Ever since the Ruger Redhawk was first introduced back in 1979, there have been many requests for a 4-inch version of the beefy revolver. Ruger’s offered us 5.5 and 7.5-inch barrels, in all three of the major magnum calibers and the .45 Colt, but never a standard factory 4-inch barrel in any of those calibers. If you were a fan of Ol’ Red and wanted a shorter tube, you had to have one whacked off by a gunsmith or custom shop, as I did on my first Redhawk a while back. A worthwhile investment, in my opinion, to end up with one of the strongest .44 Magnum double-action revolvers on the market in a much more packable package, it was also a relatively expensive investment. Besides the cost of the barrel job, some sort of replacement front sight had to be attached, and that involved more custom work, along with custom prices.
Why Ruger never gave an ear to those requests has always been a mystery to me, but the good news is that they’ve finally listened to the market, and some persistent internal nudging by Ruger’s Media Relations Coordinator, Ken Jorgensen (who likes a convenient 4-inch backup .44 Mag when hunting). You can take your well-worn credit card to your local neighborhood gunshop right now and buy a brand-new stainless, factory 4-incher. No custom fees, no shipping charges, no 12-month wait to get it back. Ruger’s done all the work for you, and this is the Redhawk they should have made 27 years ago. If my sample is representative, and Ruger swears it is, you’re gonna like this one.