Shooting the New Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum | SHOT Show 2017 | Event Story | Outdoor Channel
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News Posted 01-06-2017

Shooting the New Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum

A gun that can do it all: the new Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum

Shooting the New Ruger Redhawk .357 Magnum (Photo courtesy of Down Range TV)

By: Ed Head

There isn’t much you can’t get done with a .357 Magnum. During my Border Patrol days I never felt poorly armed while carrying one and saw them take down people, large and small animals and an assortment of other things like cars, usually with one shot. While you might argue that more potent calibers are needed to bring down beasts like the great bears, I never encountered one on the border so I put my faith in the .357 Magnum. We used a variety of ammunition in our Magnums; early on it was the 158 grain jacketed soft point. While a terrific one-shot-stop round on people and a round that easily penetrated walls and sheet metal the heavy JSP bullet passed right through small, thin skinned animals like dogs and coyotes without expanding and did little damage unless it hit bone or a vital organ. By the way, in case you’re wondering about the dogs, from time to time rabies epidemics consumed the border and we were forced to put these animals down before they could harm us, the illegal aliens or the citizens in the nearby communities. On the other end of the .357 ammunition spectrum we have the lightweight, high velocity rounds like the 110gr. jacketed hollowpoint (JHP). These rounds worked great on small critters but not so much on the big ones and were unreliable at penetrating barriers – sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. Often considered the gold standard for .357 Magnums, we have the 125gr. JHP. This load worked well on just about everything, being a high velocity hollowpoint that generally expanded well in tissue, but the downside as far as I was concerned was the tremendous muzzle blast and recoil this load produced in a medium frame, four inch barreled revolver. While I was never much bothered by muzzle flash when shooting at night, some of that 125gr. stuff produced a huge fireball. The load I finally settled on was the Winchester Silvertip 145gr JHP. This load had a flash suppressant in the powder so there was little muzzle flash; it was reasonably mild to shoot and performed spectacularly across a broad range of uses.

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