steer me right = .45 Colt wildcat" stuff, etc."


January 31, 2003, 03:04 AM
I've one of those T/C .410 gauge/.45 Colt barrels & would like to maximize it for the .45 Colt.

Everythig I've heard, The extreme jump for The Colt (lead) seems to indicate that I won't ever get anything really accurate reagrds the .45 Colt.

Seems a wildcat based on the .444 Marlin could work.

Not looking to boost pressures anywise, only to get a boosted (already stated Ruger & T/C-stated pressure level) but with a better accuracy regards "the jump."

Really, two things = I'm looking for stuff regards the .45 Colt in Contenders for hot loads and for standard (sub-sonics in same) - accuracy is paramount.

Any pointers?

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January 31, 2003, 11:20 PM
Try 2400.
Non-magnum primers (I prefer CCI and Federal).
REALLY GOOD BULLETS (Beartooth, Cast Performance, Dry Creek, Penn), 250-360g.
Redding Profile Crimp die.


February 4, 2003, 01:54 AM
Thanks, WESHOOT2.

Had bought some new Win brass, CCI LP primers & RCBS dies. We'll see about that Redding thing, ;) Oh yeah, & some Speer 260 HPs.

Was just gonna break down & get the Lyman 255 gr SWC mold, but can't swing it yet - this month though hopefully. & was just gonna play with some Unique, but your post made me reconsider.

Haven't loaded with 2400 since I sold my 29 many years ago .... (whistful sigh)

Ought to be a fun barrel to play around with all told.

Even have some 45 sabots that'll accept 9MM/.38 size bullets. Wonder if I can get a 110 to 3Kfps?

& while we're at it - anything round ball loads? Shot a few of those out of the .44 & they were about like a heavy-hitting wrist-rocket ....

February 6, 2003, 07:14 PM
I haven't fooled with the T/C , sorry if I can't be specific . I did some work with a S&W 28 and .357 cases with double ended cast wadcutters seated so they were about twenty thousand short of the end of the cylinder . I had just enough room to lube one groove and ad a taper crimp to the middle of the slug . This was a drastic improovement from .38 flush -seated stuff .

In a T/C , I'd look for really heavy and hard cast or jacketed if the jump is real long . I'm clueless on the jump you half to work with . Being a single shot is an advantage I would think because you'd only need enough case contact to insure the cork don't fall out of the end with reasonable handling .


February 6, 2003, 07:32 PM
I have no idea what the "jump" is, but this barrel is designed to also shoot the .410 3" shotgun shell - I'd just bet the lead is rather long.

Just picking up some stuff here 'n there, I've heard that this barrel can suck re anything accruate reagrds the .45 Colt.

Somebosy "out there" made mention of this extra jump & its associated lack of accuracy.

Wondering out loud .....

.444 Marlin just seems so close to a longer .45 Colt not to ask & I did think I read some mention of a wildcat offa this brass to just ask ....

TFL/THR seems so "old school" in some ways regards a few pertinent questions .... ;)

I'd bet that the jump in the this barrel, from a standard .45 Colt through the .410 lead, has to be 2" plus.

I dunno & just asking from my fave folks.

Yup. Lotsa pluses dealing with a single shot = crimp (depending on powder/ignition -= certainly no back-outs to deal with, etc.) & this barrel/platform is right up there with the Rugers far as performance is concerned.

More wondering out loud stuff ....

May 31, 2008, 11:28 PM
I have been tinkering with this and keep running into a problem that I have noted is also discussed at other places.

The problem is that the 45LC/.410 guns have two different chamber diameters. The 45LC fits but a 454 Casull won't because there is a rim or jump in the chamber diameter precisely to prevent the 453 Casull or 460 S&W from being chambered.

The same thing holds true if you shove a .452 bullet into the end of a 3 inch .410 shell. The diameter of the .452 bullet plus the vinyl 410 shell is too fat to fit into that distal part of the chamber. This is true in 3 guns that I have. I have the BFR revolver, the encore, and the H&R/NEF Survivor. All 3 have the same design to prevent putting a .452 bullet further down the bore than the 45LC is designed to allow. So, it appears impossible to put that .452 bullet closer to the threads of the barrel.

Now, you might be able to ream the chamber or have a gunsmith do it for you if you can find one willing to do that. It becomes a dangerous issue legally. The 454 Casull and 460 S&W and the 444 Marlin necked up to .452 and .303 Brit blown out and necked up to .452 and even 3 inch .410 brass loaded with .452 bullets could all suddenly be loaded into those 3 guns.

The Russian Barnaul company loads a foster type slug that is roughly .400 caliber into a sabot that makes the combination basically a 44 mag (.430 caliber) and they shoot that down the barrel of a 410 Saiga smoothbore...
That is interesting.

I can shoot the same Barnaul rounds out of all 3 of my guns and it is actually quite accurate out of all 3 guns. That Barnaul round (97 grain bullet in a steel case coated with brass/nickel) is the most accurate cartridge I have found for all 3 guns right now.

But, you can't even fit a .452 bullet into the empty shell after it is fireformed because the 3 guns are designed to not allow that.

But, the Barnaul round seems to expand with the forster slug and sabot combo to adequately engage the threads enough to be accurate. Now, I'm not talking the sort of accuracy that is impressive. I'm just saying that this is the most accurate cartridge I have found so far.

