454 w/ H110 poor ignition problems?


RDA 226sig
December 27, 2008, 08:09 PM
I went to buy powder for loading my 454 Casull today and ended up in a conversation with a very enthusiastic young fellow about reloading the 454. He recommended using H110 with 300 grain XTP's but claimed to have initially had ignition problems with the small rifle primers and this combination. He claimed to have gotten some older 454 brass that was formed for large pistol primers.

Has anyone else experienced similar problems loading 454 Casull the H110 and small rifle primers? Where would you find 454 brass formed for large pistol primers? Didn't they change to small rifle primers because the pressure was too high for the pistol primers? Could it be that he created his own problems by dropping too low on the H110 powder charge?? (Hodgedon warns not to drop below 3% of max with that powder.) I am thinking out loud hoping someone has some experience and can answer my questions.

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December 27, 2008, 10:26 PM
I used AA#9, H-110, 2400, and tried 296, finally settled on LIL'GUN. Lower pressures, easier to ignite and accurate as any other. Load data on Hodgdon site.

December 27, 2008, 10:45 PM
No experience with the 454, but have loaded many 44 magnums. Your asking about a rather generic problem that all high pressure pistol loads have in common. As you mentioned, H110 & it's twin W296 need near max loads to function well and they need a magnum primer to ignite properly.
Anytime you are approaching 50,000--60,000 psi as with the 454, you are better off using rifle primers because of the extra thickness of the cup affords the extra strength needed for those pressures.
Always use magnum primers with ball powders such as H110.
Small or large primers should be magnum rifle type when used in the high pressure 454 Casull with H110 or W296.

Ask your enthusiastic young fellow if he was using magnum primers or not when he was having trouble.


December 27, 2008, 10:59 PM
"...Where would you find..." You can't. The cartridge was designed to use small rifle primers for the very reason you mentioned. I'd be thinking magnum primers too. Even though you shouldn't need 'em. They burn a bit hotter for a bit longer and are made for lighting hard to ignite powders and for cold weather shooting.
H110 was made for the .30 carbine, but magnum primers aren't needed for that.

December 28, 2008, 02:14 AM
Although H110/W296 will and does work very well in the 454 Casull Lil'Gun will work better. It will ignite easier too.

RDA 226sig
December 28, 2008, 06:33 AM
Thanks for the input. I was considering IMR4227 or H110 but maybe I should look at lil'gun although Hornady 7th addition doesn't show 454 loads for this powder.

December 28, 2008, 08:39 AM
I also have had ignition problems loading 454 Casull with H110 and Accurate #9 with standard primers. I think both of these powders need Magnum primers. I solved my problem by going to Alliant 2400 for all my magnum loads. Jim.

December 28, 2008, 08:46 AM
As MMCSRET stated, go to www.hodgdon.com and look at the data there. All the loads with 300gr bullet are very close velocity-wise, with Lil'gun having lower pressures.

Expand your knowledge data base beyond the Hornady 7th edition manual, by utilizing the many sites listing safe loads that's often free for the looking.


dagger dog
December 28, 2008, 09:22 AM
Lee goes as far to put in print in his Modern Reloading, that ALL W296 loads listed in that book be used with MAGNUM PRIMERS ONLY.

He is very animate, about this and puts it in bold print on a warning page along with several other must follow rules.

He does not state why but I take it as he must have had problems, with low volume 296 loads and regular large pistol primers.

But when you go to the Data page in his same book the drawing with the case diemensions states to use small rifle primers!?????????????

December 28, 2008, 09:35 AM
AA Load Data was first published using CCI 400 primer, I tried it with AA#9 and all it did was squib. I pushed the bullet back so I could open the cylinder, pulled the round and found that the flame had burned a pin hole thru the powder and heated it to the point that it dropped out of the case as a pellet. Called AA, they were in Tennessee then, he said "yeah, we know, use a CCI450 and it will work. So, I did and it did. Then Lil Gun came out and I never looked back.

December 28, 2008, 10:54 AM
H110(W296) needs magnum primers AND a firm crimp to function properly. I have never had any problems with H110 with my .460 loads and still use it for my 240 grain loads because it shoots better than Lil' Gun. When I switch to 300 grainers, Lil' Gun gets the nod.

BTW....with .454 velocities I would stay away from the standard 300 grn. XTP's and go with the XTP-Mags.

December 29, 2008, 04:30 AM
I think the crimp may be more critical than using a magnum primer. If you look at factory loads, the cartridge mouth crimp is actually squared off and slightly flattened into the bullet cannelure. (hard to describe without seeing it) A roll crimp die will produce the same type crimp by just slightly overcrimping. This way, a non magnum small rifle primer has enough time to torch up the 110 before the bullet releases from the crimp, producing higher and more consistent velocities.

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