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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #1
I would appreciate suggestions for your best loads for the .454 with Beartooth 340gr. bullets.

DOK
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #2
Well, since no one has any suggestions, I will respond to myself by listing today's shooting results using a 360gr. LBT with gas check.  All of the loads gave good accuracy and very, very minimal leading. The first figure is the W296 weight and the next five figures are the velocity with the last figure being the extreme spread:
22.5 1310, 1299, 1291, 1311, 1295, 20
23.0 1375, 1367, 1366, 1371, 1388, 22
23.5 1400, 1407, 1400, 1399, 1407,   8
24.0 1453, 1412, 1457, 1452, 1425, 45
24.5 1449, 1470, 1458, 1469, 1465, 21
25.0 1468, 1459, 1472, 1470, 1462, 13
I used CCI primers and new Winchester brass that I trimmed to the same length. The revolver is a Taurus Raging Bull .454 with a 6.5" barrel.  Based on the excellent article "Max Loads and Handguns" by Marshall Stanton on 3/20/01, the 23.5 grs. of W296 appears to be the "peak efficiency" load.
 

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DOK,
I'm sorry I don't have any loading info for you, but I'm interested in how you like you're .454 RB.  I'm planning on getting one pretty soon.  Everything I've read about it is good.  How was the recoil?  You were close to 1500 fps on some loads.  Isn't that close to max for the 360 grain in the .454?

Regards
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #4
Southpaw,

I only had one initial problem that disappeared with usage -- the cylinder to barrel gap was tight and after about 10 rounds, the cylinder started to bind.  I've seen other comments for other RB shooters that they had the same problem. But the good news is that the problem no longer exists and I can say the darn revolver shoots better than I have a right to expect.  The only existing problem is that at 5'5", my hands are small and if I hold the gun so my finger is on the trigger in the proper position, I have the back of the grip slightly off center. After about umpteen rounds, my thumb feels like it has really been abused.  If I hold the grip appropriately and put the tip of my finger on the trigger, the recoil, while strong, doesn't affect me too much.  Simply said, it's not a recreational plinking gun, but manageable. In answer to your question of .454 max loads, I would strongly suggest that if you haven't, you should read Mr. Stanton's article on "Max Loads and Handguns" on this web site.  You'll note that his predictions are right on, that is as I continued to add powder, I reached a point where the increase was minimal -- the increase from 24.5grs to 25.0 grs. was only 4fps (1462avg. to 1466agv). And at a slightly lower level (23.5gr.) my extreme spread was in single digits.  As Mr. Stanton says in his article, a 10% increase in powder can translate into a 20% increase in pressure -- so I concluded the 23.5gr. was the "best".  I did just read in the new "American Handgunner" that John Taffin tested some new factory loads that use the same bullet that I used and they got 1535fps -- BUT, that was with a 10" barrel.  So for my 6.5" barrel, based on my test, the 24.5gr. is the max stopping point and the 23.5 is the "best" stopping point.  If I need more than that, the lion is just going to have to eat me!

Regards,

DOK
 

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Check out the loads in LoadSwap.  I posted a load for 355 gr. LBT LWNGC and it would apply to the 340 gr. bullet also.  You might want to post your load data their also if you have not already.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #6
Big Bore,

Appreciate the heads-up and did review the Loadswap. However, have a small problem in that I can log-in to the shooter's forum but the "add load" repeatedly gave me an error "name/password not correct" -- will keep trying.

I must say, you FA handgunners are in a different league than me and my Taurus. Today's data appears to suggest I'd have to add a pound of powder to reach the velocities you are.

Anyway, appreciate the help.

DOK
 

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Your RB has a ported barrel so its effective length is about 1.5 to 2 inches less that the quoted length
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #8
Cal,

Appreciate the comment and you're correct about the "effective" length being affected by the muzzle break, but I should have been more detailed in my notes -- I subtracted the muzzle break length from my 8" barrel to arrive at the quoted 6.5".

DOK
 

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Hi, DOK:
  For some reason, you have to re-register in LoadSwap before you can post. Your regular handle & password is OK.

