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  1. #1
    akruger is offline Junior Member
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    Loads for 44 ruger redhawk

    Hi All,

    I own a ruger redhawk that I bought about 10 years ago I carry the gun while fishing and hiking in Alaska for protection.
    I have only shot a few boxes of ammo thru it and they are 240 grain winchester magnum jsp the recoil is very unpleasant.
    The gun had wood grips on it when I bought it and I changed them to rubber butler creek grips looking to reduce the effects of the recoil of the gun.

    I want to start practicing regularly, and was considering buying the ruger gp100 and shooting 38 loads thru it thinking that I would use it to practice with but then carry my 44 when in the woods.

    A friend recently suggested that I try 44 special loads in my gun instead and that the recoil with those loads would be about the same as the 38s in the gp100.
    Any input or info will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    I'd agree with your friend's idea. You should be able to find .44 Special ammunition in most well-stocked gun stores. It will be expensive, as it is not as popular as the .44 Magnum, so not as much of it is manufactured and sold every year, which drives up the price. One thing that might help you in your search is the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting. Some of the folks who compete in these matches use lightly-loaded .44 Special ammo, so if you can find any Cowboy Action Shooting .44 Special ammo/loads, they will be loaded to low velocity, and might even be a bit less expensive.

    If you can't find any .44 Special ammo in your local area, many of the online retailers should carry it; just look for the caliber's name in their listings.
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  3. #3
    jrod's Avatar
    jrod is offline Junior Member
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    240 LSWC over 8.0 gr. Unique. Accurate,pleasant shooting load.

  4. #4
    akruger is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the replys, I have been looking online for some 44spcl and will get some as soon as I find a good price, I have only found a couple sites that have them and they arent cheap.

    I'm still thinking about buying a gp100 as well, the 38s are cheap and I have heard alot of good things about it.

    Thanks again for the replys

  5. #5
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is online now Senior Member
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    Good advice above, and the GP-100 is a great revolver.

  6. #6
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    Gp100's are great I have one and my buddy has a 44Mag Redhawk. Either a GP100 using .38spl or .44spl in your Redhawk will provide lots of fun and practice with revolvers.

    My experience is that light loads vs Magnum loads will yield accuracy problems (differences) with the guns discussed. You will have to either accept different point of impact or adjust the sights between loads.

    When point shooting which you might find yourself doing during a charge by one of Alaska's critters you will hold the gun as you practice. If aiming at the nose/mouth area of a charging bear, as some suggest you should, a couple of inches error can be the difference in success or failure. You therefore need to practice with a reasonable quantity of Magnum loads in your carry gun. IMHO

    Addition of a Gp100 would allow you to have both guns sighted for the ammo used without the need to change sight picture. The grips are comparable so feel other than recoil should be similar.

    Which ever way you go enjoy and avoid when in the boonies.

  7. #7
    akruger is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks again for the info, I bought the GP100 and really like how it feels and fits my hand I also purchased a few hundred rounds of winchester 38 special 150 grain lead target ammo to shoot this weekend.

    I recently got my concealed weapons permit and the gp100 will be used for that as well.

  8. #8
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by akruger View Post
    Thanks again for the info, I bought the GP100 and really like how it feels and fits my hand I also purchased a few hundred rounds of winchester 38 special 150 grain lead target ammo to shoot this weekend.

    I recently got my concealed weapons permit and the gp100 will be used for that as well.
    If you shoot a lot of .38s in a .357, or .44 Specials in a .44 magnum, be very diligent in cleaning each chamber in the cylinder. Over time, you will get a build-up, especially with lead bullets, that will eventually keep the longer cased magnum rounds from fully chambering. They will insert fine and the cylinder will close, but the magnum cases will then drag against the frame, making it hard to pull the trigger and for the cylinder to revolve, or may even lock it tight. A good brushing of each chamber, with a decent solvent, will cure it.

