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Thread: Ruger .45ACP/.45Colt Redhawk

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Ruger .45ACP/.45Colt Redhawk

    I've been watching all the You-Tube videos on the Ruger Redhawk in .45ACP/.45Colt Revolver. So I got one. Not especially happy with it. It developed a large burr on the rind/bushing where the cylinder pin locks into and prevents the cylinder from closing. Called Ruger and they gave me a RMA and it will be going back tomorrow to be fixed. Sad thing that an $800 plus gun wasn't "Right" out of the box. Ruger used to be known for their quality, but this one slipped by. At least it seems that this problem has appeared in the past, because the Customer Service rep I talked to knew exactly what and where the problem was.

    Now, I'll make up some .45 Colt and .45 ACP rounds for it when I get it back.
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    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Friend of mine is not happy with .45 ACP in his, accuracy not good jumping .452 bullets unsupported down .480" diameter .45 Colt chambers, like shooting .45 Colts in a .410 Judge revolver, won't stay in a bucket at 50 yards and some shots keyhole. Will not set off .45 ACPs without their proprietary moon clip. Works fine as a .45 Colt, but less accurate than his convertible Blackhawk.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    This whole concept just seems to be a really bad idea. I truly don't understand how a company of Ruger's stature can come up with something like this.
    Dale53


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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Dale53 - it's because it's what people want (I have Ruger's Blackhawk Convertable). I have a friend with one and I didn't like it because the moon clips are Ruger specific (wouldn't work with my S&W mod 25 clips).
    And their moon clips seem fragile as Jerry already broke two of them.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    My friend has one...I wouldn't have it. And, if pressed to decide again, I am not sure he would buy it, again.

    But, to be fair, I have no use for any convertible.
    “The everyday man who holsters a handgun for come-what-may eventualities cannot improve on a .44 Special revolver.” Skeeter Skelton

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    Actually;
    My Ruger SS Bisley .45 ACP/.45 Colt is a VERY practical handgun. It was shipped with undersize cylinder throats. The .45 Colt cylinder leaded terribly and I couldn't even load my .45 ACP cast bullet loads with .452" bullets. I had two friends who bought these at the same time I did.

    However, a good friend loaned me a Manson "made for the job" reamer kit complete with pilots. I reamed both my cylinders and also did my friends revolvers (they suffered the same problems). After the reaming, all three of these convertibles became truly practical and accurate cast bullet revolvers. Mine will shoot well under an inch at 25 yards off a bench with either cylinder using my home cast bullets.

    I shoot the .45 ACP cylinder the most as these days I mostly shoot at the range. However, if I were still deer hunting, I couldn't ask for a better companion in the woods than this piece with heavy .45 Colt loads. It is simply a "Win-Win" with either cylinder.

    If I hadn't had access to the reamer kit I would simply send both cylinders to "Doug Guy". He is very reasonable and by all reports does a FINE job on these. However, the Ruger Redhawk for .45 ACP/,45 Colt is just simply a bad concept that will not work with both calibers.

    If I didn't already have the Bisley I would have jumped all over the newer .45 ACP/.45 Colt convertible Flattop. Again, that is a great concept and by all reports these revolvers come with proper cylinder throat dimensions out of the box.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    So is it the Redhawk version thats the issue? My blackhawk convertible is great, but it wont work with the moon clips if you wanted to. Seems the throats wouldn't be any different on a 45colt vs ACP.

    I would imagine the autorim brass could be used so theres no need for the clips.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    My buddy Andy in Oregon says that his .45 ACP/.45 Colt Redhawk does NOT accept Auto Rim brass because the Ruger DA cylinder uses a proprietary moon clip which fits into a recess cut into the cylinder face, and there is inadequate head clearance to load AR brass, because the cylinder clearance is dimensioned for the .45 Colt rim.

    The Blackhawk convertible revolvers won't accept AR brass either unless you face off the back of the ACP cylinder by about 0.04" to provide the necessary clearance for the thicker rim.

