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  #1  
Old 03-16-2008, 4:59 PM
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Default Need help with 450 Bushmaster loads.

I've got a 450 Bushmaster upper coming next week, along with 200 factory rounds, but I want to load my own after the factory rounds go bang for obvious reasons, they are pricey!

Hornady says the dies will be out in a couple of weeks, but the load data may be a few months later?!?

So, given what I know - the cases are based on the 248 Winchester, the bullet is .452" 250 grains and the velocity is around 2,200 fps, how do I go about working up a load that i can use for plinking and range play.

I can size the cases with a W284 sizing die, trim the case to the same length as the factory round and seat the bullet with a .45 acp crimp and seat die, so the only "minor" thing I'm missing is knowing what powders to use and how much to start with. As you may have guessed, I've got most of the tools, I just lack experience and knowledge.

Is there any way I can safely figure out a recipe to start with that won't hurt me or the gun?

Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2008, 5:49 PM
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The only "safe" way would be to contact Bushmaster and ask them, I have a feeling that you may not get too far, yet. At least find out what powder they are using and then you can pull a bullet and weigh the powder.
This is a new round so there are not too many out there. You may also want to post this question on ARF.com, nationwide there maybe more people that have experimented with reloading for this caliber.
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Old 03-16-2008, 8:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.G. View Post
The only "safe" way would be to contact Bushmaster and ask them, I have a feeling that you may not get too far, yet. At least find out what powder they are using and then you can pull a bullet and weigh the powder.
This is a new round so there are not too many out there. You may also want to post this question on ARF.com, nationwide there maybe more people that have experimented with reloading for this caliber.

+1

Until they release dies and load data, you're really at their mercy.


Might want to buy more factory loads and keep the brass for when the information and dies come together. We've all heard "two weeks" too many times to really believe it.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:16 AM
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Measure the case capacity in grains-of-water and give me a cartridge drawing and I can do a quickload pass that will give you some powders and starting load data to work with.
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Old 03-17-2008, 7:17 AM
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Default case size

The Hornady guy said they are still cooking the recipe in the labs for release and couldn't tell me what powder they are using.

So far this is the best I can do without a case. This link will send you to the drawing of a .284 Winchester case on Wikipedia along with the info I've listed below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.284_Winchester

I also believe that they trim the case at the shoulder leaving it at 1.7" +- .003. If I had done more than doodle on my math books in school I might be able to figure out the volume of the trimmed case, but.....

I'm not looking for an exact copy of the factory load, instead I was thinking about using Rainer FP 250 gr bullets (inexpensive) at a moderate velocity, say under 2000fps. Something to shoot at the range and maybe knock down some steel at the Tactical Rifle or 3 Gun matches. I can wait for the "official" load data for when I want a round that will stop zombies and water buffalo, or zombies in front of a water Buffalo, with one shot.

Thanks for your help.



Cartridge dimensions

The .284 Winchester has 4.29 ml (66 grains) H2O cartridge case capacity. The case has a rebated rim and a body almost as large in diameter as that of typical belted magnum cases.

.284 Winchester maximum C.I.P. cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimeters (mm).

Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 = 35 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 254 mm (1 in 10 in), 6 grooves, Ø lands = 7.00 mm, Ø grooves = 7.19 mm, land width = 2.79 mm and the primer type is large rifle.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:26 PM
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I don't have any 284 cases.
Please take one and cut it to the proper length and measure the capacity in grains of water.
From there, I can get you starting data to work with at any pressure level you want with any bullet you want.
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Old 03-17-2008, 1:39 PM
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Thanks! I'll see if I can't dig one up, trim it and get that measurement.

Once the factory rounds get here I'll sacrifice one to science and weigh the powder and measure it's volume as well.
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Old 03-17-2008, 3:47 PM
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Default case volume

I filled the trimmed case with water and measured the water with my powder scale. 50.02 grs.
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Old 03-17-2008, 5:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slash2 View Post
I filled the trimmed case with water and measured the water with my powder scale. 50.02 grs.
Did you do this by setting a trimmed and primed case on the scale, zeroing the scale and then slowly filling the case with water to the top?
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Old 03-17-2008, 5:37 PM
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yup.

and BTW, I really apprieciate you helping me with this, I was suprised at how little info there was considering the gun's been out there for at least a little while.

