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.454 Casull or .44mag, Any real difference??

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by kgpcr, Nov 4, 2008.

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  1. kgpcr

    kgpcr Member

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    I am going to be buying a new Ruger Redhawk and was thinking about getting a .454 Casull but after looking at the balistics i can get with .44mag i am not sure there is much difference. Buffalo Bore makes a 340grn .44mag at 1475fps. I am not finding much in the Casull that will rival that. Thoughts??
     
  2. Big Daddy Grim

    Big Daddy Grim Member

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    I looked at both and went with the S&W .460 but I like my old Airlite .44.
     
  3. s4s4u

    s4s4u Member

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    But you can't buy BB in your local SG's store. I do agree however that the 44 magnum is plenty good for most anything you'll hunt in this country, and won't beat you up or ring your ears like the longer jobs. Even at 1300 FPS it will do a number on game.
     
  4. kgpcr

    kgpcr Member

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    This will be my carry gun in Alaska. the bear at the rivers we fish are after the same salmon we are after and it gets hairy once in a while no matter how much you try and avoid trouble. a 454 is as big as i will go
     
  5. evan price

    evan price Member

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    You can use .45 Colt in a Casull if you want lesser performance.

    Or you can load up on .44 Mag to get better performance.
     
  6. bluemalibu

    bluemalibu Member

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    I lived for several years in Fairbanks, working as a police officer. I've hunted the state with pistol from Barrow to the islands 70 miles south of Valdez harbor.

    Before you entrust your life to the .44, PLEASE look at the ballistics for this caliber again, and realize what you are seeing... the .44 Magnum has LESS muzzle energy than the lowly .30 caliber carbine! (Do you know anybody that has EVER purposely chosen an M1 carbine to hunt brown bear?) If you'd like a graphic picture of the prospect, read "Alaska Bear Tales"... and count how many people there have been buried after unloading a full cylinder of .44 rounds into the breadbasket of a griz.

    The .454 Casull develops 1823 ft-lbs energy (and 15,000 psi greater pressure) compared to 971 ft-lbs of muzzle energy for the magnum... (remember, one must quadruple the power to double the speed) The round is so potent that while in development, Freedom Arms found that jacketed bullets could not be used. The forcing cone would rip the jackets from the core of the round. To manufacture the rounds for the .454, solid slugs of copper are drilled out and then bonded to the lead insert.

    While salmon fishing in AK, I kept a 6 1/2" Freedom Arms single action .454 on my hip, and a 20" stainless steel riot gun across my back, loaded with 3" magnum sabot rounds.
     
  7. cobra2411

    cobra2411 Member

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    I shoot and reload a lot of .45lc so the .454 vs 44mag choice is easy for me. I also have a 454 Chevelle, so... :)

    Blue is correct, the .454 is a superior round to the .44. For most hunting it doesn't matter, but when you really need stopping power, go with the 454.
     
  8. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    I would get the biggest thing you can hit at what your aiming at and do it more than once. It is better to hit a bear with 3 44mag rounds than hit him with one 454 and miss with the other 2 shots.
     
  9. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Why not the 460? You can shoot both 454 and 45 Colt out of it. The only things I can see that 44 has over 454/460/500 is less recoil and its easier to find. I personally think that if you are going with a non mainstream round like the 454, you might as well get the 460 or 500.

    Ohh....... I see you want a Redhawk. Id say 454 then.
     
  10. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Member

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    I know this is off topic here but the shotgun was mentioned.

    If the purpose for the shotgun while fishing was bear defense why use a set up for Sabots.

    Non-Sabot slugs are more effective at defense ranges. The only thing the Sabot Slugs give you is longer range and accuracy.

    Other Slugs give enough accuracy for this situation and is more potent.
     
  11. Gun 4 Fun

    Gun 4 Fun Member

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    Bluemalibu- Are you kidding? You either haven't done much shooting or are an armchair theororist. There is no comparison between a .44 and the .30 carbine. Energy doesn't kill! Momentum does the work, and there is little momentum behind a 110 gr. bullet. There are ALOT of loads for the .44 that turn up well over 1200 foot pounds, with the bullet weight to keep it penetrating. It's easy enough to prove, use whatever backstop you like, wood, papers, wet papers, dead carcasses, I don't care. The .44 will out penetrate the carbine every time. It doesn't matter if you have 1000 fp. or 10,000 fp., as long as your putting a bullet of decent caliber and weight through the vital organs, and leave an exit wound for bloodloss and to let cold air in [for shock to the pulminary system] whatever you hit is going to die.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  12. bluemalibu

    bluemalibu Member

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    Gun4Fun - All are welcome to their opinions... heaven knows that that is why there are Fords and Chevys. But rest assured that one certainly will not be winning many friends when attempting to belittle another contributor in the opening line of a post, whom you do not know, in some misguided attempt at gaining credibility.

