Ruger Redhawk .45 LC/Auto cylinder swap with 454 Casull?

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elliott_ugalde

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 26, 2023
Messages
1
Location
Redmond OR, 97756
So I've been seeing that some people have done this already and have had zero issues with the standard Redhawk after swapping the cylinder out with the 454 Casull SRH Alaskan cylinder. I want a Ruger made 454 however 2.5 inches is just to short, especially when shooting 45 Colt +p ammo as well. Has anyone here done or heard of this? And can the standard Redhawk frame handle 454 Casull pressures as long as it's equipped with the SRH cylinder? I'd much rather do this than pay possibly thousands for a gunsmith to modify a 7.5" SRH which I'd also have to buy as well. I don't plan to feed it a steady diet of 454, I just want to be able to have it loaded with bear stoppers whenever I'm out in the woods. 45 Colt would obviously be the main dish for plinking.
 

Hankus

Blackhawk
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Nov 13, 2022
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524
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Florida Gulf Coast
I wouldn't recommend that for multiple reasons, mainly frame strength. Either buy a SRH chambered in .454 or just go with the Ruger-only .45C loads. I picked up a lightly used 7-1/2' SRH in .454 and a stubby SP101 in .357 in a package deal in December '22 for the cost of the SRH alone. This was in the late hours of the last day of a gun show. I received a Burris 2-7x scope for the SRH for Christmas yesterday and will mount and zero it this week.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
25,419
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I have to agree with a few above.

Spending a lot of money to buy or build a gun a specific way, "I don't plan to feed it a steady diet of 454, I just want to be able to have it loaded with bear stoppers whenever I'm out in the woods. 45 Colt would obviously be the main dish for plinking." in my opinion isn't a good idea.
As noted,, a .45 Colt can be loaded up for use in a Ruger to where it'd be more than enough to be a bear stopper.

I live in WNC,, and we have some BIG black bears here. No grizzlies,, but plenty of blacks big enough to cause concerns. I carry a .45 Colt SA revolver, loaded with a bullet design that would easily be very capable of downing a bear.

So,, I would consider just spending the money on good ammo, and practice for the rarer, potential necessity of a bear encounter.
 

Timbo23

Plinker and accumulator
Joined
Aug 25, 2023
Messages
56
Location
Fairfax Co. Virginia
I'm a little lost is what the OP has in mind. He wants a 454 but not a snub nose. That leaves a 7.5 or 5.5 inch Redhawk for conversion.
Why not try and find a Super Redhawk model 5517 in 454? It has a 5 inch barrel, adjustable sights and is cut for scope rings. I believe it's call the 'Toklat' or some similar name.
 

48flyer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
485
Location
North of Minneapolis
This is what I assume you are talking about. This started life as a 45 Colt Redhawk. I picked up the 454 cylinder and crane at a gun show. It required very little work, and has been a wonderful addition to my collection. I kept all of the original parts so it can be converted back to 45 Colt only, but I doubt that will happen in my lifetime.
One note: You NEED a shooting glove when using 454. I was advised to put rubber grips on it, but personally cannot bring myself to put rubber on a revolver! 😃
P.S. some of us think the Super Redhawks are just plain ugly. That's what drove my desire for a double action Ruger in 454 that was easy on the eyes too!
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Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
297
Location
Florida
Nice 454 Redhawk 48Flyer. That conversion has been done many times over the decades and documented on various forums and in published books. I haven't seen a case of a failed conversion yet. They are very versatile revolvers and fill a niche the Super Redhawks just don't.

I've had a 454 Redhawk for over a decade and it's held up very nicely. If the barrels didn't fall off those early Redhawks we'd all be shooting Redhawk Casulls with the Super Redhawk just a dream.

