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Thread: First Handgun

  1. #1

    Default First Handgun

    I would appreciate any advice. I hunt whitetails in the midwest (they do have a handgun season), bowhunt elk in the west, Flyfish Alaska and have an Alaskan moose hunt (bow) planned for 09. I have decide to go with a Ruger 7.5 SRH but unsure on the caliber, 44 or 454. Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default 44

    I bought the 454 for my hunt in '05 and I am happy with it, but ammo is expensive and some of the cheaper brands brass sticks in the cylinder. One in 44mag should be plenty with alot less recoil.

  3. #3

    Default 454

    i have the RSRH in 454 casull. I think its great because you have the horsepower if you need it, but for times when 65,000 psi is too much, you can just switch to 45 colts and have a fun time at the range or even hunting with them if you load up with heavy loads.

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    Default How about both? or all three

    Quote Originally Posted by ldh1187 View Post
    I would appreciate any advice. I hunt whitetails in the midwest (they do have a handgun season), bowhunt elk in the west, Flyfish Alaska and have an Alaskan moose hunt (bow) planned for 09. I have decide to go with a Ruger 7.5 SRH but unsure on the caliber, 44 or 454. Any thoughts?
    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Hillbilly View Post
    I bought the 454 for my hunt in '05 and I am happy with it, but ammo is expensive and some of the cheaper brands brass sticks in the cylinder. One in 44mag should be plenty with alot less recoil.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_m107 View Post
    i have the RSRH in 454 casull. I think its great because you have the horsepower if you need it, but for times when 65,000 psi is too much, you can just switch to 45 colts and have a fun time at the range or even hunting with them if you load up with heavy loads.
    ldh,

    You left out the 480 Ruger cartridge and the standard Redhawk in 44 Mag.

    Standard Redhawk will handle all the 44 Magnum loads as well as the Super Redhawk and is available in 5.5" barrel as well. (I have one of the first dozen to come to Alaska) The Super Redhawk is a little heavier and has the GP100 style post for the grip which means more cushion and the ability to find a wider variety of grip shape, so recoil is easier to tolerate in the SRH than in the RH, but the RH is less expensive.

    Now to answer the question you asked.

    The advice already given is good (which is why I quoted it in my post). I just want to add my 2 cents, or considering my long-windedness, my 4 cents.

    For bear protection, I used to carry one of my 44 Magnum revolvers (Redhawk or Super Redhawk), but recently acquired a 7.5" Super Redhawk in 454 Casull (I already had a Freedom Arms .454 so picked it over the 480 Ruger to simplify my brass and bullets inventory). Some folks like a shorter barrel.. I know (second hand, but with videotape support) of one instance where two inches of barrel length made a life and death difference. A sow and two cubs surprised a guy videotaping some other bears. A quick draw and immediate discharge put a bullet straight down into the bear's skull. The bear landed on top of the dropped videocamera which recorded the sound of the sow's final breaths. A longer barrel would not have cleared the holster in time. Even so, I have chosen a long barrel.

    While trying to decide on a bullet to use for bear defense (which I am assuming is your reason for wanting this gun, and the Whitetail hunting is a secondary consideration---let me know if my assumed premise is wrong, please) I followed a lot of discussions on loads/calibers/bullets. A LOT of opinions, some well considered, some bull. Of course.

    I have come to believe that a bullet of large diameter (not depending on expansion for its wound channel) is important and that bullet mass is more important the bullet velocity. Penetration is the keyword, then blunt-force trauma in the vital organs or the breaking of bone. You are not likely to anchor a big bear with a single shot from a handgun. Best to break a shoulder with your first (hurried, by definition) to slow him down enough so you can keep away from him. Then administer a well-placed kill shot.

    Anyhow, for bear defense, a big bullet is best. the .475 diameter of the 480 Ruger or 475 Linebaugh has significantly more frontal area and mass potential than the 454 or 44. If you want the same gun to double as a whitetail gun in the 50 yard and greater distances, the flatter trajectory of the 454 is probably going to be a consideration. But the two rounds are close in effectiveness in stopping bears. with a slight edge to the 480. (see caveat at the end of this message).

    So, especially for close-range work, the 480 Ruger may have an advantage over the 454 Casull. Almost as much energy as the Casull and about half the felt recoil (I cannot fathom how this is, but it is a widely reported belief to which I have to give some credence). Ultimately, better penetration, wound channel and bone-breaking ability than the 454 despite the 454's greater energy. This, in a non-expanding bullet because a solid is less likely to break up into little, ineffectual pieces in the heavy muscle of a bear.

