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Old March 26, 2008, 06:48 AM   #1
Join Date: March 25, 2008
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454 reloading

I have a super redhawk alaskan, and I am just about to start reloading my own ammunition. Besides all the obvious research that I will be doing before I actually start (for safety), I had one question that I was really interested in above all others.

Would it be possible to use 45LC reloading data and use a 454 brass case? I like to shoot 45LC out of the gun but it is filthy (the very slight gap in the cylinder from the thinner brass allows the inside to become coated, making it impossible to remove any 454 fired afterwards).

The only thing I can think of is that the 454 uses a rifle primer, so I don't know how that would affect the 45LC loads.

I'm also hoping that the thicker brass with less pressure will allow me to use the brass longer than the standard 45LC cases.

I suppose I could always just use weaker loads of 454, but the bullets are more expensive.

If any of what I am saying is contradictive or stupid, sorry, I'm total noob status I have the equipment but I still have alot of reading and research before I start.
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Old March 26, 2008, 07:30 AM   #2
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Not a stupid question whatsoever! I'll tell you now that since I don't load in these calibers, I'm not going to give you the expert answer... but the exact same thing is done with .44 Special in .44 Mag.

Not sure I'm following why you think the bullets will be more expensive-- unless you are saying that .454 only calls for jacketed bullets. Not a problem, you can use regular hard cast lead bullets with reduced loads in .454, as long as you aren't using one of the few magnum powders that does NOT tolerate being reduced, such as H110. And these powders are always noted in the guides as being ones you should never reduce.

I wish I loaded these calibers to offer specific data, but I'm sure one of our .45 LC guys will chime in with some thoughts. Seems we don't have a lot of discussion of .454 in here.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old March 26, 2008, 09:20 AM   #3
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i could be wrong about the bullets, i just did a quick look through a website and found the only bullets marked as casull were a bit more pricey than the other ones in .451/.452 caliber that wernet marked specifically for casull.

So does the 44mag use a rifle primer whereas the 44 special does not? or do they use the same type of primers?

Also I think I read somewhere that for hot loads of casull you need a stronger bullet that wont break apart?? is it as simple as it being "hard cast" or is there some other way to figure out if it can handle hotter loads?

Anyway thanks for the help so far.
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Old March 26, 2008, 09:31 AM   #4
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I can help you with the primers. First off, differences in primers by brand or bench rest or magnum & non-magnum typically aren't enough of a difference to blow a load out of proportion unless you are at a max load or over. In other words, if you are using a reduced load, or a .45 LC velocity load in a .454 revolver, you could switch to any kind of primer or size and it wouldn't make your ammo some nuclear bomb waiting in the chamber. It can and will affect velocity, accuracy, etc, and that's why you should re-work a load when changing primers-- i.e., start low and biuld your way up, looking for signs of pressure and noting accuracy, etc.

Rifle primers are used in high-pressure handgun rounds not to give a longer, hotter or better primer burn, but simply because the primer cup is thicker, stronger, and much more resistant to piercing or rupturing and allowing hot gases to escape. Truth be told, you could use rifle primers in all your handgun loads. Small rifle and small pistol primers have the same physical size... large rifle primers are a tad bit longer than large pistol, but the handgun rounds (such as .454.) have slightly deeper primer pockets to allow for the use of the rifle primers.

Regarding the bullets-- doesn't matter if we are talking .357 or .454 or .500 Mag. When you push lead bullets too fast, or if you should undersized bullets, you can lead up the barrel of your gun in short order. That's not a problem with jacketed bullets, but it's a reality with lead bullets. So some care and caution is necessary. When you fill a barrel with lead, the first thing you see is lousy accuracy. The next thing you see is exponentially rising pressure from the lead build-up, and that gets dangerous in a hurry.
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old March 26, 2008, 02:04 PM   #5
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I'm in the same boat as the OP with .454

Check these out:

I got the link from this forum. Looks like a good cast bullet, made with 454 in mind, can be launched 2000 FPS w/o a gas check, and the prices look great if they are still valid. I plan on ordering some.
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Old March 26, 2008, 03:54 PM   #6
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I do it all the time. Just be careful that you don't load too lite of a load, in other words make sure that you use a powder that will bulk up. I use unique and herco as they light easy and are rather bulky for their weight. I'm sure that other powders would work also, but don't try to load lite loads with H110 or W296, 1680 these cause problems.
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Old March 29, 2008, 09:44 AM   #7
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Nope - not a stupid question - and I think your question has been answered by the others before me, but in case not, here's a recap:

You can use a small rifle primer or a small pistol (regular or magnum) primer when using .45 Colt data in the .454 Casull cases. You do not want to use small pistol primers for true .454 Casull loads.

You can use any standard bullet designed for the .45 Colt for these loads.

BigDog454 pointed out that you need to be careful with small charges of fine grain powder. This is true. Because the .454 adds case capacity, I have never used anything less than the midrange .45 Colt load from the manual (I simply average the minimum and maximum load) in the .454 case.

The .45 Colt round is already very low pressure, so you will probably experience some fairly dirty loads. Powders (and cast bullet lubes) tend to be dirtier at lower pressures.

I have done this a bunch, mainly because it 's faster than changing the press set-up to the shorter Colt case with larger primer.

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Old April 16, 2008, 09:14 AM   #8
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I'm also about to start reloading for my 454 Ruger SRH w/ a 7.5" barrel. Main purpose of this handgun is to hunt. Do any of you use .452 sized bullets or mainly just stick with .454 in hardcast. How about diameter sizing in jacketed bullets?
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Old April 16, 2008, 10:21 AM   #9
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I think you will be happier using .44 Magnum data, as long as you stick with powders that burn faster than H-110 or 296. (AA#7, AA#9, 2400, 4100, and Blue Dot should all be good choices.)

About 12.5 grains of Herco with a 250 or 255 grain cast bullet should give you an honest 1300 fps.

Ballistically, there's not a lot of difference between a SR primer and a LP primer. Don't worry about that.

Do any of you use .452 sized bullets or mainly just stick with .454 in hardcast.
I think you want to stick with .452 in cast bullets, not .454, and 451 should be fine for jacketed bullets.
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