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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #1
Data published by Hodgdon indicates that Lil'gun powder accomplishes approximately the same velocities that H110 does with significantly less pressure in the .454 Casull cartridge. I'm going to experiment a little and wondered if anyone had any data / suggestions.

An articile by Jeff at Gunblast.com indicates good success with heavy bullets/high velocity Lil'gun loads for his .44 and the Hodgdon indicates even better pressure reduction with the .454
 

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DOK,
Found this info on Hodgon's site.  You can download their 2001 manual from their site.

454 CASULL CASE: FREEDOM ARMS
BBL: 9.375" PR: WINCHESTER SR

260 GR. FA JFP COL: 1.765"
H4227 33.0 C 1762 42,100 CUP
H110 36.0 1954 51,600 CUP
LIL’GUN 35.5 1895 37,900 CUP

300 GR. FA JFP COL: 1.775"
H4227 31.0 C 1702 52,400 CUP
H110 30.0 1716 53,700 CUP
LIL’GUN 31.0 1746 45,900 CUP


As you can see, LIL'GUN @ around 70% of the pressure of H110.  Velocity is only about 50fps less.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #3
Southpaw,

Appreciate the info, unfortunately I haven't gotten around to getting any 260/300gr jacketed bullets that will stand the .454 velocity.  I use Hornady's XTP with the .44, but don't have their XTP mag. for the .454, so will use the 360gr. lead gc. that worked in the last test.

Since the Lil'gun loads are very similiar to the H110 and W296 loads, I'll start at 23.0gr. and work my way up using the Chrony to again monitor the ES and velocity gains.

As indicated in a previous post, I have a custom Ruger Bisley (top grade with new barrel and oversize cylinder, etc.) on order and will use that to compare the same loads I'm using in the Taurus.  It should be competitive with the FA revolvers re tolerances and performance. The new revolver will have 7.5" barrel, so should achieve higher velocities than I'm getting now.
 

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DOK,
Unfortunately, Hodgon only has data for the lighter weight bullets in that manual.  But it did show less pressure with LIL'GUN as opposed to H110.
By the way, I noticed that on your thread requesting LIL'GUN loads for 340gr, but in your posting you said 360gr.  Was it 360gr?

God bless,
 

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I loaded up 50 454 xtpmags with 32gr of Lilgun last night for a 6inch FA.

We'll see what the do today if it doesn't rain.


-CAL
 

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LIL" GUN DOES GIVE GOOD RESULTS AS FOR VELOCITY IN THE 454 COMPARED TO H110/W296 I HAVE RUN IT BEHIND THE FA 260/35GR LIL"GUN/1730 AND THE FA 300/31GR LIL"GUN/1597 AND THE 340GR LBT WFNGC 29GR LIL"GUN/1540 BUT I COULD NOT GET THE ACCURACY FROM IT AS THE H110/W296 LOADS GROUPED 30% TIGHTER.  ALSO IT WILL GET A LITTLE ERRATIC IF YOU START COMPRESSING IT TO MUCH, I BELIEVE THOUGH THAT THE HEAVIER BULLETS FOR THE CALIBER THE BETTER IT PERFORMS. MY RESULTS WERE WITH A TAURUS 8 3/8" HAVE YET TO TEST IN THE FA. ALL LOADS USED WIN PRIMERS.         JIM.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #7
Southpaw,

My first post was intended to address the Beartooth 340gr. bullet, but they were backordered so I used Cast Performance 360gr. for my posted test results. And I will still need to use the 360gr. for the Lil'gun tests and will rerun them after receiving the Beartooth bullets.

Cal,

You know, I thought for a moment there that I could hear your 32gr. loads, but it turned out to be thunder and lighting!!  Apparently, timid ain't your middle name. Will be very interested if your test gives the same results as Jim's experience, that is, poorer accuracy.

Jim,

I'm going to have to reestablish my Burris scope so I can adequately test for accuracy better than my iron sights. Between your experience and Cal's load and my test I'll do next week, we should have an indication of the potential accuracy.  The W296 test I just finished appeared to max out (360gr. bullet) at 24.5grs. and 1470 so I'm going to overlap that same range and start at 23.5gr -- hope that's not too low, as Hodgdon indicated the "not less than 3% reduction" applies to Lil'gun as well as H110.

Thanks for the information.
 

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DOK, Read my post carefully those are 300sXTPs  with 32gr Lilgun (and WSR primers in Starline brass).

It is a grain over the hodgdon load using FA cases and bullets.

Anyways, they were ok (the shooter sucked yesterday so I won't discuss accuracy).

Clocked on average around 1570fps with very little deviation  from the 6inch FA though one jumped all the way up to 1613fps .

