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Thread: .44's ,.454 and .500

  1. #1
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    Default .44's ,.454 and .500

    I think that the effects of placing a bullet 3" one way or 3" the other from any of the popular big bore handguns makes the question of " which is best " a waste of time . I would not set aside any Ruger .44 ( shooting heavy , hard cast ) to buy a .454 ( I own two ) or .500 Smith . I shot a black bear behind my cabin that was sneaking up on my wife and kid and got complete penetration with a hot .44 load with 325 gr. cast slug and rolled the bear over , would a .500 have done better ? Only one instance but I suspect any tough , large caliber bullet works almost as well as any other , give or take 300 f.p.s. .

  2. #2

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    I've had somewhat similar thoughts along these lines. I've grown to think of .44 mag, .45 long colt, and .480 ruger as all being within the same power threshold of one another. With the right loads they'll often have similar bullet energy and/or stopping power. I think larger calibers, like .454 & .500, try to bridge the power gap between revolvers and rifles.

    I can read ballistics charts and get advice from experienced hunters, but I can't argue which calibers are better than others firsthand. I can say that I'll probably never shoot a .454 as well as I can shoot a .44. I wish I could handle something larger, but I'm of the frame of mind that a gun is only as good as the person shooting it, so I'm happy with .44. If I happened to have a .500 in my hand when facing an angry bear I'd gladly give it a shot, though.

  3. #3

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    When it comes to heavy duty handguns, I had to draw the line somewhere and I chose to draw it at the .44 magnum. Sure, I could shoot a larger handgun and I have shot the .454 Casull but the .44 is so much more user friendly that I feel it's what I need. Let's face it. There are more powerful handguns but when I feel that I might be undergunned with the .44, I take my rifle along and that trumps any handgun.

    I think the important thing is what makes you feel confident. Once you build up your confidence with one particular caliber, whether it is .44 or .45 or .454 or .460, .475 or 500, you will be better off to keep honing your skills with that gun rather than keep switching up. Familiarity, practice and confidence are most important.

    I am reminded of the time David slew Goliath with his slingshot. Other weapons were available, but he felt most confident with his slingshot...

  4. #4
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Since I'm making the rounds and dredging up the recently deceased, I have to say that if the handgun costs the same and you can load down to 44 mag recoil and performance, or up 50% and drop down to the 45, wherein is the downside risk even if you end up carrying it filled with 44 mag equivalent loads all the time? A little cost difference for the defensive ammo?
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  5. #5
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    Yes but would that same 44 mag load do it lengthwise of an animal? :-) :-)

  6. #6
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    Exactly, so I see very little upside to the 44 mag in this capacity. If it's a recoil issue fire reduced recoil loads and still be better off and retain the ability to "do it lengthwise..." Practice with 45 if you don't like the cost of the hifalutin stuff.
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

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