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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello this is my first post, I am getting my first revolver. The use is for an emergency bear defense mainly for black but the occasional brown as i open my hunting grounds. I hear the super redhawk can handle longer rounds and more abusive 44 mag loads. My question is will the redhawk also handle the abuse as i think its a more appealing design. I dont mind the SRH but if the RH does the same i would rather that. I Dont plan on scoping this or hunting with it. This is just for a woods side arm for when my rifles are not in reaching distance. Also a bonus would be tips on the best ammo for brown bear in 44 mag. ( yeah yeah i know not the gun to use on brownies hoping to not use it for this) i will note im a great shot and am great under pressure. I hope my previous experience aplies to a charging bear. Also good at sprinting faster then people im with. Thanks if you took the time to read this all responses are welcomed and appreciated.
 

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welcome Brandon.

got a redhawk in 41 mag. and reload the 44 for hunting; but prefer the 375 w for bear hunting.
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I think the redhawk is as strong as the s&w. so max loads are no problem.

black bears are no problem. griz/browns are a problem with a pistol. IMHO FMJ are best for up close bear defense. These give max penetration.

any barrel over 4" is worthless I a bear of leopard is on you. just not enough room to fire. a double action 4" auto is best. just my thoughts.
 

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I have two of them, a 7 1/2" and a 4" and like them both. My 4" tags along in a hip holster and the 71/2 is scoped and rides in a bandolier style holster. While it is possible to blow up any gun with incorrect loading, I have never seen a picture of a RH coming apart. They are capable of using the longer bullets and one can use handloads that are quite punishing on the human hand. I keep my loading on the easy side, 250gr bullets around 1200 fps and anything 300 and over down to around 1000 fps, they are capable of substantially more. I found the old style Pachmayr Presentation grips to be the most recoil absorbing due to their size, the Gripper style was too narrow for my preference. I prefer the brute strength of these over my S&W M-29 (which moved on), although they are quite a bit heavier. You will like a RH.

Allen
 

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My question is will the redhawk also handle the abuse as i think its a more appealing design..
The RH is quite likely the most durable of the affordable .44's available, and it will digest a fortune in hot ammo over many years, even decades. A close friend has been shooting his with hot loads since the first ones came out.

The Ruger DA designs have some very good features, especially for the guys needing a handgun for the worst of weather conditions, with minimal maintenance. You can take it completely apart with simple tools, and put them back together. Revolvers are not entirely bullet proof, as all are subject to problems with timing if dropped, but the RH's have a lot of steel to minimize the effect of the worst spills. I'd hate to take a fall that would damage one myself.

As loads go, the stuff from Buffalo Bore comes to mind. A problem I have had with the short barrel .44's is the POI is way high with the heaviest bullets. Try a sample before stocking up.

Keep up with the running though ;)
 

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I think both the Redhawk and the Super Redhawk are fine revolvers up to the task.

I own a GP100 and it has the same grip frame as the SRH which allows a lot of different designs to fit a person's likes. The downside of the SRH is the 7.5" barrel length which to me is too long for a general purpose woods carry gun. For example, the Hogue Tamer grip fits my hands perfectly and "should" be effective in reducing felt recoil with its padding at the web of the hand.

On the other hand, the Alaskan SRH seems to me to have too short of a barrel to be practical at least to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well thanks everyone, that puts me on the hunt for the RH. Is there anything i should look out for when buying a used one?
 

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I've had my 7 1/2 inch barreled Redhawk for 25+ years and it's seen it's share of heavy cast and jacketed bullet loads. I can't say that a S&W would have held up to what the old Redhawk has seen.

If I'm on foot, I carry it in an Uncle Mike's shoulder rig with two speed loaders. I'd rather have the longer barrel as IMO it gives you faster follow up shots and again IMO getting the longer barrel into action is no slower than the 4 inch model if you practice. No, I don't mean playing quick draw either.

A heavy, wide meplat, hard cast bullet is better for penetration than most any jacketed bullet. I've shot a ton of 250 grain 429421's (Keith bullet) out of mine as well as 240 grain XTP's. 300 grain bullets I suppose are a good choice for big things, and while I've never hunted big bears on purpose, a friend of mine from Wasilla AK. has taken a couple brownies using 180 grain XTP's. He says they go clear through with the bullets being found under the hide on the far side.

The thing nobody can explain (or prove) to me is just how quickly they can do a follow up shot using 300 plus grain bullets going mach 6 out of their 4 inch barreled big bore handgun (ported or not) like the SBH in 454 Casull or 480 Ruger.

RJ
 
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The thing nobody can explain (or prove) to me is just how quickly they can do a follow up shot using 300 plus grain bullets going mach 6 out of their 4 inch barreled big bore handgun (ported or not) like the SBH in 454 Casull or 480 Ruger.

RJ
Would shooting at flushed pheasants or grouse count :D

Even 300gr bullets are not that manageable in a 4"/.44, though mine is on the light side. My guess is that a .454 or .480 would not improve that a lot.
 

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Brandon,

Well, as always the best bear medicine is the rifle you have in hand. Better and fast they reaching for a sidearm.

However, saying that, the RUGER RedHawk is one tough gun that takes a lick'in and keeps on tick'in!

My go to load for my 5.5" version has for years been a Wide Flat Nose cast bullet, 310gr at slightly over 1300fps. This bullet is from an LBT mold.

The WFN bullets, if properly cast of a good allow are highly effective on game, and 310gr at 1300fps is a worthy load.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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I have been shooting a 5 1/2" Redhawk for almost 30 years...and in all that time I have NEVER gotten good with it! Just not easy to shoot well.

