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454 alaskan faster powder short barrel AA #7

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mewachee, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    I have been trying to work up a load on my new alaskan 454. Many of you will disagree with my of weapon, but I have my reason's (plus, I love it). Factory ammo works fine. Of course the is a loss in pressure/velocity/energy, because of the short barrel.

    I want to work up a load using No. 7 and a 335 grain bullet. Because No. 7 is not considered standard for the 454, data is know where to be found. I can work this up, but need some Idea of a safe range.

    I have worked up a load using blue dot and 335 gas checked lead bullet. 19 grains gives me 1200 fps. 20 drops off to 1150. I have no sign of over-pressure with these loads, but I want more than the 1200 fps.

    Anyone have input on #7? for this bullet?
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If you can't get with with Blue Dot, I don't think AA #7 will get you there either. Try something a bit slower than Blue Dot such as AA #9, Enforcer, 2400, or Lil Gun, or perhaps even SR 4759 or 5744 XMR.
     
  3. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    This is my point, that in a 7.5 in barrel, those powders have time to burn and build consistent pressure. By using those powders in a 2.5 in barrel you accept the loss in velocity. I can accept that if I have to, but would like to play with the fast powders to test my theory. It's a good theory, I think.

    I have read that No. 7 performs well in short magnums with heavy bullets, I just don't want to go into this guessing. I have seen where others have used No. 5, but that is going to far for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  4. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    Is there a way to have my revolver and chosen load tested for pressure?
     
  5. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Well this may be of little help but I have excellent results using AA#9 for my Ruger Security Six with a 2.75" barrel with 158 and 180gr jacketed bullets, I have tried AA#7 with the 158s but AA#9 works better :confused: the bullet used and the crimp applied may be contributing factors, I use jacketed bullets and a heavy crimp for these AA#9 loads.
     
  6. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    I only have data for Lil' Gun, H-4227 and H-110 at that weight... if you find something that works well please let me know. :)
     
  7. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    keep digging! #7 will prove to be a great choice for .454 in an Alaskan. If all else fails, go to Ramshot True Blue because you will find data. Anything a magnum powder will do will be lost in a snub barrel. Going slightly faster in burn rate, like AA#7, or True Blue, will get you the best performance that you can expect from a 2.75" barrel.;)
     
  8. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    Thanks guys. The heavy crimp is hard on 454 brass, it seems to be a balancing act. I decided to go forth with the No. 7, picked some up tonight.

    If anyone has a reliable place to start, and max, with this powder and for this load, please let me know.
     
  9. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Do you trim your brass ?
     
  10. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    mewachee, I checked the Accurate website and they don't show anything for #7 in .454 Casull. You can contact their ballistician by e-mail and he should be able to give you data for #7. Or, call him at 800 497-1007. His name is Johan Loubser and he's the ballistician for both Accurate and Ramshot.;)

    You might want to think about adding some True Blue in the future, there is data for the Cast Performance 335 with a 1.735 OACL in Win brass and a Win FP primer. 15.2 grains gets 1292 FPS with a SD of 6 (38,530 PSI). 16.2 grains achieved 1361 FPS (45,124 PSI) with a SD of 5! Velocities were recorded from a 7.5" barrel.;)

    If you need higher performance, AA#9 might be worth a look. It's a little faster burning than most magnum powders, just a bit slower than Blue Dot. I haven't loaded .454 with #9, but in my experience with other cartridges, you'll have less muzzle blast with #9 and velocity loss shouldn't be as pronounced as what you'll see from powders like 2400, 296, H110 or L'il Gun.;)
     
  11. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    Hey thanks for the contact info, I never considered contacting the manufacture. Go to the source, I like it.

    I check their site, and yes, they don't show data for the 454. However, they do show it in the .480 and .45 colt.

    Another question, what is it called when the efficiency of a powder drops off. Meaning, while you increase the amount of powder, normally the velocity increase, but then all of a sudden velocity decreases.