I have been thinking about taking that Barnaul round apart, putting a 10 mm 200 grain bullet in the same sabot, and cutting the wad down some to allow additional powder...

I know the encore, BFR, and H&R/NEF Survivor will all three withstand pressures way beyond typical 45LC or typical .410. The BFR with the 6 chambered cylinder is limited (per email communication from the company) to a CUP of "stay under 30K". The encore will probably tolerate pressures under 40K. The Survivor will probably handle up to 45K

I have also been looking for a lead bullet or bullet cast device to make 44 mag bullets with a hollow base (foster slug idea). That way, surely I can get it to expand to engage the threads in the 20 inch barrel on the Survivor. But, so far I haven't found anything. Right now, that looks like a project.

Now, there is also the HotShot idea. I did find a "capsule" that is intended to be loaded with shot and then sealed and then loaded in 45LC "like a bullet". I was thinking of ordering the "capsules" and measuring their internal diameter to see what size bullet I can load into there... Don't know how well the capsule will act like a sabot. but, that would allow me to extend the bullet a lot further down the chamber like the 444 Marlin idea.

I was also looking at the Hornady EZ Loader idea for muzzleloaders. I think that is a gimmick....

But, if I could make a "stick" device to glue to a 45 caliber sabot fitted to a 10mm bullet.... then I could extend the bullet further down the chamber near the threads. I could even keep the 444 Marlin/45LC/.410 shotshell 2.5 inch cartridge open and load triple seven pellets around the "stick". I won't get into any pressure problems with blackpowder replacements...

Anyway, I have been brainstorming this and reading in other places where the same motivation has existed. You can do a search on "450 Mongo" and find the idea of blowing out the 444 Marlin and loading it with a .452 bullet. But, it won't fit in the 45LC/.410 guns...

June 1, 2008, 07:53 AM
has anyone out there figured out how to maximize the 45LC/.410's potential?

June 1, 2008, 11:03 AM
I am not sure if there is a way or improoving it. The chamber is so long to take the .410. If you neck up a 444 it will still be short. My advice is sell the barrel and buy a 45 LC barrel.

June 1, 2008, 12:10 PM
I have a Super Comanche 45/410 made in Argentina by Lasserre. It's a single shot, vaguely similar to a contender. It's actually a POS! In that it's made very cheaply, of rough finish inside and out. The "as supplied" trigger pull was off the scale on my trigger pull gauge. A stoning produced an acceptable pull.

A grin to shoot with 410 shells, especially the 3 inch stuff. BUT as you noted the 45 colt loads produced groups like I was shooting buckshot! The rifling,(not "threads"), is poorly done, and the long jump or freebore is not conducive to accuracy.

As a survival gun, it is versatile, but only for extremely close quarters.

I did some experimenting with these:

After loading and firing, they had a two diameter look to them. The 45 colt chamber, then a smaller 410 chamber forward of that. I even loaded some 40 bullets in them, they seemed to hit point forward, but again lousy groups. I suspect there was a huge amount of blowby in the .452 barrel.

Here's an option, but expensive.

I have a couple of boxes of it, I should try five through the comanche to see how they shoot. I also have a Rossi 410 single shot I want try them in.

Short of having the "step" bored out of the barrel, then chambering something like the 444 blown out to fit, will result in any accuracy. I would NOT do that with my comanche. It's just not strong enough for it.

June 1, 2008, 02:43 PM
Snuffy, you linked to a site selling the Golden Bear 97 grain slugs. They are available quite a bit cheaper than that if you look around. I actually commented on them earlier above. Barnaul is the company who makes the Golden Bear, Silver Bear, etc. Bear ammo. They are a Russian company regarded in Russia as superior to the Wolff Brand from Russia.

Anyway, I am very familiar with the Golden Bear slugs and own a LOT of them. They are by far the most accurate cartridge I have found or produced so far for the 45LC/.410 combo.

Again, note above, that if you disassemble the Russian slug, you have a 10 mm Foster slug inside a sabot where the sabot/slug combo is right at 44 mag diameters.

I suspect the improved accuracy is due to:
1)elimination of the "Jump" down the chamber before engaging the threads
2)the 44 mag diameter/foster slug combo *might* expand to engage the threads.

So, one of my ideas is to load 44 mag soft lead with a hollowed base into .410 brass to see if I can get that to expand enough to engage the threads for accuracy. If so, then I could experiment with powders to get up to an impressive cartridge.

So far I have not found a market available lead bullet mold for a hollowed base 44 mag (.430 caliber)

I also have considered taking the Golden Bear/Silver Bear/Barnaul slug cartridge apart. I could put a 10 mm bullet in the existing sabot. I could cut the 410 wad down to a shorter size to give me more space for powder.

Agree that the most simple thing to do would be to ream out the chamber to make the whole 3 inch length the same diameter as the proximal aspect that seats the 45LC. Then, everything is simple (although potentially dangerous to a novice handloader).

June 1, 2008, 02:58 PM
"I did some experimenting with these:

After loading and firing, they had a two diameter look to them. The 45 colt chamber, then a smaller 410 chamber forward of that. I even loaded some 40 bullets in them, they seemed to hit point forward, but again lousy groups. I suspect there was a huge amount of blowby in the .452 barrel. "

Sounds like you had much the same idea as me. I'm glad you linked me to the 410 brass. The other places who used to carry it don't seem to have it anymore. So, I grabbed some of it from Midway.

