Is the .480 Ruger dead or on life support?


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Owen Sparks
October 18, 2011, 11:10 PM
Gentlemen, I bought a Rossi Puma rifle chambered in .480 Ruger 7 or 8 years back and traded it off because of reliability issues. I figured that I would get another carbine in .480 because I really like the round but alas, it seems like nobody else is interested in the .480.

The .480 will do everything that the .44 Magnum will do with an extra 75 to 100 grains of bullet weight. I was loading 400 grain XTP's and getting about the same velocity as 300 grain .44 XTP's out of a similar 20" lever action repeater. Overall loaded cartridge length is the same and both rifles held 10 shots.

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DWFan
October 18, 2011, 11:48 PM
The question has become, "What will it do that the .454 Casull & .460 and .500 S&W won't?". The Redhawk/Super Redhawk has never been one of Ruger's best sellers in any caliber and going to an "odd size" cartridge doesn't help.

CraigC
October 19, 2011, 08:01 AM
Fact is, the .480 was never given much of a chance. It is really a wonderful cartridge and a more usable "over .45" than the .500S&W. It operates at 48,000psi, which is a very generous operating range and only 2000psi below the mighty .475Linebaugh, which is really the one by which all others are judged. With that generous operating range, the .480 launches lighter 275gr JHP's suitable for deer at a blistering 1600-1650fps or a 250gr Keith bullet equivalent 325gr at 1500fps. Right on up to the big 425-430gr LBT's at 1200fps, nipping at the heels of the .475 in its most effective loadings. That load will penetrate like a freight train and has been used very successfully on the largest game on earth. If you want one, get it. My Super is a wonderful shooter and I wouldn't hesitate to snag a carbine if I wanted one. The .475" bore is well established and components will be available for at least our lifetimes.


"What will it do that the .454 Casull & .460 and .500 S&W won't?"
For one, the .454 and .460 won't sling a .476", 430gr LBT. The real question is, what will the .454, .460 and .500 do that the .480 won't with less recoil, less muzzle blast and a lighter sixgun?

Loosedhorse
October 19, 2011, 08:09 AM
I own a .475 Linebaugh, and LOVED the .480 Ruger. Kind of a .475 Special, resulting in sub-.44 Magnum recoil (it seemed, from my handgun).

The introduction of the .500 and .460 S&W Magnums has really taken a bite out of both .475 cartridges--especially given the wide variety of bullet weights available in loaded ammo for the .500 and .460.

Buffalo Bore has cut back its offerings in .475. And of course, the .480 never really took off, even when there was an easily available handgun for it.

CraigC
October 19, 2011, 08:43 AM
S&W also marketed the hell out of the X-frame. Ruger, not so much. Almost as if it was designed to fail. Which is a shame because it really deserves to be more popular than the S&W's. Perhaps a distributor will special order enough .480 single actions to get it done.

Loosedhorse
October 19, 2011, 09:20 AM
S&W also marketed the hell out of the X-frame.Well, that was easily done. The X-frames were game-changers as production revolvers, as were the new cartidges.

The .480 was more like: "If you want something slower and heavier than a .454 Casull, have we got a cartidge for YOU!" :confused:;) Niche from the beginning, was never going to appeal to the "gotta have the biggest!" buyers, nor the gun mags.

CraigC
October 19, 2011, 09:23 AM
True but Ruger didn't go all goofy with that 200yd club nonsense either. Unfortunately, big velocity and energy numbers are what sells, regardless of what actually works.

Chillaxin
October 19, 2011, 09:27 AM
I really like my BFR .475/480. I certainly hope this round doesn't die out. It is nice to be able to shoot the 480 for trigger control etc practice.
C-

mavracer
October 19, 2011, 09:30 AM
Perhaps a distributor will special order enough .480 single actions to get it done.
Pa leeeeeeeeeezze

Brasso
October 19, 2011, 11:30 AM
I wish they would make a Blackhawk in .480. Ruger has never known what the public wants. It's almost like they don't want to make money. They wouldn't be able to keep a .480 Blackhawk in the shelves.

I have no interest in a .454. Too much bark and bluster just to shoot a .45cal bullet fast. And for what? A heavier, larger, and slower bullet, like the .480, outperforms it with less recoil and less bluster.

CraigC
October 19, 2011, 11:40 AM
I have no interest in a .454. Too much bark and bluster just to shoot a .45cal bullet fast. And for what? A heavier, larger, and slower bullet, like the .480, outperforms it with less recoil and less bluster.
Agreed!


