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Thread: .450 Marlin 405G cast bullet load

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    .450 Marlin 405G cast bullet load

    Hello All,

    New to this forum but not new to casting and reloading. I *think* I know where I'm going with this but would rather know for SURE, I like shooting guns, not bombs.

    I've got a Marlin 1895GG in .450 Marlin --- LOVE this gun for hunting but hate it for benrest. I've got a bunch of 405G hard cast GC bullets I've made up plus some of Beartooth's 405G hard casts. I'm having a heckuva time coming up with a powder load for this documentation wise, maybe I should invest in some new load manuals as the dozen or so I've got now were copyrighted before .450 Marlin was released.

    The powder I'm going to use is 4198 (IMR or Hodgdon take your pick I've got lots of both as that's what I use for my .444 Marlin....) and I know I can use 45-70 load data for a starting point even though .450 Marlin cases are a bit smaller in capacity than the 45-70.

    I've searched all the forums I know of and can't find hardly anything on this load -- can anyone point me in the right direction or do any of you load cast bullets for this gun?

    Many Thanks,

    Art

  2. #2
    Boolit Master GabbyM's Avatar
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    Lyman 49th edition manual has the 450 Marlin. List data for the 330gr #457122 HP and 400gr #457643.

    For the 400 gr bullet start load of IMR 4198 is 30.5gr for 1417fps. Right their is a good place to stop if you're using my shoulder. Max load of 38.0gr for 1714 fps and 33,000 psi. They take the jaketed loads up to 42,000 psi with slightly slower powders. No gas checked bullets listed.

    I just cast up a batch of 410 gr WFN -GC from one of the group buy Lee moulds the other day. Monster bullets. Took a while to get onto using a six cavity Lee with almost all cavity. Ended up ladle pouring with a Rowel then letting the mould cool under a fan. Once I got the hang of it I got good bullets but for a while I thought it was a flop.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by GabbyM View Post
    Lyman 49th edition manual has the 450 Marlin. List data for the 330gr #457122 HP and 400gr #457643.

    For the 400 gr bullet start load of IMR 4198 is 30.5gr for 1417fps. Right their is a good place to stop if you're using my shoulder. Max load of 38.0gr for 1714 fps and 33,000 psi. They take the jaketed loads up to 42,000 psi with slightly slower powders. No gas checked bullets listed.

    I just cast up a batch of 410 gr WFN -GC from one of the group buy Lee moulds the other day. Monster bullets. Took a while to get onto using a six cavity Lee with almost all cavity. Ended up ladle pouring with a Rowel then letting the mould cool under a fan. Once I got the hang of it I got good bullets but for a while I thought it was a flop.
    THANK YOU for that info Gabby!

    Art

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    .450 Marlin Loads

    I also have a .450 and love it. I had similar problems finding loads, but found by contacting the powder companies directly, they were all very helpful in recomending loads. Good Luck

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Here's Hodgon's online data source. Try it.
    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

    I like H-322 in mine.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in Ak View Post
    Here's Hodgon's online data source. Try it.
    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

    I like H-322 in mine.
    Been there Vance and have a dozen load manuals going back to 1978 but until I bought a couple of new ones recently they didn't have CAST bullet data for .450 Marlin and the Hodgedon site still doesn't.

    Ya' had me excited for a minute, I thought Hodgdon finally put cast bullet loads on the web but thanks..

    Art
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master brad925's Avatar
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    I have a 450 in a H&R Ultra loaded with full house 350 grain loads and it definately is not for the faint of heart. One thing i did learn to make it alittle more tolerable on the bench is make sure you are sitting up completely straight so your shoulder takes the recoil and not your collar bone. I will be starting to cast for this in the summer so make sure you post your range results i am curious how you make out.
    Lean into 'er and let 'er buck!!!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by brad925 View Post
    I have a 450 in a H&R Ultra loaded with full house 350 grain loads and it definately is not for the faint of heart. One thing i did learn to make it alittle more tolerable on the bench is make sure you are sitting up completely straight so your shoulder takes the recoil and not your collar bone. I will be starting to cast for this in the summer so make sure you post your range results i am curious how you make out.
    Brad if you do get into casting I can gaurentee you that with a 405gr cast loaded to about 1300fps you will LOVE that gun. Very nice shooter out of my Marlin GG but more to the point, I CAN shoot it all day without getting pounded. REALLY fun stuff!

    Were those factory loads or handloads you were shooting with? My Marlin gets you pretty good with Hornady factory loads but it does a NUMBER on white tails.........Going all cast next year for deer season and leaving the .243 at home. These guys have me hooked...OK *thinkin* about leaving the .243 at home.....

    Art
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazman1602 View Post
    Been there Vance and have a dozen load manuals going back to 1978 but until I bought a couple of new ones recently they didn't have CAST bullet data for .450 Marlin and the Hodgedon site still doesn't.

    Ya' had me excited for a minute, I thought Hodgdon finally put cast bullet loads on the web but thanks..

