BOOM! It was time for me to step up to a classic big bore revolver cartridge, and a Ruger Super Redhawk in 44 Magnum has been on my most wanted list for a couple years. Available with multiple barrel lengths, the Super Redhawk carries all the advantages of the standard Redhawk line but with a few key improved features. The frame is the most obvious change, being extended to improve durability and stoutness, as well as reliefs machined in the frame for scope rings (included with all but Alaskan short-barreled models)
The Super Redhawk comes in two duel chamberings. The 44 magnum models can be loaded with 44 special cartridges, and the 454 Casull model can accept 45 Colt cartridges. This makes plinking a bit less expensive and gives a chance for novice or recoil sensitive shooters to experience the revolver without breaking the bank or a wrist.
The Super Redhawk also now boasts a hammer-forged barrel which provides enhanced accuracy and rigidity. To help manage the recoil associated with 454 Casull and even hot 44 Magnum loads, a Hogue Tamer Monogrip with an internal recoil cushion comes standard. If you find yourself not accustomed to the monogrip you have access to a vast selection of aftermarket wooden grips compatible with the Super Redhawk's peg-style grip frame. All the other features that made the Redhawk so popular are still present including Ruger's patented transfer bar mechanism (prevents accidental discharge), a corrosion-resistant stainless steel finish, and the classic plastic Ruger hard plastic case.
I picked my KSRH-7 model, 7 inch 44 magnum SRH up at a local gunshop for under $790 sticker price. It's been a blast to shoot especially as a reloader. Even as a handloading novice, the straight-walled 44 magnum case and it's little brother the 44 special lend themselves well to beginners. The price for factory loads in both magnum and special is expensive, and the cost savings from rolling your own will be tremendous. I've tested some warm magnum loads using 300 grain Uni-Cor projectiles from Speer and Hodgdon H110 powder with very good results, as well as some lighter 44 Special loads using Hornady 200 grain XTP projectiles and Unique powder. Its a very fun caliber to work up loads with different charge/bullet combinations, from hard cast Grizzly-stoppers, to Big Game Hunting loads, and even light/cheaper plinking rounds.
My biggest negative to the SRH is the front sight. Some SRH's come with a ramped base with a dovetail for the blade, however mine and the other's I've seen on shelves as of late have a one piece base/ramp/orange plastic blade that is not conducive to accuracy at all. How it mounts to the barrel also poses the issue of no aftermarket alternatives that I could find. It used three screws and the barrel / sight base are mated by a machined relief. I am having a gunsmith fabricate a new front sight that matches the footprint but with a dovetail interface that will allow using a different front sight, specifically a brass bead. I plan to then replace the square-notch rear sight with a V-notch, giving me a better sight picture for 100 yard groups and hopefully an unsuspecting buck one of these days.
Of course the included scope rings would be ideal for most shooters hoping to sling lead at that range, but I would like to be able to holster the Super Redhawk and be able to shoot in the low-light hours of the day, two factors that a handgun scope somewhat limits for my intent.
Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: Ruger® Super Redhawk® revolvers have all of the advantages of the Ruger Redhawk® plus additional features that give it potent strength and power!
Target Market: Hunters & Outdoorsman, Revolver enthusiasts and people who plink with extreme prejudice!
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- FRAME INTEGRAL SCOPE SYSTEM with scope mounts machined directly into the frame and FREE Ruger scope rings for accurate and reliable sighting.
- STRONG EXTENDED FRAME with extra metal in top strap, sidewalls and barrel mounting areas to handle powerful big game loads.
- TRIPLE-LOCKING CYLINDER is locked into the frame at the front, rear, and bottom for more positive alignment and dependable operation shot after shot.
- RECOIL CUSHIONING HOGUE® TAMER™ MONOGRIP® with an internal recoil cushion positioned under the web of the hand helps reduce the impact of powerful loads, while peg-style grip frame easily accommodates custom grips.
- DUAL CHAMBERING for 44 Magnum models, which also accept all factory 44 Special cartridges and 454 Casull
models, which also accept all factory 45 Colt cartridges.
- PATENTED RUGER TRANSFER BAR MECHANISM provides an unparalleled measure of security against accidental discharge.
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: All Stainless, but barrel lengths vary from 9.5", 7.5", 5" (TALO edition) and 2.5" (Alaskan Model)
What others are saying?: “Ruger's Super Redhawk is an impressively strong framed revolver; that the same frame and action has been used for the .480 Ruger and the .454 Casull is testimony to that. To be sure, this is no wimpy wheel gun. The build quality clearly exceeds that of many of the other .44 Mags that I've owned, including a few M44 Taurus examples. Having hunted hogs and similar successfully with .357's, there is little question that whatever a .357 can do, a .44 Mag. just makes them "deader better."
The Ruger Super Redhawk is the most accurate hunting pistol I've ever owned, with its heft and weight helping to make it controllable to shoot. Hotter rounds such as the .454 Casull have been too much in the hand-slapper department for me to enjoy shooting them, much less do so accurately. Some folks do, of course, but for me the .44 Rem. Mag. is the upper limit of what I enjoy shooting out of a handgun.
I've never had a Ruger revolver that was less than well made, including their GP100 .357, and their single action Blackhawk models. As far as I'm concerned, the Ruger Super Redhawk is the class of the field, and one of the best hunting revolvers you can buy. It's a testimony to the quality of Ruger's investment casting prowess.
You might want a trigger job, though in my case just a spring kit did the trick. In .44 Rem. Mag. configuration it is a reliable combination of power, accuracy, and manageability that is hard to beat. It remains my favorite hunting handgun. I can't recommend the Ruger Super Redhawk highly enough." - Randy Wakeman via Chuckhawks.com
I need it now! Availability: BudsgunShop, Slickguns, or check local dealers
+ Included scope rings are quality, lockup is nice and tight and haven't come loose under recoil (yet)
+ Rubber Grip helps tame recoil and is all-weather
+ Added weight from beefed up frame adds to recoil control
+ Different barrel lengths for intended use (accuracy, hunting, or self defense)
- Front sight post is my biggest beef. Its wide, ugly and will hinder accuracy at 100 yards compared to a bead or fiber optic rod
- No aftermarket support for front sight (my SRH has one-piece 3 screw orange blade sight)
- Trigger isn't as good as equivalent S&W revolvers but not terrible either
Score: 8.5 Great