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Ruger RedHawk Problems


TK Custom CANNOT control want springs are changed before or after the .45 acp Moonclip conversion of Ruger revolver cylinders is done.


The Ruger Redhawk is one of the finest big-bore heavy-duty revolver available, combining the capacity for ultra big-bore calibers and sensible size.  For all of its utility, however, the Redhawk has an Achilles heel in the form of weak ignition due to its unique main/trigger spring arrangement, firing pins and the transfer bar safety system. It is not unknown for box-stock, brand new guns to suffer from weak ignition in certain circumstances, even with factory ammunition. For a gun that is often carried afield as not only a primary hunting weapon but a back-up gun, this is a serious shortcoming and must be addressed.

The dual-action spring system, while ingenious, is often part of the problem since, to reduce felt single-action pull weights, owners have employed reduced-pressure mainsprings instead of tuning the sear surfaces for improved trigger action and weight. Using any sort of reduced mainspring in a standard Redhawk is inviting trouble. Properly handled, standard Redhawks will still tune very well but one should be mindful of the potential for ignition trouble and be especially careful.

More spring tension is necessary. TKC has both 30# and 40# springs to replace the factory 20# part. While these springs rates may seem high, due to the compounding of leverage in the Redhawk action, this is necessary to achieve appreciable increases in hammer velocity. Even with the 40# spring, neither the single nor double-action modes will increase in weight a great deal and will be well within acceptable limits for field use.

Not all ignition failures in Redawks are traced to the gun. Some are traced to the shooter. The syndrome is often hard to diagnose. The Redhawk is a fairly heavy gun and often equipped with long, heavy barrels, especially in the Super models. It is difficult to hold up the gun (shooting off-hand) without a good bit of that weight laying on the side of the trigger finger.


When the trigger is pulled, the finger lurches rearward a bit and, with the change in pivot point of the gun, the muzzle lurches downward which has the effect of pulling the trigger away from the trigger finger. When this occurs, the transfer bar is partially retracted BEFORE the hammer lands on the bar/firing pin. Depending on how much the transfer bar retracts, you may realize a failure to fire. If the firing pin strike in the hammer is just a small dent, this may be a shooter problem. Good shooting technique will help and often cure this. Never-the-less, the gun has still failed to fire in a relatively normally use situation. One way to diagnose this phenomenon is to shoot the gun off a rest. Chances are, problem won't occur.

Our best advice is to shoot any Redhawk at least a couple hundred rounds with the ammo you plan to use before heading afield. In the unlikely event you experience any ignition failures, there are steps to take to correct the problems. With a little patience, you will have a peerless heavy-duty revolver.