450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

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450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Sebspeed » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:36 am

Hi all

To start a little about me, I'm still new to reloading but have a pretty good grasp on the basics. I have worked up loads for 308 and 9mm, working on 223 plinker and precision loads at the moment. On deck is doing something with my limited 450BM supplies. Would like to draw some guidance here, if I may.

Here's what I'm working with:

- 18" Tromix lightweight barrel & bolt combo (1:24 twist, mid length gas)
- Hornady Black factory ammo
- Hornady custom grade FL die set
- ~40pcs once fired Hornady brass
- Hornady .451" 185gr XTP bullets
- Armscor 45acp 230gr brass bullets
- 1lb Lil Gun
- 1lb IMR 4198
- H355
- CCI 400 primers
- CCI 450 primers

So my question is: Working only from the list above, what's my best starting point for load workup for a 50-100yd plinking round? Plan is to use these for paper and steel, sub 2moa would be great.

I'm working on getting some FTX bullets to try to duplicate the excellent Black load, but that'll be in the future.

Thanks!
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Re: 450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Hoot » Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:02 pm

Welcome Aboard Seb!

Bullets lighter than 200gr are downright tricky to load for. Get some time under your belt before tackling those 185's. The 230 FMJ works well with Lil Gun over CCI 450's. Figure on starting around 37gr and carefully working up from there in half grain increments. Due to their weight density, 230 FMJ's are not very long and you'll wind up seating them to a COL of abut 2.05 in order to get enough bullet down in the case. That's OK. You do what you have to do. I've rarely, if ever, gotten MOA 5-shot groups at 100 yds from 230 FMJ's, in my 20" AR platform, neither the RN nor ther FP but for plinking, they'll do.

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Re: 450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Sebspeed » Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:28 pm

Thanks Hoot.

I'll try the 230 combo. I had the 185s on the shelf to use in 45acp, figured it was worth asking.

I'd love to see moa at 100, but I'd be ok with 2" at 100.
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Re: 450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Hoot » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:39 am

Lehigh Defense 245gr Xtreme Penetrators will do this with 5-shots at 100 yds but price wise, they are anything but plinking bullets:

Image

For plinking, I'm fond of the Hornady 225gr FTX. They make everyone look good but they're not as cheap as 230gr FMJ's. Short of catching a sale, you'll pay around 33₵ each in boxes of 100.

Good luck with the 230's.

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Re: 450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Sebspeed » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:20 pm

Thanks again sir.

Do you think 2" groups at 100yds is too lofty a goal for the 230gr fmjs?
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Re: 450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Hoot » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:04 pm

Sebspeed wrote:Thanks again sir.

Do you think 2" groups at 100yds is too lofty a goal for the 230gr fmjs?


No but the proof is in the pudding. IE reliable 2" groups not one or two lucky groups. That being said, a lot rides on your bench technique as it can blow an otherwise good group to hell. Ask me how I know this! :roll: Also, there is the rig factor. No two rifles are exactly the same and some of their unique attributes can factor in as well. I've seen opinions sought on a given upper or barrel and it never fails that some folks swear theirs is a laser while others have had results that are otherwise. Reliable two inch groups using 230gr FMJ's is definitely achievable but you're going to have to experiment to see which recipe your rig likes. Removing as many variables that are within your control adds up. Not only at the shooting bench, but also at the reloading bench. Don't change too many variables at the same time on your journey and the path will reveal itself. The good news is this particular caliber is very forgiving. Its one of the reasons I like it so much.

Once you get some loads under your belt and discover the signs that point to reliable results, do consider getting some of those 225gr FTX bullets. They have the JuJu in them without breaking the bank. ;)

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Re: 450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Sebspeed » Thu May 06, 2021 6:08 pm

It's been a while, but I wanted to follow up here to say I did find a good load in 38.0gr Lil Gun under the Armscor brass 230gr fmj. Along the way I found a few more pounds of powder and more brass, and was able to load up a few hundred of these,so I'll be set to play with this gun for a while.

I saved some brass to play with the 250gr FTX and some other XTP bullets I found too.
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Re: 450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Wed May 12, 2021 8:41 am

Sebspeed wrote:It's been a while, but I wanted to follow up here to say I did find a good load in 38.0gr Lil Gun under the Armscor brass 230gr fmj. Along the way I found a few more pounds of powder and more brass, and was able to load up a few hundred of these,so I'll be set to play with this gun for a while.

I saved some brass to play with the 250gr FTX and some other XTP bullets I found too.

Everyone needs to hang on to their brass nowadays. It might be wise to hang on to used primers as well. I’ve been reading up and primers are gonna be thin for a while. I’ve also read articles of “DIY” reloading the primers themselves.
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Re: 450 Bushmaster plinker load help?

Postby Sebspeed » Sun Aug 29, 2021 1:17 pm

Hey all, been a while... I came across a pile of Speer #4481 260gr JHP bullets. Curious if anyone here has tried loading them for the 450?
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