I have just bought a Ruger Redhawk Alaskan in 454. I shoot quiet a bit of 45 Colt so I figured it would be a good addition. I went ahead and bought 100 pcs of Starline 454 brass and thought I was ready to load. As I researched I wound up with plenty of questions. IF I can comfortably get these questions answered I will do some loading with what I have. But I have no issue waiting until I get better supplies if need be.
1 I thought my 45 Colt dies said "45 Colt-454 Casull". They do not. Only my factory crimp die says that. Can I use them as I would my 38/.357 dies? All dies are Lee.
2 My go to powder on this was going to be H110 since I have plenty of it but for now all I have is 250g bullets. Between the low bullet weight and the 2.5" barrel is the H110 too slow to be efficient? Will a good crimp make up for this? I also have Unique available. Or trail boss which I see as useless in this cartridge.
3 250g hard cast RNFP but I do not know how hard. No gas check. These bullets do not lead the barrel of my 45 Colt lever action with a stout load of Unique but am I pushing my luck with this bullet at 454 pressures? I am absolutely starting at the bottom of charge chart. But that again makes H110 inefficient.
4 Primers. The book calls for small rifle primers. Which were in front of me today at the store had I only known. What I have in good supply on the bench is small magnum pistol primers. Any thoughts on this?
There seem to be instances where this is not strictly and exactly 100% true, but in general it is. Don't sweat the barrel length when it comes to powder selection's effect on velocity. If muzzle flash is a concern---and I DO think you might want to consider it---then go with a faster burning powder to reduce it. But don't expect velocity advantages because it generally does not work out that way.