Redhawk .44 or .454?


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Fmjblack
February 17, 2011, 01:42 PM
I'm in the market for a .44 mag or .454 casull redhawk but each has pros/cons for me. The pros for the .454 are that I already reload for .45 colt and I have a .45 colt lever action, so I can share ammo with a revolver if I buy the .454. At over a dollar a round it will take a while to build up a supply of brass for reloading for .454, and honestly I would probably shoot .45 colt in it most of the time... which would kind of defeat the purpose of buying an overbuilt revolver like the redhawk (unless I'm loading really hot .45 colt loads).
Another factor is that I have shot .44 magnum revolvers before, but have never tried .454 and don't know anybody who owns one to try. I loved shooting .44 mag and the recoil didn't bother me at all. I've heard people say .454 kicks twice as hard and others say it feels about the same as .44 mag... If I do get a .44 mag my dad may trade his .44 mag lever action for my .45 colt lever action, so I could still end up with a shared caliber but would need to buy new reloading equipment for .44.
My primary use will be target shooting with hunting being a possibility in the future. For this reason I'm leaning more towards the .44 mag and it's readily available and cheaper ammo (which won't be as much of a factor after I accumulate enough brass to reload).
Are there any factors I'm not considering in comparing these two? Thanks in advance for any constructive input.

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bergmen
February 17, 2011, 01:53 PM
I also have .45 Colt in both revolver (Ruger Bisley) and rifle (Marlin 94) and have reloaded for these for years.

I have a .454 Casull on order from Freedom Arms. I have already bought 100 pieces of Hornady brass and two boxes of XTP-Mag bullets and as soon as I get a set of dies I'll be ready to load for this cannon.

The revolver is seven weeks away so I still have some time. I ordered a separate .45 Colt cylinder for it so I wouldn't crud up the .454 cylinder with the .45 Colt rounds.

I also plan to shoot mostly .45 Colt through this revolver but wanted the .454 to go to the next level.

Personally, I've never been much of a .44 magnum fan, but that's just me. I dearly love the .45 Colt as a handgun caliber and have loaded for it since the early 1990's.

Dan

flipajig
February 17, 2011, 02:01 PM
I fell in love with the 44mag 30 years ago I now have 3 of them SBH,Wincester M94 and a super 14 Thompson Contender. I have never cared for a 45 and I agree with a shared caliber.

gamestalker
February 17, 2011, 02:49 PM
I've wanted a 454 ever since Freedom Arms introduced it back in the 1990s. But due to the lack of the absence of hand loading data and contravesial components for such I'm sticking with the 44 mag. When Freedon Arms introduced the 454 I was working in a gun shop and watched the video they sent to us. It showed a handgun that was delivering a 2000 fps. projectile. That made me want one. But recently I did some research on hand loading for one because I was going to buy one and handload for it. My finding were nothing that reflected what Freedon Arms portrayed in that video, and the load data is uncertain at best. 44 mag. offers plenty of load options that has been very well established. I don't want to have a 454 if all I can find to load for it is 45 L.C.. I want to load the full house type of loads F.A. made claim to.

redactor
February 17, 2011, 05:31 PM
I've wanted a 454 ever since Freedom Arms introduced it back in the 1990s. But due to the lack of the absence of hand loading data and contravesial components for such I'm sticking with the 44 mag. When Freedon Arms introduced the 454 I was working in a gun shop and watched the video they sent to us. It showed a handgun that was delivering a 2000 fps. projectile. That made me want one. But recently I did some research on hand loading for one because I was going to buy one and handload for it. My finding were nothing that reflected what Freedon Arms portrayed in that video, and the load data is uncertain at best. 44 mag. offers plenty of load options that has been very well established. I don't want to have a 454 if all I can find to load for it is 45 L.C.. I want to load the full house type of loads F.A. made claim to.

I am not sure what you mean by "uncertain" load data. Most of the load manuals that I own have data for the 454, and they are from the usual reputable companies.

bergmen
February 17, 2011, 06:01 PM
I am not sure what you mean by "uncertain" load data. Most of the load manuals that I own have data for the 454, and they are from the usual reputable companies.
I have found the same thing. Way more loads than I am interested in trying, no shortage there at all. In fact, there is more load data for the .454 Casull than there is for the .45 Colt for Rugers.

