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No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

- Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776

.454 Casull

The .454 Casull handgun cartridge was developed in 1957 by Dick Casull (pronounced Ka-Sool) and Jack Fulmer. Guns and Ammo magazine first announced the .454 Casull to the public in November 1959. The basic design of the .454 Casull was a lengthened and structurally improved .45 Colt case. .45 Colt cartridges can fit into the .454's chambers, but not the other way because of the lengthened case (very similar to the way .38 Special cartridges can fit into the longer chambers of a .357 Magnum and .44 Special cartridges can fit into the longer chambers of a .44 Magnum). The new Casull round uses a small rifle primer rather than a pistol primer, because it develops extremely high chamber pressures of over 60,000 CUP (copper units of pressure, not to be confused with pounds per square inch) (410 MPa), and a rifle primer has a significantly stronger cup than a pistol primer. The .454 Casull can deliver a 250 grain (16 g) bullet with a muzzle velocity of over 1900 fps (580 mps), developing more than 2000 ft·lbs (2.7 kJ) of muzzle energy, although energy levels from common .454 revolvers with 7-8 inch barrels are typically somewhat lower (1,600-1,700 ft·lbs). The round is primarily intended for hunting medium or large game and metallic silhouette shooting.

The cartridges were originally loaded with a triplex load of propellants, which gave progressive burning, aided by the rifle primer ignition, resulting in a progressive acceleration of the bullet as it passed up the barrel.

The recently introduced .460 S&W Magnum cartridge has the same diameter as a .45 Colt or .454 Casull, and therefore revolvers chambered for it will also chamber the .454 Casull and .45 Colt. Until the introduction of the .460 Smith and Wesson Magnum, and the .500 S&W Magnum, the .454 Casull was the most powerful commercially produced handgun round on the market, significantly eclipsing the newer .50 AE.

.454 Casull hangun cartridge comparison.

Comparison of handgun rounds. On the left is a 12 gauge shotgun cartridge and an AA battery for size comparison. .454 Casull third in the sequence from the left (next to the battery).

Type                                Handgun
Place of origin                 United States

Production History

Designer                           Dick Casull and Jack Fulmer
Designed                          1957 (introduced November 1959)


Parent case                       .45 Colt
Case type                         Rimmed straight
Bullet diameter                .452 in (11.5 mm)
Neck diameter                 .480 in (12.2 mm)
Base diameter                  .480 in (12.2 mm)
Rim diameter                   .512 in (13.0 mm)
Rim thickness                  .057 in (1.4 mm)
Case length                      1.383 in (35.1 mm)
Overall length                  1.77 in (45 mm)
Primer type                      Small rifle

Ballistic Performance

Bullet weight/type                      Velocity                                   Energy
240 gr (16 g) JHP                1,900 ft/s (580 m/s)              1,923 ft·lbf (2,607 J)
300 gr (19 g) JHP                1,650 ft/s (500 m/s)              1,831 ft·lbf (2,483 J)

Banks shooting the .338 Winchester Magnum by Browning

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BB Gun Shooting and Hunting Blog

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I recently ordered a couple of new guns from my local gun shop. It may be a while until they come in, from what I am told. I ordered a 3 inch Ruger SP101 in the new .327 Federal Magnum caliber and a Ruger Hawkeye African in the .375 Ruger caliber. The seller tells me that the SP 101 in that make up is just now trickling out of the factory and that distributers are having a hard time stocking them for retailers, so I may be waiting a for more.