The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 25, 2000, 03:45 PM   #1
Dikyllis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 1999
Posts: 150
A friend of mine has offered to show me how to reload .44 mag using his Lee Classic Loader (no press). I found the kit he has on the Lee site for $20. The kit doesn't look like much, but he claims to have reloaded .44 mag with it for years. The Lee site states that considerable force will be needed for resize. Anyone have any expierence with this kit, or one like it? I'm in college and on a fixed budget, but would like to start reloading. This looks like a cost effective option. Thanks for any input you have to offer.
Dikyllis is offline  
Old October 25, 2000, 04:25 PM   #2
Big Bunny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605
Yes -the force is considerableto re-size (if needed for an auto etc) but if lightly lubed it will cope OK(Maybe use an oil-based lube such as LYMAN or RCBS) as I feel LEE'S own water-based is one messy).

LEE LOADER...a highly recommended, low volume, slow but easily transported/concealed "reloader".

Most of us started on LEE Loaders and I still have 6 of them as emmergency backups for the bush or-----when needed

Use a soft hammer-insert and a block of wood and it should last forever. They are AUD $45 here -so your price looks OK to us! Check for rust and scoring as well as over-enthusiastic hammer use on the rod especially!!Sometimes the priming anvil and spring come lose if abused, so it may be wise to check this also.


The LEE 'AUTO PRIME' is also worth a look.


Congratulations and welcome to the cautious and rewarding hobby of ammo assembly.
Remember only to use the powder measure and powder applying to the calibre as this has a 10% inbuilt safety factor.

Have fun...I envy your new horizons of cheaper shooting...and more often

------------------
If we shooting sportspersons don't hang together... we will all hang separately !
Never knock another's different shooting interest or discipline...REMEMBER we are all but leaves on the same tree of freedom.
Big Bunny is offline  
Old October 25, 2000, 05:39 PM   #3
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,376
Like Big Bunny, I've got 4 of them. Yep, they work fine except for the speed. You can load very respectable rounds with a little time and elbow grease. Lube on the .44 cases is a necessity, otherwise the force needed to size them will crush them. I found faster burning powders like Bullseye, Unique or Winchester 231 as opposed to slower powders like 2400 to work better in my set. I don't think the dies provides a good enough crimp to use the slower powders. You'll also notice the powder charges listed are very conservative. Don't expect top velocity. Using the provided dipper doesn't allow for much flexibility. Basicly, your .44 mag loads will be hot .44 specials. Wear safety glasses since the priming stage usually results in 1 in 100 primers going off. The best method I found, and one I carried over some 25 years later with my regular press is to deprime-size-and bell the case mouth one day. Clean off the lube and prime another. Charge, seat and crimp on a third day. If you pick up a hand primer(highly recommended), then you can pretty much prime while doing something else. Breaking up the steps spreads out the time needed. FWIW, I paid for my Lee Turret with the money I saved loading my first batches of ammo. It didn't take long to add up.
I still have the original boxes w/prices from 1975-76.
Winchester unprimed .44 cases- $9.15 per 50
Hornady .44ca 240 GR JHP- $11.75 per 100
Winchester 231 (this might be more recent, but it's old enough to still be in a metal can)- $11.49 per pound
CCI large pistol primes- $1.39 per 100
I figured my cost was around a dime a shot,(the Hornady's were the most expensive, usually I used something much cheaper) or $5.00 per 50.
By contrast, I have a box of Winchester X44MHSP that has a $10.75 sticker on it per 20 rounds. (Very high, most of the factory .44mag I could find back then was around $16.00 per 50). Even so, I saved about $10.00 per 50, so it didn't take long to save up the $70.00 for the turret press.

[This message has been edited by RAE (edited October 25, 2000).]
Hal is offline  
Old October 25, 2000, 07:34 PM   #4
Dikyllis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 1999
Posts: 150
Hot .44 specials!??! Well we can't have that! I need something that's going to blow my Redhawk into little bits!

But seriously, isn't there any way for me to get a true magnum load with this kit?
Dikyllis is offline  
Old October 25, 2000, 08:52 PM   #5
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,376
Dikyllis,
It's tough but it can be done. If you get a manual and a scale, you can weigh individual charges and load some pretty stout loads. Just remember the crimp part though. I found it next to impossible to get the tight crimp you need to hold the bullet in place long enough to allow a heavy loading with the slower powders. FWIW, I used a set of dippers instead of a scale. Lee had/has a set called a powder measure kit which consists of 15 different dippers. You combine the different sizes to get your loading. Eg: one dipper of .3CC and one dipper of .6cc for a total of .9cc. VERY IFFY at best and requires complete concentration as well as double and triple checks. For the time being, I would just be content with loading a decent accurate load, and wait until better equipment comes along. Course YMMV.A frind of mine loaded some 30/30 rifle rounds with a Lee pound 'em in, and took a nice buck in West Virginia. They look and sound cheesy, but they are effective. Did I mention how slow they are ?

[This message has been edited by RAE (edited October 25, 2000).]
Hal is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.06189 seconds with 9 queries