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Revolver and Handgun Hunters- Step inside, please

bullsi1911bullsi1911 ModeratorPosts: 12,309 Senior Member
As a 'baby step' into a full handrifle hunting setup, I took my .454 Super Redhawk...


and slapped on a used Bushnell scope from the Gunshow yesterday


Now, I need some advice. First- this will be at max, shot at 150 yards at Texas Hill country Whitetail. Nothing too big or extreme.
I have been running Cabelas bulk "HSM" ammo. I have all the stuff to handload .454. Any suggestions on either factory loads or handload recipes?

The majority of the shots will be probably 70-100 yards. I'll probably sight it in at 100 yards, unless there is a good reason to go with a different distance.

Any other things I need to know or think about before I get too deep into this?
To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
-Mikhail Kalashnikov

Replies

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,309 Senior Member
    Real good point. Ever since developing tinnitis about 2 years ago, I wear active hearing muffs while hunting. Plus, it keeps the ears warm :)
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    :jester:Take two advil before you shoot and two after you shoot for your hand. My .454 Ruger Super Redhawk always got my attention. Have fun :guns:
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member WyomingPosts: 8,566 Senior Member
    With my FA 454 I always used H-110, Rem 7 1/2 primers, and 300 grain XTP's.
    Won't give the powder load because the FA will handle more pressure than a Ruger typically.
    It was death every time.
    Find way to shoot from the seated position using shooting sticks or a tri-pod like Bog-Gear makes.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member crusted in sandPosts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I have that same gun with a Weaver 2.5x8 on it this year. I've hunted with it for two years now and this year I started carrying my .44mag redhawk more frequently as the casull was kinda overkill for the area's that I handgun hunt but I plan to take at least one deer with it again this year. I've been reloading and casting bullets for mine for quite a while also.
    For starters, get yourself a keg of H110. I have several .44 mags that I load for also and H110 is my go to powder for full power loads for my big revolvers. If you want to shoot jacketed bullets, the only real choice for a full power loading is the Speer 300gr GDHP. (#3974) That bullet was made specifically for the casull as it has a thicker jacket to withstand the higher pressures of the .454. A weaker bullet won't allow the pressure to build up enough for a complete powder burn and can increase flame cutting of the top strap. This is not theory, I have a noticable groove on mine from some factory rounds that I was using when I first bought mine. I have a 300gr RNFPGC that I cast at a 22 bhn that is much cheaper to shoot than the Speers but I haven't shot anything with them yet. I use 30gr of H110 with either bullet and the Speer manual shows 31.5gr of H110 as being a max load but 30gr gets the job done for me. With my cast bullet I get 1455fps out of my SRH and I get 2" at 50yds from my shooting sticks. I haven't stretched it out any further or tried it off of a more solid rest but for me, that's plenty good enough for deer. One other thing that I will add is that you need to crimp the heck out of the bullets. I mean really pronounced as to you're almost buckling the cases. Yeah this will shorten the life of the cases but oh well. Two things happen if you don't crimp enough, inefficient burn and flame cutting of the topstrap, and after about three shots the remaining rounds in the cylinder will pull and lockup the cylinder. This has happened to me more than I care to admit and for a while I was hunting with only three rounds in it because of this. Also as everyone else has mentioned, IT'S LOUD!
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 2,599 Senior Member
    Hang on tight?
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member In the sticks, OHPosts: 5,617 Senior Member
    Fishhead is right on. Except for there's another bullet. Hornady XTP mag. They have thickened jackets for 454's. I shoot the 300's with 31gr H110, but, if I was in Texas, I'd be looking pretty hard at the 250gr XTP mags.

    FWIW, mine run 1525fps out of my 7.5" SRH, and zeroed at 25 yards, they're 4" low at 100.

    Hang on, have fun.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Central MNPosts: 14,659 Senior Member
    A phone call to Dick Casull might not be a bad idea, and , if you have him on the phone, invite him onto the forum for a chat.

