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Old 02-11-2011, 12:16 AM
BW460 BW460 is offline
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Default 460 XVR questions

Please be gentle, this is my first post and it has two parts! Iíve been handling guns (with my dad at the time) since I was 9 years old. Iíve mostly shot auto pistols but recently bought a Smith & Wesson 460 XVR magnum with the 5 inch barrel. It is my first revolver. Due to the scarcity of ammo and the ungodly expense, this pretty much requires that you reload. No problem, Iíve always wanted to reload but never really had a need to until now. I was intrigued by being able to fire three different calibers of cartridges and decided this was the gun to get. I have read untold hours of information about the gun and reloading in general. I bought a Lee Turret Press and like it very much. It has some minor issues, but does the job well. I bought a set of dies for all three calibers and quite a bit of supplies including brass for each caliber. Unfortunately, the brass for the 460 mag is still on backorder so I have only shot the 454 Casull. It was quite a punch but much fun. So now, Iím getting to the real point of my post. After purchasing dies and supplies for all three calibers, I start reading more than one post about issues with firing the smaller cartridges first and then the 460 rounds. Iím not so worried about having to clean it first, but some of the posts say you can erode the forcing cone and cause problems with the barrel by shooting the 45 Colts and the 454ís. What I donít know is if this is just an issue with the brands of guns they were using or if it applies to every brand including my S&W XVR. I guess I could see the point if I was using a lot of lead bullets at high velocity, but I plan on using Hornady XTPís or XTP Mags for higher velocities. Does anyone have any comments on this? Yes, I know I have to clean it, but Iím concerned about damage to the gun. There is however another school of thought that says Smith & Wesson has a lifetime warranty on the gun. Since they promote it as being able to fire all three rounds, should I be concerned about the warranty since I am hand loading? Or, does the warranty only cover use of factory ammunition?

Another thing that I have leaned (actually I have learned so much in the last month that my head hurts!) is that I may have made a mistake by even worrying about the 45 Colt or the 454 Casull. Since I am reloading the brass, why not just create three different rounds for the 460? A light load at about 900 to 1000 fps for plinking, a medium load at about 1500 fps, and a kickass load at about 2200 fps. This way I donít have to worry about the 460 rounds sticking in the gun after I have shot a 45 Colt and I shouldnít have any issues with the forcing cone or barrel. I realize some of you are going to respond with ďwell, duh, that should be obviousĒ. Well, not having reloaded before and this being my first revolver, it wasnít obvious to me in the beginning. So after buying the dies for the 45 Colt and 454 Cassul, I might not actually need them! Again, back to the point of the second part of my post! I can get the hot load data from Hodgdon by using H-110 and either 240 or 300 grain XTP mag bullets. Thatís easy enough. I found a light load on one site using Trail Boss and a 255 grain lead bullet at about 950 fps, so thereís my plinking round. What I canít seem to find is a good mid range load. BTW Iím using Star Line brass and Winchester WLRM primers. I have both 250 and 300 grain XTP bullets (not the mags) to use for the midrange velocities. So what I need is a powder and load suggestion to get about 1500 fps in the 460 mag brass. I would like to get this for both the 250 and 300 XTP. Yes, I understand the concept of designing the round for accuracy, but what I want to do is to develop accurate rounds in each of the mild, medium, and hot loads.

Thanks. Without the information I have been able to read from guys like you, I would not have been able to do any of this.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:39 AM
gutterman gutterman is offline
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Default S&W 460

I'm anxious to see the comments on your post, as I just purchased a 460 myself. I have reloaded for about 20yrs off and on, so I'm as curiuos as most in the performance of this gun with the three calibers. I have read in several forums,different opinions and performance claims in firing all three calibers-from "don't bother with the 45LC" to "I haven't had any issues with any three calibers". It may be a "personal" thing when it comes to quality of performance with this gun when firing all three calibers thru it, but so far I haven't read about anyone having concerns about forcing cone breakdown, but I guess that will depend on the load.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:32 AM
nutsforsmiths nutsforsmiths is offline
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I have shot all three calibers at one range outing. I was shooting them interchangeably using all factory loads with jacketed bullets out of my 8 3/8" barrel. The 460 load was Hornady, the 454 Magtech and I don't remember what the 45 Colt load was. I had no problems with them and they all fired perfectly.

