Super Redhawk or Super Blackhawk: 44, or 454/45


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Huntolive
April 20, 2012, 01:00 PM
Hello,
I have rifle hunted for years, but am new to handguns.
I want a rugged, powerful revolver to primarily hunt deer, and maybe larger game. Considering the Super Blackhawk and Super Redhawk.
Either the 44MAG or the 454 Casul/45LC.
Recommendations?
Problems/Limitations with any of the above?
Better ideas under $800?
Do I give up too much by going w/ SA Blackhawk? Is Blackhawk in any way superior ? Or is DA RedHawk worth the xtra $?
I primarily hunt, and do not yet reload, but have friends who do, and could learn.
I have fired the 454 SRH and was not bothered by the kick, which was less than I expected.
Can get 454 SRH used for $600. Sound fair?

Thanks!

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56hawk
April 20, 2012, 01:32 PM
Well, I have a few thoughts. As far as caliber goes, do you reload? If you do I might recommend checking out the 500 S&W. Otherwise I would stick with a caliber that was cheaper and easier to get. As much as I like 44 Magnum, 454 Casull is quite a bit more powerful so that would be my choice.

As far as the Blackhawk vs Redhawk, I like double action revolvers a lot more than single actions. A double action can be loaded, unloaded and shot much faster than a single action. Plus if you want the short trigger pull you can always cock it.

dprice3844444
April 20, 2012, 01:47 PM
http://www.magnumresearch.com/Firearms/Magnum-Research-500-JRH-Revolver-55-inch-Barrel.asp
http://www.americanhunter.org/articles/magnum-research-bfr-review/

http://stevespages.com/pdf/magnum_research_bfr_revolver_manual.pdf
bfr 45/70 also has a 450 marlin cyl available option

Steve_NEPhila
April 20, 2012, 02:21 PM
A few months back I bought a used Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull with a 7.5 inch barrell and I love it. I have put about 120 rounds of full house .454 through it and it is a very nice shooting revolver. Sure, the muzzle blast is massive but the recoil is not as painful as my .38 special J frame with +P ammo.

The Super Redhawk in .454 allows one to go from mild (45 Colt can go from powder puff to 44 mag levels) to wild with fire breating .454 loads. This option to go up and down on a very wide range of energy levels is attractive to me. I also dig the target grey finish on the Super Redhawk. I do not think this finish is offered any more, yet it is common in the used market.

My complaint about the SRH that I have is the trigger. The double action stacks and the single action creeps before releasing the hammer. This is not a major problem and I can have it easily and inexpensively fixed by my gunsmith. The front sight is interchangeable and the scope rings came with the gun... what is not to like about that...

hardluk1
April 20, 2012, 02:28 PM
454 casull SRH

highlander 5
April 20, 2012, 03:20 PM
44 mag ammo is easier to obtain than 454 or 45 Colt. I have both single and double action revolvers and the single action is easier to carry/conceal. Both the Redhawk and SRH are not exactly what you can small but you'll be hard pressed to break either. As far as the action of a SRH it can be cleaned up nicely,I have a GP 100 whose action is the same as the SRH and it cleaned up quite nicely.

Huntolive
April 20, 2012, 03:30 PM
First, thanks for all the very practical replies.
Questions:
I have read, and seen first hand that 454 cases can get stuck in chamber.
I know this is more likely if you also shoot alot of 45LC and don't clean.
But, have also read it happens just shooting 454, regardless of the power of rounds fired, but may be worse w/ more powerful rounds.

Any experience with this?

Also, does this even happen with 44MAG?
Is the SA Spr Blackhawk more accurate?
I will probably mostly hunt whitetails w/ it, but like the idea of extra power just in case... but probably could get by w/ 44MAG.
I did not find the recoil to be a problem.

Advice?

56hawk
April 20, 2012, 04:50 PM
If cases are sticking it usually means you have pressure issues. It could happen in 454 Rugers since they are a lot weaker than Freedom Arms guns. I've never had cases stick in my FA even loading above SAAMI max pressure. I have stuck cases in 44 Mags though going above book max.

Huntolive
April 20, 2012, 06:59 PM
Thanks to all,
Doubt I can afford a Freedom Arms. Price range?
Anyone else found issues with cases sticking in SRH 454?
How much of a problem is this?
Is this a reason to stay with the SRH 44MAG instead of 454?
Do S Blackhawks have less problems? Does S Blackhawk come in 454/45LC like SRH?

56hawk
April 20, 2012, 07:17 PM
New Freedom Arms revolvers are expensive, but if you shop around you can find them under $1,000.

Steve in PA
April 20, 2012, 08:10 PM
I own both, Super Redhawk and Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum. The SRH is 9 1/2" while the SBH is 7 1/2".

If you want to scope your handgun I would go with the SRH. Yesh, the SBH can be scoped, but I prefer my scope mounted to the frame rather than the barrel.

I love handgun hunting and primarily hunt with the SRH. However, there are times that I will be hunting with a rifle, which is why I got the SBH. This way if I am hunting with a rifle and a shot presents itself within iron sight distance, I will try and use the SBH.

gbran
April 20, 2012, 08:35 PM
I can't knock the .44 Blackhawk, but I've been really happy with my .454SRH.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/gbran/454SRH-1.jpg

Huntolive
April 22, 2012, 03:59 PM
Thanks for all the helpful replies and good luck Turkey Huntin'!
(though I doubt I'll try that w/ a hand gun soon)
Looks like most folks like the SRH 454, and value the DA.

Anyone had problems with the 454 cases sticking?
Good advice solving this problem?
That is my major reservation w/ 454 SRH.
Does the SA Blackhawk come in 454?

Other than recoil, is there any reason the 44Mag would be better?
Anyone heard much about performance of the new 454SRH?

TennJed
April 22, 2012, 05:04 PM
If cases are sticking it usually means you have pressure issues. It could happen in 454 Rugers since they are a lot weaker than Freedom Arms guns. I've never had cases stick in my FA even loading above SAAMI max pressure. I have stuck cases in 44 Mags though going above book max.
Forgive my ignorance, but why would gun strength affect cases sticking in the cylinder? Doesn't too much pressure cause the case to expand which makes it stick? I assume the size of the ruger and fa cylinders are the same.

Also what makes the fa guns much stronger than the rugers? I know they are very nice guns and I have heard they are much nicer than rugers, but never heard that they were stronger

56hawk
April 22, 2012, 06:06 PM
Well, the easy question to answer is that the FA and Rugers have about the same diameter cylinders, but the FA is a five shot while the Ruger is six. That leaves a lot more metal around the chambers on the FA. I've also heard that the FA is made from a different alloy of steel.

As far as sticking cases. When a gun fires, the brass expands to fit the chamber and then the steel expands due to the pressure. The thinner the steel the more it expands. When the pressure drops, both the case and steel contract. In low pressure loads, the brass contracts more that the steel and is easily extracted. When pressure levels become too high the steel expands beyond the yield strength of the brass and it will no longer contract far enough to be easily extracted. This is a function of chamber thickness and steel strength. Therefore a stronger gun will take higher pressure before brass starts to stick.

TennJed
April 22, 2012, 06:30 PM
Well, the easy question to answer is that the FA and Rugers have about the same diameter cylinders, but the FA is a five shot while the Ruger is six. That leaves a lot more metal around the chambers on the FA. I've also heard that the FA is made from a different alloy of steel.

As far as sticking cases. When a gun fires, the brass expands to fit the chamber and then the steel expands due to the pressure. The thinner the steel the more it expands. When the pressure drops, both the case and steel contract. In low pressure loads, the brass contracts more that the steel and is easily extracted. When pressure levels become too high the steel expands beyond the yield strength of the brass and it will no longer contract far enough to be easily extracted. This is a function of chamber thickness and steel strength. Therefore a stronger gun will take higher pressure before brass starts to stick.
Gotcha, always learning something here

SabbathWolf
April 22, 2012, 07:18 PM
I think for hunting purposes....
You'd be just fine with the single-action Blackhawk.
1) Less money

2) With the rounds you are talking about shooting...the recoil will be enough to not really warrant a double-action gun anyways. Recovery time between shots is going to be about the same. So you won't be doing any super-fast double action trigger squeezing anyways.

3) Fast reloads are kinda irrelevant too. Again, if you are hunting and miss with all 6 shots, then 6 more real fast will more than likely not help you. Your prey will already be long gone anyhow.

56hawk
April 22, 2012, 07:39 PM
I think for hunting purposes....
You'd be just fine with the single-action Blackhawk.

I totally agree if you are hunting non dangerous game. However for dangerous game, I would much prefer a double action revolver. Follow up shots are a lot faster. I haven't tried quick shooting my single action 454, but here is a video of me shooting a USPSA stage with my 500: http://youtu.be/tV2JXVWX3VU

SabbathWolf
April 22, 2012, 08:08 PM
I totally agree if you are hunting non dangerous game. However for dangerous game, I would much prefer a double action revolver. Follow up shots are a lot faster. I haven't tried quick shooting my single action 454, but here is a video of me shooting a USPSA stage with my 500: http://youtu.be/tV2JXVWX3VU

I see your point, and don't necessarily disagree.

"Me" however...If I were hunting "Dangerous" game, I'd be using a rifle anyways. Not a pistol in the first place.

P.S.
Man!
You can see the flash coming off that thing even in the day light!

OrangePwrx9
April 23, 2012, 12:02 AM
I have both a RH and a SBH (10" barrel) in .44 mag. Two things should be mentioned:

1) Light loads (at least light loads that go to Point-of-Aim) aren't possible with either gun using stock sights. They impact much higher than full power loads and the rear sight bottoms out before the impact point can be brought down to point of aim. A scope might give you more adjustment than the irons; I've never tried. Also the SRH has (I believe) an easily replaceable front sight. Substituting a taller FS might let you zero the gun for target loads.

2) Sticking cases with full power loads are usually the result of shooting shorter rounds for target practice. This results in a "crud ring" or slightly abraded area in the chambers right at the mouth of the shorter case. When the longer, heavier loaded round is fired, the case expands around the ring or into the abraded area, essentially locking itself in the chamber. The solution is to handload and put up your target loads in the full length cases used by the heavy loads.

Huntolive
April 23, 2012, 10:16 AM
Thanks guys, esp. 56hawk, Sabbathwolf, and Orangepwrx9!
Cool video of 500 and value of DA in self defense scenario.
Now maybe I will save for a SBH SA and the SRH DA, just don't tell my wife!

As for sticking cases, could another solution to using only full size cases be to clean the chambers thoroughly? Especially after alot of smaller rounds?
Thus, if I shoot cheaper 45LC for target, and a few 454 for a reality check, I could brush chambers before using 454. Wouldn't that work just as well?
Also, I have read some 454 in SRH stick even when using 454 exclusively, anyone had that happen, or am I worrying too much about this if I just clean the chambers religiously?

Does S Blackhawk come in 454 casul?

LOLBELL
April 23, 2012, 10:57 AM
OP said he was going to hunt whitetail deer. I would go with the 44 mag SBH Hunter. It will be cheaper to purchase and shoot than a 454 SRH. I've never seen a whitetail in the state of Ala (my home) that needed a 44 let alone a 454. The SBH Hunter comes with scope rings and adjustable sights and a 7 1/2" barrel. I have this revolver in 41 and 44 mag. Both shoot 10" groups at 100 yards. This is off of sand bags using a Bushnell 2x7 scope. I harvested three deer with it (44) last year using a hand load of a 240 grn LSWC at 940 fps. Longest shot was 70 yards, that one dropped dead in it's tracks with no meat damage. you could eat right up to the hole. Of the other two one ran about 15 yards before he dropped. I would suggest the 41 mag but it is more expensive to shoot unless you reload.

98Redline
April 23, 2012, 11:12 AM
Let me throw this thought into the mix.

Regarding the SRH and SBH, both are fine guns that will serve you well for your entire life....and probably the entire life of your children.

If I had to pick one or the other (I own a couple of both types) I would have to say that I prefer the Super Blackhawk, specifically the bisley hunter variant. The hunter model has an integrated rib on the barrel which gives a bit of extra weight to tame the recoil and allows the easy addition of either a red dot sight or a scope if you prefer (scope mounts are integral to the barrel rib). Additionally the shape of the bisley grip seem much more akin to shooting high power loads than either the double action shaped grip or the typical plowhandle grip of the single actions. On recoil the bisley grip tends to split the recoil between straight back and upwards (A SRH comes more straight back and a standard plowhandle seems to be significantly more upwards). There is a reason that all of the custom smiths who turn out the really big boomers (475 Linebaugh and up) are building them with Bisley grip frames.

When hunting, quick reloads are never a concern so the single action does not really give up anything to the double action. For follow up shots, I find that I can follow up with nearly the same speed between the Super Blackhawk and Super Redhawk. Recoil will be the largest factor in this, cocking the hammer is secondary.

Regarding the caliber, I would have to recommend the .44Mag over the .454, mostly due to the fact that .44 Mag ammo is far more common and available if you don't reload. Also unless brown bears are on your list of quarry, you don't really need the power of the 454, and even then a hot loaded 320gr hard cast .44 Mag bullet would work quite well.
If this happens to be your first big bore gun then the 454 could be counter productive in that the heavy muzzle blast and recoil could easily cause you develop a flinch that could be quite difficult to get over. Using 45 colt loads in a 454 is certainly possible, heeding the above advise about cleaning between 45 colt and 454 loads, however unless you are buying specialty loads from places like Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, etc... a standard 45 colt load is sort of anemic in that they are made to shoot in the old Colt SAA guns.

I am pretty sure the sticky extraction in the SRH is more of a function of the type of steel used in the cylinder for the 454 and 480 variant and not an indicator of cylinder strength. In order to be able to maintain the SRH as a 6 shot revolver Ruger went with Carpenter 465 stainless as opposed to the traditional 410 stainless used on the 44 mag and smaller guns. The 465 stainless is a significantly stronger alloy however it does have more elasticity than 410, thus as mentioned, it does expand then contract back to the original size. This more or less can cause sticky extraction with the higher pressure 454 loads. Other 454 revolvers don't typically suffer from this because they are 5 shot variations with standard 410 stainless cylinders. AFAIK the SRH is the only 6 shot revolver chambered in 454

98Redline
April 23, 2012, 11:15 AM
Both shoot 10" groups at 100 yards

A SBHH is capable of much better groups than that stock out of the box.
Mine will do consistent 4" groups at 100 yards shooting hard cast loads it likes.

My suspicion is that you have not found the particular load that your gun likes just yet.

Kernel
April 23, 2012, 03:42 PM
I would go with the 44 mag SBH Hunter.

+1. It's a deer harvesting machine. Kernel's Winter of '99 Iowa "Snowstorm" Deer.

http://images3a.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp7343%3A%3Enu%3D3645%3E%3A57%3E257%3EWSNRCG%3D34%3C9%3B%3A566%3A348nu0mrj
.

Huntolive
April 23, 2012, 04:02 PM
Thanks 98redline, etc. for your detailed info.
Looks like SBH 44 is better for deer, and first pistol.
Are they more trouble free?
With loads big enough to easily kill 300 lb black bear and 200 lb. whitetails in their tracks, has anyone had problems with cases sticking in the chamber in the Blackhawk?
What hunting rounds would you recommend for SBH for deer/black bear? I want soemthing they won't get up from, but not too crazy over the top.
I will eventually try reloading, but currently do not.

The SRH 454 seems more like a gun to have for the sheer joy of blasting and bigger game hunts.
Would the 454 be any advantage with deer or 300 lb black bear?
Are there folks out there with lots of 454 shot out of SRH who have never had cases stick? How?
Can I adequitely hunt deer and ward off black bear with 45LC in the 454 SRH without using 454Casul, and just save that for the sheer thrill, and bigger game?

Also: Is there a version of DA 44Mag, or 45LC suitable for concealed carry? If so what? OR what would YOU recommend for CC? 38? 357? I want em' to go down fast and stay down! How bout that rugger( LCR or LRC) or Taurus ultralight? Is ultralight the way to go for cc? I am willing to cc something a bit bigger, but not the 7.5" SRH ! ;-)

Kernel
April 23, 2012, 05:23 PM
What hunting rounds would you recommend for SBH for deer/black bear?

For a non-handloader a 240 gr JHP from any of the major mfgrs would be ideal. I'm partial to a 240 gr Hornady XTP.

Here's what the "Bisley" version of the SBH Hunter looks like. It's got a different grip frame shape that some like, a drop hammer, and a trigger with a more curve to it. Otherwise, it's the same as a plain Hunter. Also, Hunters only come in stainless and 7 1/2 is the only barrel length. You can find them in .44 Mag, .45 Colt, and .41 Mag, but no .454.


http://images5a.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp63583%3Enu%3D3645%3E%3A57%3E257%3EWSNRCG%3D34%3C9%3C2%3C336348nu0mrj

98Redline
April 23, 2012, 06:32 PM
I can't say one way or the other regarding "trouble free" operation as none of my Rugers have every given me even the slightest hint of a problem. The Blackhawk platform has been a reliable performer since the 50's and many of those guns are still going strong. I have a 1967 Super Blackhawk that is still as tight and shoots as well as my newest guns.

Regarding your question on sticking cases, I have loaded up some full snort .44 Mag loads (320gr bullet @ 1350 fps) and have not had any sticky extraction issues. My loads are not completely top end loads however they are the ones that shoot most accurately out of my gun. (as an aside I have never found a maximum load in anything that is the most accurate, a few percent down from max seems to be the sweet spot). I assure you, if this is your first big bore handgun, the .44Mag is more than enough recoil for you to "enjoy"

With my above mentioned bullet combo I would have no issue taking any game animal in North America. They work excellent on hogs and would be equally as deadly for bear or elk. For thin skinned animals like deer you don't "need" a 320gr solid bullet and you will most likely get complete penetration (even going end to end, the long way) but I prefer to only have to deal with one load type so I stick with this one. I have also found that all of my .44s shoot better with bullets between 300 and 320gr. 240s shoot well but they just don't have the same accuracy and consistency as the 300s.

