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Old March 9, 2011, 10:28 PM   #1
exphys2010
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454 Casull vs 500 S&W

I am looking into eventually getting one of these two caliber revolvers for handgun hunting. I know that the 500 is substantially more powerful than the 454, but is there anything that you could really hunt with a 500 that you could not with the 454 Casull (In the U.S.)? I have noticed that there are a lot more options in 454 revolvers such as the Ruger SuperRedhawk, Taurus Raging Bull, etc., not to mention that the ammo is cheaper. So would the 500 be considered overkill? Thanks.
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Old March 9, 2011, 10:52 PM   #2
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I think that the .500 is a "niche" cartridge. I just have never found the niche that it fits.
On the other hand, my .454 is the last gun I would ever think of parting with.
I use it for everything from coyote to bear, and if I could take it to Canada, it would be my moose gun as well.
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Old March 9, 2011, 10:57 PM   #3
exphys2010
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Yankee Doodle,

Thanks for the reply. That pretty much answered my question perfectly. I was basically just wondering if there is anything in North America that you would feel underarmed against with the 454 casull, and it seems like a solid NO. I already own a SuperRedhawk in .44mag. Is the 454 Casull a large enough step up in power and hunting capabilities to buy a new revolver? I found some hot 44mag Buffalo Bore loads that put out about 1500 ft/lbs of energy, but I figured that the 454 could produce a lot more than that with a similar load. Unless I hear otherwise I guess I will just plan on getting the 454 when the time comes. Oh, and is it accurate that you can shoot 45 LC in a 454 as well? Thanks.

Last edited by exphys2010; March 9, 2011 at 11:07 PM.
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Old March 9, 2011, 11:03 PM   #4
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Check out the .460 XVR. You can shoot .460, .454, and .45 long Colt. I have one and love it. Nothing against the .500 it's on my short list of future buys.
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Old March 9, 2011, 11:04 PM   #5
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.454 Casull is cheaper and also will kill anything your looking to mess up. But it just Seems more safer and cooler to have a .500 Smith & Wesson. But still both rounds would kill the same amout, just the .500S&W would do it better. But since the .454 Casull is cheaper and Can kill just as much. Go with the .454 Casull. Even though a .44 Mag Could do it to.
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Old March 9, 2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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Check out the .460 XVR. You can shoot .460, .454, and .45 long Colt. I have one and love it. Nothing against the .500 it's on my short list of future buys.
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Old March 9, 2011, 11:19 PM   #7
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exphys, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the 454 Casull developes double the muzzle energy of a 44 Magnum.

44 Magnum is enough to take anything on the continent.

I think you will find the Casull punishing to shoot with full-house loads, and will find yourself shooting 45 Colt more often than not.
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Old March 9, 2011, 11:22 PM   #8
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Maybe i shouldn't even be commenting without personal experience but here goes. let me start by saying I love the .45 caliber, .45 Colt is my go-to hunting pistol. From reading some of the threads on here from knowledgeable people, they say the recoil of the Casull is absolutely brutal where the .500 is tolerable to most shooters. Again, heresay, but do a search on the Casull from the last couple of weeks.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:40 AM   #9
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+1 on the 460 XVR. Similar power at full loads as the 500, but also lets you shoot the 454 Casull (which is a great round) and the 45 Colt (another fine round).

As to what you can do with all that power? For one, if you're in brown bear country then more power is absolutely better. Ditto if you hunt truly big game (people who says its all about bullet placement forget that not every shot is perfect, and more horsepower gives you more latitude for imperfect shots). And the 460 Mag is just a fine gun and a lot of fun to shoot. But so is the Casull. I have both a 460 XVR and Rugers in 480 and 454. The 454 gets more range time than the others but all three are fine calibers and fine guns. Price-wise, the 460 cost twice as much as the 480, and the 454 was half way between. So, that ought to be a factor as well.
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Old March 10, 2011, 01:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
From reading some of the threads on here from knowledgeable people, they say the recoil of the Casull is absolutely brutal where the .500 is tolerable to most shooters. Again, heresay, but do a search on the Casull from the last couple of weeks.
That's pretty much 180 degrees wrong. In the same platform the 500 Mag produces 50% more muzzle energy with a much heavier bullet and the same or chamber pressure as the Casull. That all adds up to much more felt recoil form the 500 (and I'll attest to that from personal experience). The 460 has slightly less recoil than the 500, but still MUCH more than the Casull -- and the 460 XVR lets you do a "same platform" test but simply loading both rounds in the same gun. The difference in recoil and muzzle blast is very significant - and the 460 is unquestionably greater. In fact, in the XVR the Casulls are a joy to shoot.

I also doubt that "most shooters" can handle or "tolerate" a 500.

