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Thread: .454 Casull triplex loads

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    Default .454 Casull triplex loads

    I was brousing through the P.O. Ackley Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders Supplement that I bought at the last Eagle River gunshow and noted that he had the old orginal triplex loads for the .454 listed.

    Has anyone actually tried there loads? I'm tempted to try them in my .460 S&W to see how powerfull they really are but at the same time I'm a bit cautious.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  2. #2

    Default Ackley Loads

    Wow, sounds interesting.
    Three powders for a graduated burn? I haven't thought of trying to go beyond the standard loads in power, in fact I am headed off in the opposite direction presently as the standard loadings are stiff even when not maxed out. No way could I hold up for 500 rounds of plinking.
    Anyhow, like to see those loads out of curiosity if nothing else. Did he chrono them and give ballistic and accuracy info too?

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    Default Orginal .454 loads

    Quoted directly from the Ackley handbook- Neither the Outdoor Forum or I take no responsibility for these - they are quoted strictly for historical reason and are not recommended or endorsed by anyone!

    Loaded in the case in the order shown:

    230 gr. bullet:

    2 gr. Unique
    25 gr. 2400
    3 gr. Bullseye

    vel. = 2000 fps. Note: barrel length is not shown by Ackley for any load.

    250 gr bullet:

    2 gr. Unique
    25 gr. 2400
    2 gr. Unique

    velocity = 1890 fps

    300 gr. bullet:

    25 gr. 2400
    2 gr. Unique

    velocity = 1710 fps

    I guess these are the loads that got the .454 on the road to a commercial sucess.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  4. #4

    Default Casull Loads

    Hi there;
    Thanks for sharing those, I will play around with them next loading session.
    Mark

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    Default .454 Casull duplex and triplex loads

    Mark-

    Ackley states that these loads were used in .45 Long Colt solid head cases that were adapted to use Rem 9 1/2 i.e. Large rifle primers AND the powders were held in place by the heavy compression of the load. If you use them in a .454 case make certain you use an over powder wad or such to get the powder in heavy compression and prevents the powders from mixing!

    I though the .454s were first built up on blackhawk frames but Ackley siad they used Colt New Frontier frames and special 5 shot cylinders they fabricated. Perhaps they used the Blackhawk and/or Superblack Hawk frames later; Achley's book is dated 1959.

    I'd love to see the pressures these loads develop!
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  6. #6

    Default Triplex Loads

    Hi and thanks again for the additional information.
    Yeah, I guess I probably should stay away from the triplex until I study it a bit more. Like you I am not one to start stirring powders together, but it is very interesting., I am going to dig around and see what's going on out there...
    Mark

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    Default My thoughts exactly

    Where can I learn more about this?

    I just bought a Super Redhawk 454 Casull this past Christmas and started reading about the differences in energy and recoil and could not figure out the physics behind the worse feeling recoil of the 454 Casull compared to my friend's 500 Smith & Wesson.

    I started looking at the pressures inside the case and wondered how they run (against time and the distance the bullet travelled down the barrel) and wondered also about powder "quickness" and its influence on pressure.

    Without knowing about the triplex recipe from Ackley I wondered if a small charge of fast powder (to put the pressure up to a moderatly high level) followed by a burn of a slower powder (to chase the bullet down the barrel as the volume the expanding gases has to fill increases) and graduating to a faster powder again to keep up with the accelerating bullet until it exits the muzzle.

    Now, I see a recipe for Unique (moderatly fast), 2400 (relatively slow) followed by Bullseye (very fast)

    Was my thinking on this parallel to Ackley's? I will be looking around the internet and for books and articles on the subject.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

  8. #8

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    You guys do know that Dick Casull as well as Elmer Kieth and others have blown revolvers up using triplex loads, don't you?

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    Default Triplex Loads

    As I mentioned in the orginal posting the loads are shown for historical infomration only - I would never recommend that anyone use them!

    I'm sure a few revolvers were destoyed in the development of these loads. However we do have significantly better steels and frames i.e. considerably stronger guns than were avaliable in the mid- late 50s. There was an interesting article in one of the engineering magazines about the steel Ruger used in their .454 revolver cyclinders; CarTech supplied the steel and it was considerably stronger than anything aviable in the 50s.

