Shortenning the Barrel on a Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Cassull


February 7, 2011, 06:05 PM
Okay, another idea about finding that "perfect" revolver for my magnum dweeb tendencies. I've been looking at the .454 Cassull for some time now. Specifically in the Ruger Super Redhawk 7.5", the Alaskan is too short for my tastes. I've had time and again to buy another gun and have passed it up, probably nearly a year now. I wanted for the S&W M22 in 5.5", the 625 4", etc. etc. etc.. The problem magnum dweeb tendencies. I love magnums, .357 and .44, and own a few revolvers in each, but I also realize the need for a practical compromise.

Now I live in Florida and we don't have open carry...yet. So this revolver would be a range toy that could double as a HD gun. Now I've read on Pinnacle and other websites that do barrel shortening and moon clip machining that you can take a .454 Casull Ruger Super Redhawk and have it machined/converted to also shoot .45 ACP. Ah and that's the kicker. I also love .45 ACP, and in the beast of the Super Redhawk I figure its recoil would be well contained.

So I eventually want to just buy a Super Redhawk in .454 Cassull in 7.5" and leave it untouched for the fun of long range pistol shooting, and then getting a second one and having the barrel shortened to 4.25". Why the 4.25" barrel length, couldn't really explain it to you other than folks have found the S&W 625 more than adequate with .45 ACP with 4" barrels so that extra .25" just kind of cinches it then I figure. The 4.25" would be primarily my .45 ACP gun and if possible, also my .460 Rowland gun perhaps, Load X Ammunition offers a 200 grain JHP at 1450 fps(more like a .41 magnum load than a .44 magnum load, but no one would want to stand in front of it either way I figure) and I plan to e-mail them about their testing and quality control methods.

It's just been rattling around in my head for sometime now, the idea, if Florida got open carry than the 4.25" would be good for open carry without looking like I was trying to be Dirty Harry, I hope. I've got a valid concealed weapon's license and would take to wearing long shirts anyways to minimize folks from taking immediate notice. Thoughts, ideas from my fellow high roaders and big revolver fans.

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February 7, 2011, 09:47 PM
Check this out.

February 7, 2011, 09:49 PM
One more

February 8, 2011, 11:41 AM
in .454 so I've done a lot of research on them. Some people are of the opinion that firing .45 LC in them leads to an annular erosion at the mouth of the shorter case, then, when firing .454, the case is fire formed into the groove, leading to difficult extraction. I would guess .45 apc would do the same.
On the positive side, it makes a great excuse to get a Blackhawk in .45 LC.

February 8, 2011, 01:40 PM
The ruger forum posts look great and folks seem to like their modified revolvers. I did worry about, and still do, firing .45 ACP through the super redhawk much like the concern over firing 125 grain .357 magnums through a Model 19 S&W.

It's one of those things, I won't know till I try. I own plenty of guns. If I'm going to make a mistake over a custom gun it is this year I figure. I am young and single with no kids. If I'm every going to do it I have to do it this. Granted I'm squirreling away money every week till there's a couple grand put away to do this with.

With as often as I clean and inspect my guns I figure I'll notice something going wrong before I lose a finger. If the .45 ACP wears the gun away...oh well, better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.

February 8, 2011, 02:02 PM
There's a problem with wanting to modify the cylinder. The cases of the .45acp are so much shorter than those of the .454Casull cases that the bullet would exit the case quite a bit before it enters the bullet size bore in the forward portion of the cylinder chambers. This leaves the bullet free flying with no spin and a big gap around it for gases to blowby. It's likely that the bullet will enter the forward stepped down bore of the chamber somewhat cockeyed and suffer deformation. This same issue doesn't occur with shooting the only slightly shorter .45Colt rounds as the rear cylindrical portion is long enough that the bullet enters the forward bore before it leaves the case.

So your cylinder work would also have to include reaming and sleeving and then re-chambering for the .45acp rounds and the gun would not be useable for anything else then. This is why the Ruger Convertables in both 9mm and .45acp come with separate cylinders. Because the chamber depths for the case and bullet sized portions are so different.

