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View Full Version : Ruger Redhawk .45Colt--anyone??


Heat
October 20, 2010, 20:39
Well, the more I read and hear from people in the know it seems in a Revolver built for it, the .45 Colt equals-or maybe even betters the .44 Mag and from what I've seen the .45Colt fires a heavier, wider, just as fast bullet at lower pressure thus enabling the shooter to save his wrist, extend the life of the firearm etc. So I went looking for a D/A revolver and Ruger has it..now I want one. Anyone else been down this road?

http://i52.tinypic.com/2ewo4qu.jpg

MAINER
October 21, 2010, 13:07
I find no fault in your choice of firearm and/or the cartridge. I do question your statement the the 45 Colt is equal or superior to a 44 Maggie? I would agree it would do as well or better as a personel defence weapon than a down-loaded 44 Mag to the same velocity.

With a stout Ruger like that you could likely jazz up the old Colt quite a bit, but you start to have to same problem as the full loaded 41 and 44 Mags with recovering from recoil between shots. 45 Colt cases aren't built to handle much playing room and I usually lose 2 to 3 cases from body splits on just normal loads.

I own and shoot several 45 Colts, all SA's, but as a reloader, the Colt is not the greatest case to work with. Case life is short and that danged little bitty rim gives me fits. For this and a lot of other reasons, I prefer the .44 Special. Thicker chamber walls, especially in the bolt notches, long case life, and easy reloads.

I have a S&W 44 Spec. in 4" for a general purpose carry gun, but I wouldn't feel slighted with that Ruger in 45 Colt either.

Good choice.

Heat
October 21, 2010, 13:53
Im just going from what I've read and seen lately--buffalo bore and some others are loading .45colt with huge bullets and high velocity for the Ruger heavy framed revolver and the singleshot contender models--apparently 360grain bullets are being loaded and the speeds are still 1200ft+ and the cases are generating lower pressure than the .44RemMag--Im looking into this more--I would suppose those velocities are being measured in longer barreled revolvers, not this 4+inch Ruger--seems like a good trail gun though:smile: !!

TerryN
October 22, 2010, 03:05
A lot of .45 Colt revolvers have sloppy chambers, that allow the cases to expand WAY too much - hence, short case life from expanding then being sized back down repeatedly.

One way to work around this is to size only as much of the case as the bullet occupies ~ essentially neck sizing. Another is to have a .44 Mag cylinder rechambered to minimum-spec .45 Colt, and fitted to your gun.

I lucked out, my .45 Colt Redhawk has pretty tight chambers, only allowing .002" expansion, or so. Case life isn't too awfully bad, as a result.

MAINER
October 22, 2010, 09:28
Haven't been keeping up with the "Big bullets in handgun crowd." Got to the .454 Casul level with duplex loads and all, then finding no Dragons to slay and what with Griz being scarce in these parts, decided that all I needed was a 250 gr bullet at 900 to 1000fps.

Interesting what they are doing at Buffalo Bore and other places and I like reading about them. There must be better cases to do this with than the 45 Colt. Wasn't there a 45 Win Mag. cartridge? .454 Casul cases are still produced also.

Have a 265gr mould in .45 cal. that a buddy used to soup-up some loads in a then new S&W N frame. He got some pretty impressive ballistics untill he buldged the bolt notches in the cylinder.
Turned out the S&W wouldn't handle loads any hotter than the Colt SA. :rolleyes:

Another consideration is that shooting hard kicking pistols takes a toll after a while. A member at the Gun Club that shot magnums all the time was told by his doctor not to shoot anymore, ever. He said X-rays showed hairline fractures in the bones of his wrist and forearm. Skeeter wrote about what he called "Magnumitis"? or wrist pain and suggested lighter loads for most shooting and occasional practice with the heavy stuff. Elmer warned about it also and supposedly only fired a cylinder full of Mag loads once a week or so.

