In 2003, Ruger brought forth the .480 Ruger. One must lug around a handgun whose weight approaches some carbines and shotguns. This the same energy a 180 grain, .30-06 makes at 250 yards. The .475 is a wildcat cartridge made by cutting the .45-70 case to a length of 1.4 inches (36 mm), and necking it to accept a .475 bullet. Now, Harry Callahan would have to admit his big, bad .44 Magnum placed a mere fourth or fifth on the most powerful list. The larger bore size allowed Ruger to use heavier, wider bullets than the .454 Casull. Some specialized, ultra-hot .44 Magnum loads now produce similar numbers, so many shooters don’t see a need for the Ruger. Rather than using the Blackhawk, Ruger chose to chamber the new round in the double-action Super Redhawk, and designed the cartridge to fit in a 6-shot cylinder. This got firearms experimenter, Dick Casull’s, undivided attention. The lower velocities and lower pressures mean the .480 Ruger has less felt recoil and muzzle blast than the higher pressure super-magnums. Almost five decades ago, Clint Eastwood uttered the immortal lines, “…being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky? I've shot several 454's, 475's and 500's (linebaughs) and I can't take that level of recoil. Required fields are marked *. Given the .500’s proportions and performance, there is little chance another production handgun cartridge will surpass it for years to come—if ever. At the moment, few major ammunition manufacturers make .480 Ruger ammunition. The .460 is also billed as the fastest handgun cartridge. However, U.S. government regulations and the need for the new cartridge to fit into a gun which humans could hold and fire drove them to settle on .50 caliber. The .480 case was also .115 inches shorter than the .475 Linebaugh, at 1.285 inches, the same as the .44 Magnum. Boutique ammo brand, Buffalo Bore, sells a .480 Ruger load with a 425 grain bullet at 1200 fps/1311 ft-lbs. The .480 Ruger operates at a maximum pressure of 48,000 psi, whereas the Linebaugh has a maximum pressure of 50,000, showing how close indeed the two cartridges are. The Casull’s extra case capacity lends itself to even heavier bullets and loads. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.  However, lackluster sales and a limited number of firearms available in this caliber have shown it to have only moderate popularity. , Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, https://www.gun-tests.com/ammo/new-475-linebaugh-handgun-power-to-burn, "The Holy Grail – A New Boomer from Ruger and Lipsey's", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=.480_Ruger&oldid=980308986, Articles needing additional references from January 2013, All articles needing additional references, Articles that may contain original research from August 2015, All articles that may contain original research, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2007, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 25 September 2020, at 19:37. It is also reasonable, and advisable, for a handgun hunter to dispatch their prey with a quick, decisive blow. The .480 has come and gone from Ruger’s Super Redhawk lineup over the years, and now it’s back. They saw the interest the .475 Linebaugh generated in the handgun hunting fraternity and decided to market the world’s biggest bore, production handgun. On paper, the .480 appears under-powered compared to either the Linebaugh or Casull. No other handgun specific cartridge could match the .500 Magnum. Everything about this round is enormous: size, power, and recoil. Famed gun expert, Elmer Keith, had collaborated with Remington and Smith & Wesson to develop it based on a stretched .44 Special case.  Revolvers chambered in .460 S&W Magnum can usually accept .454 Casull and .45 Colt rounds as well (in the same way that a .475 Linebaugh revolver can take .480 Ruger), a useful cost-saving feature that can increase the appeal of the .460 over the .480 for some shooters, especially for practice sessions where full-power rounds are not necessary. Sturm Ruger has a reputation for independent thinking. A howdah is the saddle placed atop elephants on tiger hunts. Its primary mission is long-range handgun hunting, as it has a much flatter trajectory than the Casull, or any other magnum. This produces 1870 ft-lbs., more than twice the .44’s energy–close to the .30-30 Winchester. Other small companies offer .480 ammo, as well. The .480 Ruger is often viewed by some as a ".475 Special"; in other words, as a slightly downgraded version of the super-magnum cartridge. The world will never lack for someone who desires more than is available, no matter the category. (This was based on muzzle energy alone, with no regard to either bullet diameter or weight, or to TKO, as was evident in the sales literature and magazines of the times, which compared the new 325 gr load's muzzle energy to the muzzle energy of other handgun hunting cartridges. The .475 Linebaugh was designed for handgun hunting of large game, such as bear, where deep penetration is required for a quick, humane kill, and the heavy, cast Keith style semiwadcutter bullets out of the .475 Linebaugh penetrated very well.. The downside is it is not available in a reasonable sized revolver, unlike the .41 or .44 Magnums. Without a doubt, these rounds are far more powerful than anyone in the 1970s could have imagined, but are they worthwhile? More food, more land, more mates, more power. In 1997, the company offered the powerhouse round in its Super Redhawk revolver. They chose the .454 Casull as the flagship cartridge for the gun. (The Factory Secret For Better Loads), Ruger Brings Back the Classic 6.5x55 Swedish (New Rifle Review), Fast and Delicious Venison Risotto Recipe, Bear Loads Tested (12 