With no experience with the .454 round, I do know that most Rugers will not "wear out" due to shooting them. My experiance with the Ruger wheel guns is that they are well built and tend to function flawlessly (at least the ones I've had dealings with). My boss swears by their quality. We've put many rounds through his blackhawks, gp100, sp101, and my security six without any complications. From what I've heard the .454 may wear you out before it wears out the gun. Just my $.02. May not even be worth that.
Actually I really like shooting the .454 Winchester hollowpoint round a lot. It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the cost of ammo for the .454. That's what's keeping me at a slow pace when we go shooting. Do they make a good strong(900fps or better) hollowpoint 45long colt?
They make such a 45 Colt load but it costs as much as the 454 rounds. Cor-Bon, Buffalo Bore, and several others produce "hunting" style loads but as they are relatively low volume, the price is kind of steep. If you are shooting the 250 gr Winchester Super-X rounds, you are shooting a fairly mild loading as it is equivalent to a hot 45 Colt. This is the load I regularly use for antlerless deer in slug/handgun zones as it is so easy shooting. The 300 gr soft points from Winchester that have been discontinued are along the same lines as the original 454 loadings by Freedom Arms; those will get your attention much better. I shoot a lot more 45 Colt rounds through my RSR than 454 as they are much more pleasant to shoot and less likely to have squib loads as the powder takes up more space in the case.
As for wearing out a RSR, that may take some doing but I believe it can be done if using full power Casull rounds. It is well known that the Ruger cylinder "flexes" a little when true 454 Casull loads are used. This often causes the cases to stick in the cylinder and makes for difficult extraction. This is one reason Freedom Arms has a 5 chambered cylinder rather than 6. I have to believe if the cylinder is stressed then other parts must be too though it is anyone's guess as to how much and how long the gun can handle this. As I mentioned, I shoot a lot of 45 Colt rounds which, even at their hottest, are much less stressful on the gun than most 454 loads. In this case, I expect the gun to outlast me by a large margin.
Like most of the other replies, I can say Ruger makes a rock solid wheel gun. Virtually all the super high-powered (non-Ruger) pistols are built on Ruger frames. And for good reason. The RSR 454 Casull won't wear out in a single life-time, especially if you practice with 45 Colts. I shoot a Ruger Bisley 44 Mag and it's one of the most pleasureable 44 mags I have ever owned.
Hi Jmac... Like others have said, I think it would take a lot of shooting with 454 full power loads before wearing it out. Also, I don't think most people can take shooting much more than 20 or so rounds per session. They can really put a whump on... I also agree with UD regarding the cylinder flex, and some long term concern there, if shooting nothing but a high volume of full power loads.
For general practice, I shoot a lot of 45 colts out of mine like others. I also have some "hot" 45 colt loads that I use for hunting. THey are a little hot pressure-wise, but safe in the RRH 454. (I got the loads out of a Lyman manual...)
I have to raise one caution regards shooting the .45 Colt in the Casull...
Don't do it.
The .45 Colt brass is a tenth of an inch shorter than the Casull and if you use it it WILL leave a ring of deposits at the head of the cylinder. You can remove this with Kroil but you have to be very careful not to damage the gun when you do. If you don't remove this ring, the deeply crimped Casull round will still chamber, but when it fires and the crimp expands against the deposit, the effect will be to prevent the bullet from moving out of the case as it was meant to. This will cause a momentary overpressure that will split cases and make it very difficult to remove the shot brass from the cylinder.
I shoot my 7.5" SRH a bunch. To avoid problems and to reduce the cost, I use my once fired Casull brass and load it with TrailBoss powder and a 250gr LazerCast LRN lubed bullet. TrailBoss is a very fluffy powder and you can get a good case full without them being too hot for the bullet which is moving along about 900 fps. It is quite pleasurable to shoot and if I decide to then chamber my 300 gr "Alaska Specials" I know I won't be extracting the brass with a punch and a hammer.