I was thinking about loading the .430 caliber bullets as noted above. I was hoping with the Foster slug idea to get them to expand. I might even use the "Tru Ball" idea and put a stainless steel wheel bearing behind the hollow base to "encourage" it to expand and engage the threads.

June 1, 2008, 03:01 PM
"I am not sure if there is a way or improoving it. The chamber is so long to take the .410. If you neck up a 444 it will still be short. My advice is sell the barrel and buy a 45 LC barrel."

I have a 44 mag which is quite similar to a hotload 45LC. At least the two can be handloaded to be quite similar.

If I give up, I'll go with a 444 Marlin or a 460 S&W. I recently did pick up a 45-70 encore barrel. I expect to have some fun with that... I got the longer rifle barrel, 20 inches I think.

June 1, 2008, 03:47 PM
Has anyone ever made a bullet where the base was a smaller diameter that the part of the bullet visible beyond the brass?
In other words, why not design a lead mold where the base is .430 or so to fit into the 410 brass and slide it down the neck of the brass to where it hits a shoulder on the bullet itself where the bullet diameter increases to .452? You crimp the brass on the .430 diameter bullet base.
Take a 2.5 inch 410 brass shell. Create the above bullet. Make the max case length 3 inches or just under 3 inches...

Now, you have a helluva cartridge for the 45/410 Survivor... You take full advantage of the 410 2.5 inch cartridge and full advantage of the .452 barrel.

What do you think? Am I nuts?

June 1, 2008, 08:15 PM
What do you think? Am I nuts?

Nope, not a bit. You just love to say what if, then actually do it. Once I even fired 45 muzzleloader sabots in a trapdoor 45/70 using a 50 cal pyrodex pellet for a powder source. They were reasonably accurate. Since they contained a 357 bullet, it made sense to try it.

In other words, why not design a lead mold where the base is .430 or so to fit into the 410 brass and slide it down the neck of the brass to where it hits a shoulder on the bullet itself where the bullet diameter increases to .452? You crimp the brass on the .430 diameter bullet base.

In other words, like a .22 rimfire, with a rebated heel? Possibly you could modify a .44 mag mold by opening up the top to produce a 2 diameter boolit.:scrutiny:

I just did some measurements, the CBC,(magtech), brass 410's that I have are .461 outside, .440 inside diameter X 2.357 long. So a two diameter mold of .440 heel and .452 nose driving bands would work perfect!:what:

Also, the brass magtech 410 is the same diameter base as the belted magnums. That means you can prime them with a press, or as I do with a lee auto prime. Also a universal de-capper works just great for the de-priming chore!:D

I think I'm in the market for a 45/.410 contender barrel! This idea my be the start of some fun wildcatting!:evil: That Comanche is just not made well enough for an experiment like this.

June 1, 2008, 10:41 PM
I was also thinking about using triple seven. turns out the .45 caliber muzzleloader preformed pellets fit perfectly down a 410 shell... I was hoping to create a Hornady EZ Loader style stim/stick to be held in the middle of those preformed pellets and glue/epoxy that stick to the back of a 45 sabot holding a 10 mm bullet. That was basically the same idea as the bullet/sabot combo would be held in advance of the open 410 shell. I could even use the specialized 209 primers for the black powder alternatives...

Anyway, you understood exactly what I meant. It is exactly like a 22 rimfire shell. I have never taken one apart so I did after reading your post and that is precisely the idea that popped into my head...

Now, if you modify a 44 mag mold, wouldn't the base diameter be too small?
Perhaps we have to modify a .452 bullet after it is made. Might have to lean on a buddy with a machine shop to "turn" the base down to .440, leaving the nose at .452

What do you think the overall cartridge length should be? I suspect we could load 240-300 grain bullets this way. The mass would be slightly diminished by turning the base down to .440

And, finally, what powder would you try first?

I was afraid as a novice to proceed. That was why I was going to go with triple seven first just to test the concept.

Are you going to go with a pistol length contender? I know that TC doesn't make the rifle length 45/410 in the Encore anymore. I don't know about the contender.

It was because of rifle length that I went out and had a fellow with a gun shop order the H&R Survivor for me. It has the 20 inch barrel and plenty of steel to tolerate pressure.

Anyway, I would very much like to hear from you as you put this together. I truly am a novice who just has ideas. So, I will feel safer if I duplicate you instead of running ahead of you.

Thanks a lot for responding. You made my day. I have been brainstorming over this for months and have read at least 5 books and countless blogs/chat boards and other online sources. No one has done this that I can tell. They have all universally given up when they discovered they couldn't fit a .452 bullet with brass around it (seated in the usual fashion) in the chamber.

I love this as a "survivor type" field gun. When we get this safely working, suddenly the gun is a:
1)45LC capable of hot loads
2)410 shotgun capable of handling the hottest slugs
3)something probably superior to 444 Marlin and maybe approaching 460 S&W

June 1, 2008, 11:24 PM
after reviewing the Hornady handloading book and looking at brass dimensions, I think this wildcat CAN be just under 458 Magnum (brass has less powder capacity due to smaller diameter, but same length, 2.5 inch).

