Resized .284 Cases with 230gr FMJs

Resized .284 Cases with 230gr FMJs

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I just came from the range. Drilling works! Drill here! Drill often! Wildcater is right, Keep the 284 cases @ 1.7 to 1.69! Had a few light primer strikes @ 1.68. Used a 29/64ths bit. Drill to .20 deep for my .4515 230grn Sierra’s.#8815. Giving me a 2.15 OAL. I would not drill any more then needed. It does anneal the case. medium crimp, no bullet jump, chambered and ejected maually just fine. 40grn of LIL Gun worked. but, 41 worked better with a tighter group. primers even looked lighter! go figure. beyond me! next, find out what 42-45grns looks like. Can anyone run these loads for me? 230grn FMJ, 42-45grns of Lil gun, CCI #34 primers. Thanks for all the help guy’s!!! This brings back the day’s of Hot Roding the small block Chevy!

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Drilling cases isn’t an accepted practice… please don’t try this at home; full power loads could be dangerous.

Wildcatter and several members here have given you some good info if you read through the thread. Be careful, and approach experiments with respect for your safety and the safety of others. Be aware that what you post here may be misused by someone without the experience and understanding to duplicate your results safely.

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Thanks Boomer! I should have put that disclaimer in myself! I have destroyed 60 cases trying to make this work. Drilling works if you are careful. BUT, Reaming works much better! Got a .452 reamer from forster and had the shaft turned to fit the cutting head on my power trimmer with excellent results. Nice even ledge at the seating depth all the way around. My guess is the next problem will be crimping, Which we have talked about here with several methods available….Please Don’t try this case thing unless you have been reloading for awhile. Thanks Again All!

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I’d like to say right spot on, for the last two post. Thanks Boomer and Gun Nut. I myself would not ream cases without some sort of drill Jig to hold the reamer dead center of the case center line. I did described one type, using a FL 284 Sizer Die, there are many others… Gun Nut? What’s your thought about leaving the case alone and resizing the bullets instead. A Lee, Luber-Sizer cost less than $40 and Ebay or Guns America, etc., and might find them for considerably less. Wouldn’t this much less work? Just wondering what you may be thinking.. And as for speculation about the kill bullet, I think that Wildman Wildcatter is using Dilithium Crystals..wink

By admin on October 24, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 comment
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Basic Handloading

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Great information Wildcatter! I was beginning to think the 450B wasn’t such good choice for a relative newbee to reloading such as myself, but now I can see that this gun might be worth sticking with!

I’m still not sure I want to keep messing with the 284 cases, of the 200 I started out with I’ve only got about 60 left that I haven’t screwed up in one way or the other. I initially bough 200 rounds of factory ammo, of which I’ve fired about 150 and repeatedly reloaded, I think I’ll stick with them.

I still have a bunch of questions related to loading these things, regardless of the case, that I hope you might be willing to help with without giving away the keys to the castle, I’d like it handed to me on silver plater, but I’m new and I realize I still have to earn my spurs.

I’ve got about 150 Hornady 240 gr XTP/MAG Bullets. If I seat them to an OAL of 2.2″ I only have .166″ of bullet in the case. Is that okay?

I also have a butt load of Hornady and Zero 230 gr hollow points that I load for my 1911, it sounds like these hollow point pistol bullets should stay in the 1911 and I should invest in FMJ’s for the higher velocities of the 450B.

For powder I’ve got 4lbs of H110 and 1lb if IMR4227, am I barking up the wrong tree? My goal is two basic loads, a range round for punching holes in targets out to 200 yrds and a hunting round for punching holes in pigs. The H110 @ 38 grs has given me velocities around 2100 using the 240 and 230 gr bullets, but the accuracy sucks, I figure I can afford to play with those as target loads because they are relatively cheap, but I want to use Barnes X 250 gr 454 Casull or Barnes X 275 gr 460 S&W for hunting pigs and they are pricey bullets to be experimenting with. I’m hoping this is where you can save me some grief, will the 110 or the 4227 work or should I not bother playing with them? With the very long 275 gr barnes X the case is pretty much packed with 38 grs of H110 and an OAL of 2.225″. Can I get there from here?