Last edited by Slash2; 03-17-2008 at 5:42 PM..
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2008, 9:17 PM
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OK, assuming 1.7" case length and 50gr of water capacity, here are some Quickload passes at different pressures.

Code:
Cartridge          : .450 Bushmaster
Bullet             : .452, 240, Hornady XTP MAG 45220
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.000 inch or 50.80 mm
Barrel Length      : 16.0 inch or 406.4 mm

Predicted Data for Indicated Charges of the Following Powders.

Matching Maximum Pressure: 30000 psi, or 206 MPa

or a maximum loading ratio or filling of 105 %

These calculations refer to your specified settings in QuickLOAD 'Cartridge Dimensions' window.
C A U T I O N : any load listed can result in a powder charge that falls below minimum suggested
loads or exceeds maximum suggested loads as presented in current handloading manuals. Understand
that all of the listed powders can be unsuitable for the given combination of cartridge, bullet
and gun. Actual load order can vary, depending upon lot-to-lot powder and component variations.
USE ONLY FOR COMPARISON !

27 loads produced a Loading Ratio below user-defined minimum of 80%. These powders have been skipped.

Powder type          Filling/Loading Ratio  Charge    Charge   Vel. Prop.Burnt P max  P muzz  B_Time
                                      %     Grains    Gramm   fps     %       psi     psi    ms
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Winchester 296                      95.6     32.8     2.12    1961    87.2    30000    4364   1.037
Hodgdon H110                        93.4     31.9     2.07    1884    87.9    30000    3876   1.052
Vihtavuori N110                    102.9     28.1     1.82    1880    94.7    30000    3607   1.041
Ramshot Enforcer                    82.5     27.1     1.76    1853    94.9    30000    3474   1.058
Alliant 2400                        82.9     24.9     1.62    1833    93.7    30000    3372   1.064
Accurate Solo 4100                  85.2     28.3     1.83    1821    90.8    30000    3376   1.064
Hodgdon H4227                      104.8     30.3     1.96    1814    83.2    30000    3481   1.053
Vihtavuori N105                     83.9     21.4     1.39    1801   100.0    30000    2713   1.063
Alliant BLUE DOT                    88.1     21.9     1.42    1787    98.5    30000    2998   1.073
Accurate XMR 5744                   91.4     28.4     1.84    1781    77.5    30000    3366   1.071
Code:
Cartridge          : .450 Bushmaster
Bullet             : .452, 240, Hornady XTP MAG 45220
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.000 inch or 50.80 mm
Barrel Length      : 16.0 inch or 406.4 mm

Predicted Data for Indicated Charges of the Following Powders.

Matching Maximum Pressure: 35000 psi, or 241 MPa

Powder type          Filling/Loading Ratio  Charge    Charge   Vel. Prop.Burnt P max  P muzz  B_Time
                                      %     Grains    Gramm   fps     %       psi     psi    ms
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Winchester 296                     100.0     34.3     2.22    2061    89.7    35000    4620   0.970  ! Near Maximum !
Hodgdon H110                        98.0     33.5     2.17    1981    90.3    35000    4115   0.985  ! Near Maximum !
Ramshot Enforcer                    87.1     28.6     1.86    1947    96.7    35000    3668   0.990  ! Near Maximum !
Alliant 2400                        88.0     26.5     1.72    1931    95.7    35000    3592   0.994  ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori N110                    105.0     28.6     1.86    1917    95.5    31879    3682   1.014  ! Near Maximum !
Accurate Solo 4100                  89.8     29.8     1.93    1915    93.0    35000    3585   0.996  ! Near Maximum !
Alliant BLUE DOT                    94.1     23.4     1.51    1881    99.4    35000    3172   1.003  ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori N105                     88.9     22.7     1.47    1880   100.0    35000    2809   0.999  ! Near Maximum !
Accurate XMR 5744                   96.5     30.0     1.94    1880    80.3    35000    3638   1.002  ! Near Maximum !
Accurate No.1680                   104.5     35.8     2.32    1859    73.2    35000    3586   1.002  ! Near Maximum !
Code:
Cartridge          : .450 Bushmaster
Bullet             : .452, 240, Hornady XTP MAG 45220
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.000 inch or 50.80 mm
Barrel Length      : 16.0 inch or 406.4 mm

Predicted Data for Indicated Charges of the Following Powders.

