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Old January 09, 2018, 10:00   #1
badzero
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45- .450-.451-.452????

So my recent excursion into the 450 Bushmaster ( it just became legal to hunt deer) has led to the reloading bench and a bullet choice for reloading a new cartridge. So I have a couple of questions. First why the different bullet diameters? All are listed as .45 cal and for the 45 acp but they may be .451,.452 or .450
Next, do straight wall cartridges stretch like normal rifle cartridges?
And finally since appearantly I have a speed issue, I keep thinking about seeing what I can do with 185gr bullets instead of the normal 250gr and up bullets everyone seems to have data on. In doing so am I losing my advantage of 'big" bullet? Thanks in advance and yes I know I could google for my answers, but I don't trust what I find anymore. Where here the answers I get are backed by a reputation and pride.
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Old January 09, 2018, 11:53   #2
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A bit more info would help those with potential advise here. Will you be using Cast or Jacketed bullets and are you using the loads for hunting game or plinking/target shooting?
Also, the size of the Game you will be hunting might be a factor in bullet selection. Hunting Deer in Grizzly territory would definitely affect my load selection for instance.

In general, straight wall cases don't stretch nearly as much as bottleneck cases do. Pressures are usually higher in the bottleneck case and it tends to make the brass flow forward in the neck area while driving the shoulder forward to fill the chamber. Tight chambers and lower pressures reduce the case stretching, but that's a target gun, not a hunting gun.

I would "slug" the bore and use the size bullet that matches the measurements that match for a jacketed bullet and .001"/.002" over for a cast bullet depending on hardness. Specs for the .450 Bushy is listed at .452" and I wouldn't use any bullet less than that and 45 ACP bullets are usually .450"/.451".
For a lighter bullet weight, I would be looking at .452" .45 Colt bullets. Believe you can find them in the 200 to 265 grain range easily.

I don't have experience with the .450 Bushmaster, but I don't think most 45 ACP bullets would be suitable for hunting Deer or larger game or have very good accuracy.
Factory ammo for hunting and Cast or .45 Colt bullets for target shooting might be a good plan for this cartridge.
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Old January 09, 2018, 13:55   #3
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twist rate is also an issue in selecting bullet weight and getting acceptable accuracy. 1-24 barrels appear to be standard, and will reliably stabilize 300 grain bullets and lighter, in general. you should expect heavier bullets to be less stable (accurate) in such a gun. a few makers produce 1-16 barrels in 450BM, that are good for 400 grains.
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Old January 09, 2018, 14:45   #4
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Post #2 says spec for your Bushy barrel is 0.452". Why not look at the Hornady 250 or 300 grain XTP hollow points. Should be able to drive them fairly quickly and might not blow up on you. Have a lifetimes experience driving lightweight pistol bullets in rifle cartridges. Get to a point where bullets will either destroy too much meat or will totally come apart on initial contact and not penetrate to vitals, especially if hit bone. Put an 88 grain 380 HP in a 350 Rem Mag case and drive it as hard as rifle allows. Will come apart in air till slow it down then it blows a 6" diameter hole in ballistic clay about four inches deep. Resembles a crater from meteorite, not a bullet strike. A 180 grain jacketed flat nose run at about half it's potential velocity was most 350 Rem Mag would not turn bullet into soup.

To me the entire point of the big bores are for using big bullets. Of course my favorite specialty bullet maker currently has something you may want to look at, the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator Bullets 450 Bushmaster (452 Diameter) 245 Grain Solid Brass Fluid Transfer Monolithic.



I have yet to be let down by any LeHigh bullet, they all perform as advertised and this falls in lightweight class for the 450 bore IMHO but was designed specifically for your cartridge and rifle. If you cast 45 bullets already, wouldn't cost much to size a few at 0.452" and give them a try. When I get the 458 SOCOM project done am sure I will try all sorts of cast pistol bullets sized to proper diameter in the 200 to 250 grain range. Doubt I will go below 250 with cast as even if seat gas checks if push to potential will likely overdrive and strip the rifling causing inaccurate rounds and instantly leaded barrel.

