Problem with a new (used) Redhawk 44mag [failed to fire]

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petesull

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 1, 2009
Messages
4
Location
Michigan
I recently bought a Ruger Redhawk in like new condition. Serial numbers put it at around 1989 but it's in good shape, seems tight.

I finally got a chance to take it to a range and found it failed to fire about 1 round a cylinder, sometimes 2. I changed ammo and shot both magnums and specials.

I took off the grips and as far as I can tell it doesn't appear to me modded in any way.

What do you guys think the problem is? I'm guessing it's the spring or firing pin. The spring looks OK and the firing pin looks like a ball (which I think it's supposed to).

Also, after a few cylinders, it became tough to eject the spent cartridges--they looked like they got stuck about 3/4 of the way out. Is this normal? I thought it might just be because of the heat and expansion of the metal.
 

Beaver Creek

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 10, 2005
Messages
318
Location
Denham Springs, LA USA
If it cycles and functions normally but just won't fire the cartridge it's probably just dirt or debris around the firing pin preventing it's movement. It's an inertia firing pin which will be retracted until the hammer strikes it, then will retract again. Cock the hammer, use a pencil or other pointed object to see if the firing pin is free to move from back to front then retract again.
 

petesull

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 1, 2009
Messages
4
Location
Michigan
The gun functions normally. The pin is retracted until the hammer strikes it, then it flies forward each time. It doesn't look at all sharp though--more like a round ball. The bullets that misfired had very slight indentations from the firing pin.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
24,898
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
As mentioned,,, it could be some built up crud in/under/around the firing pin. A good cleaning with brake or carb cleaner in the spray cans flushing that area may cure the problem. Of course, this is just a cheap easy option to try before going deeper into what it might be.
 

Bountyhunter

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Messages
337
Location
Allenstown NH
Sounds like a weak main spring. I just changed mine out about 2 weeks ago and it seems to have fixed the same problem you're suffering.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
The one remaining functioning brain cell is sending me a "ask Ron Powers about an extended firing pin assembly" messsage.......

I dunno, it may be something that doesn't exist, but.............

flatgate
 

pisgah

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
1,633
Location
Upstate SC
Someone may well have "tuned" the mainspring. After a thorough flushing out, a new spring would be the #1 thing I'd try.
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
Location
florida
The boys with the spring kit or extended firing pin ideas are right on it. I heard that Ham Bowen was working with longer firing pins. My gun shoots just fine. I think you should see some difference in the depth of the fired primer "dent" if the pin is too short.
But no, I'm not the one to ask.
Sonnytoo
 

petesull

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 1, 2009
Messages
4
Location
Michigan
Is putting on a new spring something I could do, or do I need to take it to a gunsmith?

I wonder where I could pick up a new spring.
 

David Sinko

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
12
Does it misfire SA or DA or both? If the problem is DA, is it fast or slow DA? Mine got to the point where it would misfire when fired very slow DA but would still fire when shot very rapidly DA and it always fired SA. Bowen's extended length firing pin did NOT help. I sent the gun back to Bowen (it's a custom gun that he made) and at first he could not figure out what was going on. Later he told me that a Ruger engineer confessed to him that they had shortened the transfer bars on the "newer" guns and apparently this had created some problems. That could explain why my gun had problems with a new transfer bar. My Redhawk Alpine saw very extensive DA use over the course of its life and in addition to wearing out the transfer bar, it was also very hard on hammer links. But hammer links will have nothing to do with misfiring. Changing the firing pin in a Redhawk is NOT a simple matter so if the misfiring persists after the gun has been properly cleaned, you'll probably be better off sending the gun back to Ruger. Some Redhawk ignition problems are beyond the scope of even the best gunsmiths, and Ruger's refusal to sell certain parts to the public doesn't help either.

Dave Sinko
 

BIgMuddy

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
554
Location
Linn Creek MO
flatgate":3g2lfz8x said:
The one remaining functioning brain cell is sending me a "ask Ron Powers about an extended firing pin assembly" messsage.......

I dunno, it may be something that doesn't exist, but.............

flatgate

I have the SAME ISSUE with a 5 1/2" 45 Colt Redhawk. I have changed the spring and have cleaned the gun. I bought it used and it had a lot of custom work done to it. Mine is not the same cylinder each time either.(They are numbered, part of the custom work) It does it SA or DA...and you never know when. I use Federal primers and as most know they are the softest cups of any.

The rounds when in this gun have more headspace than those in my other Redhawk, and I thought this may be the problem.

I got this gun for a very good price, and I think now I know why. I plan to take this gun to Ron Power, and see what he thinks the issue might be. I would have done that already, but work keeps getting in the way.

It seems obviously I am not the only one that has this one.
 

cas6969

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 11, 1999
Messages
1,215
I've saw a Redhawk where some did an "action job" and gave the gun a very nice light single action pull. They also gave it a transfer bar that wasn't coming up high enough before the hammer fell. :(
 
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