-CAL
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #9
Cal,

Understood re the XTP bullets.  I'm loading 360gr with gc, CCI primer and Winchester brass starting at 23.0 and running up to 25.5grs. of Lil'gun.  I reinstalled the Burris 2x7 this morning and will shoot from bench rest so should be able to access the accuracy as well as velocity. If it doesn't rain Monday, I'll get out to the range.  We had a very wet spring and then the temp jumped to 85/90 and the gnats are really swarming, so we'll see if I can shoot the .454 and swat the bugs at the same time?
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #10
Steady 25+mph Iowa wind -- blew my Chrony over and moved the target at least an inch, which I don't need. Will try gain Tues/Wed if weather permits.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #11
5/22/01 test results.

I need to offer a quick comment before I list the data. It was never my intention to use the outstanding Beartooth web site to discuss other manufacturers bullets -- I just have not received my Beartooth bullets yet, but do look forward to using/testing them in the near future.  This will my last post with "other" bullets.

Taurus 6.5" RB with 2x7 Burris scope / Taurus mount
Cast Performance 360gr. lead with gc. bullets
Winchester brass, once fired.
CCI primers
Temperature: 48degrees
Humidity: 71%
Wind: cross wind 10mph.
"Chrony" chronograph 10ft from barrel

The first data figure is the Lil'gun powder weight, the next five figures are the measured velocity, the next figure is the average velocity, and the last figure is the ES.

22.5, 1391, 1395, 1406, 1417, 1376, 1397avg, 41es
23.0, 1446, 1407, 1412, 1421, 1385, 1414avg, 61es
24.0, 1456, 1445, 1450, 1442, 1445, 1448avg, 14es
24.5, error, 1492, 1450, 1474, 1432, 1562avg, 60es

The 24.0gr. demonstrated the least extreme spread (ES) as well as the best accuracy.  However the accuracy was not what I consider acceptable.  The test was performed at 50yds from bench rest, using a device that allows me to cradle the revolver securely and fine tune the sight picture.  I cleaned the barrel after every 10 shots -- firing two shots after each cleaning before continuing with the testing.

The 24.0 load achieved a 2.5" five shot pattern, with the other loads noticably worse.  I have sufficient experience (my opinion) to suggest that flinching does not account for the poor results.  Therefore, my conclusion is that this load/revolver combination did not offer acceptable results, nor did it suggest retesting will improve the results.

I'm not suggesting Lil'gun is not an powder of interest for .454 shooters, but I'm not going to pursue it's use. H110/W296 perform very well and that's where I need to concentrate my time/expenses. However, before I give up, I have loaded Lil'gun for the .44mag and will see what that does -- others with good credentials have had good results with the Lil'gun/.44 combination.

Respectfully,
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #12
I apologize for the obvious typo in my previous post, the 24.5gr. average velocity should read "1462", not "1562".  Don't want those FA shooters to think I'm getting up into their range until I can back it up :)

Respectfully,
 

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DOK,
I hate to be such a pest, but did you use a scoped 6 1/2" Taurus (minus porting) or a a scoped 8 3/8" (minus porting).  I'm sorry, but I know you own both guns.  I just want to be sure because I bought a true 6 1/2" RB, and I want to be sure what I'm comparing.  Thanks, and bear with me!

God bless,
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #14
I add this message with a large amount of humility and embarrassment.  

After the 5/22/01 test, I noticed the front end of the Burris scoped appeared dirty. No big surprise because the front end of the scope overlapped the muzzle brake, so I thought it best to take the scope off and use a shorter red dot scope.  The scope glass was not directly exposed, but the scope appeared very dirty – well, it wasn’t dirty, it was bare metal. Obviously, the escaping gas removed the bluing.  Fortunately, while the glass was very, very dirty, it did clean up unscratched.    O.K, so I should have thought about the overlap beforehand, but the damage was done and it did offer a conversation item about my lack of smarts.  While taking the scope off, I observed the mount metal immediately in front of the groves (that the Weaver type rings fit in) was sheared forward approximately ½”.  This happened to me the first time I mounted the scope on a Taurus mount, but I assumed I had been negligent in monitoring the screw tightness.  This time, I closely monitored the various screws, both on the rings and mount so didn’t suspect the problem has reoccurred.  The screws (installed with blue grade locktite) were tight, but apparently either the male ring portion doesn’t fit sufficiently far down in the female mount grove or there is sufficient flux/movement in the arrangement (or both) allowing the scope to move forward.  In any case, the end result is I’m shooting iron sights until I get a chance to have SSK install one of their T’*** mounts.  And I have two scope mounts to demonstrate my lack of smarts and/or ability to catch on very quick. Fortunately, I do know enough to keep the gun pointed down range.

