If I were going to pick a single handgun to handle a multitude of tasks — home defense, concealed carry, hunting, backcountry duty — this Ruger Redhawk .357 would be near the top of my list. Even if I expanded my options to include auto-loading pistols, I still think this Redhawk would fly higher than most of those guns. I’ll bet you’ve probably already thought up a rebuttal and what you think is a better handgun choice — haven’t you? Even if you have, hear me out on this and see if this Redhawk could be the one revolver to rule them all.
Price: Arguably a potential deal breaker for many of you — and me — a handgun with a $1,000+ retail price simply isn’t a tenable option (mainly because if you have $1,000 to spend on an all-around defensive handgun, you’d probably opt to purchase two very different guns. Or maybe three guns! Point well taken). But in this situation, let’s say one handgun really has to do it all. If that handgun can do it all, then it’s worth it. The question then becomes a matter of capability, durability and reliability.
Power & Versatility: With that, the Redhawk may be the one because of the eight reasons found in the cylinder. That’s eight rounds of .357 Magnum. Eight rounds of legendary velocity. Eight self-defense JHPs or snake rounds or semi-wadcutters or a meaningful mix. And if .357 isn’t the need of the hour, then tone it down a bit with .38 Special +Ps. Or stack up the cylinder with a couple .38s and have six .357s to follow, just in case.
Simplicity: Squeezing off whatever rounds you carry is a very simple process: Squeeze trigger. Need to keep shooting? Squeeze trigger. A round didn’t fire? Squeeze trigger. Need to take a longer shot and you’ve got time to steady the gun and carefully aim? Pull hammer back, aim, squeeze trigger. Need to hand off your gun to someone else in need? “Just squeeze the trigger.”
Size: Yes, this goes both ways. Redhawk is an immense steel handgun, despite being a snub-nosed revolver. Measuring 8.25 inches overall, the gun also weighs 44 ounces. That’s almost three pounds. But it is able to carried and even concealed. You bet there are a ton of other lighter and smaller guns. But do they carry eight rounds of .357 Magnum and are they as simple to operate, as versatile and as durably made?
Even though reloading is a chore — albeit with moon clips that help make it a bit faster — I sure like the Redhawk’s combination of power, versatility, simplicity and size. And while it’s easy to too quickly dismiss it on account of its heftier price tag and overall weight, the handgun on the whole creates a compelling case for being the one to handle just about everything. One revolver to rule to them all.
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