As for recoil, the 45 Colt was like shooting a 38 Special. The 454 was like shooting a hot 44 Magnum with kick that pushed back into your hand. The 460 very loud and a lot of flame and the kick was more of a flip.

I don't know if this helps, but it might be a start.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:40 AM
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BW460,

First you made a mistake in thinking you can only fire three types of rounds in it. Its four as you forgot the .45 Schofield (US Army shorten the .45 Colt to fit the S&W Schofield revolver in the 1870s). I've only once fired the 460 firing the Colt, Casull and 460 rounds. This was a year and a half ago before I deployed, no issues.

Now I've reloaded for decades now. My suggestion would to keep the different length cases for easy identification of your loads (light, med, full thorttle). One big issue with of making Colt equivalent loads in the 460 case would be a possibility of double charging or too light of a charge no seated next to the primer in that big case. This can increase pressure to dangerous levels. You could add a pitch of loft/dacron to the charge to keep it near the primer for ignition but that to me is inconvinent.

I used to have a tool for my K frame that had six bore brushes on one rod. Open cylinder and insert, scrub a few passes after shooting lots (ie hundards) of .38 SPL cases and then shoot .357 Mags. Never had an issue with the Models 13/19/65/66s or shooting .44 SPLs in my .44 Mag Smith 29. I do load several power levels in the .41 mag but keep good notes and mark the boxes well (not near the difference in this case however)
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:03 AM
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Default just my opinion

I would sell all the 454 stuff and use the money to buy components. Anything you can do with 454 you can do with the 460.

You are a reloader now. You can make 460 as hot or as light as you want.

Don't buy cheap commercial lead bullets and try to push them to 460 velocities. It will lead the bore. You will not like cleaning it out.

I would use 45 colt as a way to keep your light loads seperate. Also the cases are much cheaper. A quick look at starlines website shows 500 pcs. for around $90. Compared to around $240 for 500 460 cases.

If you look in your reloading manual you will see loads for the 45 colt that are pretty tame. If you want to juice them up look at the loads in 45colt t/c, ruger only part. There are some pretty stout loads listed in that section. They seperate them because older firearms can't handle the pressure. Your new 460 won't have a problem with them.

I am no expert on the erosion issue but I doubt light colt loads will hurt anything. I would think that you could run into a crud ring that builds up when shooting a short case. That crud can keep a 460 from chambering or make it hard to remove a case if you do manage to get it in. This is a fairly common thing for guys that shoot A LOT of 38 special in 357 guns. It can be cleaned out with brushes.

45 colt is a large case. It was developed originally for blackpowder use. With smokeless powder there is a lot of airspace when making up ligh loads with fast powder. Same goes for 460. Look into bulky powders like Trail Boss. Some others for midrange loads are hodgdon H4227, and Alliant 2400 . When you want all that gun has, H110/296 or lil' gun in 460 cases will give you what your looking for.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:17 AM
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I think the issue with damaging the gun is backwards to what you are hearing. You wonít be flame cutting anything or wearing out any forcing cones with .45 Colt. The .460 SW Magnum is having some growing pains with certain powders and possibly certain powder and bullet comboís that can cause flame cutting and forcing cone erosion. But those all tend to be red hot loads from what I have read. And a good hard cast, gas checked, and properly lubed bullet can be pushed pretty hard. Check out Garrettís loads if you donít believe me. But you do have to know what you are doing.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:01 AM
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First, forcing cone damage comes from jacketed bullets at high velocity (= high pressure). Case length is irrelevant. Your 200 @ 2250 .460 loads will wipe out the forcing cone the fastest; cast .45 Colt loads won't do it in your lifetime. If you like the fast stuff, go for it. The gun has a lifetime warranty and the barrels (with the 2-piece design) are cheap for the factory to replace.

Second, if you want a medium-power load in the .460 case, try 100% loading density with a SLOWER powder. See what happens with 4198 or H322. You don't have the double charge risk and flame temperatures (and thus erosion) will be much lower.