    Example:
    19 grains of Blue Dot = 1200 fps
    20 grains of Blue Dot = 1150 fps

    Is there a term for this?
    And, why does this happen?

    either load show no pressure problems
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Dang, I read 4" somehow earlier. My eyes must be going, along with..................... Well, I misread it. CZ57 is right about the powder speed. I was thinking you had a 4" barrel to play with. :banghead:
     
  13. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    As popular as this revolver is get, especially here in the west, I am surprised that there are not more interest in this thread. I am not a status quo person, and I know that this question isn't status quo, but how is it that more have not tried this.

    Do most people think the ruger alaskan isn't worth improving upon. Maybe I should explain my reason for having such a revolver.

    I do not use this revolver to hunt with, I mostly use a bow. I hunt bear, mule deer and elk in grizzly country. 99% of the time, I am on the ground.

    This year I shot a moose with my bow (by the way, one of my funnest hunts to date). I sat there for many hours deboning this animal, an as it got dark I had this feeling I was being watched. That is when I decide to get a large revolver.

    The problem during these kinds of activities is that most magnums are too heavy, to long and there is usually something in your hands. The Ruger Alaskan solves so many of these problems. Yet I want to be able to send hard cast lead though a grizzlies head, and out his rear (yes I know this isn't total reality, but would like to get it as close to reality as I can).

    I can get good energy, I just want more.
     
  14. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    "Another question, what is it called when the efficiency of a powder drops off. Meaning, while you increase the amount of powder, normally the velocity increase, but then all of a sudden velocity decreases."

    When pressure continues to increase without any gain in velocity, or even begins losing velocity, that is called the point of deminishing returns.

    We don't have bear in The Heart of Texas, so your situation is something I don't have to contemplate. But, an Elk hunt in the Rockies would have me contemplating the extra insurance. I don't believe there is a lack of interest in the topic, but choosing a sidearm to carry in Griz country threads can and do go off the reservation once in a while. One good example is Glock owners that began over-throttling the 10mm with 800-X for the same purpose. I have experimented with Magnum revolvers with short barrels and found that there is less loss of velocity when you choose slightly faster powders. I've used Blue Dot, #7, V-V 3N37, Vectan SP-2 and Ramshot True Blue for this. If you were using a 4" barreled revolver, I would have completely agreed with AA#9.

    Dan Wesson once had a nice option called the DW 460 in .460 Rowland, but it would also fire the .45 ACP, .45 Super, .460 Rowland and the .45 Win Mag. all from the same cylinder in their M44 frame. The .45 Win Mag would make it a logical choice for the DW's 4" barrel. Even Blue Dot can be a bit slow for the 2.75" barrel as I think you've found out. Powders slightly faster, up to HS-6, will help provided they have the performance you need to begin with.;)
     
  15. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    I have decide to compare No. 7 With No. 9. I continue to get directed to No. 9, so I will have to try it. I will report my results end of the week in a new thread.

    I plan on contacting accurate early this week for their opinions.

    On the "point of diminishing returns," does this occur because of pressure.

    Or, crazy idea, could it be from the rate of expansion, in the chamber, that unburned powder is separated from burning powder, which could explain loss of velocity as well.

    Ok, I know that I beat the proverbial dead horse, but this stuff is interesting. Anyone have a suggestion on a book that gets down to base concepts of powder, burn, pressure, etc?

    I did this will my .270 and had great results. I love to take a weapon and match the bullet, power, brass, primer and barrel. I think I spent more on setting it up the rifle and load than I spent on the rifle itself, but now I have a load that shoots great under all conditions. Locally, when I talked to dealers about this rifle, they thought I should have been happy with moa. Not a tack driver, but close. 130 grain bullet, 3350 fps with no pressure problems. I did this with a 6.5 lb rifle.
     
  16. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I might go with AA#5, Bullseye, or Power Pistol -- not that #7 is a bad choice. What kind of bullets are you using? Can they handle 60000+ psi? (the gun and the brass should handle it with no problems.) I can run some numbers in Quickload if you want.
     