    I'm going to try some of the loads in a test barrel I have fitted to a 1917 action first; then I may try them in a S&W .460. I suspect the key issue would be to heavily compress the powders so that they do not mix.


    Quote Originally Posted by jwp500 View Post
    You guys do know that Dick Casull as well as Elmer Kieth and others have blown revolvers up using triplex loads, don't you?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  10. #10

    Default Triplex load

    The only reason the triplex load was originally used to develop the high power loads was because the Casull case hadn't been created yet and the .45 Colt case kept the highly volatile triplex load compressed and in place. This was back in the mid 1950s. Once the .454 Casull case was created, a heavier load of appropriate single powder was used and all the triplex load demons were exorcised. You were speaking of using a triplex load in a .460 case. There is no "recipe" for doing this. Using the old Casull triplex load would be potentially harmful to the gun and you. Yes, there were some blow-ups using the Colts. I humbly suggest you don't turn back the pages of history to your own detriment.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    As I mentioned in the orginal posting the loads are shown for historical infomration only - I would never recommend that anyone use them!

    I'm sure a few revolvers were destoyed in the development of these loads. However we do have significantly better steels and frames i.e. considerably stronger guns than were avaliable in the mid- late 50s. There was an interesting article in one of the engineering magazines about the steel Ruger used in their .454 revolver cyclinders; CarTech supplied the steel and it was considerably stronger than anything aviable in the 50s.

    I'm going to try some of the loads in a test barrel I have fitted to a 1917 action first; then I may try them in a S&W .460. I suspect the key issue would be to heavily compress the powders so that they do not mix.

    Do as you wish, but thinking that today's steels will prevent a blow-up is flawed. I have a good friend that works in a Ballistics lab at one of the major bullet manufacturers and when developing loads for the 500 S&W with one of their bullets they blew a test barrel up at only 70,000 PSI and test barrels are relatively thick.........

    Tri-Plex loads were never a good idea and today's powders make them obsolete

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
    Where can I learn more about this?

    I just bought a Super Redhawk 454 Casull this past Christmas and started reading about the differences in energy and recoil and could not figure out the physics behind the worse feeling recoil of the 454 Casull compared to my friend's 500 Smith & Wesson.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

    Keep in mind your friends 500 has a very effective recoil reducing muzzle brake on it also. If you want to compare the recoil of the two, remove the muzzle attachment, what is the term S&W uses, the compensator, then shoot the 500. That will give you something else to study.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by jwp500 View Post
    Do as you wish, but thinking that today's steels will prevent a blow-up is flawed. I have a good friend that works in a Ballistics lab at one of the major bullet manufacturers and when developing loads for the 500 S&W with one of their bullets they blew a test barrel up at only 70,000 PSI and test barrels are relatively thick.........

    Tri-Plex loads were never a good idea and today's powders make them obsolete
    I would have doubts about a test barrel bursting at 70,000 psi but it's possible. You're right about the triplex loads. We can certainly achieve the velocity with the desired bullet weight with normal powders now in the 454 case. Steels are better today than in the 1950's without a doubt. I think what was a limiting factor for experimentors back through the years was the recoil when dealing with big bore revolvers. I think the shooters limit will be reached before the guns limit is reached. The advent of the muzzle brake has changed all that. We can now shoot a big powerful 50 caliber revolver with one hand.

    This is sort of like the price of groceries. I'm a lot stronger now than I used to be when I was about twenty. Today I can carry $200 worth of groceries in just one hand, when I was younger I would have had to make two trips with both hands loaded to carry $200 worth of groceries.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  14. #14

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    Murphy, that is the point things happen that shouldn't. They were working up loads and had several loaded with differrent powders. During testing the tester shot 2 and they were in the 70,000 PSI rangs, so he went to the next worked up load, etc. On shot number 20 the barrel blew, believe it or not. I do not know why he shot 20 rounds, but that is what happened..

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    Default .454 Triplex Loads

    The idea was to use the orginal .454 Triplex load in a .45 LC case in a strong .460 revolver - not a .460 case!