    My Walt Kirst .45 ACP cartridge conversion for the Ruger Ole Army percussion revolver does not accept .45 AR either, but does function interchangibly with either .45 ACP or .455 Webley ammo. I use .455 Mark I cases cut down and rim turned from Starline .45 Schofield brass by Ron Reed of Reed's Custom Ammo in mine.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Got one in for a friend and it had the worst gritty action and trigger I ever felt. Took a complete action job before it was shootable. I was NOT impressed!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I have been cutting down 454 casull brass to use in my ACP cyl. I was loading 45 super and 460 rowland, but the bullets back out under recoil. I can roll crimp if theres a rim. Regular colt brass could be cut back and would imagine fit in an ACP chambered cyl in a redhawk.

    Seems like Ruger would have designed the cyl to use the conventional moon clips for a S&W.

    The last Ruger I bought had the same sand filled trigger. Funny I was told it was just the oil dried up, new gun, didn't have a hint of oil in it. I polished some stuff up, did wonders. I know should get a decent trigger in something like a redhawk.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale53 View Post
    If I hadn't had access to the reamer kit I would simply send both cylinders to "Doug Guy". He is very reasonable and by all reports does a FINE job on these. However, the Ruger Redhawk for .45 ACP/,45 Colt is just simply a bad concept that will not work with both calibers.

    If I didn't already have the Bisley I would have jumped all over the newer .45 ACP/.45 Colt convertible Flattop. Again, that is a great concept and by all reports these revolvers come with proper cylinder throat dimensions out of the box.
    FWIW
    Dale53
    I have my old 1970's Blackhawk convertible. If I wanted to check both cylinders with pin gauges, what desirable diameters would I be looking for?
    I assume diameters larger and there isn't much to correct it but smaller and I would have them reamed to correct. ?? I guess that last statement was really a question.
    Chill Wills

  12. #12
    Boolit Master kingstrider's Avatar
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    I bought one last year and like it okay, maybe I just got a good one.

    ETA forgot I did ream the undersized cylinder throats but that was an easy fix.
    Last edited by kingstrider; 02-19-2017 at 04:02 AM.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    Chill Wills;
    The proper dimensions for the cylinder throats of the .45 ACP/.45 Colt convertibles is .4525". My understanding is that the Flattop convertibles (.45 ACP/.45 Colt) have proper throats right out of the box. While the flattops are the medium size frame and won't take "Ruger Only" loads in .45 Colt they will handle "Tier Two" loads and that's all I would require. Since my convertible shoots so well, I have little desire to add another.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale53 View Post
    Chill Wills;
    The proper dimensions for the cylinder throats of the .45 ACP/.45 Colt convertibles is .4525". My understanding is that the Flattop convertibles (.45 ACP/.45 Colt) have proper throats right out of the box. While the flattops are the medium size frame and won't take "Ruger Only" loads in .45 Colt they will handle "Tier Two" loads and that's all I would require. Since my convertible shoots so well, I have little desire to add another.

    FWIW
    Dale53
    I wish that were the case. Not even the Lipsey's limited edition Flattop Blackhawks have .452" cylinder throats. I have seen a scant few of the medium frame cylinders that were .452" and those needed honing to make them .4525" in all 6 holes.

    Have had a few of the RH convertibles in too for throating and I offer a chamfer on the back of the cylinder that makes it easier/faster/MUCH smoother to load from a moon clip or speedloader.

    Afaik, none of the Rugers come with proper throats, some of the 480s have .475" but you know they hand pick the ones they send to the SHOT show and to ppl like Jeff Quinn, the rest of us get what rolls off the assembly line and the throats are back to the same ol same ol of use the reamers until they are just too small to use before they replace them so yes some of the 480s have tight throats.

