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Old September 14, 2012, 11:02 AM   #26
Strafer Gott
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Red Hawk in .44 is adequate with bear loads, and easier to carry. The 4" barrel is fast handling enough, and doesn't rob velocity or produce excessive blast. You'll probably save enough on the gun to buy some serious ammo or components.
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Old September 14, 2012, 11:16 AM   #27
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So it keeps occurring to me that Pond, James Pond could benefit greatly in his endeavors if one of us would just ship him some things that aren't available over there.
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Old September 14, 2012, 03:23 PM   #28
feets
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The reason BB and the others have 44 rivaling the 454 loads is that they hit a practical limit on the 454. You can push them much harder but very few bullets will hold together at those velocities.
My 15" Encore 460 barrel pushes factory 200 grain Hornady loads to 2900 fps. That's bordering on pointless. Bullets won't hold up.
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Old September 14, 2012, 05:44 PM   #29
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Tomrkb, my shop happens to be one of the most resourceful, and connected little hole in the wall place that has the ability to get the srha in 454 and for the same cost. But ive decided to go with 44 because its cheaper and more common.
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Old September 14, 2012, 06:30 PM   #30
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Tomrkb, my shop happens to be one of the most resourceful, and connected little hole in the wall place that has the ability to get the srha in 454 and for the same cost. But ive decided to go with 44 because its cheaper and more common.
You will not be disappointed. Try Remington UMC 180 grain loads. The fireball is impressive and the blast moves cardboard downrange!
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Old September 24, 2012, 07:09 PM   #31
RickE
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A super Blackhawk or Redhawk with Buffalo Bore 340 grain +p+ wiil come close to the 454. 340 gr at 1478 fps, and any load down to .44 special. No contest.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:42 PM   #32
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Here's why I would get the .454 Casull.

Because you can ALSO fire .45 Colts from them! Like two caliber pistols in one.

Of course a .44 Mag will also fire .44 specials and .44 Russian, but I like a .45 better.
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Old October 1, 2012, 06:20 PM   #33
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First, good luck finding a Ruger Alaskan in 454 Casull. They are catalog items, but there are none in production. You will need to scour gunbroker.com and gunsamerica.com for one. Be prepared; they're going for around $1,000-$1,100.

If that's the case you could get a S&W .460 ES for about the same price. Shoots not only the .460 Magnum, but .454 and .45 Colt as well. The massive X-Frame will help a little with recoil too. From my experience, the .454 many times is put in too light of revolver and the recoil is thus......brutal. For bear protection the second or third shot is just as important as the first. Good accurate follow up shots are easier to obtain from a gun that doesn't kick like a Clydesdale.


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Old October 2, 2012, 08:07 AM   #34
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i love that tool, and wouldnt mind getting it down the road but for now i went with the srha in 44 for several reasons.
1. rugers truly are "rugged and reliable" which is almost always my first reason for choosing a firearm.
2. 44spl/mag is more commonly found that 45lc/454 and less costly than the latter as well.
3. it looks badass
4. if you run out of ammo you can use it as a hammer
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Old October 2, 2012, 08:43 AM   #35
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i love that tool, and wouldnt mind getting it down the road but for now i went with the srha in 44 for several reasons.
1. rugers truly are "rugged and reliable" which is almost always my first reason for choosing a firearm.
2. 44spl/mag is more commonly found that 45lc/454 and less costly than the latter as well.
3. it looks badass
4. if you run out of ammo you can use it as a hammer
Other features include: Hogue Tamer grips, a very nice trigger (no trigger work necessary) and pinned front sight. A variety of strings are available if you want to further tune the trigger. You can buy an XS Sights big dot tritium sight or a standard sized one.

Chamfer the charge holes, add a night sight, change to wood grips if you prefer that and you're done.

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If that's the case you could get a S&W .460 ES for about the same price. Shoots not only the .460 Magnum, but .454 and .45 Colt as well.
I find the ability to shoot 45 Colt to be a very desirable feature. The X-Frame is a bit ridiculous for open or concealed carry, but likely great for long range competition and hunting.
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:27 PM   #36
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A 4" Redhawk in 45 Colt is on my short list of must-haves.
It would be a great sidekick in the great outdoors as well as a passable winter carry gun.
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:52 PM   #37
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i went with the srha in 44 for several reasons.
Congrats!!