So, an embarrassing performance on my part, but an honest report to alert others.  I’ll need to rerun the Lil’gun test with iron sights since today’s accuracy results are obviously suspect.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #15
Southpaw,

No problem, appreciate your questions.

Today's test was with what you call a "true 6.5 inch" RB, just like you pruchased. Since you have purchased the same revolver, you may wish to read my last posting about the scope problems.
 

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DOK,
I was just reading some tips on FA's website and saw this:
TIP #1:Magnum primers are recommended for reloading for the 454 Casull.TM
Magnum primers perform more reliably at temperatures below zero degrees F..
Magnum primers will most often give more uniform velocities in magnum pistol loads
using slow powders, and heavy bullets.  More importantly the heavier construction of
the primer cup prevents metal flow back, and provides a more positive ignition.  
Remember  to always seat the primer below the case head to prevent recoil from
firing the cartridge while not aligned with the barrel.

Are you using magnum primers?  If not, maybe that has something to do with your ES.

God bless,
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #17
Southpaw,

I reran the W296/360gr. bullet test for the 23.5, 24.0 and 24.5gr loads and got significantly lower velocities. The temperature was 40 degrees lower, which may have been the cause?  I'm going to switch this topic to the handload forum and ask the question about what primers should be used (I noticed Winchester has been mentioned) and the effect of temperature.

I appreciate your "heads-up" on the use of magnum primers.  I didn't realize that magnum primers were available in small rifle size?  Anyway, I'll add a new topic to the handload forum and ask for help.

Be good,
 

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DOK, I HAVE FOUND THAT THE WIN SR PERFORMS BEST FOR ME IN THIS CARTRIDGE, LOW ES AND GIVES A GOOD CLEAN BURN WITH THE BALL POWDERS EVEN WHEN THERE A TAD BELOW EFFICIENT LOAD DENSITY COMPARED TO THE CCI 400, 450, AND THE BR4 PRIMERS. I HAVE USED THE FED 205M WITH SATISFACTORY RESULTS ALSO, BUT AGAIN THE NEW GENERATION WIN PRIMERS PERFORM VERY WELL. ANOTHER AREA TO LOOK AT VERY CLOSE IS CASE NECK TENSION ON THE BULLET. NOT SURE WHAT SIZER YOUR USING BUT IT SHOULD SIZE CASES SO THAT THE I.D. IS .004" SMALLER THAN BULLET DIAMETER AND THEN MAKE SURE THAT YOUR EXPANDER PLUG IS NOT OPENING THIS BACK UP TO LARGE. ONLY BELL THE CASES ENOUGH SO THE BULLET WILL START AND SEAT WITHOUT SHAVING LEAD AND LET THE BULLET OPEN THE CASE AS ITS BEING SEATED. OTHER TERMS YOU MAY HAVE SEEN IN THE MANUALS THAT REFER TO THIS AS HIGH BULLET PULL. YOU MAY ALREADY BE DOING THIS BUT THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE THIS INFO AS IT DOES WONDERS TO THE ES FIGURES WHILE OFFERING ENOUGH RESISTANCE TO HELP GET THE BALL POWDERS COOKIN FOR UNIFORM START PRESSURES. KEEP US POSTED ON YOUR RESULTS.     JIM.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #19
Jim,

Sometimes my imagination runs away with me, but something happened today that may be a result of the primers -- and the weather.

My first test used WSR primers (came in the new brass) and the temperature was 86 degrees.  My average velocity results with W296 were: 23.5grs. 1405, 24.0grs. 1425, 24.5grs. 1465.  Today I used CCI 400 and the temperature was 46 degrees and the results were: 23.5grs. 1259, 24.0grs. 1317, 24.5grs. 1339! Additionally I had one miss fire -- an attention getter to see the dimple in the primer and the bullet in the case.
I wonder if the CCI standard small rifle and the temperature combined for the decrease in average velocity?  A little background -- I use RCBS .454 dies (not .45Colt) and seat and crimp separately.  I checked my case measurements and found that the "after sizing" ID was .446", and checked it again after I belled the lip and it remained .446" -- so apparently I'm meeting the "high bullet pull" criteria. I have belled the lip so that half of the gas check fits in the belled lip. I use a Redding powder measure and a Dillon digital scale and feel comfortable the powder accuracy is O.K.. So the primer and the weather is the only thing I can think of.  I think I'll post a new topic on the handloading forum pertaining to the delta in velocity.

I think I'm going to wait until next week when the weather is supposed to be better before I try again.

Really appreciate the information and will post the new test results.

Respectfully,
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #20
Jim/Southpaw,

Because this topic has grown rather long and the discussion subject has shifted slightly, I've started a new topic "temperature effect on velocity" on the "handloading" forum.  

Respectfully,
 
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