I apprieciate the help, too bad you don’t live down the street!

The History Behind the .450 Bushmaster

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Now, the 450b is directly based off the .284win., and thus, turning or reaming should not be an issue, but what to do in the mean time? First, assuming you have full length resized and then trimmed to the factory standard of 1.700” (plus nothing, minus .003” and use the order given – resize and then trim), load a dummy cartridge and try the “THUNKING” test. Pointing the barrel down “drop” your reload into the chamber, it better have a decided Thunking sound when the mouth of the cartridge hits the end of the chamber. If it does not, take safety precautions and again full length resize and re-crimp, the reloaded cartridge; it’ll go “THUNK” now! Second don’t worry about squeezing the bullet a little in the resized loaded case; the bullet is a little over sized and the barrels are ever so slightly undersized and the dies (assuming they were made right) will not over crimp the bullet, so as to let the mouth of the case go pass the end of the chamber (remember we have the same set of problems with the 45 ACP). With that in mind put on a heavy tapper crimp, “NEVER any kind of roll crimp”, into the case, enough so the bullet is visibly dented, again don’t worry about denting the bullet, in fact you want to see a slight dent (you wouldn’t have to do this if you had the bullet sealing gum that Lake City uses, but normally we don’t, so not to worry). This will not affect accuracy at all and will assure proper bullet pull, and will stop any bullet travel, in the case, that can occur in the shooting/cycling process and still yield minute of angle accuracy and better.

Now, what to do about over pressure signs? It is very normal for under pressured cases to kick the primer out first, before the case releases, thus a flat or detached primer. It is my opinion; you may be very much under pressured. Randal gave numbers that say 35,000 to 37,000 psi are dangerous pressures (based on the program Quick Load), nothing could be further from the truth (no offence Randal, also none of the bolt thrust formulas are accurate either, more on that latter). We normally load the 45 Pro to 60,000 psi with 230 ball or FMJ flat points my favorite. Yes, I know that the 458Socom and the 50Beo are loaded to the 35,000 psi area, but then again those great cartridges do not have the barrel thickness the 450b has in the chamber area. Here’s my example, a “Mountain Rifle”, bolt action weapon, chambered for the 284win case has a SAMMI spec in the area of 63,000 psi and has a barrel chamber diameter the same as the 450b. The other proof is Bushmaster told me that twice they loaded to these pressures and fired 6000 rds + each time with no ill effect and my friends and I load to these pressures and have done so for years, normally. So, why does Hornady load for 38,000 psi, as they have quoted? They tell me the Lawyers won or that they did not want to over stress their SST bullet, which is designed for magnum muzzle loader velocities of around 2000fps and would blow up on deer, like a varmint bullet would do, if you pushed them as we can actually do. My personal loads in the 450b, for the 250gr. bullet START at 2500fps and go up, but then who can afford those bullets, sold in twenty packs. I’ve tried the 200gr SST and compressed a load of 296 and achieved 2800fps, with only slightly flatting of the primers. If you need a pointed expanding bullet, Barnes makes excellent 200 & 275 grain varieties.

As for “Bolt Thrust” with these pressures (70,000psi +), Wayne State University’s Engineering Dept., in a published article, I forget which gun rag ran it now, actually ran “MEASURED” test, not calculated and found that at these increased pressures, the bolt thrust was just a little less that the .223 case and this because of a effect known as Bernoulli’s Theorem, which basically tells us that necked cartridges have way more bolt thrust than straight cases and all the bolt thrust formulas are based on those necked cases, hence not at all accurate for the 450b. My Buddies and I have never seen a bolt failure and don’t ever expect to and we only use, what you might call, max loads, we don’t think they are but others might and we’ve never had a problem and together we have maybe a million rounds down range or certainly many, many, 100,000’s at least.

