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>> Ruger's Big 45's :: By Chris Gage on 2001-02-20
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The Ruger Redhawk and Super Redhawk are
without a doubt, BIG, POWERFUL handguns. With an empty weight for the .45 Colt
Redhawk with the 5 ĹĒ barrel at 50 oz and the Super Redhawk in .454 with the 7 ĹĒ
barrel at 54 oz itís no wonder there BIG. Thatís alot of steel. And with that
much steel surrounding a cartridge you can really have some fun. Hereís an
example of cylinder size of the Redhawk and Blackhawk: The New Model Blackhawk
has a cylinder length of 1.670 and a width of 1.725. The Redhawk has a cylinder
length of 1.750 and a width of 1.780. The Super Redhawk in .454 has the same
cylinder length of the Redhawk but the width is 1.790. The New Model Blackhawk
has .060 between chambers and .075 of wall thickness. The Redhawk and Super
Redhawk have the same .095 between chambers, while the Redhawk has .115
cylinder wall thickness vs. the Super Redhawk with .125.

So what does all these numbers
mean? One thing...STRENGTH! Couple all this strength with a quality barrel and
you have a gun that canít be beat for accuracy, durability, and reliability.

Letís look at the .45 Colt first.
We all know that the .45 Colt is a 125 year old cartridge. But, take that
cartridge and put it in a gun like the Redhawk and LOOK OUT!

How does 28.0gr of H-110 with a 310gr bullet at 1400fps sound! Or
30.0 of H-110 with a 265gr bullet at 1550 fps! Iíll sum it all up for you in
one word...EXHILARATING, especially in a 50 oz handgun. And with groups of 1 ĹĒ
at 25 yds you just canít beat it. I have been told that this gun can go higher
yet, but why would you want to. If you canít kill something with these loads
you shouldnít have gotten in an argument with it in the first place. I donít
shoot these loads to much anymore, it is just to much to comfortably handle.
And really all you get from it is a little extra yardage, the killing potential
doesnít increase that much to justify the added punishment to yourself. But for
all you hotrodders out there...It donít get any better than this, especially
for a gun that you can buy new for about $450.00 with performance that rides
the heels of custom 5-shot guns!

Hereís another great aspect for all
you hotrodders. Remember the extra length of the Redhawk cylinder over the
Blackhawk? Thatís right, that extra .080 of cylinder length coupled with
Marshallís line of Long Cylinder bullets really makes the Ďole Redhawk shine!
Take Marshallís 350gr LCMNGC over 28.0gr of H-110 for 1375fps and look out Jurassic
Park. And all this from a 125 year old black powder cartridge, not bad huh! Too
bad Sam Colt isnít around to see this.

But really all you need for hunting
most critters is a 260-300gr LBT at around 1100-1200fps. Start with 19.0 grs.
of 2400 or 23.0grs of H-110 with the 260-300gr bullet and it gets you into that
category. Itís easy on the gun and yourself and it kills all out of proportion
to its size. You just donít get that kind of performance from a JHP.

Now for the small few of you out
there that need more power, more velocity, and more range, stand up and thank
Mr. Dick Casull for bringing us the beloved .454. Take a cartridge that
operates around 65,000 psi and put it in a 54oz handgun and hold on to your hat
boy and girls.

NO, better yet forget the hat, hold
on to that gun with both hands! Everyone knows about the Freedom Arms line of
handguns and how beautiful but expensive they are, well finally Ruger came out
with one in the heavy duty Super Redhawk. Ruger came up with a new steel
especially for this gun and cartridge. The 410 series of stainless steel that
they use in the Redhawk just wasnít up to the strength level that they needed
for proof testing the .454 Casull. Read that correctly...PROOF TESTING! The 410
series steel WOULD handle the STANDARD .454 pressures just not the proof loads
of 93,500 psi. Donít tell me the Redhawk isnít tough! I donít know the exact
name of this new steel but it sure seems to work well. With a load of 35.0 gr
of H-110 behind a 310gr WLNGC for 1700fps and groups under an inch at 25 yds, I
would say they got it right.

Every bullet I have fired from this gun has grouped no more than
2Ē, with most coming in under 1 ĹĒ.
36.0 gr. of H-110 with a 265 gr. LBT smokes out of this gun at an amazing 1850
fps and groups, again, under 1Ē. 32.0gr. with the same powder under a 335gr.
LBT hops along at an honest 1600fps and groups, well you already know by now
what Iím going to say.

Now I have shot the Freedom Arms
guns and the new Ruger Super Redhawk and personally I have chosen the Ruger.
The grip shape combined with the soft rubber and the extra weight of a Leupold
2x scope really tame the recoil down. Now donít get me wrong, when you touch
off any .454 Casull round you know you have just released Thorís Hammer, itís
just for me it seems easier to control with the Ruger. I would much rather be
on this end of the gun than the other end. Iím sure that is what the last two
Whitetail deer I shot this past fall would say as well. One was at 115 yds when I caught her
through the front shoulder with a 310gr. WLNGC. It split her heart into and
knocked a ĺĒ hole going through both ways. The other one was less that 40 yds
away when the 310gr. slug traveled length ways through him. Either way it was
meat in the freezer.

So if brute strength, durability,
reliability, and accuracy coupled with big bore 45 power is your thing, you
canít go wrong with the superb line of Big Bore 45ís from Ruger. Iím sure Sam
Colt is smiling down on us right now!

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