Dan

lloveless
February 18, 2011, 02:25 AM
I don't believe the Redhawk is made in .454. The Super Redhawk is. The difference is in shape and trigger. Personally I have a .44 mag in the Redhawk 4 inch barrel for ease of carry when bumming in Griz country. I also know of several people who have had wrist surgery due to shooting the .454.
ll

Fmjblack
February 18, 2011, 10:04 AM
I don't believe the Redhawk is made in .454. The Super Redhawk is. The difference is in shape and trigger. Personally I have a .44 mag in the Redhawk 4 inch barrel for ease of carry when bumming in Griz country. I also know of several people who have had wrist surgery due to shooting the .454.
ll
You're right. The redhawk is .44 mag or .45 colt and the super is .44 mag or .454 casull. I realize this and should have been more specific in my title and said redhawk/super redhawk. I find myself leaning more towards the .44 mag because even if I end up hunting with this revolver, nothing in the area where I live would need a .454 to be taken down. If I only end up shooting .45 colt through it I might as well get a smaller and lighter revolver than the redhawk/super redhawk.

CraigC
February 18, 2011, 10:22 AM
Make no mistake, with full loads the .454 will have significantly more recoil than the .44Mag. That said, there's not much reason for it, IMHO. I can do everything I need doing with the .44Mag. From light plinking loads to moderate general purpose loads to 355gr monster mashers. The velocity you gain from the .454 serves mostly to flatten trajectory and there are not many sixgunners who need to be shooting at game at 150yds.

SlamFire1
February 18, 2011, 10:50 AM
I dislike recoil. I don't shoot my 44 Mag's that much anymore because I got tired of being beat up. And from what I have seen, a 44 Mag recoils a lot less than a 454 Casull.

So, do you like recoil?

If you do, go for the 454.

svtruth
February 18, 2011, 11:50 AM
I've got a SRH and little pipestem wrists, it is not bad. Admittedly, I haven't shot anything heavier than 260 grains, and only factory ammo. A hot 300-350 grain might be a different story.
Actually I plan to get a Blackhawk in .45 for hot .45 loads. People who have much more experience than I claim that shooting .45s in the .454 chamber results in flame cutting a ring in the chamber, then the .454 fireforms the brass into this annulus, resulting in sticky extraction.

bergmen
February 18, 2011, 12:03 PM
I've got a SRH and little pipestem wrists, it is not bad. Admittedly, I haven't shot anything heavier than 260 grains, and only factory ammo. A hot 300-350 grain might be a different story.
Actually I plan to get a Blackhawk in .45 for hot .45 loads. People who have much more experience than I claim that shooting .45s in the .454 chamber results in flame cutting a ring in the chamber, then the .454 fireforms the brass into this annulus, resulting in sticky extraction.
This is exactly why I ordered a .45 Colt cylinder with my .454 Casull in the FA that is on order right now. I had read of chamber erosion while shooting hot .45 Colt loads in the .454 cylinder and decided not to risk damaging it.

Even though I ordered the .454, I will probably shoot .45 Colt 90+% of the time. In the .454 I will start with the starting loads and work up (if desired). The .454 just gives an added dimension, I have no need for max load ballistics for hunting or anything.

I have been handloading .45 Colt for Ruger Blackhawks for 20 years or so. It is the most fun, most satisfying wheel gun shooting I have experienced. My two sons have .45 Colt Blackhawks as well and we enjoy producing flamethrowers as a family project.

It's all good.

