Carmichel's Gun Test

New Ruger Caliber Packs Punch

A cartridge all his own has long been an ambition of Bill Ruger's. Now his wish has come true with the .480 Ruger, which comes in the big-framed, stout-as-a-bank-vault Super Redhawk six-round revolver with 71/2- or 91/2-inch barrels. The Super Redhawk is already familiar to big-pistol aficionados, since it has been available in .44 Mag. and .454 Casull, but the .480 Ruger is new stuff.

Loaded by Hornady, the .480 launches a 325-grain, 4.75-inch-diameter bullet at 1,350 fps for a muzzle energy of 1,515 ft.-lb. By comparison, that's not too far behind the .454 Casull (1,759 ft.-lb. with a 300-grain bullet), and it hits as hard at 100 yards (835 ft.-lb.) as the .44 Mag. does at the muzzle. One warning: This gun packs serious recoil.

This isn't a plinking caliber; it's a handheld cannon, and its intent is big-game hunting. The only problem I found with the .480 Ruger was that the pistol had a long trigger pull, but I expect a good pistolsmith could smooth that up.

Accuracy, when the gun was fired handheld from a rest, ran as tight as 1.620 inches for five shots at 50 yards to a hair over 2 inches.

SUPER REDHAWK .480 RUGER
Intended Purpose: Big Game
Retail Price: $745
Test Panel Ratings *  
Ease of Operation: 77.75
Metal-to-Metal Fit: 79
Grips: 81
Performance: 79.5
Meets Standard of Type: 80
Price/Value: 78.5
Comments: Nice single-action trigger pull, but a long double-action trigger pull. Lots of recoil-get ready for a ride.