Shooting the .454, my thoughts.


July 29, 2003, 08:07 PM
I had some time this afternoon so I ran out to my buddy's house to shoot my new Taurus .454 Casull. He has one identical to mine so I had him go first since I was a bit nervous about the whole thing.
The first time he touched one off, I was standing about 6 feet behind him and the shockwave was incredible. I was honestly stunned! We started out shooting at the 100 yard swingers and he was nailing them easily.
Then it was my turn. I was very nervous on the first shot and missed the swingers. The recoil was alot heavier than anything I've ever shot, but not nearly as bad as I was afraid of. After that I was able to loosen up and really aim and enjoy the gun. I was able to nail the swingers easily after that. My second shot something came flying back at me and I almost crapped myself, thinking it was part of the gun! When it hit me, I was thinking to myself, "Well, that wasn't nearly as paintful as I would have expected." It turns out that it was the front shade from my red dot scope. It had snapped off under the recoil.
We reloaded and decided to go for the 200 yard swingers this time. After my first shot, I was hitting them too! I have to say that I'm impressed with this ability in a handgun. For the record, we were shooting from a bench in single action. No one-handed standing trick-shooting here :)
I had taken some .45 Colt's out there too, just to mess with and didn't even open the box. I was just too thrilled by the .454's to mess with the small stuff.
Now for the bad part! I walked into the shop to look at the guns and was unable to conjure any real emotional want for the "regular" handguns on display. All I could think of was the step down I'd be making if I were to get one. The best I can hope for at this point is to buy another .454 and wear them both like John Woo!
At any rate, I just wanted to share my excitement! Thanks for listening.

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July 29, 2003, 11:00 PM
I have a Ruger SRH in .454. Now that I have3 gotten used to the recoil I think it is one of the most fun to shoot guns I own. Something about raw power!

July 29, 2003, 11:03 PM
I have a Ruger SRH in .454. Now that I have3 gotten used to the recoil I think it is one of the most fun to shoot guns I own. Something about raw power!

I have one on layaway right now and cannot wait to pick it up!

July 29, 2003, 11:52 PM
My buddy bought the SRH. He was flinching so bad, he shot the skyscreens of his chrono.
To me, it was bad, but I could handle it for maybe 20 rounds.
I will get one at some point. I am sure if you own one and shoot it on a regular basis, you get used to it. I am not one to shy away from recoil. I shoot plenty of monster .44 Mag and .45 Colt loads, but this is in a different league. The first thing I had to do was re-evaluate my grip after having my knuckles all but crushed on the first two shots. Things got a lot better after that.

July 30, 2003, 10:23 AM
Yeah, grip is very important on this beast. My first shot I flinched from anticipation, but after that I was fine. My buddy did have me try some really hot loads and those stung my thumb webbing pretty good, but still manageable.
schapman43 - You are going to absolutely love it! Let me know how you like it when you get it. I know it's changed my outlook on handguns forever, makes it real hard to look at "normal" caliber guns now.

July 30, 2003, 10:42 AM
I too have a Raging Bull in 454 Casull. It is one of the most accurate handguns I own. They are very underated by alot of people. Mine is very well built and has functioned perfectly. Mine has the 6 1/2 in barrel and is blued. I now want the 5in barrel in stainless.

July 30, 2003, 12:53 PM
Shooting magnum power is great and addictive (to some like myself). Had the funniest event when I let a friend shoot my FA .454C for the first time. After watching me and another friend shoot a cylinder full, he got up to shoot it. He wasn't holding the good correctly and had the corner of the grip in the pocket of the palm of his weak hand (two hand hold). First round dug into his hand pretty good. After that, he had developed an incredible flinch that he could not hit the cardboard target (~18" square) from a distance of about 25'. He was taking out HUGE divots out of the ground around the target though.

Now for the bad part! I walked into the shop to look at the guns and was unable to conjure any real emotional want for the "regular" handguns on display. All I could think of was the step down I'd be making if I were to get one.

Unfortunately, for magnum power, the cost of shooting skyrockets. Once you realize this (particularly if you don't reload), you'll be soon back to the pedestrian calibers.

July 30, 2003, 12:54 PM
Wow. Those are some short guns! Mine is the stainless with an 8 3/8" barrel. Huge gun, and I'd like to be able to CCW with it! hehe.. probably won't work well, but it would be cool.

