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Well, starting to load some 454's for my Super Redhawk, and in reading, I find that, in order to load up to max speed, I need special hard bullets that will take the "heat". I had thought it would work to just use my 45 long colt bullets, and it would work as long as I keep to the limit shown for those bullets. I will normally use the lower loads, around 1300-1400 fps, but would love to have some of the real hot loads for special purposes. Does anyone know the best place to get some and what works best? Thanks, wallacem in Ga.
 

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The problem here will be finding what works for you, not someone else. And it depends in your needs, powders you have available and your budget.

That said, there are any number of places you can try. You don't mention whether you want harder cast bullets, coated, jacketed or what and you don't mention your purpose. Do you want wadcutters, hollow point, round nose...?

Start with the usual suspects and compare price and availability. See what is tested with the powders you use. Buy a small batch, work up a load until you find what works and then stock up.

Jeff
 

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I haven't had a chance to reload for my 454c yet...but my reading is that you need a Brinell hardness rating of at least 18 for full-power 454c loads (higher is better if you can keep ductility of the lead). Hornady explicitly says to use their XTP/MAG bullets (not just XTP) for that reason.

I have a box of 300gr XTP/MAG, but I'm not quite thrilled with the cylinder fit. I actually have an order in to Penn Bullets and another in to Beartooth Bullets; both advertise lead bullets specifically for 454c. I'll post some reports once I've received some and gotten some handloads worked out for my SRH, but it's liable to be a while.:rolleyes:
 

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Who told you you need "special hard" cast bullets? How hard are they supposed to be? Too many new cast bullet users think "harder is better", but ain't so. Fit is better. While I don't shoot a 454, I do shoot a lot of .44 Magnum cast bullets and much of my "Magnum"loads use bullets of about 12-14 BHN. No leading because they fit the gun they are used in...:cool:
 

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Who told you you need "special hard" cast bullets? How hard are they supposed to be? Too many new cast bullet users think "harder is better", but ain't so. Fit is better. While I don't shoot a 454, I do shoot a lot of .44 Magnum cast bullets and much of my "Magnum"loads use bullets of about 12-14 BHN. No leading because they fit the gun they are used in...:cool:
It makes a difference that you're shooting a standard magnum and giving advice about a Super Magnum. Hardness well suited for 36kpsi and 1200-1400fps is very different than that well suited for 65kpsi and 1700-1900fps.

Fit's critical, but hardness isn't irrelevant.
 

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Yeah, Here is some cast bullet notes for reference. Dividing 65K by 1422 gets you ~46 BHN. Might as well be shooting jacketed bullets at those pressures!

Fit is better
While fit is part of it. Hardness does play a big part. To soft of a bullet will 'skid' in the rifling and be deformed by the pressure, and if to hard will not obturate for the given pressure and let gases go by causing leading. In the above case of 65K, I don't think 'to hard' is going to be a problem!

Penn BHN Notes
Looks like Copper Jacketed bullets are about 35 BHN according to this article for a reference.

While I don't shoot a 454, I do shoot a lot of .44 Magnum cast bullets and much of my "Magnum"loads use bullets of about 12-14 BHN.
I don't shoot 'a lot' of Magnum loads, but I have shot 12-15BHN 240g SWCs up to 1300fps (guessing 28K-30K?) with minimal/no leading evident. Using the 'formula' these should be good for minimum 21K loads. However I use the same bullet BHN for lower pressure loads (45 Colt, .44 Spec) with no leading (where the fit comes in I suppose) also. So depends on the gun ,,, and there is a point 'somewhere' up there where the bullet is going to no longer work for given pressure. Work up some loads and see!!!! Sounds like a fun project for the .454 shooters :) .
 

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Well, starting to load some 454's for my Super Redhawk, and in reading, I find that, in order to load up to max speed, I need special hard bullets that will take the "heat". I had thought it would work to just use my 45 long colt bullets, and it would work as long as I keep to the limit shown for those bullets. I will normally use the lower loads, around 1300-1400 fps, but would love to have some of the real hot loads for special purposes. Does anyone know the best place to get some and what works best? Thanks, wallacem in Ga.

Are you talking jacketed or cast? I've heard of excessive forcing cone erosion and jacket separation in the barrel due to using jacketed bullets intended for .45 Colt pressures used at .454 pressures, but not the same for cast. It's not the hardness of the jacket on the jacketed bullet that causes it to fail, but the thinness of that jacket.
 

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So as others have said fit is probably the most important place to start. I was given a box of Cast performance gas checked bullets for my 475 Linebaugh. I checked the hardness and had between 23 and 26 bhn. Hard very hard however even with checks they leaded worse then anything I have ever seen, reason was that they were a full .001 smaller then my bore causing gas cutting around the bullet which vaporizes the lead and solders it to your bore. If you want to do this revolver thing properly you need to slug you barrel for size and may need to ream you cylinder throats and then find a bullet that fits that dimension which probably will not be easy. That's why most of us cast and it our own. There is a bunch of info on the fitting topic in the library form. And if you don't want to do all this work then just stick with jacked stuff at least for the hot rounds. Sometimes thing work without all the work but don't count on it. Best of luck!
 

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Are you talking jacketed or cast? I've heard of excessive forcing cone erosion and jacket separation in the barrel due to using jacketed bullets intended for .45 Colt pressures used at .454 pressures, but not the same for cast. It's not the hardness of the jacket on the jacketed bullet that causes it to fail, but the thinness of that jacket.
I expect the lead core hardness is still important with jacketed bullets. A lot of jacketed bullets have a chunk of soft drawn lead cut off a spool and swaged into the copper jacket. Under such conditions, the copper jacket might still deform like a water balloon under typical 454c pressure, in which case it might HAVE to break and shed for any of it to make it past the forcing cone.:eek:

The copper rigidity is also potentially an issue. As a possibly-applicable bit of plumbing knowledge: the primary difference between flexible vs rigid copper pipe is the annealing rather than the pipe wall thickness. Rigid copper will hold its shape better BUT is more likely to tear if it finally does deform--and I honestly have no idea where the sweet spot is for a 454c jacket.
 

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I use the Missouri Bullet Company's 300 Grain TCFP with the Hi-Tek coating.
They have a BHN of 18, which I think is hard enough for cast bullets in a 454 Casull.

They're cheap, accurate and NO leading.

Missouri Bullet Company
 

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It was suggested in these pages to try Penn Bullets. I'm presently using their 300 TCBB-SSK in my Alaskan 454s. So far I've had little to no leading. They have good info on their site regarding their mix. Their bullets measure 21-22 BHN. These are not bullets for hunting but great for plinking and won't break the bank.
 
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