    Oh well, I would MUCH prefer they left things like they have been, not only does it give us the opportunity to "tune" the guns to our own liking, but we can often do a much more smoother job than the factory will do with cylinder throats, forcing cones, trigger jobs, springs, we are WAY AHEAD of the curve when we can finish and finalize these steps on our own.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    I have my old 1970's Blackhawk convertible. If I wanted to check both cylinders with pin gauges, what desirable diameters would I be looking for?
    I assume diameters larger and there isn't much to correct it but smaller and I would have them reamed to correct. ?? I guess that last statement was really a question.
    You would need from .4505" to .452" at minimum, and you want them in half thousandth increments, class Z minus. One of the best ways to check for tight throats is using a known good .452" boolit. *IF* you cannot push the boolit through the cylinder throats with finger pressure from the front, then the throats are undersized, and the cylinder is pretty much a multi-port sizing die at this point, since boolits will come out of the front of the cylinder at throat diameter when fired. You can assemble ammo with .452" boolits, but if you have .4505" throats, then your cyllnder is sizing them to .4505" as they pass through the throats..

    Another thing that is fairly typical with 70s and 80s production, Ruger used a Hitachi machine with 3 cutters on it to gang ream cylinders, they would plunge 3 holes at a time, index the cylinder one hole and plunge the remaining 3, and move on to the next cylinder. When those reamers wore, they would replace the worn ones once they got too small to use, but they would only replace them one at a time so you had a lot of cylinders with "3 pairs" of throats, two throats would be larger than the others because that reamer was newer, and the rest of the throats were smaller because those reamers were older and had been in use longer.

    ^^^^^^ THIS is very commonly seen. Uneven throats cause pressure variations that cause the gun to recoil differently from shot to shot, larger throats causing less resistance i.e. less pressure, cause the gun to shoot to a different point of impact than a tight throat that builds more pressure and recoils differently. For THIS reason, I always state that it is more important that throats be EVEN with each other than what size they actually are, (so long as they are larger than groove diameter) because you can always size to fit the throats.

    Bottom line, boolits need to fit into the throats from the front with light drag, groups will improve tremendously, leading will be either reduced significantly or completely eliminated.
    Last edited by DougGuy; 02-17-2017 at 02:25 AM.
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cylin...56429174391912

    Je suis Charlie

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    I love my convertible cylinder revolvers but I just don't see this a this a good idea.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Mine took a little love; the extractor rod wouldn't reliably snap back against the cylinder after kicking the cases free, requiring a trip back to the mothership for repair. The action took some smoothing up with my usual DA Ruger practice of disassemble, flush, heavily oil, lotta dry/live fire, re-flush, sensibly oil and is now fairly impressive.

    The throats are all uniformly between .451" (guage will pass) and .452" (gauge won't). There's a slight bit of frame crush in the barrel: It leads with soft tumble lube bullets coated with Ben's Liquid Lube, but not with conventional groovers and Ben's Red. Might fire lap it; might just experiment with hardening up the tumble lubers.

    The ACP option was not really a selling point for me. I knew from prior experience with a 1917 and a converted Webley that moon clips are a pain in the butt, and that this was going to be an almost exclusively .45C revolver. I shot a few cylinders of ACP to prove the gun could, and probably never will again. I may lay in an extra pack of two of the proprietary mooners for the zombie apocalypse, but as I may have already misplaced the three the gun came with, wisdom may indicate that the zombies should be dispatched with the 1911.

    All in all, I like the gun a lot. The DeSantis Thumb Break Scabbard listed for a 4" Redhawk fits it perfectly (despite the 4.2" barrel). I want to experiment with different grips for it once the aftermarket gets a few out there for the round butt. Comfort is fine until the 275 grainers get to about 950fps, at which point a little more filling of the hand would be nice, but for big and slow, it's a nice package.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Ruger 45 convertable

    [QUOTE
    Originally Posted by Chill Wills
    I have my old 1970's Blackhawk convertible. If I wanted to check both cylinders with pin gauges, what desirable diameters would I be looking for?
    I assume diameters larger and there isn't much to correct it but smaller and I would have them reamed to correct. ?? I guess that last statement was really a question."

    Doug wrote:




    You would need from .4505" to .452" at minimum, and you want them in half thousandth increments, class Z minus. One of the best ways to check for tight throats is using a known good .452" boolit. *IF* you cannot push the boolit through the cylinder throats with finger pressure from the front, then the throats are undersized, and the cylinder is pretty much a multi-port sizing die at this point, since boolits will come out of the front of the cylinder at throat diameter when fired. You can assemble ammo with .452" boolits, but if you have .4505" throats, then your cyllnder is sizing them to .4505" as they pass through the throats..

