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Just read the Alaska thread...

This may have been asked before, if so please point me to the thread... what are the ballistics and pros and cons of each and hich do you prefer and why? I have always wondered about these larger calibers and there may be others to add... comments and opinions welcome!
 

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A pro for the 454 is that you can practice w/ 45 long colt ammo, so you'll have less recoil when going to the range.
 

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The .454 shoots a .45 caliber bullet at the same speed or better than a .44mag does,so you are shooting a heavier,bigger diameter bullett at least as fast.
 

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With a 300g bullet the 454 can top the 44 mag by over 300fps. As long as I stay away from large bears I would prefer the 44 mag.
 

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With the added increase in power comes the added recoil and although its not a problem for some people, it is for others.

I've known several people that bought them, shot a box or two through them and then ended up selling them due to the stout recoil.
 

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One step further... the .460 - can fire 454, 45 long colt AND the bad mo fo .460 - that is my caliber of choice for backpacking in AK.
 

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How much more do these larger magnums gain in power (speed/energy) over heavier handloaded .45 Colts and .44 Specials? Is it the difference between brown bear and black bear? Or more like bear and Florida deer?


-B
 

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Most dog sledders I knew in AK preferred the 44mag for putting moose down who refusine to leave the sled trails and instead...charging.:yup:
 

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I just bought a 44 mag and I can put over 100 heavy loads through it in one outing and feel no pain. Made the mistake of shooting our duelling tree with it so I have no doubt it has some knockdown power. I would have no issues trusting my life to it, but would also not go looking for a big bear to test that theory.
 

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I normally carry a 44Mag, and don't have an issue with controlling it, recoil, follow-up shots, etc.

I also have 2 454 guns. A 7.5" Ruger Super Redhawk and a Ruger Alaskan. While they have the same basic frame, the weight and balance of the barrel on the longer gun makes a VERY LARGE difference in recoil. With heavy loads, the 7.5" gun can still be very manageable, the 2.5" Alaskan is another story.

Technically speaking, the 44Mag is actually a .429 caliber that generates about 30,000 to 36,000cup of chamber pressure. The 454 Casull is a .452 caliber than can generate 65,000+cup chamber pressures. Just for comparisons sake.

Chuck Hawks says: "The price for all of this power is increased recoil, greatly increased recoil. The .454 generates almost 5 times the recoil of the .45 Long Colt, and about 75% more recoil energy than the .44 Magnum. It is way out of the class of all but the most experienced and recoil tolerant shooters."
 

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Shoot what you feel comfortable enough to hit the target 99.99% of the time... or the "canon" is useless.... either one of those you can kill elephant with so to speak... I like the Dirty Harry gun "..this is the 44 magnum the most most powerful handgun in the world, and could blow your head clean off."
 

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I dunno...if I lived in brown bear territory, I think I'd be more comfortable with a 12 g shotgun loaded with slugs...as long as the local LEOs didn't hassle you about walking around with a slung long arm...:gah:
 

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It depends on the gun and the load your going to use as far as ballistics ect.

When I was looking for a large caliber magnum, I started to look at the 454 Cas. The more I looked the more I decided I really didn't want or need it. I picked a Ruger Redhawk 44 mag.

Why, because the cost of shooting the 44 is way less than a 454. You can find ammo at walmart if you need for a 44 and not so easy for a 454. Even the cost of reloading the 44 is cheaper than the 454.

The 454 is a pretty hot load, however there are loads out there for the 44 that are pretty darn close to that of the 454. You can't shoot them in all guns, as some of the manufacturers specifically exclude many manufactures guns from shooting them. However most Rugers are good to go with these very hot 44 loads. Here is the data from Buffalo Bore on their hottest 44 mag load.

Heavy .44 Magnum +P+ Ammo - 340 gr. L.F.N. - G.C. (1,478 fps/M.E. 1,649 ft. lbs.) - 20 Round Box

NEW HEAVY 44 MAGNUM +P+

This new load is designed for only certain revolvers that have the cylinder length to handle it. They are as follows. Ruger Red Hawk, Ruger Super Red Hawk, Ruger Super Blackhawk or Vaquero, Freedom Arms Model 83, Taurus Raging Bull and Dan Wesson Revolvers. Suitable rifles include T/C Encore, "modified" Marlin 1894, Winchester 1894, any rifle with a falling block action and the Handi Rifle
Now would these be fun to shoot for an afternoon, probably not, but you can get a bunch more power out of a 44 than what is typically thought of, if you can hang on to your pistol.

To me, hands down the 44 mag wins this contest and is exactly the reason I backed away from the 454 and went with my 44 when looking at the same question you asked.
 

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Using a 454 Cas, or 460 without hearing protection WILL cause permanent and severe ear damage, according to a doctor friend.

They are best used as hunters when ear protection can be used with a deliberate shot. As far as a Trail gun, I would use a 44 mag.

That being said, ear damage is much preferable to being mauled by a bear.....:smoke23:
 
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