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Discussion Starter #1
The Hodgdon and Hornady sites won't respond today so I thought I would ask this board.  What is the operating pressure of the .480 Ruger?  I'm looking at having my Redhawk rechambered to the .480 but if I go with a 6-shot cylinder I'm limited to 48,000 psi.  Is this below max psi for the 480?  Thanks....RW
 

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Dick Metcalf, editor of Shooting Times has an excellent technical article on the 480 Ruger at http://hunting.about.com/library/weekly/aast480rugera.htm
He lists the average SAAMI operating pressure at 48,000 psi.

Ruger does offer the Super Redhawk in the 454 Casull which has average SAAMI pressure around 50,000 psi, but the cylinder walls are a tad bit thicker than the 480 version.  Hamilton Bowen among others offers a 5 shot version Super Redhawk in the 475 Linebaugh, but it is a 5 shot version with more steel in the cylinder to handle the increase in pressure.  I do not own a 480 and have not pushed a 6 shot Redhawk beyond those pressure listings.  It should be a handful at 48,000 and I would not try to make a 475 Linebaugh out of it.  That is just my opinion.  If you want to push the 480, I'd just step up to the 475.
 

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Here's an excerpt about the 480 Ruger from Hamilton Bowen's website at Bowen Classic Arms.

Some notes on the new .480 Ruger

Ruger introduced their new .480 cartridge in the Super Redhawk as the 2001 SHOT Show. Nothing more than a shortened .475 Linebaugh, this cartridge offers performance similar to the .44 loads with 300 gr. bullets and the .50 Action Express. It is not a true magnum in terms of performance but should satisfy the need for a cartridge for hunting deer and boar that has less recoil and muzzle blast than the ultra high-performance cartridges. Loaded with hard-cast bullets which afford a bit more penetration, it should suit in a clutch for bigger critters though it is not the ideal choice.

Bowen Classic Arms will chamber the .480 in both the New Model single-actions -- the Blackhawks, Bisleys and various Vaqueros -- and the standard Redhawks. All will be 5-shot guns. We will not, under any circumstances, rechamber the new 6-shot .480 Super Redhawk cylinders for the .475 Linebaugh. This is an exceedingly dangerous idea in our view.

Which brings us to a few general observations about the new .480 and .454 Super Redhawks. There are two considerations to bear in mind when contemplating custom work on these guns. In our experience so far, it is nearly impossible to remove the barrels from these guns (at least the .454's). There is considerable evidence of thread galling/welding/melting which could just as easily occur in the receiver as the barrel. So, we are very reluctant at this writing to shorten barrels because they cannot be remove without the potential for receiver/barrel/finish damage. This means that we cannot recylinder the new .480 Super with a 5-shot part to accommodate both the .480 and the Linebaugh cartridge. All of our current .454 and .475 Super Redhawks are built on the .44 Super which has proven a dependable and trouble-free candidate for such work.

The other difficulty in working with the new-style Supers is the finish. We do not know quite what it is or how to match it which has considerably dampened our enthusiasm for working on the guns. About the only way to refinish them in the trenches is to bead blast off the battleship gray paint and apply a frosted matte finish. We will probably consider performing our basic 'Standard Issue' pkg. on these guns but only with the understanding that we cannot be responsible for the finish. While damage is extremely unlikely, it would entail a trip to the factory to repair. In any case, we expect to decide on this shortly.
 

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Ravenwolf,

All that I know is that the 475 can be loaded down to the 480 performance but the 480 will never match the 475.
If you were going custom anyways just build a 475 and load it down.  But, if you ever want the horsepower it will be there.

Just my 2 cents......

Will
 

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One other thing is that Ruger is using that mystery metal in the SRHK 454 and 480. While the Saami MAP for the 480 is 48,000 psi. As mentioned custom smiths will only go for Five shooters. However a good load with a .476" 400-420gr LBT driven to 1200 fps with a dose of H110/W296 will not give up nothin on penetration or game performance and will be no where near top pressures for the 480. My most accurate loads in the FA 475 are 400gr -430gr LBTs @1100-1250 fps and are much easier on the shooter and Firearm than full snort 1400 FPS loads. Although like Will mentioned if you want more Horsepower go with the 475.  Let us know which one you decide on.
Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies everyone.  As soon as I figuare out what I'm going to do I'll let the board know and post some pics.  Thanks again.
 

