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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new Ruger Super Redhawk in 454 Casull which is giving me fits in the velocity department. I am unable to come within 400 fps of the max loads listed in 4 different manuals, and have tried H110, Lil'gun, 2400, 4227, AA1680, Longshot, Blue Dot and Green Dot. Bullets are Freedom arms 260 and 300, along with 230 XTPs. Primers are Win SR and SP, and even Win SP Mags.

Careful attention to COL has been given for all loads. The 7.5 inch bbl mikes .45125 for the last inch at the muzzle end, but has not been slugged. The cylinder gap is .060.

Here are a few velocities (Chrono checks out with 22 ammo):

FA 260 gr bullets

H110 37.0 gr 1390 fps
2400 27.0 grs 1283 fps
Lil'gun 35.5 grs 1562 fps
AA1680 38.5 grs 1163 fps

Similar results occur with the other bullets, with no signs of excess pressure at Max. The Speer Manual, # 13 holds a Freedom Arms 7.5 inch bbl to 45,000 CUP to keep the speer bullets intact, (Max 454 psi is 65,000)and beats all of my loads by 200 fps or more.

As a pressure comparison, I used Hodgdons 2002 data on the 454 for Longshot powder and the 260 gr Speer bullet. They achieved 1443 fps at 36,600 CUP and it took 15.0 grs of Longshot. I reached 1481 fps at 20.0 grs!

Is it possible that this bbl needs to be slugged? Knowing Ruger, this is not likely the problem.

If the bbl is over spec, can I send it to Ruger? It functions flawlessly, and is accurate. But any gun that is performing this far out of spec is not something a handloader wants to fool with forever.

Any advice Please?
 

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when you say slug the bbl, do you mean lap it? Because if you just push a lead plug through it will only tell what the smallest dia. is in the bbl. You can tell an oversized area by the lack of force needed to push the plug at that spot but not how much oversized it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Snake River Rufus -

Good point. From miking the last inch, I know I will get a max bore of .451 anyway. Is there any way to determine max bore diameter?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Another idea -

Could I go to a larger dia custom bullet? Say, .455 or .456? I would prefer beartooth, but can't wait out the backlog to resolve this problem.

Any suggestions for other custom bullets I could get more quickly?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Have you tried a different chronograph?

With revolvers especially, the shock wave from the b/c gap can cause faulty readings. I once got a reading of 1700+fps - from a fairly mild .45 colt load. Also in that string was a reading of 400fps or so.

I think that you meant 0.006" on the b/c gap, right? Sixty-thousands would be way too big.

At the pressures that you are getting in a Casull, the diameter of the bullets might make a difference for accuracy, but all bullets, even jacketed ones, should slug up and fit the bore. So that should not be contributing to velocity variation.

Did you try and factory ammo on that range session, and if so, what velocities did the chrono show with it?

Only other thing I can think of is, do you have a good tight crimp?
 

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If you can find a machine shop with an Air gage that would tell you the inside dia (I.D.) the full length of the bbl or you can use a set of plug gages dropped vertically from the cyl. end of the bbl (warning: use no more force than gravity alone) This would tell you if both ends are the same but not necessarily what the middle of the bbl is.
How many jacketed bullets have you put thru the bore? Are you sure that the bore is smooth? I would work on the bbl before I would go to bullets as big as.456
Whoa I just saw that your cyl gap was 60 thousandth, are you sure ? it should be more like .006 to.008 not .060. That would be a big problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mike and Snake R -

Sorry!! The gap is .0006! Man, move the decimal point and we are in Big trouble.

I tested the chrono with tried and true Redhawk in 44 Mag, and it is right on. Possibly 100 fps slow with H110, compared to Speer #26 Manual, but I'm happy with that. My 22 rifle is dead on 1220 to 1254 fps.

Crimp is firm on all loads.

Slugging up at these pressures is a good comment. I am sure they are. Thought the problem might be in the first inch of bbl, sort of like freebore. In spection shows point of bullet contact with the lands is good. Bbl is smooth and uniform pressure encountered pushing through a brusk oversized with cotton patches.

After inspecting the bbl, there is one other possibility....

I broke this gun in with a few 1100 fps lead loads and then shot Knight high pressure 454/.40 sabots through it. With these I got to 1950 fps with Longshot and 180 gr .40 cal Speer Gold Dots. It is possible that residue from the sabots has adhered to the bore, making friction drop.

