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454 Casull Hand Loading

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  • 454 Casull Hand Loading

    Correct me if i’m wrong, I want to start loading 454 Casull rounds. I plan on running them on my Dillion. If I understand it I can use my 45 Colt dies to press out 454 casull. The 454 casull is nothing more than a magnum version of the long colt. That being the case, all I have to do is adjust my die set appropriately.

    I understand that crimping becomes more of an issue with the 454 casull to prevent projectile creep. Generally, case length on straight walled brass is not a problem with pistol rounds, but I read somewhere that 454 brass can grow causing issues with OAL. I usually run all my rounds through a gage anyway.

    Any input would be appreciated.
    “It’s better to have a gun and not need it, rather than need a gun and not have it”

    .380, 9mm, .38, .357, .45acp, .45 long Colt, .454 Casull, .223 / 5.56

    Black Powder .44 Cap and Ball Revolvers

    NRA RSO
    Concealed Handgun License

  • #2
    Jay I shoot a lot of 454. I would strongly encourage you to manually ( single stage) crimp your rounds and it needs to be really good crimp!
    The bullet creep cannot be understated especially when you get near the upper end to the load Spectrum. You also benefit with more consistent grouping the more consistent your crimp is. . ( fwiw)

    I personally do on both 45 Colt dies and 454 Casull dies. But yes you can load 454 Casull on 45 Colt dies.
    Salt&Light

    WOODSMAN777

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    • #3
      the 454 case to the 45 colt is the 44 mag to the 44 special 357 to the 38 special and the 327 fed to the 32 H&R.

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      • #4
        I am with Woodsman on this. A full house 454 is not joke as far as bullet set back goes. I have a set of 454 dies and use them for 45 colt ..... Not tried it the other way round, so can't comment on that. I would not load the 454Cas on a progressive press. A round that works at the limit of what is doable these days, derives that extra little bit of attention that you only get when loading them one at a time. Just my 2 cents worth and probably worth less than that.
        The H in ENGINEERING stands for Happiness

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        • #5
          I don't know hardly anything about 454 Casull and 45 Colt so did some checking.
          At Redding they list the same resizing die for both cartridges and same 3 die set for both.
          "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

          "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

          "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"

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          • #6
            Saami pressure for the 454casull is 65,000psi.
            Higher than a lot of rifles.
            (fwiw)I load and treat them like a rifle cartridge.
            Salt&Light

            WOODSMAN777

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            • #7
              The case of the Casull is a little longer then the 45 long colt to prevent them from being chambered in a 45 colt revolver with probably devastating results as the max psi for a 45 LC is 14000 psi instead of over 60000 for the 454
              That being said, I don't think that the little difference in length is going to do much either way on what dies to use. Just make darn sure that you crimp those puppies well. When I started loading the 454 I have turned my wheelman into a single shot a couple of times. Cylinder locking up because of the bullet moving out of the case during recoil.
              Last edited by Scuba1; 08-01-2019, 17:57.
              The H in ENGINEERING stands for Happiness

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              • #8
                I like to push the 300 gr Hornady XTP mags with a healthy dose of H110. My other favorite is a 320gr gas checked cast bullet that thumps with impressive results.
                And once again with a stout roll crimp on either bullet
                Salt&Light

                WOODSMAN777

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                • #9
                  I started loading for a .454 Casull 30+yrs ago. I used RCBS .45Colt Dies because there were no Dies specific for the .454, I had the Expander turned down to .448Dia.

                  Only Components available then were from Freedom Arms, Cases in boxes of 50 and 3 Bullet weights: 240gr HP, 260gr & 300gr SP's.

                  I found that the cases had to be trimmed to minimum length every time, and the Bullets crimped at the top of the Cannelure. The rim recesses had to be cleaned out almost every box. The tolerances were that tight.

                  I sold the Revolver in 1991 to finance My Cowboy Shooting Obsession.

