Strength of SA vs DA Revolver


August 23, 2003, 02:15 PM
In this case, using the new Ruger SA Super Blackhawk Hunter with the Bisley grip and the DA Super Redhawk as a comparison (both of which shoot the .44Mag and weigh in at 53oz), which of the two would be inherently stronger? In otherwords which, in theory, should remain properly functioning longer with a constant use of full-power cartridges such as those made by Cor-bon, Buffalo Bore, Garrett?

I'd appreciate any comments, speculations, etc. Thanks.


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August 23, 2003, 03:43 PM
I'll try to get this thread to WESHOOT2.
Think he has extensive work with both those critters n heavy loads.


August 23, 2003, 05:27 PM
Both guns are built really well. I cant see one holding up better than the other.

Jim March
August 23, 2003, 06:04 PM
There are several things clouding the issue:

1) The SRH has got more metal involved (check the weights of a regular SBH to the SRH), and the 454 and 480 SRH variants are of different metallurgy.

(NOTE: the SBH Hunter is indeed heavier than normal SBHs, but NOT in a fashion that affects strength! The seriously heavy barrel helps with recoil control and accuracy, not strength - the frame and cylinder is the same either way.)

2) A much more "apples to apples" comparo is the Redhawk 44Mag to the SBH Hunter. And in that race, the SA wins.

3) Now put it another way: Ruger sells SA 44Mags in Bisley form down around 40oz. Their lightest 44Mag DA is what, 52oz on the Redhawk? Per virtually all reports, the lighter SA with the Bisley grip is more comfortable to shoot AND tougher.

Summing up: the SA action has a lot of advantages. With no crane, the frame is shorter top to bottom, yet the frame is more solid and the cylinder support is far stronger so long as the base pin latch holds.

If you get an SBH Bisley Hunter, it needs one simple and cheap upgrade: a Belt Mountain replacement base pin with a lockscrew. That will reduce cylinder play and prevent the base pin (the "cylinder's axle") from jumping loose under recoil.

There's one more issue: Ruger sets up the chambers on their DA 44Mags a little bit "longer" internally than they do on the SAs. That's why the Garrett 330grain monsters don't always fit in the Ruger SAs...Garrett is using an absolute maximum overall length spec a little past normal 44Mag practice to get as much case capacity and pressure reduction as possible. I *think* a gunsmith with a bit of chamber reaming could re-work the SBH cylinder easily enough but that's worth checking into.

Barring that, there's plenty of good 44Mag hunting/woods loads out there that are at a normal 44Mag overall length.

Old Fuff
August 23, 2003, 06:15 PM
Jim is right, the SRH has a more massave frame then the SBH. However I prefer the later because it is, I think, more then strong enough and you can't spring the crane (or yoke as the case may be). The lighter gun is easier to carry, especially if it's scoped; the weight is forward in the barrel, and I think double-action is a moot point.

August 24, 2003, 01:19 AM
So does Garrett recomend their 330 grain load for redhawk and super redhawk only based on chamber length or gun strength? As compared to the ruger single action that is.

Robert inOregon
August 24, 2003, 02:00 AM
So does Garrett recomend their 330 grain load for redhawk and super redhawk only based on chamber length or gun strength?

Length! Pressure does not exceed SAAMI.

August 24, 2003, 04:05 AM
for the 310 grain round... but I thought the 330 was overpressure

August 24, 2003, 04:10 AM
According to the Q&A over at Garrett's webpage the 330 grain load is considered overpressure for all but redhawk, super redhawk and dan wesson. That might mean that the blackhawk is not as strong as the redhawk as someone above mentioned. Any thoughts?

Jim March
August 24, 2003, 04:57 AM
In the SuperBlackHawk, the Garrett 330s aren't recommended. But not because of the gun's "lack of raw strength" - rather, the chamber shape isn't over-length. Garrett is using the longer-than-spec chambers to seat the wide-nose bullet as far out as possible. If you shove these in an SBH or other normal-chamber gun hard enough, the rounds could be "crammed deeper", raising pressure...and that round is already maxed :eek:.

That's why it's not recommended for the Freedom Arms '83 frame, although that's the strongest 44Mag wheelgun *period*. FA uses minimum-spec chambers to boost accuracy.

Now, if you REALLY want to shoot Garrett 330s, any gunsmith could probably alter the SBH cylinder some, if also provided with a sample of the ammo. Accuracy with anything else would suffer by a fractional amount at worst, probably wouldn't be noticable.

Personally, while I agree the Garrett ammo is quite good, it's not the ONLY "top grade hardcast" out there. And for some critters, a good deep-punch hunting-type JHP like the Hornady XTP can get a lot done, as in deer or moderate size boar.

August 24, 2003, 05:21 AM
The cylinder is the critical part; the Redhawk and SRH have a larger and thicker-walled cylinder.

Oh, screw SAAMI.


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