Unfortunately, the Sabots are brown, and I can't tell minor copper fouling from what might be a plastic coating. This is scary, because when it eventually wears or burns off, pressures with jacketed bullets might jump.

So....I will scrub this thing out and start over.
Thanks for all your advice...I will let you know how the scrubbing works out.

Ps - The sabots are tack divers and unbelievably destructive, but that's another story.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gentlemen -

454 bbl scrubbed thoroughly, but no success. The FA 260 gr bullet only manages 1560 fps with 35.5 grs of lil'gun. Same as before the scrub. I even fouled the bbl with some blue dot loads first. This should break 1800 fps with no sweat.

As another chrono check, I fired my 270 WSM with factory 150 gr bullets and got and ave of 3170 fps
from 10 feet. This is a very consistent factory load and holds to this velocity + or - 21 fps. Shock wave is MAJOR.

However, i used a 45 Colt load in the 454 of 8.0 grs Universal with a 255 lead bullet, and got 918 fps, which is 65 fps FAST in the exact same gun (Hodgdon 2002).

Tomorrow, I will move back to 15 feet with the 454 and try again. The lead load was subsonic, and the 270 WSM probably beat the shock wave there at that high velocity. My 1200 to 1600 fps 454 loads from 10 feet may be just fast enough to arrive with the shock wave (which is supersonic for some undefined distance, and hence false readings. If they go up in vel when I move back, its a chrono problem.The max Lil'gun load FEELs max, from a recoil perspective, so I'm still suspicious...
 

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Have you checked the cylinder throat diameter?

Ruger usually gets them smaller than the barrel diameter. Two Rugers I have needed to be reamed to the bore diameter and the bullets sized to the same dimension.
 

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Bigfoot makes a good point about cyl throats, Ruger is notorious for leaving them too small, but I don't think that would cause a velocity loss by itself. Poor accuracy yes.
Loader, you can't always expect book loads to run the same velocity as you get in your own gun. If you get within 100fps of the book data consider it good, but 300 fps is something else. You might contact Hodgon to see if there was a typo or editing error for that load.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Loader,

Sure wish I was smart enough to help, but your results are, from my experience, significantly out of wack. Three of your four posted results are less velocity than I get shooting a 360gr. LBT bullet out of a 5.5" barrel. Uneducated guess would be the Chrony is affected at your current placement. Certainly, undersize cylinder throats and oversize land/groove allows gases to excape past the bullets, but have not heard of velocity reductions in your range due to that problem. Sure interested in what you find as the cause(s).


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Dan and fellow helpers -

I did move back another 10 feet with the Lil'gun load and the velocity went UP to 1693. Good sign, and probably corrects to 1715 or so at the muzzle. Will try some other loads at this distance, but I'm within 150 fps now and can live with that. Eventaully I will go to heavier lead GCs anyway, and will get some V there as well.

Ant advice where to order some test LGCs I can get in a week or so?

Thanks again for the assistance.
 

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Are you getting *consistent* velocities? If not, you might not have the bullets crimped enough for complete ignition. The 454 take a *really* heavy crimp for good performance.

What temps are you shooting at? Most loads are measured at about "room temp" and you will get lower velocities at lower temps.

Also, you might want to try Winchester 296 powder. This is what I use for maximum loads and it seems to work pretty well. My Hornady manual list the range for win296 at 28.3 gr -- 32.3gr (MAX!) with the 300gr bullet. I use 31.0 and that works fine for me.
 

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Loader:

By cross checking your chronograph against other calibers and other guns, you are introducing too many variables. The only thing I would use to compare my 454 hand loads against is 454 factory loads for the same gun. Then you are comparing apples to apples.

Besides, Ruger wouldn't be interested in your complaints unless factory loads didn't measure up in your gun.

Best of Luck

Darrel
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the tips. The best solution to date has been the use of 360 gr LGC Cast Performance bullets. I get 1400 fps with 27.0 grs Lil'gun and SR primers. There may be room for another 70-100 fps, but I'm at MY limit here in the recoil department.

Fun load is 20.0 Lil'gun and the 360 LGCs at 1070 fps - pleasant to shoot, very accurate, over 50 on the TKO scale and more penetration than one could possibly need.

I will work with 296 and H110 at bit with this bullet, using SR Mag primers to see if one shoots better than another.

Last step will be a few tests with the Beartooth Bullets in this weight range, and I'm done.
 
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