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New SRH Alaskan 454 Casull

This is a discussion on New SRH Alaskan 454 Casull within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Hello, and greetings! A little background, new to the double action forum and this actually is my first DA revolver in over 40 years! I ...


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Old March 14th, 2017, 07:26 AM   #1
 
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New SRH Alaskan 454 Casull

Hello, and greetings! A little background, new to the double action forum and this actually is my first DA revolver in over 40 years! I am a SA guy at heart I guess but due to my location I need a more powerful gun than my 44mag super Blackhawk. The brown bears here in my area of SE Alaska are formidable! Mostly I carry a 45-70 guide gun or a Rossi m92 chambered in 454 Casull but I am tired of lugging that much gun along just to hike or berry pick.

I live in a somewhat remote area and the town doesn't have a well stocked gun store. I have been wanting a 480 Ruger SA possibly a 5 round Blackhawk or perhaps a BFR, but been coming up dry so I was in Juneau AK over the weekend and stopped into a new Sportsmans Warehouse and in a weak moment, abandoned my 480 ruger hopes and went with the SRH Alaskan. After picking it up and handling it I felt that it balanced better than I thought it would. The grip is definitely superior to my Blackhawks, and it didn't feel that heavy. And since I already have a levergun chambered in 454 Casull that I handload for I wouldn't need new 480 dies, brass, cast bullets (hopefully) etc.

My concerns with the 454 are however in loading for this little beast, is mainly the reliability issue of having bullets unseat and back out when I would least want it. Since this gun's primary mission is for bear protection I simply cannot have a malfunction in this way. So the plan right now is to develop some sort of load for it that will be superior to the 44 mag loads I use now, that doesn't unseat the remaining bullets.

I have quite a few 350 grain cast now for the Rossi that I am getting around 1700 fps (out of its 20" barrel) and I think I will start there possibly for good penetration and stopping force up close (within 25 feet or so) I do have questions about this however.

Does anyone here handload for their SRH 454? Has anyone slugged the barrel on one? In bear protection loads what are you using? Do you handload or buy cartridges from somewhere like Buffalo bore etc? Handloaders, what sort of loads would be considered max for this little gun considering its weight and barrel length?
Thanks!



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Old March 14th, 2017, 08:14 AM   #2
 
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Congratulations on the new purchase! I myself am a .480 Ruger kind of guy, but I'm a fan of the Alaskan. No question your choice will serve you well.

Interested to see what folks have to say as well. I thought I heard somewhere that Buffalo Bore doesn't load .454 Casull to max pressure to avoid crimp jump...
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Old March 14th, 2017, 09:06 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khari View Post
Congratulations on the new purchase! I myself am a .480 Ruger kind of guy, but I'm a fan of the Alaskan. No question your choice will serve you well.

Interested to see what folks have to say as well. I thought I heard somewhere that Buffalo Bore doesn't load .454 Casull to max pressure to avoid crimp jump...
Thanks! Yes I have read that as well, I think on the Buffalo Bore site maybe. Crimp jump hasn't been a consideration with the levergun of course, and that cartridge can do amazing things in a long barrel, but not having to carry on a sling is very appealing. I seem to mostly not carry the rifles anymore anyway unless going into an area of particularly high density bear population and usually just have only a 44 mag, but recently getting a little close to a brown bear and the size of it has made me think about a caliber upgrade. I am excited to shoot some loads over the chrony!
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Old March 14th, 2017, 09:49 AM   #4
 
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What advantages do you get with the .454 over the .44 Magnum when loading the .44 to the max? Buffalo Bore's +P+ .44 Magnum load is a 340 grain bullet, listed at 1478 fps. I realize this is only for certain firearms, mainly Ruger, but you had a Super Blackhawk. Buffalo Bore's .454 is 360 grains at 1425 fps, so not much different. I don't live in bear country, but this stuff intrigues me.
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Old March 14th, 2017, 10:24 AM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by JonathanZ View Post
What advantages do you get with the .454 over the .44 Magnum when loading the .44 to the max? Buffalo Bore's +P+ .44 Magnum load is a 340 grain bullet, listed at 1478 fps. I realize this is only for certain firearms, mainly Ruger, but you had a Super Blackhawk. Buffalo Bore's .454 is 360 grains at 1425 fps, so not much different. I don't live in bear country, but this stuff intrigues me.
That BB 44 mag round might be pretty close to anything I would be comfortable loading my new 454 to! Having a Blackhawk 44 mag is known to not be as strong as the Ruger SRH's so I tend to not load my own that hot. I am not a super experienced handloader and have a healthy respect about pushing things to the max on my own like that. Still I might have saved my money by just buying a box or 2 of Buffalo Bore 44 mag!
I am hoping to put together some hefty loads for the Alaskan this spring and test when the weather improves here.
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Old March 14th, 2017, 02:19 PM   #6
 
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Order a custom collet style crimp die from Lee. My 340 grain bullets do not walk in my SRH. I also use the same type of crimp die for my 460 S&W Magnum with no issues of bullet movement.
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Old March 14th, 2017, 04:39 PM   #7
 
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Order a custom collet style crimp die from Lee. My 340 grain bullets do not walk in my SRH. I also use the same type of crimp die for my 460 S&W Magnum with no issues of bullet movement.
Thanks for that reminder. I may already have one of those somewhere actually.. It may say 45LC on it but believe they will also work on 454..
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Old March 15th, 2017, 05:48 PM   #8
 
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No, the 45 Colt will not work. I said a "Collette style" crimp die. I did not say a "factory crimp die". The Collette style dies are specific to the case length.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 06:49 PM   #9
 
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Thanks, further investigation is obviously needed on my part. I seem to recall ordering a custom Lee crimp die for the 454 Casull from Ranch Dog but it has been a few years since I have had my reloading equipment out due to moving and other things getting in the way. I am just now unpacking my stuff.
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Old March 16th, 2017, 03:54 PM   #10
 
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Yes, Ranch Dog had them at one time, but Lee will custom make one for you if you dont have it.
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