Redhawk accuracy

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sevenshooter

Bearcat
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Hi
Back in Feb I bought a Redhawk 44 mag 7.5 inch barrel, dated 1986

It has a .431 groove and .4325 throats. I bought some Roze .431 RNFN jacketed and Hornady .430 XTP's, cast .429431 kieth bullets and .429244 casts.

Loaded three powders for the Roze, and one for the XTP's ( the XTP's with same powder but hotter loads) and one for the 421 sized to .432

My eyes are bifocal, and I went to a peep. I replaced with a smaller peep hoping it will do better. The larger one didn't improve from the factory U notch. The POI is horrible and I don't think I'm that bad of a shot. My father in law bought a S&W M29 years ago that only took me 1 or 2 loads and shot good, like a 3 or 4 inch group at 25 yards.

it's is pretty erratic.

Any thoughts?
 
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contender

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Welcome to the Forum!

There could be several things to consider here.

Different loads can act differently.

But a few things come to mind. You mentioned using a peep sight assy. With bifocals that could be the issue.

I too use bifocals,, but I actually have a pair of single focal lens for shooting. Bifocals do not give me the sharp front sight picture to be as accurate as I used to be.

The S&W you mentioned,, uses a white outline rear blade,, with a post front, usually with a red insert. Different sight assy.

Then if you are comparing the S&W to the Redhawk,, they feel differently in the hands and that may also be a contributing factor.

Before I'd change anything,, I'd see if another person who actually knows how to really shoot a big DA handgun give it a run. See what their results are.

Any problem needs to have (1) thing at a time eliminated to truly diagnose a problem and where to correct it.
 

sevenshooter

Bearcat
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I don't use my bifocal, sorry if made it seemed that way, just the top lens

My Ruger has a rear white outline too

The redhawk grips are slenderer but I wear padded gloves, so maybe still the S&W grips are still better IDK

As I said, I shoot the S&W fine without erratic groups..... I think the Smith is a better gun.

I ran into you on the SA forum..... small world ! LOL

Right now I have crinkled cases seating bullets..... UHG ! Wondering if PMC brass get hardened pretty fast, and considering it can't be annealed. I just bought Starline brass last week, are they better ? Not hardened as fast ?

I just noticed seating the bullets, if seating too fast, crinkles the case, but if slow, gradually, it gives the bullet time to sit straight. Think I figured that out. Had a few XTP bullets HP close up quite a bit ! Thought the step on the expander was enough, no.
 
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contender

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We shooters do seem to run into each other in very similar places. :D

Ok,, let's look at it a little more.

While the two guns may appear to be very similar,, the grip shape & angle is different between them. Add in the grips,, your hands, that all adds to the differences. Even the gloves make a difference.

Both guns are very good & both have their unique features. I own both types, in .44 Mag,, and both shoot very well, but feel differently in my hands.

Again,, this is where having someone else who knows how to shoot give them a try. I know this may be harder in NJ over other places though. I've done this myself often over the years. Just to see if it was "me" or the gun. Ask sixshot,, he was politely asked to shoot one of my guns w/o me telling him what it was doing. After he fired a 6 round group into a single hole,, he said I set him up. :D But I had not done that. The group was one hole alright,, but low & left. It's a Vaquero,, so adjusting the sights wasn't easy. He still tries to wrangle that gun from me! I can't take it back to Idaho for fear of losing it in a wrestling to Dick. :D

On the ammo. .44 mag cases aren't known to be easily wrinkled unless the dies aren't set right or even made out of spec. No matter the maker. All brass can be annealed,, but I don't think that would fix things. I anneal bottle neck cases & my 2 annealers could easily do .44 mag cases. I don't think the manufacturing process is the issue.

I would try to reset the neck expander to where the necks get opened enough to allow a bullet to start in them. Or,, if you have a neck chamfering tool,, break the inside edge of the brass to allow a smoother transition. If it were me,, I'd start with the expander first,, and then try & add a chamfer next.
 

sevenshooter

Bearcat
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Ok, appreciate your input

l put Houge grips, old nylon grips, and they are too beefy for me. Considering l will primarily use this gun for deer/black bear, gloves will take up the slack.

The expander die has a RCBS cowboy plug. Surprisingly it has a step that works well. I thought letting the cases sit too long caused them to buckle. Even with the step on the expander doesn't allow the bullets to sit straight enough. I have to seat them slowly, gradually, until they reach to be crimped, no case buckle.

The rounds group now. Had someone tell me a good hot heavy crimp round shoots better. Last night l had a start load that was max on other data. The last max load on other data was starting to group and then the Horandy #3 manual started at the max load. Pretty good group considering what buck shot l had before !

IMG_3385.jpeg
IMG_3386.jpeg
 
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hittman

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This set up on Redhawks works good for me. However …. Grips are such a subjective thing only trial and error will help find what works for you.

