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  #1  
Old 05-19-2002, 11:07 AM
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I am considering the Ruger Redhawk in .45 LC with the 5.5 inch barrel and am looking for opinions on this revolver and barrel length. *Comments from anybody who owns or has shot one with the 5.5 inch barrel would be appreciated. *Also, would this revolver be considered too heavy to fill the same role that the S&W Mountain Guns are intended for?

Any and all input would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2002, 01:19 PM
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Welp,
I'm no expert, but seein' as you invite any and all input I'll blather on about stuff I don't know:

One: I like Redhawks
Two: I like the shorter bbls for feel
Three: I think .45 LC is a good, versatile round that can be loaded about any way you like.

I also like longer barrels fine too, I just prefer the handling when they're less than "front heavy."

With today's fast burning powders, isn't it all over quick anyway?
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  #3  
Old 05-19-2002, 02:22 PM
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Elrod-

I agree with you on every point.  I have a Redhawk .44 Mag with a 7.5 inch barrel and I'm very happy with it.  However, I wouldn't want to lug it around all day and was looking for a revolver to fill that niche; and I'm not that impressed with the mountain guns I've seen (maybe too little weight is too much of a good thing with the heavier loads).  The 5.5 inch Redhawk with the heavier .45 caliber slugs seems to be the next best alternative.  Plus, I like a little more that a 4 inch barrel for anything that is going to possibly require a quick follow up shot.
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Old 05-19-2002, 04:33 PM
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There's a used .44 mag Redhawk locally in blue with what must be a 5.5" bbl.
Seems like a perfectly proportioned handgun to me.

Is The Mountain Gun even in production anymore?
I'm afraid I can't keep up with every brand's production models. They come and go faster than it takes me to develop an interest in them.
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Old 05-19-2002, 07:31 PM
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I believe the Mountain Gun is still in production; and they have been chambering it in .45 LC.  I just dont care for the balance and feel of a 4 inch N frame Smith with a lite, tapered barrel.  I think that on another thread in this forum there has been considerable discussion as to whether or not the Mountain Gun in .45 LC can handle a steady diet of the heavy loads.

All the more reason to go to the Redhawk in the 5.5 inch barrel and not have to worry about the durability of the gun.  The more I think about this the more I think it's the answer.
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Old 05-19-2002, 07:49 PM
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I've shot my father-in-law's .44 Redhawk, 5.5" barrel, and it was quite manageable.  In .45 Colt it should be a little lighter than the .44.

If I was going to shoot a DA .45 Colt that would be my first choice.

Guess you'll have to decide if it's too heavy.  I carry a 7.5" Bisley all the time but I'm not climbing mountains.  Personally with my preference for single-actions I'd go with a .44/.45 in a 4  5/8" barrel as that would be lighter than the Redhawk, if I had to climb or walk a lot.
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  #7  
Old 05-22-2002, 03:22 PM
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I thought I was completely out of the gun market right now, but yesterday evening was shooting the 500 at the local range (read that gravel pit) and after I finished I was talking to a few of the other "regulars". *My attention was called to a new fella who seemed to be having problems with a new revolver (as atested to his colorful language). *I walked over, more curious than anything. *He had a brand new 45 Colt stainless Ruger Redhawk with 5.5 inch barrel. *He had a cardboard box in front of him about 20 yards away without a mark on it. *As I approached him, I thought he was about to throw the revolver in the inlet. *He was mad. *I asked what was wrong and he said he had fired 8 rounds at this box and had yet to connect. *I asked all the regular questions and he seemed to be truthful in his answers then I asked what bullets he was shooting. *Buffalo Bore 325's. *I personally like the Buffalo Bore stuff and thought he might have some serious problems with the revolver (it had fired a grand total of 8 times) with 4 still in the cyclinder unfired. *The guy complained about the gun, the ammunition, etcc.... *I asked if he minded if I tried. *I fired the next shot and hit the little red dot he had put on his box. *Yes, the trigger was heavy and a little rough (I fired it DA) but not that bad. *I handed it back to him and said that it seemed fine to me, but until he got used to it a little more he might want to shoot some tamer loads and have the trigger worked a little. *The guy thought I got lucky the first shot, so he asked me to shoot the rest of the cylinder. *I did and all 4 shots grouped in a neat little cluster totally wearing out that red dot. *That isn't very impressive, I know. *But this was the first time I had ever shot this gun and ammo and the trigger was fairly rough. *We were shooting free handed also. *Those were the first BB loads I have ever shot in 45 Colt and they are pretty stout. *I don't think the guy had the proper training or experience with large bore handguns and with only 8 shots had developed a terrible reaction to the boom.