    You probably already know how effective the 44 Mag can be on whitetail. On more substantially muscled and heavier-boned animals like brown bear, the 44 is outclassed by the 454 and 480, but not by that much, especially if bullet placement is good. 44 Mag can be loaded at over half the energy of the 454 and is MUCH more confortable to shoot (and to hit with) 1000, 1100 or 1200 foot-pounds of energy is nothing to sneeze at and can really reach out at distance. The 454 tops out at around 1900 foot pounds. The 44 may be outgunned by the 454, but that does not make the 44 undergunned.

    Off-subject, the .41 mag matches the 44 mag in energy, has an evern BETTER long-range trajectory and energy retention at distance and loses out to the .44 mag only in bullet weight and choices.

    If you reload your own ammunition, you can reduce the cost of shooting any of the three calibers significantly. The Casull runs arougn 65,000 psi (and uses rifle primers), the 480 Ruger around 48,000 and the 44 Magnum maxes out at 35,000 psi. Lower pressures are probably a bit easier on your brass. All are safe withing their design specs. Of course, you do know that 44 Special chambers and fires in the 44 Mag, 45 Colt chambers and fires in 454 Casull and 480 Ruger chambers and fires in 475 Linebaugh (Linebaughs are available only in single actions so far).

    Considering the premium the 454 SRH costs over the same gun in 44 Magnum, and the ammunition cost (whether you load your own or not - note that the 454 brass is upwards of $70 per hundred, three times the cost of 44 brass) the 44 magnum is a very good choice.

    So, to summarize.

    The 480 Ruger may be the best Bear Defense gun you can get in Rugers. (Have you thought of the 500 S&W?) The 44 or 41 mag may be the best for whitetail. For compromise in a single handgun, the 454 Casull has a better long-range trajectory than the 480 and probably very similar effectiveness on a close-range charging bear as the 480. . The 44 Magnum in its heaviest bullet weight comes close in energy to the 480, and a little more than half the energy of the 454. However the 44 mag is no slouch in the taking of thin-skinned game as well as dangerous thick skinned game like Grizzly/Brown Bear. The 44 is less expensive both in original purchase and ammo and easier on you ears and shooting hand.

    Caveat: Believe only half of what you see and a quarter of what you hear. Ant that goes double for the internet. Verify everything you get from the web, even from me, and even this caveat, too. There are a lot of good, reliable, knowledgeable and sincere people out here, but sometimes it is hard to distinguish those from the yahoos who don't know or don't care what they are writing about.

    Good luck, good fishing, good shooting and good hunting.

    I hope my ramble helps.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

  5. #5
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    That is a tough call. A very good gun and any of those is a good caliber.

    I would say get the 44 if you dont reload or heck even if you do.

    I really like the 454 and I reload but I dont reload it to max. It is still at way max compared to 44 loads.

    The 480 is another good pick. It now comes in a 5 shot version that seem to have the bugs worked out of it.


    But to be different you can always have a 480 reamed to 475 linebaugh.

    This is a Jack Huntington 480 superredhawk conversion.

    http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...43/m/693109868

    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  6. #6

    Default

    If cost is a factor, .44 ammo is slightly cheaper than .454. Both can be practiced with lighter rounds (.44 special, .45 long colt). There are a few .44 +p loads out there, such as Garrett and Buffalo Bore, that put .44 just shy of a typical .454's performance. You can always use lighter ammo in a .454 if the kick is too much; .45 lc+p is about on par with .44 mag, and Winchester makes a relatively soft-shooting .454 cartridge that is similar to .44 magnum in terms of energy.

    In short, .44 magnum and .454 casull overlap a bit, but .454 usually shoots at much higher energy levels. It's also less pleasant to shoot out of a similar-sized gun.

    .480 sounds like an ideal round for defense when you're doing something like bowhunting or fishing. But it's expensive if you don't reload, and there is no off-the-shelf "special" ammo, so you can't really plink with it. .480 has been described as the most powerful handgun caliber that is comfortable to shoot, though I've heard that .500 s&w feels very similar.

    Hope this helps.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    That is a tough call. A very good gun and any of those is a good caliber.

    I would say get the 44 if you dont reload or heck even if you do.

    I really like the 454 and I reload but I dont reload it to max. It is still at way max compared to 44 loads.

    The 480 is another good pick. It now comes in a 5 shot version that seem to have the bugs worked out of it.


