Long story shorter, I have a 4" SW in .500 magnum, and 642-x snubbie in .38 Special. I am competent with both, but neither are fun to shoot. Been looking for a fun to shoot gun for a couple years. I have an idea I can run up to Pro-Tec out the Steese up Chatanika way and do some steel target shooting over the summer, be a better shooter because of the practice.
Been pretty sure for a while I want a 4" barrel, something powerful enough for a hunting sidearm anywhere in the lower 48. Don't want a .44 magnum, I already got a 50. Spent a lot of time looking at SW 625s, the mountain gun. And 629s anyway, and the 624 (.44 Special) Wowee, those things aren't cheap even used. Makes me wonder what the S-Ws I already own are really worth. The only .45Colt Smith and Wesson has in production right now is the model 25 classic with 6" barrel.
Right when I was looking at Rugers even though I have been an S-W man my whole life, tvfinak had his redhawk trouble over in this thread - http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-45-Colt-today
Good Lord. I read that thing through twice and it put me off Ruger for a solid month.
But I bought one anyway last week. I want .45 Colt dang it, big case capacity, easy shooting. And I want it light enough to handle a lot quicker than my X frame, but still powerful enough to deal with interior Alaska bear during moose season. Looking for that balance point, light enough to pack, powerful enough to count on.
It was the Ruger only tables in the Hodgdon reloading data center that finally did me in. I had looked, twice, at loading .44 magnum COAL to .44 Special velocity and using that to shoot steel target, but only two dudes on the whole internet have ever done it and posted about it, and I don't want to spend anymore time behind a chronograph than I have to. .45 Colts loads are more plentiful than Small Block Chevy parts, they are both everywhere.
I haven't reloaded for my new gun yet, want to make sure all the kinks are out before I void the warranty.
I got two empty boxes of Remington 255 grain now, $52.99 for a box of 50 cartridges at Fred Meyer's this week. oof, that $106 went by fast.
Short version, 100 rounds and about 1000 dry fires in, the trigger is better. A lot better. Not ready for prime time, but still improving. The first six rounds, I had to fire single action - and rotate the cylinder with my other hand while cocking the hammer with my first hand, that tight. There are still two spots in the cylinder that sticky, but the other four are working fine already.
Folks that have had Rugers for years and 10s of thousands of rounds I think have nicer triggers than any of my Smith and Wessons ever did. I didn't realize it was going to take quite this much break-in to get double action all the way around the cylinder, but it is still improving.
Empty, it dryfires all the way around double action no problem. Loaded, the same two holes bind no matter where I start the rotation. I think it is the star shaped thing in the middle of the breech face of the cylinder. There was a man at the Cushman Street range today with a Super Redhawk - he said it had about 5000 rounds through it. The star shaped bit that the pawl pushes against to rotate the cylinder looked way cleaner on his than mine does. I hope I don't wear out my pawl in polishing up the bit the pawl pushes against, but a replacement can't be that expensive.
I think what I am going to do is make up some dummy cartridges, no primer, no powder, just brass and bullet - and use those for dryfiring. I suspect that if I load those up and point the muzzle at the ceiling the pawl will have to roate the loaded cylinder, but not lift loaded cartridges against gravity while empty cases are coming down the opposite side. Worth a try anyway. Hopefully that will be enough weight to polish it faster, but not so much weight that it locks the gun up.
So moving on, everything else is good news.
Last sale price on this gun at budsgunshop was $756 and do I want to wish list it? I decided against, because I would apparently be hosed if the front site was out of alignment. 756 +30 transfer + 50 shipping to Alaska = $836 internet price, luck of the draw. Going rate on gunsamerica and gunbroker is $750 NIB . I have seen a couple used ones go by at ~$550, but they both made me nervous and I didn't get super prompt responses when I asked the seller the question "Is the front sight on this gun in good alignment?"
I found Alaska Guns and Ammo (no affiliation) on Sixth Street in Fairbanks had two of them in stock at $849. Both of them had their front sight on straight. I would say I picked the one with the prettier wood grips, but you know better, it is a rubber grip. They looked identical to me, I bought the one with an easier to remember serial number.
The HKS 25-5 speedloader (labeled for Smith and Wesson model 25) really does work fine with Redhawk. There will be a picture at the bottom.
The blackhawk leather scabbard holster (same people that make the serpa) for 4" N frame fits the 4" Redhawk just fine. In fact, the packaging says Smith and Wesson, but the back of the leather is stamped '4"N frame, 4" redhawk'. Pics attached. I should mention my version is measures 3 15/16" from the cylinder face to the muzzle. I don't know if the 4.2 redhawk would fit this blackhawk size 3 holster, but it maybe might squeeze in there. I like that the Galco DAO covers the rear sight, but I like the thumbreak on the Blackhawk holster. I don't carry crossdraw anymore, but the DAO should still get props for being capable. Galco also makes an OWB for the redhawk that carries at 5 o'clock, but my rotator cuffs are too far gone to think real hard about that. I probably will order a pancake holster from Simply Rigged, i haven't read a negative review on those yet.
The best news of all is this thing is a dream to carry. At the risk of losing my man card, the first time I left the house with this gun - stuck in my waist band like a banana republic colonel no less - I broke into song before I got to the driveway. It is a good packing weight. Much lighter and smaller than my Xframe, but still powerful enough.
I got two eight inch groups at 25 yards today, 8" circle from a pistol rest and 4" horizontal by 12" vertical freehand, both were fired single action to accomodate my gimpy spots. I am thankfully on the list for the reamer.