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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. murf

    murf Member

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    bludot powder changed a while back. it got a bit faster. alliant issued a warning not to use bludot in light bullet (125 and 115 grain) 357 magnum loads and all 41 magnum loads.

    i believe new load data is out for light bullet in 357 magnum. the powder charge has been reduced quite a bit.

    murf
     
  2. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Edit: I stand corrected. Picture in post 5 of the thread in the link provided in post 53 of this thread. Wow.


    Wow! A five-shot .357 Magnum Super Redhawk. Will wonders never cease?

    Pardon my skepticism.

    If the video is the best evidence you have, I would suggest you have fallen victim to naivete.

    Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. This goes double for anything you find on the internet.

    I think you've been had. The amount of recoil in the video suggests a standard .357 load or even 38 special, but seems more likely 44 Special.

    Sorry, dude.
    (edit) OK. looking at stills from the video, clearly only five rounds were loaded and an empty chamber is apparent in the cylinder. The title clearly says ".357 Magnum" and the frame is unmistakeably a Super Redhawk. Also, the case heads COULD be .357 Mag. But seriously, what market "genius" would chamber a Super in .357 when Ruger had already discontinued the Redhawk .357?

    Second edit: OK, I have examined the video as closely as I can and it does look as if the case heads COULD be .357 Mag. This boggles the mind. And I am still skeptical.


    I have to ask. Seen them in real life? Up close? Enough to actually read the engraving that specifies the caliber? Did you get to ask the owner if it was a custom job?

    I have credible reports that Jack Huntington built a 44 Magnum / 45 Colt convertible Redhawk (using interchangeable cylinders and interchangeable Dan Wesson barrels), so anything could be done. And, then of course, there is the .357 Smolt (Smith & Wesson frame and Colt Python barrel) and the 454 Casull Redhawk, where a 454 Casull Super Redhawk cylinder is swapped into a Redhawk 45 Colt frame.

    But a .357 Super Redhawk? Doable, but I highly doubt if anything like that ever left the Ruger Factory as a catalog item.

    Lost Sheep

    Edit: I stand corrected. Picture in post 5 of the thread in the link provided in post 53 of this thread. Wow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  3. skidder

    skidder Member

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    Ruger did make a SRH in 357 (I believe UK only).
    I hang out on the Ruger forum quite often. They do surface from time to time.

    Here is a link to a thread on the Ruger forum. Post #5 has pics.

    http://rugerforum.net/ruger-double-action/67851-357-super-redhawk.html
     
  4. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Yep, seems like I saw them on the other RugerForum.
     
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Ruger is known for making very small runs of certain firearms, often sent through just one distributor. If they do really well they may or may not produce more. It's one thing that makes even fairly recently Ruger surprisingly collectable.
     
  6. tuckerdog1

    tuckerdog1 Member

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  7. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Regarding the 38/44 question to me. I will do a writeup soon on the second and third round of testing.

    By the way, with the help of this site and Rugerforum, I have a 5.5" Redhawk 357 Magnum purchased and hopefully even shipped today. That was a lot easier than I thought.

    I hope to pick it up monday!

    Once I play with it a while I may get an FA but for now I have my test subject on the way.

    Thanks again for the advice to all.
     
  8. walnut1704

    walnut1704 Member

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    I think this is all academic. You'll reach the limits of the cartridge (mostly extraction problems) long before you reach the limits of a Smith 27/28, Blackhawk, Redhawk, et al.

    It's like arguing about what are the best high speed tires for a Yugo. You'll never get there.
     
  9. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

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    This right here works just fine for my 357 needs.
    Has a spare cylinder so I can shoot 9mm too if I ever actually need to in a pinch.
    I chose it for the versatility.
    Having one gun that can fire 9mm, 38spl & 357mag was hard to pass up.
    There may be other guns out there even tougher, but this one still certainly gets the job done.
    CraigC gave me some grip advice for this thing many moons ago.




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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  10. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Looks good! ;)
     
  11. SabbathWolf

    SabbathWolf member

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    Glad you talked me into smooth grips instead of checkered. It's much more comfortable now than with the factory checkered plastic.
     
  12. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I'll bet! Checkered hard rubber or plastic looks good on a lot of sixguns, particularly the early Rugers and late model flat-tops but they're sure rough on the hands.
     
  13. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Walnut 1704,

    This is where we have to disagree. The question at hand is what modern powder allows me to get 1550 fps out of my 8 3/8" Pre-27 with a 158 grn lead slug at the lowest pressure. Buffalo Bore and others effectively do it, so why can't I?

    I like sorting out these problems. Yes I may be delving into above SAAMI pressure levels. Hence I want I biggest beefiest 357 Magnum I can get. I know I can achieve it with 2400 and I know I can achieve the goal with Unique. I can probably do it with bullseye by the risk and tolerances are higher and harder to maintain. That is the fun and challenge.

    So the 357 magnum is my new research project. Just a game to make reloading interesting and try and figure out how to duplicate the original ammo from the mid 1930's instead of the watered down commercial stuff offered today. This is the reason for needing the biggest baddest toughest 357 Magnum I can find.

    I can then answer this question. How can I get to 1550 with a 158 with less pressure than 2400? If so how?
     
  14. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Win296 or H110. Or, you might try some rifle powders.

    Take care, you are venturing into uncharted waters where only those with their own ballistics labs and the willingness to destroy firearms go with any degree of hope.

    Good luck.