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Ravenwolf,
I've been thinking about the 480 quite a bit since I posted last.  I'm not so sure that I gave fair treatment to the round.  First, it seems we are comparing the 480 to the 475 Linebaugh, which may not be entirely fair.  I guess if Ruger wanted to chamber a cartridge in that class, they would have.  I'm sure the 480 is a fine round and we really haven't even scratched the surface as far as trying load combinations, it's utility, etc...  While it doesn't have the case capacity of the Linebaugh, it does have enough for deer, hogs, etc...  It also is factory chambered in a gun you can buy at the nearest gun shop without spending a grand and a half.  I know your question was about max loads, but in all fairness to the 480, we probably should not be comparing to the Linebaugh.  Most folks won't be using the 480 for grizzly or brown bear protection or for moose hunting.  The 480 will be used more deer, hogs and other medium sized game (along with punching paper).  The 480 should perform as well as its big brother for these purposes.  Like I said before, I don't have one (I don't have a 475 either, though) and I'm sure its a cartridge that can do what 90% of the people use the Linebaugh for and do it with less powder, with less recoil, in a less expensive gun.

If speed was all that matters and nothing else was of concern, the 30/06 would have disappeared as soon as the 300 Mags came out.  Obviously, that's not the case and there is still room for new, efficient, well made guns and cartridges.



<!--EDIT|alyeska338|Mar. 27 2002,10:44-->
 

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Ravenwolf,
There's a pretty good article about the 480 using handloads on gunblasts website.
http://www.gunblast.com/Loading_the_480.htm

Looks like they cooked up some interesting loads with a 7.5 inch Redhawk.  Nothing but praises from the Quinn boys.
 

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If you're using the Redhawk built with regular steel I'd stay away from 6-shot .480 conversions.  Ruger uses the high-zoot aerospace stainless in the .480 SRH for a reason.  The cylinder walls in those guns are VERY thin.  If you want a packing-size .480 it looks like your easiest option right now is to get a SRH and have the barrel cut back.
Good shooting
Mark
 

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Ok, I might get myself in over my head here but....

I don't understand why Mr. Bowen kinda pooh-poohs the .480 on his webpage. I've noticed quite a few of his customs being built for the .50 A&E and the "factory load" ballistic differences aren't all that great for these two loads. The .480 does offer power equal to that of the hottest .44 loads while giving the ability to step up to 400 grains at 1200+fps--check www.gunblast.com for this data--
No custom 5 shot .45 is gonna exceed that velocity for a 400 grainer by very much if at all. All of my .45 load data comes from Ross Seyfreid's writings and he pegs a 400 grain bullet @ 1200/1250 fps from a 7.5" barrel. Now, I will say that I am not enchanted by the Hornady loading but Buffalo Bore has several nice loads for this round if you aren't into handloading. Anyway I will state that I do not own this round, I'm saving for a .454......But if I found myself with an extra $700 I would buy it and use it for bear defense and hunting "anything that walks"

anyhoo, just my 2 cents
feel free to rip it apart if you can, I'm all for learning when I can get it.
Trackdog in Alaska
 

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I agree with you that the Bowen article has a bit of negative overtones concerning the 480, but I think his standpoint is coming from requests he's getting on building 6-shot 480/475 Linebaugh revolvers.  His view along with the Quinn's and several other people are that the cyclinder walls are a bit thin for 475 type pressures.  It appears to me that his other gripe with the 480 is the same that he has with the 454, the SRH in those chamberings have different construction materials and removing the barrel is nearly impossible without causing galling and other problems on the frame or barrel, so he has trouble 'smithing them.  It did not necessarily appear to me that he doesn't like the cartridge itself, but was having unsafe or unreasonable requests on conversion jobs come to his shop.  And appears he is having a new batch of gunsmithing problems with the new materials Ruger is using for the 454 and 480 guns.  He has had a lot of requests for the 50 A&E, it hasn't been till recently that reloading components for the 500 Linebaugh have made it an attractive chambering.  The 50 A&E has been chambered for quite awhile and reloading components are readily available (the 50 A&E and 500 Linebaugh use different diameter bullets and for many years cases for the 500 Linebaugh had to be made from rifle brass of the very hard to find 348 Winchester).

Just a different view of the Bowen article, hope this helps.
 

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Yeah, as a welder I can totally appreciate Bowen's frustration with having a "work medium" that doesn't cooperate with your gameplan. Which brings me to a question--Is it normal procedure to pull the barrel when you chop it? I always thought that could be done with the barrel in the gun...also if you're interested...Great Northern Guns in Anchorage (Alaska) is trying to drum up buyers for a proposed limited run (250 to maybe 1000) of .454 SRH's with a 5.5" barrel and maybe magna-porting. Spread the word 'cause I want one and can't afford to buy all of 'em to justify the order. their website is www.gnguns.com, call and talk to Frank or Joe....
 
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