.480 Ruger (Rifle)
Date: Aug 15 2014
Notes from the Lab: .480 Ruger (Rifle)
The .480 Ruger was introduced around 2001 as a joint development between Ruger and Hornady Manufacturing. It was based on the commercialized .475 Linebaugh case, (essentially the .45-70 case cut to 1.4 inches and the rim reduced in diameter to .540 inch), but had a shorter overall case length of 1.285 inches. The .480 Ruger can be fired in any .475 Linebaugh gun in the same manner that .38 Special cartridges can be used in guns chambered for the .357 Magnum.
Initially Ruger offered its Super Redhawk; however, Taurus, Freedom Arms and others also offered revolvers, while Rossi and others manufacture rifles. A Ruger No. 1 .475 Linebaugh was used to develop .480 Ruger handloads, which proved an accurate combination.
Factory loads advertise a 325-grain bullet at 1,350 fps, or a 400 grain at 1,100 fps from a revolver with a 7 ½-inch barrel. The test rifle with 325-grain Hornady factory loads clocked 1,536 fps from the 22-inch barrel. As can be seen in the accompanying data, factory load performance was duplicated or exceeded with most powders.
In spite of its name, correct jacketed bullet diameter is .475 inch, while best performance with cast bullets is usually achieved when they are sized to .476 inch.
A large pistol magnum primer is suggested to achieve reliable ignition with all powders, with the CCI350 used herein. A heavy roll crimp is also suggested as it will generally decrease extreme spreads, but it also helps in obtaining reliable ignition.
Alliant 2400, Accurate No. 9, Hodgdon H-110 and Winchester 296 gave the best overall accuracy.