I knew when getting out of bed this morning things were a little awkward. There were no sounds of birds chirping, no neighborhood dogs barking and most of all an erie silence. I take a look out of my second story bedroom window to find what looks to be a beautiful day. My beautiful wife starts her weekend routine of starting to prepare breakfast and heading out to the curb to retrieve the paper. The door opens, then quickly in one swift motion it violently slams shut at the same time my wife lets out an ear popping scream. She yells upstairs something horrible is in the yard, I ask her something or someone? She has no clue but she doesn’t answer me and all I can hear from upstairs was her opening the safe and loading what sounds to me like our Bushmaster 5.56 AR15. After grabbing my Beretta 90-TWO 40S&W from the nightstand I run downstairs to my wife looking out the living room window. I am amazed at what I see and ask myself is this a horrible nightmare, maybe I have watched one to many horror films. The wife gathers her Glock 22 and immediately jumps into action calling emergency services, only to be prompted by an automated message which states “It is best for all civilians to evacuate the county as soon as possible”. We gather our bug out bag which contains our first aid kits and 30 days supply of medications. I gather the stored water and head for the garage still in disbelief with what seems to be wandering around outside in our neighborhood aimlessly. The wife grabs me and reminds me we need to clear the garage, we have no idea if it has been invaded or not. She covers me with the AR15 while I clear the garage, all clear I yell. We pack our MRE’s, food, water, medical supplies and ammunition in our SUV, again I look out the window to see if we have attracted any additional unwanted guest. After a second look I decided I needed something with extreme knock down power and something I was very confident with. This means I reach for my Hogleg a Ruger Redhawk 44 Magnum with 7.5in barrel resting in a shoulder holster.
We make a few calls to close friends to see if they are experiencing this same phenomena, they are already on the road headed to our gun range which is out of the county, heavily fortified and easy to defend. The wife and I agree it is time to evacuate and we should head to the range and meet up with the rest of our friends. We lift the garage door and I realize then this is not a nightmare, in front of our SUV stands something I have only seen in movies before — a zombie.
As you can see he is ugly, wielding about a bloody meat cleaver and seems to be hungry for human flesh.
In the end this all turns out to be just a horrible nightmare but I decide after waking up in a cold sweat I better get out one of my Zombie busters, hogleg, or better known as a big bore revolver and head to the range. Since the Ruger Redhawk 44 Magnum was part of this horrific nightmare I decided it would be the perfect choice. Everyone knows there is only one way to kill a zombie and that is to cause major trauma to the head either by decapacitating it, a sharp object to the head or my choice a bullet or 12 gauge slug to the head. We all know from watching Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry that a 44 magnum is capable of blowing your head clean off.
Before heading to the range I wanted to give the Ruger Redhawk a once over, take a few pictures and record a few statistics.
Look at that Hogleg in my eyes what a beautiful piece. It has wooden grips which on this weapon with such weight and long barrel is very functional. The additional weight out front which is often referred to as being nose heavy is welcomed with the 44 Magnum cartridge as it helps minimize the recoil.
I was surprisingly shocked with how easy it was on the hands, even though I was shooting soft 44 Magnum reloads if there is such a thing. The loads I was using was 8.5grains of Hodgdon Universal a very clean burning powder under a 240grain Remington Jacketed Soft Point which travels at about 1050fps.
Catalog Number: KRH-44 | Model Number: 5001 | Caliber: .44 Mag.
|Material:||Stainless Steel||Finish:||Satin Stainless|
|Front Sight:||Ramp||Rear Sight:||Adjustable|
|Barrel Length:||7.5″||Overall Length:||13.00″|
|MA Approved & Certified:||Yes||CA Approved:||Yes|
|Capacity:||6||Double Action Trigger Pull Weight:||10.5 Pounds||Single Action Trigger Pull Weight:||6 Pounds|
Fit&Finish Grade **** 4 out of 5 Stars
The Ruger Redhawk is a beautiful specimen. The Satin Stainless finish makes it very rust resistant when in the field and the wood grips really makes the Ruger standout in a gun case next to other revolvers. Now if only Ruger would do away with the Hogue Rubber grips on the GP100 and go back to the wood inlay grips I would be able to buy a new 6inch GP100 versus looking for a good conditioned used one, but I digress.
The reason Ruger does not receive a top score of 5 stars in this category is do to the machine marks on the frame behind the cylinder and the underside of the top strap, both were roughly finished on this particular revolver. If this category were only judged on the external it would certainly have received 5 stars that Satin finish is so smooth, there are no swirl marks of any sort visible at all.
