Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Ruger Redhawk 44 Expectations

  1. #1

    Default Ruger Redhawk 44 Expectations

    I have just purchased a 4" Ruger Redhawk 44 mag. at 20yds what kind of groups should I expect? I'm shooting DTapp 320 hardcast ammo. I'm am a new handgun shooter with a lot to learn. Thanks

  2. #2

    Default New Shooter

    I would recomend that you practice with factory 240 gn ammo until you become familliar with your new gun. Start light then work your way up to the heavy hitters. Being new to shooting you don't want to develope bad habbits from stating out with heavy loads. That said I shoot 330 gn hard cast reload out of my Super Redhawk with a heafty load of 2400 and able to get nice 3" groups a 50 meters. Grant-it, I had a heaver pistol and have several years of experience shooting heavier hard cast loads. Get to know your pistol and enjoy.
    Train today to succeed tomarrow

    US Army Miltary Police

    Watch your speed ( Chronographs work great! )

  3. #3


    I agree with BW, put away the heavy stuff for a while. Bad habits are hard to break and chances are you will learn bad habits starting off with such a big round.

    As far as the accurracy you should be able to keep under 2-2.5 inches at 25 yards if not better. The gun is more accurate than the shooter. Just practice and have fun.

  4. #4


    In your shoes as a new handgun shooter, I'd even bypass the 240 grain 44 mag ammo and go straight to 44 Special loads. Use the money you save not buying premium ammo to pick up a cheap Lee press and outfit, and load some more.

    The basic, bottomline mechanics of handgun shooting are critical to learn first, and that's easier without all the recoil and ear flapping of heavy magnums in a short barrel. Get to where you can keep 44 Special groups to 3-4" at your 20 yards, and they'll grow a bit when you switch to heavy magnums, but probably shrink back down to that range before finishing your first box of magnums. But start out with magnums, and I bet you never get groups down that small. At least not before you have spent as much on ammo as you already spent on the gun!

  5. #5

    Default Get help

    Find someone you know has shooting experience and go shooting with them. It helps a lot at first. What other handguns have you shot? if you haven't shot anything much else then this .44, I'd get a .22 revolver just to practice basic shooting technique on the cheap. Good luck and enjoy!

  6. #6
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River

    Default Range practice routines- and results

    Smaller groups is always better, but I find that enjoyment with satisfying results count too. Some days, I have time, or feel more motivated to set the bar higher. Some days, not so much. Moving target closer helps me if I'm not putting holes in paper. Or all "groups" are fliers.

    Consistency first: When satisifed with groups at closest distance (approx 10yds). I move tgt out, grading my groups based on closest distance.

    Patience: Shooting (revolvers, hunting rifles) well and consistently is tougher than I thought. Grooving the many parts of effective shooting (pistol presentation, sight picture, muscle/breathing control, efficient trigger squeeze ("surprise break") is going to take some time for me. Main thing now is to set reasonable expectations (as suggested above regarding ammo selection) and keep coming back to practice. Some guys can hit a gallon of milk at 100 yds. I am not there yet. Those I know have shot lots more rounds than I have.

    Ideas to try: Might have been BrownBear who suggested (on another thread) rolling a round buoy or other target down a hill to practice hitting a moving target. I "aim" to try this.

  7. #7
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    South Central


    I will echo the low power option of starting off with 44 special ammo after practicing with a .22.

    If you are not a handgun shooter, spend one day a week for a couple of months at the range plinking with a .22 before you pick up a centerfire handgun. I spent two semesters in a pistol marksmanship course for kicks while at UAF. Everything I learned in those months is still working my head and eyes when I draw a bead with the .44.

    Some folks are pretty adament that your practice .22 be as similar as your "duty" gun. I think this is very true for LEO's and others that are armed on the job, but not needed for the rest of us.

    I normally start my practice sessions with my Ruger .22 MarkII or my S&W A22 - both semi autos. Use the "self marking" targets so that you can see where the rounds are hitting while shooting.

    If I am working on the Redhawk after the .22 I will then shoot 6 or more cylinders of cowboy action ammo 44 special. I can typically keep these rounds inside of 3 inches. Occasionally inside of 1 inch for 4 of the 6 rounds. Lots of back patting on those events.

    Then I will move up to the 240 JHP stuff for a few cylinders. I will occasionally use the backpacker bear stopper stuff to check myself.

    I recently switched to the XS express sites for my Redhawk and had to sight the gun in all over. Your 4 inch barrel is pinned and they don't make them for that one yet. Too bad. The big white dot front over the white line rear is why my groups shrunk down so much. I almost never shot less than 4 inches until this spring.

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    At 20 yds the gun should be capable of putting a cylinder full into a group under 2", more likely around a 1" group.

    But, as has been previously mentioned, aquiring the ability to shoot the gun to it's potential is an entirely different issue. I've seen more than a few "handgunners" that couldn't keep their shots on a paper plate at 7 yds, and would be hardpressed to get any of their shots onto paper at 20. It is easy to devolop a nasty flinch with a short barrelled 44 shooting heavy loads, I'm still dealing with a flinch I developed with a heavy loaded 4 5/8" sbh, over 10 years ago. You really don't want to develop a flinch, because it is hard to break.