Again, the issue is safety and CUP tolerance. I don't need a 458 magnum to hunt deer or anything else in N. America...

Technically with 3 inch 410 brass and an appropriate gun, this wildcat idea might exceed 458 magnum. It would probably be a bolt action project.

I have heard of people taking the Brit 303 and sporterizing it to use 410 brass. But, I think they were firing 30 caliber bullets or 40 caliber or 41 caliber bullets. I suppose you could basically turn it into a much longer, stronger 444 Marlin and load it with .430 caliber bullets or even .440 caliber based on your measurement.

But, I am just rambling about possibilities. I was not dreaming this big when I was trying to maximize my BFR revolver, 10 inch encore barrel, and 20 inch Survivor.

June 1, 2008, 11:28 PM
I also looked at the Comanche once or three times. But, I was also looking at the Taurus Judge. It was then that I discovered the BFR...
The BFR I have was made before Magnum Research bought them out. So, mine is not stamped "Magnum Research BFR". BFR stands for "biggest finest revolvers" and the company was started in Nebraska.

June 2, 2008, 01:33 AM
It's been done, and fairly effectively. Do a search on a 450 mongo, that's what you're looking for.

June 2, 2008, 08:16 AM
Okie, the guy who labeled it 450 Mongo could not get it to work for the same reason as I pointed out. When you blow out the 444 Marlin and load a .452 bullet in it, it won't fit into the 45/410.

Now, I saw where someone managed to thin out a 444 Marlin by resizing it with the bullet loaded in the brass. They said they got that to work.

But, the 450 Mongo never worked unless they reamed out the chamber or made a new gun to handle it.

I mentioned this on another thread. I'll put that link here and its content:

I find the Barnaul (Russian) 410 slug interesting. It is roughly a 10 mm foster type slug in a sabot that makes the combo basically 44 mag. The Russians have been shooting that down the Saiga 410 AK platform...

I find the same cartridge to be the most accurate cartridge for my BFR 45LC/.410, my encore 45/.410, and my NEF/H&R 45/.410. It appears the greater accuracy may be due to:
1)putting the bullet nearer the threads than any other system with a 45/.410 combo
2)perhaps the sabot/foster slug expand to engage the .452 caliber barrel.

Anyway, jump over to this other thread:

Let me know what you guys think of the several failed trials of myself and others to improve the 45/.410 and the additional ideas I have..."

And, you'll note that we are talking about a cartridge much more impressive than the 450 Mongo now

June 2, 2008, 01:36 PM

They are available quite a bit cheaper than that if you look around.

Geeze louise I guess so!:eek: At bal. prod. prices, 50 rounds would cost $69.50 Sportsman's guide has them a 50 round count for $27.97!:neener:

June 2, 2008, 03:24 PM
I know a few guys using the mongo. You have to ream the inside of the case a bit, much like the old 44 auto mag.

June 2, 2008, 05:04 PM
A heeled bullet mould is produced for the .44 Colt that has a "heel" of about .44 and a nose of .454. Check the Australian mouldmaker CBE's web site. You could also contact veral Smiat of LBT. He'll make a mould to your specifications.

June 2, 2008, 11:11 PM
"I know a few guys using the mongo. You have to ream the inside of the case a bit, much like the old 44 auto mag."

I suspect that would work. I did also see where another fellow necked up the 444 Marlin (rather than blowing it out) to .452 and then resized the neck/bullet combo (resized it with the bullet in place) to squeeze it down.

Either way, they are basically thinning out the 444 Marlin brass. Interestingly, I think the 444 Marlin brass was intentionally thickened...

Just seems to me (and I had my Eureka moment just 2 days ago) that it would be better to use the "two diameter" bullet. I quoted a good man above as I think he did a better job of describing it.

And, it seems to me that you could use the 2.5 inch .410 brass that Midway is selling...

June 2, 2008, 11:13 PM
"A heeled bullet mould is produced for the .44 Colt that has a "heel" of about .44 and a nose of .454. Check the Australian mouldmaker CBE's web site. You could also contact veral Smiat of LBT. He'll make a mould to your specifications."

Thanks a ton. That is very helpful.

June 2, 2008, 11:15 PM
Yes, Snuffy, my memory is that the Barnaul/Gold Bear/Silver Bear .410 slugs and/or buckshot are about 2.50 to 2.75 dollars per box of five cartridges.

I was shocked when I followed your link and saw what they are charging.

I have a gunstore near me selling the stuff for about 3 dollars for a box of 5 which is a consideration since I have to pay shipping if I order it online.

Lloyd Smale
June 3, 2008, 07:04 AM
ive heard these stories about them not shooting well for years. I bought the old man one for his birthday years ago and the first load i tried in it was 10 grains of herco and a 255 rcbs swc and it shot into an inch at 50 yards and i never felt the need to look for another load for it.

June 3, 2008, 09:52 AM
My T/C 10" shot factory colt ammo well. My 45acp type cast bullets not so good. The mistake i made was trying to load ammo with 45acp dies. Using colt dies and fat bullets .454" at slow velocity might work. The 410 is fun on the skeet field, no doubles thank you.