IMG_0083.jpeg
 

hittman

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Now, if I'm gonna shoot a bunch of full power 41 mag loads, I switch to the Butler Creek grips

IMG_0084.jpeg


I know this doesn't help with your ammo related accuracy problems, that's above my pay grade as I don't reload and never caught the ballistics bug.
 

Pál_K

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About a year or so ago, I made a video and a lot of photos for a friend who was just getting started in reloading.

I've been reloading for over 35 years and have reloaded .44 mag many thousands of times because I shoot IHMSA Silhouette. I use RCBS equipment and dies; carbide dies for many pistol calibers. I use the expander die to bell the case mouth slightly, to where it can accept the bullet. I've never crinkled a case using that method.

Here are three photos, selected from what I sent my friend. They show the belled case mouth, how the bullet just sits snugly in the case before seating, and the seated bullet:

IMG_3847.jpeg
IMG_3848.jpeg
IMG_4923.jpeg
 

sevenshooter

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I'm also using .431 oversized bullets. The cowboy expander is .430 and the plug is .428. The step is like .002 over the plug. In the end the tension is .003. I never had an issue with cases collapsing before, when I used just a bell expander either, but a standard expander is undersized for the bullets I'm using. I have an odd expander that is .423 (44 mag stamped) and slips in a case that's sized with a carbide FL die. What diameter should a standard expander be ? I heard of tighter tension than .003 like .005, but only can contribute the case collapsing with a bullet being crooked slightly to seat, that's why I gradually seat it to straighten it out before driving it home. Your bell really don't help in my eyes to prevent the bullet from being seated straight to prevent crinkling. There's a sizing issue here somewhere. IDK where.
 

contender

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Pal K has given a great pictorial of how to expand the necks,, and start the seating. And his loaded round shows a good roll crimp too.
Being that he shoots IHMSA,, ammo has to be top level. And it looks it.

Part of your issue may well be the oversized bullets (the .431's) And the cowboy step expander should be used for lead bullets.
Another thought,, based upon your comment; "can contribute the case collapsing with a bullet being crooked slightly to seat, that's why I gradually seat it to straighten it out before driving it home."

If you are using a proper bullet seating plug that fits the nose profile,, you should get good bullet alignment to where it'll straighten out things & let the bullet seat evenly.
 

sevenshooter

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The XTP's aren't quite RN'ed, they are the ones collapsing the case. Roger that. The Roze RNFN don't give me a problem with the stem I have. Maybe I could get the right stem. I was considering a seater for each bullet. Doubtful Hornady .430 will end production but the .431 Roze may.
 

gnappi

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My early Redhawk was shot so much with monster loads that if fired in a Smith I'd have to bang the empty out of the 29's cylinder. I brought it to a gunsmith and he said that the Redhawk's barrel was just shot out.

I traded it in on a 629 and I often wonder where my RH wound up.
 

sevenshooter

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It's true that the Ruger is a stronger built gun than most. I was told that the cylinders were, are? made from heat treated billets before machined to a cylinders. So I would say that the saying is true too... they are over engineered and will last a few life times other than getting barreled.
 

contender

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"The XTP's aren't quite RN'ed, they are the ones collapsing the case. Roger that. The Roze RNFN don't give me a problem with the stem I have. Maybe I could get the right stem."

You may have uncovered the problem. Bullet seating stem.

Years ago,, I've been known to send a stem back to RCBS with a bullet as an example to get them to re-cut the internal profile to allow the bullet to be properly supported as it's being seated.

Nowadays,, if I need to do that,, I have been known to use JB Weld & make my own re-profiled nose seating stem. Others have used hot glue, or other stuff to make a modification.
 

sevenshooter

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I can ask RCBS for another standard stem and modify, thank you

Got one coming and a press die bushing.
 
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Bud0505

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Have I missed something in yhis discussion no one has mentioned powder type and load weight. I've never loaded .44mag but I'm assuming there are several powders that will do the job.
 

sevenshooter

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Have I missed something in yhis discussion no one has mentioned powder type and load weight. I've never loaded .44mag but I'm assuming there are several powders that will do the job.
Well, I used H110, A2400, A Bluedot. The last target was Bluedot. Max load of 19 grains. The other loads were Alliant data max at 15, Hornady #3 start was 15. So I'm sure 110 would be fine for the 240 weight (didn't go past midway for a charge). I have 300 and would say 110 would suit them better. I was told the magnums like a stout powder charge heavily crimped.
 

contender

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I'm not sure if I read your reloading recipes correctly or not. Are you only trying max charges of powders? ( "The last target was Bluedot. Max load of 19 grains. The other loads were Alliant data max at 15, Hornady #3 start was 15." )

As someone who has spent decades reloading and handloading,, I've always started at the beginning listed charge for a caliber/gun/bullet load & worked up to the most accurate load. Most often,, it's not a max charge,, but mid-level to just above that.
If you are maxing out powder levels,, to where you are compressing powder,, it may also be a cause for crinkling of the brass cases.
 

sevenshooter

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Ok l can appreciate your concern.

Hornady loads from the 80's are hotter in the #3 manual. I did start at this manual start load.
 
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