I wanted to wrap up the Ruger Redhawk review with some brief comments on its shooting personality. The Redhawk is a relatively soft shooting 44 Magnum. I don’t want to disappoint folks who thrive on 44 Magnum drama and trauma, so let’s accept that the 44 Magnum has a lot going on at the muzzle end, but the Redhawk’s heft, balance and grip make it a controllable firearm. Something desirable in a hunting revolver… any revolver. The form of the grip places the web of the shooters hand at the small of the grip and the grip’s large radius in the shooter’s palm. On discharge, the muzzle rotates… confidently upward under recoil, but the Redhawk always remains in a firm grip of the shooter and ready for a follow on shot.
Remember when barrels were dimensioned in fractional inches… comrade?
Moving up from the 4.2″ barrel Redhawk we had reviewed earlier to a 5.5″ barrel Redhawk did result in a measurable increase in velocity. Additionally, the increase in sight radius made the Redhawk easier to shoot accurately. Sometimes a relatively minor change can yield significant improvement.
|Ammo||Bullet Weight||Redhawk 4.2″ FPS||Redhawk
|Speer Gold Dot||270||1202||1222||20||970|
Groups shot from a rest at 25 yards
I did spend some time shooting 5 shot groups with the ammo noted above, as well as with cast and jacketed 1,000 FPS 240 grain target handloads. The largest group came from the Fusion ammo, just under 4″. The tightest group was produced with cast bullet handloads with one under 2″… yes, just one, but others very close. For me the Ruger Redhawk is a 3″ gun at 25 yards although I am sure there is more mechanical accuracy in the Redhawk that could be realized with a shooter of greater skill or perhaps even me with a bit more practice.
The 44 Mag to own?
The Redhawk is a modular design and simple to fully disassemble if and when serious cleaning is needed, but most necessary cleaning is more a quick bore/cylinder scrub and a wipe down. The Ruger Redhawk will provide reliable service in a wide range of weather and environmental conditions and it will do so for many years.
I’ve shot and owned quite a few 44 Magnums over the years. More than a few were or are Redhawks. My personal Redhawk preference is a 45 Colt version, but the 44 Mag makes for a terrific alternative. While the S&W Model 29 is best known for being carried in a movie by a fictional character, the Redhawk’s superior strength, accuracy and more… masculine aesthetics make it a better bet for real people in real world applications.