When the .460 becomes old hat and you want to really send some energy downrange, get ready for the .500...
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:43 PM
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Don't waste your time loading .45LC and .454 for your X-Frame. Your ideas of Trailboss for light loads and H110/W296 for normal magnum loads are right on. You can also find good moderate velocity and reduced recoil loads using 2400 and IMR4227. I have shied away from Lil' Gun since the reports of premature forcing cone erosion appeared. Never got the performance from it as I got from H110/W296 and the 4227 and the high heat it produced in my guns kinda verified to me that there may be some truth to the rumors. One other thing I have learned from reloading for my .460. You DO NOT have to load this gun hot for it to be effective and accurate. In most instances and with most bullets, my best accuracy and performance comes from recipes in the middle of the load range. Make sure when pushing bullets in the upper ends of the .460 velocity range you use bullets appropriate for those velocities.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:58 PM
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I guess I've only got a couple things to really add to what others have already said:

First, if you're wanting to get 1500fps (or more) out of your "mid-range" loads I would really recommend shying away from the regular XTP bullets. You 'might' not have trouble with them at 1500, but you 'will' have trouble with them if you go much more than that. You can push the XTP-MAG's pretty hard without worrying about shooting them apart.

And second, you can probably shoot an awful lot of .45 Colt loads before you'll get any sort of ring in the chambers that would prevent you from insterting a .460 case (especially if you use cleaner burning powders)... and you might get "sticky" extraction but you wont get "stuck" cases caused by a ring unless you completely neglect proper cleaning.

I've got a .454 Casull and they are notorious about difficult extraction with yowza-hot loads. I typically shoot 2-300 .45 Colt loads when I go to the range, followed by .454's and there isnt enough of a ring to make a bit of difference.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:45 PM
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Thanks for all of your replies. I did find load data for some 5744 powder in the 1500 fps range. I think I'll try that. Yes, I was aware of the issue with the XTP vs the XTP Mags. Hornady's web site says the XTP's are only good up to 1500 fps but I see sites with people pushing them in the 1700 fps range all the time. I think I will keep them at a 1500 fps top end and use the XTP Mags for anything hotter. I appreciate the feedback on the issue with the forcing cone and the lighter loads. Seems I dont need to worry about it with the 45 Colts. I also have come to the conclusion that the 454's were kind of a waste in this gun since I can either load the 45 Colts hot or the 460 mags light and achieve the same thing as the 454's. Oh well, it's one of the prices that I have had to pay for not having a mentor for this new hobbie of mine. I did buy some Trail Boss at a gun show this morning and I'm going to get some 255 grain SWC hard cast bullets to try in both the 45 Colt and light loads in the 460. I saw that my brass for the 460 was shipped last night! Yay!

Now, how do I deal with this addiction I seem to have developed in terms of reloading equipment and supplies?!
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:52 PM
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I also have come to the conclusion that the 454's were kind of a waste in this gun.... Now, how do I deal with this addiction I seem to have developed in terms of reloading equipment and supplies?!
If you're interested in selling any of your .454 supplies, shoot me a PM with what you've got and what you're asking. I might be interested, depending.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:26 PM
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I've been reloading for my 460 XVR for around 4 yrs. I have settled on two loads. One hot and one not. The hot one and most accurate is with Hornady's 200gr FTX bullet and 50.5 gr H-110/296. Three inch groups at 100yds are sort of common. I've shot two-three shot groups that left one ragged hole at 100yds. I shot my first deer this winter with that load at 100yds.

The plinker load is with Hornady's 250XTP and 12.5 (I think) grains of Trailboss. It is accurate enough (pie plate) out to 50-75 yds.

I gave up on lead bullets. They don't shoot worth a **** out of my gun. Lousy accuracy. They fill the "lead" compensator up with lead. It's too painfull to clean.

Ditch your 454 gear and buy a 625 in 45 colt to justify having your 45 Colt reloading gear.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:35 PM
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Thanks, DuckLoads. Good info.

