Interesting day of load development

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Interesting day of load development

Postby 450whisper » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:52 am

I borrowed this bit from pitted bore
* * * * Warning * * * * Warning * * * * Warning * * * * Warning * * * *

In this thread are described some handloads for the 450 Bushmaster cartridge that produce pressures well above SAAMI maximum pressures for the cartridge. Use of handloads based on the data below in your own rifle may be dangerous. Attempting to shoot similar loads in your own rifle may result in damage or destruction of your rifle, and in severe bodily injury or death to the shooter or bystanders.


Anyway I spent a day at the range with some prepped brass, reloading scales, various powders and my reloading press as I do with any new calibre I come into possession of.
I reload for 19 different calibres including 458wm,375rum, 300rum,375H&H,300wm and numerous others.
My normal procedure for economy reasons is to take my loading gear to the range and do the work up there. No sense in loading 5 of each powder charge at home if those loads are miles from peak performance.
When exploring unknown limits I load one and fire one and keep going up until the rifle and cases tell me something with regards to pressure. Then I explore that area for accuracy nodes.
Because the 450 is so under loaded with regards to factory ammo and load data it presented more of a challenge than most of my other calibres.
The rifle I'm using is a standard Ruger ranch rifle and the brass is obviously hornady.
Since I reside in Australia variety of components is some what limited compared to the US.
So far testing is limited to the Hornady 225gn ftx projectile, winchester 296 powder,lilgun powder, AR2205/H4227 and alliant 2400.
The velocity results below are not 5 shot averages or anything. Some are just a single shot to see where I'm at to work out my next step.
This is not meant to be definitive reloading info but more an idea for folks with a bolt gun that want to see what this cool little cartridge is capable of.
What is interesting is that I can't get to the muzzle energy (4000ft/lbs) "pitted bore" got from the 200gnrs. I'm open to suggestions especially from "Pitted bore" as to how I might be able to get more velocity/power from the 225gn Hornady's.
I have a modified 45/70 fcd that I also used in testing.
The results so far are below.
225 hornady is used with all loads here.
46gns 2205/4227 2358fps
47gns 2205/4227 2388fps
48gns 2205/4227 2418fps

48gns w296 2490fps
49gns w296 2471fps
50gns w296 2519fps
51gns w296 2601fps
52gns w296 2616fps
53gns w296 2619fps

40.5gns 2400 2461fps
41.5gns 2400 2496fps
43gns 2400 2519fps
43.9gns 2400 2592fps too hot.
So what I have found so far is that you can not fit enough 4227/2205 in a case to come any where near pressure limits of a bolt action with the 225gn Hornady.
The same seems to hold true for W296, I can't fit enough in to show any signs of pressure even with substantial crimping with the modified lee die.
I must say it was very noticeable that when in the mid-high (45+gn) loads of 296 the case sooting absolutely disappeared regardless of the amount of crimp which also improved accuracy no end.
Notice that there is very little velocity increase with added powder from 51gns of 296.
The load I have settled on for the moment (hopefully briefly) is 51gns of W296 for 2600fps and Moa accuracy.
If someone can tell me how to get above 3400ft/lb of energy with these pills I would be very much appreciative. If I could get close to 2800fps and 4000ft/lbs with these pills I would be stoked!
Cheers
Brett
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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby Hoot » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:07 pm

Nice work Brett! Great idea taking your reloading gear right out to the range. Some cast boolit fans do that at the range were I shoot.

That wall you hit with 296 is probably due to its burn rate and your barrel length. I'm guessing you blew some un-burned powder out the end of the barrel. That's where Lil Gun may be a good solution. Its definitely faster than 296 but not as fast as 2400. Those are still excellent velocities you attained with the 225 FTX!