June 3, 2008, 12:53 PM
Why can't a 410 round be fired out of my 460SW BFR revolver (which of course also fires 454 Casull and 45LC)? Will the cartridge be too loose inside the cylinder?

Bueller? Bueller?


June 3, 2008, 05:42 PM
I think the reason people say the 45 shoots poorly in the combo contender barrel is becasue they compare it to a normal contender barrel. They seem to shoot about as well as most 45 colt revolvers.

June 3, 2008, 09:23 PM
"Dear Sir,
the nearest we have to your requirements is our design No.
452 C&B as shown on the attached catalogue page. The heel is a nominal
.445" diameter and approx .200" long when cut with an overall length of
Alternately we can make a custom design to your specs which would require a
new cherry (cutter) . This would add $200 to the cost of the mould.
Current price list attached.


P.O. Box 269 Menai Central

Phone/Fax 02 9532 0103
International 61 2 9532 0103"

The above appears to be one option. I'm not sure if .2 inch is enough Heel Base length to crimp effectively, though. The total length of the round nose bullet is .7 inch, leaving exactly .5 inch beyond the neck of the brass. Using Snuffy's measurement, that would put the total cartridge length at just under 2.9 inches. The heel diameter is also .445 whereas Snuffy said the internal diameter of the Midway 2.5 inch .410 brass is .440.

Anyway, the above might work. I'd be glad to hear opinions on that.

I also wondered if it might just be easier to have a machine shop take some
.452 or .454 bullets and turn the bases to .440 with a heel that is perhaps 3/8 inch long or so.

June 4, 2008, 01:19 AM
"Dear Sir,
the nearest we have to your requirements is our design No.
452 C&B as shown on the attached catalogue page. The heel is a nominal
.445" diameter and approx .200" long when cut with an overall length of .700".

If I read that correctly, he COULD cut it longer, make the heel longer to make a heavier bullet. What would the weight be if he cut it like he says? I think .200 would be enough inside the case for a single shot like ours. The next problem though is a method to apply a good firm crimp.:banghead:

June 5, 2008, 10:21 PM
I sent another email to the company in Australia. The response to the question of the max length of the heel and the grain size of the corresponding boolit is:

"approximately 300gn with a .250" heel , depending on alloy used.."

So, that answers that questions. We can get a heeled .452 boolit mould with a heeled based where the "nominal" diameter of the heel is .445
The bullet size is about 300 grains.

I was talking to an older gent near me who owns his own gun store and used to work as a Vet. I explained to the ole Doc what I was trying to do. His response in regard to the question of how to crimp the two diameter bullet was:
1)"hmmmm... I wonder how they crimp the 22LR bullet. "
2)in a single shot such as the H&R Survivor or the Encore/Contender, it may not need a crimp if the bullet fits tightly (.440 internal diameter with a .445 heeled bullet)
3)could always use lock tite or a similar product with a thin layer on the heel, again particularly for a single shot only.

June 6, 2008, 01:18 AM
The original 41Colt also had a heeled base bullet. Later, they went to a smaller bullet with a hollow base (soft lead) with the design to expand to engage the threads...

sounds familiar to my thought processes. But, I still haven't found how the old 41 Colt was crimped with a heeled base bullet. And, I can't seem to find info on how the 22LR is crimped either.:confused:

June 6, 2008, 03:57 AM
I think you may have come to the point where time wise and cost wise you would be better off buying a 444marlin barrel. Of course that wouldn't be as much fun.

June 6, 2008, 08:16 AM
Yes, even if I get this to work, all I am really doing is re-creating either the 444 Marlin or the 460 S&W depending on what size powder load I use.

But, I like the idea of being able to use this basic platform idea (gun and cartridge) to load to:
1)45 Colt max load plus filler
2)444 Marlin plus filler
3)460 S&W

It just seems like a fun project. And, this is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying an encore barrel in all 3 of the above.

That company in Australia charges around 80 bucks in the currency of Australia for the mould. I have no idea what the exchange rate is.
If I have them create an entirely unique mould, it costs 280 in Australia currency. I think that the above noted already existent mould/mold could be used.

So, not sure I am really spending a fortune.

June 6, 2008, 11:26 PM

I'm not familiar with the 480 Achilles but here is how this fellow crimped a heeled bullet...

June 6, 2008, 11:30 PM

another thread with links about crimping a heeled bullet...

June 6, 2008, 11:39 PM

This might be the ticket. I sent them an email. They don't have a pic of the heel crimper device on the page that I can find.

June 9, 2008, 11:48 PM
Here's another idea. I can pick up these bullets cheap enough. They are the old 44 Colt bullets which also were Heeled bullets with a .429 diameter base/heel and a bullet diameter of .451

June 11, 2008, 07:53 PM
"You could probably neck size brass in a .44 mag or better a .444 Marlin die and bell for the bullet as well if resizing to .44 case dims-at least the neck and a .44 Colt bullet will work well with this neck sizing. I have a 248 grain heel bullet that will cast at least .452"x.429" with longer bearing that should shoot well. I could modify a lee factory crimp die to work. should be about $45.00 total for this die. Double cavity mould is $85.00 three cavity $99.00. The crimp die should crimp these oversize cases and you could send me a case so I can fit the crimp die to your case. Neck size to fit the bullet base will be better as it will keep bullet aligned in the case better. A resized .452" bullet may work especially if you don't have to size too much. Too much sizing will likely cause out of alignment problems as well as other bullet distortion.BernieOld West Moulds"

Above email from Old West Moulds. I think I'm getting closer to a great solution...

