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Discussion Starter #1
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Using all of my gunsmithing skills I just finished replacing the original wood grip panels with Hogue Monogrips.
Anyone who owns or has owned a stainless Redhawk with a 7 1/2" barrel knows they are heavy guns. I bought this one in the early eighties but have always had a problem with the original grip panels being too small. Years ago I tried the full Pachmayr rubber grips but they were too bulky so I went back to the originals.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking at my S&W stainless Mountain Gun that came from the factory with Mongrips so I ordered a set for the Redhawk. I like the way they look and I'm anxious to get it to the range to see how they feel in action.
 
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It's a beautiful gun with the original grips; not so much with the replacements. If you shooting it, it has to feel good to you. your call, not mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Normally I like wood grips. I have replaced the black rubber grips with checkered wood grips on all my 1911s.
The problem is that this gun is very heavy (59 oz) and the stock grips are smaller than they appear in the photo. The grip frame is exposed in the front, back and bottom. I have large hands so when there's not much to hold onto it's no fun shooting factory .44 magnum rounds.
I could have left the stock grips on but the gun would stay in my safe where it's been for several years.
Now it can get out to the range where it belongs.
 

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I understand, I had to modify my weapons to fit my physical needs also. My changes did not change the physical appearance of the gun, but if it did I would still do it. Firing a gun is much more satisfying then staring at one. But that pistol has such a classical look....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hear you, the stock Redhawk does have a classic look. The good thing about changing grips is you can always go back to the originals. You haven't altered anything that can't be undone.
 

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The Hogue grips work for me. I am well aware that lots of folks want their guns to be pretty. Why is that?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looks good vs functions well. That is the question.
The practical answer would be that a gun is not a piece of art, it's a functioning tool.
That sounds about right but I have to admit that I've seen some guns that I didn't like just because of how they look.
An example would be a small frame revolver with a shrouded hammer. I understand the design, especially as a concealed carry gun but I just can't get myself to like the way it looks. That big curved hump is a real turn off.
Of course the best answer would be "I want a gun that looks good and functions well".
 

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We all agree that function trumps form. For instance, I would never showcase my Glock 19. If I had a classical gun like your Redhawk, I'd probable spend a couple of sleepless nights before changing the grips so I could enjoy shooting it.
 

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These things are beasts! I bought my 7 1/2 inch when it first came out in 1980 and put thousands of rounds of 240+P's out of it. For no other reason but to make a lot of noise, feel the concussion from the muzzle blast and watching water jugs explode. Like a fool I went out and bought a 2 3/4 inch Talo version. Just because? I only put a few cylinder's full out of it. That was enough. With that gun what I used to consider fun was not so much fun anymore. I couldn't imagine what 340 grain +P+ Buffalo Bore would be like outta' the Talo?

My first .44 Magnum was an S&W Model 29 I bought it with an 8 3/8 inch barrel. I put so many rounds out of it that I wore out the forcing cone. I changed the barrel to a 4 inch. Later on I bought an S&W Model 629 with a 3 inch barrel, then a Performance Center with a 2 3/4 inch barrel and a Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley (Lipsey's) with a 3 3/4 inch barrel. The only one's I've fired are the two Redhawks and my original Model 29. I don't even know why I bought the others? When it comes to guns you don't really need a reason. After all what gun fanatic wouldn't want a few .44 Magnums?

The Rugers are a lot beefier and heavier than the S&W's and can handle heavier loads. They can handle 340 grain +P+ Buffalo Bore whereas the S&W's can not. They also don't have removable side plates along with heavier recoil shields and top straps making their frames a lot stronger. The cylinder walls are thicker too. The S&W's have smoother and better actions and are a little more refined with regards to fit, finish and machining.

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll tell you, desertman, the only reason I've ever needed to buy a gun was "I don't have one like that yet". Those are some nice ones in your post.

My big bore magnums are:
Ruger Redhawk, 44 mag, 7 1/2" barrel, stainless
S&W Model 29, 44 mag, 6 1/2" barrel, blued
S&W Model 57, 41 mag, 6" barrel, blued
Ruger Blackhawk, 41 mag, 6 1/2" barrel, blued

I've posted pictures of the Rugers before so here are the S&Ws.

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This is the 44 mag

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This is the 41 mag
 

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I'll tell you, desertman, the only reason I've ever needed to buy a gun was "I don't have one like that yet". Those are some nice ones in your post.

My big bore magnums are:
Ruger Redhawk, 44 mag, 7 1/2" barrel, stainless
S&W Model 29, 44 mag, 6 1/2" barrel, blued
S&W Model 57, 41 mag, 6" barrel, blued
Ruger Blackhawk, 41 mag, 6 1/2" barrel, blued

I've posted pictures of the Rugers before so here are the S&Ws.

