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Thread: Why didn't the 480 Ruger catch on?

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default Why didn't the 480 Ruger catch on?

    Remember back in 2003, admiring this new revolver cartridge offered by Ruger. I thought it was a very practical cartridge and thought it would stay with us for many years to come. What happened?

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    I'm betting the Alaska market was too small to carry it. Lotsa rounds out there, and much as it might be admired up here, I never hear much about it elsewhere.

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    Default What happened?

    The .500 and .460 S&W is what happened!

    When it comes to DA action revolvers S&W is the market leader - they have the glitz and glamor and sex appeal that the Ruger Super Redhawk lacks in the general market. Even the SRH in .454 never really took off like the X frame has done.

    Not knocking the SRH or the Ruger .480 - it looks like a neat and practical round - I'm just just stating what I have observed here in Alaska and the lower 48.


    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Remember back in 2003, admiring this new revolver cartridge offered by Ruger. I thought it was a very practical cartridge and thought it would stay with us for many years to come. What happened?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I like the round, each of my boys have one and I have one for shooting and two safe queens.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I don't know...I thought the round had a lot of technical merits. But then again, the world is full of cartridges that enjoy significant technical merit in near total obscurity.

    I believe the 480 Ruger would have had more success if they had also chambered it in the SBH single actions...the big Ruger DAs are fine, but a lot of folks prefer the SA in the bigger cartridges.

    I'm kinda hoping for a renaisance for it.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    When I bought my SRH I was torn between the .480 and .454 chamberings. I opted for the .454 since I'm not a handloader and I liked the option of shooting the cheaper (not to mention kinder and gentler) .45 LC ammo.

    I've heard a lot of positive about the .480 but it seems like you'd have to be into reloading to have adequate availibility and choices of loading in ammo. I don't know what percentage of gun owners reload, but I'm guessing it's not the majority....Louis
    Louis Knapp

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    No ammo killed it much like the 375win.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Tough to say what happened exactly. I don't believe that the X-Frame did it in. I shoot more than once in awhile and the X-Frames are far from popular. More common than the .480, but they are not in everybody's gun safe. I don't think ammo availability is the real culprit either. Handloading only propositions have fared better than the .480. IMO the .480 just lacked the panache of other cartridges. It was never "the most powerful handgun in the world" and so there's no one bragging about buying one. It's not the fastest or the heaviest, etc. and therefor it is a little bit vanilla in a rocky road world.

    I'm not a handgun aficionado. I love handguns and shoot them quite a bit, but I'm a rifle loony at heart. I just can't find a need for a handgun larger than a 44 magnum/45 Colt and I think that's ultimately what has undone the .480. It's a fine cartridge, but the market is fairly small and is already overrun with more, faster, better and the meager little cartridge never had a chance. I think it is comparable to the .358 Winchester, in so far that those that have them love them and they perform above and beyond any ballistic chart evaluation, but they are simply too humdrum to enamor a sequin driven world. Of course that's just my opinion.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    No ammo killed it much like the 375win.
    Yup, factory ammo published numbers weren't that much more than the 44mag. Everyone wants velocity you know.... If Hornady would have offered a 440gr at say 1200-1300ish or whatever and marketed the 480 as a BIG BOOLIT slinger with manageable recoil I think things would have been different.

    Also a 5 shot Blackhawk may have helped.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    The cartridge had a wide-spread reception in those first couple of years. If I were a gun company with my name on a cartridge, I would've continued to push it, continued to collaborate with ammunition manufacturers and continued handing them out to gun writers. I would have done all my personal hunts with the new cartridge. Letting it drop off the line-up was the last thing they should have done. They did offer the cartridge in the Super Redhawk Alaskan, and it was an amazing cartridge/revolver combo. The big diameter offered some serious bullet weight with mild pressures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Also a 5 shot Blackhawk may have helped.
    I totally concur...also a lever rifle in .480, maybe a retrofit of the Ruger 96 although I personally prefer more traditional LAs.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I totally concur...also a lever rifle in .480, maybe a retrofit of the Ruger 96 although I personally prefer more traditional LAs.
    Ya. I wonder how many 480 Puma 92's are out there. I don't think they make em in 480 anymore do they?
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Ya. I wonder how many 480 Puma 92's are out there. I don't think they make em in 480 anymore do they?
    I picked one up about 3 years ago and you're right they don't make them anymore.

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    I considered one when they first came out.A gunsmith buddy talked me out of it,said it was not much hotter than my 44 mag at a lot more cost for ammo and brass.He felt it was more of a "Vanity" issue with Ruger to try and compete against the 460 S&W and appeal to the Ruger fan base.

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    It takes me awhile to warm up to new things. By the time I became interested in the .480 Ruger they pretty much quit making it. As for the what it was packaged in (the SRH) I can't ever see myself warming up to that.
    Now what ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SANDRAT View Post
    I considered one when they first came out.A gunsmith buddy talked me out of it,said it was not much hotter than my 44 mag at a lot more cost for ammo and brass....
    There you have it...
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I totally concur...also a lever rifle in .480, maybe a retrofit of the Ruger 96 although I personally prefer more traditional LAs.
    That would've been a nice package. They also dropped the Model 96. The 96 had a lot of potential, but the cheap hardwood stock was quite the eye sore. Had they revamped the stock with a nice piece of walnut, and gave it a bit more figure, it might have stuck around.

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    For some reason, in my mind one piece stocks don't look good on a lever action. I think Ruger should come out with a lever rifle that looks more like an elongated No. 1, which, I suppose would bear a stong resemblence to a Savage 99.
    Louis Knapp

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    The .454 and .480 Ruger SRHs are truly fine revolvers, although some consider them to be too big and heavy for serious woods-carry, while also packing a rifle. The market for the .480 was fairly limited.

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    I'm not a big handgun person by any means, but, as one who sold guns in Lower 48 years ago, I can tell you that odd ball calibrate and heavy calibers don't sell we'll. They just end up collecting dust on the shelf-both the guns and the ammo. (I still don't understand Alaskans' love affair with heavy artillery.) To be honest, I'm surprised the 500 is so popular.

    All of these heavy caliber/specialty bullets are more costly and harder to find than "normal" ammo. Same for rifles, too. I wouldn't buy a 480, 500, or even a 454 for that reason alone. (Same goes for those 338 and 375 rifles.) Seems to me, the practical hunter owns a 30-06, a 12ga, and a 22 and can hunt anything on the continent w 3 affordable guns,readily available ammo (You can probably buy 30-06 ammo at the corner drug store in Albania.) So why buy a 480?


    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak;

    When it comes to DA action revolvers S&W is the market leader - they have the glitz and glamor and sex appeal that the Ruger Super Redhawk lacks in the general market. Even the SRH in .454 never really took off like the X frame has done. 48.
    To me, this deserves a topic thread of its own. I don't get why this is. S&W makes a good gun that is vastly overpriced. In terms of value, what one gets for one's dollar, S&W is a poor choice.

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