Obsolete Arms and Ammo
By Bob Shell
Apache Junction, AZ --(Ammoland.com)- My freedom Arms 454 Casull needed a scope to replace the one that was destroyed by a fire.
The gun survived ok but the scope and grips were not so lucky.
I requested and received a Leupold FX-II Handgun 4x28mm Duplex Scope model, which I thought would work fine on this hard kicking revolver.
I have used quite a few Leupold scopes on various rifles and handguns and always was pleased with the performance. The Casull is capable of great accuracy and a Leupold scope helps a lot in that endeavor. Like most precision guns the 454 can outshoot its owners in most instances. If you can manage the recoil then great accuracy is possible at 100 yards and beyond. That’s where a good scope comes in handy.
There may be other scopes that can take the recoil that a 454 dishes out but the Leupold is my choice because of the history I have with them on hard kicking handguns. Recoil especially with the heavier bullets can only be described as brutal. The shooting sessions had to be broken up because after shooting a very few dozen rounds the hands started to hurt.
After mounting the scope I used a Wheeler Engineering Bore Sighterto get it sighted in on paper. It is a unique tool, which uses a magnet as opposed to caliber sensitive inserts used by most bore sighters. It has a green laser light, which shows up very well even during daylight hours.
I loaded up some 300 grain hard cast bullets that were originally made for a 45-70 that were swaged down to 451 diameter in order to use them. I have used that process in the past with good results. Next, some swaged Hornady 350 gr round nose bullets, which gives maximum penetration for ornery critters were used. 25 X 2400 was used to give it a good heavy load that would be useful for hunting without the brutal recoil though it is still very stout.
With this 10” barrel and 4 X scope it is a hunting rig first and foremost. Silhouette shooters should appreciate the accuracy of the 454 along with the great optics that Leupold offers. The scope’s clear optics made it easy to shoot at various ranges and lighting conditions. Leupold scopes have been used by me on various rifles and other handguns and have always had good results. Another measure of a scope’s quality is its ability to absorb recoil without coming apart. While other products failed, I can’t remember ever having a problem with any of their products.
One refreshing thing is they are made in the US. For more info on their great products you can go to www.leupold.com for info and updates and I find Amazon has some of the best pricing on the internet for Leupod brand products.
I have worked quite a bit with the 454 however I wanted to try out some new ammo that might not have been available when I did my last test. So while working with the scope I took the opportunity to test them out.
Only used 454 cases , Starline , in this test. Starline makes great brass for quite a few calibers and prices are very reasonable. To check out their product line you can go to www.starlinebrass.com I use small rifle primers with my 454 loads per recommendations. Pistol primers are not suitable for the top loads and shouldn’t be used.
LOAD, BULLET, VELOCITY, COMMENT
- 25 X 2400, 300 Gr cast/swaged, 1499, consistent
- Double Tap, 400 Gr WEN-GC, 1413, recoil!!!
- Double Tap, 250 Gr Barnes HP, 1749, hot
- Hornady, 300 Gr XTP, 1730, nice
- Federal, 300 GR Swift A-Frame, 1705, consistent
- Buffalo Bore, 325 gr, 1531, consistent
- Double Tap, 250 Gr Barnes HP, 1621, ok
- Hornady, 300 Gr XTP, 1588, accurate
- Federal, 300 Gr Swift A Frame, 1551, big game
- 33 X 2400, 225 gr Hornady FTX, 1469, mild
- Buffalo Bore, 325 gr LBT, 1531, potent
- Buffalo Bore, 360 gr LBT, 1450, bear
One thing nice about the 454 is its versatility. You can load it down and use shorter cases such as the 45 Colt and 45 Schofield for reduced loads. One instance is you can load a 200 grain bullet to 1500 FPS which is well below max but would be effective for deer at moderate ranges. If you use shorter cases be sure to clean the rings out in the cylinder so you can chamber 454’s . The recoil from lighter loads won’t rattle your teeth either. With the high tec bullets available today maximum velocity isn’t necessary for most applications. At one time, the 454 was the most powerful revolver but the 460 and 500 S & W’s eclipse it.
I have shot the 460 and it is faster then the 454 but not by a lot. With the same length barrel you can pick up 100 to 200 FPS with the 460. Recoil with heavy bullet loads in the 460 is also brutal.
If you buy any of these super powered revolvers be prepared to lay out some serious cash for both the gun and ammo. Are they worth it? That would be for you to decide. But I say yes to Leupold!