Having friends that ride trails often, you may want to reconsider a semi auto with a higher capacity mag over a revolver. Remember, on horseback you are not on the most stable of platforms and put the horse on uneven ground and you are setting yourself up for a very difficult first and second shot no matter what the threat is. My friends that ride horses have all settled on semi auto pistols primarily for that reason. One has had the fun of trying to stop a rabid fox from horse back and to say the least, after the first shot the fox wasn't the only critter that was spooked a bit. The horse reacted to the gunshot too so the follow up shots were not a day at the range. It ended with the fox dispatched but it was after 9 rounds from horse back.
I went with a Ruger GP100 in .357 for my woods gun. I debated about going with the Redhawk in .44, but decided I would not likely be hunting grizzlies anytime soon. I like being able to use the .38 and .357 so that was the direction I went.
The Redhawk will be fine. I would probably go with the GP100 or S&W 686 4 in. The SP101 or S&W mod 60 2.25 357 would be a good choice. For me the most important thing I want a gun for on a horse is to shoot the horse if my foot gets hung in the stirrup and a run away horse.
Realistically, I've long used mostly a 4-inch .38 Special Smith & Wesson Model 10 or a similarly configured 4-inch Smith & Wesson .32-20 Hand Ejector for all those chores. Despite hiking and hunting on our own place all of my life, I've never felt undergunned for any purpose.
If you're looking at big-bore choices then you sound as if you have found a perfect one in the .45 Colt chambered 4-inch Redhawk. It doesn't get any better than one of the "Big Three" non-magnum revolver rounds, the .44 Special, .45 Colt, and .45 ACP (most excellent when used in revolvers so chambered).
I'm not tough enough to ever attempt to shoot from a horse uninitiated to gunfire from the saddle, rabid foxes or not. Such an undertaking would only be taken in direst emergency.
Thanks for the replies. Don't what a semi. We pack into bear country which would be the Bob Marshall in Montana. Horses are trained to gunshots but we always dismount first. One reason for the colt 45 was the option of target shooting with low pressure 750 fps cowboy loads yet could still have the option of bear protection with the hotter heavy cast bullets. I do have a Taurus colt 45 but I don't feel comfortable running any high pressure bear loads through it thus I'll probably sell it when if I get the Ruger.
If you don't want a semi-auto (I would recommend a hi-cap 10mm, .400 Corbon or .460 Rowland for your purposes), you should go for a .454 Casull which is capable of delivering 3-4x the energy of a .45 Colt.
Get a Super Redhawk .454. You can still use low-recoiling .45 Colt for practice and the .454 cartridge is strong medicine for ornery critters.
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