                  Things have changed alot in the past 30yrs. F-C, Starline & Hornady make brass, Bullets from all the Big Three, Multiple Manufacturer's making lots of Bullet Molds heavier the 270grs.

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                  • #10
                    I’m just about ready to start reloading for my 454 Casull. I will be casting and coating with Hi Tek coating. Hard cast coated bullets should not need to be gas
                    -checked? I still have to pick up a bullet mold but am unsure of which bullet to go with. Something in the 300 grain weight I think. Not hunting, just target only. I will use my 45 Colt reloads for plinking, but I want to build a hard hitting 454 round that is near factory specs. I’m looking for suggestions on bullet weight and powder suggestions that others have had good experience with.
                    “It’s better to have a gun and not need it, rather than need a gun and not have it”

                    .380, 9mm, .38, .357, .45acp, .45 long Colt, .454 Casull, .223 / 5.56

                    Black Powder .44 Cap and Ball Revolvers

                    NRA RSO
                    Concealed Handgun License

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                    • #11
                      Jay3100,

                      While I no longer load for the .454Casull. If I were to start up again I believe I would start with the N.O.E's 454-338-RF Bullet. A half & half of a 4cav mold. Gas-Check & Flat Base.
                      It has a broad Flat Nose & a Heavy Base. With 2 crimp grooves.
                      Both Imr4227 and 2400 powders worked well for me.

                      I kept a Log of My Loads and numbered each box of ammo. I kept them segregated. If I lost a case, then that particular box had 49cases. I loaded Hot Loads in a case 3 times, and then semi-retired that box of cases. They were loaded to "Ruger Only" Load level for plinking and paper punching with the Lyman #452490. Cases lasted a long time this way.

                      Keeping your brass segregated is the only way to avoid primers falling out and a case splitting all the way from mouth to web.
                      Keep Good Records.

                      And Have Fun, Good Luck.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Walks, all good advice. I do keep good records, but I never considered tracking brass used for hot loads until you mentioned it. Not an issue up to now because I haven’t loaded any magnum rounds.

                        I am starting off off with new Starline brass, so it would be very easy to track the number of load cycles. Bullet i’m using is a 452-300 gas checked hard cast powder coated over H110

                        Jay
                        “It’s better to have a gun and not need it, rather than need a gun and not have it”

                        .380, 9mm, .38, .357, .45acp, .45 long Colt, .454 Casull, .223 / 5.56

                        Black Powder .44 Cap and Ball Revolvers

                        NRA RSO
                        Concealed Handgun License

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                        • #13
                          I would go with gas checks for this cartridge. But I would also try a dozen without and thoroughly inspect everything as you go if you do. Won't know unless you try it.
                          I have been using Hi-tech in lower pressure rounds with excellent no gas check results but have not tried this in high pressure stuff.
                          Your alloy will make a difference too.
                          When the hammer drops the BS stops.

                          Don't let them beat you down with their inexperience.

                          You won't know until You Actually try it.

                          The impossible just takes longer.

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                          • #14
                            I too cast every caliber I shoot in handgun rounds. HyTek has always worked well for me. I haven’t used gas checks before so this will be my first attempt with the 454 casull. I plan on pushing these rounds a bit with some hot loads. When you purchase recycled Lead, you always end up with some hard lead. This round will give me the opportunity to use up the lead into some hard cast projectiles.
                            “It’s better to have a gun and not need it, rather than need a gun and not have it”

                            .380, 9mm, .38, .357, .45acp, .45 long Colt, .454 Casull, .223 / 5.56

                            Black Powder .44 Cap and Ball Revolvers

                            NRA RSO
                            Concealed Handgun License

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jay fwiw , The reason people are suggesting using the gas check is because with the pressure and the heat of this cartridge it can deform the base of your bullet which will cause the bullet to fly erratically as it departs the barrel
                              the reason Hornady uses two .015" thick jackets (one inside the other) at the base of their Hornady xtp Mag bullet is because a single .015" jacket deformed on them and gave them a erratic flights
                              Salt&Light

                              WOODSMAN777

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