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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've got everything I need to reload my .454 Casull except the powder and primers. I'm loading 300 grain XTP/Mag into Winchester brass. I'm hoping to load for 1400 fps, but max out the volume of the case, to reduce or eliminate the salt shaker effect. A slightly compressed load would be the best in my mind, and history seems to point towards it being the most consistant. Therefor I'm looking for a medium burn speed powder like HS-6 or Winchester WSF. There's a gun show here tomorrow and I know I can get WSF for a decent price, so that's what I'll likely get, with WSR primers as well. Might as well keep it all the same brand!

So has anyone tried loads for W-540 or WSF for their 454? My gun is a Super Redhawk 7.5". The target is 200 lb pigs.
 

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try some wc820 surplus powder from jeff at gibrass,works great,cheap,clean,and very versitile.

50 ae loads 30-31 grains under a 325 grain speer jhp using cci 350 magnum primers

440 corbon 29 grains under a 240 grain speer jhp using cci 350 magnum primers

45 acp 10-11 grains under a 230 grain speer jhp using cci 350 magnum primers

9mm ruger 7-8 grains under a 115/124/147 grain speer jhp using cci 550 magnum primers.

happy blasting!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, but I already have the WSF.

Using the little bit of data I have about this powder it looks like I will be forced to work up my own load from scratch. It appears to have a similar burn rate as 540, although WSF is less dense so will take up more space in the case. This is actually a good thing for me, and is the direction I wanted to go.

I know I need to be careful about using burn rate charts to choose powders, but manufacturers compare powder speeds in their literature. Viht N340, Winchester 540, Alliant Herco and Hodgon HS-6 are all listed together, and one or the other claims to be similar to at least one other of the group. WSF is listed among them all, so my conclusion is that it too is similar.

I'm mixing bullets, guns and powders all at once, so I I'll err on the side of caution. I'm listing what I intend to do here for 2 reasons. Either someone will enlighten me as to my mistake before it happens, or an alternative method will be presented.

With burn rates similar to 540, HS-6, Herco and N340 I will start with approximately the same loads. The Freedom Arms site has the most load data for 454 Casull and 300 grain bullets I have found. Both 540 and HS-6 start with 15.0 grains and max out at 19.0 grains. The pressures listed are almost 10,000 CUP below the max. I will start with 16.0 grains of WSF, with WSR primers in Winchester once-fired brass, behind a 300 grain Honandy XTP/HP Mag. I will increase 0.3 grains at a time until I reach either 1450 fps or 19.0 grains. After all that I'll look for the most accurate pattern. I expect it to be on high end, but if it appears under 1400 fps then I'll zone in on it starting at the load just under it and go up 0.1 grain at a time until groups start getting bigger.

Any sign of flattened primer or difficult extraction will halt further testing at that point.

My first batch will be 120 rounds, 10 batches of 12. If I can't get a good average velocity and 25 yard pattern with 12 shots then I should be in another hobby. Why 12? Cause it's more fun than 5.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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That sounds like a very reasonable approach. Let us know how it turns out. The chronograph should tell you if the burn rate is similar to the other powders.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks,

I'm happy to be on the right track at least from a procedural standpoint.

I can't wait to go shooting. I'll likely post what I see on here, as well as on Loadswap, since the 454 loads I see there tend to be near max, which is not my intent at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Partial results

Well, I'm back safe and sound. Tell you what I know, which ain't much.

It was a cool day, around 60 degrees with a mild wind at our backs and some fog. We went out to the Cleveland National Forest to a place called Brosco Canyon (?) where the locals go shooting. It wasn't too busy but we found a quite spot well past most to set up.

We have printed up some 5" targets, filled a movers box full of dirt, placed it up on a 5 gal bucket and called it good. We weren't exactly flat, but it was pretty close, not more than 5 feet of drop at 17 yards.

Then we discovered the chrono's batteries had died. But we weren't going to whine about it, nor were we going to let it ruin our fun, so we shot anyway, just trying to be accurate, and get a feel for the size of our rounds.

Even the 16.0 grain load was way more than I had ever held, much more than the 44mag stuff I had used before. Pretty wild. Accuracy sucked, but I believe a large part of that was me, my position, my makeshift bench, etc. Until I get used to shooting this thing and find a better bench setup I'm not sure I'll be able to tell. So with that it turned into a fun practice day, with no chrono and no "real" bench.

The mega-crimp had it's effect. I inspected every brass. I saw no bulged primer, flat primer or cracked/split brass. However, starting about 17.2 grains WSF I had trouble extracting the brass. Once out the brass looked fine. I believe that my mega-crimp was forcing the brass to swell up a lot more than its suppose to before releasing the bullet. By 18.1 grains I had to tap out the brass with more force than I would like.

I've learned my lesson. The Lee factory crimp die gets backed out 1/2 turn to where it's supposed to be.

Personally my best accuracy was between 17.8 and 18.4. Maybe I was warmed up, or maybe I'm better than I thought and those were the good loads. In a five shot group at 17 yards I kept 3" groups plus a flier. To be honest, I expected somewhere around 18.0 to be my best bet, and sure enough that's where it happened. Another set under better circumstances should prove or disprove that.

I'll load probably another 150 using WSF in the 454C. If I'm not more satisfied with it then I'll save it for 45LC loads and move into some 3N37.

It also seemed a little dirty, although I admit I don't have a lot to compare it with. After the next 150 rounds I'll know more. I'm disappointed that I could not get better accuracy nor any velocity, but there's time for that next time. With a range so close I'll go as often as I can.

Time to get a progressive reloader.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Best get the chrono going before you load a bucketful of these rounds. Sticky extraction is not a good sign!

I would go back to your starting loads and get some chrono numbers before going further - be safe.
 
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