June 17, 2008, 09:13 AM
Looks like the plan, Snuffy and Okiecruffler, is to put a shoulder/neck on the 410 brass to bring it down to load the old 44 Colt heeled bullet. Old West Moulds is making the tool to crimp the bullet. Of course, they also make the mould.

So, I have come back around to the idea of the 44 Colt bullet which was mentioned much earlier as an option. To get around the difference in the internal diameter of the brass mouth and the size of the heeled base, we'll use a 444 Marlin brass sizer to size down the neck creating a small shoulder.

Anyway, I think this cartridge will have about a half inch additional space with corresponding volume above and beyond the 460 S&W.

Does anyone have any data on CUP with the 460 S&W? My basic thesis in trying to eventually load this safely is to look at 444 Marlin and 460 S&W loading data showing CUP. I want a load known to stay under 40K CUP. I would then fill the remaining volume within the brass with cream of wheat (COW). That should theoretically lessen the CUP compared to the 460 S&W based load. It should dramatically lessen the CUP of the data for 444 Marlin based loads.

My H&R/NEF "Survivor" 45/410 is with a gunsmith where a scope mount and scope is being fitted. The original gun doesn't even have a rear iron site, just an old fashioned ball as a front site.

I will likely start with some bullets already made in 44 Colt before investing more heavily in the supplies to melt lead and pour my own.

And, I still like the idea of finding solid brass .452 bullets and having a machinest turn the base down to .429. But, for now, I stick with lead in the experimental phase.

What shall I call this load? I am not aware of this having been done before but I would not be surprised if it has been done. In honor of the 450 Mongo that I studied along the way to creating this, perhaps I call it the 450 Hu-Mongo?

Another name I came up with is the 450 Winn Mag...

June 17, 2008, 09:21 AM
I should also mention the very obvious: The 450 Mongo ought to just be loaded with 44 Colt heeled bullets in the first place. Old West Moulds will make a crimping tool for you...

It should be very easy to construct the original 450 Mongo idea this way. It actually ought to be a lot easier (and work better) than other options I have heard of (thinning the brass, resizing the seated brass/bullet in combination, loading .429 foster type bullets/minnie type hollow based bullets)

June 18, 2008, 04:09 PM
I have a question that I know many of you probably know the answer to.

As can be noted above, I am still talking about loading a 44 Colt heeled bullet in the 410 brass produced by Magtech. That brass uses a small pistol primer. It is my understanding that that construction is going to limit pressure due to the strength of primer pocket. I can recall reading somewhere (I forget where now) that the 444 Marlin brass had an advantage of handling a higher pressure due to the thickness of the brass and the primer size/cup.

Does anyone know roughly what safe limits there would be to loading the 410 brass from Magtech with the small pistol primer?

My first experiments are going to be with black powder substitutes, loading true Cowboy style loads.

But, when/if I move to modern smokeless powders, what are the inherent pressure limits to the thin brass and small pistol primer?

June 18, 2008, 11:57 PM
& while we're at it - anything round ball loads? Shot a few of those out of the .44 & they were about like a heavy-hitting wrist-rocket ....

Yes, the Lyman Pistol & Revolver Reloading Handbook lists three round ball loads in .45 Colt. I've loaded a few and shot them. Lots of fun, but not much accuracy at longer ranges.

They're lots of fun to stuff in the chambers after someone just touched off some 250 grain XTP's at 1400+ fps... :D

June 19, 2008, 12:45 AM
As can be noted above, I am still talking about loading a 44 Colt heeled bullet in the 410 brass produced by Magtech. That brass uses a small pistol primer.

Not mine. The magtech 410 brass I have is primed with a LARGE pistol primer. But that matters not, because the size of the primer pocket has little to do with the pressure it will tolerate. If small pistol primers are somehow weak, then the guys loading hot .357 magnums should be worried.

I've not given this much more thought, because the only thing I have to shoot a bulleted round from a .410 brass shell is in that weak, cheap POS Comanche.

But, when/if I move to modern smokeless powders, what are the inherent pressure limits to the thin brass and small pistol primer?

The limiting factor will be the thin brass of the 410 shell. It was made to handle .410 pressures, which are in the 13,000 LUP range. You's be perfectly safe with black or replica black powder, but going much above that would be like skating on thin ice.

June 19, 2008, 07:23 PM
Thanks, Snuffy. Looks like I stick with Cowboy loads (triple seven) for the 410 brass loads. I sent the 410 brass off to Old West Moulds. They are going to make the brass sizing tool (to size the neck down to 44 mag parameters), the bullet seating tool, and the heeled bullet crimping tool. As to the small pistol primer that my brass has, do I stick with the regular small pistol primer or go with the magnum primer for the triple seven? If I want to go smokeless with this load, do you think a slower powder like Win 231 or IMR might work? Any other idea? I could burn a very slow powder with the 20 inch H&R Survivor barrel.

As to pressure, it will be very hard to figure out pressure with the huge powder capacity in the 410 brass. If I load using a "hot" 45 Colt recipe and fill the remainder of the brass with cream of wheat, I don't know what kind of pressure I'll generate. The adage, "increase slowly and carefully" will be in play.

