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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the next month I will be putting together my .45 Raptor bolt action hunting rifle. I have some reloading supplies on hand and some on the way presently. I am looking for any tips, recommendations, and cool load info that anyone might be willing to share.

Let's see those recipes!!

I very much appreciate any help that is given.

To provide a little additional info in the direction I am heading:

I am looking to load 250 gr. Speer DeepCurls for general shooting, and to load 275 gr. Barnes TSX for Whitetail hunting. I have some Ramshot Enforcer on hand that I'll probably start out with as far a powder goes.
 

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Tc 250 bonded shockwave, anything barnes, and 240 xtp mag are your friends. Deepcurl won't stay together at these speeds.
Won't give out load data due to liability, but aa#9 with the 200 barnes and h110 with the 250 bonded shockwave are tough to beat.
All lit up by federal primer 215M

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I have been loading for the Raptor for four years now and have tried quite a few combinations.

Starting with bullets. Unfortunately, my rifle is not fond of the 200 gr Barnes bullet. I just can't get top notch accuracy with it. I know other rifles have found success with it. Due to its low BC this bullet has basically the same drop at 300 yds as the FTX.

The 275 gr Barnes on the other hand is reasonably accurate, but have have only been able to get top velocities of less than 2200 fps. given the low BC of this bullet, wind really hurts it. If I was not hunting open areas with shot opportunities to 300 yards, I would try this bullet on deer.

My go to bullet has been the 250 gr Hornady FTX. This bullet is very accurate but is simply the worst performing bullet I have ever used on game. It just comes apart and/or can't penetrate on a straight line. For this coming season I am going to try the Thompson Center Bonded Shockwave (blue tip). I believe this bullet is made by Hornady because it is externally identical to the 250 gr FTX. It shoots to the same POI as the FTX. We shall see if it holds together.

I have tried a couple of custom bullets but could not achieve acceptable accuracy with them. I have not tried the Cutting Edge bullets that some people have used successfully.

For powders I have tried H-110, IMR 4227, Accurate #9, Accurate 5744, and Ramshot Enforcer. I have not tried Lil'Gun due to the reports of burning out throats by the people at Freedom Arms. I know others have reported excellent results with Lil'Gun, but I'm not willing to gamble with my Krieger barrel.

The most accurate powder I have tried is AA-5744. This powder loses no velocity from 70* down to 14* (my chronograph results) but it produces velocities with the 250 gr FTX of less than 2300 fps. In fact I load this powder with a 200 gr Barnes for my daughter in her 450 Bushmaster.

The problem I see with the powders for this cartridge is lack of a temperature insensitive choice producing top velocities. The old H-4227 would be perfect.

I settled on Enforcer due to accuracy and velocity. It is predictable and easy to work with. It is however pretty temperature sensitive. I worked up a load with this powder (CCI 200) and the 250 gr FTX at 32* and was getting 2396 fps. Two weeks ago I chronographed it at 78* and was getting just over 2500 fps.

I experimented with primers and Enforcer. First of all, the manufacturer (in magnum handguns) states that magnum primers are not necessary. I did the work ups in the 30*-40* temp range. I discovered that WLR primers were beginning to exhibit pressure signs at lower velocities than CCI 200s. I was able to use heavier powder charges with the CCI 200s and net higher velocities without getting pressure signs than with the WLR primers. I see no reason to try magnum rifle primers with what is essentially a handgun cartridge.

For load data for Enforcer, go to Accurate Arms website and use the 460 S&W data.

The big challenge in shooting the 45 Raptor and 450 Bushmaster is the wind. I was shooting today out to 300 yards. With a slight breeze from 7:00 I had to put 1.5 min windage in to be on at 200 yards. At 300 the range is more open to wind and I had to use 2 min. At 300 yards a 5 mph breeze from 9:00 results in more than 11" of drift!

Experimentation is at least half the fun with this. Enjoy!

Mi Rifle
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have been loading for the Raptor for four years now and have tried quite a few combinations.

Starting with bullets. Unfortunately, my rifle is not fond of the 200 gr Barnes bullet. I just can't get top notch accuracy with it. I know other rifles have found success with it. Due to its low BC this bullet has basically the same drop at 300 yds as the FTX.

The 275 gr Barnes on the other hand is reasonably accurate, but have have only been able to get top velocities of less than 2200 fps. given the low BC of this bullet, wind really hurts it. If I was not hunting open areas with shot opportunities to 300 yards, I would try this bullet on deer.