I do have one more question for those that use the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I realze some love this and some think it is stupid, but I'll be using it. The question is, will the 45 Colt/454 Cassul Factory Crimp Die work with the 460 or am I going to have to order a custom die?
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Old 02-12-2011, 04:01 PM
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I do have one more question for those that use the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I realze some love this and some think it is stupid, but I'll be using it. The question is, will the 45 Colt/454 Cassul Factory Crimp Die work with the 460 or am I going to have to order a custom die?
Cant answer the question directly... But Lee doesnt list the .460 on their chart, so I'm guessing not. Most (if not all) seating dies should allow you to do a heavy roll crimp which is all you'd need for the .460 so you wouldnt necessarily need a separate crimp die. The biggest difference is that the factory crimp die will prevent you from accidentally damaging or crushing your case by adjusting the die improperly (which you 'can' do with a standard seating die if you are careless).

I use Hornady dies for my .454 Casull and they make a separate taper crimp die for it (which also does a roll crimp at the same time) that I think is helpful because it gives me better hold on the bullet than just a roll crimp alone -- helps to better prevent bullet jump in my (relatively light) Ruger SBH Alaskan.

Hornady does list a taper crimp die for the .460 so if you're really not wanting to use your seater die, you might take a look at that one.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:32 PM
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Coupla suggestions when reloading for the .460. First off, altho most scoff at the idea of trimming handgun brass, I always trim my virgin or once fired factory .460 brass before reloading it the first time to assure my crimps are consistent. This helps to keep ignition consistent with slow ball powders like H110/W296. It also keeps bullets from jumping under recoil from a light crimp due to a short case. After the first reloading, I keep cases separated by batch to assure cases are still close to the same length and will occasionally measure them to confirm this.

Second, altho I seat and crimp in one step with my other magnums, with the .460 I do it in two steps. The heavy roll crimp required to hold the bullets under recoil and the long length of the case is asking for buckled cases when doing it in one step. Especially when using Hornady brass.

Even with carbide dies, I will lightly lube the cases when resizing. This keeps me from having to stand on the press lever and makes it easier on the brass itself. With jacketed bullets bell only enough to get the bullet started to help with neck tension. In my X-frame, when working up loads, I've found that it does not take much sometimes to go from easy extraction to having to pound out the empties with a dowel. Start low and work up in SMALL increments. If your cases are stickin' back off. Flattened primers in the .460 are a norm, so don't be surprised to get them even with mid-level loads. With the power and velocities produced by the .460 Magnum cartridge, there really is no reason other than dangerous game to load it HOT.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:53 AM
DirtyMike DirtyMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR View Post
Don't waste your time loading .45LC and .454 for your X-Frame. Your ideas of Trailboss for light loads and H110/W296 for normal magnum loads are right on. You can also find good moderate velocity and reduced recoil loads using 2400 and IMR4227. I have shied away from Lil' Gun since the reports of premature forcing cone erosion appeared. Never got the performance from it as I got from H110/W296 and the 4227 and the high heat it produced in my guns kinda verified to me that there may be some truth to the rumors. One other thing I have learned from reloading for my .460. You DO NOT have to load this gun hot for it to be effective and accurate. In most instances and with most bullets, my best accuracy and performance comes from recipes in the middle of the load range. Make sure when pushing bullets in the upper ends of the .460 velocity range you use bullets appropriate for those velocities.
So, im curious if barrell length (7" vs 8.375" for example) changes the dynamic of "best load"....
I just put a deposit on a 7" performance center model yesterday - I think its 7" may be 7" and some change....IM SO EXCITED.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:35 PM
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So, im curious if barrell length (7" vs 8.375" for example) changes the dynamic of "best load"....
I just put a deposit on a 7" performance center model yesterday - I think its 7" may be 7" and some change....IM SO EXCITED.
No such thing as "best load" without quantifying the qualifications.

With regard to comparing a BFR (the only 7" barrel 460 revolver produced) single action and a 8.375" (actual effective length 7.5") S&W double action they are very different guns. From a velocity prospective you will see very little difference with the same loading.

These two revolvers behave very differently when shoot even with the same load.

See for more information on Barrel length and velocity in 460 S&W here 460 S&W: Velocity / Barrel Length.

John Ross and Buck460xvr have covered the other topics in the thread well and to the point.

be safe
Ruggy
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