Non-magnum big bore hunting revolvers.

Discussion in 'General Handgun' started by Ballbearing, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Enthusiast

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    I want to buy a big bore hunting revolver for this year's deer firearms season. I'd prefer at least a 5 1/2" barrel with 7 1/2" being optimal. I want either a .44 special or .45 Colt. I don't want a .44 magnum because every .44 magnum revolver I've ever owned or shot ended up having something wrong with it or breaking because the cartridge was just too powerful for a handgun. That cartridge will shake a handgun to death in a very short time, and I won't ever own a handgun in that caliber again. The .44 special and .45 Colt can be loaded a little hotter than factory ammo without damaging the gun and there have been
    deer taken with those calibers before. In other words, they'll digest a +p level load but I'm staying away from anything rated +p+. I'm looking at a Ruger because they're notoriously tough and rugged and also reasonably priced. I was just wondering if anyone happened to have any other suggestions, I'm not aware of many other companies that produce revolvers that are primarily designed for handgun hunting. But if anyone knows of any others, then post away.
  2. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Enthusiast

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    I really like the 45 Colt, it is plenty for deer size critters with a 255 gr cast bullet in the 1000 fps neighborhood. Load it up with 10 gr of unique and that 255 gr bullet and dont look back!

    I had this delima when purchasing a Rossi 92, I finally settled on the 454 Casull because I can load it with the same load mentioned here or bump up to low end 45-70 loads with lots of Lil Gun.
  3. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Enthusiast

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    Thanks, that load sounds like almost exactly what I was envisioning.
  4. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Enthusiast

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    When casting these 255 gr bullets use a fairly soft alloy. Something like 75% pure and 25% wheel weights. This will allow for adequate expansion with that load out to 100 yds if you can hit that well.
  5. ChaZam

    ChaZam G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    The Ruger is a great choice.

    I had the chance to put a few rounds thru a Uberti Outlaw a few months ago and was favorably impressed with it also. It has a 7 1/2 inch barrel and balances nicely in the hand with a pretty decent trigger too. They have two 5 1/2 inch models also but I have no experience with them.

    Uberti 1875 Army Outlaw, 1875 Frontier, 1890 Police
  6. rockman7

    rockman7 G&G Enthusiast

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    Can't understand not wanting a magnum unless you've never owned a ruger super Blackhawk. Owned one for over 25 year and shot thousands of factory pressure loads and hundreds of high pressure hand loads that I really shouldn't have been use'in but I was young and dumb.it has loosened up over the years but any revolver will with time. Some new bushings and it would feel like factory again. The trick is not to try to shoot loads that would equal a Saturn V rocket.

    If you shoot a 45cal at higher pressure your doin more damage than shooting a mag at lower pressure.... Basically doin exactly what your tryin to avoid

    Of the many deer and several pigs taken with it I found the faster lighter 180gr like a xtp to be devastating. They expand better than heavier loads... Not just punching clean holes like the 240's do thru thin skin. But that bein said a 44-45 cal hole will kill. I just noticed a difference and the recoil was much better
  7. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Enthusiast

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    I don't know whether to call a .454 Casull a non magnum since it's really just like a .45 Colt, magnum sized. It will shoot either one.
  8. blaster

    blaster G&G Enthusiast

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    I can't understand the rational of not wanting a magnum revolver but loading a non magnum hot. wouldn't it be less damaging to get the .44 mag revolver and loading "hot" .44 spls in it? what kind of .44 mag. revolvers have you broken using magnum loads? I have not yet encountered a .44 mag revolver that was damaged by shooting magnum loads. my '80 s vintage S&W 629 has been fed a diet of max loads since new and is still fine. none of my .44 mag. owning friends or relatives has had any problems either.
    if you want a non magnum revolver I would go with something in .45 Colt. in a good quality revolver they can be loaded pretty stout safely.
  9. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Enthusiast

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    Yeah, the only .44 mags I ever owned were both Ruger Superblackhawks. They fired a consistent diet of anything I chose to feed them. And of course, his problems would be resolved if he just got the stuff and learned how to reload them. That way you can make anything from soft practice rounds to "Uber" hyper velocity rounds.
  10. Purdy

    Purdy G&G Enthusiast

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    You start pushing a bullet that soft and you'll get leading first shot. I don't think expansion is what is needed with pistol rounds, penetration is. At least that's what Elmer favored and I think he knew more about taking game with a revolver than any of us.
  11. cooker300

    cooker300 G&G Enthusiast

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    I have a a ruger Blackhawk 4 5/8 45colt and love it haven't killed any animals yet but not for lack of trying. I shoot a 250gr bullet.

    my brother has a superBH 7 1/2 44mag and same story for hom but he shoots a 240gr hp
  12. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Enthusiast

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    Bull, been there done that, it will yield a bullet in the 9-10 BNH range which is plenty hard for 1000 fps. Leading comes down to fit and lube. I can push that same mix to 1500 fps in my Casull with no leading. Honestly I use recovered range lead (fired bullets) for that load but the BNH is almost identical. You must size the bullet to the throat of the cylinder and do some homework but it works quite well and will pass through a deer even at 100 yds.

