting posts....

I know from your avatar that your hands couldn't be very big, maybe they just need more to grab onto anyway? Speaking of paws, you only mention Bill shooting the S&W .22. Has he shot the Redhawk, and if so, how did he do?
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Old 11-11-2016, 11:06 AM   #3
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My hands aren't so much big as they are slim and long in the fingers. Palms are actually smallish. Have been told my hands are witch-like (in more ways than one) or that I should have played the piano. The problem with this Redhawk grip is that my palms tend to slip around the backstrap and not stay put, so can't get a consistent grip and a consistent grip is vital to good accuracy. Just one of those grips where it's hard for me to pick up the gun the same way every time. Not really a bad design, just a bad design for me. Love the looks, though.

As for Bill, my hands disappear in Bill's, so he finds the Redhawk to be even squirmier. I should mention, though, that Bill is very different in his gun preferences, anyway. When he finds a gun he likes, he sees very little reason to try something else. He has about half a dozen favorites out of our collection and those he shoots about 90% of the time. With new guns, I can never be sure what he will like and what he won't.

Also, unlike me, Bill has no interest in formal target work or shooting for group size and so on. He just stands the same 12 yards from the target, every time, and squeezes off shots at a moderate pace, not cowboy action fast, but not slow, either - about what one would use for self-defense work. If he can keep all shots in a black 6" bull at 12 yards at this moderate pace, he is happy and content. He has no interest in shooting at greater distances. He loves it, though and, to be honest, I think what he does is very acceptable by today's standard.

Here's a very typical target shot with probably his favorite gun, our vintage S&W 28-2 Highway Patrolman 357 loaded with 38s. Does pretty much the same with every gun he likes, be it revolver or semi-auto. Also, unlike me, he has no interest in big boomers. 9mm, 38s, some 357s and so on are fine, but forget the nasty stuff. All in all, I'd say he is a much more typical handgun shooter than me, at least by today's standards. I'm more the oddity.
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:12 PM   #4
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I pity the person that breaks into your house. Y'all could double team the bad guy.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:50 PM   #5
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He'd have to get by our Border Collie, first. She can shoot, too. Very smart dogs.
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