Ruger Redhawk .45 ACP / .45 LC Revolver Review

In this episode of TFBTV, James reviews Ruger’s new Redhawk that accepts both .45 Long Colt and .45ACP with the use of moonclips. With an MSRP of over $1000, is Ruger’s new iteration of the venerable Redhawk worth buying? James finds out.

Thanks to our sponsors Ventura Munitions and Grizzly Targets.

The full transcript is below …

– Hey guys, James again for TFBTV.

Today I’ve got the new Ruger Redhawk.

Now the Redhawk’s been around for a while, but this one takes both.45 Long Colt and.45 ACP.

You heard me right, just like the Smith & Wesson 625, this Redhawk takes.45 ACP by using moon clips.

We all know the correct nomenclature is moon magazines.

It takes.45 moon clips.

They give you a few in the box.

I’m going to shoot it today with.45 ACP and.45 Long Colt sent to me by our sponsor, Ventura Munitions.

Thank you guys at Ventura Munitions for sponsoring.

And I’m going to be shooting this Redhawk at my brand-new Grizzly Targets AR500 target, also a sponsor of the program, thanks a lot guys.

But let’s go look at a few moon clips, see how this thing does.

Now as you guys can see, Ruger sends you a couple of.45 ACP moon clips.

Let’s take the.45 ACP.

Easy as that.

Pop them in, and look at that.

In fact, it’s kinda nice because they act like a speed loader.

You just line them up, drop them in, you’re good to go.

The cylinder release is a thumb button right here.

There’s the cylinder release right there, and then they all pop out whenever they’re spent.

Now of course they’re not going to come out that easily after I shoot them and the brass expands.

You can see, sights are pretty decent.

You got an orange front blade and the white rear half box.

Got some nice rosewood grips with the Ruger logo.

Sights are adjustable for windage and elevation.

Those of you familiar with Ruger, you know the packaging.

Just the standard Ruger box.

Sorry, it’s already dirty.

I waited to do this part ’til after I shot it, so a little bit of powder on this guy.

The Ruger Redhawk.45 ACP,.45 Long Colt comes with three moon clips in the box.

You’re probably going to want a few more.

One thing that is really nice about this.45 ACP version is that.45 ACP is cheaper than.45 Long Colt.

You can load these.45 ACP moon clips before you go to the range and you can quickly and easily unload and reload your Redhawk with.45 ACP, and hey, best part, it’s easy to save the brass.

Msrp on this is $1029.

It’s a good-looking gun, don’t get me wrong, but wooh, that is a lot of money.

It’s all stainless steel, it’s got a ramp front sight, 4.2-inch long barrel.

It weighs 44 ounces, that is a big boy.

But like I say, later in the video, that really does help sapping up the recoil.

It’s got a one in 16 right-hand twist.

It holds six rounds of.45 ACP or.45 Long Colt.

It’s got an adjustable rear sight and overall length of 9.5 inches, lasered hardwood grips and a suggested retail of $1029.

Wooh, that is not cheap.

But hey, it’s a good-looking gun, and it works really well.

I really enjoyed taking this thing to the range.

I’m not much of a revolver guy, but this was actually really nice.

I enjoyed it.

Here’s the firing review.

All right, let’s give this thing a spin.

First, I got to say though, this is a pretty good-looking gun.

The nice grips, the brushed stainless, it looks really good.

Let’s see if it shoots as good as it looks.

(gun fires) (gun fires) And look at that, they all drop out just like that.

(gun fires) There you go, another six.

(gun fires) God, I got to say, shooting.45 ACP out of this, I mean, it’s delightful.

The gun is heavy enough that there’s really no recoil.

I mean, you can just peel them off as fast as you want, and it looks like they’re going to be on target.

(gun fires) Now, I’m not expecting that exact same treatment when we shoot the.45 Long Colt, which is what I’m going to do right now.

Something tells me it’s going to be a little bit more fierce.

The big bad.45 Long Colt, let’s go.

(gun fires) Wow.

I expected a whole lot worse.

If there’s anybody on the fence about getting this gun based on the recoil, I mean, the.45 ACP is nothing.

And really, the.45 Long Colt is pleasant.

Now another thing I’ll say, without the moon clips in there, the cylinder, when you’re pulling the trigger, you feel the cylinder move a lot more freely.

And if the cylinder is moving more freely, then that translates into better trigger pull.

So you actually kinda get a better trigger pull with the.45 Long Colt than you do with the ACP.

And I gotta tell you, I mean, the trigger is excellent.

Of course, as with all revolvers, the single-action trigger just feels like…

(gun trigger clicks) I mean, a pound and a half, two pounds.

The double action is surprisingly easy.

I don’t know what Ruger did, but the trigger is not nearly as long nor does it require as much pressure as some of the other revolvers that I’ve shot in this class.

Pretty good.

All right, let’s give this.45 Long Colt one more spin.

(gun fires) A lot of smoke, smells a little bit like a backyard barbecue too, which is kind of funny.

But yeah, I mean, the recoil, not bad at all.

(gun fires) So in conclusion, can I recommend the Ruger Redhawk and.45 ACP/.45 Long Colt? Yeah, absolutely I can.

The trigger is great, the recoil is very light.

It looks awesome.

I mean, it is a gorgeous gun.

But downside, the price.

I think that the MSRP in this thing is nearing $1000.

Pretty sure, don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the street price around $800.

Now, are you getting your money’s worth? I would say absolutely.

But it’s still pretty steep for this revolver, so you really have to want to shoot .45 ACP or.45 Long Colt out of this gun if you want to buy it.

Again, gorgeous gun, one of the best-looking revolvers I’ve ever seen.

Fit and finish, phenomenal.

I mean, I can’t find anything about this gun that really bothers me.

I like it.

Good job, Ruger.

And this is going to work out really well for you .45 caliber reloaders because you don’t have to go hunting for your brass.

So you can take.45 ACP to the range, but you can keep the big stuff in here for whatever you need it for, backcountry hiking or hunting, whatever it is.

Thank you guys again for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Turner

    Looks like a fantastic revolver, but I’m still waiting for Ruger to come out with an 8 round .357 Redhawk. Please Ruger, please.

    • Nicks87

      Ask and you shall receive. Ruger seems to be listening to the firearms community.

    • AC11

      How about a DA .357/9mm revolver?

  • Lance

    45 ACP….. Too wimpy get a .44 mag!!!

    • TDog

      .44 Mag? Wuss! Get a .454 Casull! 😉

    • DW

      Keyboard is what real non wuss operators use yo.

    • Art out West

      That is why this gun shoots BOTH .45 ACP and .45 Colt! The .45 Colt can be loaded up to .44 mag power (when using a tough gun like the Redhawk – not older Colt SAA or New Service Revolvers). Why shoot a .44 mag (actually .429 mag) when you could shoot a .45 Colt “magnum”?

  • Don Ward

    What? No one has said “It’s .45 Colt” yet?

    *Feels smug*

    • James R.

      Haha, I was waiting for this also.

  • Ryan

    I have this revolver and paid just over $800. I went looking for a .44 mag but after reading up on +p .45 long colt I decided this would be more flexible. The +p loads are a whole other level of power. Most factory .45 lc is downloaded so as to not damage old saa’s. I already reload ACP, it’s much cheaper to practice with. I think the trigger could be better. Accuracy is ok but not stellar. That may be me. I’m not a revolver shooter. Good holsters are not available yet. I think I’ll have to have one made.

    • James R.

      Thanks for the comment with your experience! These are the kinds of comments that enhance the review.

    • DIR911911 .

      I would think this should drop right into a holster made for the 44 version

    • Art out West

      That seems to be the advantage of this gun. 45 Colt can be loaded up to 44 Mag. power levels (when using a tough gun like a Ruger Redhawk). On the other hand, .45 ACP is cheaper than 45 Colt, 44 Mag., or 44 Special. The moonclips also give you the option of faster tactical reloads.
      I might prefer this Redhawk to the 44 Mag version. Like somebody mentioned above, an 8 shot .357 version would also be nice. I know Ruger use to make a .357 version, but it wasn’t an 8 shot.

    • Zebra Dun

      The only drawback is .45 Colt is harder to find (around here anyway) than the common .44 magnum, the .44 magnum ammo though that is most common is full power carbine ammo unless you can find the Mid Range lead load which after all the money fuss and muss gives you .45 Colt power and velocity.

  • FYI here is the new official TFB guide to magazine identification …


  • W.P Zeller

    Mr. Reviewer should have taken the time to chrono the .45 ACP ammunition-
    There’s a reason the recoil is so light: short-cased ammunition doesn’t make power in long-chambered caliber cylinders.
    That 820fps 230 FMJ you like in your Government Model? If it makes 600fps in your .45 Colt caliber revo, you’ll be lucky.
    My Model 25 puffs out 230 factory at about 580fps, a very bad joke. But it does launch giant 255gr Buffalo Bore .45 Colt semi-wadcutters at 900+fps, which should give targets really bad jitters.
    Should the Ruger actually launch ACP slugs at a respectable speed, I’ll be heading out the door to buy one.
    I was hoping this vid would offer the truth, but not this time.

    • James R.

      LOL. So dramatic.

      First, bleed-off is beyond the scope of this review. I’m just giving my opinion of the shooting experience for this particular gun.

