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Thread: The Superior Strength Of The Ruger Redhawk Is Readily Apparent

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    Default The Superior Strength Of The Ruger Redhawk Is Readily Apparent

    The Redhawk's rugged strength advantage is easily seen in side by side comparison to the S&W M-29. Both revolvers are chambered in 44 mag.



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    Glad that's settled
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Own both. For handling, shooting, and carrying I pick up the Smith every time. The only call the Ruger gets is for heavy bullet, (over 300 gr), work.

    Both are very good revolvers.

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    Thumbs up Redhawk

    Ruger is da way to go

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorm View Post
    Own both. For handling, shooting, and carrying I pick up the Smith every time. The only call the Ruger gets is for heavy bullet, (over 300 gr), work.

    Both are very good revolvers.
    I'm with Dorm.
    Don't currently own the Ruger but have in the past.
    No doubt they are stronger (didn't know it was even a question).
    BUT, I've put several hundred 320gr cast through my mod. 29-4, most at velocities around 1340fps, and all above 1300 fps, with no apperent lossening or problems. This is above the literally thousands (his guess 10-20k) of hot 240 gr jacketed loads ("if it don't sting your hand what's the point?" in his words) the friend I got it from put through it.
    It's tough enough for me & just a little sweeter.

    Nothing against Ruger. Still want a SRH in 480 some day, & wouldn't mind a SBH Hunter in 45 colt or 44 mag.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    I really wanted a S&W Mountain Gun in .45 Colt, but was having concerns about shooting heavy for caliber or moderately hot loads through it such as Buffalo Bore.

    Then I got an opportunity to futz with a 4" Redhawk in the same caliber. I'm getting the Redhawk.
    Now what ?

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    Default Ruger cylinder strength

    The only disadvantage of the S&W N frame is that it is limited by the cylinder diameter- the frame is amply strong as it a quality machined forging. An interesting comparison would be the frame of a X frame Smith against a SRH frame. The actual frame of a Xframe isn't that much bigger than a N frame other than the larger opening for the huge cylinder.

    I posted the frame and cylinder weights of some N frame and Xframe guns I have some time back but couldn't get anyone to post the frame weight of a RH or SRH. I suspect the frame weight of a Xframe is less than that of a SRH yet it is plenty strong by anyone's standards.

    I've shot a lot of hot loads in my various M29s and 629s and never shook one loose yet. I keep hearing all the stories but haven't sen any evidence in the hundreds of guns I've looked at over the years. Indeed if someone does manage to loosen up a S&W over time just send it back and S&W will fix it!

    Face it Ruger fans - a strong machined forging like a S&W frame is inherently stronger than a casting like Ruger uses for the frames. If you have any doubts ask Ruger why they don't use casting for cylinders or barrels.

    I also posted the weights of some N and X frames and some Ruger RHs and SRHs recently. A SRH is nearly as heavy as an Xframe and has significantly less power.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    If you have any doubts open a reloading manual and look at the different set of data to only be loaded in a Ruger or T/C.


    Or the lawsuits against SW for a 30% failure rates in revolvers delivered to state police within the first 100 rounds.

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    Default Revolver strength

    In a quick check of my manuals I don't find any data in .44 Mag noted for the T/C and Ruger and not for S&Ws except in overall lenght issues. The .45 Colt is a different story; the diameter of the S&W cylinder is too small for effectively handle hotter loads. In addition there are a lot of older S&Ws around chambered in .45 LC. As I mentioned earlier the difference is in the cylinder diameter of the Ruger.

    The RH in .44 mag probably has a slight advantage over the S&W Mdl. 29 if you handload above the recommended maximum levels. Most shooters that regularily far exceed maximum recommended levels should probably go to a heavier caliber.

    If you go to the weight and bulk of a SRH you might as well go all the way up to an XFrame - ounce for ounce the Xframe blows the Ruger SRH away. In the Xframe the cylinder is plenty big and the forged frame is probably actually lighter than the cast frame of a SRH.


    Quote Originally Posted by rdrash View Post
    If you have any doubts open a reloading manual and look at the different set of data to only be loaded in a Ruger or T/C.


    Or the lawsuits against SW for a 30% failure rates in revolvers delivered to state police within the first 100 rounds.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    This is a link to Hodgdon's load data menu:
    http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
    (Ruger, Freedom Arms & T/C only)".



    Most shooters that regularily far exceed maximum recommended levels should probably go to a heavier caliber.
    Most handloaders do this for all their calibers anyway so with that reasoning we should be shooting 25MM handguns I understand what your saying but most guys are not trying to use a ford ranger to tow a 5th wheel they just want to see what else they can get out of it.



    One of the most common problem that I have heard about is that because they did use a regular right hand thread for the ejector rod screw, it would actually unscrew itself with steady use. They switched to left hand threads with the 29-1 in 1960. When Smith-Wesson first began tapping the topstraps for scopes the hole would actually deflect the gasses from the forcing cone/cylinder gap back along the top of the cylinder therefore burning it. Th 29-4 also included such improvements such as radiusing pins inside the gun to help reduce stress risers and improving the retention action of the cylinder by strengthening the cylinder crane and yoke. Around this time the notches in the cylinder were deepened as well to keep the cylinder from unlocking itself and rotating while under recoil.
    Thats pretty much verbatim from Taffin and Gun test Magazine its not always about the amount of material that's in a firearm

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    Default Ruger and S&W stregths and weakness

    As I mentioned I see data for the .45 Colt designated for Ruger, FA, and T/C but not the .44 mag- did I miss something? I do note that the manual clearly warns "DO NOT EXCEED MAXIMUM LOADS".