  9. #9
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bisley View Post
    If you shoot a lot of .38s in a .357, or .44 Specials in a .44 magnum, be very diligent in cleaning each chamber in the cylinder. Over time, you will get a build-up, especially with lead bullets, that will eventually keep the longer cased magnum rounds from fully chambering. They will insert fine and the cylinder will close, but the magnum cases will then drag against the frame, making it hard to pull the trigger and for the cylinder to revolve, or may even lock it tight. A good brushing of each chamber, with a decent solvent, will cure it.
    A very good point to keep in mind. I've had to clean-up the results of decades of shooting Specials in a Magnum revolver without regular cleaning, and it wasn't pretty. We ended up using a low-speed power drill with oversize brushes chucked in it, and it STILL took us a long time to get ALL of the build-up out of the chambers.

    Thanks for the reminder, Bisley!
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  10. #10
    akruger is offline Junior Member
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    I do plan on shooting 38 specials in my gp100 at the range, and I own a standard hoppes cleaning kit with some copper brushes and swabs, will a general cleaning of each chamber after each trip to the range be sufficient or doI need to try different techniques and solvents and such to keep it clean.

    I normally just soak a patch in solvent run it thru the chambers and bore and let it sit a bit then run one of the copper brushes thru and then patch till its clean. I appeciate any info to help me keep the build up of lead and carbon out to keep this in tip top shape.

  11. #11
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by akruger View Post
    I do plan on shooting 38 specials in my gp100 at the range, and I own a standard hoppes cleaning kit with some copper brushes and swabs, will a general cleaning of each chamber after each trip to the range be sufficient or doI need to try different techniques and solvents and such to keep it clean.

    I normally just soak a patch in solvent run it thru the chambers and bore and let it sit a bit then run one of the copper brushes thru and then patch till its clean. I appeciate any info to help me keep the build up of lead and carbon out to keep this in tip top shape.
    That should do it; just inspect the chamber visually after each cleaning, and if you see what appears to be rough spots or a "ring" of build-up where the end of the case mouth would be, hit'er again with the solvent and brush until it's shiny and smooth. If it's really tough, I sometimes go up one size in bore brushes (for chamber use only). For instance, I might use a .40/10mm brush on really filthy .38 or .357 chambers.
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  12. #12
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    John2393 is offline Junior Member
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    I feed 200 gr specials through mine OR 180 gr magnums. Suprisingly the 180s feed and recoil just a hair more than the specials. 240,300,305,and 340s make me sore as hell. The 180s move faster, and produce damned near the same energy as the 240s but the specials kick like a 38 spl, while the mags kick like a 357 mag 158 gr speed gold dot. Also, if you don't already have them, hogue soft rubber grips take up ALOT of recoil. The pachymars I got the gun with were too stiff n gave me blisters.

    Food for thought.

  13. #13
    David_Pavlich's Avatar
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    First, I have mixed emotions about practicing with light loads then loading up the Redhawk with magnum loads then hiking off into the woods where there's critters that can enjoy you for lunch with nothing more than a .44 magnum. If two hunters were talking about going off to the Northwest Territories to hunt grizzly and one of them said that he was going to take his trusty .30/30 lever action rifle with open sites, the other hunter would say "you're nuts!"...unless you were going with a guide that was carrying a .378 Weatherby. And a 30/30 has a bit more oomph than a .44 magnum.

    Having said that, at least the .44 is something. I would also ask if you can consistantly hit the 10 ring at 25 yards with magnum loads? If not, I'd be taking a lot of magnum loads to the range and get used to the recoil. You have to remember that even seeing a grizzly is going to raise your heart rate and blood pressure, let alone one heading toward you.

    I used to reload my own .44s and if I remember correctly, I used 23 grains of Hodgon's 110 and a CCI magnum primer. Very accurate in a Ruger Super Blackhawk and a TC Contender/14" barrel. I have to ask because I've been away from the sport for about 15 years: Is Magna Porting still available or some likeness? You could send your Redhawk out to get it ported. At least it reduces the muzzle flip a bit.

    Anyway, big bears and handguns don't mix real well. Yes, many have been taken with such rounds, but the guys that do it are very proficient. If you don't like the recoil of the .44 and in the same breath, your betting your life that you can get enough rounds in the right spot on a charging grizzly, you might consider a pump 12 gauge magnum with 00 buckshot and an improved cylinder bore. Two or three rounds in the face of ANY bear and it's going to probably stop. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but this isn't shooting at targets at the local range.

    David

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