Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Alaska Hunting and the big 45s (454 Casull, 460S&W)

  1. #1
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default Alaska Hunting and the big 45s (454 Casull, 460S&W)

    The 45 Colt Ruger only loads go here also I think. The evolution of 45/454/460 is like 38 Special to 357 Magnum to 357 Maximum, each step up is a longer version of almost the same thing and guns for each bigger round will fire the smaller/shorter rounds just fine.

    We know well loaded guns in the 41Mag/44mag/45 Colt class can shoot clear through a moose end to end so why would you want anything more is the normal question. Especially coupled with how difficult they can be to shoot well and how heavy the guns can be. There are 3 reasons in my mind, all are arguable and depend a lot on how you hunt.

    The first is more a bear defense matter than hunting, compensating for velocity lost to a compact firearm. A stubby 454 Alaskan has a lot more punch than 41/44/45 from the same size barrel . . .

    Next is knockdown or stopping power. We know the 41/44/45 can penetrate something like 4 foot and we never need more than that, heck thatís enough for a heart/lung on elephant. But this penetration comes with solid non expanding bullets and large body beasts die well to these but often not where they were shot. Moose love water and if there is any around he will head for it making recovery not very fun at all. With more power expanding bullets can be used while still getting plenty of penetration but with a much larger hole and a critter that is likely to travel less . . . the handgun starts to kill a little more like a rifle if you will.

    Last is range, if you fire a bullet faster you get further out before the speeds drop off to below an effective velocity. This matters little for a deer/elk/moose hunter, odds of shooting past 100 yards on these is slim. But for caribou, sheep, goat, and antelope down south it can matter a lot. Itís much harder to get right on top of these critters and another 25 or 50 yards of effective range and confidence that it will work there can be the difference in drawing blood or a long hike to camp saying almost. 460S&W takes that to a complete new level. You can push a 200g Hornady XTP over 2500fps from an S&W 460XVR handgun. Think about that and look at some 308/30-06 200g velocities numbers, no it wonít fly as good as a 30cal but it does better than you may think.


    I hunt mostly with a Smith 460V myself and take moose most years with it, superbly accurate and powerful. The only drawback is that itís a big hunk of iron but in a Diamond-D chest rig it does just fine.





    Now who is going to start the 480Ruger/475Linebaugh thread? Iíll do it tonight if someone else (Paul H maybe) doesnít want to.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,599

    Default

    For me the fun stops at 454 and I give more a grin than smile. I have heard from folks that like bullet weights 454 and 460 that the 460 gives less felt recoil much like the 44mag vs 45colt do to less pressure. At forty I really liked the 454 but 26 years later and more beat up I save them for special times. Guess the biggest 45 I ever shot was the American Deringer in 45/70,I smiled but only shot in once.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  3. #3
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    I have 454 SRH (5" and 8-1/2") also and it does beat you up more than a 460. I think the reason for that is the same reason it's a bit harder to shoot the big Smith off hand, the bore centerline is near 1/2" higher on the Smith making it roll more in the grip.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  4. #4
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,599

    Default

    Andy do you have experance with the 480 and 475's?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    I have 454 SRH (5" and 8-1/2") also and it does beat you up more than a 460. I think the reason for that is the same reason it's a bit harder to shoot the big Smith off hand, the bore centerline is near 1/2" higher on the Smith making it roll more in the grip.
    That and the fact that the X-frame weighs quite a bit more and is equipped with a muzzle brake.

    I recently took delivery of a new .454 SRH and it is one of the most accurate out-of-the-box revolvers I have ever placed my mitts upon.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    idaho
    Posts
    591

    Default

    I've got a SRH with a 4 3/8" barrel, and ported. I don't care for the porting, but it does reduce the muzzle rise.

    My favorite load for it, and it's more of a heavy 45 Colt load than a .454 load.......... 22gr. N-110, 340gr. BTB, CCI 250....

    I get 1200fps. from the 4 3/8" barrel........... When I had a 7 1/2" barrel SRH in .454, I would get 200 to 225fps more velocity with this load..
    "The older I get, the better I was."

  7. #7
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Andy do you have experance with the 480 and 475's?
    Not hunting but I've worked on and shot them quite a bit.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Bakerton, WV
    Posts
    467

    Default

    I use the BFR .475 and it is the best of the best with 99.9% of deer belly up before I come out of recoil. No reason the .480 will not do as good.
    I don't like the .454 because it is fussy as heck with the SR primer so cut down .460 brass and a Fed 155 cures it.
    Then I bought the BFR in .500 JRH, deer went 100 to 120 yards with no blood trails so bigger is not always better. I use hard boolits so I cast the .500 boolits with half the nose softer and 4 out of five last season were on the ground at the shot, last 7 point making 20 yards. My new deer blaster for sure and it has less rise and torque then the .475. I lost no meat either.
    Better then a .44---YES and far exceeds a .45 Colt.
    I just never fell for the .454 or .460. The .460 uses a lighter bullet at high velocity for long range but takes too much work to make work with hand loads and heavy boolits. The fault of the .454 is the stupid primer.
    The .475 is not easy to shoot for sure, you need control. No light hold or roll allowed. Roll in a six gun is the worst thing ever.

