New to me late 80's Redhawk

Was able to get a one owner blued Redhawk in 44 mag. 7.5". Need your input as to which mold. Hunting mostly and was planning on using 20:1. NOE has some nice hp molds with the cup,hp and flat nose pins. I have looked at every thread on 44's and still can't decide on round flat or swc. Pin gauges should be here this weekend for measuring throats. Do the round flat noses have any accuracy advantages over the 429421 clones? I do like the NOE's 3 pin system but inventory is spotty sometimes and if 20:1 will roll the noses on a flat point I have Arsenal and Accurate molds to choose from as well. Thanks for any advise or experiences you have.


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I doubt you'll find much of an accuracy advantage with the round flat over the SWC. Starting with Keith there has been a lot of testing that very thing and the general consensus is that if the meplat is about 65% or less of the bullet diameter you should be fine. My own testing was to 200 meters and I've had good success with the SWC. At what range do you plan to hunt with it? I'm not convinced with 44 a HP is needed at all. I had a 300 gr HP in 44 fail on a pig at 40 yards and used a SWC as a finisher.


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SWC or WFN. Slightly heat-treated or lightly water-quenched wheelweight alloy seems to be a good balance. Most of us here know someone who has basically dedicated their life to developing deer-killing loads with a .44 Magnum wheelgun and a standard-weight 65-70% meplat WFN from water-quenched WW alloy at (if I remember right) 1400 fps muzzle velocity with WW-296 powder and Federal standard primer in tightly crimped, tightly resized brass was THE formula. Too fast, too slow; too much, or too little meplat; too hard or too soft; all go off the rails somewhat.
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Throats on my old Redhawk were tighter than a frog's butt. Built like a tank though.
I had a RH in the late '80s. Wouldn't shoot cast worth a dang. Got rid of it and went to the BH variety. Found out (MUCH LATER - thanx to the internet!) that those RHs may have throats tighter than the barrel. Pretty certain mine did. I would recommend checking both throats and barrel. Otherwise, you may get very frustrated w/ cast.
Thanks Oscar, I didn't think about slugging the barrel but the throats I knew better so I ordered the pin gauges. Undersize throats is no problem, they can be reamed and polished. I have read some RH's of that era had .432 throats so I'm not ordering a mold until I have the throat dia. I routinely shove 358's down Colt 355/356 barrels with great accuracy although sometimes I have to work on the forcing cones and cylinders. Other than 1911/45's this is my first big bore revolver. In 38 and 357's I can get the same accuracy from round flats as swc, I just have to push the swc a little harder.


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Elmer's load is always a good starting point. 20-22grains of 2400 with standard primer, not magnum,
under a Lyman 429421 or H&G 503 sized to cylinder throat diameter, good crimp in crimp groove. The gun is
heavy enough that recoil will still be pretty mild. If you want a milder load that will still kill any beast that walks
this continent, 10 gr of Unique or 9 gr of Power Pistol will give about 1050-1100. You will never recover a bullet from
anything smaller than a buffalo, and that is iffy.

Check throat diams. Hope for barrel groove diameter or .001 larger. If much smaller than groove diam,
after testing, if there are leading or accuracy issues (likely, but not guaranteed) reaming to groove diam or
+0.001" is in order.

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Staff member
NOE has a nice clone of the HG 503 that should work very well.

Check the throats, it they are too tight it will lead like a sumnabitch.


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I’ll second the lee 310gr bullet. It’s cheap to get started with and I have killed several deer with it out of my super blackhawk bisley hunter.

I run it just a little over 1100fps and recoil to me is much more manageable than shooting lighter bullets at 14-1500fps.

I previously killed several with the AM 43-255R cast from 50/50 soww/coww air cooled running 1300fps.

358156 hp

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The early Redhawks had a real problem with forcing cone dimensions, some weren't even a cone. My early 41 mag RH had a throat that looked like it had been cut with a horse shoe rasp. I ended up having to cut it. My current 44 mag RH (S/N 244) seems to have a pretty cleanly cut throat. I need to take it out more, it was unfired until I got my grubby mitts on it and still only has a round count of 50 rounds, plus whatever the factory fired through it for proof testing. I primarily run RCBS 250 gr Keith bullets, or Lyman 429244 GC. Newer additions include 180 gr LBT LFN & WFN. The WFN are from a borrowed mould.

Contrary to popular belief, 250 Keiths at approx. 1200 fps will not bounce off a deer at any reasonable distance. I've been seeing a lot of nonsense on the internet where the 44 mag is totally inferior to even a 30/30 for deer, and that the 454 Casull is the sensible minimum for deer sized game. This mostly seems to come from folks who actually own neither caliber, and wouldn't shoot them even if they did because their hairdos might get messed up.


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Thanks Oscar, I didn't think about slugging the barrel but the throats I knew better so I ordered the pin gauges. Undersize throats is no problem, they can be reamed and polished.
Didn't want to say ream the throats... But, if yours is like mine was, that is the answer. Wish I had known then what I know now!
Thanks everyone, I mess around with a lot of 32,38 and 357 revolvers and reaming cylinder throats is as common to me as polishing brass. Most of the time that alone will fix a lot of issues, barring timing issues and assuming bore and groove are in spec. The hardest for me is the forcing cones, knowing when and how much and what angle is the best course. The newer Ruger's in stainless is some hard *ss metal. You can screw up a new reamer real fast.


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I have a very early version of the RH............ first one I seen in a Detroit area gun shop. No forcing cone issues or tight throats. All the throats are a slip fit with a .4325 bullet. My first handgun kill was made using a bullet cast from RCBS 240 SWC GC mould using Lyman #2 alloy. Bullet passed through two 1" diameter saplings, before hitting the deer. Deer traveled about 65 yards. BTW, I shot that deer at @ 20 yards, using double action. As long as I do my part, I can keep all offhand shots, within a 2" bull at that distance. That was back when, the accepted load was 22 grains of Hercules 2400 and a 240 cast bullet, touched off with a magnum primer. I have since toned down that load.
Brad, Yea I was looking at that one and also the 434-280 or 434-258, in case I need the extra 2/1000. I love the four cav./3 pin molds. You get Three different bullets for the price of 1 1/2. I have one of those for the 38/357 and with 20:1 deep pin you get a nice roll back starting at about 840 fps. when you get to 900 or above you have to use the cup point and you can't tell the difference in the recovered bullets. I am waiting on the alum. molds but he has one of those in brass but I'm betting that is one heavy mold.


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I have exactly one NOE HP mould..............and the last. Al's solids are just fine. Do not care for pins sticking out of the bottom of the mould or the retaining method. MP moulds are a far superior design, if you need a HP.


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Contrary to popular belief, a heavy for caliber bullet is unnecessary. All you get in return is a looping trajectory, heavier recoil and much higher point of impact.....................the latter, magnified in handguns. IIRC, a 300 grain bullet would hit 8" higher, in my RH, at 20 yards.
I'll go look at MP's. I agree in that 35 rem and larger doesn't need a hp. My hunting alloy is 2.4 tin and 2.5 antimony and the entrance wounds on a flat point is 1/2" and a litter bigger on the exit. some times on a rib hit it will shed a little weight but not often on the ones I've recovered.