The .45 ACP

Since this is the first Redhawk ever chambered in .45 ACP I used this as my starting point. Shooting at 20 yards I was quite disappointed to find my first group for five shots measured 3", and some loads were actually worse than this. It didn’t take long to find out that this revolver was very picky when shooting .45 ACP loads. I soon discovered it preferred the lighter loads using hard cast bullets. The Buffalo Bore Low Recoil .45 ACP’s with both 180- and 200-gr. hard cast bullets at muzzle velocities of 724 and 654 fps respectively both shot well, comparatively speaking, with groups of 11/2" and 13/8" respectively. My personally assembled Low Recoil load using the Oregon Trail 225 hard cast round nosed bullet over 5.0 grains of Bullseye for 688 fps also shot relatively well, with a five-shot group of 13/4".

My theory is these loads have such a free bore to follow through the cylinder they don’t always enter the barrel straight on and have trouble maintaining their stabilization much past 10 yards. Shooting at 7 yards made me feel much better and groups shrunk to around 1” or so. The Black Hills 185 JHP clocked out at 764 fps with a 1" group while Buffalo Bore’s 180 Hard Cast Low Recoil at 724 fps delivered a group of 3/4", as samples. The Ruger Redhawk loaded with .45 ACP loads would certainly not be a problem at a reasonable self-defense distance.