Matching Maximum Pressure: 37500 psi, or 258 MPa

Powder type          Filling/Loading Ratio  Charge    Charge   Vel. Prop.Burnt P max  P muzz  B_Time
                                      %     Grains    Gramm   fps     %       psi     psi    ms
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Winchester 296                     101.9     34.9     2.26    2105    90.7    37500    4727   0.942  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Hodgdon H110                       100.0     34.2     2.22    2024    91.3    37500    4217   0.956  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Ramshot Enforcer                    89.2     29.3     1.90    1989    97.3    37500    3747   0.962  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Alliant 2400                        90.3     27.2     1.76    1975    96.4    37500    3684   0.965  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Accurate Solo 4100                  91.9     30.5     1.98    1957    93.9    37500    3674   0.967  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Accurate XMR 5744                   98.8     30.7     1.99    1924    81.5    37500    3760   0.972  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Alliant BLUE DOT                    96.8     24.0     1.56    1923    99.7    37500    3243   0.974  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Vihtavuori N110                    105.0     28.6     1.86    1917    95.5    31879    3682   1.014  ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori N105                     91.2     23.3     1.51    1915   100.0    37500    2852   0.972  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Accurate No.1680                   105.0     35.9     2.33    1870    73.5    35658    3615   0.994  ! Near Maximum !
Without knowing the exact case length, we can't determine the exact case capacity, but these will show you the types of powders, pressures and velocities you are looking at.
I went with the 240gr Hornady XTP because it's a good bullet.
If I had specific dimensions of your plated bullets, I could model those as well.
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 03-17-2008 at 9:22 PM..
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2008, 9:27 PM
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I think that the 1.7" case length is too short.
In the pictures I have seen, the case looks like it should be more like 1.9" long to have the bullets seated to around 2.2" overall length.
250gr 0.452" bullets just are not that long.
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Old 03-18-2008, 9:04 AM
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Great! Thanks for the info! And I think you are right about the case length, it does seem short for that OAL, but then again a flat nose bullet would be shorter than their pointy nosed SST wouldn't it?. I haven't tried to find anything on the length of their bullet compared to a Rainier 250 gr. FP.

I'll study your data, I should be getting the factory rounds Thursday, then I can dissect one and clear up any assumptions I've made. How much below the Quickload data should I start? 10%? 20%?
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Old 03-18-2008, 9:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slash2 View Post
I should be getting the factory rounds Thursday, then I can dissect one and clear up any assumptions I've made. How much below the Quickload data should I start? 10%? 20%?
Wait until you take a round apart and give me proper dimensions and capacity.
Then start 10% under the max pressure you want to run at.
I have a backthrust calculator that helps determine thrust loading.
I would not run over 35,000 PSI and expect bolts to survive long.
You have to be real careful with this cartridge because you will not get traditional pressure signs before you are over-loading this cartridge.
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Old 03-18-2008, 9:51 AM
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Once again, thanks. I'll certainly aim any business I can your way and I'll follow up on the 450 B when I've got more information.

Now the hard part, waiting for the UPS truck!
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Old 03-20-2008, 5:12 PM
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Default Update info

The factory rounds arrived so now I have some firm data.

The case length is 1.695".

The volume is 56.4 grs of water.

The bullet is .452" in diameter and .958" long. It was seated into the case .4"

The powder weighed 38.5 grs.
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Old 03-21-2008, 9:52 PM
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Code:
Cartridge          : .450 Bushmaster
Bullet             : .452, 250, Hornady SXT Flex Tip
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.250 inch or 57.15 mm
Barrel Length      : 16.0 inch or 406.4 mm

Predicted Data for Indicated Charges of the Following Powders.

Matching Maximum Pressure: 30000 psi, or 206 MPa

or a maximum loading ratio or filling of 105 %

These calculations refer to your specified settings in QuickLOAD 'Cartridge Dimensions' window.
C A U T I O N : any load listed can result in a powder charge that falls below minimum suggested
loads or exceeds maximum suggested loads as presented in current handloading manuals. Understand
that all of the listed powders can be unsuitable for the given combination of cartridge, bullet
and gun. Actual load order can vary, depending upon lot-to-lot powder and component variations.
USE ONLY FOR COMPARISON !

