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Posted: 8/13/2003 5:59:24 PM EDT
Hi Everyone,
I was thinking of a new revolver to use for hunting, and was thinking of either the Super Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk Hunter, or Super Redhawk. I have a Super Blackhawk with the 10 inch Barrell, and while it shoots great, it is a real pain due to the barrell size to carry around and find quality holsters for. I was thinking of getting another Ruger handgun to use for hunting, but wanted a shorter barrell, and maybe a different caliber. I figured I would ask here to see if you all could help me make up my mind. So the questions are:

1. Caliber- 44 mag in a single action ruger versus 454/45 in a super redhawk? I will mainly hunt whitetail deer sized game and down, but would like the option to hunt bears, even the Alaskan Brown Bear. I know the 454 is a much better choice for Brown bears due to power, but many have used the 44 mag and had no problems. I am trying to figure which caliber would be best based on needed power of the cartridge, availability of ammo, cost, and other considerations.

2. Barrell length and accuracy- My 10 inch Super Blackhawk has too much barrell for what I needed, so I wanted to go down to a 4 4/5 to 7.5 barrel length. How much will accuracy be affected by the different lengths. Most people use the 7.5 inch length, but would the 4-6 inch lengths of the super blackhawk give good accuracy out to 50-100 yards? The smaller the barrell the easier it would be to pack, but I don't want to give up a load of accuracy and power just for weight and length considerations.

Any help you could give would be apprieciated.
Link Posted: 8/13/2003 10:12:25 PM EDT
Dance
The 44 Rem Mag will easily hit 1400fps with a 300 Gr. cast bullet out of a 7.5 barrel so it's plenty strong, I load my Super Blackhawk and Super Redhawk at around 1350 fps. I've had a few 45 Colts and they hit a little over 1300 fps with a 335 cast bullet with a 5.5 barrel. I load both 454 Casulls a little over 1500 fps with a 335 Gr. cast bullet. The recoil of the 44 Mag and the 45 Colt are very manageable, the recoil of the 454 Casull is getting pretty serious. I think the 44 mag is the easiest to live with if you don't handload. I prefer the single action Revolvers because of the weight and handling qualities. Have you considered shortening the barrel on your 10 inch Super Blackhawk ?
Link Posted: 8/26/2003 9:45:55 AM EDT
If your wanting 50-100 yard accuracy, your going to want to put some optics on that beast. If you do, and want a SA revolver, ruger has a 44 magnum blackhawk bisley hunter. It has a real nice integral rail that will allow for the gun to easialy accept a scope. It has a 7.5 inch tube.

If you want shorter than that, they are also producing a limited run of 45 colt and 45 magnum blackhawk bisleys in stainless with a 5.5" tube.

As for caliber, if you roll your own, go with the 45 colt. If you don't 44 magnum all the way.

In my mind, the 454 casull is hard to justify outside of Alaska or for the occasional gigantic grisley in the Northwest.
Link Posted: 8/27/2003 10:45:12 AM EDT
I think the .44 magnum is a better choice than the .454 for anything you will shoot in PA. More loads available, recoil is easier to handle, and anything from 7.5 inch to 10 inch barrel is great! I use a 9 1/2 inch barrel rather than the 7.5 inch because I think it handles better and is more accurate at distances and fits well and is easily retrieved from the shoulder holster across the chest when seated. That said, the 7.5 inch is good enough for white tail or bear in PA. Seldom are you going to get a distance shot in all the underbrush in PA anyways! At any distance use a scope, and for black bear, go for the shoulder to disable him FIRST. There is nothing faster than a wounded, ugly bear covering the yards to you faster than you can shoot the second round either DA or SA <grin> Head shots are a rarity, except at point blank range...which is in essence an act of desperate self-defense by the hunter being hunted.
Link Posted: 8/28/2003 6:19:42 PM EDT
I use a .41 Mag Blackhawk with the 4 5/8 inch barrel. I get 1250 fps with non-maximum loads. My hunting buddy uses a S&W Mod. 57 (.41 Mag.) with a 8 3/8" barrel. Using the same loads I find his much easier to hit with, with less perceived recoil and a greater sight radius (we are both anti-optics). On the other hand mine rides very unobtusively on my hip while he has to pay attention to his while crossing fences, sitting, etc.

I'll let you decide on the caliber, but if you are looking for maximum portability I'd recommend the 4 5/8 to 5 1/2 inch barrels. If you are going to put optics on it you might as well use the 7 1/2 inch or 10 inch barrel.

My perference is shorter barrels. If I want something that is going to get in my way I'll take my ultra light rifle and be good to go out to 250-300 yards.

As far as shootability goes you will have to practice more to hit as well with a short barrel as you can with your ten incher. But remember, most of Elmer Keiths amazing long shots were made with barrels 5.5 inches and shorter and iron sights.

Kent
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 7:25:14 AM EDT
Kent... I wasn't going to say anything, but I can't resisit.
1. if you are anti-optics, you must be young. The older I get, the bigger a fan of optics I become!

2. To reference Elmer Keith in shooting as compared to what we mere mortals can do is like saying, 'well John Elway could throw a football 75 yards'.

Well great... but I sure can't! I imagine Elmer Keith shot several hundred rounds a day for many decades. Darned few people can say that.

Just my 2 cents.. take it for what it's worth
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