Fans of the .44 Remington Magnum owe a debt to Elmer Keith. Keith was a cigar-smoking, Stetson-wearing westerner who first wrote the “Gun Notes” column for this magazine. He was a proponent of bigbore sixguns and liked to load the antique .44 Special with lots of gunpowder. Keith convinced Remington and Smith & Wesson to collaborate, and in 1956 the .44 Magnum and the S&W Model 29 were born. Twenty-four years later, Ruger introduced the Redhawk double-action revolver, and it would come to be regarded as one of the strongest-built .44 Magnum sixguns you could buy.
The Ruger Redhawk is Ruger’s flagship revolver, providing the user with the cannon-like firepower of the .44 Magnum since its introduction in 1979. The Redhawk is offered in several configurations; mine is the Hunter model, with a 7.5-inch barrel, ready to accept a scope, should you want to meddle with the beauty of the beast
In the late 1970s, Ruger hired Harry Sefried (formerly of High Standard Manufacturing) to design the company's first big bore double-action revolver. Taking many of its cues from the successful Security-Six, the Redhawk debuted in 1979 and has been in production ever since. Built to withstand the pressures generated by full power .44 Mag. loads, the Redhawk has been a favorite with handloaders who like to shoot extra hot ammunition. Various configurations include blued and stainless-steel models with barrel lengths ranging from 4.20” to 7.50". This year Ruger released a new dual-caliber model chambered to fire .45 Colt and .45 ACP.