27 loads produced a Loading Ratio below user-defined minimum of 80%. These powders have been skipped.

Powder type          Filling/Loading Ratio  Charge    Charge   Vel. Prop.Burnt P max  P muzz  B_Time
                                      %     Grains    Gramm   fps     %       psi     psi    ms
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Winchester 296                      95.6     31.6     2.05    1905    87.5    30000    4192   1.061  ! Near Maximum !
Hodgdon H110                        93.4     30.8     2.00    1830    88.2    30000    3722   1.078  ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori N110                    102.9     27.1     1.75    1825    95.0    30000    3457   1.067  ! Near Maximum !
Ramshot Enforcer                    82.5     26.1     1.69    1798    95.2    30000    3329   1.084  ! Near Maximum !
Alliant 2400                        82.9     24.0     1.56    1778    94.0    30000    3232   1.091  ! Near Maximum !
Accurate Solo 4100                  85.2     27.3     1.77    1767    91.1    30000    3238   1.091  ! Near Maximum !
Hodgdon H4227                      104.9     29.2     1.89    1761    83.5    30000    3345   1.080  ! Near Maximum !
Vihtavuori N105                     83.9     20.6     1.34    1745   100.0    30000    2587   1.090  ! Near Maximum !
Alliant BLUE DOT                    88.1     21.1     1.37    1733    98.6    30000    2869   1.101  ! Near Maximum !
Accurate XMR 5744                   91.4     27.4     1.78    1729    77.9    30000    3236   1.099  ! Near Maximum !
Code:
Matching Maximum Pressure: 35000 psi, or 241 MPa

Powder type          Filling/Loading Ratio  Charge    Charge   Vel. Prop.Burnt P max  P muzz  B_Time
                                      %     Grains    Gramm   fps     %       psi     psi    ms
---------------------------------  -----------------------------------------------------------------
Winchester 296                     100.0     33.0     2.14    2001    90.0    35000    4434   0.993  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Hodgdon H110                        98.0     32.3     2.09    1924    90.6    35000    3950   1.009  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Ramshot Enforcer                    87.1     27.6     1.79    1889    96.9    35000    3511   1.015  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Alliant 2400                        88.0     25.5     1.65    1874    95.9    35000    3440   1.020  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Vihtavuori N110                    105.0     27.6     1.79    1860    95.7    31872    3527   1.040  ! Near Maximum !
Accurate Solo 4100                  89.8     28.8     1.86    1858    93.2    35000    3436   1.021  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Accurate XMR 5744                   96.5     28.9     1.87    1824    80.6    35000    3497   1.027  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Alliant BLUE DOT                    94.1     22.5     1.46    1824    99.5    35000    3032   1.029  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Vihtavuori N105                     88.9     21.9     1.42    1821   100.0    35000    2679   1.025  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Accurate No.1680                   104.5     34.5     2.23    1804    73.5    35000    3447   1.028  !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
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Old 03-27-2008, 8:53 AM
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With your help I think I have a practice load I can live with!

I started at 10% below the 31.6 gr. of W296 recommendation and worked my way up. The light loads cycled the action but left the casing a little sooty and didn't flatten the primer, the recommended loads fired cleanly and flatten the primer and even a little hotter load was no where near the kick of the factory loads.

They did require magnum primers too.

This will be a very good starting point, thanks for the help!
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Old 04-11-2008, 7:50 AM
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I felt a follow up to request my for 450 Bushmaster reloading info was in order. With the help of more knowledgeable people than myself, trial and error, and by probably making all of the common mistakes newbie’s make, I've learned a lot about reloading and in the process come up with some viable loads ( I think).

I started by searching the web where I learned that the cartridge is based off of a Winchester 284 case trimmed at the shoulder. So lacking the availability of cases and factory dies for the 450 I bought a 284 sizing die, a .45 seat and crimper and a couple hundred 284 cases. After cutting them off at the shoulder and I found that my .452 pilot for my trimmer wouldn't slide in the case without tremendous effort, so I brought out my torch to anneal the case mouth. After melting quite a few I finally figured out how to get them red hot without going too far, for the most part. Now, with a little lube, I could get the pilot into the case and trim them to length.

