Loving the 454 Casull


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osteodoc08
July 8, 2013, 06:45 PM
I've been wanting a 454 Casull or 460 S&W for sometime. I had the opportunity for a Taurus but had hesitated. As much as I liked the 460, the longer barreled 460 was just too muzzle heavy. For those that missed the update in my other thread, I was able to find a pristine used Ruger SRH in 45LC/454 Casull.

I went through my dads stock pile of cast bullets he cast up before his untimely death. I came up with a LFNGC design with a penta style HP. I already had some small rifle primers and 296. Load data was all over the place, but was consistently 28-33 gr 296/H110. I fired up the dillon SDB that was previously set up for 45LC. Got it all set. Ended up loading them up with 30gr H110. Loaded up 10, well actually 9 cause I dropped a primer. Took them out today and WOW! I'm in love. A very healthy thump to the hand and target! 2 fell out to gravity the other 4 came out with minimal pressure on the ejector. good enough for now. Ill do some chrony work once i get around to ordering it. Gonna load up another 40 tonight for further testing.

Dad would have really enjoyed it. Miss and love you Dad!

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bergmen
July 8, 2013, 08:17 PM
I have had my Freedom Arms model 83 in 454 Casull for about 2 1/2 years now. Thinking that I would be shooting .45 Colt out of this more than 454 I had a .45 Colt cylinder made for it at the same time as an accessory:

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u580/Bergmen/Firearms%20and%20Shooting/Handguns/FreedomArmsModel83with45ColtCylinder-01_zps7c0bfb37.jpg (http://s1322.photobucket.com/user/Bergmen/media/Firearms%20and%20Shooting/Handguns/FreedomArmsModel83with45ColtCylinder-01_zps7c0bfb37.jpg.html)

Once I got to handloading and shooting the 454, I haven't used the .45 Colt cylinder much (preferring to use my Ruger Bisley for that):

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u580/Bergmen/Firearms%20and%20Shooting/Handguns/RugerBisleywithAltamontGrips-01_zps7e05785a.jpg (http://s1322.photobucket.com/user/Bergmen/media/Firearms%20and%20Shooting/Handguns/RugerBisleywithAltamontGrips-01_zps7e05785a.jpg.html)

I have also found a 30 grain W296/H110 load (under a 240 Hornady XTP-Mag) to be really pleasant and very accurate. Lots of Wheaties there but very manageable. It will really turn heads at the range.

I have loaded as high as 35 grains (which is less than the published STARTING loads in my FA load book) and that is about all I want to take at this point. Still GREAT fun, though.

Dan

joecil
July 8, 2013, 09:19 PM
I have the Taurus Raging bull and have shot both 454 Casull and 45 colt. Now cylinder change require and works great for both. I've had mine now about 3 months and has quickly become one of my favorite guns. I might add the only factory ammo that has been through it was one box of Magtech 260 gr since I've loaded with nothing but 300 gr including FA JSP, Hornady FTX/Mag, Hornady FTX and Sierra JSP. I've loaded so far with Lil'Gun, 2400 and 4227 using Starline Brass and Remington small rifle primers.

gspn
July 9, 2013, 12:54 AM
Sounds like a nice find...and a nice connection it provides to your dad.

TennJed
July 9, 2013, 03:34 AM
Bergman, excuse my ignorance on what is probably a simple question, but why do you need a separate 45 colt cylinder on the FA? Why could you not shoot 45 colt out of the 454 like you would other 454s? Does it have to do with it being a SA? If so would the same apply to Magnum Research's SA BFR 454 revlover?

Thanks

bergmen
July 9, 2013, 08:23 AM
Bergmen, excuse my ignorance on what is probably a simple question, but why do you need a separate 45 colt cylinder on the FA? Why could you not shoot 45 colt out of the 454 like you would other 454s? Does it have to do with it being a SA? If so would the same apply to Magnum Research's SA BFR 454 revlover?

Thanks

Freedom Arms, in it's owners manual, advises against shooting .45 Colt in the 454 cylinder. There have been issues of chamber erosion, at the case mouth, most likely from very hot .45 Colt loads. Once this damage manifests itself, 454 cases can be difficult to extract since the brass will fire-form into the erosion pits.

This may or may not be an issue that I would experience but I took the advice when I ordered the revolver and had the extra cylinder made and fitted. In retrospect I probably could have stayed with just the 454 cylinder and used my Bisley for .45 Colt loads (of all power levels). But at the time, I figured I would be mostly firing hot .45 Colt loads from the Model 83 with occasional use of the 454 cylinder (like I do now with my Ruger Super Single Six and the .22 Magnum).

