45 LC Contender Loads in 460 S&W


RDA 226sig
September 7, 2008, 12:28 PM
Considering the 45LC rounds can be used as target rounds fired from a handgun chambered in 460 S&W and considering the pressure developed by the 454 Casull and the 460 S&W are very high it would stand to reason that you could also load 45LC Contender rounds and fire them from a handgun chambered in 460 S&W. The contender loads would be a bit milder than the full power loads but not quite as gentile as the standard 45LC loads.

If that is the case where would one go to find documentation that 45LC Contender loads may be fired in a handgun chambered for 460 S&W?

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September 7, 2008, 08:41 PM
I'd say your reasoning is sound and it seems obvious that a .460 S&W would handle any load that a Contender would.

As far as documentation goes though, I think the best you'll do is make sure that the Contender data is sound and safe in a Contender. As in, it didn't come from Joe Magnum on the innernet. The only "hotrod" data I would use would be from a credible source (powder company, firearm manufacturer). Most data of this type is pressure tested and comes with notes on peak pressures. These should verify that the load is far below what the .460 can operate at.

It would be interesting to compare loads of this level in .45 Colt brass vs .460 brass and see which shoots better.

September 8, 2008, 02:24 AM
Accurate Arms (http://www.accuratepowder.com/loaddata_caliber_handgun_standard_45cal.htm) has online data for both the 45 Colt T/C and 30k data too. Hodgdon (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp) also has data for the .45 Colt marked Ruger, Freedom Arms & T/C only on their online data site. I'm sure you will find something between the two that will fill your needs...

September 8, 2008, 11:12 AM
The only thing I would caution against is returning to full-power .460 loads after shooting the shorter .45 Colt loads.

You have to make absolutely sure you have throughly cleaned all the carbon rings out of the chambers, or .460 pressure could go off the chart!

I believe Freedom Arms issued a warning about shooting .45 Colt in it's .454 Casual cylinders. They are chambered so tightly that a carbon ring from a shorter case leaves no room for case expansion to release the bullet!

I imagine S&W .460's would be the same.


September 8, 2008, 01:55 PM
I don't see the advantage to reloading a .45 colt to a TC max load when there are reduced recoil loads for the .460. Unless one has a lot of .45 colt brass they want to wear out quickly.

RDA 226sig
September 8, 2008, 09:57 PM
The reduced case capacity would be good for some powder/bullet combinations. It could provide some better ballistics and then again it may just provide a reloader with some entertainment. :) Also, 45LC brass is easier to come by.

September 9, 2008, 07:57 AM
I doubt the .45 Colt rounds will give "better ballistics" with any load in a .460.

The 45 Colt case is more than 1/2" shorter than the .460 case; so there's going to be .510" of freebore before the 45 Colt bullet seals up at the end of the cylinder. Whatever extra velocity you're getting by using the TC loads will likely be lost when the combustion gases blow by the bullet in the chamber.

I stopped using the shorter cases in my .460. If I want to use inexpensive leads bullets for plinking loads, I load the .460 light with Titegroup or Trailboss. A full case of Trailboss (about 13.7 grains) behind a 255gr lead "cowboy" bullet gives you about 950fps and they're incredibly accurate.

RDA 226sig
September 9, 2008, 09:09 PM
You make a couple of good points. The freebore creates a downside and would most likely kill the accuracy. Not sure how much velocity you would lose to gases escaping in that .510" of freebore but certainly there would be some loss. Reduced loads from the 460 case probably would work better.

September 14, 2008, 07:15 PM
I quit using the shorter .45 colt cases in my SRH in .454 casull ! the accuracy is much better with the longer cases ! I would work up a reduced load in the .460 cases ! Try a 200 grain swc in cast or plated !

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