Ruger Death Match part II: long winded conclusion

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Bearcat
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
23
This wasn't a death match in a violent way. In fact, the only thing tortured was my emotions. In truth, it was a showdown between the Redhawk and the Super Redhawk. The victor gets to rule the roost while the vanquished finds a new home.

The 454 Super Redhawk came along because I wanted a double action 45 Colt that was strong enough to handle any of my hand loads. I worked the action, stuffed a fiber optic sight on it, and started wringing it out. I've run it with irons and optics. It's a good shooter but it never quite fit me the way I wanted.

When I stumbled upon the 45 Colt Redhawk at a good price, I brought it home. It has a few flaws and will probably go back to Ruger for replacement when they ramp up production of this exact model again. Still, it seems to fit me well. To even things up a bit, I worked the action and it turned out a bit better than the (very nice) Super.

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Believe it or not, these two beasts are so close in weight I'm not sure if there is a difference. There is a difference in balance. The Redhawk sits squarely in the hand with a bit of nose weight while the Super carries it's heft much further forward. In that way it helps mitigate recoil of the rather lively 454 load. It also helps to tame the punch of heavy Colt fodder easier than the closer to neutral Redhawk.
To me, the biggest difference is in the handle. The Super is wearing it's factory Hogue grip. It does a fine job of hanging onto your hand while the Sorbothane insert softens the impact of recoil. It's deeper narrower profile fits many people well but doesn't feel "right" in my fairly long hands. Strangely enough, it fits my left hand better than my dominant right side.
The Redhawk's standard hardwood grips are wider than those on the Super and allow me to get a better purchase on the gun. That goes just as well for either side.

Today was a range day and these two sixguns were the star attraction. Both of these guns have proven that they're better shooters than I am so today's focus wasn't on accuracy. It was all about feel.
After limbering up with some 38 special through the 15-2, I went straight for the big bores.
Obviously, neither one of these hog legs are going to rattle my fillings when running Trail Boss or the MagTech cowboy loads. While running something of this nature, the lighter nose weight of the Redhawk makes the gun easier to handle and follow up shots are cake.
You would think that stepping up to a stiff Ruger-only Blue Dot load would tilt the tables more in favor of the Super's forward weight bias. However, it simply wasn't needed. The heft of these two revolvers absorbed much of the recoil. Again, the Redhawk balanced better for me.
Both guns recorded similar hits at 15 yards and they each scored an equal number of hits on a 10" plate hanging at 50 yards. Performance is a wash.
There were a few shooters in attendance today. Each had their own preferences for one gun or the other. Still, the decision is mine and mine alone.

The Super Redhawk is one of the toughest revolvers on the market. There aren't too many six guns chambered for high pressure loads like the 454. The nose heavy balance and synthetic grip help to reduce the felt recoil for the shooter. It's a good gun and far more accurate than I am. After careful work, the trigger is nice in both single and double action.

The Redhawk Is no slouch. While it's not rated for nuclear level loads like the Super it's plenty strong for any published (and many non-published) 45 Colt load. It's wearing much of it's weight forward of the trigger but isn't quite as nose heavy as it's big brother. The action responded beautifully to my efforts, giving me a smoother double action than the Super and a just as clean but heavier single action pull. The fat wood grips do a better job of filling the hand.





Advantage: Redhawk.

My deepest heart-felt apologies go out to the Super Redhawk. It's not you. It's me.

When it comes to guns of this quality we don't own them. We're simply caretakers until the next generation takes over. For the Super, the next caretaker isn't too far away.
 

harley

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
144
Location
Missouri-STL
Would changing the grips on the super be a consideration? A nice set of Houge wood might even the grip playing field.
 

feets

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
23
I've looked at various grips including the Hogues. They still don't feel right. The last option would be the Nill grips but I'm not interested in dropping big money on a set of grips that may or may not do what I want.

Still, it goes beyond the grips. The Redhawk is better suited for my shooting style.

The Super is a great gun. I tried to like it. In the end, it's just not right for me.
 

exlogger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
211
Location
Montana
Great review!
Your descriptive comparisons were well articulated.

I was thinking about getting a Super to keep my Redhawk company.
 

woodsy

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
971
Location
Seymour, CT
feets said:
I've looked at various grips including the Hogues. They still don't feel right. The last option would be the Nill grips but I'm not interested in dropping big money on a set of grips that may or may not do what I want.

Still, it goes beyond the grips. The Redhawk is better suited for my shooting style.

The Super is a great gun. I tried to like it. In the end, it's just not right for me.
Another option are the Hogue nylon grips, which one can shape with hand tools to fit one's hand. Like I did with my GP. Here's a link:
http://www.hoguestore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=27_60_389&products_id=3367
 
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