My go to bullet has been the 250 gr Hornady FTX. This bullet is very accurate but is simply the worst performing bullet I have ever used on game. It just comes apart and/or can't penetrate on a straight line. For this coming season I am going to try the Thompson Center Bonded Shockwave (blue tip). I believe this bullet is made by Hornady because it is externally identical to the 250 gr FTX. It shoots to the same POI as the FTX. We shall see if it holds together.

I have tried a couple of custom bullets but could not achieve acceptable accuracy with them. I have not tried the Cutting Edge bullets that some people have used successfully.

For powders I have tried H-110, IMR 4227, Accurate #9, Accurate 5744, and Ramshot Enforcer. I have not tried Lil'Gun due to the reports of burning out throats by the people at Freedom Arms. I know others have reported excellent results with Lil'Gun, but I'm not willing to gamble with my Krieger barrel.

The most accurate powder I have tried is AA-5744. This powder loses no velocity from 70* down to 14* (my chronograph results) but it produces velocities with the 250 gr FTX of less than 2300 fps. In fact I load this powder with a 200 gr Barnes for my daughter in her 450 Bushmaster.

The problem I see with the powders for this cartridge is lack of a temperature insensitive choice producing top velocities. The old H-4227 would be perfect.

I settled on Enforcer due to accuracy and velocity. It is predictable and easy to work with. It is however pretty temperature sensitive. I worked up a load with this powder (CCI 200) and the 250 gr FTX at 32* and was getting 2396 fps. Two weeks ago I chronographed it at 78* and was getting just over 2500 fps.

I experimented with primers and Enforcer. First of all, the manufacturer (in magnum handguns) states that magnum primers are not necessary. I did the work ups in the 30*-40* temp range. I discovered that WLR primers were beginning to exhibit pressure signs at lower velocities than CCI 200s. I was able to use heavier powder charges with the CCI 200s and net higher velocities without getting pressure signs than with the WLR primers. I see no reason to try magnum rifle primers with what is essentially a handgun cartridge.

For load data for Enforcer, go to Accurate Arms website and use the 460 S&W data.

The big challenge in shooting the 45 Raptor and 450 Bushmaster is the wind. I was shooting today out to 300 yards. With a slight breeze from 7:00 I had to put 1.5 min windage in to be on at 200 yards. At 300 the range is more open to wind and I had to use 2 min. At 300 yards a 5 mph breeze from 9:00 results in more than 11" of drift!

Experimentation is at least half the fun with this. Enjoy!

Mi Rifle
Amazing collection of information here. Thank you!

I feared to use the FTX because I've had less than desirable performance from XTP bullets out of my muzzleloader (I switched to Barnes for it too). I know Hornady makes some great accuracy bullets, but the game performance is another factor.

Good tip on the Enforcer being temp sensitive, because that is the powder I intend to start with, since I have some on hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tc 250 bonded shockwave, anything barnes, and 240 xtp mag are your friends. Deepcurl won't stay together at these speeds.
Won't give out load data due to liability, but aa#9 with the 200 barnes and h110 with the 250 bonded shockwave are tough to beat.
All lit up by federal primer 215M

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Thanks for the tips!

I hadn't intended on using the Deepcurl for anything other than paper. I just don't like the idea of blowing through Barnes bullets target shooting due to the price (I will shoot enough of them to be confident for hunting though).

I might have to get a hold of some H110, I've seen a few recommendations for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So far the accuracy with the Speer DeepCurl projectiles has been terrible. I picked up some Hornady XTP Mags (240gr) to try out for my target load, hopefully they will perform better. The powder I am working with currently is H110.

Best projectile accuracy (base on the very limited testing I've been able to do yet) has been with the 275gr Barnes TSX.

Unfortunately the clasp on my MagnetoSpeed is broken, so I haven't been able to record any velocities...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
36 GR h110 275 Barnes @2170 fps was very accurate in my gun.
New barrels typically take 100-150 shots to break in.

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What kind of OAL did you end up near? When I use a dummy round to check OAL where the projectile kisses the lands gave me ~2.4". Using the Barnes recommendation of starting with a .050 jump, I am starting with an OAL of 2.35"
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The clasp on my lightly used (first gen) Magnetospeed broke (design flaw), so I am sadly doing development without any speed monitoring.

