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The issue of which brass is better had to do with which brand would last longer. I remember last spring that members who had just bought the .454 Puma L/A when they first came out advising that they had bought Winchester .454 factory loads to shoot up for brass. I believe that they got 2 or 3 loadings out of the Winchester brass before they started getting case/head separations. Those who had bought Starline brass reported no such problems getting more loadings out of that brass. At that time I believe that the Starline .454 brass was also less expensive that the Winchester .454 brass.

As for the cast bullets available, I dont think that anything BTB makes would fail you close up. They offer weights from 255 grn up to 405 grn with gas checks; and I can't imagine their alloy not being able to withstand the force of an up close shot on tough game with the .454 carbines higher velocities.

I'll leave the powder selection to those who are better experienced than I.

As for dies, I think that the Lee Factory Crimp die is a must when loading for any Lever Action rifle. Less worries about bullets jumping crimp than of bullets being pushed back into the case under recoil and creating higher pressures.

Hope this helps,
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