  9. #9

    Default Ditto on the question and comments

    Hello, I am in the same boat (kinda) I recently traded for a 44mag redhawk and am looking at loading my own. I was raised around and am a huge 357mag fan along with tolerating the 45LC. I have never been a fan of the 44's sharp recoil but am findig that as I have migrated further into alaska and closer to the big brown things I needed the next step. Keep up the good answers for use less used to the power of the 44.

  10. #10


    I'll back up what the others have said; start with the light stuff. .44 spl, then 240 gr, then shoot the heavy stuff enough to get proficient with it. I think Speer Ammo makes some low-recoil magnums that might make a good choice. Personally, I find 240 grains shot out of a 6" smith with wood grips to be my tolerance for controllable recoil.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    I'll back up what the others have said; start with the light stuff. .44 spl, then 240 gr, then shoot the heavy stuff enough to get proficient with it. I think Speer Ammo makes some low-recoil magnums that might make a good choice. Personally, I find 240 grains shot out of a 6" smith with wood grips to be my tolerance for controllable recoil.

    You might search through past threads here as well as in the shooting and handloading sections. There's been quite a bit written on bear loads and such stuff.

    There's a school of thought that believes nothing short of the heaviest, fastest bullets around are suitable for bears because you might not get off the perfect shot. There's also the school that thinks it's most important to put a good bullet right where it belongs, even if it's not the baddest lead pill on the street corner.

    I'm of the latter school, and I'll vote every day for controllability with good hard cast bullets, even if they're stepped down in weight or velocity. To my way of thinking I need the control because I want several very fast shots well-aimed shots rather than putting all my eggs in one basket.

    I've got a whole lot of experience shooting DA with mag loads. Experience has taught me that even with all that shooting behind me and the ability to shoot fast DA as well as most folks can shoot slow single action, I'm not going to control super heavy super fast bullets.

    I've settled on 300 grain hard cast at around 1050fps to 1100fps, depending on the gun. I'd even drop down to 900-1000fps in favor of DA controllability if a particular gun wasn't controllable enough for my tastes at higher vels.

    You have to load those rounds yourself, and lots of them. Fast, accurate double action shooting doesn't come out of a box. You learn how to do it, and that requires lots of shooting. With my rigs and those loads I can put 4-6 well aimed shots on target in less time than most guys can get off a couple of aimed SA shots with heavier loads.

    But it's taken a long, long time to get to that point. Best way is to shoot lots of DA with light loads to learn how to do it, then slowly build up the power of the loads you're using.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default New to handguns. How new to shooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by ldh1187 View Post
    I have just purchased a 4" Ruger Redhawk 44 mag. at 20yds what kind of groups should I expect? I'm shooting DTapp 320 hardcast ammo. I'm am a new handgun shooter with a lot to learn. Thanks

    You will have no shortage of good advice from this group of guys (and gals?).

    The quick answer to your specific question, "... at 20yds what kind of groups should I expect?" Answer: big ones. At least, bigger than the groups you willl have after a couple of months practice and familiarization. If you can stay inside a 12" circle shooting offhand, double action, you are a better shot than I am.

    To better target the advice you receive, a little knowledge about your history would be helpful.

    But to the implied question, "How should I get started handgun shooting?" I advise to ignore group size, just stay on the paper (at whatever distance and target size lets you stay on the paper) and get your muscle memory trained for proper gun handling. Figure out what style of grip you will use (there are so many different ways to hold a gun, and they are all very personal depending on your hands, how much recoil you will be getting and the style of grips are on the gun).

    You stated you are new to handgun shooting. What shooting experience do you have? And what kind of shooting are you intending to do (silhouette, hunting, defense, etc.)?

    Your experience with iron sights on long guns should transfer directly to the pistol. Lack of a shoulder to steady the gun will take some getting used to, depending somewhat on what you are already used to shooting.

    My first piece of general advice echoes what has already been suggested. Avoid developing bad habits and flinching by shooting only limited amounts of full-power ammuntion. I suggest getting a second gun. A 4" Redhawk chambered for .22 rimfire. No, wait, Ruger does not make one. Their bad.

    Seriously, practice with a lightweight load is your best friend. 22 RF is cheap and allows LOTS of practice. Until you have a "practice" 22, there is practice ammo in .44, plastic bullets and/or wax bullets which allow practice away from the range. Be safe. Powered only by primers (no powder) they still can injure.

    When I go to the range, I intersperse light loads with the heavy. Usually by the cylinderful, and sometimes I will put a light load (or an empty case) in one of the chambers and close the cylinder such that I don't know which chamber is "it". I check myself for flinching that way.

    When practising, I go for grip form, body posture, breath control, sight alignment, trigger control. And, of course safety in gun handling. If I ever have to shoot defensively, I expect how I practiced to come naturally, leaving me to concentrate on the threat (bear or intruder) and the shoot/no shoot decision.

    Lost Sheep

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Bakerton, WV


    Everyone has given you super advice and the .22 is a great way to start or the .44 specials. Once you learn the basics, a good idea is to have a friend load your gun for you while he is turned away. Have him leave a chamber or two empty here or there so you won't know if the gun will fire or not. What you see yourself doing will be a slap in the face! Your friend will laugh at you. But keep at it and you will get better real quick.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts