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Thread: Single powder for .480 Ruger 350-420-grain bullets?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Single powder for .480 Ruger 350-420-grain bullets?

    I'm attempting to simplify my 7.5-inch Super Redhawk .480 Ruger reloading by limiting myself to two powders and three bullets. Modest loads I have firmed up. I ask for assistance for hunting loads.

    To shoot with 350-420-grain plain-base cast bullets while keeping operating pressures beneath 39,000 PSI, what single powder provides acceptable performance throughout the bullet range? If compromise is necessary, sacrifice bullets/performance above 400 grains.

    Until yesterday I believed Lil 'Gun was the answer. In the thread, "454 Casull/Lil'Gun Cast Info Request," the consensus appears to be that Lil 'Gun burns hot, perhaps erosively, while yielding mediocre accuracy in .454 Casull cartridges.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I don't own a 480 Ruger, but I think you may be missing an opportunity by writing off Lil'Gun. It shoots just as well in all my magnum handguns as H-110, WW 296, and WC 820. It's biggest advantage is that it produces more velocity than any of the previously named powders and at what "seems" to be lower pressure. It also has not shown the load density problems and squib possibilities that H-110 and 296 do. As far as the hot barrel reports, I haven't seen any more heating than any other powder creates. You can't fire high pressure, high velocity loads without heating.

    For $20, you can find out for yourself.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master freedom475's Avatar
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    Naphtali..If you have modest loads firmed up I would say you also have your hunting load...unless your going after something that bites back. A 400gr. at 1000-1100 will pretty much "Thump" anything that walks hard enough.

    I don't own a 480 but do have a 475Linebaugh FA83. I too would like to find an accurate "Do-All" powder for it but I'm not sure if it excists. I have been doing a lot of testing lately with it and 400gr cast.

    Lilgun= this stuff is one of the most accurate I've found. But the muzzle blast and flash is intense to say the least. The front sight will hit you in the face if your not careful....The recoil is the most I've found with the 475. Even loads that are 200fps slower than H110, Lilgun makes a faster sharper recoil... Lilgun now is resurved where it is best suited thats my 22Hornet.

    Unique= the most accurate reduced load powder I've tested. 10shot cloverleaf at 50yrds.... But it will pressure spike on you when it reaches its max....my chrony for 475linebaugh...9gr=930fps/10gr.960fps/11gr=1150fps..thats a big pressure spike for one grain powder. I just looked in a new manual(think it was Speer) 13.5gr max..I think not... in my gun This seems very unsafe to me.

    Titegroup=shot 2lbs through hunting season and it works well but is not as accurate as I would like..also hits high left from my gun. Makes a nice Quiet round..at 1050fps 400gr. boolit was quite effective on the elk, deer and bobcat I shot with it this year.

    H110 is probly the best all around powder I've used but it is just a little more power than I need. The reports I've read say this powder will remain stable up through 60,ooo without a "Pressure Spike". which is way past the 20-40,000 where most of us prefure to operate.

    Trailboss= a nice accurate plinking load but it is so slow in fps that its hard to get boolits to fly very far on the Great Plains of Montana.

    I just bought a lb of Blue Dot to test...I will know soon if this is "The One" I'm after?
    Last edited by freedom475; 01-07-2008 at 04:32 PM.

  4. #4
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    if i had to pick one powder only and use it for full power and low power loads id probably pick 2400 it will get you close to top end loads and still load down low enough to make comfortable loads. 110 aa9 and lilgun all work on the top end but dont load down near as well. If you are happy with loads that top out at around 1100 or maybe a tad more hs6 would be another good one to try.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  5. #5
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    WW 296 for hunting loads

    I've found Lil Gun to be spikey at top end and you'll give up a little velocity with 2400 although it's very accurate.

    WW 231 works real well for plinkers as well as Unique. Hodgdon's lists TiteGroup as a good low end powder, but I've never had the accuracy with it.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    if i had to pick one powder only and use it for full power and low power loads id probably pick 2400 it will get you close to top end loads and still load down low enough to make comfortable loads. 110 aa9 and lilgun all work on the top end but dont load down near as well. If you are happy with loads that top out at around 1100 or maybe a tad more hs6 would be another good one to try.
    I think I'll go with Lloyd on this one. H-110/296 would probably get that last few fps. for you, but it downloads poorly. Shot some 475 loads with 2400 this weekend, and it was very easy to get a 400 gr. to 1,200 fps. at mild pressures, the cases simply fell out, and it shot in 3/4" at 25 yds. off a crappy rest. This was no where near max, but it got "most" of the power with no trouble. No need for a mag primer with 2400 either.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    My query is, perhaps, unclear. Sorry.

    My modest load will use Unique and 325-grain bullet.

    Rather than identify a velocity wanted for bullets in the 350-420 grain weight range, I identify a pressure range -- in the lower-to-middle of Hodgdon's .480 Ruger pressure data. Velocities will vary considerably by bullet weight variance. I have not yet purchased molds. I bought boxes of 100 bullets in several weights. But the weather here is unpleasant, so nothing has been done.

    While it is likely that I will settle on a WW bullet weight between 360 and 380 grains, I attempted to frame my query to yield wiggle room on mold selection.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I think I will stay with my pic of 2400. Downloaded too far, and it doesn't burn well, but in the pressure range you indicated, I think it would work well.

  9. #9
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    I based my choises on years of chronograph readings. I know guys who load down aa9 and even 110 and seem to find decent shooting loads and even load them with std. primers but if you run them accross a chrono. Youll find big swings in velocitys. 110 lilgun aa9 and other ball slow burning powders need pressure to burn right. One example is wc820 (aa9) this year we were testing alot of it in 44 mags with 240 grain bullets. If you got down below 19 grains velocitys went crazy. Sometimes as much as a 300 fps swing. To get it to burn right you needed about 21 grains with a stad primer and if you used a mag primer you would be able to sneek down to 19. Now we shot some groups at 25 with loads as light as 17 and actually shot great groups but with velocity swings like we were getting i wouldnt guess it would do the same at a 100 yards and wouldnt want to trust it for a hunting load. Load a 300 grain bullet and most of these problems went away. Just because a loading manual says a powder will work for your application doesnt guarantee anything. A different bullet design or a slightly longer barrel with change everything. A great hunting load with the 480 would be a 400 grain bullet at about 1100 fps. 2400 is the ideal powder to do that and even sneek it up to 1200 if your careful. To give a set in concrete answer as to what is going to shoot the best in your gun is impossible. Only way your going to find that out is to put in time at the loading machine on the bench and accross a chrono. But if your planning on loading anything that lower in pressure then full power id stay away from 110 and lilgun. aa9, h4227 and 2400 are much better for that.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 6pt-sika's Avatar
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    I had a pair of SRH's in 480 in the past !!!

    I used a lot of H110 but with jacketed bullets .

    For cast loads I used AA1680 the most and it believe it or not were my most accurate loads !
    Go Manny Pacquiao !!!

    Double's , 6.5mm's , 444 Marlin , Sika Deer and my family in the Philippines

  11. #11
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    Might want to find a load with HS-6. I have a mild load for the .475 that is extremely accurate. Recoil is nice and it has reached 1" at 50 yd's. It could just be the best powder for your needs.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Regarding "what shoots best in my specific SRHs," so long as the powder selected has flexibility with charge weight and bullet weight, I should be able to develop a successful load.

    Successful will be based upon rapid (for me) three-shot groups at 60 meters with support. The load must be light enough for me to actually fire three aimed shots rapidly. Rapidly, for me, is about every four-five seconds. Sixty meters is my limit for where I believe I can maintain groups consistently smaller than eight inches -- that is, within four inches of point of aim -- at speed.

    And incidentally, the terrain where I hunt will limit shooting to closer range than my limit so long as I will not consider cross-valley shooting. Since I'm gearing the load for elk, I intend to reduce the likelihood of having to track a wounded animal through Lolo. It's job enough to get the sectioned animal to a road head.
    ***
    Where can I find data or manuals current for the powders you are suggesting? Hodgdon's online .480 Ruger data, while more thorough than most, has nothing on Alliant powders or on reduced loads except for Trail Boss.

    I find nothing for other powders online comparable with Hodgdon's data. And you have opened my mind to several choices I had not considered. That's good.
    ***
    Does it matter significantly that I use only magnum primers in Starline brass?
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    Speer has a couple of data sheets for their GD bullets that use a variety of powders. The Lyman 48th Ed. has 480 data, but nothing for cast, not that it has held me up any.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I just bought the new Speer manual #14, and it has some good load data for 480 Ruger.

    Regarding Lloyd's last post, I had a squib load using WC820 (AAC#9 equivalent) in my .454 Casull due to a light weight boolit and powder charge. I've also had hangfires using AAC #9 with light boolits.
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    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    Great thread . Naphtali; Did you find the perfect powder. At this point I'm dealing with quite a difference in impact with different bullet and boolit weights as far as the iron sights on my 7.5" SRH.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    For myself, I have had the best luck with HS6 and Longshot, for top end loads, 300-MP has performed better than H110, this is in my SBH with the 6 1/2" barrel.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    What boolit weight and velocity ?
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I am shooting 360 to 420 gr bullets, I load for a target velocity of 1100 fps.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    I've never tried 300 MP.. I'll check it out. Thanks. How do you like your Bisley ?
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  20. #20
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    2400 is a decent choice of a do most powder. It can be loaded up and down.

    I prefer 296 for too end hunting loads in all my magnums. I've shied away from Lilgun but never had issues.

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