Ruger Redhawk Alaskan 454 Casull – Bear Protection?
The Super Redhawk was introduced late in 1987, in .44 Magnum with 7.5 and 9.5 inch barrel lengths. The final product used the same trigger design and same grip panels as the .357 Magnum GP-100, but had a larger, stronger frame with integrated scope bases. The Super Redhawk received positive reviews, edging out similar offerings from Smith and Wesson in accuracy and price. To date, the Super Redhawk is still considered one of the strongest, if not the strongest revolver in production.
The Super Redhawk was only available in stainless steel with a number of finishes. The standard finish is brushed steel, with a semi-gloss look. Polished, high-gloss versions have also been offered, though this option is not currently available. Stainless steel one-inch scope rings are included, using the standard Ruger lockup common to all Ruger integral bases. The Super Redhawk uses different front and rear rings, with the rear ring being shorter than the front ring due to differences in frame height. Ruger Model 77 bolt action rifles also use a higher ring in the rear than in the front.
Despite plans to drop the Redhawk revolver with the introduction of the Super Redhawk, the original Redhawk (with the barrel thread lubricant issue corrected) remains in production as of 2012. Many shooters prefer the more classic lines of the Redhawk, especially those who do not plan to use a scope. The Redhawk is also available with different barrel lengths, 5.5 and 7.5 inches.
Versions of the Super Redhawk with 22 inch barrels were produced for the UK market with serial numbers in the 551-5xxxx and 551-7xxxx range. Model numbers were KSRH-21-357 (.357 Magnum) and KSRH-21 (.44 Magnum). Very little information about them is available.
The .454 Casull
Introduced in 1997, the Super Redhawk chambered in .454 Casull was the first six-shot revolver in that caliber. The Freedom Arms cylinder and numerous conversions only hold 5 rounds. To handle the extreme pressures of the .454 Casull without changing the design of the cylinder, Ruger used a different alloy and heat treatment process to increase its strength. The frame material is the same as standard Super Redhawks, but frame and cylinder are colored differently by use of a target grey finish produced by tumbling the parts in special polishing media.
The .454 Casull model is actually marked as “.454 Casull /.45 Colt”, and is capable of shooting the slightly shorter .45 Colt rounds. The .45 Colt is a less powerful round to shoot, lacking the severe muzzle blast and recoil of the .454 Casull. The option of using .45 Colt expands versatility, reduces the cost of shooting, and reduces wear.
Man kills charging bear with .454 Casull
Greg Brush, an Alaskan fishing guide, was ambushed with no warning by a charging bear. All he had time to do was pull out his .454 Casull and fire as fast as possible, while falling backwards after tripping on a branch. The Anchorage Daily News reports:
He drew a Ruger .454 Casull revolver. There was no time to aim, barely time to squeeze the trigger. He’s not sure whether he got off two shots or three, but one proved fatal.
“Total luck shot,” he said.
“It doesn’t get any closer. He slid by me on his chin when I shot him,” Brush said. “I was backpedaling as fast as I could. I wasn’t even aiming. I tripped over my own feet as I pulled the trigger.”
He estimated that the animal weighed 900-plus pounds, and was 15 to 20 years old. It had grass packed in its molars and little fat on its bones.
“It was starving to death and saw an opportunity,” Brush said.
Greg was carrying a Ruger Super Redhawk. The Low-Glare Stainless model is available chambered in .454 Casull. It has a MSRP of $992.
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