All in all I'd suggest that this would make the conversion cost prohibitive unless you just really must have a Super Redhawk in .45acp and money is not an issue. And then there's the issue of finding a smith to do the work. That may be a whole other issue on it's own.

The "sensible option" would be to just go with one of the S&W guns that is already chambered in this round and intended for use with moonclips.

February 8, 2011, 04:07 PM
First suggestion is call Jack Huntington Advanced Gunsmithing and get his thoughts on the subject. He's done a LOT of conversions, or shortening barrels on the SRH.

Since you haven't bought the gun, don't. .454 runs at very high pressure, recoils very hard and sharp, and generally is a 30 year old solution to a problem we don't have anymore.
Plus, the SRH is an ugly gun, and big and heavy.

My choice would be get a .475 Linebaugh, or .500 Linebaugh. They operate at considerably less pressure, and, have one huge advantage: They can move bullets of over 350 grains at very close to full velocity, out of short barrels.

If you buy a .454, then load it down to .44 magnum pressures.

If you want a .45 ACP, or .45 Super type revolver, S&W makes guns designed for those rounds, with a short cylinder. They are ugly, but, I bet fun to shoot, and easy to carry.

The Mountain Guns are beautiful, and, I'd go for one of those for shooting .45 Colt, and a 625 for .45 ACP.

Practically, you'd better start reloading. .454 .475 are about the same cost for ammo, IIRC.

February 8, 2011, 06:16 PM
Yeah I guess the smarter thing would be to hang up the .45 ACP idea. If I go for it I got to stick to .45 Long Colt. Buffalo Bore makes a 260 grain JHP that does 1400+ fps if I remember right but I think that is out of a 7.5". Hmm .45 ACP is gone for the RSRH, but I still want a shortened barrel version. I already reload .44 magnum and .357 magnum and I figured I'd just also go ahead and reload .454 and .45LC as well and try to get them to the hunting premium ammo levels I'd want to use. Thoughts and ideas, thoughts and ideas.

The .454 is about as off the mainstream as I want to go at this time. When I saw the Mastadon .510 GNR I nearly fell in love with it till I realized there was no commercial SD ammo being offered. Yeah I want a hand gun I can hunt and do some long range shooting fun with, but it'd be nice to also have the ability to have it double as a HD gun. Just don't know for now, I'm glad I decided to bring it up now because as I thought would happen. I have a bit more clarity on the matter.

Hunt down a 625 in .45 ACP in 4"-5.5" and get a RSRH in .454 and have the barrel shortened. After that find good homes for my S&W Model 19s(yes plural, I like them but I know I don't appreciate them, plus the proceeds on the net profit would probably put me ahead after I got the two .45s), my model 15-3(it's been fun but I just don't shoot or really appreciate the gun and no one in my family wants it or likes it sadly enough). Keep my RSRH in .44 magnum, keep my SP101 3" and GP100 6", RSBH in .44 magnum, and shoot the tar out of my .45 caliber revolvers. Oh and keep the little pipsqueak reliable Rossi 462 .357 magnum I almost always carry.

February 8, 2011, 08:41 PM
I am a fan of both the SRH and the .454 Casull, but I see a few issues with the idea of carrying a SRH as a defense gun. The revolver is a big, heavy gun that is not easy to carry for long periods. It also is bulky, making is even less feasible to carry. I much rather carry a 1911 or N-frame instead of a SRH for eighteen hours a day.

That said, the .454 is a heck of a round that does not need to be loaded to its maximum pressure to be effective. I much prefer to load a 300-grain slug at 1100-1200 fps. Nothing the .45 Colt cannot do, but the .454 offers a larger safety margin and ensures I do not load a max .45 Colt load in a gun that cannot handle it.

If you want a SRH, get one. Prices are down, and the gun will withstand a lifetime of shooting.

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