Bowen Classic Arms M1917 Redhawk

Sometimes, you stumble across something that is just so dang cool you can’t help but be impressed. I was searching for moon clips for my S&W M1917 and somehow typed Ruger M1917. Call it a brain fart, but it leads me to a custom revolver company known as Bowen Classic Arms. The search Ruger M1917 shouldn’t result in anything, but here we are with a custom firearm from Bowen Classic Arms called the M1917 Redhawk. This isn’t a review or a paid advertisement. It’s a custom gun highlight that I can’t help but put on display. 

Who Is Bowen Classic Arms?

That’s the right question to ask, but am I the right person to answer? Here is who Bowen says they are: 

BOWEN CLASSIC ARMS CORPORATION, located in the rolling countryside of East Tennessee in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, is one of America’s pre-eminent custom handgun making firms. Founded by Hamilton S. Bowen, the company is recognized the world over for the exceptional style and execution of its revolver work.

Hamilton Bowen has been producing custom revolvers for over 30 years. He’s made a name for himself and his work by producing not only well-made but creative firearms. The revolver industry isn’t like the Glock, AR, or even the bolt gun world. There aren’t a ton of custom modifications you can make. If you want to work on revolvers, you have to be able to make your parts as you go. 

If Bowen Classic Arms had a theme, it would mix modern twists with classic designs. These designs might be single-action Army revolvers of various calibers and modern updates. Or, as you’ll see, the M1917 Redhawk. 

The M1917 Redhawk 

The M1917 revolvers were designed to supplement the M1911 during World War 1. Both Colt and S&W produced these guns for Doughboys heading overseas. These were big, fighting revolvers that chambered the 45 ACP cartridge and used moon clips for extraction and ejection. These guns served in both World Wars, Korea, and even Vietnam in special duty roles. They were special-purpose guns that were robust and famed for their design. 

Revolver, Smith & Wesson US M1917. AF*69017M.

The Redhawk is a Ruger double-action revolver. They were the first large-bore double actions. They became famous for their meaty, tank-like design. These guns were designed to handle the most powerful .44 Magnum loads. Like the M1917, these were well-made and robust revolvers. 

What Bowen Classic Arms does is take the Redhawk and give it a M1917 spin. The design incorporates a black finish and wood grips that are a throwback to the classic fighting revolver design. An M&P style fixed-sight top strap and a round, unribbed barrel really help keep the look classic, and it has that M1917 spin. To top it all off, the gun has a lanyard loop, just like the M1917s. 

The caliber is the .50 Action Express. It’s a cartridge designed for the Desert Eagle, and like the M1917, the gun uses five-shot full moon clips. The Redhawk M1917 gives the gun a bit more ass than the .45 ACP. It’s a good gun for dangerous game usage and just an all-around cool revolver. 

The Big Bore Beast 

The Redhawk M1917 delivers on the front of mixing classic with contemporary. It’s a beautiful gun, and I am putting it on my wish list. Maybe a .45 ACP version because the price of .50 AE isn’t low. Then again, if I can afford a revolver this nice, the ammo price likely isn’t much of a concern.

Check out Bowen Classic Arms and take your turn drooling over some very beautiful revolvers. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.