Little did I know that I would get hooked on the fantastic power of the 454 Casull and rarely do I use the .45 Colt cylinder now.

Live and learn I guess.

Dan

460Kodiak
July 9, 2013, 10:12 AM
454 is a lot of fun. Congrats and I'm glad you are enjoying it! I always liked the looks of the 454 Alaskan with the unfluted cyliders and all.

Riomouse911
July 9, 2013, 01:52 PM
I'll break out the Super Redhawk on occasion and stoke it up with .454's...lotsa "BANG" for the buck for sure...

farm23
July 9, 2013, 02:49 PM
I have a 29 year old FA in 7 1/2". At the time a 45lc cylinder was not offered and I have talked to FA about the separate cylinder. Here is what I heard them say. If the 454 cylinder is not kept clean there is a chance of build up that would cause problem with 454 loads. I have shot more 45 than 454 thru mine, kept it clean and no problems. That said I am thinking about getting a 4 3/4" and if I do I will get the extra cylinder.

bergmen
July 11, 2013, 02:29 AM
I have a 29 year old FA in 7 1/2". At the time a 45lc cylinder was not offered and I have talked to FA about the separate cylinder. Here is what I heard them say. If the 454 cylinder is not kept clean there is a chance of build up that would cause problem with 454 loads. I have shot more 45 than 454 thru mine, kept it clean and no problems. That said I am thinking about getting a 4 3/4" and if I do I will get the extra cylinder.

Here is a report by Bob Baker, who in 2011 was the owner of Freedom Arms:

The 45 Colt is .100 shorter than the 454 Casull. When shooting the 45C in 454 chambers, lead and powder residue is left in the chamber just ahead of the case. This build up of residue can restrict chambering the longer 454 cartridge and can cause excess pressure by not allowing the crimp of the 454 to easily open up to allow the bullet to exit the case.

Another potential problem is when the revolver is cooling down after firing it collects moisture. This moisture mixed with the lead and powder residue creates an acid which can etch the chamber underneath the lead and powder residue. With this condition, even if the residue is cleaned out of the chamber, the longer 454 case will now stick in the etched area of the chamber when fired and can be difficult to remove depending on the amount of etching. Over the years we have seen this problem more from guns in high humidity areas than from low humidity areas but it still occurs in the low humidity areas.

For some folks this seems to be an emotional issue and some folks even claim that all we are trying to do make extra money on extra cylinders. What we are actually trying to do is help our customers get the most trouble free life from their FA revolver as possible. I know of some customers that have shot thousands of 45C rounds in their 454 chambers with no problems but they thoroughly clean the gun when finished shooting. Other customers have ended up with one of the above problems fairly quick also. All we can do is put out the information, it is up to the individual what they do with the information.

Basically the 454 works best with bullets weighing from about 240 gr. up to about 325 gr. Years ago I did testing with the 185 gr. and 200 gr. bullets. I could get some impressive velocity with them but I shortened the life of the forcing cone doing it. The lighter the bullet, the less efficient the powder burns so more powder is burning in the barrel which tends to erode the barrel forcing cone. A really good example of this is the 460 S&W. It gets some impressive velocities with the 200 gr. bullets but it also has a short barrel life due to the light bullet. This is why we donít put out load data with light bullets.

When going to the real heavy bullets a person will lose case capacity so there is a point of diminishing returns. As a general rule I always used a 300 gr. bullet for the heavy game that hunts back and a 260 gr. for everything else.

Bob Baker (Freedom Arms Owner) 1-13-2011.

41 Mag
July 11, 2013, 05:47 AM
Hey there,

Glad your enjoying the new found joy.

Mine is the Raging Bull with the 8.375" barrel on it. IT was a gift from my close friend and hunting bud and I have had plenty of fun with it. I started out using some 260gr Mag JHP's and running them around the mid 1700fps area. Lots of fun, bang, and very impressive on hogs. Talk about a bang flop.

Then I started in with the cast loads using first the Cast Performance 265gr RFGC. Those were loaded with the same charge weight as the 260's. Extremely accurate, and literally would shoot nose to tail through a 200# hog. One of the first I got with it I hit about 2" back of it's snout, and it exited about an inch to the side of it's poop shoot. Needless to say that is plenty of penetration.

Those CP 265's however good, were a bit expensive, so I started looking into casting my own. Just looking at the vast assortment of prices and molds, I started off with the Lee 452-300RF. With it's big meplat and GC it is seemingly made for this caliber. Just going off the top of my head, I think I am running it over around 27-29grs of 296, which is putting it out around 1550'ish fps. I also found that around 25grs of AA #9 works VERY good for this bullet as well. I have shot several, more or less one ragged hole, groups with either load at 25 and 50yds. You might check out the Accurate load data as you get a bit more spread with it than you can with 110/296.

