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Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Casull 7.5" Barrel Midnight Blue - Tanaka

I have reviewed a Tanaka Super Redhawk before, but that was a .44 model.

Big and nicely made revolver has quite different feel to S&Ws. Midnight blue finish looks great as usual.

That gun had come and gone, but I was attracted by a slightly tatty .454 Redhawk in the lovely midnight blue finish when it came up for sale on a forum.

In real steel form, the Super Redhawk is a competitor, in .454 Casull form (as replicated here), to the mighty S&W Model 500, although it is a generation of power behind S&W's cannon.

In the Box

The box and contents would normally be very much like any other Tanaka revolver, 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.

Redhawk box would normally look like this.

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

My gun was used, however, and arrived in, of all things, a Marushin Super Redhawk box!

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 midnight blue finish, as seen on my S&W Model 29 and again looks excellent and, at least, as realistic as the S&Ws. There were, however some scratches to the barrel and cylinder, which I have, only partly successfully, attempted to retouch.

The metal cylinder is, unlike my .44 Redhawk, unfluted and bears .454 Casull markings, giving it a distinctive look.

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 .454 7.5" barrel version. Tanaka also make a 9.5" barrel version and versions of the .44 Magnum model as well, which is broadly similar. They make matt black and silver examples of various versions as well, but the midnight blue finish on this gun is glorious, if, perhaps, not as hard wearing as the unpainted black guns.

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 ".454 CASULL CAL. & .45 COLT 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.

Unfluted cylinder and crane are metal as usual, but lower frame, including trigger guard, is also metal.

Although the barrel of the gun did features some chips and scratches towards the muzzle, it did not exhibit the seam lines that were a disappointment on the .44 Magnum version I reviewed.

The cylinder is different on the .454 version as it is unfluted. This was to allow the greater forces of the .454 Casull round to be accommodated, whilst still allowing a full 6 round capacity (one up on the other revolvers chambered for this round). It is marked ".45 COLT CAL."/".454 CASULL CAL." around the cylinder, to make it quite clear that this is a different model to the .44 - In real steel form, the .454 actually uses different grade steel to the .44 for the frame and cylinder.

The adjustable hop-up of the .454 Casull Redhawk. Note 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.

Big revolver to tame monster round, but not as unwieldy as you'd imagine. Feels more solid than the S&W 500.

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

Hammer spur aggressively chequered.

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.

White outlined rear sight and orange insert on fore-blade make sights easy to use. Note mounting points, too, for bespoke scope rings.

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

Oh dear...The Tanaka Super Redhawk .454 Casull has been pilloried by some reviews for poor accuracy, related to its primitive hop-up.

Sadly, I can only support such criticism. The accuracy, even at 5m is dreadful, with massive inconsistency as to where shots go. Taking the gun out to the garden, one shot goes wildly right, the next sky rockets and the next goes left!

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

For the record, the best 5 grouping from 6 shots was 11CM (4.25") at 5m, with little discernable difference between single and double action shooting.

Power wise, things were more acceptable.

Over 10 shots, the Redhawk averaged 293 fps (using 134a gas and .2g BBs) indoors (around 20C).

Shot      FPS
1 296.7
2 294.9
3 290.6
4 292.6
5 291.9
6 292.5
7 295.2
8 293.4
9 292.0
10 293.2

The trigger pull test, produced a weight of 1400g (49 ounces), which is a medium-heavy pull for an NBB revolver.


Overall, the Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Casull is yet another great Tanaka revolver, but caveated with the statement "as long as you don't intend to shoot with it"!

If you fancy something other than a S&W, the Ruger's well worth considering.

The Rolls Royce quality, especially in the lovely midnight blue finish, is matched by good power and make the Tanaka revolvers amongst the very best airsoft guns available.

However, if you want a Super Redhawk (and I would certainly never dissuade anyone from buying one), make sure it's a .44 unless you simply want a display piece.

Weight : 975g

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

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

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