Converting Ruger Redhawks

Firearms that shoot multiple calibers are more flexible, cost effective, and just plain fun to shoot. Here’s how I converted a Ruger Redhawk .45 Colt to shoot .45 ACP.

by Roy Seifert

Ruger has been manufacturing the Redhawk double-action revolver since 1979. The Redhawk is a large-frame version of Ruger’s “Six” line of double-action revolvers originally designed to take the larger, more powerful .44 Magnum cartridge, but has since been manufactured in other calibers such as .41 Magnum, .454 Casull, and .45 Colt (or .45 Long Colt.) Unlike other double-action revolvers, the Redhawk uses an innovative, one-piece frame rather than a removable side plate, giving them superior strength. The cylinder locks into the frame at the rear, bottom, and in the crane, giving the revolver additional stability and accuracy.

Beginning in 2015, Ruger began producing a model of the Redhawk in .45 Colt that also took .45 ACP cartridges using full moon clips. This model 5032 Redhawk comes with three full moon clips and additional moon clips are available direct from Ruger (, 336/949-5200). .45 ACP ammunition is cheaper to shoot, is more readily available than .45 Colt, and has many more choices for plinking and self defense.

I am a big fan of interchangeable caliber guns. I fitted .45 ACP cylinders to my two old-model .45 Colt Ruger Vaqueros (see “A Tale Of Two Cylinders” in the November 2015 issue) and I have two Ruger Super Single-Six Convertible revolvers that shoot .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle out of one cylinder and .22 WMR out of a second cylinder.

I wanted the flexibility of being able to shoot two different calibers with the Redhawk but didn’t want to pay the price for a new one. The standard .45 Colt Redhawk can be converted to also shoot .45 ACP.

Read more in the January 2017 issue.

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