  9. #9
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.
    Posts
    6,416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    The .460 uses a lighter bullet at high velocity for long range but takes too much work to make work with hand loads and heavy boolits.
    I sure don't agree with that, yes 460 will push 200g about as fast as a 30-06 for long range work . . . but it is also one of the easiest rounds to load 395g and 405g cast in. I have loaded for about 30 different Smith 460s now and yet to find a load or bullet that wasn't above average accuracy in any of them right off the bat. Then with a tad of load development accuracy becomes just flat superb in every one I've shot so far. I find the Smith 460s to be the easiest revolvers out there to load for, I suspect that is due to the progressive rate rifling used in them.
    Andy
    On the web= C-lazy-F.co
    Email= Andy@C-lazy-F.co
    Call/Text 602-315-2406
    Phoenix Arizona

  10. #10

    Default

    I have a little different slant on them. I've shot most of the big ones and don't find the reloading or shooting objectionable. Fine rounds in fine guns that ought to do the job nicely. But I've only taken large game (moose and elk) with 44's. Never a problem, never a regret. If I was planning to stick a big bear, I wouldn't be using a handgun, so that's off the list.

    But every time I'm tempted to slap cash for something bigger, I go back out and shoot the 44 a while. Then put my money back in my pocket. With successful kills behind me, I just can't make myself believe I "need" bigger.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Bakerton, WV
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    I sure don't agree with that, yes 460 will push 200g about as fast as a 30-06 for long range work . . . but it is also one of the easiest rounds to load 395g and 405g cast in. I have loaded for about 30 different Smith 460s now and yet to find a load or bullet that wasn't above average accuracy in any of them right off the bat. Then with a tad of load development accuracy becomes just flat superb in every one I've shot so far. I find the Smith 460s to be the easiest revolvers out there to load for, I suspect that is due to the progressive rate rifling used in them.
    That is true, the gain twist is right but it is a HUGE gun, heavier then a .500 S&W. But notice how many object to the size and want a 4" barrel, removing the gain twist.
    Notice the size of the BFR in .460. No gain twist but correct at 1 in 16". As you add bullet weight, you approach the .454 in the end. So now the gun is much larger then a .454. The .460 is better then a .454 with the same bullets because the .460 will have less pressure.
    Still it is like I prefer the .500 JRH over the .500 S&W because the gun is smaller with no lack of power.
    I do not like the .454 for several reasons, SR primer and too slow a twist of 1 in 24". I could live with a .460. Will it kill better then a .475? I doubt it.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Bakerton, WV
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I have a little different slant on them. I've shot most of the big ones and don't find the reloading or shooting objectionable. Fine rounds in fine guns that ought to do the job nicely. But I've only taken large game (moose and elk) with 44's. Never a problem, never a regret. If I was planning to stick a big bear, I wouldn't be using a handgun, so that's off the list.

    But every time I'm tempted to slap cash for something bigger, I go back out and shoot the 44 a while. Then put my money back in my pocket. With successful kills behind me, I just can't make myself believe I "need" bigger.
    I can't argue because my .44 has taken too many animals. However the .475 and .500 JRH BFR's put deer down faster without meat damage and have taken over for me. The way they work is because velocity is no different then the .44 but a larger boolit.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    I can't argue because my .44 has taken too many animals. However the .475 and .500 JRH BFR's put deer down faster without meat damage and have taken over for me. The way they work is because velocity is no different then the .44 but a larger boolit.
    Never could complain about slow kills on moose, elk, bou or deer with the 44, so it's all relative I guess. Certainly nothing that would make me spend money on buying anything bigger when I put the upgrade money into buying another hunting trip. I'll always get more game with the 44 if I buy the trip, rather than buy the biggun and then can't afford the hunt. Pretty rare to shoot a game animal while stuck at home and doing my shooting the gun range.

    Like I said, I have a different outlook and a different set of priorities.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Bakerton, WV
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Never could complain about slow kills on moose, elk, bou or deer with the 44, so it's all relative I guess. Certainly nothing that would make me spend money on buying anything bigger when I put the upgrade money into buying another hunting trip. I'll always get more game with the 44 if I buy the trip, rather than buy the biggun and then can't afford the hunt. Pretty rare to shoot a game animal while stuck at home and doing my shooting the gun range.

    Like I said, I have a different outlook and a different set of priorities.
    My hunting is free, don't even need a license. But I had to sell off guns to get the larger guns. I still love the .44 and will never be without one.
    I understand when you need to pay to hunt. Can't buy a new gun and hunt too.
    How about those $2000 scopes now? Are they crazy? I hate spending $50 for one. I shot good with $100 rifles, now you need $5000 plus a $2000 scope???? I am so glad I got my .475 when I did. $715 out the door, Custom shop .500 JRH at $850, cheaper then a Ruger.
    What does a guided hunt cost today?
    You can hunt deer with me for the price of a license. I will even feed you free. put you in the best spot.

  15. #15

    Default

    No guided hunts here, but fly-outs or boat hunts still cost as much as a new gun when all's said and done. I'm with you on the cost of new guns, more and more hunting with traditional muzzleloaders I've made myself for less money. Range is comparable to a good revolver, and I'm just getting a bigger hoot out of using guns that started life as a stack of parts on my kitchen table.

  16. #16
    Member S.B.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    680

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by travelers View Post
    I've got a SRH with a 4 3/8" barrel, and ported. I don't care for the porting, but it does reduce the muzzle rise.

    My favorite load for it, and it's more of a heavy 45 Colt load than a .454 load.......... 22gr. N-110, 340gr. BTB, CCI 250....

    I get 1200fps. from the 4 3/8" barrel........... When I had a 7 1/2" barrel SRH in .454, I would get 200 to 225fps more velocity with this load..
    I've asked this on other forums but, what does BTB stand for?
    Steve

  17. #17
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    I've asked this on other forums but, what does BTB stand for?
    Steve
    Beartooth Bullets
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,900

    Default

    Seems like people are always trying to stoke up whatever big handgun they are loading for. Pretty sure most critters won't know the difference if your load has a good quality bullet, but is going a hundred or so feet slower. All the big bore hand guns are sufficient for anything around here at factory specs with the right bullet.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •