Shown above, a .45 Colt, .454 Casull and the .460 S&W Magnum
(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 454 Casull:
The .454 came out in the late 50’s and was the big, bad boy in town, till the advent of the .500 S&W mag and now, the .460S&W magnum. This caliber, designed by Dick Casull, 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 magnum with very heavy lead bullets moving out at speeds in the 1300-2000 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. With adjustments, you can use dies from your .45 Colt to reload the .454 (SOME dies may not full length resize the case, but mine will), however the case mouth belling and the bullet seater & crimper can be adjusted in the press to work. The shell holder works using the .45 colt for the .454. Personally, I suggest you spend $25 to $40 to buy a full new set for this caliber and shell holder. Lead GC bullet (from LeadHeads Bullets of St. John, KS and Matt’s Bullets) are good for home brew loads. Many loads below us CPB (Cast Performance Bullets). USE SMALL RIFLE PRIMERS.
(Note: Shown on this page are START and MAXIMUM loads. Pay attention to which is which.) (See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullet size is .451″ or .452″(jacketed) in diameter and .452 lead. Bullets designed for the low velocity .45 Colt may do poorly at .454 casull velocities. Keep this in mind. Use SMALL RIFLE primers in cases. You need the stronger rifle primers because of the pressures. For slow powders, magnum primers are better.
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. Powders like H-110, Lil’ Gun and Winchester 296 are good for the magnum loads.
(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)
946 Hi=956, Lo=932, ES=24 (very good and mild load)
1,192 Hi=1208, L0=1153, ES=55
1,288 Hi=1328, Lo=1214, ES=113
1,268 Hi=1296, Lo=1246, ES=50
435 Grain Lead FN + G.C.
H110 & W296
H110 & W296
Loads for the .454 Casull direct from Hodgdon (their web site, for Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester powders)
Trail Boss is great for lead bullet loads at low velocities (plain base bullets are OK). 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 and 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. Lil’ Gun, H4227, and H-110/W296 are excellent for magnum loads with a heavy bullet. Also, No.9, Enforcer and True Blue work well in the .454 caliber. Titegroup has some of the smallest spreads of velocities as you will see in the actual tested loads above where “ES” Extreme Spread is shown.
UNIQUE & Universal – are suitable for lighter bullets. Quite a difference in velocity with bullet weight (see tables above). Universal did well in the 315 grain cast bullet.
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 Powders are now Hodgdon
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.