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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking about a new handgun for deer hunting. I currently own a Ruger super redhawk in .44mag. i would like to stretch the range a little and have been giving a couple rounds some thought.

One is the 454 and the next is the 460 sw.

what effective range does the 454 casull have- i have read the 460sw has a 250yd range with the 200gr polymer tip bullets.

any reload data on the 454 with the 200gr loads?

thanks
 

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I don't think the polymer tipped bullets are available as a component at this time, at least I haven't seen nor heard of any out yet. I haven't done much long range shooting with mine, 125 yards is about the furthest I've done so far on targets with my range on game being much less. If I have to shoot beyond 100 yards with a pistol I'll reach for my Striker as it is much more suitable for this. I have toyed with the idea of trying the 460 on game but it isn't pressing enough for me to do much more than dream about it.
 

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The .454 is ill-suited to 200 grain bullets. You would need to use a relatively fast powder to get a good burn with so little resistance. Once out of the muzzle, a 200 grain bullet would have the ballistic coefficient of a railroad boxcar (in fact, probably worse). It's meant to perform best with 260 to 300 grain bullets.

Unless you are a one-in-a-million handgunner, the effective range is longer than you should be shooting. Everybody has their own standard, but a good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to the range where you can shoot a 5" group or less EVERY time. For the average handgun hunter, that's about 50 yards.... for a really proficient shooter, it approaches 100 yards. Damn few can do it beyond 100 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
not to sound arrogant based on the above post but 100yds with quality optics is fairly easy. Given you pay attention to the wind and surroundings. I am looking to see which of the calibers would be the best choice for my circumstances. I believe i have seen data for H110 pushing a 240gr bullet over 2000fps in the 454. I am trying to see what the velocity of a 200gr bullet is to compare the 454 to the 460.

Barnes has their 200gr pointed tip pistol bullet available if the polymer tip is unavailable.
 

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Steve: I just saw this post....a number of days late. This kind of question was the main reason that I went out and bought a chronograph some years ago.
In any case, it seems like you have answered your own question - given that you are comfortable shooting from field expedient positions at 100yds. and that the firearms that you own or would like to (did you buy the bigger gun by now?) are all powerful enough to kill a deer-sized animal at that distance.
I did some looking in any case and was unable to turn up any loads for a 200 gr bullet in the calibers that you were asking about.
The new Lyman #48 lists a 225gr. bullet load for the 454 that gives 1890fps from a 7.5" bbl. and 2007fps. from a Contender.
Effective distance? You know the fabled story of Elmer Keith shooting and killing a Moose (an Elk?) at some crazy distance (600yds as I recall) with 44 magnum. That was something of a stunt but the animal was killed with one shot. Effective distance = 600yds. Not.
Realistically, if you accept Frank Barnes' guideline of 600ft/lbs as a safe minimum of retained energy for deer-sized game, then a 200 gr. bullet at 2000 fps. will drop below that somewhere at about 250yds.
Pete
 
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