    Art

    The jacketed bullet loads SHOULD be safe with cast. Generally cast produce slightly lower pressures than jacketed in the same weight.
    In my 1895M 50gr of H-322 behind a 420 hard cast bullet with WW primers produces 1825fps with no pressure signs. I can easily go up a bit more if I like.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in Ak View Post
    The jacketed bullet loads SHOULD be safe with cast. Generally cast produce slightly lower pressures than jacketed in the same weight.
    In my 1895M 50gr of H-322 behind a 420 hard cast bullet with WW primers produces 1825fps with no pressure signs. I can easily go up a bit more if I like.
    Oh man Vance that load would be too hard on my shoulder...............but thanks!

    Art
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    Alanson, Michigan 49706

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazman1602 View Post
    Oh man Vance that load would be too hard on my shoulder...............but thanks!

    Art

    It's definetly a big shove... BUT, we have LOTS of brown bear in this country, so it's a comforting shove

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Howdy Vance - Looks like I found you again. I'm not stalking you - I promise!
    Last edited by robertbank; 01-15-2010 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Please refraim from posting loading techniques that carry some risk to the shooter.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    with too.[/QUOTE]

    All can take this for what it's worth. I've been loading for the 450 Marlin, in the Marlin 1895M lever action, since it came out. If you decide to follow the reloading method of the above quoted post, you are absolutely friggin nuts. It should be removed by the moderators and a stern PM given to the poster. In a Marlin action, you are hard pressed to get into the 1,600 fps range with a 500 grain boolit.

    #1 The 450 Marlin case has anywhere from 3 to 7 grains less powder capacity than the 45-70. In the 45-70, Remington brass has the least capacity, Starline in the middle, and Winchester holds the most. Although the 45-70 loads for the Marlin action are rated slightly lower than the 450 Marlin, they can be loaded to essentially the same pressure. The main difference between the barrels is the newer 450 Marlin uses a different, slightly stronger bbl thread. Anytime you reduce a case capacity by 3-7 grains, you better be taking that into account. In plain talk, you cannot use 45-70 load data for the 450 Marlin. A 45-70 starting load is sometimes ok as a start point, but you better be using your head.

    #2 Pressure signs in a rear locking lever action, operating in the 40k psi range, are almost impossible to judge pressure on. I have a good friend that is into commercial reloading of these big bore rounds. I have worked with him a few 450 Marlin projects. All of his final loads are sent to Hodgdon's labs for final determination. Excessive primer flattening and hard extraction may be somewhat of an indicator in a 50-60 kpsi bolt gun, but when seen in a Marlin are grossly over pressure. In the 450 Marlin's 42,500 psi limit (IIRC, might be 43,500), there are very few typical signs when you are over pressure. CHE is a somewhat better method as is measuring of the belt. But, even when CHE was limited to less than 0.0004 expansion, Hodgon's lab did not agree. CHE proved to be very erratic at this pressure range. Even when matching the CHE of Hornady's factory rounds, pressure was sometimes well over limits. Your well served by following qualified data here unless you send samples to a lab.

    #3 Reloder 7 is a fine powder in the 450 and the 45-70. It will typically give you the highest velocity at the lowest pressure of others commonly used. That doesn't make it the most accurate powder, but you'll have to test for that. Several years ago, RL7 was changed slightly. I can't remember exactly now, but I think it now comes from a different plant or something. The original RL7 had little specks of yellow/green something in it. Now it does not. Members at both MarlinOwners and Levergunlovers forums noticed velocity differences between the old/new. The new powder showed a pretty hefty velocity increase. Common sense dictates that there is no "free lunch" here. On average, it took a 2-3 grain reduction to match the old powder's velocity. Alliant claimed there was no difference between the two. Noted gun writers have also made mention of the speed difference. Since there is no really hard proof here, it's best to keep this in mind if you use RL7.

    This is my 2 cents and opinion. Take it for what it's worth. Moderators, if you think I'm out of line here, please remove this post.
    Last edited by robertbank; 01-15-2010 at 05:50 PM. Reason: I deleted the offending advice in the oiriginal post.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Old RL7 had 5 percent nitroglycerin, the new 10 percent. The energy difference would be significant. Where that difference in pressure is measured is significant. Measured at the locking lug(s) at the back of the bolt is where my concern would be. I don't know about the barrel threads, and that is also a strong concern. In other words, heed the advice given by BAB. ... felix
    felix