To make a long story short, he asked me that since it looked like that I could shoot the gun, would I be interested in buying it? *Yes, but I was short on gun money at the time and couldn't give him what it was worth. *Well, he said, for 250, you can take it home, he didn't want it. *I have a new Ruger Redhawk in 45 Colt with a 5.5" barrel, and 40 rounds of Buffalo Bore ammo. * I really like it, the trigger will have some work done, but it is a really nice handgun. *Besides, it's a perfect mate to the 500 Redhawk I have.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2002, 04:38 PM
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Alyeska-

Looks like his loss is your gain in a big way. *We all should be so lucky to bump into this guy at the range!

As for the gravel pit, I wish I still had access to a pit nearby that I used to shoot at with a buddy. *Our local "ranges" leave a lot to be desired.

One question, do you consider the 5.5 inch Redhawk too heavy for carry while hiking or just bumming around the woods? *I like the Redhawk better than the S&W Mountain Guns I've handled and seeing as how I already have a 7.5 inch .44 Mag Redhawk I would like to keep things the same. *Which would you prefer to carry in your neck of the woods?
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2002, 04:55 PM
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In my very personal opinion, I think the Redhawk is a great choice. *Yes, you may want to do a little work on the trigger and it may not be as precisely made as the Smith. *BUT... I just cannot get around the deal S&W made with feds. *And them not having to go through the competitive bid process for their contracts because of it. *I not only feel affronted as a member of the shooting public, but feel supporting a company that has done that to the rest of the manufacturers is just not right. *If Smith gets all the contracts they can handle, what would keep another from doing the same. * I don't want to start ranting about S&W again, but it really burns me.

Besides the ruger is overbuilt, by far and away the strongest of the two so if you have that bend to really stoke it up, it stands alone. *The trigger can be worked very good. *My 500 has one of the best triggers I've seen. *It is a good carry, if you don't mind the large frame, for woods bumming. *I've carried Redhawks hither and yon and don't have a problem doing so. *I wish the 45 had a 4 5/8 or 4.5 inch barrel though. *The 5.5 just LOOKS a little long. *I've only shot the one I bought 4 times and haven't got to do much with it yet. *I'll give it a really good cleaning and have the trigger worked a little. *Those Buffalo Bore loads are strong stuff, probably too much for anything reasonable other than bears.

I've seen a lot of nearly brand new 454's, 475's and such up here that people have bought but can't control and end getting rid of them. *I tried talking the feller that had this into trying some lighter loads, but he had already "jinxed" himself with it by trying those bear loads first, something I would never recommend.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2002, 08:19 PM
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Alyeska.

A fool and his gun are soon parted? You did the fella a favor since he was so "unteachable"

If that dang "N" frame had not been such a  vixen, I surely would have gotten a Redhawk.

Scotty
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2002, 09:52 AM
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I recently got a redhawk in 44 mag with the 5.5 barrel.  I carry it around my property and stop for a little target practice often.

I do not like the shoulder or belly carry stuff.  I have a cheap holster that goes on my belt, make sure you get a good stiff belt for concealed carry.  
The concealed carry belts tend to be thick and really stiff, so even for owb stuff they keep their shape.
I am looking for a nice leather holster now as I think the gun deserves a nice holster.

It is heavy, I would never call it light.  But I have no problem working all day with clearing brush, riding a mower, and working around my place.  I like the weight as it is my first big revolver and first 44 mag, got a superblack hawk as well though.

I am on the big side, so a heavy gun is not a big deal.  If on the small side, your concern may be warrented.  I also am not hiking all day, I ride a tractor or do this or that with lots of variety.