For commercial loads, Double Tap ammunition carries a 320gr WFNGC that is very similar to my handloaded ammo. I have shot several boxes of this ammo and it is a serious performer with excellent accuracy in my SBHH. Before I had my loading bench set up, this is what I shot.

No handgun will give you a DRT (dead right there) on every animal. I have had deer go 75 yards before dropping over and some that just did the bang-flop with nearly identical wounds. Each animal is a rule unto itself. The secret to short recoveries is good shot placement and there is no replacement for that. Regardless of the caliber a gut shot deer can go quite a distance before expiring. Picking your shots and taking your time will do more for short recoveries than larger calibers.


Your question regarding a CCW in 44mag or 45colt is interesting.
Any gun in the above two rounds that is light enough for you to consider wearing for any length of time in a CCW capacity will be very........very....energetic in terms of recoil. Smith and Wesson makes a scandium frame 44 mag (329 PD). I have not shot one, however I have heard that the recoil from those is simply brutal. The gun is so light that is crosses the line from unpleasant to painful with anything but the most sedate loads. That abusive recoil leads to much longer follow up shots should you need one.
For CCW, I prefer a smaller frame 38 special or 357 revolver, and even have a .380 that I use for hot weather and light clothing. They conceal well and are light enough to walk around all day with without feeling like you have a monkey wrench hanging off of your belt. I am of the mindset that I would prefer to have a smaller/lighter gun with me at all times than a much larger one that stays home a bunch due to not concealing well.

Huntolive
April 23, 2012, 07:40 PM
I owe you all a debt of gratitude for sharing your experience,
especailly, Kernel, 98Redline, 56Hawk and others!

So Kernel, and anyone else out there, do you recommend the SBH Bisley style over the normal hunter? Is that the same gun in picture, w/ and w/o scope?

98 Redline, what is WFNGC ammo? How much should I expect to spend for 20 of the Double Tap you descirbed-vs- the 240grn JHP Hornadays? Where?
I understand shot placement is always #1, and will train accordingly, as I always have w/ rifle, bow, blk pwdr.

How much xtra work is it to extract casings from SA than DA?
Do 454 fans think that is more trouble than dealing with occassional stuck cases from expansion in Casul SRH? I havn't completely abandoned 454 ;-)

RE: CCW, specific recommendations under $600? Probably 38 or 357?

Huntolive
April 23, 2012, 07:46 PM
What about the SBH hunter in 45LC? Does it come in Hunter w/ 7.5"brl?
Why is that not in conversation?
I got a like new Judge for $200 from a friend who really needed $, that shoots 45LC and 410. Is that a good reason to condsider 45 over 44 for compatability of ammo?
Or is 44mag inherantly better?

Kernel
April 24, 2012, 01:00 AM
...do you recommend the SBH Bisley style over the normal hunter
I depends entirely on how they feel in YOUR hands. I have both styles of grip frame and prefer the normal frame for full power loads (contrary to most, who prefer the Bisley grip frame for magnum power levels). I shoot my Bisley mostly with low power plinking loads (it's not a Hunter, unscoped 5 1/2" barrel), so what do I know?

What about the SBH hunter in 45LC? Does it come in Hunter w/ 7.5"brl?Yes and Yes. Re-read my previous post.

Is that a good reason to condsider 45 over 44 for compatability of ammo?
It could be. Though, if I had a Judge I'd mostly shoot .410 shot shells in it. Isn’t that the whole point? And if I did ever shoot .45 Colt it would very likely not be the same ammo I’d be shooting in my deer pistol.

You got a good deal on the Judge, but it’s a bauble IMHO. Have some fun with it, then find the right buyer, double you money, take the profits and put it into a good hunting handgun that could put meat on the table for your lifetime and your grandkid’s.

is 44mag inherantly better?
Compared to the .45 Colt, no, not really, IF you handload. In practice, with the right handloads, they're so close there's no difference. If you don't handload (or want to buy super expensive custom .45 Colt ammo), buy the .44 Mag, it's OTC ammo is WAY more powerful.

98Redline
April 24, 2012, 09:55 AM
Everybody's hand is different and while there are some that prefer the feel of the traditional hogleg grip profile over the bisley, I think the vast majority prefer the bisley when you start getting up into the heavy recoiling loads.
If you take a look on Rugers web site you will see the variations that the Super Blackhawk hunter comes in.
Ruger.com (http://ruger.com/products/newModelSuperBlackhawk/index.html)

WFNGC = Wide Flat Nose + Gas Check (the little copper cup on the back of the bullet)
http://beartoothbullets.com/images/bullets/BTB-44-300gWFNGC2.jpg

These are pretty much hunting only loads. The wide meplat (flat front on the bullet) generates a massive shock wave inside the animal on impact, but does not expand like a hollow point, resulting in very deep penetration.

The Double Tap 320s are $23.32/ box of 20.
The Hornady 300gr XTPs are about $16.00/ box of 20.

Now the double taps exceed the performance of the Hornady's by a large margin. They are 20 gr heavier and are running nearly 200fps faster. They are not a round you want to go to the range and burn up a few boxes of (both in cost and recoil), however as a hunting load they excel. Additonally becase of the heavy weight of the bullet, it does not shed energy as fast as a lighter one resulting in pretty much a MPBR (maximum point blank range) of about 120 yards. In essence the gun shoots flat enough that you hold your sights dead on for any shot between 0 and 120 yards.

Extracting the spent brass from a single action is a one at a time proposition. Open the loading gate, advance the cylinder to align the case with the loading gate and depress the ejector rod. Repeat for all other cylinders. Loading is the same process, one at a time through the loading gate. IMHO the reload speed on a hunting gun is immaterial. The maximum number of times I have shot in any hunting situation is 3, and that was at a group of hogs. I hit the first pig I was aiming at then missed 2x on a running shot at another. Pretty much once you touch off that first round, everything in the surrounding area is getting the heck out of Dodge so you would be lucky for a 2nd or 3rd shot.

Back to the cartridge selection issue......

Ultimately it is your choice 44Mag, 454 or 45 Colt.

Unless you reload then I would discard the 45 colt. It is a great cartridge and comes as close to matching the performance of the 44 Mag as any caliber could, but to get this type of performance out of it, you have to handload it.

The 454 is an excellent cartridge as well however it think it is way more than you really need. It certainly will put game down but I find that the muzzle blast and recoil from this cartridge objectionable compared to any of the other rounds mentioned. A 60,000 psi chamber pressure is going to be very loud with a sharp recoil pulse. It is significantly more snappy in the recoil department. It might be something you look at after shooting a 44 for a few years, however it is definitely not a good choice for a first big bore gun. It is akin to buying a 70-80# bow for a beginning archer. Accurate..yes, powerful...yes, user friendly....not so much.

I still lean toward the 44 Mag for it availability, relative economy and performance.

BCRider
April 24, 2012, 03:15 PM
56Hawk, I had to laugh along with the folks in the background at the fireballs and what I know the blasts sounded like. You're a better man than I to be shooting that thing in a stage of that sort.... :D

While I totally agree with your thinking on follow up shots for a defense situation I'd suggest that using a big bore DA handgun loaded with full power loads in the confines of a house would be tough on the ears and really isn't needed. So that leaves the question at hunting use. And for hunting the comments on the animal bolting at the first hit and making a follow up shot problematic become more valid.

Not to mention that with a little practice the hammer of a single action revolver can be cocked easily as the gun is coming back down from the recoil and while the scope or iron sight picture is being re-aquired. So really there's little, if any, time penalty to a SA gun.

Huntolive
April 24, 2012, 03:16 PM
Thanks esp 98Redline and Kernel for your detailed info, and sound advice.
I will go with the 44Mag. for a pure hunting revolver.
And in a gun that big, don't see why I need to spend more on DA SRH, as I sure as hell won't be CC it! So SBH it is.

Might still pick up the used 454 SRH for bigger game, and the price, now $550 seems fair. The 2 would pair up nicely. 44mag SBH for deer + 454 SRH for...
Moose? ;-) Or dangerous game. Seems the 44Mag range of ammo covers it all.

Any fans of the SRH 454 think the 45LC plus the 454 make that a better range of effctive ammo than 44Mag?
And at the end of the day does the DA ease of loading/unloading and slightly faster repeat shots make it a clear favorite?

Also, for trail gun, and CC how do yall like the Ruger sp101 in 3 or 4" ?
With 4" couldn't I even pull that out to take a deer w/i 50 yards when rifel hunting, just to make things more interesting?
With training, could I even do that with 3" and use same gun for CC? Will same stop black bears in a pinch?

Steve in PA
April 24, 2012, 05:23 PM
I have not shot my SBH at 100 yards, but my SRH is sighted dead on at 100 yards. It will consistantly keep 5 shots within a 3" group when shooting from a rest.

I've taken several deer with a handloaded 240gr XTP and the deer never went very far. My black bear load is a 300gr XTP. I've never taken a bear yet, but I came close last year. Had one walk by at about 50 yards, but when I saw she had some cubs following her, I passed.

SabbathWolf
April 24, 2012, 07:22 PM
After reading this thread, I went out just before dusk last night and fired my 6.50" barrel 357 Blackhawk from the bench @ 25 meters to see what it did.
It didn't last long because I'm evidently a dumb *ss....lol:D
I succeeded in burning up and blowing a hole in my bean bag from all the fire coming out from around the cylinder....and the end result was a test failure.
:eek:

Live and learn......http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v648/Swampdragon/smilies/6fd17279.gif

JEB
April 25, 2012, 12:56 PM
I will go with the 44Mag. for a pure hunting revolver.
And in a gun that big, don't see why I need to spend more on DA SRH, as I sure as hell won't be CC it! So SBH it is.

hunttolive, i think you made an exellent choice. just last fall i was in the same position as you and was looking at a pure hunting revolver. my first decision was about caliber. i really wanted a .500 magnum but knew i really couldnt afford the gun itself, let alone the ammo even with reloads. eventually i found myself looking at .454 vs .44 magnum. there is a pretty good price jump between the two. for example, 100 pieces of starline brass for the .454 is $35 whereas for the .44, it is only $20. i also came to realize that if i did get the .454, i would have no need for full power loads and would most likely never load above the midrange anyway. eventually i decided on the .44 mag.

my next decision was as to the type of revolver. it was between the ruger redhawk, super redhawk, and the super blackhawk. since this was going to be for hunting only i knew that i was going to be shooting in single action to get all the accuracy i could. also i knew that i was going to be walking several miles in a day with this big ol' six shooter on my hip so weight became a concern. the 7 1/2" redhawk weighs in at 54oz, the super redhawk is 53oz, and the super blackhawk is only 48oz. it's not a lot lighter, but every little bit helps. speed of follow-up shots and speed of reloading are, in my opinion, irrelevant in a hunting situation.

in the end, i got myself a 7 1/2" stainless super blackhawk and took a deer with it this last winter. and let me tell you, .44 mag is PLENTY for whitetail. using a 240gr hornady xtp loaded to 1400fps, the bullet traversed about 2 1/2 feet of deer and blowing a hole out the other side with a big puff of hair. the shot wasnt perfect but she still didnt go too far. all in all, i could not be happier with my choice.

98Redline
April 25, 2012, 01:18 PM
One more thing to consider is a good holster for your new gun. While I really like the looks of the cowboy rigs, when dealing with a revolver with a 7+ inch barrel they tend to be a bit cumbersome. Also hip holsters tend to snag and get hung up when working through the thick stuff. I much prefer a shoulder or chest holster to something that I wear on my belt. It distributes the weight to my shoulders and does not constantly try to pull my pants down. It also keeps the revolver inside the envelope of my body thus if I get my arms out of the way of something I know I am not going to snag my gun on it.

There are a number of good ones out there such as
Simply Rugged Chesty Puller (http://shop.simplyrugged.com/ecommerce/Scoped-Revolver-Holster.cfm?item_id=157&parent=669)
7X Leather Chest Holster (http://www.7xleather.com/chest_holster)
Ringler Custom Leather Wyoming Combo Holster (http://www.ringlercustomleather.com/catalog/i2.html)

My SBH Bisley Hunter has a red dot sight on it so I needed something that would accommodate a scoped revolver. I ultimately settled on the Ringler Wyoming Combo Holster, and really could not be happier with it. It fits my gun like a glove and carries very well.

CraigC
April 25, 2012, 01:30 PM
The Ruger .454 experiences sticky extraction because of the alloy they used, not because it's "a lot weaker". Carpenter Custom 465 was utilized because it gave them the tensile strength and elasticity they needed to maintain 6-shot capacity. I reckon because this was easier to manufacture than a 5-shot. It's the elasticity that comes into play and causes sticky extraction with top loads. This is why most factory .454 loads are in the 50-55,000psi range, rather than tickling the 65,000psi max pressure.

That said, you don't need a .454 to kill deer. Or even hogs, black bear, elk, moose, etc.. The .44Mag will cover everything on the North American continent quite handily and be gentler to your wallet if you are not a handloader.

While the .45Colt has many proponents who believe it has magical qualities, in reality, there is very little difference between it and the .44Mag. No critter will ever notice.

IMHO, the Ruger Bisley is the most comfortable of all the big bores and most shooters prefer it for handling heavy recoil. However, recoil is a highly subjective thing and everybody feels and experiences it differently. The Bisley Hunter .44 would be a very safe first choice. Although I find the factory grips to be horrible and swap them immediately. CLC Custom Grips is my Ruger gripmaker and I have well over a dozen pairs from Cary. These are macassar ebony on Dad's Bisley Hunter.

http://www.clccustomgrips.com

I believe these are 25yd groups, shot with the Beartooth 355gr at 1250fps.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_7806b.jpg

It handles this heavyweight very well.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_7803b.jpg

Huntolive
April 25, 2012, 05:20 PM
The site is Great! Thanks for advice on holsters, claiber, style of grip, etc.

I have read reviews of SRH and SBH that show slightly better accuracy from SRH, which surprised me. This was attributed potentially to the greater weight/stability of the gun. Is this worth considering? Worth the xtra weight?
It would be more fun shooting the DA, but for hunting, accuracy, not speed is everything. Is the SBH still the most accurate? Could that have been a fluke?

Also, I am in market for a CC and trail gun that is durable, and will stop both a man, black bear, and could be used on occassion to take a deer under 50 yards w/ open sights. I plan to scope my 7.5" SBH or SRH. Not a primary hunting gun, but one I could opt for when rifle hunting if I got a clear shot. Am eyeing the sp 101 357 w/ 3" or 4" brl.

Advice?

JEB
April 25, 2012, 06:52 PM
the sp101 is a dandy of a compact revolver. i have the 3" and LOVE it! mine is much more accurate than i would have guessed it would be when i first got it. if you're looking for a carry gun and/or a trail gun, the sp101 in any barrel length would be a great choice. if you are wanting to use it for hunting, i must urge you to check your hunting regs first. in Iowa, we have a .357magnum minimum, must use expanding type ammo, and have at lest a 4" barrel. personally, if i were going to use an sp101 for any type of hunting, i would want the 4" model anyway for the increase in velocity and above all, the adjustable sights.

CraigC
April 26, 2012, 09:21 AM
This was attributed potentially to the greater weight/stability of the gun. Is this worth considering?
No, I don't believe there is anything to it.

We must also understand that while the Super Redhawk looks really beefy, is not heavier than a Bisley Hunter. The 7" Bisley Hunter pictured above weighs in a 54oz on my postage scale. My 7" .480 Super Redhawk weighs 52oz on the same scale. The 7" .44Mag version is listed at 53oz. Even a standard 7" Bisley .44Mag weighs 51oz. The SRH is often derided for being too heavy and beefy but in reality, it weighs about what it should and is very comparable to a single action of the same chambering and barrel length.

By contrast a 6" 29 weighs 47oz. Significant but not what I'd call a huge difference in a hunting revolver and that's with a 1" shorter barrel.

Huntolive
April 27, 2012, 04:18 PM
Thanks Again!
I am set on the SBH Hunter 44Mag for deer.
Still may get SRH 454 Hunter as well (I can get it for $550 used), but want to know how many folks out there with one are or are not having problems extracting spent cases???

On the CC front: I am still zeroing in on a gun that can CC, and double to both defend against black bear, and occassionally take a deer with iron sights. I am leaning towards the sp101 357 4"brl.
Should I be concerned about the adjustable sights and external hammer getting caught on clothing when drawing in self defense scenario?

I can only get 1 more gun now. Do I really need instead to wait and get an exclusive CC gun (in which case I would get a Ruger LCR 357, but would like your suggestions) and perhaps a 4"brl 44Mag SRH? Or pair the LCR with a sp101 357? Semms lijke alot of guns and $ that way...

Or is issue w/ sights and external hammer getting caught pure nonsense? If so, the sp101 357 4"brl seems to do all in one package.

Alaska444
April 27, 2012, 04:44 PM
I was going to get the SRH in .454 Casull, but after test firing it at the gun store, I decided that the numbness in my hand for five minutes after shooting it was trying to tell me something.

Instead, I was able to pick up the SRH 7.5 inch in .44 magnum. Interestingly, my woods carry is Buffalo Bore +P+ 340 gr that gives me .454 performance out of the .44 magnum. For Idaho with grizzly, it works well as simple carry when out and around.

For the SP101, I also have that as my EDC, but I don't consider it a woods gun, at least Idaho woods perhaps. I do load it with Buffalo Bore 180 gr when out of city limits, but it is definitely a back up gun in the woods.

I believe you are better off getting a gun that you will use for specific purposes, but of course, when pushed to a corner, the SP101 with appropriate loads can kill a black bear, but I wouldn't want it to my only resource.

98Redline
April 27, 2012, 05:25 PM
I don't consider my "woods gun" and my CCW to be the same gun. Each has different requirements both in caliber and configuration and trying to split the difference between the two will get you a gun that is excellent at neither.

If given the choice between a woods gun and a CCW, I will pick a dedicated CCW every day and twice on Sunday. Sadly I spend much more time around threats of the two legged variety than of the four legged so something that will deal with an attacker efficiently, conceals and carrys well is my first choice. A .357 SP-101 in either the 2 1/4" or 3 1/2" variety works exceptionally well albeit a little on the heavy side. An LCR is also a good choice if you are a bit conscious of the weight. Of the two, the SP is the one that would probably be your best play doubling as a woods gun.

