Thread: 480 Ruger
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Old May 6, 2013, 12:57 PM   #11
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Join Date: October 25, 2004
Location: Vinita, OK
Posts: 2,546
Comparing the .460 to the .480 is definitely an apples and oranges thing. The .460 X frames tend to be larger and heavier. (Obviously depends on what gun is chambering the .480.) I still don't own an X frame... they really are large guns and they still have that thrice cursed lock hole on the side of the frame. But moving away from the guns... the .460 does its magic with high velocity. You get a flat trajectory and consequently a longer point blank maximum range. But nothing is free... that high velocity means the gun has the type of snappy recoil that really wears you down. They are loud... really loud. Lots of cylinder and muzzle blast.

If you _need_ the advantages of the .460, nothing else can really challenge it in a revolver. But many of the old timers here have learned that most of the time you don't need that much velocity to use a revolver effectively in the field. We have drifted towards 1000 fps or so for field use. Even for .44 Magnum guns. If you are going to load to that area for comfort and utility, then the only way you can "hit something harder" is to move to a wider and heavier bullet.

To keep it simpler, let's compare it in the same gun but in different chamberings. You can get the SRH in .44 Magnum, .454, or .480. I've got a 9.5" .44 Magnum SRH and it is a sweet gun. You can load very hot, very heavy bulleted rounds just for that gun and it will handle them with ease. When you need that sort of thing, it works. I don't own a .454 but my limited range use with them is that they frigging well kick, fast and hard. They were developed to work with high velocity. If you load them that way, they let you know they went off. They also work on game but... you do pay the recoil and blast price. And then we have the .480. Ruger chose to download the .475 and market it as the milder .480. In my experience, it performs very well on deer with minimal loadings. Pick a hard cast bullet with a big flat nose and then drive it around 1000 fps. It will punch a big hole all the way through, pretty much destroying everything on the way. But without the shot meat look of a high velocity rifle.

The good news IMO is that the .480 can be used in the field in what amounts to very mild loads and do the job. Without a lot of recoil. Without a lot of blast. I personally find it more relaxing to go out and shoot than most of my .44 Magnums.

I think the designers did everything right with the round. Just somehow the marketing guys screwed it up!

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