I'm curios to which mold your bullets were poured from. I have several of the MP's with the Penta pins, but I haven't tried them in the Bull just yet. To be honest, if the Lee bullet don't get the job done, I figure I should get hold of a rifle quick, cause something is going to be VERY upset about the situation. :D

farm23
July 11, 2013, 08:43 AM
Bergman. your description of the 45/454 cylinder is very clear thanks.

osteodoc08
July 11, 2013, 11:13 AM
41 Mag- next time I'm home to see my mother ill take a look at his molds. Most of his molds were NOE or a custom design by someone in Slovenia that machines them for him from brass. He was a regular at Cast Boolits. I'm over there with the same handle as here. He also has some really nice 357, 41, 44, 45 molds. Well, I guess technically they're mine now. Ill have a look around.

41 Mag
July 11, 2013, 05:20 PM
Slovenia = MP Molds for sure...

7mmb
July 11, 2013, 10:02 PM
Freedom Arms, in it's owners manual, advises against shooting .45 Colt in the 454 cylinder. There have been issues of chamber erosion, at the case mouth, most likely from very hot .45 Colt loads. Once this damage manifests itself, 454 cases can be difficult to extract since the brass will fire-form into the erosion pits.

If hot 45 Colt loads can erode the chamber of an FA revolver what will full power 454 Casull do to it? It's not like there is a different metal alloy at the case portion of the chambers than there is at the throats.

bergmen
July 11, 2013, 10:21 PM
If hot 45 Colt loads can erode the chamber of an FA revolver what will full power 454 Casull do to it? It's not like there is a different metal alloy at the case portion of the chambers than there is at the throats.

I'm not the expert I just follow the instructions in the manual and the writing on this subject by the experts (such as Bob Baker - and others).

I spent close to $3,000.00 on this fine, made-to-order revolver that is like owning a Rolex watch or Ferrari automobile. The $300.00 it cost me for the extra cylinder was very much worth it, in my view, to allow this firearm to be properly cared for.

I have no quarrels with the factory recommendations to avoid shooting .45 Colt ammunition in the 454 cylinder.

I have attached the .pdf of the manual I received with the revolver (see page 18, item 8).

Dan

TennJed
July 12, 2013, 12:36 AM
I still don't understand why it wouldn't do the same to other 454 revolvers. As far as I know no other 454 manufacturer has that warning

osteodoc08
July 12, 2013, 01:47 AM
Don't they also warn about using Lil Gun as well?

41 Mag
July 12, 2013, 05:34 PM
One can pretty easily look at most top straps and/or the bottom of the frame right below the forcing cone of most magnum revolvers, to see what COULD occur in the cylinder of a 454 shooting hot 45 Colt loads.

Have I done it, you bet, but only a few just to see how they shot. I certainly wouldn't put a regular diet of them through mine. I don't even put a regular diet of hot Colt loads through my Redhawk in 45 Colt. It shots just fine at moderate velocities. Besides thats why I have the 454.

You can easily shoot a .243, or 7mm-08 out of a .308, and even a lot of other calibers out of a 30-06 as well but it doesn't come highly recommended. I know apples to grapefruit, but still why do something that could possibly ruin a fine handgun. Shoot what it was chambered for, even if you load them down to Colt levels.

If you want to shoot a 45 Colt, pony up and get one. I did, and am VERY happy with it.

bergmen
July 12, 2013, 05:54 PM
I still don't understand why it wouldn't do the same to other 454 revolvers. As far as I know no other 454 manufacturer has that warning

Freedom Arms has far more experience with the 454 Casull than any other firearms maker since Wayne Baker started the company with designs by Dick Casull in 1978. The model 83 (which I have) was introduced in 1983, thirty years ago.

Since Dick Casull invented and perfected the 454 I tend to listen to what the company says about it. They know exactly what they are doing. and as I said, the .45 Colt cylinder was not that expensive and assures that my grandkids (who will inherit this fine revolver someday) will enjoy it in as superb a condition that I do now.

Dan

(P.S., a fine book on the subject of large caliber revolvers is "Big-Bore Revolvers" by Max Prasac.)

Plastikosmd
July 12, 2013, 09:13 PM
I always thought the issue was less of erosion and more related to pressure in the very snug FA chambers. If the deposits are not cleaned out the longer 454 case may not have the room to expand/ release and create a dangerous situation.