What I didn't factor in was that the case wall is thicker at that part of the case, so when I tried seating a test bullet and inserting it into the rifle, it stuck and required some gentle tapping on the bolt to get it out. A case reamer is on order, but I'm setting aside the 284 case route and focusing on using the cases from my spent factory rounds. This would be a good place to say "duh".

So, factory cases. I can de-cap and size them with the 284 die and seat and crimp with the .45 die. Starting with info from AR15barrels QuickLoad data I loaded up some rounds using WSRP primers, 250 gr Rainier FP bullets and W296 powder, staring 10% below the 31.6 QuickLoad recommendation
and working my way up in .3gr increments.

What I got was dirty incomplete burns with powder left in the barrel. After seeking advice I switched to magnum primers and increased my crimp. At 32.8 grs. of powder I got clean burns, moderate recoil and no signs of excess pressure. So I loaded a bunch and headed to the range.

Basically the bullets were all over the place, some even sideways. It was suggested that lightly plated Rainier bullets weren't meant for higher velocity rifle rounds. Here's another place to say "duh".

The Hornady 240 gr. XTP/MAG bullets arrived. I loaded a handful starting at 32.8 increasing in .3 increments and headed to the range. I quickly started seeing signs of increased pressure, the primers were flattening out more with each step up, so I stopped at 34.6grs. Scratching my head, I'm thinking "hmmm, Hornady doesn't use magnum primers, magnum primers might be causing the increased pressure even at loads way below the 38.5grs of whatever powder Hornady is using." Another "duh"?

I de-cap all of my empty cases and load up a new batch using Small Rifle primers this time. Starting at 32.8grs I again go up in .3 increments till I'm at 38.8 grs, near 100% of what the case will hold once the bullet is seated, and head to the range.

After each shot I check the case. At 37.0 grains I'm starting to feel the recoil of the factory rounds and there is still no sign of excess pressure in the cases. The primers aren't hardly flattening out at all. So I shot 'em all. The last primers didn't look much different from the first. I even checked the soot inside the cases. They didn't start to look light grey like the spent factory rounds until above 36.7 grs. of powder.

So here I am. I'm going to get a Chrony so I know what velocities I'm creating, then I'll start to work on an accurate round for pig hunting using Barnes copper bullets. I might even try to salvage some of the 284 cases once my reamer arrives, but I've learned it's best to solve one problem at a time. Another "duh"

It’s been fun, I hope I’ve been safe in my approach and not just lucky.

Last edited by Slash2; 04-11-2008 at 8:07 AM..
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Old 04-11-2008, 4:15 PM
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Great info Slash. Just curios....why did you go with the W296 powder ? I've never used any of the powders listed. By the way....Midway has the Hornady dies for the 450 Bushmaster now. Mine were shipped earlier this week and I'm hoping they get here tommorrow.
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Old 04-13-2008, 4:03 PM
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W296 and H110 were the top two recomendations from QuickLoads. They are slow burning powders which I learned from my research are also used in the 454 Casull, the 460 S&W and many of the other large caliber rounds with similar case sizes and/or velocities. I've also used H110 on the 450 with similar results. Plus, for what it's worth they look similar to the factory powder, but then for all I know all of the slow powders look like that.

My 450 B dies are also scheduled to arrive tomorrow, wanna buy some slighty used Winchester 284 dies?
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:00 AM
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I had to register here just for this thread. I've been trying to get some info on 450bm reloading going on at ar15.com but info is slow and so far slash2 has gone further than anyone else I know of.

I got 450bm reloading dies a few weeks ago but haven't used them yet.

I'm interested in your experience so far with the 284 cases, I bought 100 of them and cheap little cutoff saw from HF so I could cut them close and then trim to size, but maybe I'll hold off on it. or only try a few.

I was gonna try some of the 300 gr XTP/Mags but there are some 390 gr hard cast bullets that people are using in 460 S&W loads that seem to handle the velocity fine.
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Old 04-24-2008, 7:52 PM
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Hey Slash......since the Hornady XTP's aren't shaped like the factory bullets, are you loading them to the same AOL as the factory loads ?
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Old 04-27-2008, 1:29 PM
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No, about 2.1" AOL. Just to where the groove in the bullet starts to hit the case. Don't ask me why there, it just looked like a good spot, and it gives the roll crimp die a little something to work with.

