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Range Rep - Ruger SRH .454 Casull - "Toklat"

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 25,780 Senior Member
This has been a lesson in frustration. But, a lesson none the less.

Due to the shorter barrel, I wanted to use a lighter bullet than the 300gr WFN-GC bullets I'm launching out of my 7.5" Casull. The option I had on hand was the Hornady 250gr XTP that I'm running in my .45 Colt and .460 S&W.

Yes, I've read the horror stories of jacket separation and leaving jackets in the barrel. How you are not supposed to shoot these bullets in the .454 Casull out of a revolver because they weren't designed for that velocity. Yeah. I've also read where you aren't supposed to hunt with Hornady A-Max bullets because they weren't designed for game animals. Right. I trust the internet about as much as I trust the man who "invented" it.

Well, being as there is a lack of published load data for this bullet out of a Casull, I leaned on a friend for some QL data and discovered the max pressure coming at around 36.4gr H110 powder. So, I loaded up a few batches consisting of the following loads:

34.5gr
35.0gr
35.5gr

And hit the range on Saturday.

Toklat%20Range%20Day%201_zpsydgxakxx.jpg

250gr%20XTP%20Range%20Report%202_zps6kxaay5u.jpg

I have tried several different materials to protect my front rest from the cylinder gap blast. All have been eaten up rather quickly. Enter.........the military dry-bag and its PVC fabric to the rescue! Saturday was my first time using this set-up. I am generally not one who likes to use shooting glasses. I hate doing so, actually. The distortion drives me crazy and I don't understand the concept of looking through a $1,000 (or whatever you paid) scope with a $20 lens in between. Kinda defeats the purpose of buying clarity.

Well, I must make an addendum to this dislike of shooting glasses. From now on.........when shooting a Casull while using PVC fabric to protect my front rest..........I will partake in the fad of shooting glasses. Seems that PVC fabric, when draped in front of and around the cylinder gap............makes a rather effective shaped charge out of the blast.

256200EF-8E3E-4A13-B0B6-CF875B56A703_zpsljfwfwns.jpg

After the first face full of flames and blast particles.............I put some glasses on..........and proceeded to singe the hair off my hands. That sucker has some SERIOUS blast!

Recoil wasn't terribly bad. Sort of a bark being worse than the bite kind of thing.

65DA53FB-FF16-49F5-9743-BE76AEC7B69B_zpsezeghzoy.jpg

Anyway, the accuracy of the 34.5gr load wasn't anything to write home about. So, I proceeded to the next load. At the 35.0gr charge, I noticed some copper fouling in the cylinder. This increased in amount as well as in the barrel through all the higher charges. Accuracy went to about 2" at 25 yards.

Not happy with the accuracy or fouling, I retired to my Man Cave. No pressure signs, I decided to push a little more. Loaded the following:

35.5gr (again)
35.8gr
36.0gr

Back at the range Sunday, I tried the above loads (wearing shooting glasses). Let's just say.........the blast was growing to apocalyptic proportions and the copper fouling was increasing the monetary value of my firearm what with the metal being deposited in the gun!!!! Basically, Sunday's range session was a dismal failure. Accuracy worsened and it took me a long bit to clean all the copper out of that gun. Time to reverse engines!!!

Last night........after cleaning the crap out of my gun, I loaded some rounds with

33.5gr
34.0gr

250gr%20XTP%20Range%20Report%208_zpstksqlo3r.jpg

And returned to the range today.

250gr%20XTP%20Range%20Report%204_zpsku7cfbsj.jpg

Cue Angelic Music!!!! To say that the results took a 180 degree turn would be an understatement. Accuracy was Hell and gone from the days previous!

33.5gr
250gr%20XTP%20Range%20Report%2033.5gr%20H110%2019_zpsmrstisao.jpg

Now we were talking!!! And........no copper fouling in the cylinder with just a bit in the barrel!

250gr%20XTP%20Range%20Report%206_zpsdkjes591.jpg

34.0gr
250gr%20XTP%20Range%20Report%2034.0gr%20H110%2017_zps0eroehyo.jpg

We have a winner at .600" group!!!! Other than some guy's .338 Federal.........this is the most frustration I've had with handloading that I can remember. But, I'm done. D-U-N........done.

I don't know how fast the bullets are going. But, it's about 8gr more powder than the heavy .45 Colt loads listed for this bullet. So, it should be moving along nicely, if not relatively fast. Either way, it'll kill anything in these parts.

Time for a beer.
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

Replies

  • KSU FirefighterKSU Firefighter Senior Member Posts: 3,249 Senior Member
    :up: glad you found a load that worked. Looking forward to a pig autopsy from this one!
    The fire service needs a "culture of extinguishment not safety" Ray McCormack FDNY
  • toymachinetoymachine Senior Member Posts: 761 Senior Member
    You say the recoil isn't bad? Perhaps the cylinder gap blast has a muzzlebrake effect.
    "Is 'milk bottle' literally a racist term?"
    "It is now." - Jack Fraggs
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    toymachine wrote: »
    You say the recoil isn't bad? Perhaps the cylinder gap blast has a muzzlebrake effect.