    But to be different you can always have a 480 reamed to 475 linebaugh.

    This is a Jack Huntington 480 superredhawk conversion.

    http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...43/m/693109868


    That particular revolver has a custom 5 shot cylender and is not reamed out. I know the owner as well maker.

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    Yes I know.


    This is Whitworths post accompanying the picture where he mentions that Jack Huntington also will ream a five shot 480 SuperRedhawk.

    {Quote by Whitworth}It would certainly be easier and cheaper to buy a BFR in .475 and if you have to have a double action revolver, a .480 should suffice. That said, if you must have a .475 Linebaugh double action, than go no further than Jack Huntington (530/268-6877) and he can build you a 5-shot cylinder -- or he can ream a 5-shot .480 SRH (he will not do this to the older 6-shot .480s). He built mine last year, and I couldn't be happier! Here is a photo of it:{quote}
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  9. #9

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    Yea, but he quit reaming the 6 shot 480 cylinders because of the sloppy chambering from the factory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwp500 View Post
    Yea, but he quit reaming the 6 shot 480 cylinders because of the sloppy chambering from the factory.
    That is what is says in the post.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the info. I found all of your comments on the 480 interesting. If I were to use this gun on whitetails shots would be 75 to 80yds. It would appear the 480 could handle this no problem?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldh1187 View Post
    Thanks for the info. I found all of your comments on the 480 interesting. If I were to use this gun on whitetails shots would be 75 to 80yds. It would appear the 480 could handle this no problem?
    It will handle a lot more than Whitetails with no problem

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwp500 View Post
    It will handle a lot more than Whitetails with no problem
    No doubt.

    I think the extra power of other cartridges over a 480 is for our own muses rather than any real shortcomings of the 480.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Default 454 480 44 41 at 75 to 80 yards

    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    No doubt.

    I think the extra power of other cartridges over a 480 is for our own muses rather than any real shortcomings of the 480.
    I agree with RMiller.

    I have a .454 Casull (replacing my .44) for bear protection when hiking/fishing, but the choice over the 480 was a tough one.

    All 4 of these cartridges will do the job on whitetails (voice of inexperience talking here, but this is what my reading reveals). The main difference you will find is that the .454 Casull will shoot flatter than the 480 Ruger, but both should kill just about equally as well as the other. The Casull, which I have fired, will kick harder than the 480 Ruger (which I have never fired) unless you load it down a bit.

    Likewise, the 41 Magnum will shoot flatter than the 44 Magnum and the 41 will retain more energy at distance as well. Both should kill equally well, as their energy levels are very close, with a slight edge to the 41, even at the muzzle. Where the 41 falls short is first, in bullet selection and second, slightly smaller frontal area (if it does not expand).

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    No doubt.

    I think the extra power of other cartridges over a 480 is for our own muses rather than any real shortcomings of the 480.
    I agree with RMiller 100%. Dustin Linebaugh loads his 475 to 1200 FPS with the 420 Flat Point Hard Cast and he took a nice Alaskan Grizz a year or so with one shot..

  16. #16

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    Thanks all, any suggestions for scopes on a 480?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldh1187 View Post
    Thanks all, any suggestions for scopes on a 480?

    As JD Jones told me, just get a scope with a good warrantee. I've trashed 4 scopes on 3 different revolvers. I had a propoint on my 445 Supermag loaded up hot (okay, I had that coming). But I also had a Leopold, Bausch and Lomb, and Bushnell fail on me. Last year, a Burris Posi-lock glass cracked............I coldn't believe it. So just choose a scope with a no worry warrantee.

    For powerful handguns in AK for defense purposes, I would go for a low magnification or a low zoom range like 1.5 to 4.........or 2 to 6.

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    How about a red dot? I have one on my .475 and I am extremely happy with it and it comes with a lifetime warranty -- plus, it was $135.00 shipped. It's an Ultradot 30 -- go check out their website: www.ultradotwest.com

    They are great in low-light situations!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitworth View Post
    How about a red dot? I have one on my .475 and I am extremely happy with it and it comes with a lifetime warranty -- plus, it was $135.00 shipped. It's an Ultradot 30 -- go check out their website: www.ultradotwest.com

    They are great in low-light situations!
    Hey Whitworth welcome to the forums.


    Aimpoints are illegal for hunting in Alaska.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Thanks for the welcome, RMiller!! I did not know that they are illegal -- that's too bad, as they really work well.

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