Like I said, I'm winging this whole thing.

As far as the 284 cases, I've had no luck at all. I've sized them but I can't get the case wall the right thickness. A .452 reamer takes to much and leaves a good size shelf down in the case. I'm sure there has got to be a way to make them work but I'm not patient enough.

I've just been reusing the brass from the factory rounds. Thank goodness for straight walls, the cases are holding up well.

Montana Gold has some .452 250 gr 45 Colt bullets for a reasonable price, I've been thinking about getting some of those, but so far between the Barnes X 250 and 275 gr HP bullets, the Hornady 230 and 240 gr HP bullets and the Rainier 250 TMJ bullets I,m just confusing myself trying to figure out the loads.

https://secure3.mooseweb.com/montana.../pricelist.tpl

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Old 05-01-2008, 6:26 PM
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Old 05-02-2008, 7:18 AM
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Default follow up on 284 cases

I've re-visited using the Winchester 284 case and honestly I don't know why I was having such a hard time the first go around, they seem to work fine.
Just cut 'em off at the shoulder, trim them to 1. 995" (I think thats the size, I'm away from my info, but whatever the factory case length is), and go. I backed off the roll crimp and used the taper crimp die. Now I just need to find out what difference the large rifle primers make with the powder I'm using compared to the factory small rifle primer. I'm headed to the range today with some progressively hotter loads to find out.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:44 AM
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What size shellplate are you guys using? Since Midway has bumped my order back to the 17th I can't check the easy way.

Searching the intertubes hasn't really helped.
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Old 05-04-2008, 6:50 AM
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.45 ACP.
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Old 05-04-2008, 7:55 PM
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Thanks, that seems to be the way to go.

Cheaper that way as I already have them. With my luck, the next ten will be one-0ffs.
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Old 05-05-2008, 6:17 AM
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Default W284 case follow up

I'm giving up on using trimmed down W284 cases, at least till someone smarter than me comes along and tells me exactly how to make them work.

But, here's what I've experienced so far:

The trimmed case wall at the mouth seems to be about .001 or so thicker, although I don't see it when I mic them out, but when seating the bullet with the 450 die, the alignment sleeve often scrapes a little brass off of the case and sticks when retracting it from the die.

The large rifle primers increase the pressure a lot. I stepped down 4 grs. of powder from my other loads (34 grs H110 from 38 grs.) and I still had a moderately flattened primer on my first round. So I tried my next .5 gr. step up and blew the primer out of the pocket!

Back home, load six 32 gr. rounds. Next day at the range (the range fees alone would cover buying factory rounds instead of reloading these things) I hand load one in the chamber and fire, primer looks fine, load four into the mag, failure to feed, drop the mag, with effort pull the partially closed bolt back and extract the stuck round. Insert mag with 3 rounds, failure to feed. Again struggle to extract the stuck round and say f**k it, I give up, it's not worth it.

I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, but this is like walking into a dark room that you've never been in. You know there's a light switch in there somewhere, but for all you know there may an open bucket of paint by the wall, a coffee table with all of Aunt Martha's antique glass curious and a sleeping cat on the floor. Will you find the light switch before or after the other stuff?

Any insights, both helpful and critical are welcome. I mean we're talking eyes, hands and gun being at stake here and I don't know where the light switch is.
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Old 05-05-2008, 7:05 AM
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The trimmed case wall at the mouth seems to be about .001 or so thicker, although I don't see it when I mic them out, but when seating the bullet with the 450 die, the alignment sleeve often scrapes a little brass off of the case and sticks when retracting it from the die.
Do you have a tubing micrometer for measureing case necks?
You can't really get good measurements using a caliper.

I suspect that your case necks are thicker towards the base of the neck and that the cases would need to be reamed or turned to get consistent neck wall thickness.
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Old 05-05-2008, 7:22 AM
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Do you have a tubing micrometer for measureing case necks?
You can't really get good measurements using a caliper.

I suspect that your case necks are thicker towards the base of the neck and that the cases would need to be reamed or turned to get consistent neck wall thickness.
That's my guess too, but at this point I'm already in over my head. I don't have the tools, and even if I did get the cases right I'd still have to come up with a load that works without killing myself.