Their response was to suggest that I buy their most recent product, because the don't support replacement parts for their early line design flaws... Not really feeling that.
 

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What kind of OAL did you end up near? When I use a dummy round to check OAL where the projectile kisses the lands gave me ~2.4". Using the Barnes recommendation of starting with a .050 jump, I am starting with an OAL of 2.35"
Not really sure. I load just to fit mag. The bullets don't seem to be seating depth sensitive.
The Barnes recommendation is more for the rifle bullets.
I was about 46 grains of h110 with the 240 xtp.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not really sure. I load just to fit mag. The bullets don't seem to be seating depth sensitive.
The Barnes recommendation is more for the rifle bullets.
I was about 46 grains of h110 with the 240 xtp.

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I am using the Barnes TSX, so there is likely some geometric variation from the XPB. I am not constrained by a magazine length being that I am working with a bolt action. That has proven to be a bit tricky though, because I don't have a magazine worked out that will feed right.

I've gone up to 48.5gr of H110 with the XTP MAG and haven't found a load that seemed terribly accurate yet. It has a way different POI from the Barnes bullets too.

Next shooting episode will be with the Barnes loaded over 42.4gr of H110 to a few different seating depths.
 

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Enforcer, lil gun, vv110, 300 mp are some good powders for this round.

It took me a bit to figure out, but well worth the effort.

I shoot a fairly light taper crimp and federal 215m primers.

Was ringing a 8" going at 200 meters the other day. Shot after shot after shot. Still inside of a 4" group and 6" drop from my 100 meter zero.

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.

I have tried a couple of custom bullets but could not achieve acceptable accuracy with them. I have not tried the Cutting Edge bullets that some people have used successfully.

I have not tried Lil'Gun due to the reports of burning out throats by the people at Freedom Arms. I know others have reported excellent results with Lil'Gun, but I'm not willing to gamble with my Krieger barrel.

I see no reason to try magnum rifle primers with what is essentially a handgun cartridge.
I have yet to find a gun that's not accurate with Cutting Edge Bullets no bullet will preform as good on big game.....

All that I have ever used in my 50 B&M Super Short is Lil'Gun with 60'000 psi over 2500 rounds and counting on a Pac-Nor barrel....theres minimal erosion....460 S&W Ruger No.1 with just over 1000 rounds barrel looks very close to new...
There's 1000's of people using Lil'Gun in 450 Bushmasters I know several including me that have put 1000's of rounds down barrels and exhibit minimal wear and are no way the quality as a custom barrel....
Only down fall I've found with Lil'Gun you will not get any increase in velocities when it gets compress in loads....

Magnum primer are never a bad idea to try....extreme velocity spreads and in very cold temperatures they can and do help velocities....
In cartridges that you would never think of using magnum primers they are worth a try....I use them in 358 Winchester with the advise of John Barsness....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Perhaps it is time to try the Lil'Gun. I wasn't using it because of some people claiming that it eats throats... But I need something that is more consistent than the results I'm witnessing with H110 right now. Really wish I had an operational chrono!

I have been using Federal magnum primers.

Cutting Edge might also be in order... I've not had this much trouble finding a load that shoots well before. It's got me questioning everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Time to start my testing again. At this point, I am disappointed with the performance of this barrel, but I'm not giving up. I just don't have any other guns that shoot as poorly.

I haven't tried the FTX bullets, cutting edge bullets ( I was hoping not to need such pricy projectiles), nor Lil'Gun yet. So I do have some things left to workout.



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Just for an accuracy test, you might want to try the FTX and Lil' Gun. At least then you will know if it is a load issue or a barrel issue. I would never use that bullet for deer, especially at speeds over 2100 fps.
I run the 250 grain Barnes T-EZ muzzleloader bullet in my 450 Bushmaster at 2425 fps out of a 16" Ruger with Lil' Gun. 3 shots touching at 100 yards is no problem at all.
The cases are pretty much identical in capacity. Limiting factor of the 450 is the AR rifles.
 

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There's factory ammo available - if you're questioning the barrel.

You should see the harmonics of increasing powder. .2-.3 grain jumps will show you a pattern. Don't overlook mechanical failures like screws and scopes. These big guns are tough on equipment.
I use the bonded shockwave and h110 with a light taper crimp. Been nothing but devastating on deer (250 gr @2600 fps).

The raptor was designed to be a 2 MOA or better cartridge. I like 1 moa or better because the max distance I'll ever shoot is 230 yards.

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