.480 self defense rounds


July 24, 2008, 04:43 PM
hello I live in an apartment and have a Ruger .480 7 1/2" bbl and that is my only gun right now.

Most of the loads I find for this caliber seem to be geared towards hunting purposes.

Which of the following would be the best for self defense against a person but would also be safe to fire in an apartment?



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July 24, 2008, 04:58 PM
Holy crap!

http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc2/images/LAUGHING%20OUT%20LOUD%2010-24-2001.gif @ that page of ammo! I looked at some of the MV/ME numbers... They really don't make light loads for .480, do they?

Well, Buffalo Bore and Grizzly are companies that stake their reputation on loading the hottest rounds that don't blow up a gun. Over 1300 ft-lbs. from a revolver -- that's kind of a hot load.:p I'd skip the BB and Grizzly for shooting indoors.

The others on the page (Cor-Bon, Hornady Custom, Federal Premium) aren't far behind. Like you said, they're for hunting or grizzly defense.

OTOH, if you hit the intruder at all, you probably won't have to worry about a followup shot. And you probably won't ever have to fire the gun -- staring down the bore of a .480 Super Redhawk has got to be a tad intimidating, even to someone who isn't afraid of a .38.:D


July 24, 2008, 05:08 PM
BTW I really like the SRH in .480. If I ever scrape together the money, and I don't have to spend it on something else, I'd love to get one. If you're going to have just one revolver, that's a damn good choice!

July 24, 2008, 05:14 PM
I think you'd be insane to use that for s/d in an apartment. That round would go clear into the next building. Not to mention you'd be deaf for the rest of your life.

July 24, 2008, 05:14 PM
be safe to fire in an apartment?None of the above!


July 24, 2008, 05:14 PM
I think i've pretty much decided to either go with Speer or Cor-bon.

Any thoughts?


July 24, 2008, 08:44 PM
Is this thread a joke?

Trust me, any commercial loading of 480 Ruger is more than adequate to take care of anything on four legs in North America, much less two.

Apartment house use is not recommended.

If you reload, you can make it as tame as you want, which reloading is highly recommended for this caliber or going broke is the other option.

BTW, the 480 Ruger reaches it's full potential and is just about in a class by itself with a 400gr bullet of which I don't think a commercial loading is available. I used to have a Raging Bull in 480. Great gun!!!, but extended range sessions was not its forte.

July 24, 2008, 09:28 PM
I think it's a tad hot for home defense. But if that is all you have, go for it. Buy the lightest loads you can find. I have one and use it for hunting only.

July 24, 2008, 10:44 PM
If could get a reloading single stage setup, couldn't you load the round with lets say a 300 grain or lighter JHP that would travel a velocity of 1000fps. Be a hell of a home-defender but it'd still overpenetrate like a nightmare, maybe even load it down to a 800fps with a grain weight that high. Plus load down ought to make it like a weak kitten to fire. I thought about such an idea for the S&W .500 magnum when I was bent on getting the snub-nose for it. Now I'm swinging to the .460 magnum because I could then at least load it for 45LC for home defense or get it drilled out to be able to fire .45ACP out of it. Good luck.

July 24, 2008, 10:56 PM
I think I would handload that with .480 soft lead roundballs (made for .50 muzzle-loaders, roughly 180 grains) and enough moderately-fast powder to get you 1000 to 1100-ish f.p.s. Any commercial ammo is gonna be loaded way too hot.

July 25, 2008, 05:24 AM
Id go with the Gold Dot you have listed there. Hopefully the relatively light weight (lol) and high velocity will make it mushroom a lot and reduce penetration.

July 25, 2008, 08:08 PM
I daily carry a 44 magnum for personal protection, and use it a night for home defense. It really is the load, not the gun. When I went through my decision making process, I saw two options. First is a light weight hollow point at the top speed it will go. Not any more penetration thant a 38, but a whole lot more destruction. Second option was to use very mild bullets with a huge metplat. Speed around 800 to 1000 feet per second. Neither were available as factory loads, although there were some 180 grain hollow points on the market that were almost fast enough to cause the bullet to fail, and not penetrate too far.

If I were you, I would consider those two options. A 400 grain bullet with a really wide nose at a low speed, say 800 feet per second, would be formidable, and probably penetrate no more than .45 ball. I would worry more about 9mm ball. It over penetrates a lot worse than people think.

August 30, 2008, 11:27 AM
I have a 7.5" SRH. There are MUCH better tools for HD, but if that was my only choice..... The Barnes 275s loaded down to a reasonable velocity would be about the only way to go IMHO

August 31, 2008, 01:13 PM

I think you are making a terrible mistake from both a self defence viewpoint and a legal liability viewpoint.

These rounds can greatly overpentrate. They also have very heavy recoil. You are taking a chance of not being able to engage a second target if needed and either going bankrupt or landing in jail for negligence.

You could avoid both problems buy spending the money for better defence gun and usable ammo.

Four hundred for a STOEGER Cougar 8000 and REMINGTON hollow point from WALMART is A LOT CHEAPER THAN THE COST OF A DEFENCE LAWYER.

If you handload, then come up with an 800 fps load with a 300 grain bullet. That would equal or exceed the old .45 Long Colt load and it was known for stopping power.