    Muzzleloaders shoot pure lead bullets to 1300 fps and they never are accused of "leading on the first shot" please show some proof before discrediting something that you have either never done or did not do right.
  13. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Enthusiast

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    Some people just seem to be allergic to the very thought of cast bullets.

    Not me. I have been shooting cast .38 special 148 grain DEWC's for 36+ years.

    Still trying to get some 7.62X54R brass to reload them cast bullets you sent me, Rum! All my boxer primed stuff is already reloaded. Might have to go on a range trip whether I'm ready or not, yet just to shoot some. Need to see how my Chinese "U-Fix-Em T-53 shoots anyways, so I would take some of my reloads and fire them off.


    Hmmm, have that new Finn M28 coming Monday, too. Need to test fire it!.
  14. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Enthusiast

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    For those of you who can't understand my rationale, I've owned 4 revolvers in .44 magnum, and every single one of them got beaten to death by factory ammunition. They either loosened up until they rattled like a worn out transmission and were unsafe to shoot, or in the case of my one Ruger Super Blackhawk, shot through a cylinder pin every twelve rounds. After replacing the cylinder pin three times, I gave up and sold it. The other three were a Hawes Cheif Marshal, a Taurus model 44, and an EAA Bounty Hunter (I had a Bounty Hunter in .45 Colt and I loved that one! But the .44 magnum was a bad match for that gun.). I will never own another revolver chambered for .44 magnum, period. The round is fine in a lever action rifle, but in my opinion doesn't belong in handguns. I respect that other people don't share my opinion, the .44 magnum might be for you, but it ain't for me. I intend to take 338Rum's suggestion and try the .45. I've read accounts of successful whitetail hunts with that caliber, we'll see what it can do. Now to find a revolver and the money to purchase it.

    P.S.: Kudos to the Hawes Chief Marshal, it lasted longer than any of the others, I owned it back in the 1970's and it lasted six years, the last two years I must admit, I only fired .44 special out of it. But considering that revolvers in other calibers have lasted much longer in my care, I still consider that inadequate.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  15. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Enthusiast

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    Just make sure to bell the case mouth with your 8mm die or a set of needle nose pliers in the neck just like you bell that 38 SPC.
  16. aht_six

    aht_six G&G Regular

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    I'm curious, when you say "shot through a cylinder pin every twelve rounds", was the pin working out and in need of of being put back in place or was it somehow being damaged? I had a .45 Colt Blackhawk (4-5/8 inch SS), that when new, had a cylinder pin that would work out of place every few rounds. Ruger replaced the pin and the problem seemed to be solved.

    The only two revolvers I've ever had trouble with have been non-magnums, the Blackhawk I mentioned above, which the problem was quickly corrected, and a Taurus M85 .38 special I gave up on.

    My deer hunting handgun is a 7-1/2 SS Blackhawk in .45 colt with a TC 2-7 scope. I think the .45 colt loaded to modern pressures is a very effective deer round. It's not called a magnum, but the performance is in the same class.

    P.S. My .44 magnums are all Smith and Wessons, I've had an 8-3/8 inch M29 for over 30 years, I think it's only gotten better with time.
  17. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Enthusiast

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    Looks like ChaZam saw my plight, and is sending me 49 pieces of PPU 7.62X54R cases out of the goodness of his heart. Throwing in some 30.06, too. Would I use maybe about the same amount of Red Dot in 30.06? And will it cycle an M1 carbine, or should I just use them in my Savage 110 bolt action?

    Oh well, for pistol bullets I pretty much will use cast for everything but my .44 magnum and .454 Casull. I much prefer jacketed with the speeds I push them. Once I made the mistake of using copper plated bullets in my Casull. It became a shrapnel throwing machine, and would spit back pieces of copper at my face. Only use true jacketed bullets now. Save the cast for the .45 Colt I can also shoot out of it.
  18. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Enthusiast

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    I have two Ruger single actions. One a black hawk and the other is a Bisley Black hawk. Both are 45 Colt. I also have a 480 Ruger in a Super Redhawk. Not one of them has given me any trouble whatsoever.

    I am with 338Rum on the lead. If you measure your cylinder throats and size your bullets to slightly larger than them you will not see any leading. Good lube on the bullet is also a necessity. Unique is my favorite powder for the Colt for plinking loads. I use 8gr -10gr for 300gr cast lead bullets for my revolvers and my lever action in the same caliber.
  19. 338RUM

    338RUM G&G Enthusiast

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    That 13 gr load will work for ANY military cartridge 7x57 or larger, including the 30-06, 8x57, and 7.62x54R. I really like my 325 gr LBT LFN bullets for the heavy loads in 454 Casull these things when cast of a fairly soft alloy (50/50 pure/wheelweights) will work to turn itself inside out on game.
  20. billy

    billy G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    why dont you simply buy a .44mag and shoot 44spl through it?
    or a .454 casull and fire .45 colt through it.?
    i dont understand why you insist you need a weaker built revolver.

    i dont get it.
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