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I was hoping someone could share their insights about these revolvers. I'm going to buy a 454 to hunt with. I've shot the Taurus, and like it, but am a little worried that it won't hold up all that well. I already have several Ruger products and have always been pleased with their quality. I would have the Ruger ported, and neither would be scoped.
            Thank you,  Mike
 

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Hi
I have a .454 SRedhawk and really have been happy with it.Had no problems firing any hot loads.And it seems to be very accurate so far.Havent done any real testing over 50 yards,but should  be able to get 3"groups at 50 with no problem.
Also if you get a ruger just buy a Houge grip while your still at the store,really helps keep your fingers and the trigger gaurd happy.
Unless your going to go nuts loading it I think its plenty strong for almost any .454 load contray to the FA crowds thoughts of it blowing up with factory loads
Only reason i choose it over FA was the grip just seems to work for me better>just a personal thing
I'd did get mine ported and would recomend it .Can shoot 100 full power loads with no problem and minimal
power lost.

Joe
 

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This has the makins of a lively post!

I had one of them Rugers follow me home a few weeks back.

I have been shooting it a bit, despite a broke collar bone on the off side.

Recoil is manageable, even one handed (from a rest)

The Ruger seems superbly accurate with the .45 Colt loads.

I think that for the money spent, I recieved a quality, double action firearm that will handle anything I wish to eat, or not be eaten by, as the case may be.

Of course, the RB guys will say the same.

I would bet that the deciding factors are looks and feel to the hand.

I look foreward to following this thread.

Scotty
 

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Maholt1, go to 'www.graybeardoutdoors.com', click on 'Product Test'.  Six down on the list is a review of his own Taurus 454, as well as some tests of different 454 ammo.  He's done comparisons with a FA 454.  He gets the same accuracy with either gun - 2 - 2.5 inches at 50 yards with open sights.  If you plan to shoot full-power loads, the Taurus is already ported, so that's an expense you don't have to consider.  Good luck!

God bless,

(Edited by Southpaw at 12:38 pm on June 20, 2001)
 

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Lively discussion topic indeed, at the risk of it becoming a "Ford vs. Chevy" kind of thing.  :)  
I have a RB 454, as well as several Rugers, including one of the new 480s.  I really like the RB, for my use it seems much more manageable in stock form than the SRH, and I get excellent accuracy with it, with the handloads that I have tried thus far.  It is beefy enough that I have no concerns about durability, and if something does break Taurus has one #### of a warranty program.  The only thing I have had to do to it is put a drop of loc-tite on the ejector rod to keep it from backing out.  On the Rugers I have seen firsthand that you don't want to use aftermarket scope mounts for the optics, saw a .454 SRH come back through my local gun shop that had its frame messed up nicely when Burris rings couldn't hold up to the recoil.  
Good Shooting.
Mark
 

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YOU MAY HAVE TO JUST BUY THEM BOTH!!! SERIOUSLY EITHER ARE WELL BUILT TO BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND THE CARTRIDGE. ALTHOUGH THE RB HANDLES THE RECOIL VERY WELL AND BOTH WILL OUTSHOOT THE SHOOTER. HAVE NOT HEARD OF ANY BAD REPORTS ON EITHER ONLY THE REGULAR ACTION PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED ON ALOT OF FIREARMS. MY RB WAS PURCHASED IN 98 AND HAS EATIN A STEADY DIET OF 300-345GR HARDCAST OVER W296 SINCE AND WOULD SAY APPROX 2500 LOADS AND ITS STILL SHOOTIN GREAT.
 

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I have a Super Redhawk 454 and really like it a lot. I still think it's ugly but it's really accurate. I switched the factory grips for a Hogue Monogrip. I think the stock grip absorbs more recoil but the Monogrip fits my hand better and gives me more control. I also tuned the action with a Wolfe reduced power spring kit. It helped a bunch as the factory trigger pull (both double and single action) was way too heavy. The only time I've ever had cases stick in the chambers was with factory Cor-bon ammo. Don't have a lot of experience with the Taurus although I haven't heard anything bad about it.
Dave
 

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This falls under the territory of "opinions are like elbows,.....", but based on my experiences with the Ruger, it's coming in a distant fourth in the race between the Freedom Arms, Raging Bull and Super Redhawk.  