Bushpilot
April 27, 2012, 05:58 PM
Not really much difference from a hunting perspective between single or double action in most cases in my opinion. I currently prefere the Super Redhawk I now have to the Super Blackhawk I used to have or my 44 Virginia Dragoon. Mostly my preference is because of the ease of loading and unloading which I admit isn't much of a factor when hunting at all. I also like the scope mounting system on the RSR. The RSB, at least the one I had, might have a slightly better trigger then the RSR. I can't really comment on a handgun caliber for anything larger than deer other than to say that for deer the 44 is all I need or want. As others have mentioned, the 44 is of course going to be easier and cheaper to find ammo for if you don't handload.

Jaxondog
April 27, 2012, 06:25 PM
There's really not much if anything on this continent a 44 mag want stop if you are a decent shot. Yeah, i know all about the bigger bore's. I have them. But the 44 mag is really all the gun you need so i would advise going with a 44 mag. A little cheaper in the long run also. Just my 2 cent's worth.

skidder
April 27, 2012, 06:45 PM
There's really not much if anything on this continent a 44 mag want stop if you are a decent shot. Yeah, i know all about the bigger bore's. I have them. But the 44 mag is really all the gun you need so i would advise going with a 44 mag. A little cheaper in the long run also. Just my 2 cent's worth.
I agree with Jaxondog

I have shot the SBH and SRH, but have never owned one. I have killed whitetail with my Redhawk. The 44 is plenty powerful enough and the ammo is cheaper. My advice would be to go with a SRH or RH in 44.

Here is my hiking buddy and hunting companion.

http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc456/exlogger/Redhawk/Redhawk.jpg

Huntolive
April 27, 2012, 06:51 PM
All that makes sense about not trying to split the difference between woods gun and CC, but the one that could do it all would be the 4" brl sp101 357.
The only question is, what would be the holster/cc set up to CC that without concern that the adjustable sights and external hammer could get caught up in clothing while drawing it?

Otherwise, I will perhaps wait, not get any sp101, and later get an LCR 357 for CC, and what, maybe a 4"SRH 44Mag for woods gun that could also be used to take occassional deer under 50 yrds w/ open sights?

As far as kick on the 454 SRH w/ 7.5" brl, I did not find it too bad; impressive, but not alarming.

Lost Sheep
April 28, 2012, 01:27 AM
Blackhawks can be had in 454 Casull, but only as a modified gun. You buy a Blackhawk and send it to a gunsmith who converts it with a new cylinder and barrel into a 5-shot 454, 475 or 500 Wyoming or Lindebaugh.

Expensive.

Sticking problems are most likely because of gunpowder and lube reside left from 45 Colt cartridges. When you stick a 454 Cartridge in, it may chamber hard or it may not, but after the heat of firing, may get stuck in the gummy residue.

Same sort of thing happens with .357 chambers after firing 38 Specials and 44 Mag chambers after firing 44 Specials.

As far as I can tell, the chamber residue has not been declared innocent of causing the hard extraction problem.

The other possible cause of hard extraction is overpressure. It occurs because both the brass and the steel expand due to the pressure of firing. Both metals are elastic and spring back some. The steel should spring back to its original dimensions (otherwise gun lifetimes would be very short). Brass does not spring back to its original dimensions. However, the brass started out smaller than the steel and SHOULD spring back enough to extract easily. Here we get into plastic (inelastic) deformation and elastic deformation.

Without going into metallurgy deeper than my qualifications, let me just suggest that brass sticking in a clean chamber is a sign of overpressure and (here, people may argue with me, so feel free) is more a fault of the brass than the steel.

Lost Sheep

Coal Dragger
April 28, 2012, 03:47 AM
I can't speak directly to the SBH vs SRH argument since I have only shot either one infrequently as I own neither although my younger brother owns a SBH and a friend of mine owns a SRH. I frankly don't care for either one of them all that much. The SRH is too big, too bulky, and I don't find the grips to be all that comfortable with full powered loads; the gun wants to beat the snot out of the web of my shooting hand. This is a complaint I have with most powerful double actions.

The SBH is also rubbish with full powered loads given the Single Action Army style grip that is too small for my hands, and that rolls excessively under recoil. Also Ruger saw fit to equip the revolver with a sharp corner at the rear of the trigger guard in some sadistic effort to make sure the gun draws blood whether you hit your target or miss.

The suggestion to seek out the Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley is sound advice given the superior grip frame shape, I have shot a few of them and they work much better. Another great grip frame shape is the Freedom Arms which has a longer handle like a Bisley but the top of the grip is shaped more in the manner of a Single Action Army, either way it works brilliantly at handling heavy recoil.

On the .44 Magnum vs. .454 Casull debate:

I, at one point, owned a Dan Wesson .44 Magnum. It was a steaming pile of poo, and was not pleasant to shoot, not especially accurate, and generally undesirable. So don't buy one of those. I traded it off on a Leupold 2.5-8X36 and have never regretted it. I have a friend who owns a gorgeous S&W M29 Classic .44 Magnum with a 5" bbl, I love that revolver but he refuses to sell it to me. I like the .44 Magnum pretty well, nice versatile caliber with plenty of power.

For many years I did not own any revolvers until Christmas day of 2011, whereupon I was presented with a Freedom Arms M83 in .454 Casull, Premier Grade with a 6" bbl.

Thus I have some experience shooting both rounds, at varying power levels of both. For my use I have developed a preference for the .454 Casull, but I reload and that opens a lot of options for me. At the upper end of the range the .454 Casull has a lot more power, but you pay for it in hard, sharp, heavy recoil.....with a healthy dose of noise and muzzle blast thrown in for good measure. With practice you can acclimate to the recoil and blast, just don't try to overdo your practice sessions. It took me awhile to work up to it, but I am comfortable with full powered loads. I do have a background in competitive pistol shooting, and I have a lot of trigger time to have worked on my basics of trigger control and sight picture. I will also admit a preference for heavier bullets since they push and roll more than lighter faster bullets that are very very snappy in recoil.

I have noticed no issues with brass sticking in the chambers of my .454 even with hot Hornady factory loads and maximum published loads in two manuals. Then again I am using a revolver with a 5 shot cylinder and very tight chamber dimensions. I have heard from sources both on the internet, and from the "gun shop" crowd that the SRH in .454 does sometimes have sticky brass issues. Part of this is of course the different alloy used in the cylinder as mentioned above, and the fact that since it is a double action you are trying to punch all 6 of them out at one time. Were it a single action with an ejector rod it probably wouldn't be an issue if the chambers expanded a smidge under pressure and returned to dimensions allowing individual cases to expand more than desired.

A .454 Casull will get you to 1900-2000fps with a 240gr bullet maxed out. That means a pretty flat trajectory for a big bore revolver, and a lot of energy. At the other end of the spectrum you can fling a 360gr bullet from a .454 Casull at around 1350-1500fps depending on just how much you hate yourself. Double Tap ammo even offers a 400gr bullet at a claimed 1400fps. I'll bet that one is fun. At any rate these are considerably more powerful than a .44 Magnum can offer, there is no replacement for displacement here.

Reloading the .454 is a bit more challenging than the .44 though since the large case means you need large powder charges just to get consistent ignition with most powders. So even your practice loads end up being powerful. Think practice loads that are as powerful as average .44 Magnum loads, for practice. I don't bother with .45LC since I have .454 brass, although I need to try some IMR Trail Boss to fill the cases for consistency on light loads. Factory ammo is also tougher to find locally, but I have the internet and two reloading presses so I don't care.

Manny
April 28, 2012, 05:02 AM
I've had both the .44 mag and the .454 and while the .44 mag is more common, I got rid of them and kept the .454's. I have a pair of Super Redhawks in .454, a 7.5" with a 2x Weaver scope & an Alaskan and like them very much.

I love the versitility of the .454's as I can shoot .45 Colt cowboy loads for fun or .454 loads for hunting. I don't shoot the really hot .454 ammo however as it's really far more than I need for deer and instead use Winchester's 250 gr Super X load which is basically a +p 45 Colt load in a .454 case. At 1300 fps it's about the same power as a .44 mag load, but is far more pleasant to shoot with much less muzzle blast and a softer, less sharp recoil. I do also still have the option of the hot .454 loads, but find no need for them for my uses.

As for sticking issues with .454 ammo in an SRH, as long as you clean the cylinder well you should be just fine, especially if you stay with the lower pressure Super X load. Hot loads might possibly cause an issue if you have a rough finish in the cylinder or a slightly "looser" cylinder that gives the brass a chance to expand. When the hot, high pressure.454 loads were developed for the original Freedom Arms guns, they were possible in part because of the very tight tolerances of the FA cylinder which limited the ability of the brass to expand when fired, plus the very smooth finish which prevented much issue with sticky extraction. The Rugers, though fine guns, aren't built to quite the same level and it is possible that really hot loads might cause some issues. Most common .454 loads you'll find now though aren't loaded as hot as some of those early loads, so you won't likely have an issue.

FROGO207
April 28, 2012, 08:33 AM
I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk SS with a 10 inch barrel that I use for handgun hunting. I can get all 6 in a 4 inch circle at 100 YDS most times with a millet red dot. It has Pachmyer Presentation grips and with the added barrel weight it is an accurate revolver in my hands. I also own a 500 S&W now and will always prefer that 10 inch 44 MAG for hunting. It is as good as having a rifle without the added weight if shooting 100 YDS or less IMHO.

CraigC
April 28, 2012, 11:14 AM
Double Tap ammo even offers a 400gr bullet at a claimed 1400fps. I'll bet that one is fun. At any rate these are considerably more powerful than a .44 Magnum can offer, there is no replacement for displacement here.
Not so sure, the 400gr .454 is equivalent to the 355gr .44 in sectional density, which can be safely loaded to 1250fps at standard pressures. So you're really only gaining a LOT of recoil for a little velocity. Which makes little difference on the receiving end.


At 1300 fps it's about the same power as a .44 mag load, but is far more pleasant to shoot with much less muzzle blast and a softer...
Please, this is the stuff of myths and legends. A 240-250gr bullet at 1300fps is going to feel the same, whether it's a .45Colt, .454Casull or .44Mag.

Coal Dragger
April 28, 2012, 03:34 PM
Craig sectional density is a great thing, but when I am using a bullet that is almost certain to not expand I'll take a little more frontal area if I can get it at the expense of a little sectional density. That is just my own preference though.

I will say that if I didn't reload, there is no way I would buy a .454 Casull over a .44 Magnum.

codefour
April 28, 2012, 10:13 PM
I guess a big concern should bhe cost. I know it sounds funny, but if you are not loaded with a lot of discretionary income, the .44 Mag is almost half the cost to hand load or buy factory ammunition over the .454.

A few months ago, I was in the same dilemna. It came down to a .44 Mag Redhawk or a .454 SRH. I chose the .44 Mag and the Redhawk is IMO a better looking gun too. I am not a single action fan for heavy magnums. I like the double action option even though all my double action revolvers are shot in SA.

.44 Starline cases are half as much when purchased new. You can find cheap, used .44 Mag brass online. Good luck finding used Casull brass. I can shoot a few hundred .44 Mag handloads and not be out that much, especially when shooting a good 240 or 300 grain cast bullet.

My next hand cannon will be a .460 Mag. Just for kicks and giggles. I know the .460 will not kill anything better than the .44 Mag will. But how dead is dead? I like the versatility of the .460. I like hand cannons. The .500 S$W is the next, next cannon.

As to carrying a carbine instead of a these aforementioned magnum revolvers, some just like handguns, especially revolvers. I am a revolver nut myself. It is nice having a large revolver in a good hoslter. Much better than lugging a carbine or rifle around.

JaxJim
April 28, 2012, 10:32 PM
I have both in .44 magnum. I have the SRH scoped with a Leopold handgun scope, and the SBH is only iron sights.

I like the SRH better for hunting due to the faster followup shots and it fits my hand better. I carry it in a bandolier holster when I elect to carry it for hunting.

The above said: I always carry a SW 629 4" on my hip. This handgun has downed more hogs than I can count. Bigger isn't always better...

Huntolive
April 28, 2012, 11:15 PM
Thanks for comments: but after reading, I am less decided than before ;-)

I can get a 454 SRH 7.5" used in good condition, which I have fired, along w/ 500 rds of 45LC, plus 20 rds 454 for $800. Which in my mind makes the gun $550 and $250 in ammo. 454 cases do stick a bit in it and load a little hard, but that is after alot of 45LC and no cleaning for quite some time.

I can get 44Mag SBH 7.5" Bisley new w/ no ammo $650.
Or new 44Mag SRH 7.5" for $800.

With any of the above, I would mount a scope.

I do not currently handload. But my ex-Marine neighbor/buddy does, but does not have specialized eq. for 454.

Mostly for Deer, Hogs. Still entertaining advice...

As for CC, does anyone else thinks it makes sense to CC a sp101 357 4"brl with adjustable sights, for all around trail gun, CC, and to take occassional deer w/ open sights? Would the adjustable sights be uncomfortable or pose a legitimate risk of getting snagged when drawing? Is there a good way to holster this that would make this work?

If not, I am liking the LCR 357 for CC. And what could I get for deer/hogs with open sights that is carryable? A 44Mag 4"brl RH/Taurus?

Lost Sheep
April 29, 2012, 02:16 AM
Thanks for comments: but after reading, I am less decided than before ;-)

Happy to be of service.:evil:

I do not currently handload. But my ex-Marine neighbor/buddy does, but does not have specialized eq. for 454.
All you need to add to your buddy's loading bench is a $30 to $50 set of dies. He should have everything else already (scale, various small tools, etc).

Have him teach you to reload and watch you do it. It is impolite to ask a handloader to load for you. Just as it is impolite to ask someone else to pack your parachute for you.

As for CC, does anyone else thinks it makes sense to CC a sp101 357 4"brl with adjustable sights, for all around trail gun, CC, and to take occassional deer w/ open sights? Would the adjustable sights be uncomfortable or pose a legitimate risk of getting snagged when drawing? Is there a good way to holster this that would make this work?

If not, I am liking the LCR 357 for CC.

The LCR is very carryable. The SP101 is a lot heavier and thus more shootable (though the recoil absorbtion of the plastic frame does help somewhat. Most CC guns are carried more than they are shot, so let that inform your decision.

And what could I get for deer/hogs with open sights that is carryable? A 44Mag 4"brl RH/Taurus?
I find it quite comfortable and handy while hiking or fishing to carry a 7.5" Super Redhawk in a Bianchi 101 (crossdraw) holster on my strong side. It doesn't get in the way of my pack's belt and is right under my right hand if I need it. I just have to make sure not to pee on the muzzle.

Some people do prefer a short barrel and believe presentation is quicker because of it. You will have to make your own decision on that question, too.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep

skidder
April 29, 2012, 04:11 AM
And what could I get for deer/hogs with open sights that is carryable? A 44Mag 4"brl RH/Taurus?

Maybe the Alaskan or 4" Redhawk, but for hunting I would go with at least a 6" barrel. I say 6" because of the sight radius and you gain some velocity.

CraigC
April 29, 2012, 12:17 PM
Craig sectional density is a great thing, but when I am using a bullet that is almost certain to not expand I'll take a little more frontal area if I can get it at the expense of a little sectional density. That is just my own preference though.
My point is that the 355gr and 400gr are comparable between their respective cartridges and that the only difference is the slight increase in diameter and a little more velocity. I just don't think those add up to "considerably more powerful".

Then there are supposed experts who don't think bullets that heavy are even viable.

Sorry but .45 fans poo-poo on the .44Mag all the time because they think a 240gr at 1400fps is all they're good for. Regurgitating stuff from Linebaugh's nearly 30yr old article. I like to bring a little balance to the argument.

Coal Dragger
April 29, 2012, 06:00 PM
I don't pooh pooh the .44 it is very versatile, probably more so than a .454 given the larger case that demands more powder for consistent results. I like my .454 better, in the platform that I shoot it from. Full house loads in .454 Casull, for me are more comfortable in that Freedom Arms than full house .44 Magnum loads are in my friend's model 29, or his Super Redhawk. That is just me though, and for some reason the grip shape really works for me.

I also appreciate the ability to get another cylinder made in .45ACP, since I shoot a lot of that already and have a Dillon set up to run only .45ACP. For me that makes a single action revolver with a .45 caliber barrel more useful than a .44 but that is just for my use. One size does not fit all here.

98Redline
April 30, 2012, 10:24 AM
I think that that .44/.454 thing has been beat to death at this point. It seems that what we are down to is splitting hairs between the pros and cons of these two calibers.

Buy the gun you like and go with it. I still prefer the Bisley SBHH.44Mag for your situation based on the reasons I stated above, but you need to make your own decision.


Regarding your CCW/woods gun, I can tell you that you will love a 4" SP-101 for woods carry or range work, but will come to despise the longer barrel for CCW. Even in a proper holster that 4" barrel will constantly be in the way. I have a 3" SP-101 that I originally bought for a dual purpose CCW/woods gun. While it serves the woods gun role well it fell out of favor as a CCW, pretty quickly, because of the barrel length.

Most encounters, where a firearm is used, happen slightly farther than arms length. I don't need 4" of barrel to hit a human sized target at that range. You really don't even need sights at that point. To that end I have gone to a smaller package that I will carry 100% of the time as opposed to a larger one that gets left at home in the safe due to comfort or excessive printing.

From the woods gun perspective, I would implore you to reassess your thoughts on using a shorter barrel gun for deer out to 50 yards. I consider myself a pretty good shot (4" 100 yard .44Mag groups) but using a shorter barrel at 50 yards is quite a task. I certainly wouldn't ever consider using my SP-101 on a deer at that distance. The shorter barrel will leave you with less velocity and probably puts you into the marginal zone for power and the shorter sight radius at that distance is just asking for a bad hit.

Use the correct tool for the job. If you are driving screws, use the proper screwdriver, not a butter knife and if you are hunting use your hunting gun, not a CCW piece.

460Kodiak
April 30, 2012, 10:41 AM
I went right to the S&W 460 magnum. I have one with a 5" bbl. Best gun I ever bought. It does everything I want it to. You probably won't find one for $800 though.

