I got into big bore stuff maybe a year ago or so, so roughly 35 years pulling a trigger (since I was 5) but only a tiny fraction of that with handguns larger than a 45 acp. Here’s what I think so far.

Guns: I am sold on the double action. I got into this so I’d have not only a fun “toy” to get out on the range but as a useful tool against large animal attacks. I live in MI, if I’m in the U.P. and being rundown by something large, hairy and upset I am NOT Doc Holiday and don’t want to be working my hammer along with everything else. So that leaves me with only 2 tried and true choices. Smith and Wesson or Ruger revolvers. I chose the Ruger 454 because it holds 6 rounds. Are the Smith 460’s and 500’s bigger?? Yes  but will the 454 properly loaded kill anything in North America and most likely anywhere else too?? YES. Read my 400 grain Doubletap 454 ammo review here. If you cannot kill it with that round, well, you should have stayed away from it or brought a rifle and 5 friends who all run slower than you do. That 6th round just makes me feel better, it’s like an added insurance policy if I screw up the first 5 times. I feel fine with the 454. I read a lot of stuff and talk to a lot of hunters (I am not one) and I remind all the people in the world that think you need the “9Billion Super Ultra Nuclear Magnum loaded with 5000 grain Depleted Uranium Penetrator” bullets at nearly light speed to drop a bear that these are the SAME ANIMALS early settlers were killing with muzzle loaders and Native Americans were hunting with stone arrow heads. The 454 Casull will do the job. Period. It has a hell of alot more  energy than Davy Crockett’s musket or Crazy Horse’s arrows  ever had and six tries to get it right.

So now you know I chose the 6 shot Ruger 454 with the 7 1/2 inch barrel. I love the gun, I have found that a chest rig is the easiest way for me to carry it. A belt holster and it tends to get hung up with the long barrel on a draw. Having it across your chest or under an arm is much quicker for me. I replaced the factory grips with Hogue and prefer the angle of them. They are just more comfortable and get my sights lined up MUCH faster as they are angled more up and down and I seem to prefer that. Speedloaders can be found cheap at Midway USA or on Ebay. You want the “HKS 25-5” speedloader, that’s your baby. The 454 is NOT listed but that IS the one.

I want to finish this on the most important part. TRAIN WITH YOUR HUGE GUN!! Whatever you choose,Yogi the Bear isn’t going to give you another chance. I am by no means a little guy and have shot a lot of guns a lot of times. I am not recoil sensitive that I know of but this thing brings out every bad habit I never had before. It really made me open my eyes to how bad not only my form and technique can get but just how much it adversely affects accuracy. It’s actually mind boggling to me. I hate to say this but I’m gonna be honest about it, I didn’t start getting shots on a paper plate consistently till I had my 3rd box (20 round box) downrange. I am somewhere around 175 rounds now and I still am not hitting with the consistency I am accustomed to shooting with. Its a whole new ball game from the 100 grain 380 to 400 grain 454’s. If there’s something wrong with you the 454 might just find it. SO PRACTICE!! Like I said I had NO idea I’d do so badly off the get go. So if your new to this like I am please do not buy a box of 20 rounds, fire a cylinder full, reload and think yourself ready for a 900lb brownie, just my thought on it all.

Thanks for reading and good luck.

By: Cary Kieffer


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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran/MUESOC/Sniper School - Med Retired LEO w/ 8yrs on job before Iraq wounds caught up with me.

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