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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby TNman » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:13 pm

Have you tried lil Gun in your 225g loads for your Ruger American?
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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby Al in Mi » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:38 pm

Wasn't Bob running a 24" or longer barrel in those test?
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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby Bmt85 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:28 pm

I agree with the Lilgun suggestions.
Also looked up pitted bore's thread, he was using a 26" barrel with a 1:24 twist rate.
The length difference could end up at 3800-3900 ft/lbs with your current loads.
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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby 450whisper » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:08 am

I got the chance to try lilgun with the 225's today. It seems I've hit a similar wall with it as I did with W296. Top velocity with lilgun was achieved with 50gns, sending the 225s over the chrony at about 2500fps. Again even though I tried heavier charges there was next to no velocity increase in doing so. There also didn't seem to be any signs of pressure with this load either. Like W296 there isn't a lot of room left in the case to seat a projectile with this powder at these charge weights.
I think I may have exhausted my locally available powder options for the time being. If anyone has any other suggestions I would very much appreciate them.
As you folks say the 16 inch barrel is obviously a handicap when it comes to trying to make 4000ft/lbs.
Thanks again for your help guys.
Cheers
Brett
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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby plant_one » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:56 am

so i have to ask, whats the big deal about the 4k mark ? is it just a 'because i can' goal? or are you trying to achieve it for something specific?
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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby 450whisper » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:13 pm

Well bugger me! Please stay tuned. A mate of mine with a ruger ranch just cracked 2800 fps with the 225gn Hornady pill. Apparently moderate pressure but with no crimp at all. Says he got a very nice increase in velocity and less pressure signs with no crimp. I will need to test this myself but he informs me he is well the other side of 52gns of W296 with the 225gn pill. He says there is probably room for more velocity but ran out of time with the range closure. And reported sub MOA accuracy as well. When I get time I will do some testing myself to verify his results. He has little experience with straight wall cases and his first response was "why the hell are you folks crimping these things".
I'm thinking at this stage the pill is finding it's way into the lands at primer ignition then engraving resistance is providing better complete ignition of the powder charge. Further testing by myself will find an answer I hope.
Cheers
Brett
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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:08 pm

450whisper wrote:Well bugger me! Please stay tuned. A mate of mine with a ruger ranch just cracked 2800 fps with the 225gn Hornady pill. Apparently moderate pressure but with no crimp at all. Says he got a very nice increase in velocity and less pressure signs with no crimp. I will need to test this myself but he informs me he is well the other side of 52gns of W296 with the 225gn pill. He says there is probably room for more velocity but ran out of time with the range closure. And reported sub MOA accuracy as well. When I get time I will do some testing myself to verify his results. He has little experience with straight wall cases and his first response was "why the hell are you folks crimping these things".
I'm thinking at this stage the pill is finding it's way into the lands at primer ignition then engraving resistance is providing better complete ignition of the powder charge. Further testing by myself will find an answer I hope.
Cheers
Brett

In the AR platform, bullet jump is a recurring issue. But in a bolt action, not so much. The AR tends to slam the bullets around a bit. So we've been crimping them. Also, the crimp helps ignition by hold the bullet that nanosecond longer to get the propellant completely burning and raise the pressure up enough to seal the case against the chamber wall to seal from gas bypass back into the receiver.
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Re: Interesting day of load development

Postby 450whisper » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:35 am

In the AR platform, bullet jump is a recurring issue. But in a bolt action, not so much. The AR tends to slam the bullets around a bit. So we've been crimping them. Also, the crimp helps ignition by hold the bullet that nanosecond longer to get the propellant completely burning and raise the pressure up enough to seal the case against the chamber wall to seal from gas bypass back into the receiver.


Thanks for that. Having reloaded 45/70 for 25 years I understand the need and usefulness of crimp but for some reason my mate is seeing more velocity with increasing powder charges where as I was crimping (taper and Fcd) and seeing next to no increase in velocity after 51gns 296. This of course goes against normal logic of what crimping can and does do in other calibres.
Hopefully I'll get to test this myself this week.
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