Compare the ballistics of your 308 Encore to the 460 or even 500 S&W and you have a vastly superior long range big game hunting tool. YOu would certainly not be undergunned for any North American big game hunting I can think of with proper bullet selection.
Kirby Allen (50)
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
I feel you have received about as much as can be said on wether or not the 460 would be a good choice or not. However you didn't mention what if any experience you already have shooting handguns. They are wonderful tools in trained hands or very humbling chunks of iron in the hand of others.
When I first got into handguns I was in my very early teens. I was brought into it shooting a 38 spl and a 45 Colt. The loads were nothing to brag about just what ever pop could or would drop on a box of shells, generally the typical RN lead bullets. Now granted they weren't much but they tought me a LOT about shooting with slow moving bullets and game. When you have snuck up on a swamp hare only to have it blast out of the way before the bullet got there it is a humbling experience.
So being a little off the main pace, when I turned 21 I purchased a Ruger Blackhawk in 41 mag. It was a totally different critter than I cut my teeth on. Since factory ammo was still realitively cheap and could be found in boxes of 50 I stocked up and also got all of the components to load for it. My favorite bullets were the 170gr Seirra JHC's and the 220gr Sil. They would do anything I needed done with it. However I never used it on anything other than paper and an occaisional rabbit. I really wanted a Redhawk but they were hard to come by. Eventually I found one at a gunshow and traded my BH off on it. At the time I also had acuired a RH in 44mag and topped it with a 4x Leopold and had been shooting it from the bench enough to make a lot of rifle shooters jealous. The loads I shot were top end to say the least but they would with me doing my part group under 2" at 100yds. At the time I was shooting the light 180gr bullets as my main focus was only whitetail deer. To this day I still haven't shot one with it but have now gone to the slower but heavier bullets. With the 41mag I am shooting a 210gr JHP which works great out to around 100yds on the feral hogs we shoot mostly. It is also flat enough to reach out quite a ways for other vermin like yotes. In the 44 I shoot a 240gr bullet mostly the Remington bulk JHP. I do however have some wide flat nosed cast bullets as well that shoot extremely well. I just haven't found a need down here for more than the 240's offer. In both of these I have shot plenty of small groups off hand and from a rest out to 100yds. I use them on a regular basis, and with the sights I have on them I am able to take a fine point of aim. I have shot one deer with the 41 plus a ton of hogs, and with the exception of only a few they all hit the dirt pretty much where they stood.
Now I have several calibers to choose from in handguns in both revolvers and Contenders. The biggest I am comfortable with is the Taurus Raging Bull in 454. My biggest issue with it is not the recoil but the twist it imparts on my amr and shoulder. I generally easily shoot a couple thousand round of various handgun rounds a year, and that one just eats me alive. I still like to take it out, but like Kirby mentioned with those heavy loads he worked up, it takes a while to shake off the after effects. Now I haven't worked up to anything hevier than 300gr bullets with it either however, the loads I shot were all top end. I figure that if I am ever going to get proficient with it the plinkers just ain't going to do it. You will find that this is tue with any of the big bore revolvers. There is a cut off where you will be thinking, damn is this really necessary?
If I were you and just getting into handguns, I would spend my money on something in a 44 mag. They tote plenty of horsepower for the ranges your looking to hunt. They are ecinomical to shoot and there are tons of loads for them from plinking rounds up to full blown power houses. Even in a heavy framed 7.5" or 8" barrel they are still easy to carry with open sights and with a scope the 7.5" isn't bad either with a ewll fitting shoulder holster. You will learn a LOT more by shooting more than you will with something that eats your budget up with only a box of shells.
These are just my experiences and opinions. I wish you all the best with your choice. Good Luck and happy hunting.
Get a good 45lc and if you decide you need something bigger it can be added later.
Have shot the 454 for years but to be honest it just doesnt do much more the the old Colt round. It might not be good for the SRH to shoot 45lc through it but if the time comes when it will not release 454 rounds it will not bother me much!
__________________ "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
don't get me wrong here. I own a 460 amoung other calibers but for a first pistole I would have to recommend a 22LR. Once you become comfortable with it and can actually hit what your aming at then I would move up in stages. I do not believe the 460 is one that you can shoot all day long or enough to develope shooting skills for two reasons. One being the recoil and punishment that you will take would make it hard to become comfortable starting out and the second is the amount of money it takes to feed it
I have take a lot of game with big bore handguns from the 9mm up to the 475 & 500 Linebaugh. I believe that a first revolver should be mider than a 406 S&W inorder to develope the nessicary shooting technique. Move up to larger handguns after you develope the skills to shoot them accurately without developing a flinch..
range it,check the wind, dial in correction, aim and only one shot
First post and late to the game but having shot mostly revolvers all my life I would say a big NO to the 460 as a first handgun.
I have a theory on handguns. Everyone should own at least a 22 rimfire and a 357 magnum. 22 are so simple, no reloading, easy to shoot and accurate, plus ammo is cheap. Lots of practice at targets and on live varmets or small game pays huge dividends when honing your skills. But if you can't stand the thought of starting out on a pop gun then get a 357. It can be loaded the full gamot from cowboy powder puff loads up to deer killers at the 50 and 75 yards you are talking about. Plus in a large revolver they are easy to shoot, recoil is very managable too. Relaoding is a dream and the components are less expensive than most other calibers too. Other than that you won't go wrong with the other choices, of 44, 45 colt, or a 41 mag.