I posted this on another forum but figured I'd put it here as well for fun. Plus, I'd like to hear from anyone who has sized .457 400 gr boolits down to .452 for use in a 454. I'm thinking 400gr at 1000-1100 would make a good "up close and way too personal" bear protection load.
I've been looking for a SRH 454 cylinder for about a year. I screwed up a bid on gunbroker last spring and missed one and haven't come across another one since.
Well, thanks to a guy on another forum I now have a 454 Cylinder for my Redhawk conversion, oh, it came in this like new SRH
I've been researching this for quite some time and wanted do the swap out myself and not have to have a smith do anything. The neutered SRH will find a home with someone wanting to do a 475 or 500 bigbore project. I'll probably keep the 45 Colt cylinder at least for a while until I'm satisfied.
Preliminary quick measurements showed headspace within .001 on the two guns. Cylinders are the same length and distance from frame to barrel is the same as well. After talking to guys who have done this conversion, timing is right on as is bore alignment. Evidently Ruger uses the same specs for bolt notches, timing, etc. on the cylinders.
A .452 boolit pushes through the 454 cylinder so it's good to go. I wonder if this is because it's a newer Ruger or if it's because it's a 454. I had to ream the throats on the 45 Colt to .4525. They were at about .4515, the Redhawk is a couple years old.
Cylinder/star extractor assemblies will come off the cranes, 454 Cylinder goes back on the Redhawk. Cranes will stay with the proper frames. The Redhawk has .003 cylinder gap, .005 endshake and that after it going back to Ruger last winter. The 454 was the same. Little less endshake.
This was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It was nothing more than a cylinder swap and all critical measurements are within spec. Wow... The 454 Redhawk lives!!
Step 1. Pull cylinder/crane from Redhawk and pull cylinder/extractor off of crane.
Step 2. Do the same to the SRH.
Step 3. Parts are ready for reassembly.
Step 4. 454 Cylinder is on the Redhawks Crane.
Step 5. Install the crane with the new cylinder and check cylinder gap, endshake, headspace, timing, cylinder/bore alignment. Everything is right on. B/C is .003, endshake is .005 and headspace is within spec which it should be since headspace is set by Ruger on the cylinder. It's the same as the 45 Colt cylinder. Maybe .001 tighter.
The chambers on the 454 Cylinder are tighter than the 45 Colt. I don't have a set of pin gauges but here is a pic with some non-resized brass from rounds fired in the Redhawk. This is all the farther the 45 Colt brass would go in the 454 Cylinder. It slips right in the 45 Colt cylinder as you can see. Neither of these two pieces of brass would go in the 454 cyl any farther. They are a pretty snug fit as is.
Timing. Here is a pic of the gun that shows timing. The cylinder/bolt is in full lockup in this pic. Just a little more pressure and the hammer falls. It's the same on all cylinders. I looked down the bore and went through all cylinders and the chambers line up with the bore no prob. I don't have any rods to measure this but it looks good and others have done this swap before me.