Now give me a solid SuperBlackHawk or a S&W 29 and I can shoot fairly well even out to 100yrds and have done a lot of lead slinging to very far steel targets with success.

It is my belief that you would be 5 times better served with a good 5 1/2" Bisley SBH in 44mag or 45 colt and it is just as capable as the RH at taking superpower++P ammo

As far as strength goes, I shot 1000's of my full house 300gr rounds through my RedHawk and after 30,000 it is still just as solid as the day I got it....I tried just 6 of them in my S&W29 and it rattles like a rusty chain now...nearly ruined the revolver in 6 shots!;)
 

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Freedom,

Thanks for your last paragraph in the post above.

I believe the RedHawk is even tougher in at least one respect then the BlackHawk.

Shooting the BlackHawk with the 300gr plus cast bullets, there were NO issues as per strength of the frame, but the base pin, the pin on which the cylinder rotates did give problems.

No so with many many rounds down the tube when using the 240 - 255gr projectiles, but the recoil was such with the heavier bullets that the spring loaded retainer for the base pin AND the base pin itself were damaged.

We I to again use the RUGER single action for loads with the 300gr + bullets, I would buy an after market base pin with the set screw, hoping that would solve the problem.

I am not likely the shot you are with a handgun, but I fine the RedHawk shoots just fine plus it is almost tank tough.

Crust Deary Ol'Coot
 

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As far as strength goes, I shot 1000's of my full house 300gr rounds through my RedHawk and after 30,000 it is still just as solid as the day I got it....I tried just 6 of them in my S&W29 and it rattles like a rusty chain now...nearly ruined the revolver in 6 shots!;)
I'm a solid S&W fan, but that's not the first time I've heard that someone killed a M29 with as few as a box of ammo.

What I wonder about, is whether the 300+gr bullets over max charges of one of the slow burning powders would be that much more lethal than a 250gr bullet at 95%. ?? I haven't shot even one charging grizzly, so I know not either way.
 

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No worries about the Redhawk and heavy loads.

I would get the 4 inch. Rides the best on the belt.

I use the 320 gr WLNGC. Expect about 30 inches of penetration, at least.

With the 300 gr bullets and above you will need a higher front sight.
 

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I bought mine in the mid 80's and its the most indestructible pistol I've ever owned. Both the Ruger and Smith will handle all the heavy factory loads you can shoot in your lifetime. The Ruger will stand up to more abuse, and heavier loads that go beyond spec, so there is not much point in doing so.

Mine is 7 1/2" and I find it quite comfortable to carry on a belt holster, but I hunt with mine. 6" might be better for your purpose. If you get any shoter than that it becomes increasingly harder to keep it on target when firing multiples quickly.

 

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My wife and I do a lot of camping, at least that's what she calls it - we drag along a 37' fiver to a campground and there we are.



So anyway, I have almost always brought along a rifle and a pistol, usually my 32 special W94 and a Ruger P89DC. Finally, after more than a few years, my wife asked why I brought TWO firearms with me. We happened to be in the mountains of western NC at the time, and I explained that the 9mm was for two legged critters that meant us harm, and the rifle for four legged creatures that might see us as a threat and want to do us damage because they feel we may do the same to them. She said "what sort of four legged critters?" I said black bears, she said OH! :eek:

A few months ago, I felt the need for a change, as I don't shoot the P89 much at all, and I am just not great with THIS semi-auto, I decided to do some looking and trading. I wanted a 357 Mag revolver, 4" or 5". The store owner brought out a NIB Taurus, but it was blued, and it didn't feel right, I said I would prefer SS and it didn't have to be new, so he smiled, went into the back and came out with this:



Ruger Security Six from 1979, tight, great condition, and when I took it to the range, was very impressed with it and my ability with it.

Will it stop a blackie? Not likely, I hope I never have to find out, but I don't feel the need for two guns so much, well...

This is always in my pocket!



Have a great day!!!
 

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That Security looks like a twin to mine! :D

A good Wide Flat Nose cast of about 170gr will go a long ways towards putting the hurt on a blackie.

CDOC
 

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There is no strength difference between the Redhawk and Super Redhawk.


IMHO FMJ are best for up close bear defense. These give max penetration.
Not even close. FMJ is a terrible choice for multiple reasons. Firstly, they are not that tough. They're usually a thin copper jacket over a soft lead core. They will deform and separate. Secondly, they usually have a very small meplat which doesn't produce much of a wound channel. A good hardcast SWC or LBT is a much better choice. These will penetrate, create a large wound channel and not deform like an FMJ.
 

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There is no strength difference between the Redhawk and Super Redhawk.



Not even close. FMJ is a terrible choice for multiple reasons. Firstly, they are not that tough. They're usually a thin copper jacket over a soft lead core. They will deform and separate. Secondly, they usually have a very small meplat which doesn't produce much of a wound channel. A good hardcast SWC or LBT is a much better choice. These will penetrate, create a large wound channel and not deform like an FMJ.
Not to mention the fact that round-nosed bullets have a tendency to veer and not penetrate in a straight line. They are a very poor choice.
 

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I was thinking about the truncated cone type silhouette bullets but round nose is even worse! Actually, quite terrible.
 

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I punched a hole through a deer with a 50 BMG fmj one time...she looked around and then went back to grazing.. I thought I had missed and a couple minutes later she started walking backwards and fell over dead!!..LOL Center punched right through the ribs.

I guess velocity and a s***load of energy didn't play into that equation at all!! So from this I learned bullet shape was extremely vital...or in that case NOT vital...lol
 
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