Not too long ago, the .44 Magnum was the cock of the walk. It was the most powerful handgun you could buy. Then the .454 Casull came along. Originally chambered in the Ruger Super Blackhawk with a cylinder that held just five rounds, the .454 Casull easily edged out the .44 Magnum in potency.

The first .454 Casull I fired was Dick Casull’s personal gun. “Hang onto it tightly,” he advised. “And oh, yes, it has a hair trigger.” When I lowered the gun toward the sandbag I would rest the butt on, I forgot Dick’s admonishment about the trigger. I cocked the hammer just as the butt came to rest. Wham! The gun fired with an earsplitting roar, and the barrel whipped back hard enough to have seriously damaged my skull if I hadn’t been wearing a sturdy, high-crowned cowboy hat, which softened the blow.

While the .454 Casull has taken any game imaginable, including pachyderms, it has since been superseded by rounds like the .475 Linebaugh and, more recently, the intimidating .460 and .500 Smith & Wesson. I own a Freedom Arms in the .475 Linebaugh chambering. It may be my imagination, but the .475 Linebaugh seems less punishing to shoot than the Casull. If you’re looking for true big-bore firepower, any of these monster revolvers are capable of downing the largest game.

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Smith & Wesson


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