Anyway, when ya gettin' the Ruger? :D

K. Funk
October 22, 2010, 10:15
Brian Pearce has written a lot on the .45 Colt. You can load them to equal speeds for bullet weight with less case pressure. That being said, I was never able to get .45 Colt 250 gr XTP's running fast (1250-1300) to shoot as well as .44 mag 240 gr XTP's , both out of Ruger SA's.

krf

ByronF
October 22, 2010, 15:27
I met a guy at the range years ago shooting a 45LC Blackhawk using trimmed 454 Casull cases, which are thicker I guess. So it's sort of like a 454 "Special", if you will. Don't know how hard he was pushing it but it seemed like a reasonable way to take an over-built platform to a higher level of performance. What he really liked about his pistol was the versatility of shooting mild cast lead plinking loads up to tank-buster rounds. Well, he might be able to shoot the tracks off a Bobcat skidsteer if he packed a lunch.

Heat
October 22, 2010, 18:53
Originally posted by MAINER

Anyway, when ya gettin' the Ruger? :D

Soon--need to find a local shop that has one in stock, and I need a few more $'s in the pocket--most likely I would use regular self defense loads in it and occasionally work up something special for holidays:smile:

MAINER
October 23, 2010, 09:13
When I was shooting lots of 45 Colt, Red Dot gave the best accuracy and IMR 4227 was good in "Thumper" loads. I would think you would need at least a 6" barrel to burn all the powder with the 4227 however.

Got the Red Dot load from "little Bocephus", Hank Jr. We had Red Dot around for loading Shotty's, so tried in the Colt and got good groups with it.

Having different loads got to be cumbersome and ended up standardizing with good old Unique.

Be sure to measure the chamber throats on that Ruger when you get it. Hopefully it will be close to the bore diameter. I f Ruger didn't get that right, they wern't listening.

Just finished thinning the hammer spring on a 45 Colt SA (clone). It made a huge difference, lots smoother now. Bob Mungren needn't be too worried. :D

jyo
October 23, 2010, 23:41
Personally, I would choose the same gun in .44 Mag.---you could fire either the .44 Special or .44 Mag ammo---the Special is mild and the Mag is wild! My two cents...

Heat
October 24, 2010, 00:44
Originally posted by jyo
Personally, I would choose the same gun in .44 Mag.---you could fire either the .44 Special or .44 Mag ammo---the Special is mild and the Mag is wild! My two cents...

I like being wierd and going against conventional wisdom--like when I bypassed AR's and bought FAL's:wink:

doubletap
October 24, 2010, 23:40
Geez who'd a thunk it, been loading 23.5 gr.s of H110 with cast 310 gr. slugs for 11 years now in my Bisley Vaquero and getting 8-10 loads per case, not that they are failing, I just retire them to plinker status at that point. I've never pressure tested them in my gun, but Hodgons's shows they are lower pressure than 44 mag. at the same velocity, about 1325 fps. The Red Hawk should handle this same load easily as well. Just make sure you keep them away from clunker revolvers like Colt SAA's and Italian clones, Smith Hand Ejectors, and Colt New Services, it will make them non-functional pretty quickly.
No great mystery about 45 LC cases. I use Federal, Remington, and as a last resort Winchester brass. The W-W is lightest of the bunch by weight. They easily handle the pressures, which should be in the low to mid 30K range.

Timber Wolf
October 25, 2010, 11:49
Originally posted by doubletap
Just make sure you keep them away from clunker revolvers like Colt SAA's and Italian clones, Smith Hand Ejectors, and Colt New Services,

Clunker? I know my Hand Ejector & New Service .45s are not up to Blackhawk loads but to call them clunkers is a bit harsh don't you think?:eek:

Shootability
October 25, 2010, 12:52
I have a older Redhawk with 5.5 barrel - shoot 300gr jacketed at 1200fps for hunting hogs - works pretty well. I do not own a 44mag but see little need for it with the 45Colt. The 250gr cast at 900fps are easy to shoot and pack quite a wallup.

MasterChief
October 26, 2010, 11:45
"I have a older Redhawk with 5.5 barrel - shoot 300gr jacketed at 1200fps for hunting hogs - works pretty well."

Man, I'll say! Can you PM me with the load, please?

http://www.fototime.com/6A433FFEE24B6A2/standard.jpg

Shootability
October 26, 2010, 12:46
http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=5


This is from Hodgdon and is the one I use.