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    BABore
    What you are saying about the 45/70 Marlin with 500gn boolits is right in line with my experience. I load ammo for sale from my shop, and yes I do have a manufacturers license. The load I sell with the heavy of the three RCBS molds runs about 525gn in WW and will chrono at 1550 fps from the standard length barrel. I felt that was a safe max for the Marlin.
    Reloader 7 does give good velocity but I never got best accuracy with it. It is not what I have been using for our sale ammo. Going back nearly 20 years I had a large lot of wc 846 that delivered what I wanted. The first lots of wc 846 back then were very much faster burning that what I have been able to get more recently.
    When that lot was used up I came into a large lot of Chinese ( I think ) PSA powder that gave the same results that I was getting with the early lots of wc 846. My lot of PSA is now about gone so sometime soon will be developing loads again.
    I will likely be looking at AA 2015 or something similar that I can find a large lot of with the same lot number. Not knowing yet but going by past experience I believe the AA 2015 will work well with the two lighter RCBS designs, the 325gn and the 425gn but I have reservations about the third and heaviest , the 525gn. The 525 may need a slightly slower powder, time will tell.
    The one thing I wanted to mention about what you said about what many folks use as at least one pressure indicator is the primer appearance. You are right in that a rifle primer designed to handle 60,000 psi gives little indication of pressure at 40,000 psi.
    Something I like to do when developing loads for the Marlin in 45/70 to help in determining pressure and to add another indicator is to use large pistol primers in load development. The large pistol primers are made more in line with the pressure I am looking for when loading for the Marlin seemingly having a thinner softer cup. This seems to put the primer appearance back into prospective for the situation.
    Another reason I like to use large pistol primers for the Marlin is that at times the Marlin safty two piece fireing pin at time does not get good alignment either from wear, or mis fitting or even from the lever not being squeezed closed enough to bring the pivoting pin into alignment with the fixed pin. With any condition that would give insufficient pin strike for good positive ignition with a thicker harder cup rifle primer the pistol primer will give more satisfactory results. Firing pin strike is so critical to uniform ignition with all firearms and I feel this gives more uniform ignition results with the Marlin.
    Another way to eliminate the drag (if you will) caused by the marlin safety two piece firing pin is to replace it with a one piece pin. That will eliminate pin drag but then causes other safety issues like the possibility of firing before the breach block is fully seated in its mortise in the bolt.
    Sorry I am rambling and getting of the topic.
    To put it simply I will just show what levels I feel safe with the three weight boolits from RCBS
    #1 325gn @ 2050 fps
    #2 425gn @ 1850 fps
    #3 525gn @ 1550 fps
    Those are what I shoot for in the Marlin 45/70 using LP primers and using primer appearance as one indicator among others for determining pressure.
    Sorry for the ramble but once opened the drip became a flood.
    BIC/BS

  16. #16
    Boolit Master BABore's Avatar
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    Bullshop,

    I was only referring to the 450 Marlin in my post. The 45-70 is capable of just a fogs-hair more do to case capacity. I do have a couple Marlin 45-70's I load for and have similar findings as you

    In regards to powder, this applies to the 450 and 45-70 using full-house loads. Good powders for the 300-350 grain boolits are 4198, RL7 and H322. Moving up to the 350-420 gr. range, it's H322, Benchmark, 3031. In the heavies, 450-550 grain, again the same ones as for the 350-420 ones. H335 also does real well in boolits heavier than 450 or so grains. There's lots of other I have left out, but these are the ones I go to most. One weird thing I've found is that if a say 420 grain boolit doesn't like either H322 or Benchmark, it usually will like 3031 and vise vera.

    I've never used pistol primers myself, but see your logic pressure wise. Rifle primers just don't exhibit bolt gun flattening patterns in the 40 kpsi range. It's not really a good pressure indicator no matter the gun/psi, but it's what most of us learned on and had to go by. I use mainly CCI 200's. I also watch the accuracy, group shape, and extreme spread in velocity. If things look good, I'm ok there. If not, or I want the upmost everything, I switch to Federal 210M match primers. They will drop ES into the single digits and produce outstanding accuracy. Definetly a secret weapon. I bought 5k of them before all the BS started and watched the scalpers prices go to almost $200 a thou. I could have made a killing, but they can kiss my big fat behind.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    Howdy Vance - Looks like I found you again. I'm not stalking you - I promise!

    Good to see you brother!!!!
    When you coming home?
    Keep your head down & I'm still praying!

    Here's another place I waste time just in case you miss me
    http://www.handgunhunt.com/forum/ubb...Board/1/page/1

  18. #18
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    I've found RL-7 to be a bit peaky when compared with other powders in the 45-70 and for that reason, moved to H322 as it behaves much more predictably.
    Cast Bullet info
    http://www.castpics.net/

    Reloading Data Project - (in retirement)
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/reloadersrfrnce/

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    Gents,

    Please accept my appologies for the load data. When I took the advice of my friend, I trusted his advice based on his years of experience. I had excellent results with no adverse reactions to the load combo for any of the boolits I tried. I used his advice because at the time I could find no data for the 450 with cast boolits.

    I may have been wrong about the velocity on that 500 - I am thousands of miles from my records and just posted what stuck in my mind. I had no intention of putting anyone at risk - these loads had every indication of having more potential.

    However, the point is taken and I will refrain from posting any data that is not pubished by a powder manufacturer in the future.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in Ak View Post
    Good to see you brother!!!!
    When you coming home?
    Keep your head down & I'm still praying!

    Here's another place I waste time just in case you miss me
    http://www.handgunhunt.com/forum/ubb...Board/1/page/1
    I'll be home around first week of march. And thanks brother!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check