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#17877074 12/06/22
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Just acquired a Freedom Arms .454. New to me caliber. Not looking for grizzly bear loads, but want a little thump too. I have zero NEED for the caliber, but will likely hunt Whitetail with it. Anyone have any pet loads, or pit falls to avoid? Open to cast or jacketed bullets. I'd say it's already easier to handle than my 629 Mountain Gun.


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Hard Cast Bullets. 280 gr LBT WFN works very well with WW-296. And with Unique for milder loads.

You don’t need the big heavy cast bullets for whitetails.


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I've shot a bunch of javelina with my M83 out to 70 yards with 250 grain XTPs loaded with AA9 to about 1425 fps. I'd anticipate fine performance on a whitetail with that load.

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Originally Posted by chlinstructor
Hard Cast Bullets. 280 gr LBT WFN works very well with WW-296. And with Unique for milder loads.

You don’t need the big heavy cast bullets for whitetails.


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Put as much H110 or 296 that can possibly fit in the case with whatever bullet you are using.
It will work fine, just like that.

Tony

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Originally Posted by TonyRumore
Put as much H110 or 296 that can possibly fit in the case with whatever bullet you are using.
It will work fine, just like that.

Tony

In the case of a jacketed bullet you need to make sure the jacket is up to that, or bad things happen in the journey through the forcing cone.

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Originally Posted by TonyRumore
Put as much H110 or 296 that can possibly fit in the case with whatever bullet you are using.
It will work fine, just like that.

Tony



Use published load data. "Whatever bullet" is not good or safe practice.


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I started shooting FA 454's 30-35 years ago. Back then, I found best accuracy with full power loads - H110 and FA 260 grain jacketed bullets. I got that out of my system a long time ago and have no desire to do that again grin

You said you didn't need grizzly loads but want some thump - I like 4227 for less than full power loads and is about all I use any more in 454 and 480 Ruger.

HS6 is another good powder for mid-level loads.

I shoot mostly cast bullets in the 300 - 335 grain range. When I want lighter .452 bullets, I use 45 Colt loads.

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[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

This is 25 yards, 5-shots benched w/ a medium load of H110 and 240 XTP-mags. Full house H110 is accurate but brutal. I’ve also had good accuracy w/ 250 XTPs for something on the milder side; 4227 is a great powder for that endeavor.

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IMR 4227 is great for FULL HOUSE loads, too.


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Originally Posted by SheriffJoe
IMR 4227 is great for FULL HOUSE loads, too.

Yep, I remember the first time I shot a cylinder full of 4227, (lack of) felt recoil seemed to good to be true!

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I have shot and hunted with one of my FA83’s in 454 for about 38 years now. Yes, full house hunting loads can be a little sporty to shoot. I’ve tried many different loads and weights, but nothing stacks bullets on target like Sierra 400GN SP’s snd 2400 powder. At 50 yards, they all touch. A nice 45 Colt heavy bullet (300gn) load, in s 454 case is extremely mild to shoot, and still superbly accurate.


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I just listed some Swift 265 grain JHP bullets for sale in the Classified ads that are absolutely made for 454 Casull use.

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Originally Posted by JGray
I started shooting FA 454's 30-35 years ago. Back then, I found best accuracy with full power loads - H110 and FA 260 grain jacketed bullets. I got that out of my system a long time ago and have no desire to do that again grin

You said you didn't need grizzly loads but want some thump - I like 4227 for less than full power loads and is about all I use any more in 454 and 480 Ruger.

HS6 is another good powder for mid-level loads.

I shoot mostly cast bullets in the 300 - 335 grain range. When I want lighter .452 bullets, I use 45 Colt loads.

Same for me.


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335gr HC over copious amounts of H110 for 1700fps out of my FA or BFR. No such thing as too dead! Yes, it does kill on both ends. 😁

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Nice pick up. I think you’ll like it.

The pistol has very tight tolerances and if you use cast bullets, measure your cylinder throats and size to the throat diameter. I had to use a taper crimp die as roll crimped shells would not chamber.

Full power loads with excellent accuracy are easy using H110/W296. Freedom Arms warns against using Lil’Gun. There were instances where loads using Lil’Gun resulted in flame cutting, just like the long cylinder Ruger SBH in 357 Max did. IMO Freedom Arms could have made the frame a fraction longer.

When selecting cast pills pay attention to the crimp location to ensure loaded rounds will be contained in the cylinder. One of the best cast designs I worked with was Saeco’s 300gr SWC GC.

One of best jacketed pills I found was Sierra 300gr JSP. It’s a tough bullet with a hard core and was designed for the 454. When I could handle recoil better, this bullet would print tiny groups at 50 mtrs (from a rest).

I use Red Dot for light loads. You need to get familiar with the pistol and beating yourself up with full power loads is not the way to do it IMO. You need to build up your ability to tolerate heavy recoil and more importantly, the immense muzzle blast. For mid range loads a good powder to consider is Blue Dot. Both of these powders are easy to ignite and are not position sensitive. Blast is way down with both of these powders.

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Originally Posted by JGray
...I like 4227 for less than full power loads and is about all I use any more in 454 and 480 Ruger.

Thinking on this a bit after reading other's comments regarding full power loads, I probably should have said I like 4227 when not striving for maximum velocity. I do consider my 4227 loads 'full power', just a little less velocity and softer/more pleasant shooting than max charges of H110/296.

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I mostly shoot 240 gr. Hornady XTP Mags ahead of IMR 4227, at 1650 fps. Mild load, but very effective- last game shot were a red deer and a meat hog, both pass-thru one shot kills.
I recently loaded up 50 rounds with my remaining dwindling supply of original FA 260 gr. JFP bullets- these things penetrate like crazy, and will be used on a hog hunt next month.

I load my .480's with IMR 4227 powder and Cast Performance 410 gr. LWNFP bullets, at 1140 fps velocity out of my SRH. Very easy-shooting load with potential to use on very large critters.

Last edited by Bighorn; 01/30/23.

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