I will probably load the 444 Marlin brass with the old 44 Colt bullet as well. That should allow for loads in the usual range of 444 Marlin. I'll need to get Old West Moulds to make a crimping tool for the 444 Marlin in order to load the 44 Colt heeled bullet.

I, again, appreciate everyone's help and input. I want to have fun with this but I want to do it safely.

June 25, 2008, 09:40 PM
I did receive the brass .410 cases and I neck sized in a .44 mag sizer die and the heel of the 248 grain bullet seated easily in a .45-70 seater die. I can of course make a crimp die but I do not think it will be nessisary in a single shot the heel bullets were snug in the case and I did not even bell the cases the chamfer on the case mouth was enough to start the bullet heel into the case by hand and then seat in the .45-70 die. if you have a set of .44 mag and .45-70 dies available you will be able to test these and then if you need a crimp die I can make one up. The only problem with neck size in a .44 mag die is the die is not long enough to adjust up for a full stroke of the press-I could make a simple spacer to fit around the case to act as a stop for this sizing operation and this would make it easier to be consistent in neck sizing.I can make up a custom die set for you but this is custom work and takes time and would be expensive. I would suggest trying the load in these available dies first. I can put together the nessisary .44 sizer a decapper die a beller die and a seater die if you wish that will get the job done. I of course have bullets available at $24.00 per 100.Bernie (Old West Moulds).

I copied the above email for any interested in this project.

June 29, 2008, 01:52 AM
I have found what I consider to be the ideal brass to use in the very long 45/410 Contender chamber: the old European metric round introduced in 1900 and still somewhat popular over there in doubles and single shot rifles, the 9.3x74R. These cases are available in the US from Norma and RWS. I got my Norma cases from Midway, and at about a dollar a pop, they are not cheap. However, they are the best solution I’ve found in the long 45/410 chamber, and I’m betting the cases will last for many reloadings based on my preliminary testing results.

I roughly measured my 45/410 chamber and found it is a very long 83mm. It is generously sized to fit the long 3-inch 410 shotgun shell. Since the 45 Colt case is only 32.6 mm in length, you can see the bullet would have to pole-vault over to the rifling to exit the barrel. Not good for accuracy, especially with cast lead bullets, as many have reported.

My next step was to use the .444 Marlin case, which is a respectable 56.5 mm long. Necking up the 444 to 45 creates a 45/444 wildcat round, sometimes called the 450 Mongo. Even though the accuracy of this combination was very much better than the 45 Colt, there was still a long gap between bullet and rifling because of my long 83mm chamber. Also, occasionally the rim of the .444 will get behind the Contender’s extractor, requiring some hassle to get it out of the barrel after firing. This is not much of a problem at the firing range (I use an unsharpened wooden lead pencil to push the brass out), but in the field where a quick second shot may be needed (gasp!), this procedure is not too appealing to say the least.

As the ultimate answer to shooting bullets accurately and reliably in the 45/410 Contender, I have concluded the old 9.3x74R case to be it. This brass is 74.7 mm long, thus allowing the bullet, especially heavy ones, to essentially extend to the rifling, which is always good for accuracy. This is especially true of cast bullets like I prefer, because cast bullets don’t like Weatherby-type freeboring where the bullet accelerates in the rifling-free bore (chamber) and hits the rifling at high speed, thus causing the relatively soft lead bullets to strip in the bore. It’s much better to use jacketed bullets in such applications.

To adapt the 9.3x74R case for my cast lead bullets, I first annealed the necks in hot lead to help the brass accommodate opening up from 37 caliber to 45. I then loaded the cases with 200-grain cast lead bullets used in my .357. These bullets fit in the unaltered neck finger-tight, which was enough to develop the pressure needed for forming cases. I used 15 grains of Lil Gun to form the cases. The unaltered, new parent case fit into my Contender’s chamber perfectly. When fired, the case mouth opened up to almost the .45 size needed, and the front end of the brass was kind of wavy due to the parent case’s original shape. To open the mouth up to .45 for reloading, I put a little case lube on a long Craftsman 6mm socket with a quarter-inch drive, which has a shank which measures right at .45 inch. I used an arbor press to ease the socket in for sizing, and a pair of pliers to remove it. I then used the normal .45 reloading tool to bell the mouth to prevent damaging the base of the bullet or the case when reloading. I crimped the neck lightly after loading.

I use polyester filling, rolled up so that the length and breadth of the empty space in the case between powder and bullet are occupied, thus making the round insensitive to position when shooting.

I won’t cite my Lil Gun loads for what now is the metric equivalent of a 11.4 x 74R wildcat. I think this gun can be loaded to reliably kill anything on the North American continent. I use a 332-grain Lyman cast bullet, and I will say the gun and cartridge combination is awesome in every sense. With this cartridge, all of the freebore in the long Contender chamber is taken up with a cartridge the size of a cigar.

When you consider that the Contender 45/410 will also shoot full-length 3-inch 410 loads, a more versatile survival weapon does not exist.

As with any wildcatting experimentation, use extreme caution if you decide to create an 11.4x74R in the Contender. Like any wildcat development, you are blazing a new path which can be dangerous.