300 GR. SPR JFP Hodgdon H4227 .451" 1.650" 19.0 1051 23,600 CUP 22.3 1202 29,900 CUP

MasterChief
October 26, 2010, 13:40
Thank you very much.

hawk962
October 27, 2010, 18:31
Bowen Classic Arms has been doing a lot of tuning and conversion work on Rugers for about 25-30 years. I'd like to have them work on one for me someday.
Seems like I read somewhere that starline brass was manufactured to handle the hotter .45 loads. I'll dig around a bit.

Heat
October 27, 2010, 20:47
Originally posted by hawk962

Seems like I read somewhere that starline brass was manufactured to handle the hotter .45 loads. I'll dig around a bit.

This is what I have heard--I saw some being used by Buffalo Bore and another manufacturer I cant recall--for reloaders it has the added benefit of being a bit less expensive than the others as well!

MMichaelAK
October 28, 2010, 09:57
All the bad press about weak .45 Colt brass is from the days when it was loaded with balloon head brass. The consensus is modern brass is no weaker than other cartridges.

Ive found Starline and PMC brass best for heavy loads. On 5th and 6th reloads with no case loss yet.

Ive got a Redhawk 5.5" in .45Colt and a few Blackhawks as well in .45 Colt having skipped the .44 magnum for the .452 caliber bullet .45 Colt.
Yep, bigger is better!

I load a Cast Performance 300 grain LFNGC over 20 grains of H 110 in Starline or PMC cases with a CCI Large Magnum Pistol primer for 1040 in my 4 5/8th inch barrel Blackhawk, and 1120 in my Redhawk and 5.5" Bisley Vaquero and I get just under 1175 in my 7.5" Blackhawk. Accuracy is good and recoil isnt bad except in the short Blackhawk as that one is blued and lightweight so it beats up the knuckle on my middle finger.

Ken Waters said that the .45 Colt in Rugers and TCs was plenty able to soup up but still not meant for .44 magnum pressures. But then you have others who have found that find it very capable of 1200-1300 with heavy bullets like John Taffin. I respect both men's opinion as they have put in their time. I personally feel no need to get any more horsepower out of my Rugers as right now with this load, I know it wil do anything I ask of it.

gobbler
October 28, 2010, 16:57
You can't beat the Ruger, if it had not have been for Ruger , I would have blown my azz up in my "Young & Dumb" days when I could not get the .357 or .44 hot enough. If it had been one of my Smiths or Colts...........I would not be typing with all my hand now, had all my face or worse. Thank you Bill Ruger:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

gobbler

TideWater 41009
October 28, 2010, 18:31
Originally posted by gobbler
You can't beat the Ruger, if it had not have been for Ruger , I would have blown my azz up in my "Young & Dumb" days when I could not get the .357 or .44 hot enough. If it had been one of my Smiths or Colts...........I would not be typing with all my hand now, had all my face or worse. Thank you Bill Ruger:bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

gobbler

Yeah, dude, thanks Bill Ruger:

In his letter to members of the House and Senate on 30 March 1989, Bill
Ruger stated in that which has come to be known as "The Ruger Letter":

"The best way to address the firepower concern is therefore not to try to
outlaw or license many millions of older and perfectly legitimate firearms
(which would be a licensing effort of staggering proportions) but to
prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines. By a simple, complete,
and unequivocal ban on large capacity magazines, all the difficulty of
defining "assault rifles" and "semi-automatic rifles" is eliminated. The
large capacity magazine itself, separate or attached to the firearm, becomes
the prohibited item. A single amendment to Federal firearms laws could
prohibit their possession or sale and would effectively implement these
objectives."

In addition to the furor amongst hunters, sportsmen and shooters caused by
"The Ruger Letter", Mr. Ruger made additional comments during an interview
with NBCs Tom Brokaw that angered 2nd Amendment proponents even further, by
saying that "no honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun…" and "I
never meant for simple civilians to have my 20 and 30 round magazines…"
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

hawk962
October 28, 2010, 18:45
This is what I have heard--I saw some being used by Buffalo Bore and another manufacturer I cant recall--for reloaders it has the added benefit of being a bit less expensive than the others as well!