Very jealous! Whilst I really love my 4" RH in .44, the SRH would be my ideal. I really like its sheer sense of indestructibleness!!

Hard to imagine it exudes even more solidity than the standard RH, but for me it does!!
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; October 2, 2012 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Correcting typo that was spotted just as I submitted. As usual.
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Old October 5, 2012, 12:32 PM   #38
thecelt
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thanks James, im quite happy with my choice. this thing is built like a tank. my brother has the 4" redhawk which is also a tank, but the srha was more my style.
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Old October 5, 2012, 08:00 PM   #39
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I love bear gun threads.

Why not get a .50 Barrett and cut it down to a pistol grip and a 4" barrel? After all, people are already recommending guns too heavy to practically carry for significant distances in a manner conducive to getting into action in the split seconds of a bear charge...and in cartridges/small guns which would be impossible to get an accurate second or third shot off. Might as well go all the way and impress your friends.

The fact remains, all that will stop a bear charge is a shot to the CNS...put one in the vitals you would shoot into hunting and the bear will die, likely after you are already dead. And a 44Mag, a 41Mag, and perhaps even a 357Mag with the right bullets will be equally able to penetrate the CNS....and much more controllable to get in a few quick follow-up shots to increase your likelihood of success.
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Old October 5, 2012, 09:28 PM   #40
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and realistically a hot 44 can put out as much energy as a 454 (BB's hottest load).
That is a less than accurate statement. While it may be true that that particular load produces energy levels approaching the Buffalo Bore loads for the .454 Casull, it doesn't tell the whole story. The Buffalo Bore loads for 454 are well below what the cartridge is capable of within the SAAMI pressure limits. The .44 load however, exceeds SAAMI specs by what is likely a significant margin.

If you look at the load data for .454 Casull on Freedom Arms' website, you will easily see this. One example is a 300grn jacketed bullet at 1750fps from a 7 1/2" barrel. If energy is the number you like to look at, this load develops in excess of 2,000 foot pounds of energy. Compare that to the Buffalo Bore .44 load that develops about 1650 foot pounds of energy. I would call that a significant advantage for the .454. Now consider that a cast bullet will generally deliver more velocity than an identical jacketed bullet loaded to the same pressure level. This is due to the reduction in friction of cast bullets compared to jacketed bullets.

My "go to" heavy load for my six inch Freedom Arms is a 340grn cast bullet at 1680fps, as measured by an Oehler 35P chronograph ten feet from the muzzle. This load will take pretty much any critter on the planet, humanely, with proper shot placement. It kills on one end and cripples on the other.

The advantage of the .454 comes from to factors. Pressure and diameter. A larger bore will always drive a given weight bullet to a higher velocity than a smaller bore will if loaded to the same pressure, and fired from the same length barrel. This is because what accelerates the bullet is the force that the pressure creates against the base of the bullet. Force is calculated by multiplying the pressure by the area. Larger area = more force for any given pressure. An additional benefit of this increase in performance is that the larger bore can often offer equal and sometimes better performance with a barrel that is shorter than a smaller bore.

Now consider the operating pressures of the two cartridges. The SAAMI max pressure for the .44 is 36,000psi. For the .454 it is 65,000psi. That is an increase of nearly 90%. Hardly insignificant. Granted, the BB .44 load is loaded beyond SAAMI specs, but how far do you think they are willing to push it? John Linebaugh had several Ruger revolvers pressure tested to destruction and found that they spontaneously disassembled themselves at about 80,000psi. With the ever increasing amount of product liability suits and litigation taking place today, do you really think that BB is loading so far outside of SAAMI specs as to approach the failure point of the very guns that they say their ammo is safe to use in?

None of this is to say that the .44 is a slouch in any way. It is a fine cartridge that will handle most tasks that the average hunter/outdooorsman will ever ask of it. The .454 simply offers a much broader performance envelope. Granted, to truly take advantage of this, handloading is pretty much a requirement, but this is true for almost any cartridge. Measuring the merits of any cartridge by looking only at advertised ballistics from a single ammunition manufacturer, is probably not the best method.