    Lost Sheep
     
  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    H110/296 or Lil Gun will yield higher velocities at the same pressure. Wouldn't be much reason to go any slower than those three.
     
  16. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That is from a 7" pressure barrel with no cylinder gap.

    I tried 13.5 Grs N-110 under a 158 Gr bullet at 1.573 OAL and got 1073 FPS from a 6" Trooper Mk III. It was a slightly compressed load. Then I tried 15.0 Grs and got 1031 FPS at 57 degrees. I don't see getting to 1569 with 15.9 Grs, but I could be wrong.
     
  18. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    My Lyman manual lists an N110 load behind a 140gr JHP going 1505 fps at 39900 CPU. The powder with the next fastest max load was 1372 @ 41400 CPU. The 158gr load listed for N110 barely breaks 1100 fps. A look at the factory site shows some pretty optomistic performance. I thought it would be worth considering, but I'd love to read about more actual experience with VihtaVuori and the .357 magnum.

    I tend toward H110, and doubt that the targets I might encounter can distinguish higher performance as readily as my firearm can excesive pressure.
     
  19. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Once again THR has cost me money. I saw a Redhawk .357 at the store--only the second one I've ever found in the flesh--for $700. Looked at the GB completed auction prices running over $1,000 and snatched it up.

    I'm currently working up some loads for 200 grain hardcasts and some of the single shot spitzers made for the .357 Max. For now I'm keeping loads at the high end of magnum territory.

    For such a big revolver it balances very well, and should soak up the recoil from the heavy hardcasts a lot better than most .357's do. And using this for my experiments will not tax the joints on my smaller Sixes.

    But speaking of Sixes, I remembered that this Redhawk is in effect a big version of the Security Six. It has the full grip frame not the stud, and internally it seems very similar to the Six design. That's a big plus in my book.

    Right now it's got Packy recoil grips on, which I usually don't like so much but these seem to fit it well. The trigger is heavy but smooth. Also reminiscent of the Sixes.

    Weather permitting I'll be doing some range tests this weekend. I'm seating the bullets out a bit where possible and marking the base of the cartridge with an "X" to denote that these are not to be used for smaller magnums. But I doubt I'll need to get into Maximum territory to see some excellent ballistic results from this thing. My goal is to get a solid 200 or 180 grain hardcast shooter with easily controlled recoil.
     
  20. Colt451985

    Colt451985 Member

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    I wouldn't want to test out the theory that more mass in the cylinder equals higher pressure without knowing what alloy and heat treating process Ruger used to manufacture that cylinder.

    Perhaps you should invest in a Magnaflux Zyglo fluorescent penetrant inspection kit with a black light to detect surface cracks in the cylinder if you plan to push the limits. These kits are fairly inexpensive.
     
  21. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Point of fact:

    The Redhawks, while having a full grip frame like the Sixes, have a lockwork unlike any other gun in the Ruger lineup, or, indeed, unlike any other revolver ever produced by anyone.

    (One horizontally oriented spring powers both the hammer and the trigger return. No other firearm I now of does it that way.)

    Other than that, i find no other fault in your post.

    Congratulations on an excellent find in your .357 Redhawk.

    Lost Sheep
     
  22. DWFan

    DWFan Member

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  23. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Cosmoline,

    Congrats on the new piece. What's the finish and barrel length? I winced at the price you mentioned compared to my costs umpty-ump years ago, but understand it was a decent price these days. I think you'll appreciate the rubber grips with heavier loads.

    As mentioned in an earlier post, mine does a great job with 38 special WC loads. As you work up the heavy stuff, those WCs can give some cheap double action trigger practise.

    Jeff
     
  24. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Dwfan,

    Thanks! I had not seen that site before.

    To the followers of the thread. Still no 357 RH yet. Cabelas said they have the FFL paperwork and all is good. They just planned on shipping it a week after I got them the paperwork. Supposedly it will go out this weekend.

    SIGH.........

    I am now WOG!!!

    (waiting on gun)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Quite right. I realized that when I took it apart last night. Very unusual. But externally it does remind me of a giant size Security Six. And I like the trigger a lot more than the SRH trigger. The balance is impressive. I've had the Alaskan and the full size SRH, and both handled like a brick in a swimming pool. This one for all its size hops up fast and is easy to steady.

    Stainless with the 5 1/2" barrel. It's only been shot a few times from the look of it.

    Yeah the price would have made me balk five or ten years ago, but check these out:

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=329188766
    (sold at $895)

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=331501598
    (5.5" sold at $1,200)

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=326442798
    (Sold at $1,030)

    Granted you get some crazy bid wars on GB sometimes but I ain't seeing these going for $500 or $400 like they used to. Anymore than I see Speed Sixes going for $250 LOL. And in this case I'm just not seeing them at all. I remember seeing one about ten years ago in the flesh, but that's it. They are rare around these parts. I suspect most Alsakans scoffed at them when they came out and went with .45 and .44 Mag Redhawks instead. You can certainly always find .44 Redhawks for sale. Personally if I can get this thing to shoot high octane 200 grain solids and stay stable I might even use it as a trail gun. As I get older I do not enjoy revolvers that flip back up at me when fired. And I'm getting to be more of a fan of control over raw power.

    Limited run Rugers are actually becoming true collectables these days. And these particular revolvers seem to fill a niche for us .357 fans that no other piece can fill. Even with the price creeping into Freedom Arms territory. So I'm more than happy with the price I paid.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
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