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Thread: Handgun hunters, anyone using the .480 Ruger?

  1. #1
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    Default Handgun hunters, anyone using the .480 Ruger?

    I'm thinking I'd like something a bit bigger than my .44 mag for a moose hunting & black bear huntting revolver, & of course on the Kenai Penninsula there's always the chance encounter with a brownie.
    I'm not a huge fan of recoil but do OK with 320s @ 1350 from my mod. 29.
    Some reading has me thinking about the 480, specifically the 400 gr loads in the 1200 fps area.
    Anyone with experience?
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    I want to bump this thread to the top as I am looking at a specific SRH in 480 right now.
    Opinions?????
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    I got mine just after they came out. I really like it. Have put several thousand rounds through it from 325 grains to 400 grains. I really like the 375 grain gascheck from Cast Performance. Had Wildwest Guns give it the entire "Wolverine" treatment. It was expensive but I think worth it. The trigger is like a S&W and the moonclip makes it much easier to reload and carry extra reloads for different purposes (Speer 325 grain Gold Dot for caribou, 355 grain cast True Shot for grouse and 375 grain Cast Performance for moose and bears). The only part of the "wolverine" process I didn't have done was the porting of the barrel. I don't see the need and can't really tell the difference in recoil from the original SBH configuration. It went from around 48oz to 36oz and from a 7 1/2 inch barrel to one of 4 5/8 inch. If you can handle the heaver reloads from the 44 you can handle the 480.

    It is the only revolver I normally carry when hunting, I feel perfectly safe even in brown bear country, that 375 grain bullet at 1400 fps will penetrate around 40+ inches according to John Linebaugh. John Taffin shot a bison through both sholders at 60 yards with a 410 grain bullet at 1000 fps. That is good enough for me. Jim

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've also had mine since shortly after they came out. Somewhere around 4000 rounds have made it through the barrel, of which the vast majority I've cast myself. I've tried 275, 310, 320, 330, 390, 400, 435 and 460 gr bullets through it, and have been able to find a load that would put most of those bullets 5 shots into 1" at 50 yds, scoped off the bench. I've settled on 21 gr of H-110 or Lil gun capped off by a cci 350 under a 400 gr cast bullet for 1200 fps from my 7 1/2" SRH as a std hunting defense load. For plinking I really liked a 310 gr cast under 9.7 gr of Unique for 950 fps and phenominally tight groups. But somehow I misplaced that mold I then had mountain molds take the classic Keith SWC, scale it up and it drops a 275 gr bullet that prints pretty tight when driven 1000 fps w/ blue dot. I was hoping to find a good load with that bullet @ 700 fps, but haven't found the right powder yet. Here's a lineup of some of the bullets I've driven through my 480



    IMHO, the 480 is the best balance of power and shootability in a heavy sixgun, without getting too heavy, or requiring a muzzle brake. I've shot enough 475 and 500 Linebaughs to know I can't handle that level of recoil. The 480 simply feels like a 44 mag with a bigger push, and that's exactly what it is. With the same charge of powder you'd use to drive a 300 gr @ 1300 fps, the 480 will push 400 @ 1200 fps, a pretty good deal in my mind For any situation that requires more power, I'll take a big rifle, not a handgun with more punishing recoil.

    I just remembered, the 460 gr bullet was tested at the linebaugh seminar a few years back, driven 1100 fps from a 480 (I settled 19 gr H-110 @ 1050 fps as a max load in my gun, someone else tested the bullet for me) Anyhow, the penetration was within a few inches of the best 475 and 500 loads, and better than most. Here's a pic of the bullet that was driven through 40+" of wet newsprint, and the other bullet that went through over 10" of newsprint and 2-3" of bone.

    Last edited by Paul H; 04-19-2007 at 17:22. Reason: added content

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    That looks wonderful Paul. I'm convinced the 480 is the best overall large caliber revolver cartridge. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I just remembered, the 460 gr bullet was tested at the linebaugh seminar a few years back, driven 1100 fps from a 480 (I settled 19 gr H-110 @ 1050 fps as a max load in my gun, someone else tested the bullet for me) Anyhow, the penetration was within a few inches of the best 475 and 500 loads, and better than most. Here's a pic of the bullet that was driven through 40+" of wet newsprint, and the other bullet that went through over 10" of newsprint and 2-3" of bone.
    WOW! You've got to tell me the make and manufacture of that 460grn mold. I've been looking into 400+ molds and haven't found much. I was thinking of getting a custom 500grn from mountain molds. I'm looking for a mold that will seat out to the end of a SRH cylinder. That 460 doesn't quite fit the bill but it is heavier than my 400. Any info would be appriciated.

