45 Colt Ruger Redhawk

Ruger 4in 45 Colt
45colt

PENGUIN SHOOTING

Firearm tested
.45 colt Ruger Redhawk

Ammo used
80 rounds – 200gr Magtech Cowboy loads
20 round – 225gr Winchester Silvertips

I will start off by saying that I am a huge revolver fan and a huge .45colt fan also. When I first heard about this gun being offered I anxiously awaited it’s availability. I went ahead and ordered one sight unseen without having ever fired it. As soon as one became available I rushed to my dealer and picked it up.

FORM:

I like the looks of this gun. I did not care for the large rubber Hogue grips that it came with so I switched them out with standard wood Redhawk grips. Other than that I think it is a very classic look and a handsome gun. I am not a fan of Ruger’s blocky hammers but I can live with that.

It is an all stainless steel gun so it has some heft to it.

FEATURES:

This a revolver so features are not a big list. This gun does have nice sights and if you like rubber grips, the included Hogue ones are very nice and comfortable. The full metal grip frame is also nice. I do not like the tang style grip frames on many Rugers.

The trigger is a standard DA/SA configuration.

FIT & FINISH:

One thing I will say for Ruger is that they know how to put a beefy, large caliber revolver together. The gun is a tank. It is over engineered if anything and is one rugged gun. The tolerances are also near perfect. The gun is very nicely fit and painstakingly finished. The gun has a very smooth and even look and feel.

FUNCTION:

The gun suffers a bit in my hands in this category. It just does not feel right to me. The balance feels wrong. It is like I have to hold the grip to tightly to control the weight of the gun. it almost feels like the body of the gun is too big for the barrel (this is the 4″ version) and grips frame. For some reason, it feels less comfortable and larger in my hands than my other Redhawk…the Super Redhawk Alaskan (which is a very comfortable and naturally pointing snubbie .44mag revolver). The balance issue can easily be overcome with a good grip (it actually feels better one handed than two) and the feel is something I am sure I will get used to but this gun is just not a natural in my hand like my Vaqueros. Maybe I am picky, but I like a gun to “just feel right” the first time out.

As far as basic function, it is a typical Ruger. It functioned flawlessly and it was very accurate. I found that I was most accurate with it in SA with a one handed grip at ranges of 25-30 yards. This gun is easily capable of hitting 6″ steel spinners at a distance of 25 yards off-hand.

The SA trigger is very light and crisp and the DA trigger is very consistent and pretty smooth for a Ruger. A little work on the action and you would have a very nice trigger on this gun.

Recoil can be substantial from a .45colt firearm. In the case of this Redhawk it was no problem. With higher power loads the gun was manageable. With cowboy loads the gun was a pleasure to shoot. Recoil was similar to a .38spl out of a 4″ barreled gun.

FLAWS:

I can’t really find any true flaws with the gun. They are all subjective ones. As I mentioned, the gun just feels like the body is too big for the grip frame and barrel. The balance is not right in my hand, and the gun is not a natural pointer for me.

FINAL IMPRESSION:

I have mixed feelings on this one. I would not want to discourage anyone from buying one, but it is not an instant winner with me either and I would not give it glowing recommendations.

I much prefer the feel of my .45colt Vaqueros and Ubertis. If it wasn’t for the fact that this gun fills an odd niche, a DA/SA .45colt revolver, I would probably not keep it…but since it is a fairly rare platform I will hang on to it and see if I get used to it.

This gun is definitely not going to make my “favorites” list despite being a well made and solid functioning firearm. It was just not good fit for me.

Author: Playboypeguin over at the firingline wrote and authorized the posting of this content.

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Rating: 6.5/10 (13 votes cast)
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45 Colt Ruger Redhawk, 6.5 out of 10 based on 13 ratings

3 thoughts on “45 Colt Ruger Redhawk”

  1. Great photo!

    I too prefer the wood grips on Redhawks as they fit my hand perfectly. I have not had the chance to handle a 4″ in .45 Colt as mine was 5.5″ and seemed fairly muzzle heavy, so perhaps the 4″ will be great.

    The author sates that he prefers the grips on his Vaquero and that tells me a lot, since the Vaquero (new model) has quite smallish grips IMO.

    It would be great for folks like me if a review had chronograph readings for various factory loads from the test weapon as well as bench rest, or better yet machine rest groups published for 25 yards.

    Good review though and a GREAT photo!!!

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  2. Great photo!

    I too prefer the wood grips on Redhawks as they fit my hand perfectly. I have not had the chance to handle a 4″ in .45 Colt as mine was 5.5″ and seemed fairly muzzle heavy, so perhaps the 4″ will be great.

    The author sates that he prefers the grips on his Vaquero and that tells me a lot, since the Vaquero (new model) has quite smallish grips IMO.

    It would be great for folks like me if a review had chronograph readings for various factory loads from the test weapon as well as bench rest, or better yet machine rest groups published for 25 yards.

    Good review though and a GREAT photo!!!

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  3. I have had a 7.5″ Red Hawk in 45 Colt for several years now. I also tried the Houge grips. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Houge grips on my Smith & Wessons but when I replaced the rosewood stocks on this Ruger they just felt wrong. With the stock wood grips my hand slid too far up the grip frame causing my trigger finger to angle downward instead of pointing forward like my S&W’s. It caused problems for me on double action shooting. When I tried the Houge grips on this gun it made the grip feel odd. Too narrow for my hand. I gave Tyler T-Grips a call and I ordered a Bronze T-Grip. I used it along with the stock rosewood grips and wow. It feels like this thing was custom built for me. The stock grips fill the web ofmy hand the tyler T-Grip holds my hand aprox. 1/2″ lower than the stock frame so that my finger now sits properly on the trigger. The Ruger felt very stiff as far as the action went so I took it apart and did a basic trigger job and a set of wolff springs. I also polished off all of the uneven finish mark on the exterior of the pistol. It is a very Heavy Duty pistol that should last for years .

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