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.454 vs .475 vs .500 ??
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I have decided to reward myself and I want to purchase a caliber to allow myself to get into big game hunting with a handgun - moose, brown and black bear are likely uses in the next few years.

My initial thought was the Freedom Arms in a .454 but more reading has increased my interest in the .475 Linebaugh. There is also of course the various rounds in .500

The truth is I know very little about all three of these rounds or any of the other big games rounds. Accuracy and reliability are essential to me and I dont reload so I need to be able to purchase commercial ammo. I also like the fact that some of these rounds can use smaller ammo in the same chamber for training purposes.

For those of you who are knowledgable about these large calibers - what is the major advantage (or disadvantage) of each caliber?

For revolvers I know of Freedom Arms and Gary Reeder. Any other gunmakers I should be aware of?

- Brian
 
Posts: 35 | Location: KS | Registered: 05 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Jack Huntington 530-268-6877

Nobody builds a better revolver than Jack and to top it off his prices are excellent as well.. .


_____________________________________________________


A 9mm may expand to a larger diameter, but a 45 ain't going to shrink

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 5062 | Location: USA | Registered: 11 March 2005Reply With Quote
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well i like the 475 that is what i have built by dustin linebaugh and love and as far as ammo you can find 480 ammo easy buffalo bore is what i use and they carry all of your choices

as far as smith's in no order gary reeder will work on single actions only for these conversions then you have jacke huntington does fine work and will build on super redhawks as well as single actions then my smith dustin linebaugh only builds on ruger bisleys dustin linebaughjohn linebaugh creater of 475 and 500 linebaugh john linebaugh and bowen are all good smith's i say call the ones you are interested in and talk to them and ask all questions you have.Here is a pic of mine


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Posts: 1026 | Location: UPSTATE NY | Registered: 08 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Do not omit .480 Ruger from consideration. The difference between it and the .475 Linebaugh is slight -- then only realized at the extreme top end loads. What I writing clumsily is that most shooters do not crank up their hand cannons until they squeak. And if you are among those who does not, the .480 Ruger is a compelling choice.

Hodgdon's has copious pressure-tested reloading data for it. Ruger has made six-shot Super Redhawks, now makes five-shot SRHs -- and probably will make a five-shot single action soon.


It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it. Sam Levinson
 
Posts: 1420 | Location: Seeley Lake | Registered: 21 November 2007Reply With Quote
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If you want a custom handgun, Jack Huntington makes a great gun. If you want any of the rounds above without spending over $2000, get a BFR from Magnum Research, they come in all three of the calibers you mentioned.

I have two BFR's, a 45-70 and 500 Mag. My next BFR is going to be a .475, because I don't have one of them yet.

If I was limited to just one, it would be my 500 Mag. I like big holes.


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Posts: 3142 | Location: Magnolia Delaware | Registered: 15 May 2004Reply With Quote
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A conversion from Huntington is well under 2K and that is one of many reasons to take a close look at a Huntington conversion


_____________________________________________________


A 9mm may expand to a larger diameter, but a 45 ain't going to shrink

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 5062 | Location: USA | Registered: 11 March 2005Reply With Quote
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But you have to supple the gun, so add that cost in on top of the work.


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Posts: 3142 | Location: Magnolia Delaware | Registered: 15 May 2004Reply With Quote
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My own thought is that one should become highly proficient with a .44 Magnum before advancing to the greater calibers. The .44 is quite adequate for black bear, hogs, deer, mountain lion and even larger game in the hands of the skilled. I also feel that one should undertake to reload. The space required can be minimal and the rewards ...both financial and personal...great.
Beyond the .44 (whether FA, Ruger or S&W), I own and have taken game with many handguns including the FA's in .454, .475 Linebaugh and .50AE /.500WE. My personal revolver choice in this upper power range is the FA .475 Linebaugh. I like the 400 gr. and over bullet weights, and the accuracy, and my .475's have proven their effectiveness to me many times, on game weighing up to a ton, some of which are commonly considered to be potentially dangerous.

In truth, though, the .454, the .480, the .475, and most of the various .50's can all be made to perform satisfactorily on the game you mention by a skilled shooter, with proper full power loads. One more personal note. For a serious hunting handgun, I prefer stainless.

Read a lot. Join HHI. Talk to those whom you KNOW are skilled shooters and whom you KNOW to have taken a lot of game with handguns. Be dubious of those who champion only a particular gunsmith as the be all- end all- best. There are some very good ones out there. There are also quite good and quite satisfactory factory revolvers, with factory warranties.
 
