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Thread: .454 Casull or 44mag. Any real difference?

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    Default .454 Casull or 44mag. Any real difference?

    I am going to be buying a new Ruger Redhawk and was thinking about getting a .454 Casull but after looking at the balistics i can get with .44mag i am not sure there is much difference. Buffalo Bore makes a 340grn .44mag at 1475fps. I am not finding much in the Casull that will rival that. Thoughts??

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    Default 44 vs 454 vs 45 Colt

    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I am going to be buying a new Ruger Redhawk and was thinking about getting a .454 Casull but after looking at the balistics i can get with .44mag i am not sure there is much difference. Buffalo Bore makes a 340grn .44mag at 1475fps. I am not finding much in the Casull that will rival that. Thoughts??
    Talk about coincidence. Check out this thread

    http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=39169

    To answer your questions specifically.

    At the high end, the 454 can send a bigger bullet out the muzzle. Likewise, frontal area.

    Factory ammuntion clocks out at nearly twice the energy for the 454 as for the 44. But Rugers can be handloaded a bit heavier. Don't use those cartridges in anything but a super strong gun like the Ruger, Thompson-Contender, certain other guns. Don't put them in one of those Italian single actions or even the Smith & Wesson.

    The 454 runs at rifle level pressures the 44 at pistol level pressures.

    In a strong gun like the Ruger, or Freedom Arms and Linebaughs the 45 Colt can be loaded up to 44 mag performance levels, but nowhere near 454 performance levels. Check out the loading manuals and run the numbers. The maximum energy levels for the 44 will fall somewehre in between.

    Remember, only believe half of what you see and one quarter of what you hear. That goes double for what you find on the internet.

    Take a look at the 41 magnum (the "forgotten magnum") too.

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    A couple thoughts that are pro .44, ammo is much easier to find and is cheaper vs .454, you can shoot .44 special rounds for a nice, easy on the hands plinking round, given equal barrel lengths the .44 will be a lighter gun, you can pretend you're Dirty Harry.

    Pro .454, you can handload .454 rounds that are considerably more powerful than the .44 mag, look here for some .454 reloading data:

    http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

    A .454 can launch a 240 grain bullet at over 2000 fps, and can launch a 395 grain bullet at 1300 fps, a .44 mag can't even get near those numbers. Of course, at the above numbers, recoil will be something else too, so it is give and take. I went with a .44 mag when I was in the same position you're in, but if I had found a sweet deal on a .454 I would have just as easily gone with .454

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I am going to be buying a new Ruger Redhawk and was thinking about getting a .454 Casull but after looking at the balistics i can get with .44mag i am not sure there is much difference. Buffalo Bore makes a 340grn .44mag at 1475fps. I am not finding much in the Casull that will rival that. Thoughts??

    I own the Taurus Raging Bull in .454. Kicks like a muel compared to any .44 I have fired. I love shooting the gun at the range, but I usually shoot .45 LC due to the price. I do enjoy the gun, but could be a bear to handle if you had to use it on the fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fish425093 View Post
    I own the Taurus Raging Bull in .454. Kicks like a muel compared to any .44 I have fired. I love shooting the gun at the range, but I usually shoot .45 LC due to the price. I do enjoy the gun, but could be a bear to handle if you had to use it on the fly.
    That reflects the experience and practice of about 90% of the 454 owners I know. Lots of 45LC shooting going on if they shoot much at all, whether due to cost or recoil.

    In a nutshell, if you can shoot a 44 well, you're likely to be able to shoot a 454 well if you put in the practice.

    And if you shoot both well, you'll notice an improvement in performance with the 454.

    But if you don't shoot a 454 well, nah. Might as well stick with a 44 for the time being. A 44 landing in the right spot is better than a 454 in the wrong spot.

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    I am a big guy and own a .44 mag with an 8.5" barrel and want something with a shorter barrel to carry on the rivers up there. Full power loads in my .44 dont bother me a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I am a big guy and own a .44 mag with an 8.5" barrel and want something with a shorter barrel to carry on the rivers up there. Full power loads in my .44 dont bother me a bit.
    I'd say you're a dandy candidate. I've shot so much 44 over the last 40+ years that it just isn't a bother at all and I shoot it well. The 454 was a very easy transition for me. I can't shoot it quickly double action, but shoot it well enough for deer hunting out to 50 yards or so.

    The guys that entertain me are the ones who buy it as a first handgun, then put maybe 20 rounds through it and think they're ready for bear protection. What a yuck!

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    Default 44 vs 454

    Check out www.GarrettCartridges.com for 44 mag hardcast info. They make some hot loads very comparable to 454. I have the 7.5 inch Ruger Super Red Hawk in .454 and the 4 inch Ruger Redhawk in .44 mag. The 4 inch gun gets my vote in the woods for ease of carry. They are both very comparable to shoot. I have hogue grip on 454 and pachmeyer on 44. Definitely invest in the grips. The 454 could get traded in but I will never part with the 44.

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    Default .44 vs .454 Comparison

    My favorite website for comparing factory loads. Shows .454 having about 40% more impact energy.

    http://www.federalpremium.com/default.aspx

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    JMO, and Attitude:

    If you need more than a 44 handgun, get a Rifle or Shootgun.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grits View Post
    My favorite website for comparing factory loads. Shows .454 having about 40% more impact energy.

    http://www.federalpremium.com/default.aspx
    Federal .454 Premium ammo is weak. Little bunny fart loads. I can do far better with my .44mag!