    I've been loading the .44 mag for over 40 years and dumped some pretty heavy loads through a variety of guns. At some point you give up and just get something bigger - like I traded my Rnger in on a F150 to pull my boat. For a light .44 I carry a 329 PD, if I fear more threatened I carry a 4' .500 S&W - i don't see a need for anything in between the two.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdrash View Post
    This is a link to Hodgdon's load data menu:
    http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
    (Ruger, Freedom Arms & T/C only)".

    The RH had some issues also - that is why the SRH was brought out and the RH was nearly dropped. If I recall the RH was only a limited run in .45 Colt - perhaps it has some issues also. I believe there was some barrel attachment issues hence the reinforced barrel attachment on the SRH. i suspect the frame attachment point on the casting of the RH frame may be a weak pint but don't really know.

    As you note it is not always the amount of material in a firearm that counts - that is exactly where the S&W with a forged machined frame has an advantage over the weaker cast material frame of a Ruger. Compare the frame of an XFrame to a SRH and you will see the difference between as strong forging and a weaker casting.

    Most handloaders do this for all their calibers anyway so with that reasoning we should be shooting 25MM handguns I understand what your saying but most guys are not trying to use a ford ranger to tow a 5th wheel they just want to see what else they can get out of it.

    Thats pretty much verbatim from Taffin and Gun test Magazine its not always about the amount of material that's in a firearm
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Ok! The Ruger Redhawk is stronger. I could also add that a Stradivarius isn't very strong either but they make beautiful music. There is more to a gun than strength. There is nothing wrong with owning both like a fine saddle horse and a strong plow horse.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    A Ruger doesn't make beautiful music???

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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    A Ruger doesn't make beautiful music???
    The older Rugers...yeah, the old style Rugers make music.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Rugers aren't as finely finished, no doubt, but they can be slicked up. I have an aquantance that has had two redhawk 44's through Magna Port for action jobs, and one was bobbed to 4". The actions are silky smooth, akin to the smiths of yersteryear that made S&W's da reputation.

    As far as strength, I know folks that have run stupid heavy loads through redhawks, they are very strong revolvers. Not only are the cylinders larger in dia on the ruger, the notches are offset as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Rugers aren't as finely finished, no doubt, but they can be slicked up. I have an aquantance that has had two redhawk 44's through Magna Port for action jobs, and one was bobbed to 4". The actions are silky smooth, akin to the smiths of yersteryear that made S&W's da reputation.

    As far as strength, I know folks that have run stupid heavy loads through redhawks, they are very strong revolvers. Not only are the cylinders larger in dia on the ruger, the notches are offset as well.

    Paul, you're spot on. The Ruger in the picture I picked up from Gun Broker for 450 dollars and it can be slicked up to exceed the S&W (M-29-2, pinned and re-ceased) with less outlay of expenditures and will shoot forever and will digest 50,000 PSI loads with aplomb.

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    Ive owned both and make mine a S&W anyday. Not too many american made guns come so finely tuned anymore. They can safely handle throw a 300 Cast @ 1100, without excessive wear and tear. If I need more umph than that, it will be shoulder fired. .02

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    Default Why a SRH?

    Since the Redhawk is so incrediably strong I have to wonder why they made the SRH? Remember that the SRH first came out in only .44 Mag and the larger calibers followed later.

    Note that the SRH has the large reinforced area for the barrel attachent that the S&W XFrame does not need. I have heard that Ruger had some issues with the barrel threads on the RH and beefed the area up on the SRH. Problems with highly stressed threads into a weaker casting like the Ruger frame would not be surprising; all high strength fasterners are forged - not cast - like the S&W frames to give them the highest strength.

    Note that the S&W Xframe has the same barrel attachment as the N frame; the forged frame is strong sufficently strong that is doesn't need the extra material like the SRH.

    Forgings are a superior way to make high strength parts where weight and bulk are an issue - that is just the way it is in the real world.

    Has anyone came up with the weight of a SRH frame to compare it to a similar Xframe?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  19. #19

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    On the S&W web site the X frame S&W with a 8 3/8" barrel wieghs in at 72.5 ounces empty!

    The Redhawk weighs mere 49 ozs.

    The Super Redhawk wiegh 58 ozs in the longest barrel version

    Yea I see what you mean the X-Frame S&W is a very sevelt revolver. NOT

    PS, I have a RedHawk converted the 454 Casull, ( 6 shot) try that with a M-29 and then tell me how strong they are.

  20. #20

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    Keeping the focus on the Smith 29 and the ruger SRH. For me it is not about strength, or even the action. I spent the money for an action job on the SRH so it is reasonable. Never had to spend a dime on the Smith's that I own, simply lightened the main spring a bit and voila, sweet.

    It is about the FEEL. The Smith feels like a highly tuned insrtument and the Ruger feels like a brick. What would you rather drive on a twisty road? A highly refined sports car or a bulky non-responsive 1 ton van? Sure the van is stronger, but which one makes you all tingly inside?

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