That said, with a nicer holster I would take it with me to the evil woods for 2 and 4 leg protection.  Around here it is 2 you worry about.  But I bought it so I could get used to it as I am getting into being out and about more often.

Now the main reason I might cut it down would be to do a concealed carry concept where you want to be able to hide it better as well as pull it out faster. &nbsp;Those are the benefits of a shorter barrel in my opinion. &nbsp;Of course should plainsman wander through here I am guilty of talking about his concept. &nbsp;<!--emo&--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=''><!--endemo--> &nbsp;But a good concept.
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  #12  
Old 05-23-2002, 10:18 AM
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I second the notion about the good holster/belt combination. *That makes all the difference in the world to me. *I'm kinda wiry, I guess. *About 5'9" 150 lbs. *I've carried the Redhawks hiking through the most rugged and difficult terrain imaginable for days on end and have never been bothered by it. *But, I've never knew any better either. *Maybe I'm just used to it, as I'm used to carrying a compass or my field vest. *It's a piece of personal gear that I've never considered to be a hinderance of any kind and wouldn't think of not having it. *Doesn't bother me a bit. *I am sure the Redhawk is a little heavier than the Smith, but it is relative. *I take comfort in the extra weight and strength of the Ruger. *Especially with the loads that I require for backcountry travel, not recommended for the Smith.
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2002, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for all the sound advice gentleman. &nbsp;The 5.5 inch Redhawk in .45 LC is next on the "list." &nbsp;Time to start working on the gun fund again. &nbsp;Wonder if the wife will notice? &nbsp;HA-HA
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Old 05-26-2002, 07:41 PM
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Dutch,
Just got back from the range, er gravel pit, and unlimbered the 45 Colt Redhawk. *I got a call from the guy that sold it to me a couple of days ago and thought for sure he was wanting it back, nope, he had a box of Corbon 335 gr hardcast +P loads he had bought for it and was wanting to know if I wanted them too. *Said they were free if I'd stop by and pick them up. *I did. *Anyway, back to the range. *The Corbon loads are 335 hardcast with a velocity listed on the box of 1050 fps. *I'm assuming that's from a 7.5 inch barrel as most are measured. * I loaded those and shot a full cyclinder into a group at 25 yards from the sitting position of about 1.5 inches. *Not bad for factory loads in an unfamiliar gun, I'd say. *They shot high and right of the sights, so I adjusted and repeated the performance with the next cyclinder full and the next. *The Corbon's are pretty strong, and come back about like factory loaded 44's, at least in my hands. *Oh yeah, the Corbon had a sticker on the box of $24.00 for 20 rounds. *Kinda spendy. *No leading was evident to my eye looking through the barrel, though powder fouling was very evident. *I gave it a quick field cleaning and everything was shiny again, except around the mouth of the cyclinder.

Now on to the Buffalo Bore loads. *I have to admit, I'm kinda partial to these, though I can't afford to shoot them too much. *At a dollar and change per pop, it gets expensive pretty quick, though these were gifted with the gun. *Without adjusting the sights I touched off the first round and compared to the CorBon, it felt like the revolver exploded. *Yes, these are some very stout loads. *Low and left. *I touched off another round, and it touched the first shot. *One more for group, and I had a nice ragged hole, low and left. *I adjusted the sights for the BB loads and fired one off. *Just a touch high in the orange above the black square. *That's fine with me. *I loaded the cyclinder full. *Boom, boom....uh-oh what's that blood all over my shiny new revolver? *The curl on the grip sliced the web of my hand open pretty good. *But the groups are really, really good. *Back to the truck for some bandage. *Back to the target. *Six shots into a great big ragged hole, hard, heavy, gritty, jumpy trigger and all.

These Redhawks will shoot, make no mistake about it. *I'm not a great shot, and kinda surprised myself today with factory loads that kick like the Buffalo Bore's do. *The Buffalo Bore loads are the 325 grain hard cast LFN at 1325 fps (per the box) and I did notice quite a bit of lead fouling and the revolver is soaking as I write this, trying to get it clean. *Great gun, great ammo (both the Corbon and Buffalo Bore) and Great FUN...

