February 2000

.454 Casulls: Too Much Power, Too Little Real-World Utility

Taurusís Raging Bull, $820, makes the .454 Casull bearable. Guns from Freedom Arms and Ruger exact a toll on the hunter as well as the hunted. If you need this much power, buy a rifle.

[IMGCAP(1)] Hunting with a handgun has its limitations. Handguns have less sight radius than long guns present when open sights are used, and suitable scopes tend to be limited compared to those designed to be mounted upon a rifle. Also, handguns cannot be braced against the shoulder, they have limited space for grip, and the shorter barrel will not produce the same velocities that even carbine barrels will, in part because of pressure bleeding at the cylinder gap (at least in the case of our three test guns, which are revolvers).

The physical limitations of a hunting handgun—that is, its overall size and weight—can be said to be advantages, but the corresponding lack of power compared to...

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