My particular model has been to a local gunsmith, the factory, and Mag-Na-Port in that order.  It now looks great!  Mag-Na-Port did a fantastic job on the finish.  The action job is smooth, much smoother than the factory could ever DREAM of getting it.  Lastly, after having the work done by M-N-P, it is an acceptably accurate revolver.  Not great, but acceptable.  The main problem being, is it can not and will not handle loads that are ho-hum for the Raging Bull and especially the Freedom Arms revolvers.  

The ejector star has also been repaired from trying to remove cases that were stuck in the chambers.  

I have heard all the buzz about the strength of the steel alloy.  Strength is only part of it though.  Once these guns have been shot awhile, the steel will work harden much the same as cases do when run through a resizing die.  In my opinion, these cylinder walls will begin to become brittle over time and may lead to cracking.  The only way these revolvers will truly be the gun needed to handle this cartridge is to make them a five shot like the Freedom Arms and Raging Bull.

King of the sixguns?  Hardly, more like a page not quite having come of age yet.
 

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Here are the facts on the steel they use.

Big guns need strong steel
By Joseph Ogando, Materials and Fastening Editor
Gunmaker zeroes in on aerospace alloys
to toughen its latest product
Newport, NH-Anyone who decides to shoot a bear with a handgun has two overwhelming concerns. Not missing is really, really important. And so is having a gun with some stopping power since angry bears are unlikely to be gracious about a flesh wound.
The Super Redhawk .454 from Sturm Ruger has nothing if not stopping power. One of the most powerful six-shooters in the world, this revolver shoots a .454 Casull cartridge that packs about 50% more power than a 44 magnum. It's a cartridge that straddles a fine line between bullet and bomb. For the shooter, all this extra muscle translates to a gun that, in the right hands, can drop a bear, elk or other large animal at a distance up to 200 yards. For the engineers who worked on the Super Redhawk, the added power forced them to expand their arsenal of gun steels.
Ruger Chief Engineer Steven Perniciaro points out that the .454 Casull goes off with the highest chamber pressures (62,000 psi) of any handgun on the market. Those pressures-and the resulting stresses-triggered a tightening of strength and fracture-toughness requirements that ruled out the 410 stainless that Ruger successfully uses for smaller guns. "Type 410 stainless just wasn't as strong as we would have liked," Perniciaro says.
Looking for a material that could stand up to the .454, Ruger's engineers decided to give specialty alloys a shot. They constructed the Super Redhawk's cylinder and barrel from alloys that Carpenter Technology Corp. (Reading, PA) first developed for aerospace applications.
Six-shot cylinder. The Super Redhawk's pressure-driven strength requirements are most apparent in its cylinder, which is based on a Ruger 44 magnum. "We decided to scale up and 'ruggedize' our 44 platform rather than reinvent the wheel," Perniciaro says. The scale-up lets shooters move up to a larger caliber with only minimal gain in gun size and weight, and it sets the six-shot Super Red Hawk apart from every other gun in its class. "All the other .454's on the market only have five shots," Perniciaro says. But expanding an existing 44 magnum cylinder also presented a design challenge that intensified the strength requirements for the gun steel. Because the new cylinder has the same OD and bolt center of its 44 magnum forerunner, the wall sections between chambers thinned in proportion to the increase in caliber-or about 25%. As Perniciaro sums up, "The cylinder material had to withstand higher pressures with thinner walls."
Making matters worse, industry practice requires that new gun designs be tested with "proof loads" that generate more than 140% of the chamber pressure experienced in real-world firing conditions. According to Perniciaro, this safety factor means that the Super Redhawk's cylinder actually needed to withstand pressures up to 93,500 psi-greater than the 65,000 psi the gun will see in service and dramatically higher than the 36,000 psi typical with a 44 magnum.
Proof-load tests on a prototype Super Redhawk made from 410 stainless revealed that its first choice would get the cylinder into the safety zone. "410 was strong enough for actual firing conditions but not for the tests," Perniciaro reports. So Ruger produced a cylinder from Carpenter's Custom 465, a martensitic alloy with an ultimate tensile strength of 260 ksi at peak aging. "It passed the tests with no problems," he says, adding that the gun has been out in the field for about a year with no problems.
Looking down the barrel. The 454's extra power also translated to new requirements not just for added strength in the barrel but also for wear and corrosion resistance. Perniciaro explains that impact force and high-velocity gases tend to erode the barrel at the bullet's entry point. This "throat slamming effect" intensifies with cartridge size and velocity.
Doubly concerned about strength and throat slamming, Ruger engineers quickly ruled out 410 stainless steel despite its strong track record on Ruger's smaller revolvers. "After thousands of rounds, we thought we'd see some throat erosion with the 410," Perniciaro notes. The designers next considered conventional 15Cr-5Ni stainless steel (15-5), which met all the design requirements but one. "It was a bear to machine," says Perniciaro. Gun drilling a 0.480 in. diam. hole in a 1.25 inch OD, 19-in.-long bar took 28 minutes in 15-5-a huge productivity tradeoff compared to the 17.27 minutes it takes to machine a comparable barrel from 410. Ruger ultimately met its design and productivity goals with Project 7000, a 15Cr-5N stainless designed specifically for machinability. "Project 7000 let us match the cycle time of 410," Perniciaro says.
Based on this first use of aerospace alloys, Perniciaro predicts a growing role for a host of non-traditional metals whose strength-to-weight ratios will let Ruger's engineers do an even better job at balancing the power, size, and heft of smaller firearms. "New materials will help us to push the limits of handgun design," he says.
Design News 10/16/2000
 