      Second, it’d be one thing to infer that “the truth” wasn’t being presented if I recommended a .45ACP revolver for self defense over a .45 auto. So to imply that I am misleading anyone is, itself, misleading. Thanks for watching anyways.

      • Graham2

        You’ve produced a good review here and it shows what to expect from one of these revolvers if you buy one. I’d love one but we can’t have them here in England unfortunately.

        A chronograph session would obviously be nice at some stage, just to see what sort of difference it makes shooting .45 ACP out of a revolver and a semi auto pistol, compared to .45 Colt in a wheelgun. You could even throw in a lever action rifle to see how the ammo performs in a long gun.

        Go on James, make it so!

        • James R.

          Ha, I will see what I can do. I do need to invest in a chrono, I just already haul so much gear to the range for a film session (I am a one man operation in Louisiana). Thanks for watching.

    • Zebra Dun

      I noticed that from shooting a .45 Colt in a S&W M-25-5 I currently own and the old chopped S&W .45 acp M-1917 I had. Both short barreled.
      The recoil seemed much less as does muzzle blast.

  • Don Ward

    I finally had a chance to watch this video. Great job James. As a wheelgun guy, I appreciate seeing this weapon in action. I dig the look of it.

    • James R.

      Thanks, Don.

  • R

    Thanks for the review. I just started searching for my first revolver and hadn’t considered one chambered in 45 ACP. Does anyone have any experience with this vs. the S&W Model 625?

    • James R.

      I do. I used to have a 625, loved it. All other things being equal, it’s not even close in my opinion. The 625 gives you .45ACP *only*, whereas the Redhawk gives you the option to shoot .45LC, and does it well. If that is not important to you, then either will serve you very well. Thanks for watching.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    Great video and great review.

    • James R.

      Thank you, Mr. Boogur Wang.

  • DIR911911 .

    what’s the point of printing every word said in the video? do we really need to read everything we just watched?

    • James R.

      I defer to my editors, but I think there’s several reasons for it. It is a service that viewers apparently wanted badly enough that we actually pay for the transcript for each video.

      • Phil Elliott

        Not all of us are able to listen to a video! So the transcript is a must, thank you guys for being there for EVERYBODY.

    • Zebra Dun

      Some of us old geezers are hearing impaired and cannot make out the words sometimes. Even with them new fangled computer driven VA hearin’ aids.
      Use hearing protection or lose your hearing young feller!

  • It strikes me that an empty Pringles can might be just the ticket for storing loaded moon clips for a range session. It would help keep the sheet metal clips from getting bent.

    • James R.

      Ha, brilliant idea!

    • Don Ward

      Tactical load that Pringle can bro. Six chips. One moon clip. Six chips. One moon clip.

  • Sulaco

    Those moon clips still look pretty flimsy not in the speed loader class for carry in a pocket. Some kind of belt holder that would protect them from being bent?

  • Zebra Dun

    I owned a S&W M-1917 revolver in .45 acp once years ago, it had been chopped down to about a three inch barrel but was GI issue except for that and not worth collector value.
    I foolishly swapped a Ruger Super blackhawk made in 1973 .44 mag for it, (kicking self in ast again) got $200.00 boot.
    The S&W 1917 was good for about six inch pie plate accuracy at 30 yards the gun mod job wasn’t that well done.

    The half moon clips were the main drawback in spite of the speed loader appeal.
    The clips would bend, rounds would fall out or get stuck and if the bend wasn’t noticed it could and sometimes did jam the revolver, or slow down the trigger pull.
    These were old WW2 issue clips so new clips may be better material.
    Over all it was an interesting revolver to shoot, fun as all get out and a comfort in the bedside table at night. The engagement range was very short range.
    I swapped it even, Steven, believe it or not for a Colt Lawman Mk III in .357 magnum with a friend from childhood, ( they said we were like fire and gasoline, Cars, guns, motorcycles, horses and gals LOL from 5 yrs old till 52 yrs old) we swapped various firearms with each other and back over the years, He met a guy who wanted one and had the money to perfect what the chop shop gun smith failed to do. He’s passed away now and I miss him I still have the Lawman I think of him every time I pick it up or shoot it.

  • Zebra Dun

    An informative and interesting article and video for us .45 caliber fans, Thanks!

  • jcitizen

    Meh! I like big bore belly guns – this one would be cool with a 2-1/2″ barrel!- And a rounded grip frame, like some of the rare S&W model 29s I’ve seen(and wished I owned)

  • Central PA USA

    Great review. Recently purchased this revolver and absolutely love it. Mine shoots to point of aim with 230 grain 45 ACP and 225 gr Long Colt ammo. Federal HST standard pressure is my preferred carry round in 45 ACP, and Winchester 225 gr PDX1 in 45 Colt. It’s a sweet shooter, so if you are thinking about buying one, quit thinking and just do it! You won’t regret it.