    After I posted this, I wondered if Dick passed away, a call to Freedom Arms then.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member WyomingPosts: 8,566 Senior Member
    I should have noted I use the Mag 300 grain XTP's
    jbohio wrote: »
    Fishhead is right on. Except for there's another bullet. Hornady XTP mag. They have thickened jackets for 454's. I shoot the 300's with 31gr H110, but, if I was in Texas, I'd be looking pretty hard at the 250gr XTP mags.

    FWIW, mine run 1525fps out of my 7.5" SRH, and zeroed at 25 yards, they're 4" low at 100.

    Hang on, have fun.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member crusted in sandPosts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I stand corrected, the Speer 300gr #3974 and the Hornady 300gr #45235 both have heavier jackets designed for use in high pressure loads.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • Ranch13Ranch13 Senior Member Ft. Laramie WyPosts: 820 Senior Member
    I'ld suggest you take a look at loading some rounds with a good keith type cast bullet 260ish grains. See if you can come up with something in the 45colt +p velocity range that will shoot well enough to make a sure shot out to 150 yds or so. It'll be easier on you and the gun than full powder 454 loads, and will do a fine job of making oneshot kills provided you put the bullet where it needs to go.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,309 Senior Member
    Freezer wrote: »
    Hang on tight?

    The .454 is really not that bad in recoil when the gun weighs 3.5 lbs PLUS scope and rings.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I am looking forward to trying this out, and hunting 'light'
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,309 Senior Member
    Oh, any advice on carrying it? Obviously my holster will no longer fit.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member God's countryPosts: 4,646 Senior Member
    I shoot a .45LC Bisley. Put me in the hard cast camp. I do have a question for you jacketed bullet guys. This is an open, honest question to educate me. Most certainly not to criticize your choice of bullit. I have never recovered my hard cast from game. I'm just curious if any of you have to check bullit performance. i.e. did those hollow points expand? Again, just curious. If it killed the critter efficiently obviously it doesn't matter.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • Ranch13Ranch13 Senior Member Ft. Laramie WyPosts: 820 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Oh, any advice on carrying it? Obviously my holster will no longer fit.

    One of those shoulder holsters for those scoped cannons probably be about as good as it gets. Keeps the weight on your shoulders, and keeps the gun where you can still get it out of the holster for a quick shot, should that be necessary.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member WyomingPosts: 8,566 Senior Member
    Bianchi Hush
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member crusted in sandPosts: 5,797 Senior Member
    I use an Uncle Mikes bandolier which is similar to the Bianchi hush but about half the price.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Cody, WYPosts: 1,036 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Oh, any advice on carrying it? Obviously my holster will no longer fit.

    http://ringlercustomleather.com/catalog/i2.html
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,309 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Son

    LOL.

    Finally getting to the range tomorrow at lunch. If it works well, I may try and take a buck with it this weekend on the last hunt of buck season.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • gatorgator Senior Member Salome ArizonaPosts: 1,746 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Oh, any advice on carrying it? Obviously my holster will no longer fit.


    http://www.shop.diamonddcustomleather.com/Guides-Choice-Chest-Holster-GC.htm
    USMC 80-84
    -96 lbs
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member In the sticks, OHPosts: 5,617 Senior Member
    I shoot a .45LC Bisley. Put me in the hard cast camp. I do have a question for you jacketed bullet guys. This is an open, honest question to educate me. Most certainly not to criticize your choice of bullit. I have never recovered my hard cast from game. I'm just curious if any of you have to check bullit performance. i.e. did those hollow points expand? Again, just curious. If it killed the critter efficiently obviously it doesn't matter.

