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Super Redhawk or Super Blackhawk: 44, or 454/45

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Huntolive, Apr 20, 2012.

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  1. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Hello,
    I have rifle hunted for years, but am new to handguns.
    I want a rugged, powerful revolver to primarily hunt deer, and maybe larger game. Considering the Super Blackhawk and Super Redhawk.
    Either the 44MAG or the 454 Casul/45LC.
    Recommendations?
    Problems/Limitations with any of the above?
    Better ideas under $800?
    Do I give up too much by going w/ SA Blackhawk? Is Blackhawk in any way superior ? Or is DA RedHawk worth the xtra $?
    I primarily hunt, and do not yet reload, but have friends who do, and could learn.
    I have fired the 454 SRH and was not bothered by the kick, which was less than I expected.
    Can get 454 SRH used for $600. Sound fair?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  2. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    Well, I have a few thoughts. As far as caliber goes, do you reload? If you do I might recommend checking out the 500 S&W. Otherwise I would stick with a caliber that was cheaper and easier to get. As much as I like 44 Magnum, 454 Casull is quite a bit more powerful so that would be my choice.

    As far as the Blackhawk vs Redhawk, I like double action revolvers a lot more than single actions. A double action can be loaded, unloaded and shot much faster than a single action. Plus if you want the short trigger pull you can always cock it.
     
  3. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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  4. Steve_NEPhila

    Steve_NEPhila Member

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    A few months back I bought a used Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull with a 7.5 inch barrell and I love it. I have put about 120 rounds of full house .454 through it and it is a very nice shooting revolver. Sure, the muzzle blast is massive but the recoil is not as painful as my .38 special J frame with +P ammo.

    The Super Redhawk in .454 allows one to go from mild (45 Colt can go from powder puff to 44 mag levels) to wild with fire breating .454 loads. This option to go up and down on a very wide range of energy levels is attractive to me. I also dig the target grey finish on the Super Redhawk. I do not think this finish is offered any more, yet it is common in the used market.

    My complaint about the SRH that I have is the trigger. The double action stacks and the single action creeps before releasing the hammer. This is not a major problem and I can have it easily and inexpensively fixed by my gunsmith. The front sight is interchangeable and the scope rings came with the gun... what is not to like about that...
     
  5. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    454 casull SRH
     
  6. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    44 mag ammo is easier to obtain than 454 or 45 Colt. I have both single and double action revolvers and the single action is easier to carry/conceal. Both the Redhawk and SRH are not exactly what you can small but you'll be hard pressed to break either. As far as the action of a SRH it can be cleaned up nicely,I have a GP 100 whose action is the same as the SRH and it cleaned up quite nicely.
     
  7. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Thanks!

    First, thanks for all the very practical replies.
    Questions:
    I have read, and seen first hand that 454 cases can get stuck in chamber.
    I know this is more likely if you also shoot alot of 45LC and don't clean.
    But, have also read it happens just shooting 454, regardless of the power of rounds fired, but may be worse w/ more powerful rounds.

    Any experience with this?

    Also, does this even happen with 44MAG?
    Is the SA Spr Blackhawk more accurate?
    I will probably mostly hunt whitetails w/ it, but like the idea of extra power just in case... but probably could get by w/ 44MAG.
    I did not find the recoil to be a problem.

    Advice?
     
  8. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    If cases are sticking it usually means you have pressure issues. It could happen in 454 Rugers since they are a lot weaker than Freedom Arms guns. I've never had cases stick in my FA even loading above SAAMI max pressure. I have stuck cases in 44 Mags though going above book max.
     
  9. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks to all,
    Doubt I can afford a Freedom Arms. Price range?
    Anyone else found issues with cases sticking in SRH 454?
    How much of a problem is this?
    Is this a reason to stay with the SRH 44MAG instead of 454?
    Do S Blackhawks have less problems? Does S Blackhawk come in 454/45LC like SRH?
     
  10. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    New Freedom Arms revolvers are expensive, but if you shop around you can find them under $1,000.
     
  11. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    I own both, Super Redhawk and Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum. The SRH is 9 1/2" while the SBH is 7 1/2".

    If you want to scope your handgun I would go with the SRH. Yesh, the SBH can be scoped, but I prefer my scope mounted to the frame rather than the barrel.