September 1, 2008, 12:54 AM
be safe to fire in an apartment?
None of the above!

Well, that says it all...

September 1, 2008, 10:07 AM
Kudos:D to your apartment landlord for letting you shoot a 480 there.

September 1, 2008, 01:13 PM

IMHO, you've been given the best advice by those who suggest getting something far more appropriate for a self defence situation in an apartment. Perhaps a Taurus Judge, which combines a .410 shotshell capability with .45 Colt. And load the Colt ammo way down too.

The Cougar is an excellent suggestion also, given that the first couple out the spout be Glaser Safety Slugs, or other non-penetrator.

And by the way, y'all were aware that the .480 Ruger is the little brother round for those who can't handle the .475 Linebaugh, right?


September 28, 2008, 01:34 PM
It shoots through schools...

September 29, 2008, 10:32 AM
I have a SRH in 480...there's no good in home self defense load. Period.
Any factory load will penetrate way too much.

I handload and if I wanted a self defense load I'd pick the 275 gr Gold Dot and load it to around 1000fps.

475 bullets typically have a tough jacket and the lighter Gold Dots will probably be best at expanding. Any other bullet would be designed for hunting and higher velocities.

September 29, 2008, 11:55 AM
FWIW, I saw this load 275 Grain Barnes XPB completely penetrate an 8" diameter maple tree that the target was tacked to.

I don't think I'd engage a soft, thin-skinned human at contact distance with that.

CSA 357
September 29, 2008, 03:42 PM

September 29, 2008, 04:00 PM
There are reasons G_d made the .44 Special and .45ACP.

There is a wider world beyond your horizon Grasshopper. . . .;)

September 30, 2008, 02:45 PM
It really doesn't matter what bullet weight or type you us in the gun. The only safe way to use this gun for home defense is as a club. Just threw the loaded gun at the intruder.
Why would someone make their first hand gun purchase a .480? You could have gotten a .357 and shot .38 loads out of it for home defense. Do you plan on hunting with this gun? If so use if for that and get a bat or a dog for home defense. Cause if you ever use this thing for home defense the press is going to have a field day with it. Which will make every gun owners life more of a living He77. Please rethink using this for home defense and us it for what it was designed for.

September 30, 2008, 03:07 PM
Why would someone make their first hand gun purchase a .480?

It must have been a hunting decision, not a home defense consideration.

September 30, 2008, 03:22 PM
This thread is hilarious.

Last ditch, use what you have. Shoot anything you want out of it, the bullet will go through a badguy, the wall, the car outside, into the building across the street, etc.

And I was worried about loading my 4" Model 66 with 158gr gold dots...

September 30, 2008, 03:25 PM
Trust me, any commercial loading of 480 Ruger is more than adequate to take care of anything on four legs in North America, much less two.

I think you are missing the authors point... I'm pretty sure he is aware that any 480 load can kill an intruder. He is likely concerned that the gun is overkill, not underkill.

If it is your only gun, I would use a faster, lighter expanding load. That way it expands rapidly, disburses energy quickly, and penetrates less. The DPX 275gr comes to mind.

Just make sure you don't miss.

Honestly, at $60 per 20 rounds, you could just invest in a decent, used 9mm or similar. The money you save on ammo will easily pay for the gun over time.

September 30, 2008, 07:59 PM
Load some shot shells for it:uhoh:

September 30, 2008, 08:06 PM
Blanks? Be sure to have a fire extinguisher handy.

September 30, 2008, 08:18 PM
The .480 is perfect for defending the brick apartment across the street through the wall from your couch.

September 30, 2008, 08:19 PM
Seriously, 275 grainer at 750-850 fps.

Fat Boy
September 30, 2008, 08:29 PM
Really a scary idea....for a lot of reasons

September 30, 2008, 08:36 PM
given the price of the ammo online, forgo buying a few boxes and buy a used k frame. you'd only have to not buy 3 or 4 boxes.

Chuck Perry
September 30, 2008, 09:39 PM
If the 480 is your only option, buy a Lee reloading set-up and make the ammo you need. Something around 300 grains moving under 900fps ought to be fine. Yes, it will possibly penetrate the walls of your apartment. So might a 9mm,40SW, etc. With some experimentation you should find a load that does just what you need. Revolvers, more so than semi-autos, are very forgiving of light loads. No need to cycle a slide, so long as the bullet exits the muzzle you're ok! Heck, a 300 grain cast bullet at 700fps ought to make a very fine hole at the short distances you are envisioning.

September 30, 2008, 09:52 PM
Just stuff it with blanks. Each one would be like it's own little flash/bang grenade!

September 30, 2008, 09:56 PM
"480" and "being safe in an apartment" don't belong in the same thread, much less the same sentence.

October 1, 2008, 06:09 AM
Sell it and buy a S&W model 10 for the apartment and a Taurus .454 for whatever you use the .480 round for.

October 1, 2008, 07:46 AM
Heck, a 300 grain cast bullet at 700fps ought to make a very fine hole at the short distances you are envisioning.


Pistol Toter
October 1, 2008, 08:12 AM
I needed a good laugh this morning. :D Geesh!! A .480?? :what: Good Greif, Charlie Brown. Way Way Way too much gun. :banghead:

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