Handling/Feel In the Shooters Hand Grade **** 4 out of 5 Stars
The Ruger Redhawk though very hefty with a long barrel had a very nice feel. I was for sure this Redhawk would prove to be nose heavy as so many long barreled big bore revolvers are. Ruger was able to minimize this nose heavy feel by greatly reducing the underlug. Though I am partial to the look of meanness of the full underlug Ruger decided to go for functionality over looks. Again upon further investigation this to does Ruger well, if you were to visit your local gun shop you would find many revolvers with full underlugs, if amongst these revolvers are a Ruger Redhawk it will certainly stand out. As with all Ruger revolvers the Redhawk is world renowned for being built like a tank and having a lock up that resembles Fort Knox security. The Barrel to cylinder gap was .004 with my feeler gauges. The wood grips fit my hands which are extremely large very well. I was able to shoot 80 rounds of 44 Magnum without any soreness in my hands at the end of the day.
Trigger Grade *** 3 out of 5 Stars
There are many and always will be two very strong debates and comparisons between Ruger and Smith and Wesson. Those are, Ruger builds stronger revolvers and Smith and Wesson has better triggers. I will not feed those debates but I would say the double action trigger pull of this Ruger Redhawk was on par with any Smith and Wesson I own and have examined. The double action weight was 10.5 pounds from the factory, where the Ruger Redhawk fell short is on the Single action trigger pull. Even though the trigger pull was only 6 pounds it seemed a little heavier than that due to the fact it was tough to get the action to break. It took more focus and concentration for me to shoot single action than it was double action. I am still some what puzzled by the single action feel of the Redhawk and may try to resolve but with Zombies on the attack I want to ensure I maintain 100% reliability.
Sights Grade ****4 out of 5 Stars
From the factory, the Ruger Redhawk comes with the traditional adjustable rear sight and a red insert front sight. The sight is easily changeable and I am giving thought to swapping out the red insert factory sight for a marble fiber optic front site, though this sight combination was very easy to acquire sight picture and sight alignment with both on the indoor range as well as outdoors. Therefore, you may be wondering why I only gave 4 out of 5 rating. With the red insert front sight when acquiring sight picture the red insert was tough to see indoors and the front sight looked entirely black, outdoors in the sunlight this wasn’t a problem. I have also been spoiled by what I consider the ultimate in sight combination, the blued gold dot front sight with the white outlined adjustable rear sight. I have this combination on a performance center 625 and for my eyes; it just doesn’t get any better than that combination.
Reliability&Accuracy Grade ***** 5 out of 5 Stars
The 7.5 inch barrel and balance of this weapon provides a long eye relief, which lends itself to excellent accuracy. The massive cylinder provides 6 shots of 44 Magnum or either 44 Special. Of 80 shots with my light reloads, 8.5 grains of Hodgdon Universal under a 240grain Remington JSP and CCI large pistol primer the Redhawk was 100% reliable and very very accurate. Every time I pulled the trigger in double action mode I knew where the round was going to go, in single action I struggled a bit (see comments above in the trigger section). It was very neat to pull the trigger and be able to be 100% sure and call the impact of your shot. Shots fired at 7 and 15 yards were in double action with a two handed unsupported hold. At 25 Yards I fired single action to test more of my mental capacity to concentrate than anything else, I just refused to let the single action get the best of me, though it does require a bit more practicing or a new spring set for the Redhawk.
No quicker than I can send this ghoul back to where he came two more pop up at 15 and 25 yards. Again let’s empty the cylinder of all 6 shots remembering only head shots will fully render this ghoul incapacitated.
Zombies are slow and uncoordinated, so with this one at 25 yards I decided to have a little fun at it’s expense. The first two shots were taken at the meat cleaver to see if I could shoot it out of it’s hand and the next 4 shots were intended to be head shots.
This guy happened to remain standing after two head shots. Probably due to these only packing a little more punch than that of a 44 special with rounds loaded to 1050fps. The weird thing is he just stood there, I believe he was confused about what to do without a meat cleaver. So I went on to dispatch of this guy with 18 shots.
The next zombie infection I will be sure to have 44 magnums loaded to 1400fps, there is no doubt with the strength of the Ruger Redhawk that it will be able to handle such loads.
Overall Performance of the Ruger Redhawk receives **** 4 out of 5 stars. The satin stainless finish truly is unbelievable and the lockup is tighter than Fort Knox security. The double action trigger is on par with my S&W model 29, look out S&W Ruger is starting to get it’s trigger right, but for some unknown reason the single action was difficult to break even though it only weighed in at 6 pounds. With the ease of full take down for cleaning which doesn’t have to be done often, the sturdiness, reliability and capabilities of the 44-magnum cartridge. It doesn’t matter if used for target shooting or home defense with 44 specials or light 44 magnums, back woods protection or zombie dispatch the Ruger Redhawk is a proven platform capable of serving many duties for a lifetime.
Please do not use any of the reloading data in this article before double checking a reloading manual.