Agreed, Semper Paratus (from a USCG vet)
There really are two answers to the question:
First, the actual, correct, legal answer--which will vary some depending upon the jurisdiction but in most cases boils down to whether or not "deadly force" was justified. If deadly force was justified, then technically, it matters not whether that force was meted out with a bare hand, a rock, a baseball bat, a pistol, shotgun, cannon, or by dunking the ******* in hydrochloric acid. There is just one level of force in use, "deadly."
Now, the practical answer: Any prosecutor who chooses to do so can (except in those jurisdictions with good laws protecting those who defend themselves) overcharge and then make emotional appeals to a jury that legally are irrelevant but will, nonetheless, be played out. A savvy defense attorney would object continuously to such a line of questioning, because it truly is irrelevant; but the likelihood that your use of a "hand cannon" instead of a "normal defensive firearm" would come out in the testimony and used in an attempt to sway a jury is quite high--far more so in any civil trial that would arise.
If you use .454 loads, the problems are a large, heavy gun, lots of recoil, small capacity, and overpenetration. If you use .45 loads, the problems are a large, heavy gun, and small capacity. If it is all you have, go ahead. However, IMO, it is not the best choice by a long shot.
Does anyone actually believe that the prosecutor may be a well intentioned guy who upon seeing a police report in which someone was carrying a .454 might think to himself, "Oh my Jesus. This guy is insane. He's more of a danger to the community than anyone who would rob him...I could understand a .45ACP, I carry one myself...but holy marry mother of god christ the lord...No...I don't think I'll be believing the victim on this one...I think the guy who purportedly robbed him actually did something, what I'm not sure...but the guy with the elephant gun probably over reacted..."
It's not always "oh...gotta get the people with guns...all guns bad...all of them...hate guns..."
A lot of them, judges & prosecutors, are well intentioned people who want to stop dangerous people. Did you ever think that your conduct could make them view YOU as a person just as dangerous as the criminals?
Just asking,aint carried yet.It still is one of if not the only gun that dosent feel like a waterpistol in my big paws.It also seems that some members here the main question.Why is a 12ga slug ok,but a .454 considered excessive?
The problem lies in the personal views of the prosecutor and the jury. I think when NC passes the Castle doctorine, anti-gun prosecutors will have less influence with their personal views.
Utilize sites like these to give you an idea on how your bullet choice performs:
Brass Fetcher Ballistic Gelatin Testing
Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing
The Box O' Truth - Ammo Penetration Testing
Bullet results after firing -Scroll to bottom for other bullet tests.
When you first mentioned the 12 gauge, you didn't say anything about a slug. A slug is not ok. A slug puts your neighbors at risk.
ccw9mm gave you a wonderful answer. Read post #10.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
I would be more concerned about the eventual civil case that arises..so why give them an excuse to take all your hard earned possesions??
The Box O' Truth #3 - The Shotgun Meets the Box O' Truth - Page 1
1. Notice that the #4 and #1 Buck penetrated 6 boards. In previous tests, 9mm, .45 ACP, and M-193 out of an AR all penetrated all 12 boards.
So, it seems that these loads do not "over-penetrate" as much as some have led us to believe.
The 00 Buck penetrated 8 boards, but was stopped by the 9th. Still not as much penetration as the pistol or rifle loads.
The slug penetrated all 12 boards.
Ok,Ok,Ok,I give up,I promise I will not carry the only pistol that truly fits my hand.
May you live forever.(Leonidies)
You didn't specify the particular gun in question, but I highly doubt that planet Earth has a single firearm that fits your hand. Grips are interchangeable, after all. There are a few .454 platforms made, and a couple of those (at least) support other cartridges. Same ergonomics, different caliber.
For example, Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan, in .44 magnum. Or, the Taurus Raging Bull series of guns.