Huntolive
April 30, 2012, 02:52 PM
Thanks All,
In response to 98Redline and Lost Sheep I have a new plan and question:

I will get a Rgr. LCR 357 for CC, unless anyone has a better idea under $500.
And Not get anything w/ a 4"brl.

For a primary hunting pistol, I was always talking about a 7.5" SBHH or SRHH, and scoping either, regardless of caliber.
I was thinking that unless it was the only gun I was carrying, that they would be unreasonbly uncomfortable and cumbersom to carry. I will continue to rifle hunt sometimes, and wanted to at times carry a revolver as well, unscoped, that I could use to shoot deer/hogs/blackbear with iron sights when I got a clean close shot, or for trail self defense. Would the same 7.5" SBHH or SRHH serve that purpose?
According to Lost Sheep it is "comfortable and handy" to carry a 7.5" brl SRH while fishing.
I had thought it would be clumsy to draw such a large gun, and a pain to carry, thus was looking at 4" brl 357 or 44Mag. Some have indicated great success hunting with 4"brl, and it seemed like a far easier carry and draw. Please explain further how toting the 7.5" can be made "comfortable and handy" as I still have a hard time picturing that.
If 7.5" brl can do it all "comfortably" than I am all set, since the scope is easliy removable and re-mountable.
Have you found the scope mounting/unmounting process, and re-acquiring 0 as easy as Ruger claims on their Hunter models?
That would seem to lead me more towards the DA though, esp. for self defense role. If not, why not?

98Redline
April 30, 2012, 05:46 PM
I don't think your optimum 2 gun battery exists. The three uses you mentioned all have significantly different needs that I can't see a 2 gun solution.

As I understand it you have asked for the following 3 things:

1) Big bore, long barrel revolver for handgun hunting (.44mag, .454C)
2) CCW firearm
3) Woods gun that you can "hunt" with

#1 and #2 are easy and I think we have hashed those to death.

#3 would be something with a barrel length between #1 and #2 that is capable of moderate shot distances on medium size game. Scoped guns that meet #1 will be too bulky for just bumming around in the woods or wearing while fishing. CCW guns will probably have too short of a barrel and not be accurate enough at realistic hunting distances to be effective.

I am not a fan of removing and reinstalling scopes on anything. Once it is on, it is on until I decide to change scopes or the gun goes back to being iron sighted. Putting a scope on and taking it off is just asking for trouble.

My recommendation would be to buy either the SRH or SBH and the LCR. Those two will be of the most use to you initially. Use them for awhile and save your pennies. When you have enough, buy yourself a dedicated woods gun.

CraigC
April 30, 2012, 06:39 PM
I think a 4" N-frame or short barreled big bore single action can do well for #2 and #3. `Tis the definition of Perfect Packin' Pistol.

Coal Dragger
April 30, 2012, 08:12 PM
1 & 3 could be handled easily by a 4"-6" bbl revolver in either caliber mounting a good quality micro reflex sight like a Trijicon RMR or a J-Point. A really long barrel really shouldn't be mandatory in my estimation, and if you are using a 6" bbl you are probably getting a good balance of velocity vs portability in a field gun.

I would venture a guess, that I will shortly find out, that a small rugged reflex sight will significantly increase shootability over irons and be more versatile than a magnified optic on a handgun. Then again I am not a real big fan of magnified optics on handguns, since I have never gotten to where I liked using them. So I have bias.

Lost Sheep
May 1, 2012, 03:48 AM
Thanks All,
In response to 98Redline and Lost Sheep I have a new plan and question:

I will get a Rgr. LCR 357 for CC, unless anyone has a better idea under $500.
And Not get anything w/ a 4"brl.

For a primary hunting pistol, I was always talking about a 7.5" SBHH or SRHH, and scoping either, regardless of caliber.
I was thinking that unless it was the only gun I was carrying, that they would be unreasonbly uncomfortable and cumbersom to carry. I will continue to rifle hunt sometimes, and wanted to at times carry a revolver as well, unscoped, that I could use to shoot deer/hogs/blackbear with iron sights when I got a clean close shot, or for trail self defense. Would the same 7.5" SBHH or SRHH serve that purpose?
According to Lost Sheep it is "comfortable and handy" to carry a 7.5" brl SRH while fishing.
I had thought it would be clumsy to draw such a large gun, and a pain to carry, thus was looking at 4" brl 357 or 44Mag. Some have indicated great success hunting with 4"brl, and it seemed like a far easier carry and draw. Please explain further how toting the 7.5" can be made "comfortable and handy" as I still have a hard time picturing that.
If 7.5" brl can do it all "comfortably" than I am all set, since the scope is easliy removable and re-mountable.
Have you found the scope mounting/unmounting process, and re-acquiring 0 as easy as Ruger claims on their Hunter models?
That would seem to lead me more towards the DA though, esp. for self defense role. If not, why not?
At the risk of contradicting myself, I will tell you that I am in the minority of people who find the long barrel comfortable and convenient. Perhaps I should have said, "comfortable and convenient ENOUGH"

Carrying at the two-o'clock position ("appendix carry") in a cross-draw holster designed for the left hip, (with the barrel forward) puts the butt of the gun under my right hand and allows me to pull from the holster with the barrel coming up quickly enough for me and allowing a hip-shot pretty fast. A shorter barrel would be faster, but the REALLY slow part of my draw is not the clearing leather part, but the reaction time.

I have a 5.5" barrel 44 mag redhawk and it is not noticeably faster than the 7.5". I do not imagine the 2.5" Alaskan would be all that much faster for me.

I like the ballistics of the longer barrel enough to find ways to make the longer barrel work comfortably. The point I was trying to make is that it can be done.

Thigh-high or hip waders do not present a problem. Chest-high waders would.

Good luck finding a way to make it work for you.

Lost Sheep

CraigC
May 1, 2012, 09:19 AM
I am in the minority of people who find the long barrel comfortable and convenient. Perhaps I should have said, "comfortable and convenient ENOUGH"
While I usually draw the line at 6" for DA's, I have very little problem carrying a 7" - 8" single action. Yes, a shorter barrel would be 'more' convenient but IMHO, the 7" length is a long way from being what I would call cumbersome. Personally, I think most folks just come to be more accustomed to short barreled self defense guns.

Huntolive
May 2, 2012, 04:05 PM
Ok, so could I stop my dilema between the 454SRHH and 44Mag SBHH by getting both and using the 454 as my trail gun, and ocassional deer gun (unscoped) out to about 50 yrds.? I can get the 454 from a friend used for $550. (my only concern w/ cost there is long term ammo) Or is it simply too bulky to be a trail gun/ gun I also carry from time to time when rifle hunting?

And using the 44Mag SBHH (probably Bisley) scoped as my primary deer hunting pistol? That way, I do not have to take the scope on and off, I just take the 454, and leave the scope on the SBH.

Any thoughts on Bisley -vs- standard grip? Can Bisley handles take after market grips such as Hogue for increased comfort?

Then I just add a LCR 357, and have a nice package deal.
Advice?

98Redline
May 2, 2012, 11:55 PM
The hogleg shooters who use the rubber grips do so to help control the pistol during recoil. I never found that need with the bisley

CraigC
May 3, 2012, 09:23 AM
I'm probably about to ruffle some feathers but my intentions are to educate, not to ridicule. I held my tongue on this subject to keep from hurting anybody's feelings but no longer.

I'm sorry but no Bisley (or any other single action for that matter) was ever made more comfortable with rubber grips. IMHO, rubber grips have proliferated because they're cheap and shooters who are familiar with DA's never took the time to get acquainted with proper single action stocks. Then there's the whole "they absorb recoil" myth. Not to mention those who complain that their hands are too big, when all they needed to do is wrap that pinky under. Not at all because they're better at anything but rubbing your hide off. They completely destroy the fine handling qualities of a good single action. Causing the sixgun to stick in your hand and transmitting more recoil forces straight back into the palm. They are an abomination. Ever notice that you never see rubber grips on a big bore custom five-shot gun?

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/blackriver905/large/P1010059.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_0548.JPG


I wear an extra large glove and find all the comfort I need with properly fitting custom grips and a correct grip. My hands aren't dainty, I just do it right. ;)

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/miscellaneous/large/Strong%2001b.jpg

Kernel
May 3, 2012, 10:58 AM
GunBlast review on the SBH Hunter:

http://gunblast.com/SBHunter.htm

... and the Bisley Hunter:

http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger_Bisley_Hunter.htm

Having both grip frames, I prefer the standard frame for heavy .44 Mag loads (as does the author of the two articles above). I do find the Bisley grip frame "points" more naturally, no doubt explaining why Colt developed the shape for their late 19th century target revolvers.

Greg528iT
May 3, 2012, 11:20 AM
Craig C.. Your top picture is enough to make me want a 44 Mag BH. Reminds me, I should look for the 45Colt in in the smooth cylinder again. :)

dvnv
May 3, 2012, 12:39 PM
"Ok, so could I stop my dilema between the 454SRHH and 44Mag SBHH by getting both and using the 454 as my trail gun, and ocassional deer gun (unscoped) out to about 50 yrds.? I can get the 454 from a friend used for $550. (my only concern w/ cost there is long term ammo) Or is it simply too bulky to be a trail gun/ gun I also carry from time to time when rifle hunting?

And using the 44Mag SBHH (probably Bisley) scoped as my primary deer hunting pistol? That way, I do not have to take the scope on and off, I just take the 454, and leave the scope on the SBH."

I would reverse the roles...the 454 for hunting only and the 44 for a trail gun. I'd also want the trail gun to have a 5-6" barrel, not 7.5", though I could live with 7.5" if need be.

98Redline
May 3, 2012, 12:42 PM
+1 CraigC

That top picture looks like a Bowen gun
American holley grip panels?

CraigC
May 3, 2012, 04:18 PM
Thanks gents! That is holly and most of the work was done by David Clements.

Coal Dragger
May 3, 2012, 04:20 PM
Rubber grips, yuck. Double action, or single action all they do is let the gun get a running start at your hand. Never have found a comfortable pair of them on anything.

Huntolive
May 3, 2012, 04:31 PM
Thanks Again!

Ok, so forget the rubber grips. Thanks for the cogent explainations on that.

I am liking the Bisley 44Mag SBHH. But if I can swing it, have a hard time walking away from the 454 DA SRHH.

DVNV said to reverse the roles of 454 and 44Mag: that 454 should be for primary hunting and scoped, and 44Mag should be for trail gun and iron sight occassional hunting.

To me, the DA of the 454 SRH makes it a better trail gun, and scoping the DA dosn't sit well with me. Seems more of a blast w/ iron sights.

The Bisley SBHH seems ideal as dedicated scoped deer hunter. 44Mag has plenty of killing power.

So which approach is better?
Why DVNV would you reverse roles?

Coal Dragger
May 3, 2012, 05:13 PM
I would suggest equipping your choice with a rugged micro reflex sight like a Trijicon RMR or JP J-Point etc. You get the benefit of illuminated aiming point, unlimited eye relief, smaller overall package size. Of course like a scope you will have your aiming point on the same focal plane as your target. The only downside is a reflex sight offers no magnification, but realistically most handgun scopes don't offer much anyway. Plus unless you shoot off of a steady rest the magnification is maddening to deal with as it amplified every shake and tremor.

CraigC
May 3, 2012, 05:39 PM
I would suggest making both guns similar, if not nearly identical. Both single actions, preferably with the same grip frame or both DA's, ditto the grips. That way familiarity and proficiency translates from one to the other. My choice is the above pictured stainless Bisley for a big bore packin' pistol that can also take any game I will ever encounter. As a dedicated hunting sixgun, I have this 7" Bisley, another Clements custom. A sixgun which has since been fitted with another set of grips by CLC, this time in fancy claro walnut.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/blackriver905/large/P1010029.JPG


Were I wanting to scope it, I would choose the Bisley Hunter I pictured in post #39. Which happens to belong to my father. They all have grips of the same shape from the same maker, except the rounded butt on the 4 5/8" model so they all feel very similar.

dvnv
May 3, 2012, 06:49 PM
+1 on some kind of red dot verses a scope. IMO the dots are lots quicker and easier to use.
+1 on using a Hunter model if you are going to use optics.

Why the 454 for the hunt only gun? Because it is more, specially if you are not going the cast bullet route. The added velocity stretches the point blank range, and it will hit harder with JHPs.

IME, the trajectory difference is more of an advantage for non-game situations...lets say a coyote at an undetermined distance between 100-150 yards. For me, it is easier to hit with something travelling 1,700-1,800 (let alone 2,000 fps) verses something travelling 1,300-1,400. Even more so on something smaller like a rabbit.

For game animals, my imposed range limit makes the trajectory difference moot.

You might consider buying just one (either one) and seeing how well you can teach yourself to shoot it without optics. You might be surpised. When talking about a 6-7.5" barrel, I can do better with optics from the bench, but am just as accurate with irons off hand and from most field positions.

As CraigC kind of mentioned, familiarity with a revolver helps...having just one is an accuracy advantage in itself. It is kind of an art form and one's mind needs to adjust to small, maybe subconscious, nuances when switching from one revolver to another.

If you opted for one of those two guns, I'd advise the 44, figuring it is the easier of the two to master and is still plenty for hunting. dvnv

ps: I like rubber grips on single actions, but opt for wood when I get to 475.

Prosser
May 3, 2012, 08:10 PM
I just got done reading this thread. You've got a great price on the .454 buy it.

Don't worry if it's perfect.

Here is where I ruffle a few feathers. Shoot .45 Colt out of it, period. If you can't get it done with heavy .45 Colt loads, you need a bigger caliber, not more pressure. The .454 was an answer to a question 40 years ago, and the heavy .45 Colt was neck and neck with it back then. Casull wanted a flat, long range hunting caliber, with relatively light bullets compared to Seyfried wanting a big, heavy bullet for close range encounters with big critters.
You can load .45 Colt to be long range and flat, probably a good combination for your deer hunting. You don't need the extra pressure the .454 brings to the table, or the possibility of a sticking cartridge.

See Ross Seyfried and the .45 Colt killing a cape buffalo.

Heavy .45 Colt loads will do pretty much everything a .44 magnum will, and at lower pressure. Plus with the SRH you can load it with .454 if for some reason hogzilla moves in.

If you want a more powerful handgun, go up in caliber. The BFR in .500JRH
is pretty near perfect for a packing pistol. 440 grain bullets at 950 fps
are going to kill anything in the 48. If you are worried, you can run 420's at 1350 fps easily. Some have said these kill like a .375 H&H rifle.

.475 Linebaugh is no slouch, and ammunition can be found at reasonable prices now and then. These calibers are available in guns that are
packable, not the cannons that shoot the S&@ .500.

Grips:
Make sure that you get grips that fit YOUR hands. Your dabbling in a recoil area where if they are too small you aren't going to be able to shoot the gun. Never had grips that were too big, but I'm sure that would be a problem as well.

Best grip for me for heavy recoil, or at least up to 45 ft-lbs, is the FA 83, with the BFR with custom grips a close second. I find the Bisley grip gives
me a bit more to hold on to, but, with heavier recoil it hammers into the palm of my hand. The 'hump' in the grip really pounds my hand. On the other hand it just might be the recoil being at 65 ft-lbs, and no grip is going to soften that.

Once you get over about 275-300 grains and near full house loads grip
design becomes critical.

My .475 Linebaugh and .500 Linebaugh came with grips for a person with small hands. I had to grab the guns so hard for fear of getting killed by the recoil I couldn't shoot them accurately.

Kernel
May 4, 2012, 08:51 AM
I find the Bisley grip ...with heavier recoil it hammers into the palm of my hand.

Exactly, the Bisley comes back in more of a straight line, like most modern pistols. Were as the standard Colt-Army-Type grip frame “rolls” under heavy recoil - resulting in more motion but a a less intense recoil impulse.

CraigC
May 4, 2012, 09:45 AM
My .475 Linebaugh and .500 Linebaugh came with grips for a person with small hands.
I believed all that "thin is better" crap for a while. Until I found out that thicker, well-rounded grips were unbelievably comfortable. Hogue's thick "cowboy" Bisley grips are very comfortable for an off-the-shelf grip but fitment is usually not very good.

98Redline
May 4, 2012, 10:05 AM
For the love of Pete! We now have 4 pages laboring over what is the perfect hunting/trail gun. Granted I have participated but good God man, we are splitting hairs here.

Trying to get a consensus on an internet forum is like trying to herd cats. You are never going to get everyone together and on the same page. Different people like different things. Some like DA guns, some like SA guns, some prefer the 454 some like the 44, yada....yada....yada.

Of all of the guns and all of the calibers mentioned in this thread, there aren't any I would be worried about going into the woods with. All of them will get the job done and quite handily. I may prefer one over the other but it is just that, a preference. Blondes or brunettes, Ford or Chevy, Smith or Ruger, you will find people willing to contribute their opinion on both sides.

The only way you are going to know what YOU like is to commit and buy something. Take it to the range and practice....practice....practice. Come hunting season, take it into the woods and go shoot some deer. You are either going to love what you bought or will find out that maybe it is not quite your cup of tea. In that case sell the gun (you will probably get darn close to what you paid, especially if you bought a used one) and buy a different one.

We could continue to debate this issue forever. Go ahead and check out some of the other gun forums and look for the lengthy threads on .44 Mag vs. .45 Colt or what is the best gun for bear defense. By the time you get done reading them you will realize what I am saying in my previous paragraph.

Handgun hunting is addictive. It is a greater challenge than rifle hunting and once you have taken your first game with a handgun, you will be hooked. Handgun hunting is rifle hunting on about 10 Red Bulls. But in order to participate you will need a handgun you can hunt with....so go get one of the guns mentioned in the thread. Each gun/caliber has it's individual merits but we are really talking shades of gray. There are no wrong answers to the "which gun" question.

Buy a gun and start burning some powder!