  17. Mephis

    Mephis Member

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    Was browsing google and found this thread, so I thought I'd register and give my 2cents.

    I started loading for the .454 with an alaskan as well and eventually got tired of the low performance the 2.5" barrel was ending up with.

    I traded it in for a used 7.5" at a loss and was very happy with the result. It's no harder to handle or any more awkward than the alaskan, in a practical sense. The only thing I miss was being able to CCW the alaskan, but again that's more of a stunt than real world practicality. I really think you should do the same.

    In the end with a 400gr bullet on top of some H110, I don't really think you'd have any troubles taking down anything you encounter, velocity loss or not.
     
  18. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    23.1 grains of AA#7 is probably about the max with that bullet, according to Quickload, but I had to guess at the seating depth (.475") so it could be way off. Predicted muzzle velocity with a 3.4" barrel (gives a bullet travel of 2.5") is 1276 fps. I have no idea if this is safe or not, but it should give you something to work with. Peak pressure is 64633 psi, and 95% of the powder has burned by the time the bullet travels 1.64".

    A compressed charge of H110 only gives 1100 fps (still not too shabby) and a bunch of unburnt powder. I'll bet the fireball is really impressive!
     
  19. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    zxcvbob, Thanks a lot. Good info. I was not expecting max to 23 grains.

    If I can get that extra 76 fps, I get and extra 150 ft/lbs of energy. I think if I can get up to 1350 fps, I could bust through the thickest of craniums.

    Before anyone says anything about shooting for the head. You shoot center mass. The head goes up and down, so you hope you get a chest shot, brain shot or a spine shot.


    as far as trading up, if I were to do that, I would have went with the .460 S&W. Around here, hiking up and down mountains with an extra lb on your belt makes a big difference. The defensive weapon ends up in your pack.
     
  20. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I don't think you can get to 1350 fps with a heavy bullet and a short barrel without exceeding SAAMI pressure specs -- not something I would want to do with a Casull. You might can get it to 1300, barely.

    Or how about a 405 grain rifle bullet (like Lyman #457193) sized down to .452, with 9 grains of Bullseye behind it? That gives 940 fps in a short barrel.

    (these all sound like wrist-breakers to me)
     
  21. campbell

    campbell Member

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    335 grain LBT at 1200 fps will do that just fine. Experimenting is fun and all, but you're not actually going to get a big performance boost out of another 100 fps.
     
  22. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    An extra 150 fps would give me almost a 20 % increase in energy.
     
  23. campbell

    campbell Member

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    Big bore handgunners would be well served by totally ignoring muzzle energy, and looking at a different calculation like Taylor Knock Out.

    The most important factors when looking for penetration in a big bore handgun are things like bullet diameter, bullet weight, bullet construction, etc.

    You've already picked a fantastic bullet for the caliber, and 1200 fps is already a pretty sweet spot for that load. You will see little to no practical difference by adding 100 fps.
     
  24. mewachee

    mewachee Member

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    "Big bore handgunners would be well served by totally ignoring muzzle energy"



    This is true when comparing weapons or bullets, but not when the only changing factor is the powder. In this case more velocity = more energy = more Taylor Knock Out. However, such a load may or may not prove to be accurate.


    The primary purpose of this thread is to work up one of three, none standard, loads; with faster burning powder. This is to find out if I can get noticeably better loads for my 2.5 in barrel. There are 454's out there with loads that produce 2,000 ft/lbs. Of course I know this weapon can't do that. Or let me translate: There are weapons out there that can produce 34 tko, how cool would it be if I could get this one to do 29 instead of 26.
     
  25. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    bob, I'd be interested in seeing what QuikLoad predicts for the True Blue load I posted #10. 1361 from a 7.5" barrel and just over 45,000 PSI. True Blue is slightly faster than #7, so its potential to maintain a high percentage of that velocity in the 2.75" barrel could be enlightening. A Standard deviation of 5 suggests that this load might have very good potential for the application.;)
     
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