I won't be shooting a lot of these two types of ammo and wouldn't recommend shooting these types of loads regularly, they have to be hard on the gun. *I don't think they are needed either. *I can't wait to load up some cowboy type loads to see what happens. *By the way, there is room to seat the bullets out a bit further than either the Corbon or Buffalo Bore, but I'm not sure why anyone would want to. *Considering the loads I shot today, I think the gun handles recoil really well and is very accurate. *I do think the front sight needs to be wider and will replace that right after the trigger job. *Shooting DA, it is very easy to tell when the gun will go boom. *There is no "where's the ka-boom, there should be a ka-boom". * Pull is heavy, then about where "half-cock" would be lightens noticeabley, then right before it bottoms out gets very heavy. *It's fairly easy to control once you get the feel for it, but is not a good trigger by any stretch of the imagination. *Oh, by the way, no duds and all fired when they were supposed to.

I think you will be happy with your decision to get the Redhawk. *It is a fine instrument with a fine cartridge to go with it. *I'm really tickled with mine. *Let us know how yours does when you get it.
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  #15  
Old 05-27-2002, 06:15 AM
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I had a 5 1/2" 44 Mag; liked it so well it is off at David Clements' shop being converted to .500. &nbsp;Yeah, its heavier than a mountain gun, but it will last absolutely forever with any reasonable ammo. &nbsp;Bowen and Clements do some lightweight Redhawk conversions that look like they would be the cat's meow for all-day carry.
Alyeska, who did you have do your .500? &nbsp;And what configuration did it end up being?
Mark
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Old 05-28-2002, 08:42 AM
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Mark,
Hamilton Bowen did my Redhawk. *It is fairly similar to his Alpine model though without the fluted cylinder and a 4" barrel. *It is very well put together and I definitely enjoy his work. *I had really wanted one like the 454 he depicts in his book, but the extra cost at that time was more than I could swing. *The gun in it's present configuration is more than a handful for me and I wouldn't recommend a 4" barrel unless someone is very accustomed to shooting guns of this class, then only if it is ported (mine isn't and is not a pleasurable experience to shoot, though very accurate). *I've had tons of offers for this gun and I'm nearly considering to sell it and send this 45 off to have it converted to the 500 by Mr. Bowen with a L-frame type barrel and lug and ported. *If I do, I'll go with a 4.5 or 5" barrel. *That 4" is just a little short when the trigger is squeezed.

Something he talked me into that I didn't think I wanted at the time was the lanyard ring. &nbsp;I'm glad he did. &nbsp;The lanyard keeps with you, even if you take a good dunking and have to swim some whitewater.
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Old 05-28-2002, 08:58 AM
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Alyeska-

Again I just wanted to say thanks for all the input about the Redhawk. &nbsp;I'm sure it'll do everthing I need it for.

Hope you had a happy Memorial Day!

-Dutch
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Old 05-29-2002, 11:58 AM
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Alyeska:
Sounds like a sweet gun. &nbsp;I originally intended to get the basic conversion with rebored 5.5" barrel, but I let David talk me into being the guinea pig for his new EDM machine; he is making a 5.5" L-frame type barrel for it. &nbsp;Looking forward to getting it. &nbsp;My intention is to mainly shoot the milder loads in it, as the only grizzlies we have in Iowa are at the local zoo.
Good shooting
Mark
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Old 05-29-2002, 12:10 PM
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Mark,
It's been my experience, and experience of some of the other folks I know that shoot the 500, that it is very hard to load DOWN. *It's buffaloed me so bad that I won't attempt to load it down anymore. *Granted, my more joyful loads aren't my bear loads, but I've had every problem imaginable trying to load the 500 down. *Take that with a grain of salt as I'm not the most skillful handloader out there and I'm not all together comfortable with doing something that isn't published, but just a few grains either way and my 500 gets really cranky. *I don't know why and Bowen touched on this a little in his book, so user beware.
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Old 05-30-2002, 01:36 PM
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Alyeska:
What powders have you tried? &nbsp;I have had good results with Universal Clays in the 45/70; I figured that or Titegroup would be my starting point.
Mark
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