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Ruger Super Redhawk - Tanaka

I had always been very impressed by Tanaka's revolvers, but, aside from the rather tatty, Chief Special, all my Tanaka revolvers, before this, had been Smith & Wesson Model X29s.

Big and nicely made revolver has quite different feel to S&Ws.

When someone posted the availability of a Ruger Super Redhawk on a forum in response to someone's request for a Tanaka revolver, I followed it up and was, quite quickly, in possession of a Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Magnum.

In real steel form, the Super Redhawk is a direct competitor, in .44 Magnum form (as replicated here), to the S&W N Frame revolvers.

In the Box

The box and contents are very much like the S&Ws, with a glossy box lid, with photographic artwork on a dark background covering a polystyrene bed, which has two distinct barrel length cutouts in it.

Box typical of Tanaka revolvers. Can accomodate 9.5 inch models, too.

As well as the gun, there was the gas nozzle and the familiar Tanaka loading tool.

My gun was used, so there was no paperwork with the gun, but I would expect a manual with a new gun.

First Impressions

Big and meaty! The Ruger seems a lot bigger and is quite a lot heavier than the Smith & Wesson Model 29 and 629s I have seen and reviewed before.

The grips are interesting, replicating the Ruger rubber grip with wooden inserts. The inserts on this gun are actually plastic, but more realistic for being simple panels than the full grips fitted to my S&W M29.

Solid looking and feeling Super Redhawk.

This particular gun is finished in a matt black finish (rather than the midnight blue or silver finishes of my S&Ws), but looks, generally, excellent and, at least, as realistic as the S&Ws. Some of these photos make the metal cylinder look a distinctly different colour to the frame and barrel, but this is much less notable under natural light.

Rubberised grip with 'wood' inserts nicely replicated. Usual fake shells in PEGASUS system cylinder.

The hammer and trigger mechanism are particularly good, with a very realistic feel. The S&W mechanism is accurately replicated on the Tanakas and I expect the same is true of the Ruger, giving a very 'real steel' and finely machined feel to the mechanism.

Metal parts abound on the Ruger, with the trigger, hammer, entire cylinder and crane assembly, front and rear sights, cylinder lock and the entire trigger guard and lower frame all being metal.

Closer Look

This particular Ruger Super Redhawk is a .44 7.5" barrel version. Tanaka also make a 9.5" barrel version and versions of the .454 Casull model as well, which is broadly similar. They make midnight blue and silver examples of various versions as well, but the flat black finish on this gun is an equal, at least, to anything Western Arms or KSC produce.

Trademarks excellently reproduced. Large foresight unit visible here.

The Ruger has a lot more lettering on than any S&W I have seen. This is all accurately and finely replicated, with good clear engraving.
On the right side, the frame, forward of the cylinder is marked "SUPER REDHAWK" in outline, with ".44 MAGNUM CAL." beneath it. There is also a small "ASGK"/"MFG TANAKAWORKS" mark over the rear of the trigger guard.
On the left side, the forward frame is marked "RUGER" in outline font, with the barrel marked "BEFORE USING GUN - READ WARNINGS IN INSTRUCTION MANUAL AVAILABLE FREE FROM"/"------- STURM. RUGER & CO., INC. SOUTHPORT. CONN. U.S.A. -------". There is also a small R with a reversed loop on the back of the R in a circle ahead of this legend.

Metal cylinder/crane as usual, but lower frame, including trigger guard, is also metal.

The one disappointing feature of this gun, which I have not seen on any other Tanaka revolver is the prominent seam lines on the top and bottom of the barrel. It looks as thought the barrel was cast in two halves, although there is no gap between the sides. I have seen worse, but it comes as a bit of a shock to see this on a Tanaka revolver, especially as the rest of the gun is of such a high standard.

Unsual cylinder release button.

The Ruger's cylinder lock mechanism is accurately replicated with a cylinder release button on the rear left hand side of the frame, just behind the cylinder. You press this in to release the cylinder, rather than the dual purpose safety/cylinder lock seen on S&Ws.

Unusual safety mechanism built into base of grip.

The safety on a Ruger is also accurately replicated, although this is an odd set up, bearing more comparison to the hammer lock on the Taurus Raging Bull than a normal safety. Built into the base of the grip is a catch which, with the use of a tool of some sort (My gun did not have one, so I do not know if one is usually provided), can be used to prevent the movement of the hammer action. You certainly couldn't use this as a quick release safety, such as that on the S&Ws.

Sight options - Adjustable rear iron sights and grooves for scope rings.

The sights are well replicated and clear and easy to use. At the rear is a squared groove sight, adjustable for elevation and windage.

Red marked foresight is dovetailed into large unit atop barrel.

Atop the barrel is a large metal unit, which features a dovetailed in ramp foresight, in this case marked in an orangey red. Presumably, there are the option (at least on real Rugers) to fit different foresights.

As well as the iron sights, the Ruger Super Redhawk has mounting points for scope rings built into the frame, which reflects its original design purpose, as a hunting handgun.

Shooting Impressions

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, I got reasonably good accuracy from the Ruger. The best 5 rounds were all in the centre of the target and 1.75 inches (4CM) across. There was an outlier, but I know I allowed the sight to waver on one shot, so there's no reason to doubt that all 6 could have been in the centre target with more care.

Over 10 shots, the Redhawk averaged 342 fps (using Abbey Ultra gas) indoors (around 18C). This was a little disappointing after the higher figures produced by the Smith & Wesson N29, but still pretty good power (and more acceptable, under UK skirmishing limits).

I did notice that the Redhawk seems to expel more gas from the barrel than the S&Ws.

Shot      FPS
1 349.1
2 350.6
3 346.3
4 347.9
5 345.6
6 352.0
7 349.4
8 344.7
9 345.0
10 295.9

The trigger pull test, produced a weight of 45.8 Ounces (1,300 grams), which is a medium-heavy pull for an NBB revolver.


Overall, the Ruger Super Redhawk is yet another great Tanaka revolver.

I half expected to be a bit disappointed by the Redhawk, thinking perhaps I favoured the Smith & Wessons, but I found it at least as good as the S&Ws and a pleasure to hold and shoot. The grips are excellent and the whole feel of the gun is, if anything, more substantial than the S&Ws.

The Rolls Royce quality, matched by good performance make the Tanaka revolvers amongst the very best airsoft guns available.

Judging from the Redhawk (and the S&Ws), you really can't go far wrong, whichever model you choose. Although those seams on the barrel are a little disappointing, the extra weight of the Ruger offsets them to a degree.

Weight : 920g

Realism : *****
Quality : ****
Power : ****
Accuracy : ****

Real Steel link at World Guns
More information on the Super Redhawk
Ruger's website

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