  Have fun with that Raging Bull  :biggrin:

Bye
Jack
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #10
Jack,

Appreciate the courtesy of the information.  I did get that figured out, but had to chuckle at myself -- should a person who has a problem with something that simple be allowed to shoot guns?
 

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DOK,
Thanks for the info.  I just ordered a .454 RB 6 1/2" barrel today.  I've also ordered Marshall's book but haven't received it yet.  What about accuracy?  How's it shoot, in your opinion?

God bless,
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #12
Southpaw,

I've always been pleased with the accuracy, but as you know, accuracy varies from individual gun to individual gun. I initially put a Burris 2X7 scope on it using a Taurus mount, but unfortunately, the scope rings worked loose (even thought I had used lock-tite) and you should see the metal on the scope mount that was sheared forward. At that time, I shot 1.5" at 50 yds, which is reasonable, but that was with factory ammo and I suspect handloads will do better.  I noticed you sign as "Southpaw" -- I'm also left handed but I shoot right handed which is handy as there are times my shooting hand doesn't feel like writing very much :)

I was thinking about your previous question about recoil and I'm sure you already know that if you're shooting well, you will not notice the recoil nearly as much as when the new loads aren't working.

Wish you well with you new endeavor.
 

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DOK, here is something that Tim Sundles of Buffalo Bore wrote on sixgunner msg  board and can be found in the FAQ/454 loads

The Cast Performance 360gr. GC and 27grs. of H110 will yield 1425fps out of my FA six in. revolver. This load is pleasant to shoot and is safe in the Ruger and Taurus. If you have a chronograph and an FA revolver, You can increase the powder charge SLOWLY, until this bullet is being pushed over 1600fps--only out of an FA revolver.

Your load data/RB perf data doesn't seem offbase.

-CAL
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #14
Cal,

Sure appreciate the help and yes, it would appear I'm in the right neighborhood.  I find it very interesting that my test showed peaked velocity at the 1470 level while the FA revolvers appear to continue to climb. I realize they can handle higher pressures and have tighter tolerances, but the contrast to my experience with the Taurus versus the data from the FA shooters is more significant than I would expect. I'm going to rerun the test, particularly the 24.5gr and 25.0gr. levels.

I have a custom five shot Ruger Bisley being developed and hopefully that will give me a good tool to use for comparisons.

Again, thanks for the information.
 

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DOK,
Yup, I'm a lefty!  But if my hand hurts, I just use two fingers to post messages... actually, mostly I use two fingers, anyway (to be honest).
I read in another posting where someone mentioned that you had to subtract the porting length fron the barrel length to get real barrel length.  I checked several sites, including Magnaports, and there opinion is that the difference in velocity is negligible.  I don't know, but it's something to think about.
I don't see why the FA would be any stronger that the Taurus RB.  There both 5-shot cylinders.  Taurus, as you know, also has very close tolerances for barrel to cylinder endgap.
I also read something ( I think from James Gates) that sometimes ES is misleading.  In some cases, you can get better accuracy, even though ES is a little higher.
This is a good thread that produced some good info.  I hope we get more.
All I can do is offer up what I've read here or there.  I certainly am very far from knowledgeable.  Hopefully, we'll learn as time goes on thanks to the guys in this form who really do know what there talking about.  THANKS, guys!

God bless
 

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<!--QuoteBegin--></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"><!--QuoteEBegin-->I checked several sites, including Magnaports, and there opinion is that the difference in velocity is negligible.  [/quote]

I may be mistakend but I belief the "porting" on the RB (been a while) is infact an expansion chmber with ports. That means you are still loosing approx 50-75fps per inch of porting . Simply, the gas is no longer pushing the bullet with meaningful force as soon as the bullet enters the chamber.

I don't see why the FA would be any stronger that the Taurus RB.  
This isn't a dig, but have you ever handled a FA?  I'll defer this to the guys that have done destructive testing but I believe  the gist of the story is to play by the rules with the non FA guns. There are guys shooting >300s at over 1800fps with the 4 3/4 inch barrels, I doubt you would want to run the 6inch that warm.