Huntolive
May 4, 2012, 02:38 PM
Thanks to All!
98redline, I see your point, but alot of new questions and good info have surfaced along the way, and I am sure several folks, some who just read, have learned something from it. I certainly have. I still agree that practice is the key, but right now, I am grateful to learn from yall's experience while I get the $ together. End of May, I will have one or the other, and then powder will burn and I am looking forward to "handgun hunting being rifle hunting on 10 Redbulls"...

Coal Dragger, dvnv etc, I am interested in the red dot/reflex sights. especially for the DA. I does not seem right to scope the DA SRHH 454.
Plus, are you saying scopes on pistols have more bounce and difficulty acquiring a clear picture, unlike a rifle scope?

98Redline and Kernel, your experience with this?

Of course, for the scoped gun, I lean towards the 44Mag SBHH. Maybe that will be my 2nd purchase, due to used price of 454SRHH.
Please school me on scopes for handguns and reflex sights. I have used red dots on blackpowder. I was planning on getting like a 4X scope if I get one.

Thanks!

Greg528iT
May 4, 2012, 03:22 PM
I have used red dots on blackpowder.
WHAT?????? if that's not an anachronism I don't know what is. :)

I put red dots on my Springer 1911, and 2 Ruger Mark I, III pistols. By comparison to my buddies, Ruger RH, 44 Mag scoped.. the red dot is WAY WAY easier to get on target. While I end up having aligned, before I pull the trigger it's easier to see the target than twist and align the scope/ gun to finally be able to see thru it. The scope having more glass, absorbs more light so in a dim shooting day, his scope gets dark.

I stated some position earlier, but if you can get the RH in .454 Casul for that price, get it, and shoot 45 colt. Double action, no bid deal on the scoped gun, just put it in SA, as you acquire the target and have the nice steady SA pull.

Greg528iT
May 4, 2012, 03:26 PM
Are you an Olive Hunter? I think we were on page 2 of this thread before I read it as hunT To live :)

Coal Dragger
May 4, 2012, 03:46 PM
Huntolive,

Yes any handgun will have more tendency to wander over the target than a rifle because only having one effective point of contact, your hands on the grip, with your body; vs three for a rifle, both hands on different parts of the stock and your shoulder, a handgun is less steady.

This difference will be noticeable when shooting offhand or from a field position. You can clearly notice it with iron sights, so just imagine what it will be like at 4X. Some shooters do well with a scoped handgun that has magnification, I find them to be maddening unless I am shooting over a solid rest. I do most of my shooting offhand, in fact I have never benchrested any handgun that I own including the match pistol I shot while in College. That is just me though, and to me a handgun is just that: a gun your hold in your hands to use. Not a gun you rely on some rest or other aid to use. Doesn't mean I'm right though, just that I am opinionated.

98Redline
May 4, 2012, 04:32 PM
I will 2nd the notion that a magnified scope is not a great choice for a gun that will not be shot off a rest. From a field position the extra perceived shake can form some bad habits such as the "drive by" (timing the trigger pull to get the gun to go off as the crosshairs pass your intended POI). It is also heavier and with a gun like a SBHH, the scope mounts pretty far forward so it tends to make the gun nose heavy. A SRH mounts a bit farther back so it is not as much of an issue.

I currently have a tube type red dot on my SBHH (Ultradot Matchdot) and have been exceptionally happy with it. I don't feel that the dot reduces my effective range over a magnified scope. I can still shoot offhand out to about 75 yards accurately and out to about 120 with a rest. And when in the field I can shoot with both eyes open. I certainly don't think that on a revolver the lack of a magnified optic is a negative.

I am currently contemplating a reflex type of red dot (Leupold Delta Point) for my SRH. I haven't fully made up my mind yet on the reflex sights vs. the tube sights. The size is certainly attractive but my Matchdot has held up through a number of hunts, pouring rain, dust, being bumped or whacked on things, and some manhandling by the gorillas at the airport and it has still held zero. I also like the fact that I have a dial to turn up/down the brightness as needed. Most of the reflex sights have either a single brightness setting or are automatically adjusted. If you don't happen to like the adjustment, you are kind of SOL.

For the dot size, I think that a 4 MOA dot is about perfect. A 2moa dot just turns into a fuzzy blob, and a 6 or 8 MOA dot seems a little large for longer distance work.

Prosser
May 4, 2012, 04:45 PM
I had a scope on my FA 83. Only good for range work and bags as far as I'm concerned.

CraigC
May 4, 2012, 04:50 PM
I disagree. For a hunting pistol, I have found a good 2x to be infinitely more useful than a red dot. If I can shoot rabbits at 75yds with a pistol wearing a 2x scope, you can most certainly shoot deer beyond that with a .44Mag. You just have to spend enough time with the rig to get accustomed to it.

Prosser
May 4, 2012, 05:47 PM
The big bore guys seem to like the Reddots. Also recoil at a certain point is going to really shake up a scope. Leupold seems to be the choice for heavy handguns, and they aren't cheap.

Coal Dragger
May 4, 2012, 05:51 PM
CraigC,

2x wouldn't be too bad compared to higher magnifications (that I have never understood on a revolver anyway). I have personally just never shot all that well with a handgun scope even off of a rest. Perhaps more training is what I need.

Greg528iT
May 4, 2012, 11:19 PM
I have a Burris Fast Fire mounted to the slide of the 1911 45 acp. It survives that rapid action of the slide. The slower but hard push of a revolver would be a piece of cake. It's $200.

CraigC
May 4, 2012, 11:52 PM
Leupold seems to be the choice for heavy handguns, and they aren't cheap.
Neither is a good red dot. Leupold is definitely the best but there are other good ones for less money. We've had good luck with Burris. Some folks like Weaver, Nikon or the old Bausch & Lomb line. Leupold is definitely the most bombproof.


The slower but hard push of a revolver would be a piece of cake.
I would wager that an optic riding the slide of an auto is a much easier job than on a heavy recoiling revolver. The forces are more severe and go in a different direction.

Greg528iT
May 4, 2012, 11:59 PM
I would wager that an optic riding the slide of an auto is a much easier job than on a heavy recoiling revolver. The forces are more severe and go in a different direction.

As an engineer, I'll take that bet. The acceleration, deceleration read stop in micro seconds, acceleration back, to another sudden deceleration is going to be WAY harder on an optic / red dot. YES a 44 mag kicks HARD. but those impulses, are slow by comparison to a slide hammering to a stop.

CraigC
May 5, 2012, 12:33 PM
As an engineer...
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that....

Boxhead
May 5, 2012, 03:31 PM
"If I had a nickel for every time I heard that...."

You would be unemployed, in fact never considered, in my organization as we hire contractor's to do such work. Really, a stupid phuck remark from a techie. Back to AutoCAD...

Huntolive
May 6, 2012, 01:08 AM
Well, that last round stirred some lively debate, and kicked up some good info on scopes and sights.

Thanks to those who shared useful info.
Some red dots offer 2X magnification. Could I consider these? I have used such on blackpowder.

Seems I should stay away from 4X in any case, yes?
At 2X, it seems so little mag. that maybe just go w/ reflex/no mag red dot, instead of actual scope.
What about 3X that could be good on the SBHH?

98Redline, I'm glad you didn't give up on us, as I value your practical advice. Price/ info on ultradot matchdot?

Greg528iT, info on Burris fastfire? And could that work on SBHH 44mag?

Kernel, and CraigC, etc. please offer advice on a scope for SBHH.

Likewise, Coal Dragger, etc. best ideas on reflex/reddot for 454SRHH?

My idea is to get the 454 asap, and try iron sights and a reflex/red dot.
Then get SBHH and use scope (probably).
The DA SRH just seems more of and up-and-at-em gun, while the SBHH seems more ammenable to rest and scope. Yes?

Also, what are folks thoughts on Prosser's idea to get 454 and just shoot 45lc?
Prosser how do i maximize that for deer, without breaking the bank if not re-loading? powerful 45lc seems 2 b as pricey as 454.

Greg528iT
May 6, 2012, 01:33 AM
As an engineer, well ok, actually in real life there are plenty I wouldnt trust too far. The point being, look at the actual physics of it. Yes big bore revolvers kick big, but the start stop acceleration of a slide would destroy something pretty fast.

As for the Burris Fast Fire, I bought mine thru Primary Arms, they did me good. Burris, has many different mounts for many different guns. I'm sure they'll have something for you.

Coal Dragger
May 6, 2012, 05:40 AM
Greg528iT,

While you are correct about violent reciprocation of an auto slide being hard on optics mounted to the slide, you might take into account that other than today's crop of rugged miniature reflex sights; most optics are not mounted directly to the slide. Instead they are mounted to the frame with the slide reciprocating freely underneath, like on a race gun. The little reflex sights are tough, and since they weigh virtually nothing there is not nearly as much mass there that must come to a stop and reverse directions quickly.

Additionally you might not be talking into account just how violent recoil on a big bore revolver can be, I have shot .454 ammunition that left my palms stinging and you can bet that shock would travel into the optics mounted up top. Additionally big bore revolvers shooting full house loads are notorious for lots and lots of muzzle blast, and that overpressure area at the muzzle is not so conveniently located right where the objective lens of most pistol scopes is going to be located. Good optics will hold up to this, but cheap ones not so much.

Greg528iT
May 6, 2012, 08:18 PM
As I said, I have the burris mounted dirrectly to the slide. Yes, there are frame mounts for for autos, but I was specifically talking about a reflex mounted to the slide and the accelleration and deceleration of said slide. I in no way questioned the amount of recoil of a big bore revolver. I dont even want to think about about all that energy being pushed into a shooters hands, wrists, elbows. I am just saying, if a reflex sight can survive on the slamming stop of a slide, and we already know optics survive on big bore pistol, a reflex can survive on a big bore revolver quite well.

Coal Dragger
May 6, 2012, 09:04 PM
Little reflex sights absolutely should be more durable; I thought, and others may have too, that you were talking about larger scopes.

98Redline
May 7, 2012, 04:14 PM
I can't speak to the reflex sights as I mentioned, I don't have one yet, however if you take a look at the forums where the guys shooting the really....really big boomers (50 Alaskan, 500L, 45-70 BFR, etc...) hang out, when it comes to tubular dot sights, the Ultradot sights win out almost 10 to 1.

I have never heard anyone say that an Ultradot didn't hold zero ever after years of use getting hammered by the rounds mentioned above. Couple that with Ultradot's lifetime warranty and they are hard to beat. Cost wise, my Matchdot was right around $200, however if I were to buy one again, I would probably go with the Ultradot 30 (30mm tube, 4 MOA dot). I find that I really don't need the adjustable dot size of the Matchdot and primarily shoot at the 4 MOA size all of the time.

Prior to getting my Ultradot I did look around for other alternatives, including ones with magnification and what I found is that there was not a quality, magnified red dot sight made that provided the eye relief required for pistol shooting and would hold up to the hammering a pistol will doll out. Sure there is the ACOG which is a great sight, but they are designed with eye relief for AR style rifles. That and the fact that they are 1200 bucks.
The other thing to take into consideration is the type of recoil the scope is designed for. Rifles come more straight back that up, so scopes designed for rifles are designed to tolerate more axial type recoil. A Revolver provides much more vertical acceleration than axial, especially true with a 44 mag and up. Scopes not designed for this type of recoil will be not long for this world.

I honestly don't feel handicapped in any way with a non magnified sight. As I mentioned in the thread above, with a 4 moa dot, and a good solid rest, my SBHH will shoot 4" groups without a problem at 100 yards. At 120 yards I can easily hit a pie plate every time. All of this is under controlled conditions at a range. In the field I don't think I would try a shot longer than about 75 yards.

If you are intent on stretching the legs of the 454 out beyond 100 then there are better tools out there. I would say that for those kinds of distances in the field you are in the realm where guns like the contender and encore reign supreme. There are some that can shoot in the field to those distance with a revolver but the fact is that most of us can't, thus the need for better long range tools.

Huntolive
May 8, 2012, 02:47 PM
Thanks guys!

98Redline, thanks about Ultradot 30. I take it that is cheaper than Matchdot?
I guess it is also lighter than a scope w/ glass, thus easier to maitain steady fre-hand firing position, and more handy in the field? If I like the DA option, do you think I should consider just getting 1 gun, the SRHH 44Mag? Rather than 454 DA and SBHH 44mag when $ recouperates?

Everybody, thoughts on that?

One scope that is well reviewed and claims durabilty and design for 454 recoil is Bushnell 3200 elite, 2x-6x, cost: $299. Thoughts?

Specific recs. on rugged reflex sights?

Any other experience on using 454 just w/ 45lc? Seems like if that is my plan, just get SRH 44Mag.

Greg528iT
May 8, 2012, 05:02 PM
you will not go wrong with the 44 Mag.

It's very versatile.

SRHH 44 MAg, and a good scope (or red dot) BE HAPPY AND HUNTING

Prosser
May 8, 2012, 06:13 PM
I've had a Leupold 2x on my .475 Worked but I don't like scopes on handguns. On the otherhand that might be because I didn't give it enough of a chance. Also the grips were too small at the time.

I thought the 3200 was crystal clear and a great value, so I have 3, but all on rifles. So far they stand up to a 375 and 30-06.

I recommended the 454 because I think that's a good price on the Ruger SRH. It is in my area if I could ever find one used. Keep in mind Kali prices are a couple hundred more for most guns used, as a general rule.

I think with either caliber if you intend to shoot them a lot you need a reloading setup. .44 and .45/454 aren't cheap.

I found being able to use the .45 ACP bullets, along with the wide variety of .45 ACP bullets a big plus in reloading plinking or even deer ammo. A 260 grain LFN in .45 Colt is effective deer medicine at even 1100 fps.

Do you live in a Wyoming like area that requires long range high velocity flat shooting handguns?

Coal Dragger
May 8, 2012, 07:39 PM
For those of us that do a flatter trajectory is nice. I live in the Black Hills, so U have both closer range hunting, and longer shots available and likely. Just depends on what area I am hunting in. That is one reason I selected the .454 but not the primary reason.

Huntolive
May 8, 2012, 11:34 PM
Thanks,

Have researched and found all good things about Ultradot 30 ($150) for either gun.
Also like Bushnell 3200 Elite Pistol scope 2X-6X if getting scope ($299), also checks out good. Anybody else with experience w/ these or better for cheaper?

These would be going on SRHH or SBHH 454 or 44mag.

No, I live in VA, most shots 50-200 yrds. But I don't imagine anyone is recommending using any of these revolvers for much beyond 100 yrds, regardless of where you live, right?
I will probably limit first season to 50 yrd shots.
Therefore, since the effective practical range of either revolver for game is about 100yrds, does the 454 really offer any advantage over 44mag for whitetails?
Or does 454 actually get you out there significantly farther with enough practice?

The more I think about it, the more it seems i could do fine w/ just the SRHH in 44Mag (1gun), but I am having a REALLY hard time walking away from the SRHH454 for $550. I feel like if I bought the 454 now, as it will not be available forever, that I would need to add the 44mag later, especially for long-term affordability of 44ammo. But can't seem to rationally justify the 454, as much as I want it... ;-) Could I be equally ok with just the 454 (or even better off) if I shoot only to train for hunting and for hunting? Or do i need to walk away? Or grab it, and worry about long term ammo costs and other guns a year or 2 from now... ?

Lost Sheep
May 9, 2012, 03:24 AM
Thanks,

Have researched and found all good things about Ultradot 30 ($150) for either gun.
Also like Bushnell 3200 Elite Pistol scope 2X-6X if getting scope ($299), also checks out good. Anybody else with experience w/ these or better for cheaper?

These would be going on SRHH or SBHH 454 or 44mag.

No, I live in VA, most shots 50-200 yrds. But I don't imagine anyone is recommending using any of these revolvers for much beyond 100 yrds, regardless of where you live, right?
I will probably limit first season to 50 yrd shots.
Therefore, since the effective practical range of either revolver for game is about 100yrds, does the 454 really offer any advantage over 44mag for whitetails?
Or does 454 actually get you out there significantly farther with enough practice?

The more I think about it, the more it seems i could do fine w/ just the SRHH in 44Mag (1gun), but I am having a REALLY hard time walking away from the SRHH454 for $550. I feel like if I bought the 454 now, as it will not be available forever, that I would need to add the 44mag later, especially for long-term affordability of 44ammo. But can't seem to rationally justify the 454, as much as I want it... ;-) Could I be equally ok with just the 454 (or even better off) if I shoot only to train for hunting and for hunting? Or do i need to walk away? Or grab it, and worry about long term ammo costs and other guns a year or 2 from now... ?
My suggestion:

Take enough money for the 454 and 20 boxes of ammunition. But instead of ammunition, get 500 bullets, 500 primers, 100 cases, two pounds of powder. It will cost the same and you will be free of the high cost of ammunition forever. Also, you can load from mild 45 Colt loads to full-power 454 Casull loads, whatever you like.

The justification for my suggesting you go for the 454? You hanker for it. If you don't get it now, you will never lose the desire. If you load your own, the difference between the ammo cost is nil.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep

CraigC
May 9, 2012, 08:53 AM
The Bushnell Elite is the old Bausch & Lomb line and they are excellent. However, a big 2-6x variable is a big waste on a revolver. I stand firmly behind the statement that a good 2x is much more useful than a red dot. IMHO, those who think otherwise have probably never spent enough time with one. I've been using them for at least 15yrs and through practice, you will find they are almost as quick to acquire as a red dot.

I don't really know what a screaming deal that .454 is, for I paid $560 for my .480 six years ago, brand new.


Therefore, since the effective practical range of either revolver for game is about 100yrds, does the 454 really offer any advantage over 44mag for whitetails?
None whatsoever. The .454 was a wonderful academic exercise and while lots of folks love it, it really does not offer anything useful for the average shooter/hunter. In very skilled hands it can be stretched to 150yds with full-house loads but very few hunters can utilize the horsepower. So if you can't use it, why beat yourself up?

Huntolive
May 9, 2012, 03:25 PM
Thanks,

Craig C, etc, what scope do you rec? If I can get a Quality 2X or 3X for less $ I might. If no, Bushnell mentioned seems good.
I know I will do virtually no shooting at 6X, but could be helpful for scouting. Disadvantages of having the extra mag. capability offered by the 3200 elite pistol scope mounted on revolver? Or is it just overkill?