July 30, 2003, 01:01 PM
Unfortunately, for magnum power, the cost of shooting skyrockets. Once you realize this (particularly if you don't reload), you'll be soon back to the pedestrian calibers.

This is true. My buddy does the reloading for me and that cuts costs a bit. But I still don't see it being so prohibitive that I wouldn't be able to shoot it. Besides, there's always the .45 colt option, right? The downside to that is the heavy cleaning required after shooting the Colt rounds due to the disparity in cartridge length. My local dealer has a used .357 wheelgun that I might be interested in for a carry gun, even if it is just a tiny thing.

July 31, 2003, 12:42 AM
I shot a Ruger in 454 casull last year. It was an absolute pussycat shooting 45 LC from it, it became almost boring! When we moved up to the factory 454's, the fun began! :D That is a FUN round to shoot! I'd love to try a cylinder worth of full strength handloads :eek:

July 31, 2003, 12:58 AM
I am a handgun hunter and bought the 454 SRH because the 454 is very flat shooting. It is capable of hitting anything within the range I am able to see with very little drop, which means I don't have to calibrate too much drop into my sighting. It also has enough power to kill at distances farther than I'm able to shoot reliably. Great cartridge. For ultimate accuracy, the Freedom Arms is probably the best, but costs a bunch.

July 31, 2003, 08:13 AM
I have a 454 Casull in a Freedom Arms P. Grade. I absolutely love this gun. The first group that I ever shot at 100 yards with it scoped was under 1.5" with 5 shots. Three of the five shots were in one hole, The other two were what opened it up to what it was. Accuracy on the 454 cartridge is great and surprising. I shot two large does last year with mine at 65 yards and 110 yards. I was using open sights on the 65, she flipped over and never moved. I had a 2x Leupold on it when I shot the doe at 110. She was sort of downhill and slightly facing me. The bullet entered her left front brisket and exited the rear of the right hindquarter. Full body penetration. She never took a step either. My favorite hunting load for jacketed bullets is the 300 grain XTP "magnum version" over 32 grains of W296. From my 7.5" barrel, I get 1600 fps. This is the load I used last year. For plinking and sillouette, I like a cheap $35/1000 255 grain SWC over 10.5-11 grain of 231. This out of my gun gives 1140-1200 fps depending on the charge and shoots one hole groups with open sights at 50 yards. Pleasure to shoot and will knock the rams down at 220 yards. Glad you like your leads to others though....475 Linebaugh....500 Linebaugh...shall I go on? GS

July 31, 2003, 09:45 AM
Speaking of the Taurus Raging Bull, is there any speedlaoders availbile for it? Or even those 'moon clip' things? For the .454 that is.

August 1, 2003, 09:19 AM
I haven't seen any speedloaders that are designed for the raging bull. HKS makes one that might work, but I would call them before I ordered it. I see information regarding people who have the 454 and make mention of a speedloader, but they don't mention where it came from.
As far as moonclips, I haven't seen anything there either. I figure that since it already shoots those little .45 colts, there isn't much need for anything smaller. However, sometimes I think that it would be good for home defense to have it loaded with .45 ACP, but then I figure that if I ever need it for that reason, the whole town is going to know what's going on the first time I pull the trigger.

Jim March
August 1, 2003, 11:35 AM
The *Ruger* 454 can eat out of any S&W N-Frame 44 speedloader. But that's a sixgun, don't know who's making a big five-shooter speedloader.

You could make one out of a block of wood. Hrmmm...lemme see if I can do a blueprint:

Waddya think?

August 2, 2003, 10:51 AM
I have a 7.5" SRH .454, it was my 'first' DA revolver. I bought it due to the engineering (design and materials selection), ergonomics, source (American made), price (cheaper than the Taurus), and because it wasn't ported. Did I mention it is also a six-shooter? The major planned diet for it was .45 Colt. It has fired ~360 .454's now - thousands of .45 Colts. I 'improved' it with spring changes... then went back to OEM for reliability. I added a Weaver H2 2X28mm handgun scope.