    I've had pretty decent results with 700X and 231 in reduced loadings with the 325 lee gas checked. Think I was getting around 800fps out of the 700X load, the 231 shot a tad faster. Never shot them off a bench seriously for accuracy though. They shot pretty clean. Stay tuned for load data.

  7. #7

    Default great cartridge

    My Dad has one which I've shot. I too think it's a great balance of power and shootability. The wolverine conversion looks perfect. Too bad there's not something comparable offered by the factory. I would like to try the 2.5 in. barrel.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default .480

    Vance:

    I like my Ruger .480 but have only taken Sitka blacktail, quite efficiently if I may add.

    kingfisherktn

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    thanks guys.
    The 480 SRH with a 7.5" barrel sounds like just what I'm looking for.
    The trade I was working on fell through, but it's definetly on the "Someday soon" list.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  10. #10

    Thumbs up Recently Bought One

    I just picked up a 480 and was quite impressed with the shootability (not sure if that is even a word). I only have put one box through it so far but I am happy with my purchase. I have not shot a .500 to compare it with, just .44mags, .45 and .40 cal. The only downside is the barrel length. Not sure how much Wild West charges to shorten it but it might be in my handguns future. I just hate to spend that kind of money and then have to spend more money to "fix it".

    As a side note, if anyone is looking for a new firearm, Fred Meyer has a 10% off coupon in Sunday's paper for sporting goods that is good on all firearm purchases!!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The 460 gr mold was custom made by ballisticast. They used their 400 gr WFN cherry and just sunk it extra deep. My specification was 450 gr, but cast form wheelweights they end up 460. I use the first lube groove as a canalure, and hence seat out to cylinder length. If you seat the bullet deep enough to use the std canalure, the gas check will bulge the case.

    Honestly I think a 500 gr bullet would do the same thing, even seated long. I also think you'd be struggling for 1000 fps from a 500 gr in the 480. The 460 is almost too much of a good thing, and I think a 430-440 gr is the practical max weight in the 480.

    I believe mountain molds is currently not making molds, a pity as they are great molds at a reasonable cost. The 275 keith and 400 gr with the long nose are both mountain molds.

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    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Wink

    I have a couple bullets that is used for the 480 .
    One is a 420 Grain WFNGC of of a Mountain Mold
    The other is a 530 Grain FNGC out of a Balli-cast mold.
    I will see if I can find a picture of them and post it .

    Dan at Mountain Molds is up and running and taking orders.
    Just had a 610 Grain LFNGC .500 Dia mold come in last week.
    This bullet will not fit the S&W revolvers due to the long nose.
    It was made for the 500 BFR, 500 Handi Rifle and the Cyrus 500 .


    RR
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RANGER RICK View Post
    I have a couple bullets that is used for the 480 .
    One is a 420 Grain WFNGC of of a Mountain Mold
    The other is a 530 Grain FNGC out of a Balli-cast mold.
    I will see if I can find a picture of them and post it .

    Dan at Mountain Molds is up and running and taking orders.
    Just had a 610 Grain LFNGC .500 Dia mold come in last week.
    This bullet will not fit the S&W revolvers due to the long nose.
    It was made for the 500 BFR, 500 Handi Rifle and the Cyrus 500 .


    RR
    I found the picture .
    Left side is the 530 and the right is the 420 .

    RR
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


    USS SARATOGA CV-60

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...ex_2-1-1-1.gif

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    Are there 2 crimp groves on the 530? I'm wondering if seated to the lower grove would it chamber in my SRH.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Rick,

    Now you have me thinking about a 500 gr xlwfn for the 480 I ran the numbers on the mountain mold website, looks like with 3 lube grooves it would be about perfect. Hmm, I might have to re-calc it as a plainbase bullet, as I see no need for a gas check at a presumed 1000 fps.

    If you're loading the 530 in a 480, what loads are you using?

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