Umarex Ruger Superhawk Part 2 Part 1
The sum of its parts…
By Dennis Adler
If the 2.5 inch ASG Dan Wesson Model 715 is the most authentic CO2 revolver made today then the Umarex Ruger Redhawk-based Superhawk is the antithesis, but don’t let that discourage you from considering this latest Ruger branded wheelgun. Despite having very little to stake a claim on Ruger Redhawk or Super Redhawk styling, it comes up strong in its more S&W-like characteristics and Model 327 TRR8 handling. And none of that is bad.
First let’s clean up the gun a little to put its best face forward. The question has already been asked whether the top rail can be removed and the answer is yes. It is a multi-step process but easy to do if you have a good screwdriver and are careful not to drop or worse loose some very small parts. To derail the Ruger you begin by removing the rear elevation screw. This allows the rear sight to rise up above the frame. It is pinned at the front (see arrow in the photo) and the Ruger comes with a small hex-head tool that also fits the opening of the pin. Push the tool into the pin hole and using a light mallet (or just use the handle of your screwdriver) lightly tap the tool until the pin starts to come out the other side of the frame. Remove the pin and the rear sight will lift off. Now comes the “watch for small parts” part. As you remove the rear sight there is a small coiled spring in a recess under the rear sight tang and it will either drop out or fly out as you remove the entire rear sight. This has to go back in exactly the same way when you reattach the rear sight.
Now, there are two possibilities for removing the rail. First is that the rail was mounted far enough back on the frame that it is blocking the front edge of the rear sight tang and preventing you from lifting it up. I saw this as an issue when I began and using the hex-head tool loosened the two set screws before starting and thus allowed the entire rail to freely move forward away from the rear sight. Either way, after you have removed the rear sight the rail simply slides off the back of the frame. Don’t let it drag, as this will scratch the entire top of the frame. If you need to remove the two set screws, make sure each one is firmly on the hex-head tool as you remove it, then pull it off and put the screw where it can’t drop on the floor or roll away. They are small. After the rail is removed, reverse the steps and reattach the rear sight. The Ruger looks better without it, and unless you plan on fitting the revolver with optics, take it off.
The 327 TRR8 parts
Everything from the barrel back is the same on the Umarex S&W 327 TRR8 and the Ruger Superhawk except for the medallion in the grips. I know that’s a disappointment to Ruger enthusiasts and maybe a non-starter for some, but if you want the Ruger name and a shorter, more manageable CO2 pistol than the TRR8, the Superhawk is exactly that. In the photos showing the two guns you can easily see that the cylinder, recoil shield configuration, cylinder latch thumb release and manual safety (a very smart feature that makes both guns easy to use without compromising their designs any further with a hokey manual safety added to the frame or trigger), hammer, trigger, and grips are identical. Both guns use the same front-loading BB cartridges and speed loaders, so another plus for ease of use if you already have a 327 TRR8 CO2 model and spare cartridges and speed loaders.
The one noteworthy difference is the sights. The S&W has what I consider the very best fiber optic sights of any CO2 revolver on the market, period. It is actually the best feature of the gun. The Ruger uses a more traditional windage and elevation adjustable rear notch sight and a pinned (via the muzzle retainer ring) front blade sight. No white outline on the rear or white dot front, just good old fashioned black on black sights. (And I’m thinking, gosh, they added a vent rib the Ruger doesn’t have, why didn’t they use the TRR8 sights and make this a better target gun?) Price per price the Umarex S&W 327 TRR8 has an MSRP of $120 and the Umarex Ruger Superhawk of $130. For about $10 more (MSRP) the Superhawk also comes as a kit with six BB loading cartridges plus six pellet-loading cartridges and a speed loader. So, the Ruger is a Dual Ammo model!
First Test Evaluation
Keeping in mind that the internals for the Ruger Superhawk are the same as the S&W 327 TRR8, the first evaluation is going to be a comparison of trigger pull and hammer operation between the two guns, and surprisingly the Ruger hammer draw for cocking and firing single action is crisper and smoother than the hammer on the TRR8, even though they are from the same design! How will this affect staging the hammer? Double action trigger pull on the TRR8 (and this is a well broken in gun) averages 6 pounds, 15.5 ounces. The Ruger averages 6 pounds, 7.0 ounces. Single Action averages 5 pounds, 2.5 ounces and 5 pounds, 11.0 ounces, respectively. But, the feel of the Ruger’s trigger pull is smoother, as is the counter clockwise rotation of the cylinder. Not a great deal of difference, but perhaps enough to make the Ruger a little more accurate?
The first velocity test for the Ruger was shot using Umarex Precision steel BBs and the average velocity clocked 396 fps with a high of 410 fps, a low of 388 fps and a standard deviation of 7 fps for 12 rounds. The factory specs for velocity are 390 fps.
In the Part 3 conclusion we will chronograph the Ruger with pellet-loading shells and head to the target range.