TennJed
July 13, 2013, 02:00 AM
I always thought the issue was less of erosion and more related to pressure in the very snug FA chambers. If the deposits are not cleaned out the longer 454 case may not have the room to expand/ release and create a dangerous situation.

That seems to make sense, I know FA knows what they are talking about and they are experts in the 454, but I figure Ruger is no dummy and would advise against it if needed. I have heard of Super Redhawk owners shooting lots of 45s without issue.

I wouldn't be surprised if FAs are built to tighter specs and that may be the reason. Sounds good anyway :)

Plastikosmd
July 13, 2013, 09:08 AM
My 83 in 454 is quite snug, the 83 (252) in 22 is even more challenging. I could not imagine running shorts then trying to shoot lr without a vigorous clean as even normal extraction is challenging. (some choose to open up or hone these chambers as it is)
Not complaining, you want to hold 1" at 100 with a revolver, it is what it is

buck460XVR
July 13, 2013, 01:06 PM
If hot 45 Colt loads can erode the chamber of an FA revolver what will full power 454 Casull do to it? It's not like there is a different metal alloy at the case portion of the chambers than there is at the throats.


The thing is that if the .454 rounds erode the chambers, the erosion will be AHEAD of the case and thus the case will not expand into the pits and thus not make for hard extraction. This is not the scenario with .45 ammo where the erosion will occur within the area occupied by .454 ammo.

svtruth
July 14, 2013, 12:42 PM
my .454. Have a SRH and a Rossi lever gun. Shot the sights loose on the lever gun, LocTite here we come. Got a .45lc lever gun to avoid the chamber issue, they recoil like a .22, the .454 is pretty authoritative. A Blackhawk in .45 is on the wish list.

osteodoc08
July 14, 2013, 02:14 PM
Sounds like ill leave the 45 colt loads for the 45 colt and the 454 Casull loads to the 454.

bergmen
July 14, 2013, 06:35 PM
my .454. Have a SRH and a Rossi lever gun. Shot the sights loose on the lever gun, LocTite here we come. Got a .45lc lever gun to avoid the chamber issue, they recoil like a .22, the .454 is pretty authoritative. A Blackhawk in .45 is on the wish list.

I've got the Rossi 92 in .454 also (stainless) and found the same thing. Both the front AND rear sights shook loose. I took them both off and I'm waiting to have a local gunny install a receiver peep and hi-viz front. I only have 20 rounds through it so far.

Dan

Rodentman
July 15, 2013, 11:14 PM
I just got an S&W 460 XVR and am loading 454 Casull for it. I find different primer recommendations. Lyman says SRP, magnum preferred. Sierra lists mag primers only, and Speer 14 says CCI400 not magnum even with H110. This is not my first foray into reloading but I don't like to experiment. What are your recommendations? Not asking for specific loads, but what primer is best.

I was surprised to find that the 454 uses SRP whilst the 45 colt uses LPP.

JohnM
July 16, 2013, 09:35 AM
The 454 Casull is a heavy magnum cartridge designed for way more pressures than any 45 Colt loads. It needs a powerful primer to ignite those heavy loads.

bergmen
July 16, 2013, 12:36 PM
I just got an S&W 460 XVR and am loading 454 Casull for it. I find different primer recommendations. Lyman says SRP, magnum preferred. Sierra lists mag primers only, and Speer 14 says CCI400 not magnum even with H110. This is not my first foray into reloading but I don't like to experiment. What are your recommendations? Not asking for specific loads, but what primer is best.

I was surprised to find that the 454 uses SRP whilst the 45 colt uses LPP.

Well, my loading manuals (including the load book from Freedom Arms) are all over the place with tested primers:

1) Freedom Arms: Small Rifle - REM #7 1/2.
2) Speer #12: CCI 400.
3) Nosler 5th Edition: Winchester WSR.
4) Hornady 8th Edition: Federal 205.
5) Lyman 49th Edition: CCI 450 (Small Rifle Magnum).

It doesn't seem to matter as long as it is a small rifle primer.

Dan

Rodentman
July 16, 2013, 08:00 PM
Thanks for the advice! I am doing a local trade 1k SPP for 1k LRMP and I should be good to go.

50 Shooter
July 16, 2013, 10:03 PM
Don't mean to thread jack or sort of sidebar. I just sold my 454 Casull Raging Bull, Joecil has bought a lot of my leftover bullets. Still have some brass and bullets if you're looking, PM me as Joe placed another order.

I wish I didn't have to sell it but the wife wouldn't let me buy a 500 S&W without doing it. Plus the fact that the 500 can shoot bullets as heavy as my 50 BMG is freakin awesome! Just wish the diameter was the same and a 750gr AMAX fit the cylinder.

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