Back in the early 80's I got my carry permit and was very excited about getting a freedom arms 454 C. Proub was at the time there was no (or very hard to find) factory ammo available and I am not a reloader. Now I have a Dan Wessson 44 that does all my "big" hand gun work.
Now if I came upon a good deal, I would snatch one up in a heart beat. The 454 is a great cartridge when I was looking into getting one there was a writer that said that compairing the 44mag to the 454 is like compairing the 38sp to the 44 mag. Don't know about that but the 454 has a dedicated following that has allowed it to hold on in the production gun line for quite a few years now.
A dealer on another forum said that 6 months after the .454 came out he was getting a lot of .454 back. Seems the desire for the "new" gun was soon overshadowed by the unpleasantness of the kick...at least for some.
I've shot the Casull rounds in the Freedom Arms revolver belonging to a friend...my money is better spent on a .44 mag that I will shoot far more than I would the .454 Casull.
I have a Ruger Super Redhawk (SRH) in .454 Casull, and I have enjoyed the round. But, I believe to get the most out of it you need to load it heavy. My current favorite load is a 400 grain WFN at roughly 1400 fps. It is an unpleasant bugger to say the least, but it penetrates like hell! Even with 300 grain full-house loads, Casulls are fairly violent. I have 2 almost identical SRHs -- one in .480 and one in .454. The .480 sort of torques to the right in your hand whereas the Casull slaps it.
Elk have been killed close to roads where they could be loaded whole into the bed of a pickup. But it doesn't happen often and I'm not sure that is the experience that I long for. The type of elk hunting that I prefer requires rigorous physical exertion that can cripple someone who is not in shape. Being a college hockey player I have to be in at least fair physical condition most of the year but when one of my buddies got back from the Navy Seals he changed the way I think about physical...