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In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull #14344482 12/06/19
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TheBigSky Offline OP
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I have been reloading for decades. I am now delving into reloading for pistols for the first time. I am having a difficult time finding consistent information with respect to reloading for the 454 Casull. Heck, I've even come up with sources where, for the same bullet, the starting load is a higher power charge than another sources maximum charge. I'm going to be using H110, at least to start with, and I know it has a narrow operating weight range. So, I'm not happy when I come across such discrepancies. As of now I intend to only use cast/hard cast bullets. Most of my standard manuals for rifles, which also contain handgun bullets are all about jacketed bullets. I will continue my online search. I'm just hoping some other 454 guys can provide their best or favorite resources, whether that be manufacturer sites, other websites or printed manuals. As with everything else reloading, I like multiple resources. Thanks in advance. I will be moving into the 44 mag. 45LC and 357/38 also with cast/hard cast bullets after I get through the starting process of the 454.


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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14345507 12/06/19
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Stick with the specific bullet maker recommendations. I'm inclined to mix 'n' match with other calibers, not with .454. With the .454 it is sometimes not so much about absolute pressure and the gun as it is about the specific bullet's ability to handle that pressure when it is passing through the forcing cone. That even varies within maker. You can't run both Speer 300 grain bullets to the same pressure. You can't run both Hornady 300 grain bullets to the same pressure.


Tom


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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14346612 12/07/19
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dla Offline
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Adding to the confusion, (as Tom pointed out), is load data is often split into different maximum pressures. Some of it will be to 45Kpsi, but almost none will be to 65Kpsi.
It is a cartridge that can tear the jacket off a bullet, which is why loadings are very bullet specific.

Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14347602 12/07/19
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As mentioned in regards to projectile construction also applies to pistol design/construction.

40-50K loads fired through a Ruger,Taurus or S&W dbl/single action,can not be resized to fit in the c'bored cylinders of a Freedom Arms revolver.

H110
WW296
Accurate #9
Hodgdon Lil Gun
powders perform well in the 454 Casull.


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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14348132 12/07/19
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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14348204 12/07/19
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I have a SRH 7.5” and when I tried 300gr. Xtp mags loaded to max the cases stuck in the cyl. But all the other bullets I’ve tried with max loads (Speer, Sierra, CP) worked fine.
But I do remember reading somewhere that the steel Ruger uses on the cylinders with the SRH 454 expands and contracts when fired and that’s what caused the sticky cases.

Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14349226 12/07/19
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JGray Offline
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I've loaded for several Freedom Arms 454's and have used the load data on their site with good results. They list data for a variety of powders and pressure levels that may be useful to you.

Edit to add - their data is listed for their own jacketed bullets so maybe that isn't what your after. I currently load for a FA 83 454 and only shoot cast bullets anymore and don't load for maximum velocity. I use more 4227 and HS 6 than any other powder...

Last edited by JGray; 12/07/19.
Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14349380 12/07/19
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I use enough 4227 to power a 300gr cast performance flat nosed gas check to a very accurate and clean burning 1350 fps, recoil is very nice in the big FA revolver, and it'll shoot through anything I'd ever point it at, I also use CCI-450 SRM primers.


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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14349767 12/07/19
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Lymans cast bullet reloading manual is a good source.

Oregon Trail cast bullets has a manual.

Hodgdon's on line manual is another source. https://www.hodgdon.com/warning/


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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14350132 12/08/19
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RJM Offline
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One question...what gun do you have?

I had a FA 83 from 1999 to 2003+-. Most of my loads were in the "moderate" range looking for accuracy vs. maximum speed. Once velocities get over 1500 fps recoil gets to the point where shooting is unpleasant.

Ended up getting an identical gun in .41 Magnum and living happily ever after...


If you can not deal with reality, reality will deal with you....
Bravo

Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14350735 12/08/19
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TheBigSky Offline OP
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There's lots of good information so far and I appreciate the input. Most of it I have already found. I guess I just need to experiment. To answer your question RJM, it is a Ruger Toklat. It's just interesting there is a larger amount of conflicting information than any other round for which I have ever loaded. I like the Lyman 4th edition. Even it is now a decade old. I do like Hodgdon's website. I guess one needs to weed through it and just make determinations of "similar bullets" and then be cautious. Freedom Arms has a great bit of information; but, even then, they are very FA specific, for the most part, for both bullets and revolvers. In addition to hand loading for the 454 being new to me, loading cast bullets is also new to me. It's a good thing I like being educated.


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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: HeavyLoad] #14353028 12/08/19
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Lennie Offline
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Originally Posted by HeavyLoad
I have a SRH 7.5” and when I tried 300gr. Xtp mags loaded to max the cases stuck in the cyl. But all the other bullets I’ve tried with max loads (Speer, Sierra, CP) worked fine.
But I do remember reading somewhere that the steel Ruger uses on the cylinders with the SRH 454 expands and contracts when fired and that’s what caused the sticky cases.


I think someone on the internet is very mistaken about expansion and contraction. I own three 454 revolvers, Super Redhawk, Blackhawk and Freedom Arms. I have yet to find a load under 62,000 in the Redhawk which results in the conditions you describe.