I think given my shortcomings I'd be better off sticking with my factory cases till they wear out and then buy more factory rounds. Someday they'll have to start selling cases and releasing load data, till then I'd rather let someone else be the scout, they can take the arrows in the chest instead of me.

Thanks for your help Randall, you gave me a good place to start. I think next time I'll buy something in a common caliber, but this one is sure fun to shoot!
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Slash2 View Post
I'm giving up on using trimmed down W284 cases, at least till someone smarter than me comes along and tells me exactly how to make them work.

But, here's what I've experienced so far:

The trimmed case wall at the mouth seems to be about .001 or so thicker, although I don't see it when I mic them out, but when seating the bullet with the 450 die, the alignment sleeve often scrapes a little brass off of the case and sticks when retracting it from the die.

The large rifle primers increase the pressure a lot. I stepped down 4 grs. of powder from my other loads (34 grs H110 from 38 grs.) and I still had a moderately flattened primer on my first round. So I tried my next .5 gr. step up and blew the primer out of the pocket!

Back home, load six 32 gr. rounds. Next day at the range (the range fees alone would cover buying factory rounds instead of reloading these things) I hand load one in the chamber and fire, primer looks fine, load four into the mag, failure to feed, drop the mag, with effort pull the partially closed bolt back and extract the stuck round. Insert mag with 3 rounds, failure to feed. Again struggle to extract the stuck round and say f**k it, I give up, it's not worth it.

I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, but this is like walking into a dark room that you've never been in. You know there's a light switch in there somewhere, but for all you know there may an open bucket of paint by the wall, a coffee table with all of Aunt Martha's antique glass curious and a sleeping cat on the floor. Will you find the light switch before or after the other stuff?

Any insights, both helpful and critical are welcome. I mean we're talking eyes, hands and gun being at stake here and I don't know where the light switch is.
Until you sort out your reloading process you'd better stop shooting your reloads.

First of all, your .001" thicker necks is nothing. Putting on a heavy tapper crimp will size the outside of the case perfectly and insuring proper feeding into the chamber.

Second, measure your cases and please report back the length of the cases that are sticking. I don't want the length standard you used, but I do want to read the length of the actual cases that stuck. Until I learn more it sounds like your case length is long. I have a couple of other issues, but one at a time here.
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Old 05-06-2008, 6:40 AM
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Until you sort out your reloading process you'd better stop shooting your reloads.

First of all, your .001" thicker necks is nothing. Putting on a heavy tapper crimp will size the outside of the case perfectly and insuring proper feeding into the chamber.

Second, measure your cases and please report back the length of the cases that are sticking. I don't want the length standard you used, but I do want to read the length of the actual cases that stuck. Until I learn more it sounds like your case length is long. I have a couple of other issues, but one at a time here.
I think I see what you're getting at, the case being too long and sticking at the end of the chamber, which if I'd provided more info about where mine are sticking that might not seem like the problem.

I can drop a round in the chamber and close the bolt no problem, even those that have previously stuck, but if I'm feeding them from the magazine the bolt will not fully close, it still has about 3/8" to go. The forward assist doesn't move it forward, it probably just jams things more, making it stuck enough that I have to use some force on the charging handle to eject the round.

And you are right about the crimping. I crimped my first rounds to the same outside dimension as the factory rounds. After firing a few (all hand fed into the chamber) and seeing the signs of excess pressure, I pulled the bullets on the remaining cartridges. The crimp was excessive, leaving deep marks on the bullet. This lead me to believe I had over crimped and that was why I was getting the high pressure. So I used a light crimp plus 2 grs. less powder on the ones that stuck. No sign of excessive pressure on the one that fired but enough of a pain in the *** to make me decide to pack it in.

As I list these things out I can see that I'm changing too many things at a time to get this dialed in, I guess gas prices, range fees and time out of the my day are exerting excessive pressure on me.

Last edited by Slash2; 05-06-2008 at 7:56 AM..
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Old 05-06-2008, 4:10 PM
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Ok Slash, it looks like you may have a number of problems, all related to the hand loads. The 450b is notorious for absolutely great feeding, so we’ve got to look at the processes. If you want the help you'll need to answer those two questions.

What case length standard are you using and what is the actual length of the sticking cartridges?

I have years of experience with the 45 PROFESSIONAL and can give you a leg up, if you want it.

Please forgive me for sounding hard, I mean no offence.