    It's subjective. The recoil isn't bad...............compared to a couple of my other guns. Ergo, the recoil isn't "bad" (as some others).

    Actually, it's not painful at all. The grip soaks that up rather well. Regardless how ugly it is.......the grip IS comfy.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,697 Senior Member
    Very Impressive! That deserves a cold one of your choice at 33 degrees
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,954 Senior Member
    Good luck with it
    glad you still have eyes.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,210 Senior Member
    I'm guessing the bullets were "bumping up" when they hit the forcing cone at the higher velocities/pressures, which was causing the copper fouling.

    While I agree not everything on the interwebs is accurate, there's probably a pretty good reason Hornady spent the R&D $$ to redisgn the Mag-XTPs for the 454/460.
    Looking good though :up:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    Oh, I agree that there is some validity to this lack of recommended use. And, I've no doubt that the "Mag" bullets would likely foul less and hold better. I just think it's funny to read here, there, and everywhere, "I heard somewhere that...." And very few can actually say, "I tried it and this happened...." on the internet.

    It's also interesting how the forcing cone adds so much variable to the equation as I push them much faster in my Encore without issue.

    Learn something new.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,210 Senior Member
    Well, in the encore, they're pretty much "controlled" from the moment they start to move, until they leave the muzzle. As opposed to "free flying" out of a smooth barrel (aka cylinder throat) then slamming into a "funnel" (forcing cone) to guide them into a rifled barrel.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Glad you found a winner. That is a fine looking revolver.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    I'm just surprised at the amount of copper in the cylinder throat. I'd never seen that before.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Can you see any appreciable flame cutting on the topstrap?
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    34 grains of H110 is 5.5 gr over MAX recommended at Hodgdon for a 250 gr bullet, or nearly 20%.

    While I am no reloading expert, that seems like you are pushing it too far.

    FWIW, Lil Gun would lower your pressures about 20%.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    34 grains of H110 is 5.5 gr over MAX recommended at Hodgdon for a 250 gr bullet, or nearly 20%.

    While I am no reloading expert, that seems like you are pushing it too far.

    FWIW, Lil Gun would lower your pressures about 20%.

    D

    You are looking at the Hodgdon data for an all copper Barnes bullet. Look at what they list for the FA 240gr and 260gr bullet. Then, compare that to their data for the 250gr Barnes.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    Can you see any appreciable flame cutting on the topstrap?

    I'll have to look.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I think the gunsmiths who do revolver enhancements re-cut the forcing cones to 11 degrees or something like that.

    Anyway, looks like you are literally having a blast shootin them hand howitzers :guns::guns:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,571 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I just think it's funny to read here, there, and everywhere, "I heard somewhere that...." And very few can actually say, "I tried it and this happened...." on the internet.

    Amen to that :win:
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,557 Senior Member
    If you have a broke or useless v-rest shooting stick, modify it to be epoxied in a 4x4 block or thick steel plate or something...still have a rest, but less blast deflection from those wheel guns.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    If you have a broke or useless v-rest shooting stick, modify it to be epoxied in a 4x4 block or thick steel plate or something...still have a rest, but less blast deflection from those wheel guns.

    I just need to trip up the PVC fabric. I was experimenting to test the durability. Now that I know it holds up to the blast, I will cut it to fit and avoid the shaped charge.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Anyway, looks like you are literally having a blast shootin them hand howitzers :guns::guns:

    Mostly compensating for my diminutive stature.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • mohicanmohican Member Posts: 381 Member
    If you're into casting your own, then you could probably find something in the 240-250 grain range with a gas check. Ranier has a 250 grain flat point that I like as plinking load. I'm not interested in it pushing it - I use something a grain or two lighter than max of Unique.

    I'll hold onto my older Ruger SRH in 454 Casull - I've taken a hankering to the "target grey" finish.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    mohican wrote: »
    I'll hold onto my older Ruger SRH in 454 Casull - I've taken a hankering to the "target grey" finish.

    I keep contemplating getting one of the older 9.5" barreled SRH revolvers with the Target Grey finish in .480 Ruger. But, the availability of brass....... Or the lack thereof, holds me back.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • HvyMaxHvyMax Senior Member Posts: 1,786 Senior Member
    At this point the only revolver caliber that interests me is the 460S&W. But only if I could make it a switch barrel like the Dan Wesson. That way I could use anything from the LC to full boat loads.
    Wal Mart where the discriminating white trash shop.
    Paddle faster!!! I hear banjos.
    Reason for editing: correcting my auto correct
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