42261442041_3db877e6bc_o.jpg


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48flyer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
485
Location
North of Minneapolis
Arisin' Wind,
Those grips look wonderful on your redhawk, heck the entire gun is gorgeous! Did you strip the target gray coating from your cylinder or did your cylinder start life on a brushed stainless gun?
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
10,122
Location
Alaska, Idaho USA
Elliot_ugalde, I have to agree with the advice you are getting here. Years ago I discussed a similar idea with Tim Sundles (owner of Buffalo Bore Ammo) and he had the same ideas. He said the Ruger only 45 Colt ammo would do anything a 454 would do. To take it a little farther I suspect he got that idea from John Linebaugh, that is speed doesn't necessarily make for better penetration.
Even with my Ruger 454 Alaskan, just gets heavy 45 Colt loads. A good bullet is the key to excellence.
 

gnappi

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 4, 2023
Messages
429
Location
Florida
This is what I assume you are talking about. This started life as a 45 Colt Redhawk. I picked up the 454 cylinder and crane at a gun show. It required very little work, and has been a wonderful addition to my collection. I kept all of the original parts so it can be converted back to 45 Colt only, but I doubt that will happen in my lifetime.
One note: You NEED a shooting glove when using 454. I was advised to put rubber grips on it, but personally cannot bring myself to put rubber on a revolver! 😃
P.S. some of us think the Super Redhawks are just plain ugly. That's what drove my desire for a double action Ruger in 454 that was easy on the eyes too!
A wise shooter on another site I visit said (paraphrased)

"An injury is easier to get than to recover from" I couldn't agree more!

PS, I'm one who waited and waited for Ruger to come out with an Alaskan with a longer 4" to 5" barrel because even though I'm not particularly influenced by aesthetics the SRH is butt ugly to me.
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
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3,545
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Butte, MT
I live in WNC,, and we have some BIG black bears here. No grizzlies,, but plenty of blacks big enough to cause concerns. I carry a .45 Colt SA revolver, loaded with a bullet design that would easily be very capable of downing a bear.
Yeah, there was an article in the Handloader magazine a few years ago now where Brian Pearce's son took a black bear with the medium frame flattop .45 Colt BH (no ROL loads needed). As you say, .45 Colt is very capable ... if you can hit what you aim at that is (talking about myself here... BTW ;) ) . I too just carry a .45 Colt BH (not loaded with ROLs either) into the woods.
 
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contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
25,419
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Lake Lure NC USA
How about a picture of a bear that was within 500 yds of my house a few years back. I'd be comfortable using my 45 Colt for one like this. no problem.


Food plot bear.jpg
 

noahmercy

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
747
Location
Sheridan, WY
Ruger-level 45 Colt loads using 300+ grain bullets with wide meplats are substantially more capable than the 44 Magnum, and it's what I carried in a Sheriff model Vaquero with Birdshead grips before I got my Alaskan. I spend time in grizzly country, and never felt undergunned (although I prefer a DA for quick follow-up shots and reloads). If one doesn't handload, both Buffalo Bore and Grizzly make ammo that can flatten anything that walks or crawls on Earth.

I'm not sure why you claim the barrel on the Alaskan is "too short" for 454 or 45 Colt +P. I get decent groups with it, and I can actually fire a full cylinder faster than I can with a longer/heavier gun due to quicker recovery time between shots (less momentum/leverage to overcome).

As to the conversion, the cylinder is what handles the pressure, and a straight-wall cartridge doesn't have a lot of "bolt thrust", so it should be fine. The BH is available in 454 and it is generally considered to be slightly less strong than the RH. There are also 475 and 500 Linebaughs Redhawks, so I feel confident they are plenty stout.
 

anachronism

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
402
Location
Lincoln, NE
To be honest, I bought the first 45 Colt Redhawk in my area and proceeded to load it with 5 shot loads with 340 gr bullets without issue for a couple of years. That was power! I cannot recommend Lil Gun for a powder because I did experience sandblasting of the forcing cone but I was planning on recutting the forcing cone angle anyway, which I subsequently did. This Redhawk now lives elsewhere with someone who constantly rubs it in that it's his most accurate revolver. Ever. He's using pretty heavy loads himself.

So I have faith in them.
 

protoolman

Service-Sixer
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Messages
2,573
Location
MN and MT
Swapping in a super Redhawks cylinder on a regular Redhawk is tried and proven. Never heard of a failure. There's a lot of them out there. I was set to do it until I realized my heavy 300 gr. handloads were pretty close anyway. The 4" Redhawk with Super 454 cylinder is perfect.
 

anachronism

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
402
Location
Lincoln, NE
I believe Max Prasac has a 454 Std Redhawk. He's kind of dropped off my radar for awhile now, but the guys taken about every big game animal there is to hunt. The last I knew he was writing for Gun Digest.
 
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