    I would not waste the energy to attempt to enlighten someone that has obviously made up their mind about a topic, for fear of their only being confused by the facts... but, because many are new to the shooting sports that want to be able to gain knowledge through the collective experience of others... I'll not allow them to accept as truth, what you are attempting to sell.

    All that have a grasp of ballistics, know that any argument of Momentum vs. Muzzle Energy is ludicrous. It is equivalent to someone saying "It's not about speed, it's about velocity!" They're exactly the same thing.

    Muzzle energy is derived from the formula: 0.5 x mass x velocity squared… or, in other words, the product of mass and velocity.

    Momentum is a measure of the motion of a body, equal to the product of mass and velocity at a rate of 0.5 x mass x velocity squared.

    Not one bit of difference.

    It also shows the absurdity of FunnyGuny's assertion that it's all about 'momentum', and that "It doesn't matter if you have 1000 fp. or 10,000 fp" of energy. Again, because they are the same... more is simply more.

    All that kgpcr wanted to know was whether there was really any difference between the .44 Magnum and the .454 Casull.

    And there is a world of difference.

    The .44 is actually only .429" inches in diameter. And, while one surely could reach higher energy levels with duplex powder charges, the manufacturing industry standard for the magnum round hovers between 800 and 850ft-lbs. (I was generous in my earlier post, by using the 971 figure that indeed is available, though not the norm, not wanting to appear biased.) On that same note, energy levels for the Casull can be achieved well above the 2000ft. lb. mark... but, even the factory loads develop such extremely high chamber pressures already, (60,000 CUP) that Small Rifle primers are used in the chambering because of their added strength in construction.

    This isn't regurgitation of some want-a-be hype, or the drivel of an "armchair theororist"(sic), but simple physics, fact, and real-world experience... (among which was six terrific years with the AMTU.)

    kg--- , PM me and I can send the pictures of the moose I've taken with the Casull. When you run into a brownie, the time that you'll be allotted to clear leather and send a round down range may easily be limited to a single shot. Make it one that gives you the best chance of telling your story to the rest of us...
     
  13. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    uh.... momentum is just mass times velocity.
     
  14. FLoppyTOE

    FLoppyTOE Member

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    Both are fine 454 is stronger but there is nothing wrong with .44 mag.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  15. FLoppyTOE

    FLoppyTOE Member

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    bluemalibu, buddy, common now. 850 ft-lbs? I don't know where you get your numbers.

    Check this(or any other legit chart)
    http://world.guns.ru/ammo/am02-e.htm

    Nobody will argue that the 454 is more powerful, but you make the .44 mag sound like a toy.

    BTW, Irishman is right.
    p=momentum
    Ke=Kinetic energy aka muzzle energy
    m= mass
    v = velocity

    p=m*v

    Ke=.5*m*v squared

    Ke and P not equal.
     
  16. Smitty908

    Smitty908 Member

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    blue,

    The term momentum is referring to the resistance of an object in motion to change speed.

    Which would you rather catch bare-handed? A baseball thrown as fast as a pitcher can, or a 'Nerf' ball thrown by the same pitcher? Even if the pitcher could throw the nerf ball twice as fast as the baseball, it still wouldn't hurt much.

    The heavier the object, the more it wants to remain in motion.

    Thus, more penetration.

    -Tim S.
     
  17. bluemalibu

    bluemalibu Member

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    Your right, of course… You’ve made me sorry that I tried to help this guy stay alive to fish another day.

    It simply must be an all-out conspiracy of the manufacturing industry purposefully under-reporting their ballistics numbers for the standard loading of the .44 Magnum, for insurance purposes.

    PMC 240 Gr. TCSP Muzzle Velocity - 1300 fps.; Muzzle Energy - 900 ft-lbs.

    Federal 240Gr. JHP, Muzzle Velocity - 1180 fps.; Muzzle Energy - 740 ft-lbs.

    Winchester 240 Gr. SJSP Muzzle Velocity - 1180 fps.; Muzzle Energy - 741 ft-lbs.

    Remington 240 Gr. SJSP Muzzle Velocity - 1367 fps.; Muzzle Energy - 850 ft-lbs.

    Comparative power chart: www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm

    Ballistics Chart: www.volny.cz/buchtik/Revo/Ballistic_Info_komplet.htm
     
  18. bluemalibu

    bluemalibu Member

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    It's awfully easy for everyone to safely sit at home behind a keyboard and give advice about the adequacy of a chambering to someone else.

    But don't you get it??... This person will be depending on this information to stay alive.


    I know that there has to be others on the board that have hunted Alaska with a handgun... hopefully they'll speak up and join me in quoting Elmer Keith...

    "Hell, I Was There"!
     