Starline is stating their .45 Colt brass is tested to pressures equal to .44 mag on their website. Looks like it is on backorder right now. Available around the first of December.
I've used some of their stuff in other calibers and it seems to be topnotch.

bykerhd
October 28, 2010, 22:36
Hot .45 Colt loads sound like just the ticket for my .460 X-frame and T-C contender. But, I'm afraid in a Mr. Murphy, or maybe Darwinian moment, I might grab the wrong ammo and have a catastrophic "incident" with my 25 S & W.:uhoh:
Certainly a tragedy as far as the 25 S & W anyway.:rolleyes:

easttex
October 28, 2010, 23:32
My dad bought a .45 Colt Blackhawk a couple years ago and played around with it a while. He loaded up some "hot" or "Ruger-only" loads that pushed a 300grn bullet somewhere in the neighborhood of 1200fps. Made one hellacious ball of fire too which was pretty cool. He then decided that a .45 Colt wasn't getting it done so he bought a .454 Casull Super Blackhawk and I believe that fixed his wagon. A .454 Casull is a rompin', stompin' fire breathin' dragon of a revolver and guaranteed to cure your case of magnumitis. His is the 9.5" barrel version of the Super Blackhawk and I assure you that the recoil from shooting it is something akin to stopping a baseball bat with your hand. Collectively, I may have fired a total of one cyclinder through is .454. I figured out quickly that if I need that much handgun, I either need a FAL or a bolt action .458 Win Mag.

I on the other hand bought a Super Redhawk .44 Mag and love it. Its big enough that I can shoot it with one hand no problem and even pushing a 250grn boolit at 1100fps, I don't find it uncomfortable to shoot. And, its big enough to kill anything you might hunt with a handgun since and - all armchain ballistics aside - no critter is going to notice 0.02" bullet diameter at over 1000fps. But I digress...

When I was looking for a big bore revolver, I damn near bought a .45 Colt Redhawk and still may. Regular .45 ammo is generally pretty accurate and pleasure to shoot. And, with 250grn and 300grn bullets, you can hunt deer sized animals with factory ammo (and won't kill your wrists doing it). Plus, this is a D/A revolver with a swing-out cylinder so it'll reload a hell of a lot faster than a cowboy gun. And, Rugers in general are pretty durable revolvers. They'll take a lot abuse and keep on ticking. They're usually pretty accurate and you can often get into a nice one for less than a comparable S&W. In my mind, there's a lot of pluses to a .45 Colt Redhawk. If I were you...I'd take the plunge!

nearmisses
October 29, 2010, 17:35
I started shooting the Ruger Blackhawk 45LC 1973, thanks to Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith, some hot loads I found and article on, and I was in love with the cartridge then and still love it. I modified the gun with a Super Blackhawk Grip frame, Lightened down the lock work to a clean crisp SAFE 2 1/2 lb pull weight, white outline rear and front white insert ala S&W. All the crap I read above from people on here that have talked about balloon head cases and split cases is hooey as far as I am concerned and the weapon is a better one than 44 mag as far as I am concerned. I have owned many bof each but the 45 Colt is a great round. My load as I recal was with WW296 powder,(21.5 to 23.5 Grain back then) CCI 250 mag primer and either a Hornady 250 Gr Jacketed Hollow point bullet or a Keith Moulded 260 gr SWC. It barked but accuracy was top notch and bullet expansion in sand was .987 dia. with the Hornady. The Lead SWC hard cast was nasty and accurate as well. Accuracy was better with my custom Blackhawk SA revolver than many S&W md 29's I had. Don't let anyone deter you, but a 454 Casull was an alternative and now is quite a viable alternative as was suggested by others on here. In bullets Bigger, heavier and faster is always better on the receiving end if you can handle the recoil and still hit what was aimed at. For hunting it is a great cartridge! For self defense I just use it's modern counterpart, 1911A1 45ACP. The littler Taurus was made in a titanium framed revolver in a snubby that I would carry but wouldn't like shooting with a hotter load, maybe, ask me after I try it out sometime, a buddy has one but he won't let me near it. He knows how much I like that cartridge!

L1A1 59
November 26, 2010, 23:05
Ruger Bisley 7.5" 45 colt cast performance 370grGC over 20.0 gr of H110 1100fps nice load. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. this load worked for me in MY gun. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Tim