My recommendations? Assuming you will take proper safety precautions and use great skill, use WW296 for the lighter 200 grain Barnes, which is a pointed-hollow point bullet and AA1680 for the Barnes 275 gainers, which is also a pointed-hollow point. But consider the Hornady 230 FMJFP, which the Flat Point will disrupt more tissue than an expanded bullet does. The flat point doesn’t really expand and will penetrate straight through an animal, as opposed to going squirrely, as is the case with many expanded bullets, on occasion, even to turning 90 degrees in side of flesh, been there, done that. Your loaded length of 2.1” is way short too, load the 230’s to 2.2” (but not much more, you still have to hang onto the bullet) or longer and the pointed bullets to 2.250”, max is 2.260″, but you do need some clearance in the magazine. AA1680 & 230’s will increase your speeds and lower your pressures and still yield 2800fps, which is more than enough for any animal on this planet, if FMJ’s are used. In fact this combo has twice been to the Cameroon’s and has dispatched Cape Buffalo and Elephant, with reported ease. Keep in mind that this is with a version that is .070” longer, the 45 Professional. The standard 230gr hollow pointers are cheap and because of these highly increased speeds just explode on anything, making them good for home defense.

Crimping, Part 2

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Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Don’t assume that the bullet moved during chambering.
It could also have moved forward during extraction.
Sharpie on the bullet is also in order to see if you find rifling marks.

If the bullet was seated firmly into the lands, the barrel will hold on to the bullet and yank it from the case.
They call this “breech seating” in the benchrest world.

Breech seating with loads designed for a bullet to jump will cause elevated pressures.

I tried several different degrees of crimp with the lightest crimp showing the most movement and the heaver crimp the least. I didn’t see any signs of the bullet getting into the rifling. The extractions were slow so I wouldn’t have to chase the things around the room.

These were Rainier 250 gr TMJ’s, pretty soft, it was not hard for me to mash the bullet with the crimper.

I tried a Hornady XTP 240 gr HP with the “groove”. Very slight roll crimp, factory case. Feed fine, bullet didn’t budge. Of course doing the same thing with a 284 case – Jam. Duh.

We now know why I was jamming. Now, whether my high pressures using the 284 cases was caused by large rifle primers, too much powder, too little crimp, tilt of the earth on it’s axis or all of the above, (probably all of the above) I still don’t know.

And at this point I’ve already spent way more on 284 cases, trimmers, reamers, pilots, gas and range fees than I would have on the equivalent number of factory rounds.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve had fun, people have been very helpful and I’ve had a excuse to buy tools, what more could a guy ask… well I haven’t picked up any chicks… but I’ve still had hours of entertainment.

But I think there’s a point where ya gotta say “Dude, just go buy some more factory rounds! They’re straight wall cases dude, you can reload them a bunch of times before they wear out! Let somebody else take one for the team. You’re not cut out to be methodical, you’re having a tough enough time figuring out what works with the factory cases!. You just want to save a little money and have fun, don’t suck the joy out of it by going in over your head!

Know what I mean?

Unburned Powder

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Originally Posted by bla View Post
I have also had feeding problems with the 450 B. I have found that all my problems have been the result of unburned powder in the chamber. Are your loads burning clean and consistant. Have you cronographed your loads. This is the best way to detect inconsistant burns.

I had problems with unburnt powder too when I was starting out using real light loads, once I got closer to the hotter factory loads it cleared up, but I did see a little unburned powder the other day after firing one of my lightly loaded 284 cased rounds.

I’ve cronographed my later loads at from 1850 to 2175, I don’t know what the earlier ones did.

However, I’m not sure that was the real cause. Yesterday I seated some bullets in my 284 cases and marked them up with a sharpie to see where they were jamming. The first one feed just fine from the magazine, but when I ejected it I noticed the bullet had been pushed half way out of the case by the force of being shoved forward and then suddenly stopped. Now I’m wondering what problems that may have caused!

Now let me make one thing clear, I’m not blaming the 450 Bushmaster at all, it feeds and shoots reliably with factory ammo, plus it is accurate as hell. I’m sure all my problems are related to my lack of experience, compounded by trying to work up loads for a cartridge that is new and doesn’t have much data available.