I’ll be using my 11.4x74R to go after hogs and deer this year. If we had a bear season, I’d use this gun for that too. If I get bored, I can screw in the 410 choke and kill a quail or squirrel for the pot. For such a compact gun in the field, it just doesn’t get any better than that.;wap2

Here's another similar project, more advanced than mine. Enjoy. Enjoy safely.

July 19, 2008, 08:26 PM

The taller cartridge is the 44-410 Colt (dubbed the 450 Hu-Mongo or the 450
Winn Mag).

the shorter cartridge is the 45-70

July 19, 2008, 08:34 PM
Really, two things = I'm looking for stuff regards the .45 Colt in Contenders for hot loads and for standard (sub-sonics in same) - accuracy is paramount

If accuracy is paramount, and using the TC, then stop after two rounds. TC's don't like to fire with a hot barrel. You'll get vertical stringing. I had a TC and sold it in a heartbeat. It is good for one-four rounds before it 'deviates'.

I'd go with 2400 for a powder. After trying a few for 45 colt magnums that's what I've settled on. Not sure what bullet your going to use, but I've found 250 grain to be adequate with the fps I was looking for. Makes no diff if cast or copper coated hollow points they'll have the same drop.

If your serious about 45 colt, get a blackhawk and marlin 1894. You can put 13 rounds in an 1894 if you take the rod out. Much better rifle than the TC IMO. Supplement that with a blackhawk convertable that does 45 acp (option) and your set. Cowboy action with magnum loads! Now your talking.

July 19, 2008, 10:56 PM
as discussed earlier, the first 44 Colt-410 cartridges (pic above) are loaded with triple seven.

After I finish the tests with the "concept cartridges" I loaded with triple seven, then I'll post the data. Fired out of a 20 inch H&R/NEF HandiRifle "Survivor", I suspect I'll get ballistics similar to my 50 caliber muzzleloader. The above pictured cartridge is loaded with a 248 grain bullet.

Then, at some point, I'll start loading smokeless powders. I'll probably start with recipes for the 444 Marlin, filling the high capacity surplus with cream of wheat. Theoretically, that should keep CUP way below the 444 Marlin published pressures.

July 20, 2008, 07:48 PM
[see pic earlier linked of the 45-70 standing next to the 44 Colt-410]

The core ideas are discussed earlier in this thread. Basically, this is the Magtech 410 2.5 inch brass which is actually 2.375 inch long. In order to deal with the narrow chambering of the 45/410 weapons, I used a 44 Colt bullet (the old obsolete two diameter heeled bullet with a base of .429 and a nose of .452).

The brass is first altered in two ways. The case length is shortened to 2.34 inch. Using a spacer, a 44 mag brass sizing die is used to produce a small shoulder/neck to bring the neck down to appropriately fit the .429 bullet base. The spacer is slipped over the cartridge in a #5 Lee shell holder.

A 45-70 sizer die is used to deprime if needed

The heeled bullet is seated in a 45-70 seater die.

To crimp, a Lee factory crimp die has been modified to this particular case.

Now, the company "Old West Bullet Moulds" makes a mould for the old 44 Colt bullet. They will also sell the bullets already moulded and resized.

OWBM (company name above abbreviated) also modified the Lee factory crimp die for me. Actually, I spoke with someone there about the whole project and the basic idea and the company figured out how to do it for me.

I, myself, am a novice who just spent about 6 months of daydreaming and studying trying to figure out how to take advantage of the potential of the 45/410 chambered weapons. I inherited 20K worth of weapons and reloading equipment to add to my already large collection of weapons (but no previous reloading equipment).

So, I really can only claim a role in the concept and idea. And, the 450 Mongo idea was a precursor idea that helped me along the way.

Now, this is as far as I have gotten. The above picture is of a cartridge containing no primer and no powder. I have just, to this point, handled the logistics of the brass, bullet, chamber, etc.

Now, comes the dangerous part.

I intend, for safety, to start with true Cowboy loads with black powder substitute (triple seven).

Magtech makes the 410 brass with either small or large pistol primers. I have the small primers.
I would appreciate any advice on the triple seven loads as to whether to go with regular small pistol primers or the magnum small pistol primers.

I suspect that if I use the whole powder capacity with triple seven that:
1)even out of the 20 inch barrel of the H&R/NEF "survivor" (altered by tapping/die scoping), that I won't burn all the powder before the bullet leaves the barrel
2)that the ballistics will be much like what I get using my muzzleloader
3)I will have a very effective deer hunting weapon that is safe

After that, then I intend to trial smokeless powders. I do have a father in law and two local men (all are very experienced reloaders) to help me out with this. But, again, I would welcome ideas.

I figure that I will start with 444 Marlin recipes to load. I will place a wad and cream of wheat to hold the empty space. That, theoretically, should give me pressures much reduced from the 444 Marlin.

I will have to be careful. Another man told me he was worried that the 410 brass from Magtech may be too thin to dance with higher pressures. He may be right.

I should say, by the way, that at some point, I will also use this core idea to load 44 Colt bullets in 444 Marlin brass in the first place. Then, I have pressure tables and published data to work from. Using the 44 Colt bullet should not change pressure and load data as compared to a 44 bullet with the same mass. This idea should significantly improve the original 450 Mongo idea.

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