My first shot was from a rest - and too close to the table's surface. I pinched/bruised my left hand's heel between the grip bottom and the table. A quick learner, that never happened again. I did have trouble with early lots of Hornady and MagTech ammo sticking in the cylinder. That has never recurred. The scope slipped in the rings the first time - a dab of rubber cement and more torque cured that. I produced 1.5" groups at 45yd indoors... left the sound deadening smoldering (Helluva forcing cone & muzzle flash!). I can beat 2.5" at 100yd regularly, and I am not a marksman. The .45 Colt groups are far larger - ~5-6".

I have since discovered S&W DA revolvers. I love my .44's and .45's - but that .454 is a real keeper. The SRH looks different - yet is well behaved. The ergonomics are such that RB owners remark about the low recoil of the SRH - and their RB is ported! I love the SRH - would never consider a Taurus RB, although I am glad they sell well... it keeps Ruger 'competitive'!


PS The HKS 25 (Thicker slots for .45 Auto Rim) and 25-5 speedloaders will work with the SRH (and the 625 MG, and the 629 MG, and the M24, etc!) and either .454's or .45 Colts. Scoped holsters are huge, of course.

Double Maduro
August 2, 2003, 02:09 PM
I was at an indoor range a couple months ago with a friend. We were shooting .22' and .45's. There were some people down the line practicing double taps with a 9mm of some kind.

All of a sudden I got hit with the shock wave from someones .454. I had good hearing protection so I actually felt the shockwave more than heard the shots and this guy was 4 or 5 lanes over. It was so unpleasant that after he fired 4 or 5 rounds everyone else had left.

This is not a gun for an indoor range, LOL


August 2, 2003, 06:28 PM
First time I was introduced to a Freedom Arms revolver, I was shooting at an indoor range with a friend. The range allowed full auto and someone near the end was shooting what I though was a sug machinegun doing three round bursts. As I mae my way down there to see, I was surprised he was shooting a SA revolver. After he finished off a cylinder, we talked about what he was shooting. It was a FA (pre-Model 83 designation) revolver. It had cylinders for .454C, .45LC, and .45ACP, but he was shooting .45LC at the time. He had loaded the .45LC to the lower to mid power range of .454C. The sound from the enormous blast was so great that it was reverberating between the walls and it had fooled me into thinking he was shooting a subgun.

What I found most interesting was the quality build of the gun and how the overloaded .45LCs were just falling out of the cylinder without, most times, any aid from the ejector. He let me try a couple or four rounds and I couldn't hit the target 20 feet away. The gun gave me an incredible flinch. I was hooked, the recoil was impressive, the gun was beautiful, just had to work on the hitting the target part.

August 4, 2003, 03:09 AM
Hey, big bore affectionados,

You've convinced me to go ahead and purchase a .454, in my case, the Ruger Super Redhawk (it will go great along side my 10ga short barrel SxS).

I'm familiar with the available top end commercial loads. My question is: How do you shooters/reloaders feel about Buffalo Bore coming out with a .454 "Anti-Personnel" load - 225gr @1300fps - producing 844 ft. lbs. of energy? A nice alternative or is the .45 Colt cartridge more practical for a home defense round? Thanks for your comments.


Jim March
August 4, 2003, 03:45 AM
Huh. That's an interesting idea.

Do they say which projectile they were using? If it was my choice, I'd go with the 230grain Gold Dot, as it tends to resist "overspeed problems".

Too many JHPs come unglued at high speed...the nosecone expands, but then shreds and it drops back to close to the original caliber, minus maybe 20% - 30% of the original projectile weight. The fragments flake back along the wound channel rather than being "thrown forward" and doing more wounding in a "frangible fashion".

August 4, 2003, 09:49 AM
I feel that 'big and slow' are better choices for personal protection - especially indoors. The sound of a supersonic round, whether a 9mm ball, .357 mag, etc, in an enclosed space (small room) will at least temporarily deafen you. The blast in a dark room may at least temporarily blind you. I think that a 250gr RNFP 'Cowboy' load would be a great 'stopper' - and likely wouldn't exit your walls to injure/kill a neighbor. Now, if you are considering marauding pachyderms, keep it loaded to the hilt!

I keep CCI Blazer 200gr Speer Gold Dot ammo in my .44 S&W Special chambered revolvers for self defense. At 800-875 fps, they open up quite well and are excellent for that use. I haven't seen the Blazers in .45 Colt in some time, but I think they employed a very similar bullet. Those .44's are frugal - and available at a local sports chain for $13/50.


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