Umarex Ruger Superhawk Part 1
The sum of its parts…
By Dennis Adler
There are a lot of aspects to the Umarex Ruger Superhawk that echo Redhawk styling cues, including the general shape of the triggerguard and bull barrel, but there is the egregious use of S&W-style recoil shield contours and cylinder latch designs that conflict with the overall appearance of the gun as a Ruger. The CO2 model comes with six BB loading cartridges and a speed loader. As for the finish on the air pistol, that’s another interesting feature. The Super Redhawk was offered in Target Gray when chambered in .454 and .480 calibers (until 2009), though not in .44 Magnum. Target Gray was a proprietary Ruger finish that has been somewhat duplicated here for the CO2 Umarex Ruger Superhawk model.
This is a tale that begins in the mid 1970s when Bill Ruger, Sr., one of America’s preeminent firearms designers began development of a large frame, double action .44 Magnum revolver, the Ruger Redhawk, introduced in May of 1979. The improved Super Redhawk model was added in 1986, and both were to become two of the most famous double action handgun designs of the late 20th century.
The Redhawk looked different than most large frame double action revolvers back in 1980 and the new .44 Magnum incorporated a number of Bill Ruger-engineered improvements in its design and manufacturing, including a new type of ejector rod that allowed for a heavier frame to surround it (according to Sturm, Ruger designers Harry Sefried and Roy Melcher who worked side-by-side with Ruger, Sr., the frame’s strength was effectively doubled compared to S&W and Colt designs); the cylinder latch was a new system that positively locked the cylinder in place when the gun was fired. The ejector rod was equally innovative not latching to a lug under the barrel like an S&W, something that Ruger considered a somewhat fragile point of conventional double action revolvers. In addition, Ruger worked out a leverage in which the cylinder crane was locked at the front and the rear. Designer Harry Sefried noted that, “This gave us an extremely good way to maintain alignment between the cylinder and the barrel, for strength and accuracy. And again it was a stronger system than their (S&W’s) little tab going into the ejector way out on the end of the ejector rod. Ours was a lot more rugged than it needed to be, and would last about indefinitely.”