Lost Sheep, etc, re. reloading, makes sense to break the ice right out of the box, but my understanding is that even reloading, 44mag would be easier and cheaper. I also have a friend who has reloading equ. for 44Mag I could use.

As for hankerin for 454, I get that, but the real attraction to the 454 was I can get from friend for $550. Then I got sold at first on it being smarter, as with 45lc, I had low end covered, and with 454, I had anything else covered. I originally was hot for 44Mag. SRHH. Also, 44sp is option.
It seems after further research that even for bear, elk, moose, should I need to defend against one, or choose to hunt them that the right loads in 44Mag would be sufficient. Yes? No?

If my friend had had a 44mag SRHH on hand, I would have bought it on the spot. Later it seemed attractive to have 2 guns, one SBHH in 44mag, and the used affordable DA SRHH 454. On second thought, for developing accuracy, it might be best to just master 1 gun, and since I like the DA capability, that would mean either SRH 454 or SRH 44mag. But who likes paying retail... ;-)

Some have said get the 454 and just shoot 45lc. Does that really make sense? How could that be the right way to go?

Thoughts?

Huntolive
May 9, 2012, 03:30 PM
Then again, I'll probably want more guns eventually... ;-)

Have recently considered 44Mag DA SRH w/ shorter brl, that could still serve for hunting, and trail gun.
Say 5.5". But like the design of the SRHH, with its integral scope mount system.
How much of a pain would it be to instead, get a non-hunter model as my second gun, and mount mounts and optics to it?
This would be instead of getting 44Mag SRHH. Good idea? Bad idea? Longer barrel worth carrying around?

Thanks for puting up w/ me,
And Happy Hunting!

Steve in PA
May 10, 2012, 02:17 AM
Sorry, but I love a 2-6x on my SRH. It's the versatility that I love. If you want to limit yourself to 2x, then that's your business. But I like being able to crank the scope up to 6x if I need the extra magnification.

When hunting, the scope is usually set at 2x, maybe once in a while 3x. I use 6x when at the range.

My primary hunting firearm for deer and bear.
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d159/Steve_in_PA/Guns/RugerSRH.jpg

Lost Sheep
May 10, 2012, 02:49 AM
Thanks,

Lost Sheep, etc, re. reloading, makes sense to break the ice right out of the box, but my understanding is that even reloading, 44mag would be easier and cheaper. I also have a friend who has reloading equ. for 44Mag I could use.

True, but not by much. The difference in primers is zero. Small rifle primers for the 454, Large pistol for the 44 Mag and 45 Colt. The difference for brass for 45 Colt vs 44 mag is near zero and possibly near zero for 454 Casull if you load it down to 44 Mag power levels. (While 454 costs more, loaded down, they will last through more loading cycles.) Powder cost and bullet cost probably 10% to 15% more for the 454 Casull than for the 44 Magnum at most.

Just my thumbnail calculation.


Some have said get the 454 and just shoot 45lc. Does that really make sense? How could that be the right way to go?
Yes, it does make sense.

With the 454 Casull, you can load the 45 Colt brass to power levels unheard of in standard firearms chambered for the 45 Colt. Whether beefed-up 45 Colt loads (suitable for Ruger, Thompson-Contender and other, stronger firearms) are equal to, lesser than or greater than 44 Magnum is a subject of some debate, but it is beyond debate that the 454 Casull runs close to 25% or more power than the 44 Magnum.

The part that makes sense is that a little more expense for ammunition (10% to 15%, as I calculated above) and you get a gun/cartridge combination with more versatility (range of power levels). If the 454 is more power than you expect to use, then the 44 is the way to go. If you will be using factory ammo, the 44 is probably a better choice (because of cost).

Lost Sheep

CraigC
May 10, 2012, 08:44 AM
Craig C, etc, what scope do you rec?
A Burris or Leupold 2x. No more, no less.


If you want to limit yourself to 2x, then that's your business.
What I like to limit is weight and bulk. Variables are much heavier, much larger and have a lot more internal parts to go wrong. They also cost a lot more. Sometimes less is more and this is one of those situations. You might occasionally crank up to 6x to justify your purchase but there is no "need" for 6x on a revolver. I can shoot MOA at 100yds with buckhorn sights so there is no problem shooting at 100yds with a 2x scope. Not that I've been there and done that or anything.

Now compare the relative size of this Burris 2-7x to the 2x I pictured on the Bisley Hunter.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsii/large/Ruger%20SRH%20480%20-%20008.JPG

Huntolive
May 10, 2012, 01:46 PM
New possibility: I will get a SRHH or SBHH w/ 7.5" brl as prev. discussed.
Turns out my friend/neighbor has both presses and dyes for 44mag, 44sp and 45colt that I can use. Would all I would need for 454 be the dyes?

He and I are leaning towards 44Mag. But the 45colt dyes are there for 454 if mostly shooting 45. So re-loading is now the way I will go w/ either cal.

But the big new question is about 9" brl SRHH in 44mag, which has become available as part of a package deal that includes a SBHH 7.5" 44mag Bisley, both with Leupold scopes, and Magna ported barrels. All new, never fired together for $1500.

My question is feasability of 9" SRHH, which striks me as almost getting to rifle size, and cumbersome, but what the hell do i know, I havn't held one. Are they harder to keep steady freehand?
I have fired the 454 and 45 7.5"SRHH. What are pros/cons of 9"?

One other thing I need to confirm: if I want to go for moose, black bear or elk ocassionally, can I do that beyond a shadow of a doubt w/ 44Mag?
Or would I truly need the 454?

JEB
May 11, 2012, 01:05 AM
One other thing I need to confirm: if I want to go for moose, black bear or elk ocassionally, can I do that beyond a shadow of a doubt w/ 44Mag?
Or would I truly need the 454?

i would say that the .44 mag should be plenty. really it all comes down to you waiting for the right moment at the right range and putting the bullet right where it needs to be. i honestly dont think that a bad shot with the .44 mag on any of these animals would be made any better if it had been the .454 instead. IMHO, the shooter's ability will limit the range at which you can take game much sooner than the ability of the cartridge will.

trapper500
May 11, 2012, 02:04 AM
I will stick with my trusty 44 mag SRH 9.5" LOVE IT ;)

Lost Sheep
May 11, 2012, 12:48 PM
New possibility: I will get a SRHH or SBHH w/ 7.5" brl as prev. discussed.
Turns out my friend/neighbor has both presses and dyes for 44mag, 44sp and 45colt that I can use. Would all I would need for 454 be the dyes?

He and I are leaning towards 44Mag. But the 45colt dyes are there for 454 if mostly shooting 45. So re-loading is now the way I will go w/ either cal.

But the big new question is about 9" brl SRHH in 44mag, which has become available as part of a package deal that includes a SBHH 7.5" 44mag Bisley, both with Leupold scopes, and Magna ported barrels. All new, never fired together for $1500.

My question is feasability of 9" SRHH, which striks me as almost getting to rifle size, and cumbersome, but what the hell do i know, I havn't held one. Are they harder to keep steady freehand?
I have fired the 454 and 45 7.5"SRHH. What are pros/cons of 9"?

One other thing I need to confirm: if I want to go for moose, black bear or elk ocassionally, can I do that beyond a shadow of a doubt w/ 44Mag?
Or would I truly need the 454?
JEB is right. Poor shot placement will be equally ineffective with the 44 as with the 454. However, the heavier bullet (all other things being equal) will generally penetrate deeper to get into the vital organs of a thick-skinned, heavily muscled animal like a bear. Breaking bone is easier done with a heavier bullet, too.

A lot can be done by choosing bullet construction, though, so the 44 vs 45 debate continues (see many raging arguments over the comparison between 44 Mag and 45 Colt, loaded to maximums). But when you throw the 454 into the mix, the Casull comes out on top. But only if you don't lose accuracy with the recoil. So, your ability to place your shots WITH YOUR HUNTING LOAD always comes first. Bullet construction and weight next and caliber last.

By the way, the 45 Colt dies will PROBABLY do for the 454 Casull, just as most 38 Special dies will do for the 357 Mag. (By the way, "dyes" are for coloring cloth and paint and such. "Dies" are for forming metal.)

Good hunting.

Lost Sheep

Huntolive
May 11, 2012, 02:07 PM
Ok, so 44Mag. is plenty, and has many fully capable bullet options.
454 could help in puting down big game, unless it makes you flinch and reduces accuracy. But 454 size/power will not make up for sloppy shooting.
Anybody disagree about that last part?

As for comparative recoil, I have shot mid-range 454, and while it produced more muzzle blast, the recoil was not overwhelming.
How does mid-range 454 compare in recoil to the type of 44 Mag loads rec. for large game like moose/black bear?

As to 45lc +P out of the SRHH454, what is the effect of the "lower pressure"
that some have referred to. Why would this help? Does it mean that you can fire a bigger, heavier bullet with more knockdown power and less recoil than a 44Mag?

More thoughts on the 9" SRHH 44mag?
I would prefer a 7.5", but I am responding to what is available discount, not just my dreams.

Also need more info on porting. The 9"SRHH 44mag has had Mag-na-port porting done to it at their factory. Apparently it was pretty expensive, and ordered by a person with expereince with 44Mag revolvers, so there has to be a reason for it. Pros/Cons? Or should I just stay away from it? If stay away, why? I could get both a 9"SRHH ported and a 7.5" ported SBHH Bisley (both 44Mag)for $1000. But price does NOT trump what would be better in the field, as I intend to hunt with these, and could just buy a new SRHH 44Mag for $800, or the 454 for $550, SBHH for $500used,etc.

CraigC
May 11, 2012, 03:27 PM
...what is the effect of the "lower pressure"
that some have referred to.
The old ".45 outperforms the .44Mag at less pressure" sounds great in an article and is often regurgitated by those who do not fully understand but in the real world, it means nothing.

The .454, with full loads, will add to your range but it won't kill any deader, nor will it make up for sloppy shooting. To put things in perspective, my main load for the .44Mag is a 240gr cast SWC over 10.0gr Unique for 1100-1200fps from sixguns and 1450fps from rifles. This load will kill anything I will ever encounter in the hills of TN and most of what wanders the North American continent deader than fried chicken and do so without beating me up. You just don't need all that velocity, even in the .44Mag, to be effective.

Big bore sixguns are loud enough but I would really hate to touch off a heavy load from a ported sixgun without hearing protection, as happens often while hunting. It's just unnecessary, a solution looking for a problem.

Huntolive
May 11, 2012, 03:49 PM
CraigC: so the only problem w/ porting is it makes them louder?
Other than that, does it reduce recoil, and add to accuracy, especially for a person new to pistol shooting?
Or is the 44Mag w/ the round you referrenced (much like what I would use for deer, ie 90% of my time hunting) smooth enough with reasonable practice that porting is more a negative?

Would appreciate anyone's experience/thoughts on the Porting factor, and feasability in the field of 9.5"barrels.

Trapper500, tell me more...

98Redline
May 11, 2012, 04:08 PM
As for comparative recoil, I have shot mid-range 454, and while it produced more muzzle blast, the recoil was not overwhelming.
How does mid-range 454 compare in recoil to the type of 44 Mag loads rec. for large game like moose/black bear?

It depends on what your definition of mid range is. 300ish bullet @ 1250-1350 fps will feel a lot like a full power .44mag load. Go higher in bullet weight or velocity and the recoil gets more severe. As the velocity increases, the recoil velocity will also increase which is what makes the 454 Casull recoil distasteful to a number of shooters. Real barn burner 454 loads 1500-1900fps will snap back very sharply. I personally don't like them.

As to 45lc +P out of the SRHH454, what is the effect of the "lower pressure" that some have referred to. Why would this help? Does it mean that you can fire a bigger, heavier bullet with more knockdown power and less recoil than a 44Mag?

The lower pressure essentially is the result of the larger caliber bullet. .45 vs .429. The .45 caliber bullet has around 10% more area for the pressure to work on. So if we look at the force equation:

Force = Pressure * Area

If we have a larger area for the pressure to work on, we will need less pressure to obtain the same force to accelerate the bullet.

The recoil for two bullets of the same weight leaving the barrel at the same speed will be identical for two different calibers and should feel roughly the same. When you start changing one or the other is when the "perceived" recoil changes. As a rule, heavier/slower loads are typically referred to with terms like "a strong push" where lighter/faster loads are referred to with terms like "harsh" and "snappy". Full power 454 loads will be on the "harsh"/ "snappy" side as the recoil velocity is higher than the .44 Mag loads.


Also need more info on porting. The 9"SRHH 44mag has had Mag-na-port porting done to it at their factory. Apparently it was pretty expensive, and ordered by a person with expereince with 44Mag revolvers, so there has to be a reason for it. Pros/Cons? Or should I just stay away from it? If stay away, why?

See my post in your other thread.
The ports will do nothing for your first shot accuracy, which is the one you want to make count. They help tame the muzzle rise (which isn't bad on a 44 mag to begin with). In keeping the muzzle down it will make it easier to reacquire your sight picture for a 2nd shot.
In practice, once that first shot goes off most likely your intended target will be on the move (even if they don't go that far). The time it takes to line up your shot after the animal moves is so much longer than any gain you get from a faster reacquisition of the sight picture that I find it not worth the extra muzzle blast.
On a competition gun, porting and compensators work phenomenally well, but on a hunting gun I just don't find that much use for them.

I could get both a 9"SRHH ported and a 7.5" ported SBHH Bisley (both 44Mag)for $1000. But price does NOT trump what would be better in the field, as I intend to hunt with these, and could just but a new SRHH 44Mag for $800, or the 454 for $550, SBHH for $500used,etc.

I would buy the $500 SBHH. It is the lowest cost of the bunch and offers the least expensive ammo of the two calibers. Where is there a down side in that?
If you don't like it, sell it on Gunbroker for what you bought it for and move on.

CraigC
May 11, 2012, 04:12 PM
Like I said before, it's louder, it pushes more of the recoil forces straight back into your palm (not a good thing IMHO) and you have to keep the ports clean. With the moderate load I referenced, it's just that much more unnecessary. I'm a sixgun nut, been shooting the .44Mag for over 20yrs, own three dozen sixguns and never considered having one ported. If that tells you anything. Like I also said, I would never buy a ported used gun unless I was planning on whacking the barrel off.

Hammerdown77
May 11, 2012, 05:19 PM
You can start a whole 'nother thread on porting and get 20 pages of arguing back and forth.

My opinion is that it is a viable consideration on shorter barreled guns (5.5" and shorter). Longer guns, I don't think it makes as big a difference.

I have it on a 7.5" SRH and a 5.5" barreled Freedom Arms model 83, both 454 Casull. Both of these guns were bought used, with the porting already done.

With the SRH, the porting really serves to direct more of the recoil straight back into your hand. You may or may not want this.

I think it is useful on the the shorter barreled Freedom Arms. That grip tends to roll more in the hand than the SRH anyway, and the porting just makes it roll less. I do not have any issues shooting that gun with heavy loads.

The SRH has four ports, the FA has two.

If I were paying my own money for it, I probably would not have put it on the SRH. The FA, maybe.

Some people say they can't tell a difference. Others can. Again, I think it depends on which gun has it, barrel length, pressure of the rounds you are firing, and what part of your hand is more sensitive to recoil.

Of all the hunting handguns, I think the 454 Casull is probably one of the better candidates for porting, due to the pressure.

I don't really let it influence my buying a used gun one way or the other, though.

JEB
May 11, 2012, 06:39 PM
Big bore sixguns are loud enough but I would really hate to touch off a heavy load from a ported sixgun without hearing protection, as happens often while hunting. It's just unnecessary, a solution looking for a problem.

my thoughts exactly. on ONE occasion (and i made dang sure it was the ONLY one) i touched off a round from my .44 without anything covering my ears and it felt like chuck norris just roundhoused my ear drum. it hurt REAL bad. since then i have made sure to always keep my ears covered with something (hood, stocking cap, both, etc...). the last thing i need is porting to make that even worse.

Coal Dragger
May 11, 2012, 07:10 PM
I used to own a Dan Wesson .44 Magnum, that was ported and honestly it was pointless. My Freedom Arms .454 is not ported, and frankly the non ported, more powerful .454 is more pleasant to shoot overall. It has taken some practice to get used to full power loads in .454 I am no longer bothered by them. I will point out that for some reason heavier bullets, even those over max loads, recoil in a more pleasant manner than lighter bullets going quite a bit faster. The gun seems to roll more heavily with the heavier bullets, but the recoil impulse is not as sharp.

Huntolive
May 13, 2012, 01:53 AM
So, the porting seems at best a minor plus, and possibly far more nusance than it's worth. Poor guy paid alot for something he can't get his $ back on.

Only way I would buy them is if I thought the 9.5" brl offered an advantage, but I see it as a drawback. Even so, it's hard to turn down: a SRHH 9.5" with 2x-6x lupld scope, AND a SBHH Bisley 7.5"brl w/ 4X scope (lupld) both 44mag, all for $1450, mag-na-ported... ?

Hammerdown, what do you hunt w/ the 5.5"454?
98Red, I see your point on SBHH, but feel if I do that I will still be craving a DA, eithe the 454, or 44mag SRHH.

What r your thought on if it would be better for me to get just 1 gun to master, instead or 2? In that case, it's down to the DA SRHH454/45lc or the SRHH 44Mag.

CraigC
May 13, 2012, 11:36 AM
...it's hard to turn down...
Don't be tempted by the "deal" if it is not what you want. Personally, I wouldn't be tempted at all because they both have too much glass on them and features I would never pay extra for. You're much better off paying a fair price on exactly what you want than getting a "good deal" on something you don't. If you need to buy a new truck because you have a need for its unique features, you don't leave the dealership with a two-door sports car because it was on sale, do you?

Huntolive
May 13, 2012, 11:14 PM
Thanks guys,

I agree CraugC, etc. The ported guns w/ all the high mag scopes are not really what I need. Why would anyone want a 4X scope for pistol hunting?
The 2X-6X would be good, but he won't sell it with the 7.5"SBHH, only w/ the 9.5 I dont want.

So, I hope my learning process has offered some amusement to you old pros, and at least it hasn't cost me anything yet.

