This is an awesome gun that is not for the new shooter but for someone that has attained a level of discipline to handle recoil with the skill to maintain accuracy. Have bought 2 of these long guns and they are really nice.
I load 300 grain bullets.
Need these in Alaska where I live!
Prefer the 454 Casull to the .500 S&W hands down due to weight and size considerations and the fact that there is a 6th round. Very important number when in my neck of the woods. - D. M.
This is a sweet hand cannon. I have had no issues with fit or function at all, and the gun is nicely finished, lacking polish only in the compensator and vent cuts.
The weight, built-in compensator, and recoil adsorbing grip combine to make recoil quite manageable. The compensator makes the gun recoil nearly straight back, rather than rolling upward. This makes it easy on the wrist and thumb web, but tends to focus the recoil on the lower heel of the hand. That red rubber strip on the grip is not there just for looks! This is not an issue at all when hunting, but at the range I don't care to run more than a couple of boxes (40 rd.) through it at one setting.
I purchased the factory scope mount when I bought the gun, which is well made, but I have yet to mount a scope after several years. The factory sights are nice, and the long sight radius makes them very useful out to 100 yds. or so, even with my middle aged eyes. The weight an balance make for a steady sight picture, and breaking beer bottles at 100+ yards standing with a two hand hold is quite satisfying. Everyone that has shot it ends up grinning from ear to ear.
I pretty much shoot this gun single action. It has a nice light trigger with virtually no over-travel in that mode. The double action pull is quite long and heavy, but smooth, like any DA revolver I've fired. I have a SP-101 defensive gun, and the DA pull on the two guns is qu ite similar. 45 colt snap caps fit fine for dry-fire practice. If the SAs didn't cost more, I'd prefer such for the extra strength, but the Taurus is the lowest priced 454 on the market, and the compensator is a real plus. The DA is nice for bear country I guess.
The cylinder latch takes a little getting used to. Everyone has trouble opening it the first couple of tries, but once you cotton to the technique, it becomes a non-issue.
There are no speed loaders that correctly fit the cylinder spacing. I have a couple that will work, but really hold the rounds too close together, so you can't fully insert them in the gun before releasing the loader. This is OK at the range, but I'd worry about jamming things up or dumping the ammo on the ground in a high stress defensive situation. That is not this gun's niche at all, but thought I'd mention it.
The compensator is a PITA when cleaning, stripping off patches when they are withdrawn from the bore, and hard to access to clean inside. I consider this worthwhile for the welcome recoil reduction.
This is a big heavy gun. Not anything you want on your hip, and any notion of concealed carry would be a joke. The nylon bandoleer style holsters work well. I haven't found any off-the-shelf leather made specifically to fit it.
Ammo is pricey, and the factory loaded selection is limited to high performance hunting rounds. (no wad cutters etc.) You can use 45 colt ammo for plinking, just as you can fire 38 spl in a 357...with the same caveat about potentially ringing the chambers and causing issues with full house loads. If you intend to use this for bear medicine, I'd suggest having a 38 or 45LC or some such to do most of your DA practice with, or take up hand-loading. Full house 454 loads are too expensive and the recoil too much to really practice as much as a fellow aughta.
I've read reviews which gave the gun poor marks for reliability. (light primer strikes) Maybe I got lucky, but mine has never ever failed to make a very loud boom when I pull the trigger. If you experience problems, keep after Taurus 'till they make it right...mine shows that this gun can be extremely reliable and accurate. - K. F.