Posts: 272 | Location: North Carolina,USA | Registered: 17 August 2004Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Naphtali:
Do not omit .480 Ruger from consideration. The difference between it and the .475 Linebaugh is slight -- then only realized at the extreme top end loads. What I writing clumsily is that most shooters do not crank up their hand cannons until they squeak. And if you are among those who does not, the .480 Ruger is a compelling choice.

Hodgdon's has copious pressure-tested reloading data for it. Ruger has made six-shot Super Redhawks, now makes five-shot SRHs -- and probably will make a five-shot single action soon.


This is good advice and very true. Do you "need" more than what the .480 is capable of delivering? The .480 really has no flies on it.



"Ignorance you can correct, you can't fix stupid." JWP

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming.

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Posts: 13440 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 10 July 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by kenoneill:
Be dubious of those who champion only a particular gunsmith as the be all- end all- best.



What are you trying to say..... bewildered


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A 9mm may expand to a larger diameter, but a 45 ain't going to shrink

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 5062 | Location: USA | Registered: 11 March 2005Reply With Quote
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is whit saying he is going to sell us those 475 and 500jrh for a 480


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Posts: 1026 | Location: UPSTATE NY | Registered: 08 December 2002Reply With Quote
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I like the simplicity of just purchasing the gun from the dealer, having all the work done and then haveing it sent to my dealer. I work overseas so even the simplest of actions can delay the end result for months,

Right now it sounds like the Freedom Arms in .475 with an addition chamer for .480. 7 1/2" barrel and magnaported with a red dot scope is the favored.

Any comments on this handgun choice?

There is also a gary reeder african hunter in 475 for sale but it has the 5 1/2 " barrel and no scope mounts.
 
Posts: 35 | Location: KS | Registered: 05 February 2007Reply With Quote
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with 475 you don't need an extra cylinder it fires through same as 475 sorta like 357 mag and 38 special


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Posts: 1026 | Location: UPSTATE NY | Registered: 08 December 2002Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Littlbigd:
I didnt post and forget as that sometimes happends over here.

I like the simplicity of just purchasing the gun from the dealer, having all the work done and then haveing it sent to my dealer. I work overseas so even the simplest of actions can delay the end result for months,

Right now it sounds like the Freedom Arms in .475 with an addition chamer for .480. 7 1/2" barrell and magnaported with a red dot scope is the favored.

Any comments on this handgun choice?

There is also a fary reedser africal huner in 475 for sale but it has the 5 1/2 " barrel and no scope mounts.



You don't need a spare cylender, but before I dropped the cash on a Freedom Arms revolver I would tak e a hard look at the BFR. The BFR has a lot of up side and is much less expensive, yet maintain greater strength, accuracy and safety. The long cylender window also adds abit to reliability, since a bullet that jumps crimp has a greater distance to travel before tying the gun up.........


_____________________________________________________


A 9mm may expand to a larger diameter, but a 45 ain't going to shrink

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 5062 | Location: USA | Registered: 11 March 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by kenoneill:
Read a lot. Join HHI.

HHI? Any good websites other then here?
 
Posts: 35 | Location: KS | Registered: 05 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by TBEAR99:
is whit saying he is going to sell us those 475 and 500jrh for a 480


NO WAY!! Big Grin I just got through shooting my .475 a couple of hours ago and it never ceases to amaze me as to how accurate it is! It is definitely more capable than I am! I shot offhand at an old oxygen tank at 100 yards. The first three hit the rail next to it and when bfrshooter (he was spotting) told me to adjust a hair right, the last two were right on it. See pics below......







Jack Huntington built this gun for me and it is amazing!



"Ignorance you can correct, you can't fix stupid." JWP

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming.

Semper Fidelis

"Building Carpal Tunnel one round at a time"
 
Posts: 13440 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 10 July 2003Reply With Quote
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I second kenoneill's recommendation. If you have never hunted with a pistol before you don't need - and are unlikely to benefit from - the added power of the 454, 475, and 500s unless and until to can shoot up to the limits of a 44 magnum or hard loaded 45 Colt. Get a Ruger Bisley Hunter in either chambering. The factory scope cuts will let you play with scopes and optical sights if you like but learn the limits of your ability with iron sights as well. Unless you are independantly weathy you cannot shoot enough to get good enough with reloading. Buy a progressive reloading press so that you can afford to practice, practice, practice. Yes, a progressive; I've never met the pistol shooter who loaded his ammo on a single station press who wasn't little crazy. If you refuse to take up handloading buy a Contender G2 in 22 rimfire and train with that before stepping up to a 44 magnum barrel. $0.02
 
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Excellent advice above. I have a 44mag and a 45 Colt and with max loads, these are a handful. Not uncontrollable, but not guns that I would want to shoot 50 -100 rounds of max loads at one sitting. Guess I am one of those crazy types that nordrseta referred to, as I still use my Rockchucker to reload!
Peter.


Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong;
 
Posts: 10262 | Location: Jacksonville, Florida | Registered: 09 January 2004Reply With Quote
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sorry whitworth i saw an opening there LOL


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Posts: 1026 | Location: UPSTATE NY | Registered: 08 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Not a problem, TBEAR! jumping I'll post a video clip a little later of that string that I posted the pictures of in my last post. You can see how the full-boat .475 loads kick!



"Ignorance you can correct, you can't fix stupid." JWP

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming.

Semper Fidelis

"Building Carpal Tunnel one round at a time"
 
Posts: 13440 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 10 July 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Littlbigd:
Right now it sounds like the Freedom Arms in .475 with an addition chamer for .480. 7 1/2" barrell and magnaported with a red dot scope is the favored.
This is a very good choice, in my opinion, although I would skip the Mag-Na-Port. While there is not a compelling reason to buy the .480 extra cylinder, when you deduct the cost of porting, your cylinder cost becomes closer to chump change in your total cost.

The nice thing about the very large bores is that your modest load -- your fun-to-practice-with load -- is adequate for elk at 50 meters, no sweat.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it. Sam Levinson
 
Posts: 1420 | Location: Seeley Lake | Registered: 21 November 2007Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Naphtali:


The nice thing about the very large bores is that your modest load -- your fun-to-practice-with load -- is adequate for elk at 50 meters, no sweat.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.



why only 50 yards? bewildered


_____________________________________________________


A 9mm may expand to a larger diameter, but a 45 ain't going to shrink

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 5062 | Location: USA | Registered: 11 March 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by jwp475:
quote:
Originally posted by Naphtali:


The nice thing about the very large bores is that your modest load -- your fun-to-practice-with load -- is adequate for elk at 50 meters, no sweat.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.



why only 50 yards? bewildered
Two reasons: My definition of "modest" is modest; Brian will have few opportunities for elk in Alaska, moose being larger??


It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it. Sam Levinson
 
Posts: 1420 | Location: Seeley Lake | Registered: 21 November 2007Reply With Quote
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OK, Whitworth has been jumping around with his pictures and I found them. He didn't tell you the boolit is my design of a 420 gr WFN from my home made mold that everyone says will not be stable past 25 yd's. coffee We laugh about the experts opinion every time we shoot them and I rub him about how bad they shoot.
For all of you that think a 2" group at 25 yd's from a Ransom rest is great----EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT! rotflmo
I told you Whitworth is a great shot, now you can see it. BUT MY POOR TARGET RAIL!!! nilly
 
Posts: 4068 | Location: Bakerton, WV | Registered: 01 September 2003Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the kind words -- but stop now, I'm blushing! jumping



"Ignorance you can correct, you can't fix stupid." JWP

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming.

Semper Fidelis

"Building Carpal Tunnel one round at a time"
 
Posts: 13440 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 10 July 2003Reply With Quote
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Quote;
Right now it sounds like the Freedom Arms in .475 with an addition chamber for .480. 7 1/2" barrell and magnaported with a red dot scope is the favored.
You will be sorry after spending all the money without the versatility the BFR offers. It comes drilled and tapped along with a great scope base. It will take any boolit made. Recoil is less then the Freedom and the magna port is not needed.
I agree with JWP 100%. The second choice is the SRH in .480 or converted to .475.
And why would anyone want the extra .480 cylinder in the Freedom???? The .480 shoots just fine from the .475 but I have to ask, why fool with it when the .475 case will do it all?
The .480 is also a great cartridge on it's own too. It will do anything that needs done.
Before I spent $3,000 to $4,000 for the Freedom setup described, I would buy a bunch of BFR's.
 
Posts: 4068 | Location: Bakerton, WV | Registered: 01 September 2003Reply With Quote
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EXCELLENT advice from everyone. This is so much better then the days when you had to go to the gun store and rely on the yahoo at the counter for information.
 
Posts: 35 | Location: KS | Registered: 05 February 2007Reply With Quote
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Littlbigd,
You can contast SSK Industries for info on joining Handgun Hunters International (HHI) www.sskindustries.com
 
Posts: 272 | Location: North Carolina,USA | Registered: 17 August 2004Reply With Quote
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A friend of mine likes to say that anything beyond a .44 mag is overkill.. And it just might be.