When it comes to power, bigger is gooder in most cases.
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Old October 5, 2012, 09:48 PM   #41
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My neighbor is moving and had a .454 Alaskan he was selling for $700, after looking on line I saw alot of the same model for 7 - 1100 depending so did not pick it up. I should have I think, but still the S&W .460 would be my preference for a short barrel blaster for the bush.
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Old October 5, 2012, 10:07 PM   #42
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While I am not a fan of the big X-Frames from Smith and wesson, I wouldbe curious to see how much difference there is between the the 500 Smith and the 500 Linebaugh with short barrels (4"-5 1/2") with bullets in the 400grn range.

The Smith has a significant case capacity advantage, but I wonder how much of a role this plays when the barrel length gets short. I prefer short barrel "packing guns" over long barreled hand cannons.

JW
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:51 PM   #43
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I think you made a good safe choice. But.....

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But ive decided to go with 44 because its cheaper and more common.
These really big boomers are fun, but you take a beating and for what end? You really don't need one for bear protection for the most part. But they still are fun.

My take is if you want a big boomer, go for it, so you have the capability if nothing else. I wouldn't shoot puny loads in a 454 revolver. I have other revolvers for that.

I am a fan of the 480 Ruger and it is indeed my "big boomer". I have a SRH for deer hunting mostly, but am getting a BFR in that same caliber. You asked about ammo availability as an issue with the 454.... it might be relevant with the 480 Ruger, but honestly I can find all I need. It is not like I go out and shoot a 100 rounds in a single day. It is just not physically possible for me to do that unless I am just sending rounds down range without much serious aiming. Cost is important and I don't waste ammo.

I would love to have a Ruger Alaskan in 480 Ruger. But it is not likely to materialize ever in my inventory. It is one of those, why bother kind of decisons. I carry a 41 mag if I am concerned about black bears and I consider that plenty for most situations.
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Old October 25, 2012, 12:21 PM   #44
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I'm starting to think I'll buy this to launch warm .45 Colt. I tried one on at the LGS, and that GP100 grip actually felt pretty good. I've only shot the .44 SRH, and the FA .454. .45 colt will be analog to .44/.44spl. Thanks JMortimer, Deaf, et al. There's just no substitute for a big bore handgun when you want to travel light.
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Old October 25, 2012, 01:04 PM   #45
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Hot 45 Colt

I have used 45 Colt "Deerstopper"rounds made by Georgia Arms.They go 1200 fps with a 260 gr JHP bullet.It is designated as safe only in Freedom Arms,Thompson Center,and Rugers OTHER THAN the New Vaquero.I use a 4 5/8" Blackhawk and never had a problem-but the recoil is stout.
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Old October 25, 2012, 01:23 PM   #46
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I have the Smith & Wesson 500 magnum bear kit. Fun gun, but pretty much useless except as a collector piece.



Bullets are $2.50 each and after five you are tired of shooting. However, it gets attention!
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Old October 25, 2012, 06:24 PM   #47
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No Iron Man!!!

Just get snake shot loads and go quail hunting.

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Old October 25, 2012, 11:35 PM   #48
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They make snake shot loads???
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Old October 26, 2012, 01:28 AM   #49
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If you are 100% confident that you can hit a charging bear with the first shot everytime, get the .454.

If you have even a 1% doubt about hitting a charging bear with your first shot; get the .44 mag as you will be able to have MUCH faster follow up shots with the .44 than you will with a .454.

There is alot more to picking a defensive gun than ballistic charts. If I can hit bear twice with a .44 in the time it would take me to hit the bear once with a .454 I'd rather have the .44.
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Old October 26, 2012, 08:59 AM   #50
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They make snake shot loads???
Not factory, but I bet they'd be fairly easy to make with two gas checks like is done for 45 Colt shot loads.

I agree with the post that says if you can shoot a 44 better than the 500 then you'd be better protected by the 44. The key to bear defense is bullet selection. A hardcast solid bullet that will penetrate well is your best option.
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