In Ruger's defense, they have done a wonderful job of giving customers what they want over the last several years. The New Vaquero, the new mid-frame flat-top Blackhawks, the new .44Spl's versions of same, the new .22LR SP, Single Ten, etc. are all responses to consumer demands. They just dropped the ball with the .480.

Brasso
October 19, 2011, 03:43 PM
That's only true as of the last year or two, and most of those are special dealers exclusives, which means Ruger only made them because Lipsey's, Davidsons, etc agreed to buy so many of them up front.

They should have been making things like Bisley Blackhawks in all barrel lengths for years now. They should have been making heavy, 5 shot Blackhawks also. Still aren't. All those sales go to BFR and Freedom Arms, or to custom makers.

Dnaltrop
October 19, 2011, 05:08 PM
I want a .454... but only for a bit of leeway on better .45 colt loadings...

I don't know about .480... something in me would very seriously sit my inner child down and say "well hell.... If you're going THAT big... why stop till you reach .50/0, and just down-load for personal comfort. Just Commit to it already! "

DC Plumber
October 19, 2011, 07:23 PM
I liked the idea of the .480, but the extra cost for components and the possibility of lack of supply scared me away when I bought my Alaskan 454. I don't shoot my 454 a lot, but when I do, I go for lighter 454 loads. My target loads out of the Alaskan approach 44mag levels, and are very pleasant to shoot.

I can only imagine how fun a mild loaded 480 would be in an Alaskan. I think a 5 shot Alaskan would be awesome.

DC Plumber
October 20, 2011, 07:08 AM
Oh, I forgot to answer the question. I think it is dead.

CraigC
October 20, 2011, 09:44 AM
...the possibility of lack of supply scared me away...
This is not really an issue. The .475Linebaugh is well established and the .480 has been produced long enough with enough guns built that component availability won't be an issue during our lifetimes. However, the cost of bullets over more common .44's and .45's is certainly significantly higher and must be considered. Which is why when I have my first custom five-shot built, it will be a .500S&W 1.4" (.500JRH) to make use of the much more common commercial cast bullets for the .500S&W. Those for the .500Linebaugh are much less proflic and more expensive.

jrb_pro
October 20, 2011, 11:41 AM
I'm sure I'll take a LOT of heat for this, but oh well. Here goes.

The 454 Casull is a complete "no way I'd own one" caliber to me. I'll never own one because of the "snap" of the recoil. It FEELS more fierce than a 500 or 460 WITHOUT the power behind either of those rounds. Regarding the Ruger 480, that's the appeal of the it as well. The recoil is better than 454 Casull while still pushing a big bullet at a nice speed.

Only thing I can compare it to is the snap of a S&W 40 caliber cartridge in comparison with a 45 ACP...or dare I say 9mm. If you want low recoil and still want some punch, go 9mm. If you want a large projectile, and a nice push recoil (not whippish, snappy recoil), go with a .45.

Disagree or not, I know a LOT of people personally (more than I can count on two hands) that feel the same way.

Personally, I think S&W 500 recoil is *way* more managable than any 454 Casull I've ever shot. If you want to blame the weight of the gun, go for it, but regardless, that's what I think.

Loosedhorse
October 20, 2011, 12:44 PM
Personally, I think S&W 500 recoil is *way* more managable than any 454 Casull I've ever shot.The first .454 Casull I saw on sale was a Freedom Arms presentation grade (hard stocks); I know you're supposed to let the gun rotate up in your hand to lessen the recoil with SAA-type grips, but it still seemed like it would be as much fun as slamming your hand down hard on a wooden bench. The next one I thought about buying was a Ruger Alaskan; that would have been better, I think, but...

A .460 revolver can safely fire .454. Try it if you get a chance, and then see if you think the experience you have shooting a .454 is all about the cartridge, or all about the gun.

22-rimfire
October 20, 2011, 07:28 PM
Never considered getting a 454 Casull revolver. Don't need or want it. The 480 Ruger was introduced and I read up on its apparent capabilities and I bought a SRH. It meets and exceeds expectations. The 480 Ruger will live on.

The question for me is IF I had the opportunity to buy a 500 or 480 today, which one would I choose? I honestly considered a 500 S&W. Then decided that the 480 Ruger is all the gun I will every likely need or want in a handgun. But if I buy another one, it will likely be a 475 Linebaugh/480 Ruger which is what Ruger should have chambered the SRH in in the first place. In that chambering it exceeds the 454 significantly from my point of view and you get the benefit of a factory loaded "special" round for the same revolver which is most cases is PLENTY of gun. Ruger didn't market the caliber properly, and in essence pushed the the 454 C.

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