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Thread: 450 400 Nitro Express paper patch mold choice

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Moonie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Thomasville North Carolina

    450 400 Nitro Express paper patch mold choice

    I have recently received an Encore barrel in 450 400 NE and I'm wanting to start casting for it. I'm looking at suitable molds at Accurate Molds but I keep going back and forth between 40 caliber molds and 41 caliber molds. I plan to paper patch for this grand old cartridge and I do have some experience paper patching from many years ago (in the mid '90's). Looking at molds around 400gr but wonder if I should patch up .400-.402 molds or patch and size down .410-.412 molds. Also should I go with the slick sided molds or grooved molds. I used full diameter regular molds to paper patch back when I did previously. I'm looking at the following molds:


    They are on pages 12 and 13 of his catalog. I can provide direct links if needed.

    The thoughts on the 41 caliber molds rather than the 40 caliber molds is that I could also powder coat them or lube them in addition to paper patching.

    Any idea's or thoughts would be much appreciated, velocities will be around 2,100-2,300fps for these 400gr loads. If I decide on some lighter boolits later that could go up.
    Last edited by Moonie; 05-24-2020 at 09:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Huvius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Colorado Front Range
    If you go with a grease groove design, I agree that using a .410 that can be lubed, PCd, or sized down and paper patched makes sense.
    If a smooth sided paper patch boolit is what you want, then get the .400” and patch up to groove (.410” presumably).
    You could start with a .410” slick but I don’t see the point unless you are wed to a particular paper and must size down to something bigger than .400” to start with.
    Put your feelers out here and see if you can come up with some boolits to try out before committing.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Moonie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Thomasville North Carolina
    Ended up with a mold with 2 cavities, a 350gr and a 400gr sized so I can paperpatch and size down or powdercoat and gas check (416 gas checks fit them)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Old Coot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Looks like you went with the grooved moulds. Good choice, you won't have to rough them up with files to keep the bullet from shooting out of the paper when you use smokeless powder. I should have asked, are you loading with smokeless or black?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    SW Idaho
    You shooting the 3" or 3 1/4" case? I built a 3 1/4" many years ago using the Wesson #1 Long Range Model of 1781 that Steve Earle makes.
    By now you should have some good load data, could I trouble you to share it VIA PM?



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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