• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Reloading .50 Action Express







Dr. Marneaus

Wheel Gun Guy
Forum Supporter
2021 Supporter
#1
Since I was dumb enough to buy a Desert Eagle I figure I better start wrapping my head around reloading for it since data seems really sparse.

I managed to locate a set of dies though the 20+ retailers I checked were all out of stock.

I managed to find a few hundred once fired brass casings for an okay price.

Primers: large pistol or large pistol magnum. Simple, but I will have one hell of a time getting any in the near future.

Main questions come down to:


Bullets: straight forward enough at .500 but from what I’m seeing you can’t really use any bullets over 335gr because they will be to long and will be sitting into the rifling. Seems most common are 300 and 325gr flat nose and HP so that rules out a lot of the 500 S&W Bulleits. Lead is a no-go due to clogging the gas ports but what about powder coated bullets? Plated? are there any options other than just jacketed?

Powder: seems like most folks like H110. I think I saw 2400 listed. Any thoughts on what powders are good to go?
 
#2
Another powder that can be used is IMR 4227. I personally use H110 because that is what I have. When I run out of H110 I will probably give 4227 a try. I use Hornady XTPs because every gun I shoot them out of it is like shooting a laser. I have loaded up quite a bit of Hornady Action Pistol (HAP) loads for my 10mm. They also work well, basically an XTP without a hollow point. I haven't looked for them for them in 50AE. From what I have read, plated bullets work fine but you are right about lead. I have no idea about powder coated bullets.

That's all I've got. :)

bob
 
Last edited:

Dr. Marneaus

Wheel Gun Guy
Forum Supporter
2021 Supporter
#7
Aite. I’ve started tracking down components. I’ve got a local feeler out for a few hundred large primers and a pound of H110. I ain’t gonna pay stupid prices so hopefully somebody reasonable will reach out with a trade request.

I’ve got varget and XBR 8208 to trade, as well as small pistol and large rifle primers.

We shall see! At that point I’ll just have to track down some bullets.
 

Felid'Maximus

Beware of Cat
Forum Supporter
#8
Would you mind sharing some of your favorite loads? Charge and projectile?


NOTE TO ALL IN THE INTERNET: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! INCOMPLETE DATA THAT MIGHT MAIM OR KILL YOU!


It's been a little while since I loaded some .50 AE.

I know I have more detailed information somewhere.... This is what I have on my spreadsheet from shooting. I think I have the exact OAL specs on a square of paper in with my dies. The OAL for the Rainier Bullets with the 2.2 cc Lee dipper load at least is as short as possible. Any longer than that and they won't fit in the magazine. I would always measure the OAL with calipers after I loaded them and some weren't quite deep enough so I'd have to give them another push with the press to get them deep enough.

From my Desert Eagle with the standard 6" barrel:

Rainier 335 gr bullets, 32.5gr (2.2 cc) of MP-300. 1st shot 1451 fps, 2nd shot 1420 fps 6/12/2015 in Reno, NV
335 gr Rainier HP, 1.9cc MP-300 1st shot 1132 fps, 2nd shot 1200 fps. 1/23/2015 in Reno, NV
300 gr Speer Deepcurl bullet - Unknown Load... Chronograph data from my 2015 tests seems missing...

I recall that the Speer bullet is much easier to seat deeper but it is also way more expensive, so I only ever bought one box of those bullets and then I just bought the Rainier bullets.

I'll post back if I can find the little square paper in with my dies or other information.
 
Last edited:

Dr. Marneaus

Wheel Gun Guy
Forum Supporter
2021 Supporter
#9
Unfortunately, Rainier is gone, done, out of business now. I know folks liked their bullets for this though.

I really need to find some magnum primers. I'm gonna post up a wanted ad here
 

Dr. Marneaus

Wheel Gun Guy
Forum Supporter
2021 Supporter
#11
So, I've got powder, I've got brass, I've got primers, I just need proji's.


I've gotten to thinking. Since stuff is stupid right now all I have been able to track down are Winchester WLP's. Now, these say "for magnum or standard loads" and I've read about people using them successfully with slow burning magnum loads, specifically with H110 and W296 and having GOOD results....... but I also hear people getting a lot of unburnt powder.

I'm wondering how suitable these will be for .50AE since we're talking about using like 5-7 more grains than a .44 magnum load. I know a heavy bullet and a good crimp help getting complete burn...but I believe the .50 AE headspaces on the case mouth which is why the RCBS dies offer a taper crimp....and taper crimps arent as heavy or strong as a roll crimp.


Just curious if my WLP primers will potentially cause any issues over say a CCI350? I'm probably worrying about nothing. I'm not planning to run super heavy loads or try to push the limits, so i'm not worried about a potential secondary pressure spike or anything, and I think these guns are absurdly strong. I'm probably worrying about nothing....
 

Dr. Marneaus

Wheel Gun Guy
Forum Supporter
2021 Supporter
#15
So i finally break down and order 100 overpriced projectiles on gun broker. Speer "plinker" hollow points.

Then this morning I go through and check x-treme's website for no apparent reason, and see they have completely restocked since last time I checked. Ordered 500 more round nose projectiles for half the price per projectile that I paid on the speer ones.


dammit.

Either way, looks like I'm set for about 600 rounds (even though I dont have that much brass).
 
#16
I haven't looked - does Lee offer a factory crimp die for this cartridge?

If so, consider it for your tight crimp while still getting headspacing on the case mouth.
That tends to work out well for rimless cartridges in single action revolvers
 

Dr. Marneaus

Wheel Gun Guy
Forum Supporter
2021 Supporter
#17
I haven't looked - does Lee offer a factory crimp die for this cartridge?

If so, consider it for your tight crimp while still getting headspacing on the case mouth.
That tends to work out well for rimless cartridges in single action revolvers
I dunno.

I ordered RCBS dies because they are taper crimp. The hornady does for some reason are roll crimp which makes no sense with head spacing on the rim
 
#18
I have since looked
Lee doesn't do a crimp die for this cartridge

I have a Redding Profile Crimp Die for the 500, which has worked for the S&W and the JRH
I don't know if it's shallow enough for the AE
It's at the machine shop. If I remember I'll look at it next week to see if it's suitable for your loading job.
If so, you should give it a test spin to see if it's something that'll work for you. I think Redding still offers the die, it's good for the wheelguns, but it might not be the right for your needs. It's available for you to try.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Wheel Gun Guy
Forum Supporter
2021 Supporter
#19
I have since looked
Lee doesn't do a crimp die for this cartridge

I have a Redding Profile Crimp Die for the 500, which has worked for the S&W and the JRH
I don't know if it's shallow enough for the AE
It's at the machine shop. If I remember I'll look at it next week to see if it's suitable for your loading job.
If so, you should give it a test spin to see if it's something that'll work for you. I think Redding still offers the die, it's good for the wheelguns, but it might not be the right for your needs. It's available for you to try.
Awesome. let me know if you take a look at it.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Wheel Gun Guy
Forum Supporter
2021 Supporter
#20
So, I'm attempting to load some .50AE, and I cannot figure out the right seating depth as I am using a bullet that doesnt quite exactly match the specs of anything else.

A 325gr HP is the load data I'm using, but I am using a solid 325gr bullet that is .013" shorter than the HP. Should I still seat to the depth called for by the slightly longer HP? I am currently seated .005" less deep than the COAL on the HP calls for. This means there is nearly .020 extra space behind the bullet. measuring bullet jump this has me at .040 off the lands. Just not sure how much of a difference any of this will make. I'm not loading match ammo.