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Thread: The "454 Short"....

  1. #1
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    Default The "454 Short"....

    ....no, not the 45 Long

    Here's my latest little project and I need to run it by you experienced handgun reloaders.

    So the goal is to be able to shoot these 355gr hammers I cast in the 454 Puma levergun.



    Loaded in 454 brass they won't cycle with this big metplat. In 45 Colt brass no prob. But, I'd like to be able to push these at 454 levels in the Puma. My 45 Colt load is 21.5gr H110 and is a max load and is accurate and about 1200fps in my SBH. I could stuff more powder in the case but don't feel comfortable doing that and the SBH doesn't need it. I also don't want to take the chance of mixing up ammo and shooting an over max/high pressure load in my wheelguns. So, I decided I'd trim 454 brass down, seat and crimp some dummy rounds to where they'd cycle in the levergun and see if I could have more case capacity than the 45 Colt brass. I ended up at 1.330, thus, the 454 Short is born (at least in my world) . 45 Colt brass is 1.285, 454 is 1.385 so I ended up in the middle The 454 Short is about half way between the 45 Colt and 454. Plus, since it's headstamped 454 that should help keep from accidentally stuffing them into my 45 Colt Rugers.

    Now for a question and other observations. First off. Will the .050 or so more case length/capacity translate to any real world advantage? Secondly, I have in the past loaded a 360gr Cast Performance boolit in 454 brass trimmed to 1.365. That bullet seats deeper in the case than the 355gr Hammer I cast. I don't have one to measure but I do have this old pic and you can see the difference.



    I bet it's close to .050 or more shorter. My observation/conclusion is that the 355gr Hammer in the 1.330 454 Short case has the same case capacity (or more) than the 360gr CP boolit seated in 1.365 454 brass. Therefore I should be able to use the 454 360gr load data as a guide for the 355gr 454 Short, and end up with a genuine 355gr Hammer 454 Casull load for the levergun.

    Whew….. that was long. Any input?? Give me some feedback.
    Last edited by Snyd; 01-06-2011 at 21:26.

  2. #2
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Default

    Isn't there some guy down south that works on a lot of these type of lever guns? I would sure give them a call and see what ideas he has to make your rifle go with big meplat bullets.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
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    There is a guy that does that stuff... Trying to remember his name. Seems like he does something to the carrier. I just did about 15 minutes of searching and can't find it right now. Will try again after work.

  4. #4

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    One thing I'd do is try to put loaded rounds in your 45 colt handguns. Depending on the depth and shape of your crimp, they just might fit anyway in spite of your aims. If not, clear sailing and a good idea.

    You're likely to have to adjust loads slightly to account for even that little bit of case difference, but you know that. I like what you did. A few moments at the case trimmer is more than a fair trade for gunsmithing fees, unless they're really low. If anyone can come up with a source, it would be worth an inquiry to see just how much you're saving.

  5. #5

    Default steve young?

    www.stevesgunz.com
    Are you guys talking about this guy?
    In terms of down south texas fits the bill.....
    He is a wealth of knowledge, I actually have to call him, my buddy bought a 16" .44 and we need a few items, he is the man...

  6. #6
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    I know who you guys are talking about. Steves Gunz

    I've torn down my Puma a few times, slicked it up, fixed the trigger and removed the "lawyer safety switch" I'm not so sure a guy could do anything to the feed ramp for this big fat almost wadcutter boolit. As the cartridge enters the chamber, the boolit hits the top of the inside of the chamber which does not allow it to go any further. It will cycle the 360gr Cast Performance rounds loaded in 454 brass trimmed to 1.365. I'd just like to shoot this big fat ones since I cast them.

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    whoops we posted at the same time.

  8. #8
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    It may be possible to just seat the bullets deeper and just firmly crimp the bullet where it starts to taper. I have to do that to load 265's and 293's for my 41 taurus tracker. For the 41 mag that was enough crimp to prevent bullet jump. I did have to lower the powder weight.

    When seating the bullet deeper into the case the new max load will be lower because of limiting case capacity no matter the length of the case. Just an FYI.

    For the 45 colt and 454 casull the farther out the bullet is seated the more powder that can be used(so long as it stays under safe maximum). If you use either case with the bullet loaded to the same overall length the load would be identical pretty much. The only differences being a little more neck holding the bullet for the 454 and possibly placement of a crimping groove. If you load a 454 to 45 colt overall length you get what a 45 colt can offer if you load a 45 colt case to 454 casull length you could load it to 454 levels so long as you put it in the right gun.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think the best option is to go with a bullet design that will easily feed with 100% reliability. The larger meplat of the "hammer" bullet isn't going to make it to any apreciably degree a better killer, but if it won't feed in the field, that is a serious problem. Just go with a LFN type design, stoke it with H-110 and go forth.

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