Super Redhawk Woes

Discussion in 'Knives, Gear, Guns And Other Tools' started by shivermetimbers, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. shivermetimbers

    shivermetimbers Member

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    I recently purchased a Ruger SRH in .44 Mag, with the intent of shooting lead only and as a pack gun. I’m an avid reloader that’s starting to dabble in casting my own stuff. So this is perfect! The .44 was designed around hard cast lead, enter Elmer Keith (designed the .44 and .357, very interesting fellow) and his heralded “Keith bullet.” Besides, most ammo used for persuading dangerous animal that you’re not worth taste testing is loaded hot with hard cast.

    Since I hadn’t started casting yet, I bought some lasercast SWC’s sized at .431 and loaded them up. I figured this would be fine. A .44 magnum should be right at .429. So the larger bullet is desired for a good seal and to bite into the rifling. Accuracy wasn’t too bad, it degraded after pumping a few cylinder fulls into paper at 15 yards. I suspected leading. Sure enough, the whole barrel was leaded. This....is a major pain to deal with. After a day and a half of soaking in Kroil, all the lead came out with a jag and patch.

    I figured it was time to slug my barrel, which I should have done in the beginning. I encountered a pretty significant restriction where the barrel meets the frame and at the forcing cone. I’ve heard of this before, some fire lap the barrels to remove the restriction. The restriction squeezed a slug (melted split shot sinkers—pure lead) down to .428 at the highest point, that’s bad. Gunsmith wouldn’t touch it.

    Additionally, the throats at the end of the cylinder were all different sizes. Too small for a .431 cast bullet to pass through, even with some coercion. So, in effect, the bullet was sized down twice before it hits the meat of the barrel. Perfect for some good gas cutting = severe leading.

    I called Ruger, explained in depth, everything. I was told, “Have you tried factory ammo?” I about lost it with this person. I told them it’s seen the range once and the amount of money for one and to have a bad barrel is simply unacceptable. You can’t shoot lead bullets out of it!!

    They sent me a shipping tag, I boxed it up and shipped it out. I’m hoping they make this right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  2. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    Rugers are famous for this...
     
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  3. shivermetimbers

    shivermetimbers Member

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    I wish it wasn’t. It’s the only Ruger revolver I own. The rest are Smiths. I went with Ruger on this one, because they are overbuilt and can take the abuse. Just as long as it’s fixed correctly. I wrote 2-pages worth of info and put it in with the gun before shipping.
     
  4. ManOfSteel

    ManOfSteel Member

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    I have a Redhawk in .44. No problems but I’m only shooting factory JHP’s out of it so I’m of no help as usual o_O
     
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  5. shivermetimbers

    shivermetimbers Member

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    I think that’s what the tech was alluding to. My gun will shoot jacketed bullets probably without any issues. Cast lead, different story. It’s a $1200 gun, it’s should be able to do both.

    I talked to several gunsmiths. Some had no idea what I was talking about, very short conversations. I was directed to one gentleman and was able to reach him. He knew right off the bat what I was talking about without me finishing. He said my barrel was bad. Either they cut the threads on the wrong end of the barrel or screwed it into the frame so tight it created a very bad restriction. To the extent it cannot be lapped out. “Send it back to Ruger. I won’t touch it.” This might be desirable at the muzzle end, but not at the forcing cone and where the rifling starts.

    What a big bummer.
     
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  6. olywa

    olywa Member

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    Very interested in how Ruger resolves this for you. Sure hope they make it right. I haven't sent anything in since before Bill passed. Never had a problem when he was around though.
     
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  7. Wose

    Wose Member

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    This is a pretty common problem with revolvers in general, and Rugers in particular, even from the good old days when each gun was lovingly assembled by Bill Ruger himself and sprinkled with fairy dust under a full moon before being shipped.

    It's possible that Ruger might swap your cylinder and/or barrel. Whether that will help or not remains to be seen. It's also a common experience that the Ruger service folks will declare the gun "in spec" and ship it back to you.

    Most "gunsmiths" these days make their nut by assembling AR15s, Glocks and Ruger 10/22s, with a lucrative sideline of cerakoting Hello Kitty AK47s. Actual revolver mechanics are pretty rare, and knowledge of shooting cast bullets is also dying out. I'm 46, and in any group of people shooting wheel guns with cast bullets, I'll typically be the young whippersnapper, with rare exception.

