(HP = Hollow Point, RN = Round Nose, FMC = Full Metal Case, FMJ = Full Metal Jacket, JHP = Jacketed Hollow Point and if GC indicated, means Gas Check at bottom of lead bullet)
Loads for 460 S&W Magnum:
This new magnum caliber is great for us who have lots of .45 Colt ammo (I reload for cowboy shooting, but want a gun that can handle everything up to this monster magnum with very heavy lead bullets moving out at speeds in the 1300-1500 fps range.) My lighter .45 colt loads recoil about the same or less as a .38 special in this heavy gun and are good to shoot for target practice. You can shoot the .454 Casull in this gun also. So anything from .45 Colt, .454 Casull to the .460 S&W Magnum will shoot in the revolver just fine. And with adjustments, you can use dies from your .45 Colt to reload the .460 (of course you can’t full length resize the case and the decapper might not work) but the case mouth belling and the bullet seater & crimper can be adjusted in the press to work. The shell holder is tight using the .45 colt for the .460, and it’s best to get a holder made for the .460 since the rim is a hair larger. Personally, I prefer to spend $25 to $40 to buy a full new set for this caliber and shell holder. The shell holder I got from Hornady is a #46.
A lead GC bullet (from LeadHeads Bullets of St. John, KS) are good for home brew loads. Most loads below use CPB (Cast Performance Bullets).
(Note: Shown on this page are START and MAXIMUM loads. Do NOT reduce below START or exceed MAX except at your own risk.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullet size is .451″ (jacketed) in diameter or .452 lead (and some jacketed). Use LARGE RIFLE primers in cases. Make sure primer does not go in too far (if you accidently used large pistol).
Due to different barrel lengths, type of bullet, seating depth, primer brand and other factors, you may not get near the FPS charted. It is just a guide and the reason you should start 10% under these charges and work up.
SOME ARE MAXIMUM LOADS! – NOTE, powder companies sometimes reduced some of these hot and maximum loads after these figures were posted. You might check current loads from powder company before loading maximum loads. The loads that produce velocities below 950 fps, are very nice, mild shooting, lower recoil rounds. Trail Boss is a great, low velocity, very bulky powder for this big boy that I have been shooting in my .45 Colt loads for some time. These are VERY mild in this big gun, and less than half the maximum pressures of the high velocity loads.
I have experimented using the cheap .45 long colt case, and you will see a few of these loads noted below. I tried to extrapolate loads that would be like a .38 special Plus-P, in the .45 colt case. Also the .454 Casull cases are easier to find and are stronger than .45 colt to experiment in the .460. Do NOT use a .460 load in anything but a .460 case.
(Note H110 & W296 are the same as of 2008 as is HP-38 & W231)
(IMR 4227 is same as H-4227 if made in Australia)
200 Grain Barnes XPB .451 dia. (Hodgdon Powder)
2,238 Max C=compressed
225 Grain Barnes X .451 dia. (Starting Loads)(Hodgdon Powder)
2,238 Max C=compressed
230 Grain JHP .451 dia. (IN A .45 LONG COLT CASE, PLEASE NOTE THIS!)
395 Grain CPB WLN GC(Hodgdon)(Cast Performance Bullet, Wide Lead Nose, Gas Check)
395 GR. CPB WLN GC Dia. .452″ COL: 2.185″
695 21,100 PSI Start
754 24,000 PSI Max
395 GR. LFP GC Dia. .452″ (IN A .45 LONG COLT CASE, PLEASE NOTE THIS FACT!)
Hi=1129, Lo-1051, Spread=77.7
pretty good load using the .45 colt case. Also try .454 Casull case
500 GR. LFP Dia. .452″ (My personal bullet from a Montana Moulds pouring)
This mother kicks like a mule. Lil’Gun 30 gr. 1,438 fps Avg. Hi=1535, Lo=1385, Spread=150.1 MAX Load.
Heavy recoil. 2295 foot pounds of energy, and a Taylor KO factor of 46.3 (note, I had to seat the bullet out further than the crimp ring to get the powder in,
and crimped just enough to clear the revolver chamber of the .460 S&W).
This is 500 gr. bullet
Loads for the .460S&W Magnum direct from Hodgdon
Trail Boss is great for lead bullet loads at low velocities. It’s quite bulky and will fill the case beyond half full for most loads (making a double charge evident if it happened).
Accurate (XMP)5744 is one of my favorite powders that I use in my .45 Colt and other calibers. It seems to be less “case position sensitive” than others I have used. And only a few more grains (to MAX) is a compressed load, so it uses a lot of the case space.
I have used Titegroup & Lil’ Gun and I like them a lot. Tightgroup is a very light powder for its bulk, so it fills the case about 3/4 when seating a big lead GC bullet.
Just started using some Ramshot powders, and the “Enforcer” seems ideal for this caliber.
UNIQUE (more later) – Using around 10-12 grains for bullets from 240 grain, plain base, thru 440 grain (lead, gas check), were mild loads and the spread was quite good for loads tested above. Quite a difference in velocity with bullet weight (see tables above).
AA(XMP)5744, AA 1680, AA 4100 are products of Accurate Arms Company
Tightgroup, Longshot, Lil’Gun, H110, H4227 are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR Trail Boss (formerly DuPont) Powder Company, Winchester, Components Div.
Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders: Unique, 2400 & Power Pistol
References: Accurate Arms Co. Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders’ Guide – – Hodgdon’s Reloaders Website- – Hodgdon Tech Support – – Speer Reloading Manual, #12 – – Winchester Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition – – Lyman Piston & Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. – – VihtaVuori Oy Company, – Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where noted. Ramshot Powder Company on-line guide 2007.