    I haven't actually shot anything with mine, yet. I'll say this, though. I'm a big fan of cast bullets, also. I love them. I'm using the XTP's in hopes of getting some expansion. There's not a doubt in my mind that a 300gr hardcast will bore straight through a whitetail.
  • JayJay Senior Member New Mexico/TexasPosts: 4,547 Senior Member
    The only two bullets I've loaded in 454 are the Hornady 240gr XTP Mag and the 300gr XTP mag. I have not shot anything bigger than a rabbit with either one. I'm sure you can imagine what happened to rabbits hit with these bullets. There are no 250 XTP mags that I'm aware of, just 250 grain regular XTPs.

    I used one of these for a holser on my deer hunt last year. Uncle Mike's camo bandolier.

    p79227b.jpg

    I put the holster on first, then my jacket, then my pack and I was ready to go. A lot of walking, spot and stalk syle hunting. Well, a lot of walking with no spotting in any case. Point being, I was comfortable the entire time. If I got warm, I could take my pack off, take my jacket off and put it in the pack and put the pack back on, all while leaving the gun holstered. I have electronic hearing protection, but didn't really like wearing them. I just left them clamped on my head so I could slip them down on my ears with my left hand while drawing with my right.

    With my setup, sighted in about 1 inch high at 25 yards, I was able to consistently hit paper plates out to 150 yards. That's about as far as I went with my load work and practice, thinking that being able to hit a paper plate with a dead on hold out to just about 150 yards or so was good enough to go deer hunting with. Of course, things will change with a different gun, scope height and load.

    I can't remember off hand what my powder charges and velocities were. I was using W296 with the 240 and 300 grian bullets I mentioned. CCI small rifle primers. When I get home this evening I'll look at my log to see what my powder charges were and the chronograph info I got, if it woudl be helpful. I also loaded some slightly milder loads with those same bullets using Accurate 9 powder. They were extremely accurate and less felt recoil, but velocity fell off. For 100 yards and in, I would really consider that load for the reduced recoil. I'm guessing in my case the better accuracy likely came from the reduced recoil more than anything.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,309 Senior Member
    Thanks for the info, Jay. The load I have right now is the HSM bulk load from Cabelas that uses the 300 Gr XTP bullet at a published 1600FPS. When I run that supply out, I'm sure I'll be lading my own. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Was not able to get to the range. There was an HOUR wait to get a lane. Damnit.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • JayJay Senior Member New Mexico/TexasPosts: 4,547 Senior Member
    Here's a few loads that I have chronograph info on. This is out of an 8 3/8 inch barrel with the chrony 10 feet from the muzzle.

    A fairly mild AA9 load like I mentined before - 300 grain XTP mag bullet, 25 grains of Accurate Arms No. 9 powder, CCI small rifle primer = averaged 1510 FPS, std dev 12fps. COAL=1.765"

    Another fairly mild load like I mentioned before - 240 grain XTP mag, 28.5 grains of AA9 powder, CCI small rifle primer = averaged 1729 FPS, std dev 13 FPS. COAL=1.745"

    The load that I actually carried to hunt with but haven't shot anything but rabbits with - 240 XTP Mag, 36.7 grains of W296 powder, CCI small rifle primer = averaged 1847 FPS, std dev 27 FPS. COAL=1.745"

    [public disclaimer] Of course, double check published data and make sure these loads are safe for your application. :jester:
  • JayJay Senior Member New Mexico/TexasPosts: 4,547 Senior Member
    Jay wrote: »

    Another fairly mild load like I mentioned before - 240 grain XTP mag, 28.5 grains of AA9 powder, CCI small rifle primer = averaged 1729 FPS, std dev 13 FPS. COAL=1.745"

    Just remembered: this is the load I used in the handpounder class at the last 25 yard target shoot I was in and won. Shot 5 in a group to verify my sights, then shot 50 of them for score in 5 shot groups. No problem. Figured, if I couldn't beat the other guys, just make them flinch.........:jester:

    Edit - My bad. It's good you got me looking into this again. The load I used in my 25 yard shoot was this load, but with 30.0 grains of AA9. Haven't chronographed that one, but it was a good load as well.
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