Dan

george d dennis
February 18, 2011, 12:17 PM
i have a redhawk in .44 and love it.

highlander 5
February 18, 2011, 12:27 PM
I have a SRH in 454,bought it used and it had been Mag Na Ported by the previous owner and I can tell you that this is a serious handgun. Recoil is substanial but not uncontrolibel.
I do handload for it and so far the only bullet that won't work is a 320 gr cast bullet from LBT. The bullet was made for 45 Colt and when loaded to the crimp grove it's too long for the cylinder by .050". I wouldn't worry about flame cutting in the SRH as the SS is a high tensile alloy made specialy for Ruger and every handgun they make is designed like an Abrams tank. The other thing I can tell you is the trigger is awful,but I hope to get that fixxed soon.

sideways
February 18, 2011, 04:53 PM
I had the Super with 9" or 91/2" whatever it was in the 454 and let me tell even with that big ole horse pistol that dude was still a handful, too much for me to be accurate with after the first shot. I could shoot a 44mag all day in that platform but the 454 was too much for me.:eek:

Fmjblack
February 20, 2011, 01:06 AM
Well, I picked up my new Super Redhawk .44 magnum today! I dropped $35 on a box of .44 mag at Bass Pro so I can test it out at the range tomorrow but I'll be shopping around online for better prices so I can build up my brass supply and start reloading for .44 mag :D

Magnumite
February 20, 2011, 02:46 AM
"People who have much more experience than I claim that shooting .45s in the .454 chamber results in flame cutting a ring in the chamber, then the .454 fireforms the brass into this annulus, resulting in sticky extraction."

If this is the case, the 45 loads being fired are hot loads. If driving loads into higher pressure ranges, just use the 454 brass. The loads don't have to be full bore loads. I identify my 44 Mag loads by the headstamp of the brass. I can differentiate 6 different loads just from the combination of the headstamp and the type of bullet.

Glennster
February 20, 2011, 07:22 AM
Go Dirty Harry!

bergmen
February 20, 2011, 12:29 PM
"People who have much more experience than I claim that shooting .45s in the .454 chamber results in flame cutting a ring in the chamber, then the .454 fireforms the brass into this annulus, resulting in sticky extraction."

If this is the case, the 45 loads being fired are hot loads. If driving loads into higher pressure ranges, just use the 454 brass. The loads don't have to be full bore loads. I identify my 44 Mag loads by the headstamp of the brass. I can differentiate 6 different loads just from the combination of the headstamp and the type of bullet.
Well, the loading data I have from Freedom Arms for the .454 Casull recommends not loading below the starting loads with slow burning powders. That is 36.0 grains of H110 under a 240 grain JHP. My loads for the .45 Colt range from 23.0-25.0 grains of the same powder. That is a huge difference.

These are max loads for the Ruger Blackhawk and my favorite "hot" load in that gun.

I ordered a .45 Colt cylinder so I could shoot those loads and not damage the .454 cylinder. The .45 Colt loads will be run through this revolver far more than the .454 loads, hence the two cylinders.

Dan

svtruth
February 20, 2011, 12:48 PM
I like the idea of two cylinders. I am thinking about a Blackhawk in .45lc and a levergun to match. .45s at 1000fps out of my carbine feel like .22.

Big Kid
February 20, 2011, 04:42 PM
I have the 454 super and 44, the 454 seldom leaves the case for anything more than cleaning and maintanence. 44 in my opinion is the way to go, if your just wanting a canon go with a 460, oddly enough the 454 ammo out of the 460 seems to produce more muzzle flip than the 460 rounds themselves. though I'm sure that has to do with the compensator more than anything else.

bergmen
February 20, 2011, 09:41 PM
I like the idea of two cylinders. I am thinking about a Blackhawk in .45lc and a levergun to match. .45s at 1000fps out of my carbine feel like .22.
I have a Marlin Model 94 to go with my Ruger Bisley in .45 Colt. They make a fantastic pair and are one heck of a lot of fun:

http://inlinethumb27.webshots.com/42842/2920707820053667879S600x600Q85.jpg

http://inlinethumb48.webshots.com/8815/2320516050053667879S600x600Q85.jpg

Mine has a round barrel vs. the octagon barrel shown here. Otherwise the rest is the same.

Dan

460Kodiak
February 20, 2011, 11:49 PM
I've shot my buddy's 44 Super Redhawk, and the kick wasn't that bad. I decided I wanted a hand cannon and debated the SRH in 454. I finally decided to go real big and get a S&W 460V. That's the 5" barreled version. I love it. It is by far my favorite gun I own, and it shoots 45 Colt, 454, and 460 Magnums.