    Beartooth bullets have some excellent information and kits for fire-lapping your barrel. 4D rentals has tools for uniforming your cylinder, and there's also a guy on Facebook that does it for pretty cheap.
     
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  8. shivermetimbers

    shivermetimbers Member

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    I got an email today from Ruger, my gun has entered repair and I’ll get an email or call when it’s finished.

    Before I retired from the AF, I worked for a Colonel. My sole job was to see who was ripping us off and go after them. Due to the weapon system I was on, it was mostly Boeing or sub-contracted through them. My favorite was having a discussion with a group of engineers. They kept using the term, “quality escape.” Me being me and my filter was non-existent in those days. I replied to them, “Oh, it’s ————‘ed up.” They just stared at me in disbelief. I’m pretty good at that.

    I am hopeful they will make this right. It’s a brand new gun and I am aware some of these are common issues. The key word is common. Perhaps that’s not a good thing nor should it be acceptable. Again, I’ll see what they do, reslug it and do some dimension checks when I get it back. Until then, I’ll remain optimistic.
     
  9. Ballenxj

    Ballenxj Member

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    Ruger quality control is extremely lacking now days. I have a good friend that works as a gunsmith, and he's not impressed with them at the moment. :(
     
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  10. Backwoods Runner

    Backwoods Runner Member

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    Following, been interested in a 45lc/45acp redhawk and want to see how this goes as I plan to shoot heavy hard cast lc loads.
     
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  11. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    I have one and needed to ream out the cylinder throats. In the end, it wasn't really a big deal...
     
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  12. shivermetimbers

    shivermetimbers Member

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    Update: I got word last week that my SRH had entered repair. That took another week and it is on its way back to me. Their emails aren't very forthcoming on any information, as far as what was performed.

    So I called them to ask. It looks like they replaced the barrel along with a few other items and quality checked it. It will arrive tomorrow, but I'll be out of town. So I'll reslug it and see where we are at when I get back.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  13. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

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    I hope it works out for you.

    Toss up some pics when you take possession again. We all like picture of guns.
     
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  14. jeeter

    jeeter Member

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    Definitely post up results. I've been considering a Ruger GP100, but I'm having second thoughts after reading the QC issues here.
     
  15. Ballenxj

    Ballenxj Member

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    To be fair, he also says they have one of the best warranties out there. They will fix whatever QC misses, so don't be afraid to buy from them.
     
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  16. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    Glad to hear that it sounds like Ruger made it right.

    FWIW, I've owned five different Ruger revolvers over the last decade - a Redhawk, a GP100, two SP101s and two LCRx and haven't had a single issue with any of them.

    Not denying that there are issues out there, but I wouldn't say they are common, or that QC is seriously lacking. They are still some of the best, most durable and reliable revolvers you can buy and I'd buy another one without hesitation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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  17. Ballenxj

    Ballenxj Member

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    I have also owned quite a few Rugers, including four currently, with no problems. But when they do have a problem, this is what gets the most attention. Will I stop buying from Ruger? No, I like them a lot. However, my friend just repaired a pistol that the customer said he got from their custom shop. The front sight was loose. He was really surprised about that one.
     
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  18. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    Yup - not acceptable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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  19. shivermetimbers

    shivermetimbers Member

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    This is my first Ruger revolver. All the others are Smiths. I bought it because it’s so robust compared to Smiths; can take full house/on the hot side .44 Mag all day without a hiccup. Not a dig on Smith, great guns, but the Ruger is a tank.

    The trigger was horrid out of the box. However, my school of thought is to disassemble, clean (some manufacturers have left machining shavings inside guns) and lube. I doused the trigger group and crane/cylinder with Ballistol, let it sit for a while, wiped excess away and put a smidge of Mil-Com grease on the sear. Night and day difference and the trigger broke clean. Some owners manuals state to clean and lube first. So not a biggie.

    This wasn’t a bash on Ruger. More or less just info that someone might find useful. Additionally, I have a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5CM, it shoots bugholes. I also have a Mark II in .30-06, it groups very well. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from them again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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  20. Hammer

    Hammer Member

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    Well done. One thing I really like about Ruger revolvers is how easy they are to disassemble. And yeah, they generally benefit from a good internal cleaning (and polishing) out of the box. I'd also highly recommend a Wolff spring kit (or Wilson Combat) - cheap and easy to install and makes a noticeable difference.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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