|Marushin 8mm MAXI Sturm Ruger Super Redhawk.
Review text and images by Mark "Blondie" Ormerod.
The Super Redhawk was originally designed and introduced in 1986 as a .44 Magnum and is still available in its original 7 1/2- and 9 1/2-inch .44-caliber iterations with a natural brushed-satin stainless-steel finish and fluted cylinders. The .454 Casull and .480 Ruger models come with the Target-gray finish and unfluted cylinders. The Ruger catalog lists the same weight for the 7 1/2-inch-barrelled versions of the .44 Magnum, .454 Casull, and .480 Ruger, at 53 ounces, but due to the bigger diameter chambers and bore, the actual measured weight of a .454 Super Redhawk is about an ounce less than the .44 and the .480 is about an ounce less than that.
The Super Redhawk was released to compete against S&W; M29 .44 Magnum. Like its competitor, the Redhawk is aimed at providing "big game stopping" power from a revolver platform.
Sturm Ruger Super Redhawk 7.5" (Heavyweight)
with Mulberry Field 8mm Real Cartridge For Marushin 8mm Revolver Series.
Being something of a fan of revolvers (probably as a result of an obsession with the Dirty Harry movie series) I decided that as nice as Tanaka's Pegasus series was - I really wanted a shell loader. If nothing else it would make for an amusing CQB piece if accuracy and range turned out to be poor.
The shells are brass and nicely finished although the black seals which hold the 8mm BB's in are clearly visable.
The piece itself is huge and weighty - 910g according to Marushin - and always elicits comments along the lines of "couldn't you get anything bigger ?". The finish quality is good (although I think Tanaka's midnight blue is much better, if not as hard wearing) and it looks and feels like metal. However I immediately noticed the singular problem with the Redhawk - the outer barrel is a separate piece to the body and comes off as soon as you think about looking at it. This was easily repaired however and is now perfectly solid.
The action of the gun is lovely - it actually feels nicer to open and spin the chamber than a Tanaka - although the trigger pull is heavier and not as crisp. There is a (creaky) safety switch as required on all ASGK kit - but - I've never used it. Use a safety, on a revolver ? Pfft ! Above the main chamber is a fully adjustable hop with graduated lines and this really is the making of the piece. With the hop off 0.34's fly around 10 metres before immediately dropping - with 0.45's this is around 7. With the hop set approximately 3/4 of they way the Super Redhawk shoots 8mm 0.45's around the same range as a standard AEG - we chrono'd this at 340 on a warm day using Green Gas. Being a non-blow back piece she's also very accurate and the hop is extremely consistent - something that I've had issues with in Tanaka kit.
The gun is well balanced and the grips (sadly plastic which has a tendancy to scratch) don't feel quite as "cheap" as on the Marushin Anaconda - but they're clearly not on a par with the more expensive Tanaka's or aftermarket ones. Its also worth mentioning that this is a true 1:1 scale replica which fits real steel (in my case a Bianchi Cyclone) holsters perfectly. The gas chamber is in the grips - so, again to compare with Tanaka piece's there's no chance of "real steel" grips being swapped. Whilst Den helpfully stickered the box with "advises only using HFC134" I've run the piece for six months on Green Gas in both winter and summer. A single charge gives around 20 shots before power starts to dip dramatically so you have 3 loads in practical terms.
The 0.45 8mm BB's seem to sail through the air rather than cut - probably due to the large amount of hop - but being grey rather than white, I've found that my quarry normally doesn't see them coming. With the hop set full on 0.45's go vertical.
Maintenance is fairly light - it simply a matter of keeping the barrel clean and mechanism for moving the chamber lubed and free of dirt. So far the piece has seen moderate skirmish action - being every fortnight - and offered trouble free shooting. Long term it will be interesting to compare its longetivity compared to the much more expensive Tanaka alternatives.
So onto the Mulberry shells. As nice as the original brass Marushin shells are, for the same price ($31 from Den Trinity at the moment) you can have a set of silver ones - which I decided would look better in her. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only are they silver - but they have a proper "lip" with the hole where the blasting cap itself goes. ".44 Cal Rem Mag" is engraved around this - far superior to the brass Marushin originals. They look superb and "real" in both the chamber and in the speedloaders. The black seal is completely hidden behind this lip.
They are a perfect 1:1 replica size wise compared to "real steel" shells and as such fit the Model 29 HKS Speedloader and the rather excellent HKS Speedloader pouches. The HKS Speeloaders and pouches are available from Hong Kong airsoft dealers, but you're better off sourcing them from the US - mine came from Pistoleer.com - at a fraction of the price of buying from Hong Kong.
The shells are easy to load with the tool (essentially a short rod with a nipple on the end) provided by Marushin - simply push the BB into the shell until you hear a click. Once the shells are empty in the field I then "dump" (using shell release lever on the chamber just like the real steel) them into a waiting empty Speedloader. A full loader is then inserted into the chamber, the switch clicked to open and the shells all drop into place. I can empty and reload in around 5 seconds using these wonderful little gadgets. If you're going to skirmish with a Redhawk (and why not) then I'd recommend getting a couple with the accompanying belt pouches.
The feel of using and reloading the shells adds greatly to the experience (and style if you're worried about such things). The double action of the gun, like the Marushin Raging Bull is extremely stiff and uncomfortable and accuracy goes somewhat out of the window. Single action the hammer is easy to cock and the trigger light (although slightly heavier than the Tanaka M29).
So overall ? Its a heavy, well balanced gun. The grips are better than an Anaconda's but still a little creaky - as is the safety. Once the outer barrel issue was fixed, the Redhawk became a very solid nice piece of kit. The shells especially if you head down the Speedloader route add greatly. The power and accuracy are remarkable - and I've skirmished both at Alamo and at Crickhowell with just this gun for a challenge. She is spot on every time and really hammers through undergrowth as many of my fellow KGB team mates will attest. Given the cheap price this is a remarkably accurate and well made piece that seems to have overcome some of the problems of other 8mm Revolvers - such as those found in the Raging Bull. With the addition of a variable hop Marushin seem to have finally delivered on the 8mm front.
Mark "Blondie" Ormerod.
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