44 Mag v 454 Casull

44 Mag v 454 Casull

This is a discussion on 44 Mag v 454 Casull within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'd like to get a woods gun for when we travel to grizzly, moose country. I like the concept of the Ruger Alaskan, but feel ...

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Thread: 44 Mag v 454 Casull

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    44 Mag v 454 Casull

    I'd like to get a woods gun for when we travel to grizzly, moose country. I like the concept of the Ruger Alaskan, but feel that the 2.5" barrel loses too much of the power potential to muzzle flash and recoil. With the 460 S&M, one can shoot 45LC, 454, and 460 loads. I'd love to have one, but carrying one would be like hiking with a boat anchor on my belt. I'm thinking a L or N frame with a 4"-5" barrel would be a nice compromise.

    On paper, the 454 is superior, but is it better functionally? It seems there are more gun and ammo options available for the 44 mag which would make me favor that option. Is the 454 that much better at stopping 4 legged threats?

    I'd appreciate your thoughts.
    I know little on the subject so I'll speak at length.


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    Whichever you choose, file the front sight off because you don't want to chip your teeth using that last bullet.

    I've shot .44 Mag Blackhawks, and that's about all the recoil I care to handle and expect anything close to accuracy with a follow-up shot. You need to shoot one before you consider carrying one. They can be bruisers. I would not want a snubby in a round that powerful as you lose too much velocity. I'd rather have the 5.5" Redhawk in .44 Mag.

    I used a shoulder rig with my .41 Magnum when I was stationed in AK, and it never felt like it was weighing me down.
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    I don't know about the .454 but have shot the .44 magnum since about 1971.
    I've never thought I needed anything more powerful.
    Nowadays when I wander into the back country (bear territory) the .44 magnum goes along.


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    A friend who is a long time big bore fan had some model of a 454 for a while. He loved the thing, a big honkin wheel gun. But he never shot a full cylinder in one setting. He did however like to plink with a S&W 29. (44 mag)
    I'm not saying we should kill all the stupid people. I'm saying remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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    44 magnum and 454 included in this test. 454 was superior to all in function.
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    My experience is with 357s. Shooting full loads through my 586 are nothing. Shooting through my Dad's 2.25" SP (2 finger grip) are uncomfortable, but still controllable. I've heard horror stories about the recoil of the 454, but I've heard the same about guns I've shot that I found to be completely tame.

    I'm a fan of carrying the biggest gun you can control. A 44 mag is big, is the jump to a 454 worth it?
    I know little on the subject so I'll speak at length.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hick63 View Post
    I'd like to get a woods gun for when we travel to grizzly, moose country. I like the concept of the Ruger Alaskan, but feel that the 2.5" barrel loses too much of the power potential to muzzle flash and recoil. With the 460 S&M, one can shoot 45LC, 454, and 460 loads. I'd love to have one, but carrying one would be like hiking with a boat anchor on my belt. I'm thinking a L or N frame with a 4"-5" barrel would be a nice compromise.

    On paper, the 454 is superior, but is it better functionally? It seems there are more gun and ammo options available for the 44 mag which would make me favor that option. Is the 454 that much better at stopping 4 legged threats?

    I'd appreciate your thoughts.
    I think full-house .460 loads definitely fall into the "S&M" mode, emphasis on the -M- part!

    In gross terms, the .454 Casull is a magnum version of the .44 mag. The .460 is like a .454 magnum.

    In 1-dimensional terms:

    .44 magnum - 1200-1500 ft-lb muzzle energy
    .454 Casull - 1400-1900 ft-lb
    .460 S&W mag - 2000-2800 ft-lb

    Draw your own conclusions, but consider your ability to handle the recoil of a hand cannon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I think full-house .460 loads definitely fall into the "S&M" mode, emphasis on the -M- part!
    I guess I did a virtual Freudian slip. From your data, the 454 does offer much over the 44 mag.
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    I know little on the subject so I'll speak at length.

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    Do you reload ?

    I ask as most any place will carry 44 mag or 44 special ..454 not so much

    Having fired 44 a bit .. Yeah def try before you buy

    I would say Ruger for 44 mag .. They over build the dern things so much they can take Nuke loads..


    My go to walking gun is either my 20sf 10mm or my 44 mag smith ... I dont have a issue there .. I move to Alska yeah maybe I will try to get into 460 or 500 .. But after firing full load 44 mags well it puts hair on you


    Oh and PS I do have a alskan not sure on the loss though .. I like it for fun more then carry .. Though it make a grand carry gun
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    If I felt like either the .41 Magnum or the .44 Magnum wasn't enough then I'm seeking the advantages of a rifle. I'm stopping with the .44 Magnum as the most potent handgun on the place. It's plenty potent as handguns go and ought to be tried out.
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    If I were to go with a bigger gun than a .44mag it would be a .50 S&W.

    I did fire a friends 45-70 revolver----ONCE ! That thing would shake to fillings out of our teeth !!!!!!

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    If you feel you have to have a large handgun, go with one you can shoot accurately and fast. For me and everyone I know, that tops out at a .44 magnum. When you need something with rifle power, go with a rifle unless you have something to prove.
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    At the same range trip, I've shot about a box of ammo each out of a friend's .44 Ruger and .454... I think it was a Dakota. Both had 6" barrels. The .454 was Mag-Na-Ported.

    The difference between the .44 and .454 was about like the difference between a .38 and .44. The .454 was WAY more gun.

    I'm not recoil-sensitive at all, but there were two reasons I didn't like the .454. First, more due to that particular gun than the cartridge, the gun rotated up in my grip when I fired it. I had to reposition the gun in my hand for each shot, and the trigger guard was eating my index finger after a while. And that's with the ported barrel! Again, that's probably due to that particular pistol, which had one of those fat western-style grips and the barrel axis way above the grip level.

    The second issue, and the important one... even doubled up with plugs *and* muffs, the noise was punishing. I've shot louder guns, but not many...

    I found the .454 accurate, at least within the limits of my so-so marksmanship, but having to re-grip the gun each time sure slowed things down.

    Being a reloader, I'd probably go for the .454 and load it to where I felt comfortable, knowing I could always run full-house ammo if the situation called for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    If I felt like either the .41 Magnum or the .44 Magnum wasn't enough then I'm seeking the advantages of a rifle. I'm stopping with the .44 Magnum as the most potent handgun on the place. It's plenty potent as handguns go and ought to be tried out.
    I think Bryan has it nailed. I don't have a 41 in the stable (but I know where one is) but I do have a 629 in 4". If the 44 is insufficient then a long gun is required. 6 rounds of 44 should buy you time to go fetch said long gun. I've never played with a 454 and it may be that I never do. I'm not speaking poorly of the caliber at all but you gotta know yourself when it comes to handling the thing. The 44 magnum is the venerable granddaddy of big bore handgun calibers for good many reasons.
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    I shoot .454 loads through my scoped 7.5" Super Redhawk, and that's about as much recoil as I'm willing to accept. I don't even want to imagine that cartridge out of a snubby. I don't consider myself that recoil sensitive either, the cartridge just hits hard. One nice think about the .454 though is you can shoot 45 Colt loads, some of which are on par ballistically with 44 magnum. It's nice to have the options.
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