What advice do you have about buying guns from folks on this site or rugerforum.net? I have always bought in person, or from Buds in past. But there are guys from these sites who have what I want at fair used prices, such as SRHH lightly used, C. 1998 with rings 44mag w/ 100 rnds ammo $625.
Or SBHH $500ish, and of course the SRHH 454/45 for $550 locally from a buddy. I am leaning towards the 44mags though. Plan is to get either Ultradot 30, or Bushnel 2X-6X 3200 pistol elite.

98Redline
May 13, 2012, 11:38 PM
I can't speak for the guys at rugerforum.net, however I suspect that the core populations is the same bunch of guys that frequent rugerforum.com.

I have never had an issue with any of the guns I have purchased from any enthusiasts forum. As a matter of fact, over 75% of what I own now was bought from internet forums. The thing to take a look at is who is doing the selling. If it is someone who has been on the site awhile and had other good transactions then I would feel pretty confident. Someone with lots of posts generally has more credibility in my book that someone with one post offering up a brand new gun.

Caveat emptor

SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE
May 13, 2012, 11:56 PM
That seems like a good deal on the SRH in 454 ! I would go for it ! I love my Srh in 454 ! You can always download a 454 to do what a .44 mag will do , but you cant make a .44 mag do what a 454 can ! Kevin

trapper500
May 14, 2012, 03:00 AM
I like the longer barrel for my needs its gives more velocity without loading the cases with a higer charge it may not be a ton of extra velocity but ill take what i can get if ya like the shorter barrel go for it as for me ill stay with the long barrels both will get the job done its just what one likes the best

Huntolive
May 15, 2012, 03:21 PM
Update:
I am down to 2 guns: both SRHH 7.5" brl.
One is 454/45lc, with about 500 rds. 45lc, lightly used for $800. (Local, from friend of a friend; I have fired the gun, only problem is sticky 454 cases after 45lc)
The other is 44Mag, w/ 100 rds. 44Mag, lightly used for $655. (From a seemingly turstworthy person from gun sites by mail, and he is paying shipping)

To me that makes the price for each SRHH about the same, yes/no?

I am leaning 44Mag, but not at peace w/ walking away from 454 w/ the option to also shoot 45lc.

Question: If I ocassionally shoot 44SP out of 44Mag, will that cause the same problems of sticking cases, that I have encountered with the 454 sticking cases after shooting 45lc?

Also, If I get the 454, I sort of like the idea of shooting mostly 45lc, and just ocassional 454. I plan to handload 45lc, or 44mag. But not 454 Casull.

Could I designate 3 chambers in the cylendar for 45lc -vs- 3 for 454 in the 454SRH, and likewise for the 44 mag, designate 3 for 44mag, and 3 for 44sp, and avoid the sticking cases problem that way, and all the extra cleaning?

Is there any sense in buying both, if I could, (it would be a stretch if I did, and GOD help me if my wife found out!). Or is it better to master 1 gun, and keep it to one type of re-loading?

If 1 gun, which? and why?

Greg528iT
May 15, 2012, 03:29 PM
I think they overlap too much to have both. Unless you just want both.
I'd go with the .454, load 45 colt loads.. any of the crud you get from shooting the 45 colt, can be cleaned out. If you go to the range with both, shoot the .454 first then plink after with the 45 colt. If you are reloading, spend the little extra (lot?) and get the .454 brass and load to 45 colt level loads. Then the cylinders won't have that crud ring.

Hammerdown77
May 16, 2012, 11:58 AM
It's not a big deal to clean out ring left by the 45 Colts. Just take a brush and some Hoppe's with you to the range.

If you are going to get dies and bullets and powder for the 45 Colt, you might as well reload 454 Casull as well. They use the same bullets, can use the same dies (although I like to use a 454 Casull sizing die from RCBS because it seems to give better neck tension). You will need Casull brass (try to find some once-fired for sale on the forums to save some money), and small rifle primers. 45 Colt takes large pistol primers, but the Casull takes the small rifle primers. That is the main difference, aside from the brass.

22-rimfire
May 16, 2012, 01:07 PM
The choice.... you have to look at your tendancies. If I had a 454 Casull, I would envaribly shoot only 454's from it as I would shoot the other less powerful rounds in other revolvers. I don't believe in one size fits all in handguns.

Then there is the 45LC versus 44 mag discussion and preferences. I lean toward the magnum as the price of 45LC ammo is high for what you get. Reloading changes that. But you can reload 44mag brass down too.

As I mentoned in your other thread, I would go with the 44 mag. For a pure hunting gun, the 7.5" works great. I like the 2x Leupold scope. But there is a lot to be said if favor of reddots. For general shooting and some hunting, I favor the 5.5" Redhawk if you like the feel of it when shooting. The Hogue grips help for me.

Huntolive
May 17, 2012, 03:32 PM
Was close to deciding on 44magg.

What gets me is the idea that the 454/45 is really 2 guns in one, both the "starter hunting gun" (45) and the "step up gun" (454) all in one neat under $600 package.

Question:
if high end 44mags recoil is bad, would mid-range 454 recoil be worse?
I have never fired 44. I have fired 454, and found recoil less than I expected, but still flinched a tad.

I have this strange idea that shooting the big, powerful loads at top end of 44Mag (325grns/1300fps) would somehow be nastier than midrange 454 in recoil.
Am I way off base?

I KNOW store ammo for 44Mag is much cheaper,
what about Re-Loading costs for 45lc +P -vs- 44Mag? Or 454 vs 44mag?

stchman
May 17, 2012, 04:04 PM
Definitely A SRH over a SBH. The SBH is a gated SAO while the SRH is a swing out DA/SA. Loading and unloading will be FAR faster with the SRH.

As far as calibers, the .44 Magnum is a lot less $$$ ammo with than .454 Casull.

Prosser
May 17, 2012, 04:10 PM
Depends. In the range you are talking about there is no free lunch.
Bullet weight becomes key in recoil at those levels. 325's at 1350 fps
in .454 are, IIRC, at lower pressure then the equal .44 load, but not by much.

The SRH is not a small gun, and it absorbs recoil well.

Also how well your hands fit, and match to recoil is a big deal, probably more so then the difference in recoil.

Also keep in mind that full house .44 magnum loads are 40k pressure.

Full house .454 loads are 60k, or about that, so that 'medium' load .454 load maybe at 45K or 50k.

I'd also start looking at reloading tables to get some idea of how powerful even minimum loads are in .454, with common powders.

http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp
4227 and H110 are my favorites.

Minimum loads for 4227:
240 GR. FA JHP Hodgdon H4227 29.0 1512 22,300 CUP
260 GR. FA JFP Hodgdon H4227 28.0 1421 19,000 CUP
300 GR. FA JFP Hodgdon H4227 27.0 1541 41,100 CUP
325 GR. CPB LFN PB Ho H4227 24.7 1389 30,300 CUP
325 GR. SFT HP Hodgdon H4227 23.0 1323 42,600 CUP
335 GR. CPB LFN GC H4227 23.0 1306 30,000 CUP
360 GR. CPB LFN GC Ho H4227 21.0 1205 31,000 CUP

Keep in mind the highest pressure, maximum load for the .44 on Hodgdon's
website is 40,000 CUP, and that's with a very fast burning powder.

The FASTEST .44 Magnum loads for 325 grain bullets are:
325 GR. BTB LFN GC Winchester 296 20.0 1264 30,800 CUP 22.0 1368 38,100 CUP
325 GR. BTB LFN GC Hodgdon H110 20.0 1264 30,800 CUP 22.0 1368 38,100 CUP

With 355's:
355 GR. BTB LFN GC Hodgdon H110 17.5 1168 29,300 CUP 18.8 1245 38,000 CUP

There is real merit, even now, in Linebaugh's comments that the 45/454
takes over where the .44 leaves off, and does it with less pressure.

However the .44 magnum will do nearly everything the .45/454 will, but at slightly higher pressure, and with slightly less powder.

I suspect with equal bullet weights you aren't going to be able to tell much difference in recoil, unless you move the .454 into the over 50k pressure range.

My recommendation is you have a better deal on the .454 SRH then a .44 magnum.

As for reloading costs:
The .454/45 Colt can be loaded with ultra cheap .45 ACP bullets for plinking. This usually makes it cheaper then the .44's to reload, in my experience.

All depends on what your going to load. Why don't you do some of the leg work yourself and look up bullets you are likely to use in either caliber, and get specifics, rather then asking for a general
answer to a specific situation?

Hammerdown77
May 17, 2012, 06:26 PM
Even if you are thinking you will shoot mostly 45 Colt in the 454 SRH, I think it is still a good choice. I actually enjoy shooting heavy loaded 45 Colt in my SRH more than the 454 Casull, at least since I got the 454 Freedom Arms. The big SRH really soaks up the recoil, and a 325 or 335 grain cast bullet at 1200 fps out of that gun is quite manageable and will plow through a Buick Roadmaster, should you need to shoot one....

Huntolive
May 18, 2012, 10:13 AM
Thanks to all of you who shared valuable experince, insight and humor.
98 Redline will be relieved to know I have finally decided, and will now get on with actual training! ;-)

You guys are the best! I will also become a re-loader. One more step to ensuring FREEDOM!

98Redline
May 18, 2012, 04:29 PM
After all of these pages of deliberating you say you have decided and then NOT tell us what you picked!? :cuss: ;)

That is the payoff all of us have been working toward.


BTW: Man law states that you MUST post pictures of your gun when you do take possession of it.

98Redline
May 18, 2012, 04:30 PM
I hope you get the obvious friendly ribbing.....

I certainly hope that the advise/opinions that all of us provided were of assistance.

Huntolive
May 18, 2012, 08:21 PM
Fair enough 98Redline! ;-)

Part of why I didn't say was cause I didn't want to diasapoint you Pops!
Or let down the well informed and 44 lover Craig C.

However I am getting the 454/45LC ;-)

My buddy I'm gettin it from will is a Marine firearms expert, and offered to teach me to reload, and assist with training. Plus, I feel I get 2 levels of gun in one. I will use 45lc heavy hot loads, and can't envision ever needing a gun bigger then 454 Casul.

Still could use advice about mounting red dot or scope to SRHH.
Should be piece o cake, but my rings r standard, so do I need others to mount a ultradot 30? Is Bushnell Trophy red dot or Millet reddot a good alternative?
If scope , I like Bushnell 3200 elite. Leupld too much $. Burris 2X possible.
Those should mount w/ standard ruger rings w/ integral mounts, yes?

Happy Huntin! :-)

firesky101
May 19, 2012, 04:49 AM
If you are going to run .45colt+p levels, and be a reloader anyways, I would suggest loading mid range .454 brass. The brass is stronger, and extraction should be easier with tougher brass.

hardluk1
May 19, 2012, 09:29 AM
Good point . Buy some startline brass for the 454 and build up some mild loads for general use. Only one brass to mess with and no crud ring in the cylinder from shorter brass. Ops startine is back ordered on 454 till june 6th. Shop around. easy to get 45 cowboy type loads with trailboss powder and 44 mag power levels with tight group powders.

Coal Dragger
May 19, 2012, 04:52 PM
I will back up the recommendations to just buy .454 brass and load it down to get milder loads. It is stronger, won't crud up your chambers, and generally doesn't cost much more.

98Redline
May 20, 2012, 07:58 PM
If the rings on your 454 are still brand new, you can call Ruger up directly and ask for an exchange. They will exchange your 1" rings for 30mm ones normally for free.

If you don't have them or they are used, then you will probably end up needing to buy new rings.

I can't speak for the scope mounting but on top of a 454 I would definitely lean toward the Ultradot and stay away from the Bushnell. I don't have any experience with the Millett. My advise is to stick with proven performers in taking the severe recoil from these hard kicking hand cannons.

FloriDave
May 20, 2012, 09:26 PM
Why not get both styles :)
I love both of these 44 mags, but if I could only keep one, it would be the Super Redhawk.

As far as 454 vs 44, I have a long history and collection of other guns, bullets, brass, dies, etc in 44. Not in 45 colt or 454, so it's 44 mag for me. Also, I reload and can and do push the 44 to it's limits, and it certainly does everything I need it to do. That being said, if I didn't currently have either caliber and was starting from scratch, I'd probably get the 454.

http://www.daveharper.com/Webpics/Guns/SBH_BarrelCut3.jpg

Huntolive
May 20, 2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks,

I thought about using 454 low power hand loads, but I think that will be signif more expensive, and more complicated to re-load. If I clean the cylendars, won't the 45lc hot loads be plenty for most game? And the cowboy soft 45's better and cheaper for target? Then I could clean and use 454 factory, or handloads when needed. Other views on this?

Also, an experienced handloader told me . "there is no such thing as 45lc +P" but there are hot 45lc loads that are quiote capable of getting the job done.
What does he mean? Is there a technical definition of +P?

Also, on sights, I am leaning to red dot to get started, as my best shots will probably be under 75 yrds the first season or 2. Will the Ultradot 30, if I get the ruger 30mm rings, fit on the SRHH integral mounting system? There is not alot of space there. Also? other red dots 2 consider? Bushnell trophy? Millet?

firesky101
May 20, 2012, 10:28 PM
http://www.saami.org/specifications_and_information/publications/download/205.pdf

I do not think SAAMI has a spec for .45 colt +P, so really it is .45 colt +P+. The issue I have always heard from Freedom arms owners is that .45 colt +P+ is not recommended in a .454 casull is the possibility of flame erosion in your chambers just in front of the cartridge mouth. Then you put .454 in and the brass expands into the valleys which causes problems. Not an issue with standard pressure .45 colt, but if you are going to hot rod .454 brass will keep your mind at ease.

Lost Sheep
May 21, 2012, 02:25 AM
Thanks,

I thought about using 454 low power hand loads, but I think that will be signif more expensive, and more complicated to re-load. (edited for brevity)
What makes you think so?

Loading .454 Casull to 45 Colt specs is no more difficult than loading .357 brass to 38 special specs. Because of the extra case volume you will need the tiniest bit of extra powder, but the difference is tiny.

The brass IS significantly more expensive to buy, but spread out over the lifespan of the brass, may go either way.

Lost Sheep

Coal Dragger
May 21, 2012, 04:11 AM
Starline brass in. 454 is pretty reasonable, and so far I have had good results with it. Down loading is not difficult at all. Loading manuals have plenty of data for reduced loads.

Huntolive
May 21, 2012, 03:13 PM
Ok,
so what is the advantage of using the 454 brass for reduced loads, instead of the 45lc hot loads? Other than avoiding the "crud ring"?
Is there any advantage to using 45LC rather than 454 for some applications?

also, 98 Redline, how about the Ultradot 1" ? I have 1" rings: simlplicity... ;-)
Any REAL reason to go 30mm?

Also, odd ball question, I now have a Judge: can it take any hot 45loads?
Or just cowboy?

56hawk
May 21, 2012, 03:51 PM
Also, odd ball question, I now have a Judge: can it take any hot 45loads?
Or just cowboy?

My understanding is that it cannot handle +P 45 Colt loads. This is a very good reason to not use 45 Colt brass for a 454. It would be too easy to accidentally slip a hot loaded 45 Colt into the Judge and blow the gun up.

Hammerdown77
May 21, 2012, 04:38 PM
http://www.saami.org/specifications_and_information/publications/download/205.pdf

I do not think SAAMI has a spec for .45 colt +P, so really it is .45 colt +P+. The issue I have always heard from Freedom arms owners is that .45 colt +P+ is not recommended in a .454 casull is the possibility of flame erosion in your chambers just in front of the cartridge mouth. Then you put .454 in and the brass expands into the valleys which causes problems. Not an issue with standard pressure .45 colt, but if you are going to hot rod .454 brass will keep your mind at ease.
I thought this too (flame erosion), but I think the actual problem is that the carbon ring inside the chamber attracts moisture, and that is what causes the etching. At the 60k and higher pressures the Casull operates, the brass case will flow into this etched ring and then make it hard to extract fired cases.

Bob Baker said this might not be a problem if you live in a very dry climate, or clean the gun immediately after shooting, but that they had seen the problem enough in their repair shop to feel justified in making the blanket statement that they "don't recommend it".

Coal Dragger
May 21, 2012, 04:55 PM
Plus why bother keeping two kinds of brass around when one type will do? Simple is good!

Prosser
May 21, 2012, 06:28 PM
I'm not loading hot .45 Colt anymore. When I was the advantage was the relatively limited .454 bullets. WAY more .45 Colt bullets, and some of these sat out too far in .454 brass giving OAL too long for the guns.

The shorter case does make lower loads easier to deal with, with less threat of detonation, etc.and uses a bit less powder. If you are shooting lower power loads the advantage can also be better accuracy. For ideal accuracy you want a powder that fills the case as much as possible, leaving little room for the powder to shift, ignite differently. This leads to consistent combustion and excellent accuracy.

Has the .454 premium cost gone away yet? Back then if it said .454 it was twice the cost of .45 Colt. Has this changed? Component wise?

"Also, I am in market for a CC and trail gun that is durable, and will stop both a man, black bear, and could be used on occassion to take a deer under 50 yards w/ open sights."

It looks with this area you are going to be loading relatively light bullets.
I suspect you might go down as low as 230 grains, with a maximum of 260 for bullet weight.

I always felt a 230 grain hardball .45 ACP bullet would be effective on the above, lead cast, when pushed at 1800 fps out of my .45 Seville.
At the time, the bullets were south of .05 cents each.

If you can find something in that bullet weight range, with an LFN bullet design, and cast VERY hard, with no gas check, or, softer with a gas
check, you are golden. Get velocity over 1350 fps and the bullet will deform
a bit when it hits, giving a slight mushroom effect, and a large wound channel. It will also be pleasant to shoot. When the bullet weight goes up, the recoil goes into the "it isn't easy or really fun zone" fast.

There are going to be others that tell you that the 300-325 grain bullets are
easy to push to nearly the same speeds, and kill like Thor's Hammer.
They are right. Cost is recoil and usually bullet cost.

It's possible to find relatively cheap bullets in the .45 ACP bullet range.
Once you go out of that range the cost goes up considerably.

