In 2008, Ruger released a new Redhawk revolver chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge.
Since then, the company discontinued that model and introduced a new Redhawk that will run .45 Colt and .45 ACP. Seems like a win to me.
Let’s take a look at the original .45 Colt revolver and the new gun Ruger replaced it with.
The .45 Colt Returns to the Redhawk
For 2008, Sturm, Ruger & Co. introduced the Model 5027 Redhawk Revolver chambered in .45 Colt. At the time, it was the only Redhawk chambered for a cartridge other than the .44 Magnum.
The gun remained in the company’s catalog through 2017. In January 2018, the gun was no longer listed by or available from Ruger. By that time, there were other calibers available including a second Redhawk that chambered the .45 Colt.
Ruger began manufacturing the Redhawk in 1979. At that time, the gun came in a variety of chamberings, including .45 Colt. Over the years Ruger scaled back production so only the .44 Magnum remained.
Polymer pistols became all the rage and wheelguns were passé. As with other things, revolvers became fashionable again. In response to the renewed revolver interest, Ruger reintroduced a Redhawk in .45 Colt.
The .45 Redhawk was available with a 4″, 5 1/2″, and 7 1/2″ barrels when it was reintroduced. By the following year, barrel lengths were limited to 4.2″ only.
Like all Ruger Redhawk revolvers, this is a double-action handgun. The hammer is exposed and can be cocked for precision, single-action shots. Since many people might use this for hunting, the single-action capability is very important.
Ruger stated the KRH-45-4 has a “rugged frame, designed specifically to handle powerful magnum loads, (and) includes extra metal in top strap, sidewalls and barrel mounting areas.” So, this Ruger should be able to handle the hot handloaded hunting loads and the commercially available hot loadings offered by companies such as CorBon and Buffalo Bore.
Additionally, Ruger builds the Redhawk with a triple locking cylinder. The cylinder locks into the frame at the front, bottom and rear for the best alignment of the cylinder to the barrel. It also provides increased strength for high-powered loads.
Lastly, this gun was discontinued once before. That is a very strong indication that the market demand for this gun is likely weak. Bottom line: if you like this revolver, find and buy one today. You do not know when Ruger may discontinue the .45 Colt version of the Ruger Redhawk.
ACP & Colt in One
Late in 2015, Ruger announced a second Redhawk that would chamber the .45 Colt. The new gun, Model 5032 (later designated the 5050), came with three moon clips and an appropriately designed cylinder so it would also chamber the .45 ACP cartridge.
The new gun had a few changes from the existing model. For example, it used hardwood grips with laser engraving instead of the Hogue Monogrip.
The .45 Colt Redhawks were similar, but different. Here are the specifications for each in a side-by-side table:
|Caliber||.45 Colt||.45 Colt/.45 ACP|
|Weight (unloaded)||46.0 oz||44.0 oz|
|Sights||red insert ramp front, adjustable blade rear||black ramp front, adjustable blade rear|
|Grips||Hogue Monogrip||laser engraved hardwood|
Revolvers chambered for the .45 Colt are an increasingly rare item. I’ve no information on how long this will stay in the Ruger inventory. However, the company is willing to cut products when they are not performing to sales expectations.
Should you be interested in one, I recommend buying sooner rather than later. Your local gun shop should be able to help. Alternatively, you can use my affiliate link to pick one up. I earn a small commission, but it does not change your price.
Last update: June 3, 2021