    I love handgun hunting and primarily hunt with the SRH. However, there are times that I will be hunting with a rifle, which is why I got the SBH. This way if I am hunting with a rifle and a shot presents itself within iron sight distance, I will try and use the SBH.
     
  12. gbran

    gbran Member

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    I can't knock the .44 Blackhawk, but I've been really happy with my .454SRH.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  13. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    SRH-vs- SBH 454/45 -vs- 44Mag

    Thanks for all the helpful replies and good luck Turkey Huntin'!
    (though I doubt I'll try that w/ a hand gun soon)
    Looks like most folks like the SRH 454, and value the DA.

    Anyone had problems with the 454 cases sticking?
    Good advice solving this problem?
    That is my major reservation w/ 454 SRH.
    Does the SA Blackhawk come in 454?

    Other than recoil, is there any reason the 44Mag would be better?
    Anyone heard much about performance of the new 454SRH?
     
  14. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but why would gun strength affect cases sticking in the cylinder? Doesn't too much pressure cause the case to expand which makes it stick? I assume the size of the ruger and fa cylinders are the same.

    Also what makes the fa guns much stronger than the rugers? I know they are very nice guns and I have heard they are much nicer than rugers, but never heard that they were stronger
     
  15. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    Well, the easy question to answer is that the FA and Rugers have about the same diameter cylinders, but the FA is a five shot while the Ruger is six. That leaves a lot more metal around the chambers on the FA. I've also heard that the FA is made from a different alloy of steel.

    As far as sticking cases. When a gun fires, the brass expands to fit the chamber and then the steel expands due to the pressure. The thinner the steel the more it expands. When the pressure drops, both the case and steel contract. In low pressure loads, the brass contracts more that the steel and is easily extracted. When pressure levels become too high the steel expands beyond the yield strength of the brass and it will no longer contract far enough to be easily extracted. This is a function of chamber thickness and steel strength. Therefore a stronger gun will take higher pressure before brass starts to stick.
     
  16. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    Gotcha, always learning something here
     
  17. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

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    I think for hunting purposes....
    You'd be just fine with the single-action Blackhawk.
    1) Less money

    2) With the rounds you are talking about shooting...the recoil will be enough to not really warrant a double-action gun anyways. Recovery time between shots is going to be about the same. So you won't be doing any super-fast double action trigger squeezing anyways.

    3) Fast reloads are kinda irrelevant too. Again, if you are hunting and miss with all 6 shots, then 6 more real fast will more than likely not help you. Your prey will already be long gone anyhow.
     
  18. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    I totally agree if you are hunting non dangerous game. However for dangerous game, I would much prefer a double action revolver. Follow up shots are a lot faster. I haven't tried quick shooting my single action 454, but here is a video of me shooting a USPSA stage with my 500: http://youtu.be/tV2JXVWX3VU
     
  19. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

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    I see your point, and don't necessarily disagree.

    "Me" however...If I were hunting "Dangerous" game, I'd be using a rifle anyways. Not a pistol in the first place.

    P.S.
    Man!
    You can see the flash coming off that thing even in the day light!
     
  20. OrangePwrx9

    OrangePwrx9 Member

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    I have both a RH and a SBH (10" barrel) in .44 mag. Two things should be mentioned:

    1) Light loads (at least light loads that go to Point-of-Aim) aren't possible with either gun using stock sights. They impact much higher than full power loads and the rear sight bottoms out before the impact point can be brought down to point of aim. A scope might give you more adjustment than the irons; I've never tried. Also the SRH has (I believe) an easily replaceable front sight. Substituting a taller FS might let you zero the gun for target loads.

    2) Sticking cases with full power loads are usually the result of shooting shorter rounds for target practice. This results in a "crud ring" or slightly abraded area in the chambers right at the mouth of the shorter case. When the longer, heavier loaded round is fired, the case expands around the ring or into the abraded area, essentially locking itself in the chamber. The solution is to handload and put up your target loads in the full length cases used by the heavy loads.
     
  21. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks guys, esp. 56hawk, Sabbathwolf, and Orangepwrx9!
    Cool video of 500 and value of DA in self defense scenario.
    Now maybe I will save for a SBH SA and the SRH DA, just don't tell my wife!