Huntolive
May 21, 2012, 11:44 PM
Thanks. but I am also getting 500 rounds of standard 45lc w/ the gun; guess I'll just use those in the Judge.

Seems like there are divergent views on this. Some say that bigger bullets, above 250 grns push smoother and produce less harsh recoil. I was thinking of a 300 grn 45lc at about 1200 fps. Isn't it the velocity that causes most of the nastier recoil elements?

Is this thing about using the 454 exclusively something specific to the SRH? Because, many folks have also recommended using all 45lc, and only very ocassional 454, both those familiar and unfamiliar w/ the SRH in question.

If I am willing to clean out crud ring ocassionally, I still don't see why I would use 454 all the time, even toned down. Those cartridges don't seem designed for that.

Feel free to educate me.

Prosser
May 22, 2012, 01:36 AM
There aren't many different views of physics. SRH weighs 3.3125 pounds or so.

Go here to recoil calculator:

http://www.beartoothbullets.com/rescources/index.htm

Start punching in numbers.
325 grains 1200 fps:
Recoil Energy of 19 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 19 fps.
300 grains 1200 fps:
Recoil Energy of 16 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 18 fps.
260 grains 1200:
Recoil Energy of 13 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 16 fps.
230 grains @ 1200 fps:
Recoil Energy of 10 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 14 fps.

The only thing other then physics that is a variable is the speed of the powder exploding, and the amount.

A fast burning powder can have a sharper felt recoil, since it quickly reaches peak pressure. The tradeoff is often you use half the powder amount of a slower burning powder and that compensates for the sudden feeling of
the quick explosion.

To be real for heavier bullets you generally are always using slow burning powders. Lighter bullets faster powders, since the bullet doesn't provide enough resistance to give the slow powder to reach maximum pressure.

There are exceptions to these general rules.

At a certain point in bullet weight it doesn't matter what powder you are using for a given velocity, it just flat out kicks HARD.:what:
YMMV.

Lost Sheep
May 22, 2012, 03:01 AM
Ok,
so what is the advantage of using the 454 brass for reduced loads, instead of the 45lc hot loads? Other than avoiding the "crud ring"?
Is there any advantage to using 45LC rather than 454 for some applications?

Simplicity of inventory control. If you only have 454 brass you have one less bin on your shelf. Since 1975, I have never owned any 38 special, though I shoot a LOT of 800 to 900 fps 158 grain slugs out of my .357 ,agnum guns. If course, it helps that I don't own any 45 Colt or 38 special guns.

For individual applications, there is not much difference (aside from the crud ring), but the assurance of not slipping a 45 Colt +p into a gun not strong enough for it is plenty incentive for me.

If I owned any 38 Special, 44 Special or 45 Colt guns, I would never load any +p loads in those chamberings. Safety. All +p loads would go into the longer brass.

I am not arrogant enough to believe I cannot make a mistake or two. With double checks, single mistakes can be caught. Double mistakes (over a couple of decades) can catch up to me, and I don't want to be caught.

I don't wear a safety belt asleep in my bed, but if I see a simple step to more protection/safety, I take it. Not making +p loads is simple if I already have the magnum chambering.

That's just how I work. You can develop your own safety procedures. If and when I get a 45 Colt or 38 Special, I will adapt.

Lost Sheep

Prosser
May 22, 2012, 03:26 AM
You might also check on primers. Since .454 uses small rifle primers,
I'd rather use the .45 Colt brass and the variety of pistol primers around.

IIRC, pistol primers are generally softer, easier to fire, and require less hammer striking pressure, that may translate into being able to get a better trigger on your SRH. SRH's aren't exactly known for light trigger pulls, and the .454 part of the equation, along with the rifle primers, maybe part of the reason for that.

If you need .454 case capacity in the .45 LC case, just seat the bullet out further. That's how the bullets are designed anyway.

I can't speak to the strength of the .454 cases. It would make sense that
.454 brass would have thicker walls due to the insane SAAMI spec for .454.

This might be a major plus for case life in a tight chambered .454.

It seems 5 pounds or more is the stock .454 trigger pull to consistently ignite
small rifle primers. I know that's what the FA's are at, but, they do do a trigger job to around 3 pounds as well.??:confused:

I will say that with a Linebaugh tight chamber 6 shot I don't think I ever had a brass problem using .45 Colt cases. Ruger isn't known for tight specs
on nearly anything, so your SRH might have oversized chambers, inconsistent chambers, etc. YMMV.

Huntolive
May 22, 2012, 11:45 AM
Ok, the safety and simplicity thing makes sense to just use 454 brass, with downloaded rounds. Plus, I avoid the crud ring.

But, someone mentioned that without filling the case w/ powder, that this could lead to loss of accuracy! How much do I need to worry about that, and how is that avoided? Perhaps by using slighly more slower burning powder, and a slightly heavier bullet?

For safety, if hand loading hot 45lc, I could just store that in a separate marked box. So if anyone thinkls this is crazy to use all 454, instead of mostly hot 45LC, and ocassional 454, as I had originally planned, please speak up.

Thanks!

Prosser
May 22, 2012, 03:20 PM
.45/454 are both good sized cases. With slower burning H110 and 4227 even a minimum charge is going to be a pretty full case.

I recently tried using AA 9 minimum loads in .475 and .500 Linebaugh. I had some pretty wide variations in velocity.

I can remember, sort of, having problems with faster burning powders in the .45 Colt case. Very big case, and some of the faster powders allowed double charging by accident, without being noticed, until you pulled the trigger. Only
happened once. I made sure from that point on that I used powders and charges that would overflow the case if double charged.

I settled on HS 6 for my lighter loads, and stayed with H110 and 4227 for the heavier loads.

I suspect with the current cheap chronographs we notice speed variations
that back in my day required a very expensive chronograph to discover.

I'm not really sure how much you are going to notice out of a SRH.

Not real sure what the SRH is able to shoot with ideal ammunition.

Custom big guns, with proper ammo, match grade barrels, will shoot one hole at 25 yards, cloverleaf at 50, and 2-3" at 100 yards, or better.

Due to that potential, the smaller details can become noticeable in such guns. Don't know how that will be with the SRH.

I do know of a bunch of folks that swear by their custom SRH's, with match grade barrels, and dot sites they drive tacks with them.

Before you decide on brass:

Get the gun, shoot it, and see if you are happy with the trigger pull. If not, and you want a trigger job done:

get a hold of a gunsmith that does custom work on SRH's, like Jack Huntington(JRH Custom Gunsmithing). Ask him if it makes a difference in trigger pull using the small rifle primer vs. the pistol primer in doing the trigger
job.

In other words if you are going to use the .454 brass, with small pistol primers, is this going to mean the hammer has to strike harder, springs have to be stiffer, and the trigger pull has to be higher with the .454
then it would using .45 Colt and pistol primers?

I don't know, but it's worth checking before you make the decision.

Also compare magnum Pistol primers with Small rifle primers cost wise.

Another consideration would be having the chambers checked prior to buying the .454. Ruger has never been known for tight tolerances on their big guns. If the chambers are oversized, the brass expands more then it should,
and it can be hard to resize. IF the chamber is too large, that might be the chamber that has sticky brass.

One advantage of the .44 magnum in a ruger is if the chambers are cut too big, you can always ream it out to .45 Colt and rebarrel.

Hammerdown77
May 23, 2012, 02:01 AM
I think the chambers in my SRH are a little oversize. I've split several cases from lots of FACTORY ammo. None yet with my hand loads, but I ain't running them full tilt all the time either. At a certain loading the cases start to stick pretty good on extraction, and I load a touch under that (or wherever the best accuracy is).

Lost Sheep
May 23, 2012, 03:44 AM
Feel free to educate me.
Thanks, I will try.


If I am willing to clean out crud ring ocassionally, I still don't see why I would use 454 all the time, even toned down. Those cartridges don't seem designed for that.

Clean out the crud ring constantly, assiduously. You should be doing that anyway, but it is easier the sooner you do it after shooting-some even do it while the gun is still warm from the range.

True, those cartridges aren't "designed" for light loads, but they stand up to that loading just fine. Light loading of fast powders is not all that problematic.

Is this thing about using the 454 exclusively something specific to the SRH? Because, many folks have also recommended using all 45lc, and only very ocassional 454, both those familiar and unfamiliar w/ the SRH in question.
Not specific to the Ruper Redhawk. Any 454 chamber, or any chamber longer than the shorter cartridge (.357 Mag/38 Special, 44 Magnum/44 Special, same principle) has the exact same issues.

The 454 does have relatively higher pressures than the 45 Colt when you compare to the 44 Special v 44 Mag. 17k to 40k where the 45 Colt v 454 Casull is 14k to 48k. Now that I type it, it doesn't seem that much a difference. The 44 is 2.35:1 and the 45 is 3.42:1. The 454 is using rifle primers when fully loaded, so you be the "Judge".

You can go either way. I chose to go all the longer case, no matter the power level. Since you do have a 45 Colt not safe with +P loads, your decision is a bit more complex, but if I were you I would load 45 Colt to 45 Colt specs, NEVER +P and if I wanted to shoot 45 Colt power loads in the SRH, I would load light in 454 Cases. The brass just fits the chamber dimensions better. Less "jump" in freebore to the rifling, less cleaning effort (note that I did not say "less cleaning", but just less EFFORT).

That is what I do with 44, as I own no 44 Special guns and have never owned a 44 special piece of brass. With 38, I did have a small supply of 38 Special cases that I used until I wore them out (in 1975-76). But I do own one 45 Colt revolver. With my 45 Colt brass and two 454 guns and one Ruger Blackhawk 45 Colt (which is OK for 45 Colt +p) my choice is more complex, so I have an inventory of both sizes of brass.

What I am saying is, what any of us do may serve as a guide for you, but ultimately you must decide which of our reasons for our choices are applicable to your situation and gives you an acceptable assurance that you will never bluw up your Taurus with a +p load intended for your SRH.

You have one SAAMI spec 45 Colt and one +P 45 Colt / 454 Casull gun. I would do whatever it took to GUARANTEE there COULD NEVER BE a +P 45 Colt slip into my SAAMI spec gun.


Seems like there are divergent views on this. Some say that bigger bullets, above 250 grns push smoother and produce less harsh recoil. I was thinking of a 300 grn 45lc at about 1200 fps. Isn't it the velocity that causes most of the nastier recoil elements?

Bullet weight and velocity have a large influence on felt recoil. Powder quickness and peak pressure also has an influence. I don't understand it, but it has been testified to (and I have to accept it on face value for now) that if you load a fast powder (say, Unique to a given velocity with a particular weight bullet and load that same bullet with a slower powder (2400 or Lil'Gun) to the same velocity, the Unique load will produce fiercer recoil than the slower powder.

Check this recent thread from another forum
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=488372

Yes, velocity and bullet weight have the most influence on recoil, but they are not the only factors and may be able to be outweighed by those other factors. Like I said, I don't understand it, but I am working on it.

I hope my thoughts are helpful.

Lost Sheep

Coal Dragger
May 23, 2012, 04:18 AM
Prosser,

I had a chance to handle a Freedom Arms that had an action job done on it a few weeks ago, honestly the main spring didn't feel much softer to me although the entire action was smoother overall. The trigger pull weight was lighter than mine by a bit. I would venture a guess that mine is around 4.5lbs, and the tuned action was maybe 1lb lower. One advantage a single action has is the relatively massive hammer doesn't need as much speed as the smaller hammer on some double actions to ignite a primer. I doubt the SRH would be affected much since the hammer is pretty beefy too.

I liked the tuned FA enough to want it done to mine, along with an over travel stop. I have been tild that the triggers are heavier from the factory to accommodate use with gloves. Not sure how accurate a statement that is, my own guess is that it is a liability issue.

Coal Dragger
May 23, 2012, 04:24 AM
For really light plinking loads in .454 brass another good candidate is IMR Trail Boss. It will completely fill the case and offer light recoil. You couldn't double charge one if you wanted to.

Prosser
May 23, 2012, 05:40 AM
CD:
I have two, both with triggers slightly under 3 pounds, done by JRH Advanced Gunsmithing.

I was just wondering about the hardness of the .454 Small rifle primers.

Wyoming is cold, and I can see a 5 pound trigger in that state.

It is sad in a way, since the trigger effects the accuracy of these incredible guns. Still, they are hunting guns and the trigger, if I think a bit heavy, is still VERY crisp and breaks like a glass rod.

I think it may help primarily FA's bottom line, since the trigger job is near 100 bucks. Still, I can see the legal point that now the trigger pressure is a feature the owner clearly decided to add, not the factory.

The fact that the safety on the FA 83 is pretty much don't carry with a hammer down on a loaded chamber, so it's really a 4 shot gun. I carry mine at the slight cock safety position, and pray I never have it AD.

Huntolive
May 23, 2012, 09:40 AM
Sincere thanks Lost Sheep, CD, Pros, etc for your advice and exp.

I am on a steep learning curve, but am committed to re-loading.
I see the points about 454 brass.

The only thing this has me thinking, is, maybe I should settle for the 44Mag. SRHH instead! ;-)

But is the 454 any harder to handload than the 44 Mag?

Huntolive
May 23, 2012, 09:41 AM
Sincere thanks Lost Sheep, CD, Pros, etc for your advice and exp.

I am on a steep learning curve, but am committed to re-loading.
I see the points about 454 brass.

The only thing this has me thinking, is, maybe I should settle for the 44Mag SRHH instead! ;-)

But is the 454 any harder to handload than the 44 Mag?

Hammerdown77
May 23, 2012, 10:09 AM
But is the 454 any harder to handload than the 44 Mag?

Nope

Manny
May 23, 2012, 10:21 AM
Fair enough 98Redline! ;-)

Part of why I didn't say was cause I didn't want to diasapoint you Pops!
Or let down the well informed and 44 lover Craig C.

However I am getting the 454/45LC ;-)

My buddy I'm gettin it from will is a Marine firearms expert, and offered to teach me to reload, and assist with training. Plus, I feel I get 2 levels of gun in one. I will use 45lc heavy hot loads, and can't envision ever needing a gun bigger then 454 Casul.

Still could use advice about mounting red dot or scope to SRHH.
Should be piece o cake, but my rings r standard, so do I need others to mount a ultradot 30? Is Bushnell Trophy red dot or Millet reddot a good alternative?
If scope , I like Bushnell 3200 elite. Leupld too much $. Burris 2X possible.
Those should mount w/ standard ruger rings w/ integral mounts, yes?

Happy Huntin! :-)
Congrats on chosing a great and versital gun. Especially as your friend is teaching you to handload you should get terrific use from the gun. It's twin that resides in my gun safe is evidence of what a great choice I think it is.

A scope you may want to consider is the Weaver 2x, very nice optics and a great reliability record even on hard kickers. I find above 2x to be usefull only from a rest. YMMV.

Truthfully though I think the best all around set up may be one of the mini dot scopes such as a Burris fast fire or Trijican RDS. I'm thinking real hard of going to one mounted using the Wiegand (sp?) rail. Light, compact & tough and I am satisfied with no magnification at the distances I shoot mine at.

Hope you have good luck and a lot of fun with your new boomer.

Coal Dragger
May 23, 2012, 02:51 PM
Prosser,

I agree with you about the FA safety notch, although once engaged it should be very solid if you have a properly fitted holster with a hammer safety strap to ensure it can't be pulled back at all. Too bad they don't update it to the transfer bar on the M97. I would pay extra for this, even though it should come from the box that way.

Also suspect you are right about the trigger, tuning adds to the bottom line and helps defer liability.

rajb123
May 23, 2012, 05:26 PM
Bill Ruger helped Bill and Hillary Clinton enact very bad gun control legislation in the early 1990s.

And this is why I don't buy Ruger guns.

Coal Dragger
May 23, 2012, 06:02 PM
The old man is dead, let it go.

Huntolive
May 23, 2012, 06:15 PM
I am now leaning towards using 454 brass for all applications in the SRH, and downloading it to somethin like 260grns at 1200 fps for deer and target.

Help me out here, do I need the 454 dies?
I've gotten mixed answers. Most say NO, but that 45lc dies can leave bullets loose after recoil.

Best place to get affordable basic, decent 454 dies?

Or if not needed, I do already have access to 45lc dies and the presses.

The presses are all the same , right?

Prosser
May 23, 2012, 06:18 PM
Use the .45 Colt stuff and see if you have any problems.

You can answer part of your own question by opening a reloading manual and looking at the case dimensions, and see if and where they differ.

I suspect at the levels you are going to load bullet pulling is unlikely to be a problem.

Plus I suspect the guy who is going to teach you knows the answers to MOST of your questions.

Lost Sheep
May 24, 2012, 03:49 AM
Sincere thanks Lost Sheep, CD, Pros, etc for your advice and exp.

I am on a steep learning curve, but am committed to re-loading.
I see the points about 454 brass.

The only thing this has me thinking, is, maybe I should settle for the 44Mag SRHH instead! ;-)

But is the 454 any harder to handload than the 44 Mag?
You are most welcome. Glad I could help.

The 45/454 is theoretically better ballistically because it is a bigger bullet. But the 44 may have more selections of bullet construction available.

The 45/454 is a better round for reloading because

1) the 454 is capable of significantly higher power levels than the 44 Magnum (if you really want to go that high).
2) The 451 bullet is 5% greater diameter than the 44 (.429"), 10% greater frontal area and 16% greater mass (for the same bullet profile).

The 44 is a better round for reloading because

1) has no history of varying bullet diameters like the 45 Colt does. (Because of the history, some chamberings are set for .454" bore size and some .451".)
2) the rim of the 45 Colt is not as proud of the case body as the 44 (does not stick out as far, thus there is less for your shell holder or extractor star to engage).
3) is a tiny bit cheaper to reload.

So, it depends on your needs and preferences which is "better".

The best I can do to answer your question is to point out (what I see as) the issues that govern. But I may have missed one(s) significant to you. I only see the ones significant to me.

Lost Sheep

Alaska444
May 24, 2012, 03:56 AM
I chose the SRH in .44 magnum. With Buffalo Bore +P+, I am at .454 levels as well. I feel it is the best choice for me.

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