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    Get one of each (44, 45, 454) in various barrel lengths all Ruger; you should be happy. I like all of them, but I am partial to the 45 Colt. Don't know why, I just do; both mentally and physically, as it is the smoothest shooting even with the hottest loads.

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    my experience with the 454 is i cant shoot it ... i shoot my .44 all day. and the 454 tears the carpel tunnel out of my arms. the recoil in it goes through my elbow.. my buddy carries one and uses the long colt for target shooting. and as he carries i use it once in awhile to be familiar with it.. Just in case.... one shot maybe two. i am okay.. and i know that if the need REALLY arose i wouldn't feel it. but it is not worth my time or pain to buy one and get the level of competency i require of my self to hunt with a weapon.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    I couldn't decide between a 454 or a 44 so I got a 480. However it is in a puma 92. Bigger, heavier bullets and lower pressure.
    pete

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    Default But how you gonna fit it on your belt?

    Quote Originally Posted by pak View Post
    I couldn't decide between a 454 or a 44 so I got a 480. However it is in a puma 92. Bigger, heavier bullets and lower pressure.
    pete
    Good compromise on cartridge! Congratulations on a fine choice.

    However, I think everyone though you were looking for something that would fit in a holster.

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    In my experience the 454 and or heavy loaded 45 olts with 325 grain or larger wide Meplat bullets are a significant step up when shooting large game with a handgun.

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    Default There's a difference...

    I have experienced a significant difference between the .44 and .454.

    Like others who have responded to the thread starter, I handload for both and mine are 5.5" Ruger RH and 4.75" SRH, respectively. My .44 field load is a 328grn hard cast pushed by a hefty dose of W296, and my .454 field load is a 360grn CP hardcast with the same powder...bigger dose. My .454 is ported, and it is not at all a killer to shoot. With my .454 I have driven field load bullets completely through cottonwoods that were so big I couldn't get my arms around them unless each arm was a foot longer. I was so amazed that I did this several times with different cottonwood trees with the same result. My .44 field loads can't do that...do they need to do that to help me stop a charging brown bear? Probably not.

    Bottom line for me is that I carry my .454. Also, my .454 SRH is actually more comfortable to carry than my .44 RH. I wear it cross draw on a waist belt every day and everywhere I'm in the field. It's not a hassel at all. To each his own.

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    Default Ooops...

    I was in a hurry to get off to work earlier. I forgot to mention that I have not hunted with any handgun other than a .22, and that I carry the .454 for protection.

    Lastly, I also would like to be sure that I mention that I am NOT an accomplished handgun shooter. In fact, my goal this winter is to become much better.

  19. #19

    Default same story, different media as doc...

    A friend brought me some bullet-proof glass scraps from a prison construction with the idea of testing the .44 against the .454. With factory loads of soft points in near bullet weights we squared-off at about 10yds. The poly is constructed of four layers, 1/8, 1/2, 1/2, 1/8 thicknesses in that order. The .44 was stopped consistently half way through, stopped dead at the front of the second layer of 1/2 inch material. The .454 passed through, and buried deep into the post holding it up. A VERY clear difference. I loved the .454, put many rounds through it, but have now retired the "bull" to hunt with the Performance Center 500. All in all, don't shoot more gun than you are comfortable, and effective with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    JMO, and Attitude:

    If you need more than a 44 handgun, get a Rifle or Shootgun.

    Smitty of the North
    Sort of. I'll offer a contrarian viewpoint and see what you guys think. Ignoring the outrageous initial price and the 3 ounces more weight for a second, a 500 S&W is not a bad gun to compare to. Why would I say that? Not killing elephants are you? Doesn't matter ...my super-easy to shoot practice rounds (I make them) shoot 440gr bullets with more punch than the top-end 44 magnum rounds and they are easy to shoot. If that's all the power you want, then this is a very easy to control way of getting more rounds out more accurately and more quickly. The bullet weight and wider meplat give these so-called practice rounds of mine more knock-down power than top-end 44 mag rounds while, as mentioned, being easier to shoot. The 4" S&W weighs only 3 ounces more than the typical 7-1/2" Ruger Super Redhawk too, so in spite of the gun's "bulldog looks", it's not hard to carry and personally, I prefer the 4" barrel to the 7-1/2" for personal protection purposes. As far as I can figure, the reason the 500 can out-shoot the 44 mag with more ease probably has to do with the couple of extra ounces of gun and the heavier bullet, and oh yeah, the compensator. If you're making your own ammo, you can always dial it in to the power that you personally like the best ...and the sky's the limit for those that want it that way. My bear rounds are 535gr Keiths (thank you Ranger Rick) in front of 32gr of H110 if I recall (It's up to you to double check loads before trying and I'm too lazy to go look in the log right now.)

    Anyway, just being a contrarian to see who's fire I just poked ...but I'm quite happy with my decision and fortunately, I bought mine for 25-30 percent less than what you're seeing nowadays. I already know how many .44 mag proponents are in love with their guns... But there are other choices too. Trade-offs and preferences... get what works for you. The bear won't care what kilt it.

    Brian

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