454 is about 1.5x the kick of a 44, and 460 is about twice the kick of a 44. Honestly, if you can spare the money, go with a 460. Then you can shoot all the 45 caliber loads of different strength you want. You could kill a deer with it............ or a Buick if you need to. LOL The XVR's are nice. I love my 460V so much , honestly, I'd buy another one if I had the money. It's about the most versatile revolver you can buy. The only down side is they are big and heavy. If you are a smaller guy, it may be a tad large for you. Just my opinion. I hope it helps.

DammitBoy
February 21, 2011, 12:01 AM
the best of both worlds;

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2672/4136458368_23445b6cba_z.jpg?zz=1
Rossi puma in .454 stainless carbine 16" barrel

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3546/3363314127_23883c4a57_m.jpg
Ruger Alaskan .454 stainless

You can run both 45 longcolt and .454 depending on how much mule you want in your gun. I think they are the perfect 2 gun backpacking combo.

Magnumite
February 21, 2011, 07:20 AM
Gotcha there, bergman. Your load selection is why you are using the extra 45 Colt cylinder and not the 454 cylinder. Did you consider any other powders or is H110 a favorite you like to use? Just curious.

bergmen
February 21, 2011, 12:25 PM
Gotcha there, bergman. Your load selection is why you are using the extra 45 Colt cylinder and not the 454 cylinder. Did you consider any other powders or is H110 a favorite you like to use? Just curious.
I have boiled down my powder choices for all of my handgun calibers to two powders - W231 and W296.

W231 is close to Hodgdon HP-38 and W296 is basically equivalent to H110.

Using W231 & W296 for the .45 Colt I can run the entire range from soft loads using hard cast or copper plated bullets intended for ancient guns to the top performance rounds using modern JHP bullets.

Thankfully, the bullet manufacturers have stepped up to the plate and offer a wide range of excellent high performance bullets for heavy .45 caliber loads.

Dan

Magnumite
February 22, 2011, 06:47 AM
Good powder selectons. I use basically 5 powders for 44 Mag:
Bullseye, Unique, Blue Dot, 2400 and H110. Favorite applications for each given a bullet and power need. Even 4227 gets a nod once in awhile.

But that was from years of experience with what was probably my most frequently shot round. I've checked out the heavy 45C and 454 loads in the manuals because I've been tossing around purchasing 454 Casull in a Super Redhawk or FA. So you're post got my interest. Another approach to look at.

bergmen
February 22, 2011, 11:05 AM
the best of both worlds;

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2672/4136458368_23445b6cba_z.jpg?zz=1
Rossi puma in .454 stainless carbine 16" barrel

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3546/3363314127_23883c4a57_m.jpg
Ruger Alaskan .454 stainless

You can run both 45 longcolt and .454 depending on how much mule you want in your gun. I think they are the perfect 2 gun backpacking combo.
What an excellent combination! I'll bet the Alaskan is a little "bucky" with the big loads.

How do you like your Rossi?

Dan

DammitBoy
February 22, 2011, 11:27 AM
I love the Rossi, and believe it or not - the felt recoil is about the same between the two, especially with hotter loads. I absolutely love the hi-vis sights on the rossi - I can actually see again! (without the help of glasses) I was worried about the fit and finish on the rossi (I had to order it online) but was very, very pleased with the carbine I received. I do wish the lever action opening was bigger - like a john wayne loop.

The Alaskan will make the palm of your hand numb (six hours of numb), but that awesome hogue grip absorbs the worst of it. The design kinda forces the recoil to push back against you, instead of creating muzzle flip. I don't know how they did it, but it works.

I've found that a decent pair of shooting gloves helps tremendously. I use regular cowboy loads in 45 longcolt for practice - so I'm not worried about hurting either firearm.

Although, I have to say that I find it difficult to believe that much of anything could hurt either gun. They are built solid.

InkEd
February 22, 2011, 10:22 PM
I like the 44magnum. It's easier to find ammo.

DammitBoy
February 23, 2011, 12:01 AM
I just click on .454 ammo on the midway site instead of 44 magnum - it's actually the same amount of effort...

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