.480 Ruger

Help Support Ruger Forum:


Jan 14, 2008
I was wondering if anyone has a .480 Ruger Super Redhawk, and what they have to say about it.


Aug 20, 2006
soda springs, idaho
I have one & its a great cartridge & I hope someone doesn't chime in & tell you to just buy a 475! It's fine just as it is & if there's something out there thats to big for it to handle...........get a bazooka! Its kind of like the 41 magnum, many thumb their noses at it & say, why not just get a 44, well most of them have never used the 41 or the 480 but they don't let inexperience stop them from bad mouthing 2 great cartridges. I've taken a lot of big game with the 41 magnum & a fair amount with the 480, they work great! Used the 480 & a 370 gr cast slug on my bull moose, one shot, down & out. The bullet went in one side & out the other, would more gun & recoil have helped. Recoil never helps, some will say, the bigger cartridges shoot flatter, we're talking sixguns here, how much range do you need or better yet, how well can you shoot at distance, most if they are honest with themselves eventually realize that big, heavy bullets at moderate velocities work fantastic. Read Linebaughs findings on big bore sixguns at medium speeds. If Ruger came out with a 5 shot bisley in 480 would I buy one, no, I would buy 2 of them. Use the 480 with great confidence!!



Apr 7, 2004
My two 480s, both are great guns, always looking for anther one. Sixshot tills it like it is.


Ruger Guru
Sep 18, 2002
Lake Lure NC USA
I have a 7-1/2" in the 480 & it scares me as to it's accuracy. I'm a very pleased shooter with mine. I use a hand cast 400 grn slug that's killer in mine.


Jan 4, 2004
Rugerville, AZ
One of the best hunting handguns I've ever owned, period.

Yes, I had a SRH 454C and hated it. A handgun is only good if you can practice regularly to get proficient , and not just with a benchrest. The 454c was brutal on my wrists and gave me aches in my elbow that scare me.

The 480 Bill-freaking-Ruger is perfect for anything I will come across in this lifetime. My first one dropped a big bean-fed Michigan doe literally in her shadow at 80 paces with Ruger's fine gold-bead front and V-notch rear sights. It has proven itself on feral boars like a six-pounder between the eyes! I have a second now and am in the throes of tweaking it for an elk hunt.

I can get in dozens of practice rounds in a day due to the manageable recoil, which is akin to a hot 45Colt in a S&W DA revolver to my experience. With Decelerator grips it is quite docile.

I don't need a 454, nor a 475, or 500 look-at-me-flinch Magnum. The SRH 480R is a most excellent value and will bring home the venison right now.


Wrangler John

Mar 26, 2008
Here are a couple of 10 shot groups that the .480 Ruger can produce. I was using a 7.5" Super Redhawk with a 2X Burris Posi-Lock scope.


Using a Cast Performance Bullet Co. 370 grain LFN Plain Base Bullet over 25.5 grains of Winchester 296 with a Winchester Large Pistol primer, this load developed 1342 fps average for 10 shots. Range is 25 yards from a hand held rest. Muzzle energy is 1480 ft lbs, 100 yard energy is 1104 ft lbs. Group size ran .75" exclusive of the flier. The flier was caused by the windage turret disassembling itself from the Burris scope! That ended the testing for the day, but Burris repaired it and there were no further problems with that scope.


The 400 grain Hornady XTP gave good accuracy with 18.6 grains of Hodgdon's Lil Gun, a WLP primer in Hornady cases. Average velocity for 10 shots is 1105 fps, muzzle energy is 1084 ft lbs, with 100 yard energy 914 ft lbs. Group from 25 yards over hand held rest was 1.25".

The .480 Ruger is among the most consistent and accurate cartridges I have worked with. It also is at about the limit of the human hand to deal with as far as recoil is concerned. All my testing was done with a glove, and the big Ruger still got away from me when I relaxed too much, landing on my chest! A steady diet of firing this or other heavier calibers will do damage to nerves and wrist structures. Magnaporting the barrel may reduce the effect.

I also have a Blackhawk 5 shot conversion that uses the Bisley hammer and trigger in a Super Blackhawk grip frame. Both are very accurate. Either revolver would give me confidence against any large toothy critter.


Mar 21, 2005
S.W. Pennsylvania
I have the 6 round Alaskan in 480, I like the round and the gun. Accuracy is very respectable for a snubbie. I wanted something a little different yet 100% Ruger the 480 Alaskan filled the bill. If I could find a 5 shot, I'd but it as well.


