Newbie Question

Talk about your 450b reloading experience, ask questions, etc...

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Newbie Question

Postby Thom28 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:05 am

Purchased a 450 Bushmaster this last weekend. Quite amazed at the accuracy and would like to shoot it more but cost of factory ammo way to expensive.
I am not new to reloading. I have been reloading since about 1977. Just about everything from .380ACP to 460 S&W Magnum.
I am looking for information on reloading the 450-what powder shoots best out of this platform, how may grains to start out with, COLA? Any information would be appreciated. Thanking you in advance for your help.

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Re: Newbie Question

Postby pitted bore » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:02 am

Thom28-
Welcome to the forums. When you get rolling with your reloads, we'll look forward to your posting your results.

When starting to reload the 450B, it's best to begin with the same approach as with any new-to-you cartridge: Find pressure-tested data from a reliable source. Because the 450B is a relatively new cartridge, such published data is not widely available.

I know of three sources:
  • Recent Hornady reloading manuals
  • Lyman - The AR reloading handbook. The same recipes are probably in the new 50th edition of their Reloading Handbook.
  • Western Powders Reloading Guide. The 6th edition is available free online in pdf format.

As with most cartridges, the best powder will depend on bullet type and weight. Unless you want to start with very heavy or lightweight bullets, Lil'Gun powder is probably most useful. Starting loads and COL are available in the published sources.

Have you yet obtained a set of dies? Manufacturer? Hornady and CH4D are manufacturers. The Hornady die set includes four dies, which partly explains its being relatively expensive. There are some problems with the instructions included in the Hornady set.

Some of the gurus on this site are pretty helpful with answering questions and solving problems associated with reloading the 450. Just ask.
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Re: Newbie Question

Postby commander faschisto » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:00 am

Welcome to the asylum! There's a world of information on the site here about reloading the 450b...you should check the "Reloading" heading on the board index, and Hoot's knowledge repository. Generally speaking, the best we've found for the 450b are Remington 7-1/2 BR primers and Hodgdon Lil' Gun powder, although you will find several other combinations listed on the forum here. Boolits are .452 or .451 diameter (either works), with Hornady 225gr (very accurate) and 250gr FTX popular, along with Barnes 200gr and 275gr XPB (listed for .460 S&W), Barnes also now lists a 275gr TSX specifically for the 450b. Critical for reloading the 450b is to have a good, solid crimp at the case mouth, measured to .474" or .473" right at the top of the case. You'll find several different crimping variations listed here also. COLA is technically the same as 5.56mm x 45, but it can sometimes be extended out slightly, depending on your magazine dimensions.

Like I said, there's a wealth of reloading info right here...have fun!
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Re: Newbie Question

Postby Thom28 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:58 pm

Thanks for the replies and information provided. What dies are most of you guys using? I have always been an RCBS fan but see they don't make dies for the 450B. Are the Hornady dies reliable? I have never heard of CH4D dies.
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Re: Newbie Question

Postby Thom28 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:27 pm

I have been reading various posts about crimping the 450B and that has led to numerous questions. I guess the main question is does the Hornady seat/crimp die crimp the case mouth correctly or do I need to buy a special die to crimp the case mouth. I will be reloading the Hornady 200gr and 250gr FTX bullet. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help.
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Re: Newbie Question

Postby commander faschisto » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:45 pm

The Hornady dies work just fine, and will taper crimp correctly. You could also order the Lee FCD for the 450b to do a factory crimp...there is also a way of modifying certain dies to do stab crimps, and maybe another variation (I'm a bit foggy on the details tonight...14-hour day at work...) All that crimping info is on the forum here, too. The overall goal is to keep the boolit restrained enough to let the Lil' Gun get cooking well...accuracy and performance in the 450b are highly dependent on a good, solid crimp, however that is achieved. Your bullet choices have been thoroughly tested here, and they are excellent performers in this caliber. More than enough "umph" for normal distance deer hunting.
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Re: Newbie Question

Postby pitted bore » Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:46 pm

Thom28-
Most who post here use the Hornady die set. The Hornady set generally does a fine job once you become aware of certain peculiarities of using them. These peculiarities are unique to the 450B die set. (Hornady has recently been furnishing seater dies with an incorrect length of die body. See pertinent recent threads about this problem.)

The FL sizing die works as advertised.

The expander/case mouth flaring die is needed only occasionally, for example when loading cast bullets, or when dealing with cases having flawed mouths.

The seater die can be a problem for the uninformed or unwary. Unfortunately, Hornady supplies a generic set of instructions with the die set, describing how to set the die to apply a roll crimp when searing the bullet, and also how to seat a bullet without applying a crimp. Do NOT set the die to apply a roll crimp. The 450B headspaces on the case mouth, and a roll crimp can interferes with proper headspace. A roll crimp may allow the case to enter too far into the chamber, which can lead to various problems including unexpected KA-BOOMS.

(The same seater die is furnished with the 460 S&W reloading die set. That cartridge can profit from applying a roll crimp. Hornady is apparently too cheap to supply a sleeve without the internal roll-crimping ridge for the 450B die, with suitable instructions.)

The fourth die in the Hornady set is a taper crimp die. Unfortunately, Hornady failed to include anything in their instruction set about setting up and using the taper crimp die. Approach its use gently, increasing the entry of the bullet into the die in small increments. Too little crimp doesn't get the necessary job done, while too much can distort the bullet needlessly, and also permit the cartridge to enter too deeply into the chamber.

In short, don't apply a crimp with the seating die. Apply a crimp with the taper-crimp die. You do not require another crimp die.

(Some combinations of bullets and powders do require more retention of the bullet in the case than that produced by the taper crimp die. Certainly this is not needed with the Hornady 250-grain FTX bullet. It may be useful with a light bullet. When and if you encounter such a case, then it may be time to consider obtaining a side crimping die. Most such dies are made by their owners by modifying a Lee 45-70 Factory Crimp Die. See the sticky threads in this section about such dies.)

CH4D produces well-manufactured dies: https://www.ch4d.com/

Other posters will be along soon to correct or elaborate on my comments. Good luck.
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Re: Newbie Question

Postby Thom28 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:28 am

commander faschisto wrote:The Hornady dies work just fine, and will taper crimp correctly. You could also order the Lee FCD for the 450b to do a factory crimp...there is also a way of modifying certain dies to do stab crimps, and maybe another variation (I'm a bit foggy on the details tonight...14-hour day at work...) All that crimping info is on the forum here, too. The overall goal is to keep the boolit restrained enough to let the Lil' Gun get cooking well...accuracy and performance in the 450b are highly dependent on a good, solid crimp, however that is achieved. Your bullet choices have been thoroughly tested here, and they are excellent performers in this caliber. More than enough "umph" for normal distance deer hunting.


Thank you. I will just start with the Hornady Dies and see what kind of results I get.
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