Hammer Time: Ruger Redhawk Hammer Bullets

| June 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

An Awesome Hunting Combination

Hammer Bullets™ are custom turned on a CNC lathe, using only the highest-quality solid copper appropriate for the desired result. Each bullet is weighed and micrometer measured as it is produced. The result is an incredibly consistent product with unparalleled quality control”.

I selected the Jack Hammer .429 44Magnum Caliber for a potential hog hunting application. According to Hammer’s website this design is optimal for this purpose. “Designed for the 44 magnum, this 100% weight retention pure copper Jack Hammer pistol bullet is stellar.  The cupped nose design has enough expansion to open to caliber diameter and create a large permanent wound channel with deep, straight line penetration.  This is an outstanding choice for personal protection or big game hunting”.

Ruger Redhawk Quality

Fit&Finish Grade **** 4 out of 5 Stars
The Ruger Redhawk is a beautiful specimen. The Satin Stainless finish makes it very rust resistant when in the field and the wood grips really makes the Ruger standout in a gun case next to other revolvers. Now if only Ruger would do away with the Hogue Rubber grips on the GP100 and go back to the wood inlay grips I would be able to buy a new 6inch GP100 versus looking for a good conditioned used one, but I digress.
The reason Ruger does not receive a top score of 5 stars in this category is do to the machine marks on the frame behind the cylinder and the underside of the top strap, both were roughly finished on this particular revolver. If this category were only judged on the external it would certainly have received 5 stars that Satin finish is so smooth, there are no swirl marks of any sort visible at all.

Handling/Feel In the Shooters Hand Grade **** 4 out of 5 Stars
The Ruger Redhawk though very hefty with a long barrel had a very nice feel. I was for sure this Redhawk would prove to be nose heavy as so many long barreled big bore revolvers are. Ruger was able to minimize this nose heavy feel by greatly reducing the underlug. Though I am partial to the look of mean  full underlug view Ruger decided to go for functionality over looks. Again upon further investigation this to does Ruger well, if you were to visit your local gun shop you would find many revolvers with full underlugs, if amongst these revolvers are a Ruger Redhawk it will certainly stand out. As with all Ruger revolvers the Redhawk is world renowned for being built like a tank and having a lock up that resembles Fort Knox security. The Barrel to cylinder gap was .004 with my feeler gauges. Though I did have to change the wood grips for more of a full fit Hogue set to keep the hard hitting 44 Magnum from bruising my middle finger. I was able to shoot 80 rounds of 44 Magnum without any soreness in my hands at the end of the day.

Trigger Grade *** 3 out of 5 Stars
There are many and always will be two very strong debates and comparisons between Ruger and Smith and Wesson. Those are, Ruger builds stronger revolvers and Smith and Wesson has better triggers. I will not feed those debates but I would say the double action trigger pull of this Ruger Redhawk was on par with any Smith and Wesson I own and have examined. The double action weight was 10.5 pounds from the factory, where the Ruger Redhawk fell short is on the Single action trigger pull. Even though the trigger pull was only 7 pounds it seemed a little heavier than that due to the fact it was tough to get the action to break. It took more focus and concentration for me to shoot single action than it was double action. 

Sights Grade ****4 out of 5 Stars
From the factory, the Ruger Redhawk comes with the traditional adjustable rear sight and a red insert front sight. The sight is easily changeable and I am giving thought to swapping out the red insert factory sight for a marble fiber optic front site, though this sight combination was very easy to acquire sight picture and sight alignment with both on the indoor range as well as outdoors. Therefore, you may be wondering why I only gave 4 out of 5 rating. With the red insert front sight when acquiring sight picture the red insert was tough to see indoors and the front sight looked entirely black, outdoors in the sunlight this wasn’t a problem. I have also been spoiled by what I consider the ultimate in sight combination, the blued gold dot front sight with the white outlined adjustable rear sight. I have this combination on a performance center 625 and for my eyes; it just doesn’t get any better than that combination.

Reliability&Accuracy Grade ***** 5 out of 5 Stars
The 7.5 inch barrel and balance of this weapon provides a long eye relief, which lends itself to excellent accuracy. The massive cylinder provides 6 shots of 44 Magnum or either 44 Special. Of 80 shots with my light reloads, 8.5 grains of Hodgdon Universal under a 240grain Remington JSP and CCI large pistol primer the Redhawk was 100% reliable and very very accurate.

I also shot 205gr Hammers under 27gr of Hodgdon H110 with Federal Gold Medal Magnum Match Primers.

Velocity Measured By Chronograph: 1596fps, 1600fps, 1587fps, 1577fps, 1496fps, Unfortunately Extreme Spread was a bit high at 104fps even though I used new Starline Brass and hand trickled 10 rounds for use with the chronograph standard deviation 42.

Every time I pulled the trigger in double action mode I knew where the round was going to go, in single action I struggled a bit (see comments above in the trigger section). It was very neat to pull the trigger and be able to be 100% sure and call the impact of your shot. Shots fired at 7 and 15 yards were in double action with a two handed unsupported hold. At 25 Yards I fired single action to test more of my mental capacity to concentrate than anything else, I just refused to let the single action get the best of me, though it does require a bit more practicing or a new spring set for the Redhawk.


Final Thoughts

Overall Performance of the Ruger Redhawk receives **** 4 out of 5 stars. The satin stainless finish truly is unbelievable and the lockup is tighter than Fort Knox security. The one piece frame and thick top strap surely aide in it’s strength. Kudos to Mr. Harry Sefreid and Bill Ruger for a such a design. The double action trigger is on par with my S&W model 29, look out S&W, Ruger is starting to get it’s trigger right, but for some unknown reason the single action was difficult to break even though it only weighed in at 7 pounds.

Hammer Bullets with the load I prepared was not as accurate as I noticed with other loads from the Redhawk. Though 32inches of gel could not stop the Hammer Bullets and from what I can tell there was no expansion.  Great for hunting though I am not sure I would use in a 2 legged predator self defense situation.

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