Once was lost, but now I'm found...


July 26, 2003, 11:15 PM
So it's been a LONG time since I've wanted a wheelgun. Today I saw a specimen I really wanted and using the checklist so lovingly prepared at the top of this forum, I was able to pick out a very nice piece. I was at the Cabelas tent sale which is a mad house and was fortunate to get to talk to the factory reps from Taurus as well as Tasco (the gun's scope mfr). The taurus guy helped me alot and was a wealth of knowledge. He didn't really have any vested interest in the purchase since it was a used gun. My concern as mentioned in the accesories forum was weather or not the Tasco "cheapie" red dot site would hold up to the abuse of the gun. BTW it's a .454 Casull (Taurus Raging Bull) w/ a tasco red-dot on top. The Tasco rep was very honest and said that while it may or may not hold up very well, there's no sense replacing it until it DOES fail, which I agreed with. So I picked up some ammo, which is VERY expensive compared to the 9mm and .223 I'm used to buying, and went on my merry way, admiring the gun the whole drive home. I hope to go out and let a few rip tomorrow or Monday if I get some time.
One thing that really impressed me was that with the gun in full lockup, the wheel had the "welded to the frame" feeling that is apparently so desirable. I know that Taurus doesn't make the best guns in the world, but I've always had great luck with them and I hope to continue that streak with this one. Wish me luck! (I hope it isn't TOO painful)

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July 27, 2003, 04:57 AM
How much does a box of .454 cost? I saw a box of Cor-Bon .500 S&W at my local gunstore, they wanted $71 for a box of 50. The good thing is, you are not really going to want to shoot it enough to complain about ammo prices I guess.

Jim March
July 27, 2003, 06:18 AM
Well ya, 454 fodder is expensive. From any source.

But, that gun will also eat 45LCs.

45LC "cowboy action shooting fodder" is *usually* available in bulk at pretty much any gun show, because it's common for that particular sport. These are lead loads, 200 - 250 grains, typically doing 700 - 750fps. They will be absolute pussycats in the recoil department in a Raging Bull. A few reload sources are actually reasonably cheap (Miwall I think?). Mind you, they're...well, dirty. Usually dead-soft lead :rolleyes: and cleanup is a bit..."extra".

(Bulk reloads aren't considered a good idea by some folks, but in THIS case...you know what you call it if somebody double-charges a 45LC cowboy load? Yup. A 454 :D. I seriously doubt an accidental double of that stuff would hurt your gun. Try that in an Italian SAA clone and you'll be picking up Ubertibits or ArmiSanMarcoscrap for days :eek:.)

If you ever have a need to set that thing up for personal defense, there's a number of defensive hollowpoints in 45LC that will be perfectly appropriate. Proload takes a 230grain Gold Dot meant for 45ACP use, and loads it to 45ACP spec of about 850fps.

Winchester's 225grain Silvertip is also pretty good, Cor-Bon has a 200grain JHP pulling 1,100fps, there's a few more but those three are among the best.

All those "defense loads" are hotter than the cowboy stuff, but in THAT gun you'll still hardly feel 'em. Not a crazy choice for the wife's "go to house gun" if she can get her hands around it - just the looks of the sucker will scare the hell out of some sumbich late at night, recoil will be minimal, power will be "all that".

There's also a bunch of 45LC+P loads that are either a hair under or at 44Mag horsepower levels. They're priced almost like 454s but without quite the full "crash and boom" effect. For some types of hunting at moderate ranges compared to 454, these might be worth considering.

The same set of reloading dies handles 45LC and 454 in most cases. The latter is just a "magnumized" stretched version of the former.

Somebody out there may be doing moonclip conversions for that gun, that would allow you to fire all of the above plus 45ACP in that gun :). Several people around here have 454 Rugers (6-shot) so altered, and there's no reason it couldn't be done with a Taurus...IF anybody is making 5-shot moons for it, that is.

The other option is to reload. Which is REALLY what you oughta do for either 45LC or esp. 454.

What else...on a few recent threads, I've disparaged one "feature" of that gun - you have to release two switches to open the cylinder. I feel this is "silly" - the Rugers lock up at both ends of the cylinders too, but have an "interlink" to control both latches with one switch (at the rear). However, for the gun's mission (which isn't personal defense/combat), double release switches don't really hurt and might be a bit more positive (since the front latch has a more direct contact with the front lockup point).

Taurus probably realized that if these blew up under full-house 454, it would seriously hose their reputation in general :). So they seem to have taken extra care with 'em, and to date we've heard few complaints and I've not heard of a K'boom at all.

Last point...I'd recommend a lot of 45LC, only modest amounts of 454. NOT because I distrust the gun, but because I distrust human wrist cartilage. John Taffin was (still is) a gun magazine writer who specialized in "big boomers" for years, shot a lot of 44Mag and above, and he's basically got no wrists left. He types in all UPPERCASE online because use of the shift key hurts. I don't think anybody's been crass enough to ask what his home defense guns are these days but I would guess a high-cap 22 rifle :(. He's not the only one this has happened to. Upshot: go easy on the superheavyduty stuff, 'kay? 'Cuz you've got enough gun there to follow JT's path if you overdo it and go all macho on the resulting pain :uhoh:.

July 27, 2003, 10:15 AM
How much does a box of .454 cost?
I picked up a box of .454 Hornady 240gr XTP/MAG's for $22.00 for 20 of them. I also got a box of .45 Colt's that are PMC 250 gr flat points for $16.00 for a box of 50. Note that these are Cabelas prices so they aren't necessarily the cheapest prices in the world, but I'm willing to trade price for availability and service most times :)

JIM - Thanks for your response as well, that was very informative. I don't expect to be shooting much of the .454 through it at all. I don't want to inflict too much self-damage. I'll shoot a bit through it to get it sighted in and get used to it before hunting season starts, but the rest of the time I expect it'll be shooting the .45 colt cartridges. I've been told that the recoil isn't too terrible due to the gun being so darn HUGE, but I'm going to find out for myself just exactly how bad it is.
I agree with you on the double locks on the cylinder. It's kind of a pain but I find myself able to manipulate them with relative ease after practicing with it for a bit. Hopefully this won't be a bad thing.
I figure as far as defense loads go, just about anything that comes out of the pointy end of this piece is going to do the job, but I like your idea of lighter recoil in them, so I'm going to look into it. I'll be looking into the moonclip conversion as well. This won't damage the gun in the long run will it?
Thanks again for the input!

Jim March
July 28, 2003, 03:13 AM
A proper moonclip conversion by a good gunsmith won't hurt the gun in any fashion. The conversions being done for the Ruger 454s allow firing 45LC and 454 with or without the moons, your choice.

Mind you, I'm not certain anybody is making the large 5-shot moon clips you'd need. The Ruger is a sixgun.

I've been pondering 45LC for the Ruger Bird's-Head Vaqueros, and wanted to make sure cheap practice fodder was available. There's info on the subject to be had at www.sassnet.com under the forums...search on "cheap 45LC practice ammo" or various permutations, they run into this all the time.

Basically, it's barely possible to shoot 45LC on a moderate budget without reloading. Your choice of suppliers will be severely limited though.

What else...as far as "anything will work for defense in THAT gun", no, actually, I'd debate that point with you. The best 9mm combat fodder (115grain @1,350 expanding to .65ish) is more effective than lead round nose 45 at 750fps, in my opinion.

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