    As for sticking cases, could another solution to using only full size cases be to clean the chambers thoroughly? Especially after alot of smaller rounds?
    Thus, if I shoot cheaper 45LC for target, and a few 454 for a reality check, I could brush chambers before using 454. Wouldn't that work just as well?
    Also, I have read some 454 in SRH stick even when using 454 exclusively, anyone had that happen, or am I worrying too much about this if I just clean the chambers religiously?

    Does S Blackhawk come in 454 casul?
     
  22. LOLBELL

    LOLBELL Member

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    44mag SBH Hunter

    OP said he was going to hunt whitetail deer. I would go with the 44 mag SBH Hunter. It will be cheaper to purchase and shoot than a 454 SRH. I've never seen a whitetail in the state of Ala (my home) that needed a 44 let alone a 454. The SBH Hunter comes with scope rings and adjustable sights and a 7 1/2" barrel. I have this revolver in 41 and 44 mag. Both shoot 10" groups at 100 yards. This is off of sand bags using a Bushnell 2x7 scope. I harvested three deer with it (44) last year using a hand load of a 240 grn LSWC at 940 fps. Longest shot was 70 yards, that one dropped dead in it's tracks with no meat damage. you could eat right up to the hole. Of the other two one ran about 15 yards before he dropped. I would suggest the 41 mag but it is more expensive to shoot unless you reload.
     
  23. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    Let me throw this thought into the mix.

    Regarding the SRH and SBH, both are fine guns that will serve you well for your entire life....and probably the entire life of your children.

    If I had to pick one or the other (I own a couple of both types) I would have to say that I prefer the Super Blackhawk, specifically the bisley hunter variant. The hunter model has an integrated rib on the barrel which gives a bit of extra weight to tame the recoil and allows the easy addition of either a red dot sight or a scope if you prefer (scope mounts are integral to the barrel rib). Additionally the shape of the bisley grip seem much more akin to shooting high power loads than either the double action shaped grip or the typical plowhandle grip of the single actions. On recoil the bisley grip tends to split the recoil between straight back and upwards (A SRH comes more straight back and a standard plowhandle seems to be significantly more upwards). There is a reason that all of the custom smiths who turn out the really big boomers (475 Linebaugh and up) are building them with Bisley grip frames.

    When hunting, quick reloads are never a concern so the single action does not really give up anything to the double action. For follow up shots, I find that I can follow up with nearly the same speed between the Super Blackhawk and Super Redhawk. Recoil will be the largest factor in this, cocking the hammer is secondary.

    Regarding the caliber, I would have to recommend the .44Mag over the .454, mostly due to the fact that .44 Mag ammo is far more common and available if you don't reload. Also unless brown bears are on your list of quarry, you don't really need the power of the 454, and even then a hot loaded 320gr hard cast .44 Mag bullet would work quite well.
    If this happens to be your first big bore gun then the 454 could be counter productive in that the heavy muzzle blast and recoil could easily cause you develop a flinch that could be quite difficult to get over. Using 45 colt loads in a 454 is certainly possible, heeding the above advise about cleaning between 45 colt and 454 loads, however unless you are buying specialty loads from places like Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, etc... a standard 45 colt load is sort of anemic in that they are made to shoot in the old Colt SAA guns.

    I am pretty sure the sticky extraction in the SRH is more of a function of the type of steel used in the cylinder for the 454 and 480 variant and not an indicator of cylinder strength. In order to be able to maintain the SRH as a 6 shot revolver Ruger went with Carpenter 465 stainless as opposed to the traditional 410 stainless used on the 44 mag and smaller guns. The 465 stainless is a significantly stronger alloy however it does have more elasticity than 410, thus as mentioned, it does expand then contract back to the original size. This more or less can cause sticky extraction with the higher pressure 454 loads. Other 454 revolvers don't typically suffer from this because they are 5 shot variations with standard 410 stainless cylinders. AFAIK the SRH is the only 6 shot revolver chambered in 454
     
  24. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    A SBHH is capable of much better groups than that stock out of the box.
    Mine will do consistent 4" groups at 100 yards shooting hard cast loads it likes.

    My suspicion is that you have not found the particular load that your gun likes just yet.
     
  25. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    +1. It's a deer harvesting machine. Kernel's Winter of '99 Iowa "Snowstorm" Deer.

    [​IMG]
    .
     
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