I am also looking at 375 SOCOM and 400 AR cartridges for a moderate bore, higher velocity projectile rifle than a 45/458. 375 SOCOM still gives chance to use a pretty big bullet but push fairly quickly and 400 AR allows double stack and higher round count per mag but reasonably large bullet. I tore down almost a dozen odd cartridge AR's with intent to simplify life but all these new cartridges have started pulling me away from that again though it's the 20 calibers that are staying gone and 45 calibers replacing them. Also swapping the 6.5 Creed for 270 AR and TAC 6 aka 6mm/6.8. Once a wildcatter it gets in your blood and hard to not want to play with new toys.

I can grab a selection of ~200, ~250 to ~300 grain cast bullets use in my 45 Long Colts and 454 Casull Mags, size then to 0.452 if want them and send at no charge if want to try them. My first impression is to use the big bore AR's as designed with heavy bullets. My plan for 458 SOCOM is subsonic only so heavies will definately be my friends.
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Old January 09, 2018, 16:50   #5
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I'm actually thinking of solid coppers, I picked up a couple hundred 185gr dirt cheap that my original thought was it a little light but they are cheaper than I can buy copper plated to feed the 1911's so screw it. They have sitting on my bench for months and after I got the bm I started thinking of a different use for them. So that's kind of the path I'm on now, I'll report back on how it works out.

I actually have some of those Lehigh bullets for the socom. Any idea how they work at distance?
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Old January 10, 2018, 13:52   #6
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cheap solid coppers? pray tell us more.
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If the concept of heading on down to the local Home Depot and transforming $100 worth of random pipe bits into a killing machine doesn’t appeal to you, you’re a frikkin' pansy. Also, you’re probably sane and will live significantly longer than I will.

Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine.


The next time I hear "THE RANGE IS NOW HOT", it just wont be the same.

Max tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
"In THAT direction," the Jin said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Han: And in THAT direction," waving the other paw, "lives a Ming Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Max remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Jin: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Max.
"You must be," said the Jin, "or you wouldn't have come here."
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Old January 10, 2018, 16:37   #7
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Before I'd stock up on thousands of projectiles of whatever you end up choosing,you might want to determine whether they'll feed or not worth a dang in an AR-type system. I suspect there is a reason most of the .450 Bushy rounds are pointy. I spoke to Elwarpo on this a couple weeks ago,and he clued me in on some of the geometry issues with AR type feeding.
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Old January 10, 2018, 19:58   #8
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Yeah I've played that game with the blackout, picked up a bunch of 150 gr 30-30 bullets, kind of flat nosed hollow points that look like a pistol bullet. Loaded a hundred up only to find out they wouldn't feed after the first round. Threw them on the shelf and forgot about them until my son volunteered to shoot them one at a time to save me pulling them down. We discovered things that won't feed from a magpul or gi mag feed with no problem from a lancer. 95 rounds with out a hiccup anyway.
My dies just came in today so hopefully I can get some loaded and get out to test. I'll update after I do.

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Originally Posted by justashooter View Post
cheap solid coppers? pray tell us more.
I don't know what they are, they look like 45 ball with a flat tip and a boat tail. I got them in an unmarked cardboard box with no history.
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Old January 10, 2018, 21:02   #9
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these will hold under 1" @100yds in my 450BM

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/10...int-box-of-100
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Old January 11, 2018, 07:59   #10
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Thanks,What are you using for powder? Any idea on the speed?
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Old January 11, 2018, 11:41   #11
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Here is a good "pointy" one for you