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This is the 44 mag

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This is the 41 mag
Ain't that the truth! Although there are some that I have no interest in. Sometimes I think we've gotta' be out of our freakin' minds? But it could be worse I don't drink, smoke or use illicit substances. At least with guns you've got something to show for your money. With that other crap you might as well flush your money down the toilet and in some cases your life.

My Model 29 came in an identical box only longer to accommodate the 8 3/8th's barrel. I bought it after the "Dirty Harry" movie came out. I almost went with a nickel plated Model 57.

At one time the Model 49 (top right) was my constant companion. Shrouded hammered revolvers make excellent pocket guns. Although the Model 49 collected a lot of lint. So I switched to a fully enclosed hammer. The Model 43 C .22 LR and 351 C .22 Magnum have all aluminum frames and cylinders. They weigh next to nothing. I rarely pocket carry revolvers anymore now that there's a wide variety of pocket "nines" on the market.

The S&W Governor is great for going out into the desert loaded with .410 shot loads. It too is pretty lightweight for its size.

I also like their old style semi auto's. Model CS 45, 3913, 669 and 469. I bought all of those used, each was around $300 or so.

Here's my collection of S&W's.

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, that's quite a collection. So far all of my S&W revolvers are N frames. Four have the blued finish and the Mountain Gun in 45 Colt is stainless with a 4" barrel.
Yeah, I have to like a gun before I buy it. There are a lot out there that I don't like but, fortunately, there are still a lot I do like.
Since this thread started with Rugers and grips I'll add these photos.

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This is my Single Six that came with two cylinders (22 LR and 22 mag). Like the stag grips on my Blackhawks, these are imitation. I would never spend $300 to $400 on original stag or ivory unless they were going on a $2500 Colt SAA.
 

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Wow, that's quite a collection. So far all of my S&W revolvers are N frames. Four have the blued finish and the Mountain Gun in 45 Colt is stainless with a 4" barrel.
Yeah, I have to like a gun before I buy it. There are a lot out there that I don't like but, fortunately, there are still a lot I do like.
Since this thread started with Rugers and grips I'll add these photos.

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This is my Single Six that came with two cylinders (22 LR and 22 mag). Like the stag grips on my Blackhawks, these are imitation. I would never spend $300 to $400 on original stag or ivory unless they were going on a $2500 Colt SAA.
My Detonics Combat Master has a set of stag grips. Originally they were for a full size 1911. I had to cut them and reshape them to fit. My Colt 1911 has set of ivory grips. That one is my very first handgun. Originally it was chambered for .38 Super and I'm guessing that it was made in the late 20's early 30's? It's got a 5 digit serial number. It was re-blued at least once before I bought it. The bluing was pretty worn on the frame so I had a Metalife finish put on it. I also put a .45 ACP Colt Commander slide and barrel on it. Changed the hammer, trigger, slide release, grip and thumb safeties. I still have all of the original parts in case I ever want to convert it back. Depending on how valuable it might be. It might be worth it to have it professionally restored by Turnbull. I don't know?

I didn't pay that much for either set of grips and found them at of all places a swap meet for antique auto parts. In with a lot of other junk.

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These are my other two Ruger's.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
More nice guns. You could almost put together a catalog with the pictures you've posted.
You were very lucky finding those grips. I was looking at a site today featuring ivory grips for 1911s. Two pairs were $170 and $275 the rest of the page was between $375 and $475.There were over thirty sets of grips on that page.
 

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I always wanted a 4" Redhawk in my favorite .41magnum, but for whatever reason they were not offered by Ruger. I even looked for years for a 5.5" model and again no luck. I was walking out of a gunshow in Pasadena TX. and the last table by the door was being run by an elderly couple with three Ruger's new in their signature yellow and black boxes. I asked what calibers they were and the gentleman told me a 7.5" Redhawk in .44mag, a 5.5" Super Blackhawk in .45colt and a 5.5" stainless Redhawk in .41mag. I almost choked to keep from showing any excitement. I played the dumb card asking about the .41mag and he proceeded to tell me its history and said its not a big seller and he had had it for 5 years. I asked what he wanted for it and pulled out five $100.00 bills, making sure he saw that was all I had in my wallet. He looked at his wife and she shrugged her shoulders since they had closed their gunstore and were just trying to get rid of these last three guns. I was excited to say the least and almost ran out of the show before they changed their mind. I took it to my shop and machined the barrel to 4" and recrowned it. Then I milled a slot in the top rail and added a new front sight, dehorned all the sharp edges and some trigger work to slick up the action. I rounded the grip frame corners and grips and it is now my woods carry weapon. Later on I found a set of Uncle Mikes Finger Groove Grips that the gun wears today. They really help tame the recoil on my hot reloads.

 
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