BTW, the SAAMI equation for "Free Recoil Energy" (which is what your body absorbs) is this:

F.R.E. = 1/2 x Wt of Gun x {Velocity of Recoiling gun-squared} / 32.17

Where:
Velocity of Recoiling Gun = [Wt of Bullet x Muzzle Velocity + Wt of propellent gases x Velocity of propellent gases] / [7000 x Wt of gun]

(for handguns, the velocity of the gases is about 1.5 x that of the bullet, and the weight of the gases roughly equals the weight of the powder charge)

Thus, for the same gun, it's all about the bullet's muzzle velocity, the bullet's weight and the chamber pressure.
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Old March 10, 2011, 02:01 AM   #11
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yep

Another vote for the 460 xvr I love mine and its more versatile and cheaper to shoot than the 500.
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Old March 10, 2011, 02:21 AM   #12
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In guns of the same weight, the .500 Smith will produce roughly 50% more recoil than a .454 Casull of the same weight.

http://genitron.com/HandgunDB/DB-Com...&ID2=0&ID3=121

Now where some people get confused is that you can get .500 Smith in guns that are MUCH heavier than any .454 you can buy. Smith and Wesson currently makes a model that weighs over 70 oz, whereas the heaviest .454 I could find was around 57 ounces. If someone fired a 70 oz .500 and then a Ruger Super Alaskan .454 they would think the .454 recoils much more than the .500.

Sheer power is one thing, the ability to put multiple rounds into your target is another. Sure the .500 is more powerful, but I bet there isn't a one of use that fire a .500 faster than we can fire a .454. Increased rate of fire = better chance of scoring a hit, which is important in a stressful situation where your accuracy will be much less than when you shoot at the range on a saturday afternoon.
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:06 AM   #13
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If you reload, I would go 454 for the vast number of bullet options. Could shoot cheap ammo with reduced loads for fun, and a lot of normal 45 colt bullets would work until the pressure/velocities get up too high (then gas checks are needed, or so they say).

Can you find any "cheap" 500 bullets? If so then more power to you.

Just FYI, the 454 is a very "snappy" recoil compared to other magnum calibers. No experience with a 500, but the 454 kicks substantially harder than a 44 mag. I believe the powders used burn much faster for standard length barrels.

I would imagine the sheer size of a 500 would help reduce recoil due to the added weight.
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:33 AM   #14
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Yes, for some reason the 454 recoil is out of proportion

Quote:
Norrick

If you reload, I would go 454 for the vast number of bullet options. Could shoot cheap ammo with reduced loads for fun, and a lot of normal 45 colt bullets would work until the pressure/velocities get up too high (then gas checks are needed, or so they say).

Can you find any "cheap" 500 bullets? If so then more power to you.

Just FYI, the 454 is a very "snappy" recoil compared to other magnum calibers. No experience with a 500, but the 454 kicks substantially harder than a 44 mag. I believe the powders used burn much faster for standard length barrels.

I would imagine the sheer size of a 500 would help reduce recoil due to the added weight.
Norrick, right on most counts.

I have fired both. Yes, the 454 recoil is "snappier", but I haven't figured out why (physics-wise).

My shooting buddy has a 4" 500 Mag Smith & Wesson and I have a 4 5/8" Freedom Arms and a 7.5" Super Redhawk, both in .454 Casull. The Smith is gentler to shoot at normal power levels, mostly because of the weight and the muzzle brake.

At the REALLY high power levels, though, and bullet weights past 500 grains (and even the Buffalo Bore 300 grainers) the recoil is significantly painful with the 500. I used a glove once (not a shooting glove, but just a regular leather glove). Ripped a big half-moon tear in the palm. Used to be a nice pair of gloves, too.

However, there are a couple of guys who cast lead bullets (Arnie's Ammo and Ranger Rick) who make hard-cast lead bullets and there is no real price difference. The heavier bullets do take more lead, so are proportionally more expensive, so the 700 grain bullets do cost more, but are SO MUCH more "fun" to shoot. (Just kidding. Rick does not recommend shooting the 700 grain "Tyrannosaurus Thumpers" out of the 4")

On the "fun loads", however, we have a Trail Boss load under a 300 grain slug that clocks at about 750-800 fps that recoils like a 22 rimfire.

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Old March 10, 2011, 05:05 AM   #15
Norrick
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As for the physics part of it I would say it has to do with impulse. Impulse is basically a force applied for a duration of time.

You can have the same velocity at the end of a given length or distance. You can use a large force for a short duration of time, or a lower force for a longer duration of time.... this assumes that after the impulse ends, the object keeps moving freely.

Think of it like the acceleration of a car. All cars can go 0-60, but some cars get to 60 alot faster. The normal car "pushes" you into the back of your seat. The super car "snaps" you back in your seat. Now you exaggerate this effect for a bullet and pretend that the car has to go to 0 to 1,000mph on a 6 to 12 inch stretch of road.

Slow vs. fast cars, both can go 65mph, slow vs fast burning powders, both can get you similar muzzle velocity.

It gets more complicated though when you take into account the fact that powders don't produce a constant force (it changes with time), and different bullet weights behave differently with the same powder.