Then there are the  the tighter chambers of the FA ....

-CAL
 

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

1. I agree with the comment that ES is not an foolproof method of predicting accuracy -- just an indicator.  My test I listed is an example in that the 25.0gr. was my most accurate, but the 23.5 was very close and I think represents the "peak efficiency" level I'll stick with.

I'll never forget the first time I used my Chrony and measured velocity, standard dev., ES, etc., with my "common sense" telling me that the smallest velocity spread would be my most accurate.  I shot 10 different loads and the most accurate was 147fps ES and one of the least accurate was low double digits.  Admittedly, there probably were "extenuating circumstances", but yes, the ES is an indicator / helper.  
2. Barrel length and velocity - several articles I've read indicate 40/50fps lose for each inch, so I'm not surprised when I see what the 10" FA's get. But as Cal says in his reply, it isn't just the barrel length that is working for the FA shooters. And Cal is correct, the RB has a brake, not a mag-na-port type device and may well affect the velocity more than a typical couple slots in the barrel would.  In any case, I'm fascinated with what the FA shooters are accomplishing, but I'm also satisfied with the 1470fps I'm getting.

I am remiss in not previously mentioning the only remaining RB issue, and that is the trigger pull weight and finding a gunsmith that tackles RB tuning.  My trigger is 5.5lbs which is certainly heavier than what I would prefer. The two well known gunsmiths I work with are S&W and Ruger folks and have commented that they rarely get Taurus revolvers to work on.  So if you know of someone with experience with RB action jobs, let me know.

Regards,
 

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DOK;
 When it comes to velocities, nothing is a given.  The first load I worked up in my FA was with the 355 gr. bullet and I got my best load at 31.5 gr. H110 for 1691.3 fps.  Later, I thought that I would try to shoot a 310 gr. bullet just a little faster so I could flatten out the trajectory a bit.  Since all was well up to the listed max of 32.0 gr. for the 355 gr. bullet (for 1730.3 fps), I figured that if I loaded up the 310 gr. to 32.0 gr I should be really tripping the light fantastic.  Same charge, lighter bullet, faster load, right?  Completely different results occured.  The 310 gr. bullet with the 32.0 gr. load only gave 1613 fps, and the load burned so dirty I could only fire 10 shots before cleaning.  The same load with the 355 gr. bullet burned clean enough that I did not need to clean things up until about 50 shots had been fired, and believe me, 50 shots are a lot of shots with this load.  According to the load data that I got for this load from John Taffin, my listed load out of a 7.5 in barrel should be about 75 fps slower than out of a 10" bbl.  This is not a "guessed" decrease, but a decrease actually measured by Taffin in different guns with different barrel lengths, all FA revolvers.  Out of Taffins 10" FA revolver, he got 1800 fps, over a 100 fps more than I did out of mine with the same barrel length.  However, he was shooting a 340 gr. bullet, not a 355 gr. bullet.

Just shows to go ya, you never know what you are going to get until you test it for yourself.
 

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

Enjoyed your note and can relate to the circumstances. A little like raising kids?  I've had somewhat similiar surprises -- a .44 load in my S&W Master Hunter (6.5") ran 1350 and extracted easy while the same load in my S&W 29 (8.36") ran 1550 and extracted hard.

Don't know if you noticed, but I've added a new topic concerning the use of lil'gun in the .454 and am looking forward to experimenting with it, unfortunately I don't have any mechanism to verify the reduction in pressure indicated by the Hodgdon data.

Hope to continue to see your experiences with that hand cannon on future topics so I can smile and say, "That guy's is going to be called 'Lefty' if he keeps it up :)
 

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DOK,
It seem that neither Cal or I realized that you already subtracted from the barrel length to account for the porting.  Since Taurus makes a 6 1/2" RB, I think most people (as we did) are going to think that that's what you are referring to and be confused.  You might want to post the actual barrel length and let people figure the realistic length for themselves, especially on loadswap.com.

God bless,
 
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