    Another thing that is fairly typical with 70s and 80s production, Ruger used a Hitachi machine with 3 cutters on it to gang ream cylinders, they would plunge 3 holes at a time, index the cylinder one hole and plunge the remaining 3, and move on to the next cylinder. When those reamers wore, they would replace the worn ones once they got too small to use, but they would only replace them one at a time so you had a lot of cylinders with "3 pairs" of throats, two throats would be larger than the others because that reamer was newer, and the rest of the throats were smaller because those reamers were older and had been in use longer.[/QUOTE]


    Dale and Doug, thank you both for your replies. Very helpful!
    I know this thread is about Redhawks so this gets off center just a little.

    I took a few minutes this morning to use the information provided and check out my old convertible.
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    Last edited by Chill Wills; 02-17-2017 at 02:13 PM.
    Chill Wills

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Well well, My cylinder throats are large. That is a hard condition to fix.
    In the above post there is my setup and I will add a few photos and save a few words.

    Basically the 45 ACP cylinder was 0.454" go in all 6 holes and 0.455" was a no go.

    The 45 Colt acted like it had three pairs of two.
    The numbers can be read on the hand written data sheet in the photo.
    0.455" is the largest pin all chamber throats except
    0.457" is the first pin which is NO GO in all throats.

    The barrel is a six land and mic's 0.452" across two of the grooves and 0.451" on the third.

    I am much more of a rifle man than revolvers and handguns.

    So, for you in the know, Ideas?
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    Chill Wills

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Here is the setup for driving the ball through the barrel.
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    Chill Wills

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Heh, they must have kept my old cylinders from me sending my BH back in to them and stuck them in yours, both cylinders had .456" throats and it shot horribly, leaded the DAYLIGHTS out of the barrel, it was so bad I nearly destroyed a Lewis Lead Remover trying to beat it through the bore.

    But back then I didn't know jacksquat about sizing boolits to fit throats either, and I was using commercial hardcast LSWC with that horrid hard blue lube, so I had everything working against me that could possibly work against a guy.

    I sent my BH back to Ruger, with a letter describing my futile attempts and the leading, and kindly asked them for two cylinders with .4515" throats and you know what they sent back? EXACTLY what I had asked them for! It was tailor made for use with .451" boolits and it shot pretty danged good after I got it back.

    I had only "heard" of firelapping, and didn't have a clue what it was but I spied a bottle of J&B bore cleaner in the gun shop that was broken open and I bought it as is, poured the oil off the top and dug the paste out and packed it firmly into the lube grooves of some LSWC that I had dissolved the lube from and loaded them over 8.0gr of Unique. Boy what a MESS I made at the range! 50 rounds of full power GUN GOO!! The gun was just covered in this gray oily abrasive lube, I had to carry it real careful and make sure I didn't lay it against something that would rub thin spots in the bluing on the way back home from the superfine grit that covered it from one end to the other.

    When I got it cleaned up, I could see the tool marks between the lands were really polished smooth, and it cut groups in half so it was worth the trip back to the Mothership and worth the mess I made firelapping.

    You could send it in and ask for smaller cylinders, lots of times they won't even charge for this, depends on your letter I guess, they have done a LOT of stuff for me over the years and never charged me a single dime, not even for shipping either way.

    The other option would be to send the cylinders and have them both evened up so all the throats are the same and then just size to fit the throats, this works too. I have a Uberti Old West model with .4565" throats and I size .456" for it, it is quite accurate, you would never know it wasn't shooting .451" or .452" into the .451" barrel. It just shoots great with 454190 cast from 50/50+2% lubed with SPG. Send a PM if you want to discuss it further, we have done steered this thread too much already..

    Apologies Grapeshot for steering your thread I didn't know it was gonna get hijacked..
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cylin...56429174391912

    Je suis Charlie

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check