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Which Big bore Revolver for hunting?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ArkansasFatboy, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. ArkansasFatboy

    ArkansasFatboy Well-Known Member

    I want a big bore revolver for hunting. Which is most versitle? My dad Has a .44 mag But I was thinking of .454 casull or the .460 anyone have any input?
  2. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Well-Known Member

    If your going behond the .44 mag I would take a hard look at the .460

    You can shoot .454 Casull as well as .45 Long Colt through that chambering, as well as the .460 of course.

    These are X frame (large) guns however and different in handling than those available in .44 Mag. It comes down mostly to a matter of personal taste and what you plan on hunting, and in what conditions.
  3. ArkansasFatboy

    ArkansasFatboy Well-Known Member

    Mostly I will Hunt whitetail and Hogs and maybe someday Black bear
  4. john1911

    john1911 Well-Known Member

    Excellent advice.

    44 mag works for me and the hunting I do. I've never felt under-gunned hunting deer with either a .44 mag or .41 mag.

    The .460 will probably give you more range over the .44. That, along with the ability to shoot .454 and .45, would be my reason to purchase a "bigger" handgun than the .44.
  5. ArkansasFatboy

    ArkansasFatboy Well-Known Member

    Mostly I will Hunt whitetail and Hogs and maybe someday Black bear
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I will add my voice to the S&W 460 too for all the above listed reasons.

    I'll add... fires a big bore projectile faster than any other pistol. The .460 Magnum is even faster than the .500 Magnum.
  7. Fumbler

    Fumbler Well-Known Member

    All you really need is a 44mag...but more power and a heavier bullet is nice.

    I own a Super Redhawk in 480 Ruger. It's a great cartridge. The recoil and muzzle blast is a lot less than the 454, but it's got a bit more oomph than a 44mag.
    There's something to be said about a 400 gr 0.475" diameter bullet too.
    The 480's heavier bullets will penetrate more than the 454's and the gun won't beat you to death.

    Having said that, the 480 isn't for everyone. It's really a reloader's cartridge. There are only a few factory loads for it. Also, you don't really need 4 feet of penetration to kill a deer. :uhoh:

    The most versatile is the 454. You can shoot 45 long colts, there's tons of different factory ammo, and components are cheaper if you reload.

    I wouldn't consider the 460 S&W...it's just too much gun and if you're going to shoot mainly 45LC or 454 then you may as well save money and get a 454.
    I personally think people are too caught up in velocity.
    You can kill an animal pretty d4mn dead with a slow (if you call 400gr@1300fps slow) fat bullet. More velocity is just more noise and flash.

    My advice:
    If you're not recoil shy then get the 454.
    If you don't have a lot of experience then get the 454 and load it with 45 LC.
    If you reload and want something unique that performs the same or better on game than the 454 without the recoil and blast then get the 480.
  8. glockman19

    glockman19 Well-Known Member

    Great Advice
  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    When I was younger, if my Dad had a 44 mag, I'd probably get a 41 mag. I sort of like the underdog calibers. The 32 mag intrigues me, but I don't have one. Have a SRH 480 Ruger and it does everything I want a gun to do when I need something larger than a 41 mag.

    If I wanted to make 200 yd shots with a handgun, I'd buy a Contender. That is one of the reasons I have the 480 Ruger, plus I like that fact that it shoots a big diameter slug (larger than 460 mag) and can be loaded with much heavier bullets. The 480 is my whitetail handgun which I use as the primary gun on hunts. I leave the rifle at home usually these days. Plently of power for black bear or hogs. The recoil on the 480 is about all I want although I find that the Smith X frames are fine and tolerable (from a recoil standpoint) platforms for the 460 and 500 mags.

    If it were me TODAY and I didn't want a 41 mag, I'd get a 500 S&W for the same reasons that I like the 480 Ruger. It is just a bit more. Mostly un-needed for the most part, but more. The problem I hear about the 500's is they wear barrels out quickly. I'll stick with the 480 Ruger. Just wish Smith would build a revolver in that caliber.
  10. earplug

    earplug Well-Known Member

    I would look at A .45 ACP and get it bored out to 45 Roland. Its A very flexible handgun and you could use it for many range games in .45 ACP.
  11. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Well-Known Member

    .44 mag is plenty. I have a .454, but I carry the .44 mostly since it's smaller, I train with it more, I reload for it so I'm getting more out of it than factory rounds and it's double action if you need it.

    The .460 is inordinately heavy, do you want to pack that around all day? You may, if so it's the best selection since it will shoot all the different variations of the .45.

    The Casull is beyond a doubt the best made pistol in the group, but single action and heavy recoil.

    Get a nice .44 and reload for it - done deal.
  12. Arcticfox

    Arcticfox Well-Known Member

    Use the .44 for deer and hogs. Get a .500 for black bear. Seriously! :eek:
  13. countryrebel

    countryrebel Well-Known Member

    44mag is plenty for anything you mentioned.I had a 44 and sold it,great shooter,bought a 454 casull and my hand hated it,I could not hit the broad side of a barn so it was not for me,Bought another 44mag and now I am back to hitting what I am aiming at.I can only think the 460 is a great gun but when it comes to cost and recoil I will stay with the 44.IMO.Just remember it used to be one of the most powerful.
  14. campbell

    campbell Well-Known Member

    Gah, the .460 is absurdly heavy, expensive relative to the Rugers, and that compensator is great if you want to be Captain McBlasty.

    Get a .44 mag or a .45 Colt. If you want double action look check out a Super Redhawk, or the Blackhawk and Bisley in single action.

    For platform, I personally would recommend the Bisley. The Bisley grip frame is particularly recoil friendly, and even the 7.5'' barrel version comes in at 48.5 oz. For comparison, the 5'' .460 Smith is 62.5 oz, and the 8'' is 72.5 oz. The Ruger single actions can be found for around $500, often less.

