Recently I had the opportunity to test three different .44 Magnum revolvers. One of which was the Ruger Super Redhawk. It was the bright stainless model KSRH-9 with 9.5 inch barrel, (MSRP $888). I was expecting my fellow Gun Reporters to give me a hard time for not choosing to test a Super Redhawk chambered to launch .454 Casull or .480 Ruger.
By their silence I take it that they too have gotten over their fascination for steroid fed handguns.
For my part I was looking for a hand cannon that I could afford to shoot more often. Indeed, over the course of my two day tests I sent almost 400 rounds of .44 Magnum down range. I don’t think I could have survived this many shots of any caliber larger than .44 Magnum without making a donation to my local hospital.
The results of my tests showed that the Ruger Super Redhawk was a fine piece. But, I wasn’t impressed with the supplied grip in terms of soaking up recoil.
The original grip was rubber grip with wood inlaid. Ultimately, I had to resort to wearing a PAST shooting glove. This was really the only complaint I could make about the gun. It was visually impressive, accurate, and apparently very well built.
Steve Sanetti, then President of Ruger, actually contacted our test team and asked if the Hogue grip that would soon be shipping with the Super Redhawk did a better job of dampening recoil would we take away our single reservation and give it a top rating. We said, “Okay, please send us a grip.”
The availability of Hogue grips on Ruger firearms is one of the changes that have taken place since new personnel were given the go ahead to develop new models and marketing techniques. The Hogue Monogrip is an original design that was invented by Guy Hogue to avoid what was once a very common problem.
Prevailing design was to sandwich the frame between two panels and hope that the grip screw or screws didn’t come loose. That would cause the panels to shift in the hand. The Hogue Monogrip slides over the butt of the gun upwards through the top of the grip. It is held in place by a yoke that positions a channel tapped for the locking screw.
This also does away with the problem of the palm of the hand making contact with the grip screw. Actually most Monogrips fit so securely that the gun can be shot even with the retaining screw not fully turned down.
The grip I received and tried on the Super Redhawk featured finger grooves and a closed back with an almost ball like palm swell. It was actually very small in circumference at every latitude especially where the middle finger wrapped around to meet the thumb.
What this grip accomplished was to make the Super Redhawk much easier to handle for someone with a smaller hand. The angle of the grip seemed to enhance wrist position when fired standing. But, in terms of absorbing recoil there was too much palmswell and not enough material between the frame and the hand. I found this disappointing and actually a little confusing.
In a previous test of the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan the supplied grip, also a Hogue Monogrip design, was much beefier. This grip did a great job of making the Alaskan, which is a snubby version of the Super Redhawk more comfortable breeze to shoot.
Checking with Hogue Grips by telephone, (1-800-Get-Grip), the customer service rep directed me to grip model number 80020 Tamer on the getgrip.com website. Here is where I can clear up the confusion.
The Super Redhawk revolvers share grip frame design with the GP100 series revolvers which are smaller overall and chambered for 38 Special and .357 Magnum. The grip I received, (Ruger catalog number 84139), would be much better suited for, indeed spectacular in my view, when mounted on a GP100.
The Hogue 80020 Tamer grip would be the best choice in my opinion for the Super Redhawk whether chambered for .44 Magnum, 454 Casull, or .480 Ruger.