I shoot a .454 SBH, mainly because a friend in Nebraska had one and I fell in love with the gun and the cartrige. When I stumbled on a used one at Gander Mountain last year, I saved my money and started begging my wife till I got one.
 
Posts: 727 | Location: Eastern Iowa (NUTS!) | Registered: 29 March 2003Reply With Quote
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Overkill for what? Some would say that if you are hunting big game with a handgun, you are undergunned with a .44 mag. I love my .44 magnums, but I like my .454 Casull better, and I like my .475 even more!! It's just a matter of getting accustomed to shooting the bigger calibers and no, it isn't for everyone, but a .44 mag is a good place to start. Also, keep in mind that there are no degrees of dead!! Big Grin



"Ignorance you can correct, you can't fix stupid." JWP

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming.

Semper Fidelis

"Building Carpal Tunnel one round at a time"
 
Posts: 13440 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 10 July 2003Reply With Quote
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What is overkill, dead is dead. It is personal choice as I see it.
Personally I find the 44 Mag boring. I own one, but prefer my 454 Casull, 460 Mag, 500 mag and 45-70 BFR.


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Posts: 3142 | Location: Magnolia Delaware | Registered: 15 May 2004Reply With Quote
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My friend who stated that owns a .44, but nothing larger. So I suspect he has a bit of big bore envy!
 
Posts: 727 | Location: Eastern Iowa (NUTS!) | Registered: 29 March 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by NEJack:
My friend who stated that owns a .44, but nothing larger. So I suspect he has a bit of big bore envy!


LOL, might be just that!! jumping I shot both of my .44s yesterday and it was a lot of fun, but kinda like riding a moped, especially after shooting the .475!!



"Ignorance you can correct, you can't fix stupid." JWP

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming.

Semper Fidelis

"Building Carpal Tunnel one round at a time"
 
Posts: 13440 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 10 July 2003Reply With Quote
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well not everyone needs bigger then 44 but those that have bigger wouldn't trade them


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Posts: 1026 | Location: UPSTATE NY | Registered: 08 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Oh don't get me wrong, the 44 Mag is a great round, I hunted with one for 15 years. There is just something about recoil and big holes that I like...lol Big Grin


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Posts: 3142 | Location: Magnolia Delaware | Registered: 15 May 2004Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Redhawk1:
Oh don't get me wrong, the 44 Mag is a great round, I hunted with one for 15 years. There is just something about recoil and big holes that I like...lol Big Grin


Ditto!! LOL!! jumping



"Ignorance you can correct, you can't fix stupid." JWP

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming.

Semper Fidelis

"Building Carpal Tunnel one round at a time"
 
Posts: 13440 | Location: Virginia | Registered: 10 July 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Littlbigd:
I have decided to reward myself and I want to purchase a caliber to allow myself to get into big game hunting with a handgun - moose, brown and black bear are likely uses in the next few years.

My initial thought was the Freedom Arms in a .454 but more reading has increased my interest in the .475 Linebaugh. There is also of course the various rounds in .500

The truth is I know very little about all three of these rounds or any of the other big games rounds. Accuracy and reliability are essential to me and I dont reload so I need to be able to purchase commercial ammo. I also like the fact that some of these rounds can use smaller ammo in the same chamber for training purposes.

For those of you who are knowledgable about these large calibers - what is the major advantage (or disadvantage) of each caliber?

For revolvers I know of Freedom Arms and Gary Reeder. Any other gunmakers I should be aware of?

- Brian

While your initial thoughts were of revolvers, single shots are good candidates to consider. However, I will not mention it again here.

Practice as much you can, because all you can is what you will need to be take up handgun hunting. Pistol shooters run through a lot more rounds getting proficient than rifle shooters (my opinion). To afford so many rounds, for someone who buys ammunition retail, the 454 Casull or 460 S&W would be my second suggestion, the first suggestion being to take up reloading.

For the non-reloader, the first thing that comes to mind is the $2.25 cost of ammunition for the 500 Smith & Wesson. 45 Colt is about 50 cents or less, 454 Casull is about a dollar. All can be fired from the .460 S&W (Sorry, I don't know the price of the .460 ammunition offhand).

If you are new to handgun shooting in general (I am making that assumption because of your first line), another suggestion would be to start with 22 rimfire or less-expensive centerfire cartridges and cut your teeth on varmits and small game if such shooting is available in your area. If I am wrong in that assumption, skip the minor caliber suggestion.