P.S. Where are the cartridges jamming? Without knowing, I suspect the edge of the hollow point might be catching the edge of the chamber. If you are not sure, try inducing the jam again and get those eye balls in there and report back.
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Old 05-06-2008, 5:41 PM
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I can drop a round in the chamber and close the bolt no problem, even those that have previously stuck, but if I'm feeding them from the magazine the bolt will not fully close, it still has about 3/8" to go. The forward assist doesn't move it forward, it probably just jams things more, making it stuck enough that I have to use some force on the charging handle to eject the round.
This is THE classic "short of headspace" symptom.
If you drop the cartridge into the chamber and let the bolt fly home, the kinetic energy stored in the bolt carrier group will SIZE the cartridge in the chamber.
If the same cartridge will NOT let the bolt close from a mag, that's because you burned off some of that kinetic energy in getting the cartridge out of the magazine and around the corner into the chamber.
The 3/8" or so of carrier is the locking/unlocking travel.
When you drop a 5.56 "field" gauge in a 5.56 barrel, that's what you are supposed to see because the bolt should NOT close on a field gauge.

The pressure signs ALSO point to the case mouth getting crimped against the bullet.

Does the 450 headspace off the case mouth?
If so, both symptoms could be related to cases trimmed too long.
Some precision measurements of chamber and case length may be in order.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:59 PM
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This is THE classic "short of headspace" symptom.
If you drop the cartridge into the chamber and let the bolt fly home, the kinetic energy stored in the bolt carrier group will SIZE the cartridge in the chamber.
If the same cartridge will NOT let the bolt close from a mag, that's because you burned off some of that kinetic energy in getting the cartridge out of the magazine and around the corner into the chamber.
The 3/8" or so of carrier is the locking/unlocking travel.
When you drop a 5.56 "field" gauge in a 5.56 barrel, that's what you are supposed to see because the bolt should NOT close on a field gauge.

The pressure signs ALSO point to the case mouth getting crimped against the bullet.

Does the 450 headspace off the case mouth?
If so, both symptoms could be related to cases trimmed too long.
Some precision measurements of chamber and case length may be in order.
Ditto Randall, you are going in the exact same direction I am, but time will tell, once we read all the symptoms, we’ll be better able to diagnose the problem. And yes the head space is off the case mouth.
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Old 05-07-2008, 6:57 AM
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Ok Slash, it looks like you may have a number of problems, all related to the hand loads. The 450b is notorious for absolutely great feeding, so we’ve got to look at the processes. If you want the help you'll need to answer those two questions.

What case length standard are you using and what is the actual length of the sticking cartridges?

I have years of experience with the 45 PROFESSIONAL and can give you a leg up, if you want it.

Please forgive me for sounding hard, I mean no offence.

P.S. Where are the cartridges jamming? Without knowing, I suspect the edge of the hollow point might be catching the edge of the chamber. If you are not sure, try inducing the jam again and get those eye balls in there and report back.
My factory cases are 1.691" to 1.693" My trimmed 284 cases range between 1.694 and 1.691". I was using Rainier 250 Gr. flat points that are .452 in dia. and my over all length when loaded was 2.1".

I can't tell you where on cartridge they were sticking, I destroyed the evidence, but I am willing to load up a couple more of the annoying bastards for the sake of science.

And BTW, you'd be hard pressed to offend me, I'm playing with fire without the proper skills, I figure I'm fair game for a little reasonable abuse.

Last edited by Slash2; 05-07-2008 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 05-08-2008, 8:39 AM
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I can't tell you where on cartridge they were sticking, I destroyed the evidence, but I am willing to load up a couple more of the annoying bastards for the sake of science.
Apply sharpie marker to the outside of the bullet and case.
Chamber and then extract.
The sharpie marker will get removed from the offending areas.
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Old 05-08-2008, 6:00 PM
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Apply sharpie marker to the outside of the bullet and case.
Chamber and then extract.
The sharpie marker will get removed from the offending areas.
The offending area is the case at the base of the bullet.

The factory case diameter at the mouth with a seated bullet is .478" with the case diameter .481" at the base of the bullet. I was able to crimp the 284 cases to match the factory .478 diameter, but at the base of the bullet the 284 case swells to .489". That's where it was hanging up.
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