Gauge, .45-70, .500 S&W Magnum), Bear Hunting is Dangerous Game Hunting [Insane Bear Charge Video]. Used as directed, they provide options no other handguns can. The X-Frame brought a new era in powerful handguns to the public. The .480 should be able to take that title, as its original Hornady loading of a 325 gr JHP, easily surpasses factory loadings for the .44 Magnum, with very similar recoil in handguns of like weight. Initial concepts toyed with .60 and even .75 caliber bullets. Smith partnered with Cor-Bon to design the new round. The King of the Hill, .500 S&W Magnum, offers astounding power which equals some center-fire rifle cartridges. It made the .44 Magnum, once the most powerful production handgun round in existence, pale in comparison. Since no gun maker chose to chamber a production revolver for Casull’s brainchild, it languished on the market, known to just a few atavistic power-junkies who could afford a custom-made gun and put up with all the challenges involved with any wildcat cartridge. Ackley, wrote an article about Dick’s new hand-cannon, the .454 Casull, for Guns and Ammo Magazine. It has been stated by many gun writers that the .44 Magnum is typically the most powerful handgun an average person can master. 180 Grain Power Point, Find More Elk, Faster [Great How-To Video], How to Hunt Pronghorn (Guns, Gear, Tactics), Top 5 Ranger Secrets for Hunters (Be Silent-Be Invisible), .45 ACP vs. Bear (Lifesaver or Get You Killed? And that’s good news. The .480's large diameter rim is also turned down, which is required to fit the 6 cartridges in the Super Redhawk's cylinder without interference. Typical numbers for these are 1425 – 1600 fps, and 2254 – 2297 ft-lbs. Magazine articles and online forums were, for a brief while, replete with discussion about the potential of the cartridge. Although their power begs the question why a hunter doesn’t just use a rifle and be done with it. Like the old howdah pistol, a mega-magnum can provide one crucial, powerful shot which may save a person’s life under such circumstances. With a .475 caliber bullet, they had succeeded in their goal. It excels, however, with heavy bullets in the 400 to 500 grain range meant for large or dangerous game. Although the .480’s case is based on the Linebaugh, which is itself a shorted, modified .45-70, it is different in many respects from the Linebaugh. Hornady’s 325 grain, XTP hollow-point load, for example, yields 1350 fps and 1315 ft-lbs. The .480 is a well-balanced cartridge, providing a lot of energy without the recoil of larger hard-kicking rounds. Your email address will not be published. The .454 Casull offers power far beyond the .44 Magnum’s standard load: a 240 grain, .429 caliber bullet fired at around 1270 fps which generates 860 ft-lbs. When Ruger began to design their new cartridge, they started with the .475 Linebaugh super-magnum cartridge, but went a different direction. He set about to design a cartridge which would put the .44 in second place among handgun cartridges. The .475 diameter bullet allowed bullet weights over 400 grains (26 g), a feat not possible with the .45 caliber cartridge cases, and the terminal ballistics of the heavy bullet, even when loaded to moderate velocities, were impressive. The larger bore size allowed Ruger to use heavier, wider bullets than the .454 Casull. Like the old, big-bore Nitro Express rifles, the .480 relies on bullet mass and sectional density, rather than raw velocity to drive deep, wide wounds into large animals. The .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson Magnum, .480 Ruger, and .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum, have overthrown the king. The .44 Remington Magnum debuted in late 1955. In large part, the mega-magnums are a marketing exercise designed to extract cash from shooters who wish to boast, “Mine is bigger than yours.” Freudian implications aside, though, these handheld beasts do have a purpose, and used correctly, are appropriate tools for certain, narrow in scope, jobs. The .475 Linebaugh was introduced around 1988 as a custom, 5-shot Ruger Blackhawk single-action revolver. After all, are you really handgun hunting if your revolver looks more like a crew served weapon when it sprouts bi-pods, scopes, and muzzle brakes? Model 29s sold for three, even four, times their normal retail price. To this end, the mega-magnums are ideal solutions. In the years since, several gun and ammunition companies brought still more powerful handgun cartridges to the market. The .460 S&W Magnum fires the same bullets as the .454 Casull, but at much higher velocity. However, with bullets of 400 grains (26 g) and higher, the .480 Ruger starts to show more potential. Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska. To me the smith is simply too heavy to pack as a handgun. In the 21st century’s earliest years, Ruger decided the world needed a revolver cartridge with a bore larger than .45 caliber. .475 caliber handgun cartridges are not a new idea. It fit between the .454 Casull and Smith’s monstrous .500 Magnum. Handloaders reported getting phenomenal performance out of the round rubbing shoulders with the .475 Linebaugh and easily equaling and even eclipsing the Taylor Knockout Value (TKO) of the .454 Casull, with less recoil, muzzle blast and noise due to the .480's lower pressures. If the Casull’s power is off the chart, so is its recoil. Your email address will not be published. No shooter who touches one-off ever forgets the experience. The .480 Ruger uses lower pressures than the .454 Casull at 48,000 PSI, so the .454 Casull can produce higher velocities and more energy, although, with much lighter bullets than available in .475 caliber.
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