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Toughest, beefiest 357 Magnum? Ruger Redhawk??

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Peter M. Eick, Mar 10, 2013.

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  1. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    I am interested in getting the biggest beefiest, heaviest 357 Magnum to see what I can do in terms of reloading. I have vague memories of someone saying the Ruger Redhawk was made in 357 Magnum which was the strongest one out there. I was also thinking of a Freedom Arms was another option.

    My sole goal is a very strong revolver, either single or double action, that I can try and push the limits of what a 357 magnum can be loaded too. I could try it in my DW MD40 (A Supermag) or the like. I have just decided that I don't want to put my hot loads in my Pre-27 8 3/8" or Registered Magnum any more.

    So does anyone have an opinion or a suggestion?
     
  2. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Ruger no longer makes any Redhawk in .357. Get a GP100 instead. It can handle anything normally recommended, and then a lot more. Mine (6") feels like a .22 when I shoot "starting loads" (I handload).
     
  3. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I would think Thompson-Contender would be the strongest handgun. Remington's XP-100 was never chambered in .357 Mag, but if you found one, you could have it re-chambered. Then there is the Savage Striker, another bolt-action handgun.

    If you want a revolver, the Dan Wesson chambered for .357 Maximum would be a candidate. (Is that the same as your Supermag?) Good luck finding one, and finding one owned by someone willing to part with it... but they are out there
    http://www.gunauction.com/Search/DisplayItem.cfm?ItemNum=9812702

    Among single actions, the Freedom Arms would be my suggestion, but I bet John Linebaugh would bore one of his large-caliber guns for the .357 Mag if you asked.

    I must ask why? Finding a load that the brass will withstand, but only in one gun is not very versatile. However, if it is for bragging rights, a pressure test barrel mounted on a handgrip should do it, as anything else is something that could be surpassed.

    Lost Sheep
     
  4. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    if it's just more power, why not go .44mag?
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Then you want a single-action Ruger Blackhawk.

    Pushed to the limit in a DA, hard extraction will require beating them out with a stick on the ejector rod to extract 6 at a time.

    rc
     
  6. critter

    critter Member

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    The FA was a good suggestion.
     
  7. slick6

    slick6 Member

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    Ruger Redhawk .357!

    Following is a picture of my 5.5" Redhawk .357 which is the gun in the front with a Police Service-Six in the rear.
    [​IMG]
    The following two pictures shows how much beefier the Redhawk .357is compared to the Smith & Wesson Model 27-2 shown on the left!:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    And notice the notches in the cylinder are between the chambers, not right over them.

    Lost Sheep
     
  9. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    The FA 83 (not the 97) is without a doubt the strongest and last I heard, they provided ".353 Casull" data. That said, you really can't get enough slow burning powder into the .357 case to hurt even a mid-framed gun like the Colt SAA or Old Model Blackhawk. Guns like the Redhawk are really just a lot of unnecessary steel.
     
  10. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Redhawk in .357 if you can find one.
    F/A model 83 (large frame) if you can afford one.
    The smaller frame model 97 is quite petite for a .357, no extra beef there (I do love mine though).
    I don't think the Contender is all that beefy, it's very easy to blow up a barrel or stretch the frame. Recoil with heavy loads is hard on the shooting arm.

    I used to have a custom (MGM) 9" .357 Encore that was affordable and very beefy. That was my test bed for .357 loads of all sorts.

    My beefy .357 now is my GP100. I just got back from shooting some warm loads that were flattening my WSPM primers but felt good. Very solid gun.

    If I could keep all the Ruger single action frames straight in my mind I would recommend a New Model Blackhawk (standard Blackhawk frame with XR3 -Red grip frame (I think )), not the new mid (smaller) frame models.

    S&W model 27.
     
  11. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    Isn't the top/back strap the weak point on these guns, not the cylinder?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  12. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    I have always wanted Ruger to bring back the Redhawk in 357, only this time 8 shots (heck 9 may even fit)
     
  13. L-Frame

    L-Frame Member

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    .357 redhawks can be found occasionally on gunbroker and the classifieds. I can't imagine that something that's considered quite overbuilt for the .44 mag wouldn't be the strongest platform shooting .357's.
     
  14. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    I would rethink cobbling up heavy reloads, as pressures are sometimes unpredictable PLUS you soon reach a point of diminishing returns. Can one blow up a massive gun frame or cylinder like the Redhawk with a .357 round? I honestly don't know, but I wouldn't just keep increasing my loads past all safety levels. Any load found in a book should be okay with a Redhawk. Just be prudent. Modern .357 factory loads have been downgraded since the round made its appearance many years ago; however, modern loads still show superb stopping power. Higher pressures may add only nominal performance.
     