    Caliber? My favorite is the .45 Colt. The .45 Colt in the Rugers will do anything a .44 mag will, and at lower pressures. If you handload, then the possibilities are vast. As for factory ammo, the popularity of cowboy action shooting has made plinking rounds a regularly stocked item at most gun shops, and mail order specialty ammo means high performance loads are also readily available. Best bang for the buck in the high performance stuff is DoubleTap's .45 Colt +p line. The 255 grain loads are a great deer and hog round. I'd say go up to the 335 grain for bear (perhaps for hogs as well if you're going after really big hogs). But if the recoil is too much the 255 grain will take black bear as well.

    And no, you don't even remotely need a .500.
  15. sm

    sm member

    .44 mag.
    Heck for some smaller game, the .44 Special is plenty fine.

    I've piddled with .454 and Ruger .480 and they have their place, no doubt, and it depends on locale and size of critter.

    I've piddled with .41, but if were going to have 2 big bore guns for handgun hunting, one for sure would be a .44 mag, and the other a .45Colt.
    Just fuddy-duddy me, and I have not spent that much time with the .45Colt, just too many folks have too much good luck and enjoy the whole experience.

    Heck most gun shops got some kind of .44 mag load in stock...
  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I have to disagree with your statement. I'll agree that wanting high velocities just for the sake of speed is silly but high velocities are an asset in a hunting round. Most who hunt with a big bore revolver do so to challenge themselves. Many will hunt with good glass at distances further than most non-hunters would consider shooting a handgun. When firing a heavy projectile at distance you want that projectile to have lethal velocity when it reaches it's target. IMO, that's why high velocities are important in a hunting handgun.
  17. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    I noticed that DoubleTap has a 320gr WFN normal SAAMI spec'd .44 Magnum... I would think that would do for nearly anything here in the lower 48. I cannot think of anything more appropriate for hunting with a handgun than my iron-sighted 6" half-lug 629 - with any of the widely available .44 Magnum ammo.

    Don't get me wrong, when I decided I needed a .45 Colt DA revolver - and couldn't find a Redhawk - I settled for a then-new .454 SRH (7.5"). I shot the stew out of it over the years... thousands of .45 Colts, .45 Colt-ish loads in .454 cases, and hundreds of 'real' .454's. I stupidly traded it away - my favorite Ruger. The 5.5" .45 RH I eventually got would eclipse it with my wimpy-moderate .45 Colts - my 625MG's did better, so the RH left too. I miss that SRH - even to the point of looking at another new one! The grip made it easier on the mitt to shoot hot than most .44's with milder loads. Scoped - from smoked/burnt sandbags - with hot .454's - that SRH would put five in 1.6" at 50yd - pretty good - especially for me.

    I found my 'milder replacement' - a new 6" h-l 629 with .500 Magnum grips. Fun as a plinker now, too. It is not likely I will ever stomp the woods of Alabama hunting again - the tree-stand seated snipers pop away at anything that moves.

    In the conceptual hunting considerations, I must admit I got interested in the Ruger .480 too late. You folks with a .480 SRH enjoy them... Ruger axed all of their namesake caliber offerings this year. My 'dream' for a woods stomping protection - a 4" .480 SRH - will remain a dream, I suppose. I did try to find a .480 Alaskan when the first - and only - batch was out - to no avail. My .45 Colt 625MGs will have to 'do'.

  18. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    In the cosmic scheme of things, a .45 Colt is better for .45 Colt revolvers! Also, while T/C single shots are fine single shots... this forum is on 'revolvers'. My .454 SRH made horrible groups with my usual 200gr LRNFP @750 to 255gr @ 900 fps .45 Colt fare. My 4.6" BHG Vaquero grouped better at 25 yd. My 4" 625MG was even better - and, later, my 5.5" .45 RH was nearly as good as the MG. The rifling rate was the key. The .454 SRH - and even more so with a .460 S&W - has a slow twist rate, favoring high speed round - like a rifle. The original PC .460's were to have a gain-twist variable rate for even more velocity. A relatively 'slow' .45 Colt, like the hunter's favored 300+gr WFN, won't do as well as it would from a 'closer' designed twist rate (RH, S&W - within limits).

    We all play the "But, it will also chamber x, y, & z!" game. I did it two years ago. Tired of my 'dainty' finished blued 24's in .44 Special, I said goodbye to my 6.5" 24-3 and Heritage 24 - and bought a SS 6" .44 Magnum - a new 629. It see's .44 Russians, Specials, and, after cleaning, Magnums - all from 700-1,000 fps - within it's abilities. (Most .44 Magnum rounds are under 1400 fps, so no big problem.). I have fun... a proper chamber matching my desired caliber would be best, sure... but the .460 round was initially designed for 2,600 fps (It had to be derated as the barrels tended to unscrew!). Still, a huge difference in size & mass between a 4" 625MG or 5.5" RH and a .460. That 6" 629 looks better...

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  19. Fumbler

    Fumbler Well-Known Member

    The 460 has its place, but true long range handgun hunters are few and far between.
    If someone is asking about what caliber to get then they probably aren't highly experienced. Why not suggest a more packable platform in a caliber that's more user friendly?
    If you only shot 45LC in a 460 then you wouldn't get good accuracy, that's something else you need in a hunting handgun.

    If you really do shoot at distances requiring those velocities then go for the 460.
    I just think people don't realize what they and their "normal" magnum caliber guns can do with a little bit of practice.
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Unless you're just hung up on revolvers for hunting, get a Contender. My go to hunting handgun is in .30-30 Winchester. I handload a 150 grain Nosler BT to about 2100 fps.

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