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Hi Redhawk,

I'm not knocking Ruger guns in general, got several of them because they usually do a good job.

I have read that article before.  Nowhere in it do they discuss the ductility of the alloy.  Anytime a structural member (in this case-cylinder wall) is loaded, deflection occurs.  This deflection, depending direction will tense one side and compress the other.  All the strength in the world will do one little good if the parts are so thin flexing occurs and the parts begin to become brittle from work hardening.  Also, once you reach peak strength on metals, it usually takes relatively little more loading to start down the failure path.

All this said, I still stand by my opinion Ruger could have made a better gun by making this one a five shot.  But then, it's just my opinion.
 

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I read an article where they did a longevity test, and after 350,000 full power 454 loads it was as accurate and functional as when they started. The gun shop where I live has sent 4 Raging Bulls back this year alone for timing problems that developed after shooting the Winchester factory ammo, not one Ruger has come back in, I have shot both, my Super Redhawk is the most accurate handgun that I have ever shot in 29 years of shooting handguns. I use the same reloads that I have used for a Freedom Arms. I have also shot an early FA and it didn't approach the accuracy I am getting from this Ruger, and that is with open sights, it will print into 5" from 125 yards sitting resting on my knees. I carry mine daily when in the woods and fishing in case I run into Mr. Grizzly on the salmon streams. I will agree that it is a purely personal choice, but of the 5 SRHK 454's not one wouldn't keep 5 shots inside 2" at 30 yards. So I say find someone that has one of each, shoot them and make your choice.

Dave Beeman
 

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I would agree with MS Hitman in regards to long-term serviceability. For a 60,000psi+ cartridge, five shot cylinders would be a wise move. I was rather surprised that Ruger went to a six shooter .454. Usually they're the ones to overbuild guns, not the other guys. Maybe the marketing department won the arguement with the engineers.

Dave Beeman, was that a typo- 350,000 rounds of .454?
That seems like an awfully huge number for a test. In fact that would be a great deal for a .22, let alone a .454 Casull. What is the source of the test you mentioned?
 

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I would also be interested in the source of those tests.

While I agree that Ruger perhaps could have made a stronger firearm by boring only 5 holes in the cylinder, I also have never had reason to question the strength or reliability of their product.

I do concure that my SRH is one of the more accurate handguns I have had the pleasure to own.

I am healing up to the point that I have begun to utilize the more skookum loadings for the Casull but have not approached what could be considered "hot" since I do not have a Chronograph as yet and am staying below max loads suggested in my reloading manuals.

While nothing I have shot from my Ruger could be considered real hot, I have no question about lethality of the loads should I use it on big/dangerous game.

I also must admit that I have had more fun lobbing .454 round balls around the yard than any adult should have without supervision ;*)

I am watching this thread like a Raven on an old McDonalds bag.