  15. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    If I wasn't worried about money I'd get a 5 inch S&W model 27, I still kick myself for passing on one twenty some years ago, they were much cheaper then.
     
  16. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Man, LOOK at the amount of steel between the chambers on that Redhawk! You probably will not blow up any Ruger in .357 but you can and will destroy the forcing cone if you run a steady diet of 110-125 gr. heavy loads through it. This is not an internet rumor. I have done it myself. Still have the gun. I was young and stupid. It only took about 2 months to do this. Kuhnhausen's Ruger DA Revolver shop manual has multiple photographs of Ruger barrel's forcing cones that were destroyed by people using light bullet heavy loads. Use 158 gr. loads and it will last forever. The Kuhnhausen book also has photos of barrels cut lengthwise to show results of some tests that Ruger conducted to prove how strong their barrels are. They threaded a steel plug into the muzzle and fired rounds until the entire length of the bore was filled with bullets smashed into each other. The barrel never blew, bulged or even cracked. They also did the same thing with a S&W and Colt revolver and they both let go after 2 rounds. There are other photos of customer's gun where they fired a squib into the barrel and then kept firing rounds until the barrel coud not revolver any more because of the bullets sticking out the rear of the barrel. It did not blow or even bulge the barrel. Ruger's design philosophy has always been to design it to withstand normal use and then double it. It works very well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  17. JVaughn

    JVaughn Member

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    What about S&W 27, like Tom said. It's extremely heavy and solid.
     
  18. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    You guys are all barking up the wrong tree.

    I have a TC Encore barrel in 357mag/Max 24"

    This is a 357 magnum that is on a platform that's OK with 270wby magnum pressures (70,000psi)




    posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about
     
  19. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I was just going to say Encore.

    But in general one thing I noticed with my .357 Max experiments is that when you get up above the normal magnum loads, you're really dealing with a new kind of cartridge. The powders are different and the bullets are heavier, making that extra bit of room in the .357 Max brass very useful.
     
  20. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    +1 TennJedd... an 8 shot, 4 inch bbl, fixed sight Redhawk. I'll take two!
     
  21. wally247

    wally247 Member

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    They don't call them "Ruger only" loads for nothing...
     
  22. Drail

    Drail Member

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    While a Thomspon Contender may be legally classified as a handgun it is essentially a cut down rifle. No comparison to a revolver.
     
  23. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    I had the joy of being young & set bad examples once in my life & wringing the 357 magnum out was 1 of em with a 5 1/2" Redhawk !!

    You CAN pack enuff H-110 into a 357 case that it actually slows down , even small rifle mag primers could`nt get thru it was packed so tite !!!

    The fast powders just blew the core out of the jackets with what we had to work with 25-30 yrs ago . Inspect bore after every shot please!

    Now I`m old enuff that all I can do is give good advice :)
     
  24. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    The op wanted to know about the strongest 357 magnum to explore the potential of the cartridge.

    A revolver cannot do that.

    You can load up the most insane over the top handload Clark can imagine in a redhawk and a milktoast factory load for the same bullet weight in a TC of the same barrel length (measured to breachface) will outrun the revolver by up to 200fps+

    I've loaded and owned all sorts of 357's and if the op wants to do what he says he wants to do then he needs to step outside the limitations of a revolver.




    posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about
     
  25. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    I have a Contender but I should have mentioned that. I was after a revolver to see what I could do in that format.

    27's are out as I have a bunch of Pre-27's and I know what they can do.
    Dan Wesson Supermags are out as I already have one and don't want to mess it up.
    GP100 is out as there is not enough steel there. A 27 is better off than that.

    Ruger Blackhawk is an option, but why not go the FA 83 (I believe) which has more steel on it. I keep thinking this is a good choice.
    Ruger Redhawk 357 like shown in the pictures above looks quite interesting.

    I will see what the backlog is at Freedom Arms and then start poking around for a blackhawk 357. They look almost perfect for what I want to do.

    By the way, my goal is to load up to 1550 with a 158swc in my 8 3/8" pre-27's and then sacrifice a gun like the blackhawk or redhawk to a steady diet of them. I am just curious how long it would take it (Forever I presume) if shot with near original power levels. Then I want a test bed that I can piddle with different powders in the 38/44 and 357 magnum and not worry about damaging some fine 60 year old Pre-27's or my beloved 38/44s.
     
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