  19. Dogbite

    Dogbite Member

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    Listen to Bluemalibu, that gentleman knows what he is talking about. I was born and raised in Alaska, and stayed out in the bush for 3 months at a time. I have had many big bear encounters. I have also owned the 454 Casull for many years. You definitely want the more powerful 454 Casull. Take bluemalibus advice, and mine, and live.
     
  20. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    I don't think anyone's disputing that .454 is the most effective caliber, I think they're just disputing mistakes in your previous posts.

    Factory 240gr .44 loads are pretty light, but no one (I hope) is going to go into grizzly country with a cylinder full of cheap plinking ammo. By utilizing Ruger's famous over-engineering, handloaders and companies like Buffalo Bore can produce .44 loads that approach .454 energies. Here's a link to the load the OP mentioned - 340gr, 1470 fps, 1649 ft-lbs. Again, not a .454, but much more powerful than you made it seem.

    Also, although muzzle energy is a good indicator of a caliber's effectiveness, it is not the only one. There is no one all-encompassing number that shows you a caliber's effectiveness. Penetration and terminal effectiveness are not only governed by energy, but by bullet diameter, bullet construction, sectional density, and momentum, among other variables. The difference between momentum and energy is a very important one. Smitty908 summed it up very well, but here's another way to think about it: You have two choices for a bear defense loads: a .454 pushing a 300gr slug at 1450 fps, or a .22-250 pushing a 60gr slug at 3600fps. Based on muzzle energy alone, it would be a tough choice. The .454 is making 1759 ft-lbs, and the .22-250 is making 1727. The energy equation is highly biased toward velocity, and the resultant number hides the benefit you would be getting with the much larger slug. Momentum can help us quantify this. Momentum and energy do not have a "more means more" relationship. Even though the .454 and .22-250 have roughly equivalent energies, the .454 has by far the most momentum, which results in more penetration. This is the same reason dangerous game calibers push a truly enormous slug at relatively low velocities. Sometimes the weight of the slug is more important. So its not all about energy, nor is it all about momentum, its a combination of many different factors.
     
  21. bluemalibu

    bluemalibu Member

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    Dogbite, you'd be welcome at my campfire anytime.

    And Irish, thank you so much for taking the time to help point out my flaws...
     
  22. RandyB

    RandyB Member

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    I personally think that everyone is missing the boat. A .44 vs .454 is a moot point if you can't hit the target. That means the shooter. Som folks would do well to stick with a .44 over a .454 because they can shoot if more accurately and faster. For that matter some folks would be better off with a .357 with an 180 grain bullet. Does anyone recall the story in the last couple of years about the guy fishing in Alaska and putting a brown bear down with a 9mm? Or the guy who chucked a log and killed the black bear in georgia? The question of what can you hit with, can it penetrate to the CNS of a brown bear, and how much gun can the shooter handle, all that precidents over the whole mass/velocity stuff. Please don't take my comments as a personal attack on anyone. Given my choice, if I was in Alaska fishing, I would opt to take my 870 with slugs and purchase a .454 as back up. I would also have the barrel cut to either 4 or 5 inches to make it easier to carry.
     
  23. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    I was thinking the same thing, but I bet that Buffalo Bore load the OP was considering would be pretty close to a .454 in recoil. I guess just shoot whatever you get until you're confidant in what you can do with it.
     
  24. S&Wfan

    S&Wfan Member

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    Bluemalibu is giving great information . . . a 454 on the hip and a slug gun strapped on the shoulder!

    The 454 is for if you can't get to the slug gun fast enough!

    Good, real world advice.

    Me? Down here in Georgia, hunting whitetails, my 44 mag., stoked with 300 grain hardcast lead flatpoints puts 'em in the dirt every time. But on Grizzly bear? I wouldn't bet MY life on it.

    Thanks Malibublue, for trying to help the other guy protect HIS life too.

    T.
     
  25. Dogbite

    Dogbite Member

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    These are big bear stoppers; 12 gauge pump with slugs. 45-70 with Garrett hammer head loads. 300 win mag and up, loaded heavy. 500 and 460 S&W. 454 Casull. If you cant handle any of those, 44 mag loaded with Garrett loads, and with a very large bear that could be borderline. Any Sourdough walking around in Alaska knows 9mm is a joke for big bears. 357 Mag is not a good idea. A friend of the family that has loads of experience living in the bush unloaded his 30-06 on a big bear and just barely got it before it got him. He made good solid hits, and he told me he would never try that again with a 30-06. I have seen a good size bear take 2 good solid hits from a 300 win mag and survive log enough to be dangerous. Many men have gotten eaten, and they were armed with rifles and actively hunting, at the ready. Let 1500 pounds of bear walk up to you, and tell me you need a 9mm in your hands. Ive been there, and I'm here to tell you that kind of thinking is foolishness.
     
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