Scotty/North Pole, AK
 

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I must confess that I cannot find the internet article concerning the tests performed by Ruger, they were "supposedly" performed prior to the release of the handgun to the market. I know that I have put 4lbs of H110, and one pound of lil'gun through mine so far, most of those have been pushing 335gr WFNGC bullets. I have had exactly no problems at all with mine, one of my hunting partners has put over 500 rounds through his, once again no problems, in addition to the heavy loads, I have also put close to 1000 rounds of sedate 45 colt loads using W231, IMR800X, and Blue Dot through mine. I shoot mine just about 3 days a week and am hoping to take either a caribou, or a moose this year with it. I do know that Ruger would not have released it, if it wasn't going to last, I have a new model blackhawk in 45colt that has digested 5000 rounds of cast bullets since I bought it 8 years ago, and my grandfather has an old model in 357 that is #### accurate, and god only knows how many rounds have steamed down it's barrel. I say if you want a Raging Bull, buy one, if you want the Cadilac, buy a FA, I bought mine as a working mans gun, it has replaced my 45 Colt as my constant companion. I may try a big 400gr bullet from the Bullshop in Delta Junction, he says it gives end to end penetration on a Grizzly no matter what the angle. The important thing here, is that we all need to shoot, and continue to pass along these traditions to our children, and our grandchildren.
Dave
 

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"The important thing here, is that we all need to shoot, and continue to pass along these traditions to our children, and our grandchildren."

And a hearty and heartfelt "Amen" to that!

Dave, I notice you are just a little piece down the road. Nice to see teknolegee in the fair Delta ;*)

I had been pondering weather or not to possibly try to chase down a regular ol' .45 Colt for everyday purposes. Your statement as to packin the big Ruger helps my thoughts on that.

Have you noticed any pitting in the cylinders from firing the volume of .45 Colts in the .454 cylinder yet? The reason I ask is that a friend is having problems extracting .44Mags from having fired so many .44 Specials over the years.

Are we creating a problem for the long haul by making use of the .45 Colt loadings in our Rugers (they are a mite more frugal don'tcha know ;*)

Anybody?

Thanks,

Scotty
 

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I have not noticed any pitting from firing 45 colt loads, bear in mind that the majority of these loads are low velocity, low pressure loads, the heavy 45 colt loads that I experimented with were with the bigger bullets and I suspect most of the fire was in the case, as they had very little muzzle blast(shooting in Feb). I gave up on suing the 45 Colt brass for heavy loads, as I do have a 45 Colt, and I didn't want an accidental 454 load finding it's way into the wrong gun. I was going to shoot a caribou with mine last year in the White Mtns, but it was late in the day, and I was running out of time, so I was forced to use the 300win mag. Saw a real nice Grizz up there as well, we'll see how it goes this year. If we are to survive, we must educate, and we must all think about our image to the 85% who don't care either way, we want them to either stay nuetral, or shift towards our side, carelessness leads down the path of destruction. I do enjoy lively posts such as this one, Ms. Hitman always brings something good to the table.
Dave
 

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I have two Taurus .454's and if I rate them based on "out of the box" performance, my only complain would be typical of new revolvers -- trigger pull is too heavy (5.5#). I suspect the SRH may fall in that category also, but appears to me to have an advantage -- there are a number of places I can send the SRH for upgrading but I've not found any, other than the factory, that work on the Taurus revolver. Other enhancements I like such as enlarged/reinforced cylinder stop, minimum cylinder/barrel gap, forcing cone/crowning are available for the SRH but again, I'm not aware (maybe ignorance on my part?) of the nationally know gunsmiths working on the Taurus. Please correct my lack of knowledge if that's the case.

Respectfully,

Dan
 

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Hi Dave and others,

I have had just the opposite experience from you with my SRH.  It has been the problem child of the gun safe.  I now will carry either my 7.5" Freedom Arms or a Bisley in 44 for knocking around the woods or checking on cows.  I bent the extractor star the other day trying to remove some cases that were too hot for the SRH, which by the way were 300 grain XTPs at 1500 fps.  Got the problem fixed, but can not tolerate this lack of performance.  So the SRH is staying home and the FA is going to Africa with me next week.  My main point is and has been that the SRH just can not handle the same level of loads that a FA and apparently the Raging Bull is capable of handling.  This revolver would be so much better had Ruger built it as a five shot, in my opinion.

I just got my SRH back from Mag-Na-Port.  They did a beautiful job on finishing it.  The action job is superb and I have targets where five shots group nicely at 50 yards.  I'll work with it some and see if I can come up with a good load for deer hunting in which I can get a 250/260 grain bullet around 1600 fps.  

Lastly, I whole heartedly agree that we need to continue to pass the shooting and hunting sports on down to the next generation.
 

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MS,

Going to Africa, eh? That sounds great, something I hope to do in a few years if funds and local politics allow.
What will you be after and is this a handgun only safari? Best of luck to you and post some photos when you return!
 
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