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/19...ing-box-of-100
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Old January 11, 2018, 12:49   #12
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Thanks, one of my buddy's was using the factory hornady bushmaster rounds, looks like the same bullet just heavier. He hit a doe 4 times with them before she went down and then had so many pieces of bullet fragments she was mostly a waste. And yes we are still giving him shit about his shooting and will for years.
That said I'm old fashioned and am not a fan of plastic in my bullets.
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Old January 12, 2018, 07:53   #13
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Have tested over a dozen different Hornady bullets that use plastic tip technology and all performed excellently in gellitan, clay and varmints. Not a huge deer hunter so it's rare I shoot stuff other than varmints (shoot hundreds of varmints per year) unless culling deer around the house and most are taken with a 22 Hornet Ackley Improved using 50 grain V-Max with the plastic flexible tip. Always have Hornet's sitting around for coyote and ground hogs. Shoot a deer in the ear, eye or neck and the little 50 grain plastic tip bullets drop them DRT. How big was the doe? Big enough for bullets to work and where were the hits?

New next door neighbor uses a 30-06 and almost always shoots a deer about sunrise most Sunday mornings during season. Never heard him fire only one shot, usually two or three and then watch him start beating the bushes. One morning left house at 7:20 (heard two shots at ~7:00) and when returned home at 1:00 pm after third service he was still looking for his deer. Here in town we mostly have small deer due to overpopulation and not enough mass for a big bullet to work unless shot through length of deer. Every deer he shoots with his '06 using Remington Core Lock which is proven bullet on deer he shoots multiple times and tracks before finding. Most have seen personally bullet never opened due to never hitting enough muscle and bone.

Learned a long time ago unless trophy hunting big strong bucks, a big rifle just punches through a small doe without realizing it was supposed to expand and kill something. Also learned a big belted magnum of 338 or bigger destroys half the meat on medium white tail. Shot a deer with a 350 Rem Mag in shoulder, exited rear hind quarter and deer looked like someone shoved a stick of dynamite up its @$$. If hunting South GA bean fields, North GA power line cuts or long fields use a big 7mm that's still toting a lot of velocity at 400 yards and farther so bullet works. Shoot a deer close and makes a mess.

I don't understand why so many people want to overgun a poor little doe or spike buck. Best hunter I know always carries two rifles in woods. A custom 257 Weatherby for trophy deer or long shots. If sun is going down fast, not seen a trophy all day and has last minute chance to take a small doe or spike for the freezer he switches to a suppressed 300 B.O. Says the 300 drops small bucks and doe first shot DRT and sometimes flushes up a buck that was following for his 257 Weatherby.

Most of the woods hunting I do a 35 Rem or 30/30 Win lever gun is all a person needs. For an all around deer cartridge I use a 25-06. Did a Google image search on deer shot with 450 Bushmaster and it did great on large bucks. On small deer looks like a messy proposition. Kind of like a chipmunk I shot with a 22 Hornet Ackley Improved using a 37 grain Varmint Grenade. Even a bullet designed to basically act like a frangible didn't know it had hit a chipmunk, just bored a hole had to look for and came apart soon as it hit the dirt behind the chipmunk. I see way too many folks going into woods over gunned or hunting a field undergunned and why in a stand or blind I have two rifles or rifle and a big wheelgun. We are starting to see wild hog and when I shoot them enjoy using a cannon as a big bore is tough.
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Old January 12, 2018, 11:51   #14
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Badzero,
You got me thinking some and what came to mind was using a 200 grain Barnes bullet for your 450 Bushmaster. It was designed for use in the 460 S&W and has a more pointed front end which should help with feeding the bullet. Looking at published data it looks like a 250 gr bullet is being pushed along about 2300 to 2400 fps and the same bullet weight in a 460 S&W is about 2200 fps. So I would think that the bullet shouldn’t come apart in air.

I’ve used Barnes bullets before and they work very well.

As far as using a lighter bullet, I think it would be fine. I think the 185 grain may be a little on the light side being that it is about 75% of the weight of the 250 grain bullet. When I worked for the state highway patrol I help change the 45 acp changed from the 230 grain bullet to a 200 grain bullet. Speed kills but not enough mass isn’t good either. Mass equals penetration.
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