    The powders would definitely get mixed in a long .460 case and who knows what would happen. I'm not even sure what would happen in a .45 LC case.

    I'll do some more research in my old American Rifleman magazines of the l50s and 60s and see what I can find on the subject.


    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    The only reason the triplex load was originally used to develop the high power loads was because the Casull case hadn't been created yet and the .45 Colt case kept the highly volatile triplex load compressed and in place. This was back in the mid 1950s. Once the .454 Casull case was created, a heavier load of appropriate single powder was used and all the triplex load demons were exorcised. You were speaking of using a triplex load in a .460 case. There is no "recipe" for doing this. Using the old Casull triplex load would be potentially harmful to the gun and you. Yes, there were some blow-ups using the Colts. I humbly suggest you don't turn back the pages of history to your own detriment.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jwp500 View Post
    Murphy, that is the point things happen that shouldn't. They were working up loads and had several loaded with differrent powders. During testing the tester shot 2 and they were in the 70,000 PSI rangs, so he went to the next worked up load, etc. On shot number 20 the barrel blew, believe it or not. I do not know why he shot 20 rounds, but that is what happened..
    You're right there. 70,000 psi shouldn't destroy a barrel but repeated firings at possibly higher pressures weaken things and then something lets go. It is always wise to stay with in the limits of design. The unpredictable can get us. Ammo makers in this country do not load above sixty k psi even if SAAMI limits are higher. The 454 Casull is actually spec'ed at 65,000 psi. The cylinder is of some serious stuff to take that level. The 460 is also spec'ed at that level, but nobody loads factory ammo to that level even that stuff marked "FreedomArms". The 460 ammo is hotter (pressure wise) because it has a brake and recoil won't jump the bullets as bad as a non braked 454. I wouldn't be afraid to shoot the 45 Colt packed triplex load in a 454 or 460 but I think you'll find erratic velocities varying as much as 150 fps. An interesting experiment though.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default Even without the compensator

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Keep in mind your friends 500 has a very effective recoil reducing muzzle brake on it also. If you want to compare the recoil of the two, remove the muzzle attachment, what is the term S&W uses, the compensator, then shoot the 500. That will give you something else to study.
    Murphy,

    Thanks for the advice about removing the compensator. Even so, the physics question still stands.

    I have read that the 480 Ruger has half the recoil of the 454 Casull in the same configuration (7.5" Super Redhawk) but delivers 80% of the energy. Also a conundrum, but I don't have access to a 480 Ruger for direct side-by-side comparison. (I'm goin' crazy with my brand-new chronograph! I've used it more than my guns. Havin' a ball.)

    Funny thing, though. The "muzzle attachment" on my friend's Smith removed itself last weekend. We looked all over and could not find it.

    Anyhow, Thanks. I will be doing some heavy thinking over the next vew months.

    Larry (Lost Sheep)

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    Default Non-mixing powders?

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    As I mentioned in the orginal posting the loads are shown for historical infomration only - I would never recommend that anyone use them!

    (edited for brevity)

    I suspect the key issue would be to heavily compress the powders so that they do not mix.
    I suppose it would be possible to put a filler between each layer of powder, something like goose down that would allow the flame front to pass, but not allow granules to pass (the load would have filler as the last ingredient to make shifting and mixing impossible). Or maybe a "flash paper" wad or disk. The kind of stuff magicians use that burns without residue, but would not affect the energy of the propellants.

    You think?

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

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    Default

    [Quote]You think?

    Lost Sheep (Larry) [quote]

    I think, NOT.

    Why even mess with these?

    I can get an easy 1500 with a 300 grain bullet in 6.5 inch Raging bull 454 Casull. Actual barrel is 5-1/4".

    If I want to shoot 300's faster I'll get a 460 S&W.

    -------

    Too many things to go wrong for so little percieved gain. Powder could mix in case (might be bad I dont know). Powder could get mixed back into wrong canister which would be bad.

    Food for thought:
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  20. #20

    Default wads between different powder

    are not a good idea. I had experience with this and even kapok filler will compress under pressure and pressure spiking is very possible. Human curiosity and ingenuity is what makes our unique species, well, unique, so if someone wants to sample the results of triplex loads, go for it.

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