Trouble w/ .454 loads


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MachIVshooter
January 11, 2006, 11:44 PM
OK, I've had my .454 for a while but only recently got around to purchasing dies. So I loaded up 100 rounds using new Starline Nickel brass. 50 were 300 grain gold dots and the other 50 were 300 gr. Sierra JSP's. I went out to chronograph and found 2 problems. One was the bullets unseating and binding the chamber after 3 or four shots. I had a pretty good roll crimp on 'em, but perhaps I need to not expand the cases and just use, say, a .45 ACP ball to flare the mouth a little?

The other problem is velocity. I used data from freedom arms website (which indicates a 7.5" tube), and loaded just a bit under max (I used 31.0 grains of H110 with CCI small rifle primers). I am only getting around 1450 FPS from my 7.5" SRH, while the data indicates that it should be somewhere in the 1700-1750 FPS arena. Should I be using magnum primers?

If anyone has any suggestions it would be appreciated. As it stands I am getting better performance out of my .50 AE Desert Eagle with 6" barrel (325 grainer @ 1520 FPS).

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50 Shooter
January 12, 2006, 02:45 AM
Try switching to just brass cases, more then likely the nickel cases are giving you a problem as far as the seating/crimp goes.

I've got Hogdon's info that lists a 300 gr bullet at 30 grs of H110 max and Hornady list it as 31.4 max. You can try a magnum primer but I don't think it's going to get you another 250-300 fps more.

Go to www.loadswap.com and look around there for some .454 stuff, they have plenty. I used alot of info there for reloading .454 for my Raging Bull and haven't had any problems.

Grumulkin
January 12, 2006, 07:11 AM
First of all, I wouldn't get too concerned that some gun gets more velocity than yours. What matters is the accuracy and pressure in your gun.

I would definitely try different primers; magnum primers may make a difference with the powder you're using. In my .357 Herrett, large rifle magnum primers make a very noticible difference in improved accuracy with IMR 4227 compared to large rifle primers. In my .308 Win., large rifle primers vs the magnum version seems to make no difference with IMR 4064.

boo586
January 12, 2006, 09:56 AM
Several things may be going on to result in a lower velocity reading.

First off, if your bullets are jumping crimp then not enough pressure is being built up upon firing. You may have over crimped damaging the bullet. And by the sound of it there is not enough neck tension on the bullet, which is where most of resistance should be at.

Secondly, your chronograph may be off or the weather conditions and altitude are different between your testing environment and the Freedom Arms tests.

And lastly, you are trying to compare the velocity of a load fired from a near custom made Freedom Arms that was built to very tight tolerances to an investment cast mass produced gun made by RUGER. In my opinion, yo are almost comparing apples to oranges.

Just my 2 cents

rick_reno
January 12, 2006, 10:54 AM
I've been shooting .454 since the late 80's - I've always used magnum small rifle primers. I'd switch cases and primers, your results might be closer to what you're expecting.

Travis Two
January 12, 2006, 09:19 PM
Try the Redding Profile crimp die. This the crimp that Freedom Arms uses on its factory ammo.

BigJakeJ1s
January 12, 2006, 10:11 PM
Several things may be going on to result in a lower velocity reading.
...
And lastly, you are trying to compare the velocity of a load fired from a near custom made Freedom Arms that was built to very tight tolerances to an investment cast mass produced gun made by RUGER. In my opinion, yo are almost comparing apples to oranges.

Just my 2 cents

Doesn't Ruger make the raw, investment cast frames for FA? Or is that for someone else? Granted, FA spends a little more time in machining/finishing them to final dimensions than does Ruger, but they both start out cast. The difference is in the finish work (hand made vs mass produced), not in the raw materials.

Andy

MachIVshooter
January 12, 2006, 10:54 PM
First off, if your bullets are jumping crimp then not enough pressure is being built up upon firing.

These velocities were recorded with one round being in the cylinder and firing, then ejecting and inserting another.


Secondly, your chronograph may be off or the weather conditions and altitude are different between your testing environment and the Freedom Arms tests.

Very possible. It was overcast and I was having some trouble getting any readings at all.


And lastly, you are trying to compare the velocity of a load fired from a near custom made Freedom Arms that was built to very tight tolerances to an investment cast mass produced gun made by RUGER. In my opinion, yo are almost comparing apples to oranges.



I know the FA revolvers are very well made, but the cylinder gap on the Ruger is only .004" with the cylinder being pressed back (.0015 with it pushed forward as it would be under firing), so I don't think I am bleeding off that much there. I am, however, quite sure these loads are not developing near the pressure they should, as spent casings nearly fall out. With Hornady and Cor-Bon premium ammo, I actually have to push on the ejector with a fair amount of authority.

I'll try Hornady brass and CCI magnum SR primers next go round, and bump the charge up .5 grs. to max.

Thanks for all your help.

Sergeant Sabre
January 13, 2006, 12:25 AM
Speer's data for the .454 lists 31.5 (compressed) as max for H110 and the 300gr Gold Dot.

You are one-half grain under listed maximum. You are using different revolver than Speer (they use Freedom Arms) and your weather conditions may be a little different than the testing facility. You are also apparently having some crimp or neck tension problems. That all could add up to the velocity discrepancy you describe.

(Speer's data is available here: http://www.speer-bullets.com/default.asp?s1=5&s2=15)

mbartel
January 14, 2006, 10:11 AM
I think you might have the chronograph too close to the muzzle.
The .454 has incredible muzzle blast, and if you are too close, the pressure wave from the burning gasses will trip the first skyscreen before the bullet crosses it. Wait for a bright sunny day and set the first skyscreen at 20 feet from the muzzle.

redneck2
January 14, 2006, 07:13 PM
What was the temperature when you were shooting? I see you're in CO, so I suspect it's cold.

MachIVshooter
January 14, 2006, 11:58 PM
What was the temperature when you were shooting? I see you're in CO, so I suspect it's cold.

It was about 35 degrees Farenheit. The chronograph was 18' from the muzzle. Hopefully I will have an opportunity to test again tomorrow with better light and a now-tighter crimp.

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