Bla bla, its late, I probably should not have posted this.
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Old March 10, 2011, 07:37 AM   #16
exphys2010
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It sounds like the .460 may actually be the way to go then due to its versatility, I think I completely forgot about that round when looking. Does any .460 revolver have the versatility that the .460SW XVR has, such as the Magnum Research BFR in .460? I held a BFR in 45-70 the other day at a local shop, and I really liked the feel of it. I know that the BFR comes in a 460, so I was thinking that this may also be a good option. Anyone have experience with the BFR?
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Old March 10, 2011, 08:33 AM   #17
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yes

The 460 is very sweet I reload 240 and 300grain hornady for deer and I took one with it a couple years back and it didn't move from the spot I shot it and the exit hole was nice too.. h110 is a good powder for it.also they came out with the ftx bullets that you can load now.
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Old March 10, 2011, 08:50 AM   #18
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In the same platform the 500 Mag produces 50% more muzzle energy with a much heavier bullet and the same or chamber pressure as the Casull. That all adds up to much more felt recoil form the 500 (and I'll attest to that from personal experience).
Amen brother! I am, admittedly, a total recoil wimp so I have to tell you that I didn't especially enjoy shooting a Casull and my ONE sample of shooting a .500 was...well, it was my ONE go-round with that gun. 5 shots and I was DONE!
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Old March 10, 2011, 08:57 AM   #19
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h110 is a good powder for it.also they came out with the ftx bullets that you can load now
Yes,,, that is what Im using in both 460 and 500

Far as overkill... I think BOTH are more than what you need,,for an animal kill....

...What cant you kill with a 44mag??

..I couldnt decide which I would rather have for 460 or 500...

..so I have both.
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Old March 10, 2011, 09:08 AM   #20
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Check out the .460 XVR. You can shoot .460, .454, and .45 long Colt. I have one and love it. +1
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Old March 10, 2011, 09:16 AM   #21
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Interesting discussion really. I was where you are at about 10 years ago. I had a 41 mag revolver that I felt was perfectly suited for 95% of the larger game hunting that I will ever do, but wanted something just a bit bigger. I got a 480 Ruger (Ruger SRH). I have not felt undergunned since.

You might consider the BFR in 475 Linebaugh/480 Ruger as an option. Ammunition is fairly reasonable with the Horandy loadings. That is my next big boomer although I probably would have bought a 500 S&W if they were available when I got the 480 as I just prefer S&W products versus Ruger.

I have shot the 500 S&W (factory loads) in 300, and 350 gr loads as I recall. The 300 grainers were very pleasant. The 350's cranked up the recoil and I suspect the heavier 500 loadings will crank it up even more. They were still pretty tolerable.

Never particularly cared for the 454 Casull. I tend to think in terms of big and slow rather than light and fast for handgun hunting which is why I lean toward the 500 vs 460. Nothing wrong with the 454 and many have them. I just know that I won't shoot it much in the long run, so why get one? I don't shoot the 480 much now. 20 rounds and I'm pretty much done shooting for the day. After that, I couldn't even hold a 22 revolver steady. The 44 mag is really all you need, but I understand, you want something bigger. (I did.)

Enjoy. You will probably mostly shoot your 44 after you get the bigger one.
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Old March 10, 2011, 09:40 AM   #22
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You will probably mostly shoot your 44 after you get the bigger one.
NOt for me... I used to shoot 44s alll the time... I have three of em... now I havent shot them much at all since the 460/500 purchases.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:33 PM   #23
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I have had 2 454's and 2 500's. With full power loads, there is no discernible difference in recoil from either, to me. The SRH in 454 felt like it was more punishing than the BFR in 500 mag, with full power loads.

I still have my 500 mag BFR, and that is, how I feel. It hand loads down to .454 power levels, and is very pleasant to shoot at these levels, because of the much lower pressure required to produce the same amount of energy. If memory serves, I am spending about 40 cents per hand loaded 370 grain lead gas checked round. Kill anything in America.

Like has been said though, and it is true, the .44 mag will kill anything that you are going to hunt with the .454 or the .500 mag. The same is true for my .41 mag. It is all that I really need, after that, it is just more icing on the cake. Good luck.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:58 PM   #24
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We shoot about 40 rounds out of the 460 every time we go to the range, and about 100 44, and another 100 or more of 357. We always enjoy working up, then back down.
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:38 PM   #25
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This sounds ridiculous, but I'm going to say it anyway.

The idea of "once you've shot a 460/500, you'll go back to shooting your .44 Magnum all the time" is not really true.

The *IDEA* of controlling and shooting that killer big-bore round (460/500) is WAY more addicting. In fact, so much so that it'll be your big-bore gun of choice after you shoot it. The extra recoil is WORTH the feeling of managing/shooting such an awesome, powerful round.

Every time I shoot my .44 Magnum 629-6, I think about what I could be shooting.

(Welcome to my big-bore revolver addiction)
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