In 1957, Dick Casull and Jack Fulmer took the case of a .45 Long Colt, lengthened it, strengthened it, and filled it with a triplex powder load. They then capped it with a bullet weighing 300 grains that blazed down range at 1,600 feet per second. The result was the .454 Casull, a powerful cartridge for large game, capable of taking the largest animals on the planet. It has even been claimed that a .454 Casull has sufficient accuracy and energy retention to take medium-sized game as far as 200 yards out. Bullet weights can be found most commonly between 240 and 300 grains. Muzzle velocities approach 1,900 feet per second, and energy at the muzzle exceeds 2,000 foot pounds.
Freedom Arms made the first .454 Casull production handgun, a revolver of the highest quality. The excellent fit and finish of this gun partly contributed to the performance and popularity of this cartridge. Certain pistol grades have their cylinder gap measuring less than three thousandths of an inch (0.003")! The entire pistol enjoys this level of precision, allowing the cartridge to achieve maximum efficiency and full potential performance. Taurus and Ruger have since manufactured revolvers chambered for the .454, but they have not come close to the level of precision found in the Freedom Arms revolvers.
.454 Casull ammunition variety is broad and is produced by many manufacturers. Bullets are also available in numerous iterations including hollow point, FMJ and soft point. These are commonly found and suited well for practice and certain game. Several excellent choices are available for hunters of dangerous game or those using the .454 in personal-protection applications. Winchester sells their partition and dual bond bullets in .454 Casull, and Federal sells its Fusion and Vital-Shok bullets with high-quality hunting loads.
Shooters of the .454 Casull have the option of using .45 Long Colt in pistols chambered for the .454, as well as .45 Schofield ammunition – popular options for economy and comfort. Recoil of the .454 Casull is almost five times greater than the .45 Long Colt, and compared to a .44 Magnum, is about 75% greater. This option to practice with lighter loads appeals to many shooters.
If you are passionate about hunting large and dangerous game with a handgun, the .454 Casull will serve you well.