Here is a very informative article on the metallurgy of the steels used in a 454 Redhawk

http://www.modernapplicationsnews.com/articles/m0401stainless.htm


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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: Lennie] #14354908 12/09/19
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I’m glad all your 454’s shoot good.
But im not the only one that has had a SRH 454 with sticky cylinders. It’s a well noted occurrence.



Originally Posted by Lennie
Originally Posted by HeavyLoad
I have a SRH 7.5” and when I tried 300gr. Xtp mags loaded to max the cases stuck in the cyl. But all the other bullets I’ve tried with max loads (Speer, Sierra, CP) worked fine.
But I do remember reading somewhere that the steel Ruger uses on the cylinders with the SRH 454 expands and contracts when fired and that’s what caused the sticky cases.


I think someone on the internet is very mistaken about expansion and contraction. I own three 454 revolvers, Super Redhawk, Blackhawk and Freedom Arms. I have yet to find a load under 62,000 in the Redhawk which results in the conditions you describe.

Here is a very informative article on the metallurgy of the steels used in a 454 Redhawk

http://www.modernapplicationsnews.com/articles/m0401stainless.htm

Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14354910 12/09/19
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Just do a google search for ruger super redhawk 454 sticky cylinders.
All kinds of testimony

Last edited by HeavyLoad; 12/09/19.
Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: JGray] #14360889 12/11/19
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TheBigSky Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JGray
I use more 4227 and HS 6 than any other powder...

JGray, do you find the 4227 and HS 6 to be more "flexible" in loading for the 454 than H110/WW296? I ask because, after significant research, it is "near consensus" that H110/WW296 is THE go-to powder for the 454. However, 110 and 296 don't seem to have very much flexibility in working to the load one may want to attain. Based on my research, these powers should never be loaded below about 96% load density. I see different numbers; but, 96% seems to be about standard recommendation in addition up to and even including 100% (bullet seated on the powder). So nobody starts debating the issue, I have also researched enough to understand the reasoning behind it.

For everybody's edification, I don't intend to chase maximum velocity. If one does, it is clear that H110/WW296 are the powders to use. Are 4227 and HS 6 more flexible toward the end of getting to where one wants to be?

I don't want to get in to the debate of "well, why don't you just shoot a 45 Colt". I do have and do shoot a 45 LC. I'm not seeking to necessarily get to Long Colt loads. However, it appears to me, through my research, that the optimum velocity I wish to obtain, shooting 340 to 360 grain bullets, is around 1200 fps, give or take 50 fps. I have not loaded and thus have not chronographed the speed of any loads. It just seems with the recommended densities of H110/WW296, one would not have a lot of flexibility or room to move to test where one wants to be. I am open to the fact that my research and understanding are wrong.

Last edited by TheBigSky; 12/11/19.

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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14360934 12/11/19
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I had some issues with HS-6 in my Ruger (Super Blackhawk Bisley) .454. The lower pressure loads were leaving a few unburned or partially burned kernels. That gun is so tight that those were enough to tie up the gun making the cylinder difficult to turn. It has no issue with factory ammo or full pressure ammo with Win296. When I return to lighter loads some time in the future I'm going to look into cleaner burning powders. I like 2400, 4227, and HS-6, but all leave some "crud" behind and my gun does not like "crud."

Tom


Anyone who thinks there's two sides to everything hasn't met a M�bius strip.

Here be dragons ...
Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: TheBigSky] #14383356 12/18/19
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It is interesting that when researching 454 handloading for cast bullets that the lion's share of the information seems to be people who wish to hotrod lighter bullets. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that and it appears that was Mr. Casull's original intent, a powerful and relatively long range, flat shooting, hunting handgun.

Anyway, my goal, as alluded to above is to be able to shoot heavies (340+ grains) in a potentially defensive situation. Mr. Marshall Stanton of Beartooth Bullets did me the courtesy of a phone call last night in response to my e-mail. I thought I owed it to the forum to at least share his recommended data for the Beartooth 340 grain LFNGC at or around 1200 fps.

His suggestions:
18 grains of 2400 which should be around 1150 fps in my Toklat, to
20 grains of 2400 which should be around 1250 fps in my Toklat.

He also suggested, as an alternative, to get to my desired results, to start with 9 grains of Unique and go from there. I post this in hopes that it could help others similarly situated looking for similar loads.

If anybody can provide load information for bullets and powder combinations which work with 325, 340 and 360 grain bullets at or around the 1100 to 1300 fps mark, I know I and I assume others would appreciate it.

Every load suggestion I received, including those from bullet manufacturers are checked by me against as close as possible published data out there, including cross referencing multiple online sources such as this forum.


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Re: In search of a good resources for hand loading 454 Casull [Re: gunner500] #14383367 12/18/19
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Originally Posted by gunner500
I use enough 4227 to power a 300gr cast performance flat nosed gas check to a very accurate and clean burning 1350 fps, recoil is very nice in the big FA revolver, and it'll shoot through anything I'd ever point it at, I also use CCI-450 SRM primers.


That said, I did find a box of 50 and a shell belt with my old hellbender load for my FA 454, it's the 335gr Cast Performance WFNGC at 1586 fps powered along with WW-296, that's the damn load that caused me to have to send my revolver back to FA for a new set of grips, they began to splinter at the grip frame, not fun! smile


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