Using the conventional design for a revolver, solid frame, swing-out cylinder (a set of design features that rose to prominance through Smith & Wesson produced revolvers) and the now common use of double action. All components are made from stainless steel.
The cylinder itself, however, has a unique and highly reliable design feature. The cylinder locking notches (designed to ensure the cylinder fits securely into the frame) are located off the axis of the chambers. This means that the inner cylinder wall is less likely to fail after excessive use. Furthermore the cylinder, when the Redhawk is fired, is triple locked. This means that the cylinder is locked in position by lugs at the front, rear and underside of the cylinder, ensuring that the cylinder is lined up properly and making the Redhawk more stable to fire.
The barrel is ribbed, with the rib and ejector rod shroud forged in a single piece, resulting in a cleaner look to the Redhawk and adding additional reinforcement to the frame.
The Redhawk uses the .44 magnum cartridge in a six-shot cylinder. This also means that the .44 magnum special cartridge can also be used with the Redhawk.
Custom ammunition is also avaliable for the Redhawk, due to its large size: Customised ammunition including:
MaintenanceEditThe Ruger Redhawk is extremely easy to maintain, the grips taken off to allow access to the hammer which, in turn, can be removed via a pin (provided with the gun and kept in the grip) which is inserted into the mainspring. This also allows the mainspring to be removed along with the trigger guard and mechanism, when a stud, behind the trigger guard, is pulled.
The Redhawk remains in production (as of April 2013) and has a high reputation of good quality. The Redhawk, following several reports of failure between the barrel and the frame, was built from the 1980's with an extended frame, allowing for scopes to be fitted to the frame, as opposed to the barrel. The Redhawk's production was meant to be stopped when the Super Redhawk was released in 1987. However the demand for the Redhawk remained, hence the Redhawk remains in production.
Adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes carried a Redhawk on the 14 month long Fiennes-Burton Transglobal Expedition and used it to ward off a polar bear.
- Modern Small Arms - Ian V. Hogg
- Ranulph Fiennes (1983). To the Ends of the Earth: The Transglobe Expedition, the first pole-to-pole circumnavigation of the globe. p. 416.