I am not an experienced hunter with handguns or rifles, but I have been reading a lot, particularly with regard to self-protection against Grizzly Bears (Interior Alaskan Brown Bears) because a friend of mine recently acquired a 500 Smith for bear protection. I got curious about penetration, effectiveness, etc. and find consensus that the larger diameter bullets are (simplisticly) better. I will leave choices of bullet construction to my betters. My expertise is in economy.

You can get a lot more practice with 44 magnum or 460 S&W (firing 45 Colt) for $100 of ammunition than you can with 454 Casull, 460 S&W or 500 S&W. I have it by a good consensus that 44 mag or 41 mag is adequate for moose and black bear. 454 Casull is said to be adequate for Brown Bear, but the 500 S&W has 50% more power capacity than the 454, so can be loaded to even greater power and momentum levels and more and more bullets are being produced in that caliber. Also, the 500 Smith has less felt recoil than the 454. Don't ask me why. I am still trying to work out the physics.

So, suggestion # 1 is take up handloading so you can get adequate practice time. (Handloading is really easy in straight-walled cases.)

Suggestion #2 500 S&W, 500 Linebaugh, or 475 Linebaugh, 454 Casull, 480 Ruger, in that order, though 454 and 480 are REALLY close.

Lost Sheep (Larry)
 
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Economy is very important and is why anyone that wants to shoot ANYTHING a lot just needs to reload. Even buying a cheap Lee set will get things rolling. Other then not having a place to load, there is no excuse not to.
Even the .475 is cheap, using only around 3 gr's more powder then the .44, the .480 uses the same as the .44. A little more lead, but primers cost the same, brass is only a little more.
The .500 must have brass with gold plating though! Confused, everything costs more for it, tools, etc.
My feeling is after shooting most calibers is that the BFR .475 has been the most consistantly accurate revolver I ever had, grouping with every boolit I have and have tried.
The 45-70 is as good or better but it is a MONSTER of a gun, only suited for the primary hunting gun. It is not one to carry on the hip, in fact I use a sling on mine.
I have not shot the BFR .460 but I would not look away from it either.
BFR's are large guns, made for work, not just to lug around. If a lighter gun is picked in the large calibers, the amount of heavy loads needed to get good with them goes down fast because a lot of guys can't take the recoil. Light loads, in my opinion, are only usefull to get used to the gun. Then heavy loads should be used most of the time. If you shoot light loads most of the time, you will miss game because of the barrel rise and not being used to controlling it. The worst thing is to practice with light loads, then stuff full house in the gun and go hunting.
I took 3# of hair off the top of the first 3 deer I shot at with the .475 because I found I relaxed too much when hunting. Now I have to talk to myself while aiming to make sure I hold tighter. I shot at one buck with one hand because he was on the wrong side for two hands. I must have cleared his back by 6" when the barrel came up! Big Grin
 
Posts: 4068 | Location: Bakerton, WV | Registered: 01 September 2003Reply With Quote
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Reloading really is the best option in my opinion for the aforementioned reasons. It will save you a bundle, and encourage the gun owner to shoot more frequently, which is the key to proficiency. Also, you can taylor the load to your gun.......

I also agree with bfrshooter that you shouldn't practice with reduced loads -- perhaps initially to get accustomed to the gun, but after that, full-house all the time. You will get used to the recoil and not have to adjust your sights for a different POI. It is important to get absolutely and completely familiar with the load you intend to hunt with.

Larry, the .454 can kick harder (load dependent) when the .500 is chambered in an x-frame Smith which is a much heavier and larger revolver than anyt of the commercially available revolvers in .454 Casull. The .500 Smith is also compensated. I haven't shot the BFR in .500 Smith, but I can imagine with hot loads it will exceed the Casull's recoil ability! Big Grin



"Ignorance you can correct, you can't fix stupid." JWP

If stupidity hurt, a lot of people would be walking around screaming.

Semper Fidelis

"Building Carpal Tunnel one round at a time"
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Whitworth:
Larry, the .454 can kick harder (load dependent) when the .500 is chambered in an x-frame Smith which is a much heavier and larger revolver than anyt of the commercially available revolvers in .454 Casull. The .500 Smith is also compensated. I haven't shot the BFR in .500 Smith, but I can imagine with hot loads it will exceed the Casull's recoil ability! Big Grin


I have a BFR in 500 mag and I also had a FA in 454 Casull, the recoil from the BFR 500 Mag is a lot more then the 454 Casull in my FA and my Super Redhawk in 454 Casull.

Also Whitworth, I have not saved any money reloading, I just get to shoot more...lol Big Grin


If you're going to make a hole, make it a big one.
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Posts: 3142 | Location: Magnolia Delaware | Registered: 15 May 2004Reply With Quote
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