Sep 13, 2009
Im new to this group, and was thumbing through and saw your question.
I had to chime in.
The 480 is a wonderful, well though out cartridge. As mentioned, it is amazingly accurate. And Im no pistolero.
Its recoil is very manageable, until you get up to reeeeaaally hot, heavy bullet handloads. Even then, in a scoped SRH, its not that bad.
I hate when people call it a "weak" 475 L. , or a "475special".
This aint no special.
In my Lyman manual, the max listed loads for each cartridge, are about 120-150fps apart. Thats CLOSE fellers!
This aint no factory 44spl vs. 44mag comparison.
The 480 is a serious load.
The two 475s Ive actually seen at the range were either shooting 480s, or mid range 475s. The humor of it all, was the owners were complaining about how the 480 kicked! I doubt they EVER shoot full house 475s.
Why not just buy the 480?
Another thing my SRH, with scope, a box of bullets, and a uncle Mikes holster, cost LESS than a Freedom Arms Linebaugh. (No slam meant, but Im a working man. $$ is $$).
I think alot of magazine writers put the hex on the cartridge, by continuously calling it a "special", or a weak Linebaugh.
D.Metcalf shot a coyote with it, and then took like 5 shots to kill a hog.
Not the kind of article that makes a gun seem powerful.
Anyway, sorry for rambling, but I promote the 480 whenever I can.
Its a good cartridge, that fills a niche. Big, affordable, and shootable.
I reload, so I dont worry too much about ammo availability (having already stockpiled some brass and lead).
I have a 44 SRH also, and although I love it, I like the 480 more.
My personal favorite handload is a Leadhead 355gr gcheck, over H110.
Perfect balance of velocity and recoil for me.
I settled on that weight because I only hunt deer, hogs and once every couple years black bear. It shoots flat enough, and straight through everything. 1 shot, virtually instant kill.
I would up the weight if I were up against teeth or horns.


I have the 9 1/2 in 480. Great revolver. Has some kick to it. A blast to shoot. I would recommend if you plan on getting say the hogue rubber grips, get the one with the Sorbothane insert. It gives better cushioning.


Dec 17, 2007
brian dosdall":3vwg4s4d said:
Please let me know of any 5-shot 480 Alaskans that are for sale

Wellllll, since only 25-30 were ever built, you better be willing to get a second mortgage on your house, if you find one. :lol:
Much as I'd like one also, I'll have to be satisfied with my 6 shooter.


Sep 29, 2007
Seeley Lake
I own two SRH 480s, one of which has been customized (graphics below). I also own Freedom Arms M83s and 97s. I find the standard 7.5-inch SRH to be clumsy -- poorly balanced -- when compared with the 83s. While the quality control is very good, it is not, should not be, comparable with Freedom's much more expensive revolvers. The customized revolver is everything the standard one is not. While barrel length reduction reduced its weight only a few ounces, the difference in handling is startling. And for an unknown reason, it shoots more consistently than the standard 480.

In terms of exterior ballistics, there are no significant differences between my 475 Linebaugh and 480 Ruger 400-grain bulleted loads. I find the M83s easier to control with my small hands, though.
Having metamorphosed from owning only guns I shoot to owning guns because they are excellent investments and best of their kind, I'm strongly considering disposing of my Super Redhawk 480s, their components, and accouterments. It's not a decision based on inferiority-superiority. Rather I've got stuff I don't use, will seldom-to-never use, so why have them? Let someone have them who will wear them out.

Here are thumbnails of the custom SRH 480.

These are SRHs with longer barrels, with cheaper, less durable finish, and cheaper front sight base mounting and a standard one.



Oct 11, 2008
I am quite happy with my SRH in 480. I worked with it today in order to get ready for deer season. If the shot is within 100 yards, I will go to the revolver. I have been shooting at various ranges up to 100 yards to learn where poi is. Using factory Hornady 325 XTP's at 1353 fps should do it.

I have heard the issue of cases sticking but I have never had that trouble in my gun with factory ammo or my own reloads which run a bit warmer.

Bucks Owin

Mar 22, 2004
51st state of Jefferson
I expect the .480 is a fine cartridge and I'd love to play with it if I could afford one. I also expect that the .475 Linebaugh in "full tilt mode" is more sixgun ("fivegun?") than 90% of the folks can handle. I just wish Ruger would build a FIVE SHOT BLACKHAWK in this (and other hand cannon) caliber. Like the .500 WE for example. Ruger should not let S&W have the ".50 cal monopoly" and the big Smith is in effect a "very short rifle" in terms of packability as far as I can gather from reports. I'd rather pack a handgun in a holster and not from a sling! :roll: Ruger surely still has the tooling for a long frame Blackhawk......(357 Maximum) JMO, Dennis