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Old June 16, 2010, 01:47 PM   #26
Mal H
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You haven't said which powder/weight you are using, and which primer. Without that info, it would be impossible to say whether the rounds are safe or not.

As for the loose bullets, it sounds like the only thing holding them in place is the crimp. That could cause some problems with setback if you happen to be making some stout loads.

Did you run the cases through the resizing die? A true .429" bullet shouldn't just slip into a properly sized case.
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Old June 16, 2010, 04:07 PM   #27
TATER
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Art is sometimes subjective, and I guess so are terms that are used...
The word “slip” concerns me. Slip, would suggest to me, that there was
no friction and that the bullet is loose, if not for the crimp holding it, it would fallout.

If that is the case then NO, You are not Safe.
My powder of choice for 44 mag is WW296/H-110 and it is fine enough to work
Its way out. You could run the real risk of lighting up every Chamber when you pull the trigger.
I’m sure there will be some nitpick’en on this particular matter. Just know that I would not
Do it.

Now, If there was some friction in conjunction with the lube it should be sealed and
you are good to go. (With a Good Crimp)


Ouch....Sorry Mal H, I did not know there was a second Page.

Last edited by TATER; June 16, 2010 at 04:14 PM.
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Old June 20, 2010, 04:46 AM   #28
Plaz
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Quote:You haven't said which powder/weight you are using, and which primer. Without that info, it would be impossible to say whether the rounds are safe or not.

As for the loose bullets, it sounds like the only thing holding them in place is the crimp. That could cause some problems with setback if you happen to be making some stout loads.

Did you run the cases through the resizing die? A true .429" bullet shouldn't just slip into a properly sized case.

--------

The following information applies to my loads:
- Lead: from wheel weights
- CCI large pistol primers
- Powder: W231
- Grains of powder per load: varies between 5.2-6.4 grains
- Mold: Lee 429
- Bullet weight: mostly 250 grains

- Bullet diameters: #1 bullet: .427-.430
#2 bullet: .427-.430
#3 bullet: .427-.428
#4 bullet: .426-.429

- Bullet lengths: #1 bullet: .757
#2 bullet: .754
#3 bullet: .750
#4 bullet: .749

- Cases: all brand new Winchester 44 mag cases

- Inside diameter of the sized cases determined with calipers :
(these variations are astounding, however, there is some consistency in the maximum dimensions)
case #1: .414-.423
case #2: 373-.425
case #3 .386-.424
case #4: .423-.425

- Cartridge COL: All close to 1.610

- Dies: All Hornady 44 remington mag dies: sizer, expander, powder measure, powder cop, and seating/roll crimp dies

- Sizing: attempts were made to size several bullets to .430 inches but only once in a while did a spec of lead be removed from any one bullet. I interpreted this to mean that sizing was unnecessary. Perhaps I was wrong.

- Opinion: I am certain that in some instances the bullet is held in place by the crimp, since in those cases I was able to push the bullet into the case by hand.

I hope I can get some opinions on the safety of these loads.

Last edited by Plaz; June 20, 2010 at 05:49 AM.
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Old June 20, 2010, 11:47 AM   #29
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This is hard to understand -

- Inside diameter of the sized cases determined with calipers :
(these variations are astounding, however, there is some consistency in the maximum dimensions)
case #1: .414-.423
case #2: 373-.425
case #3 .386-.424
case #4: .423-.425


I just measured a small bag of .44 Mag I intended to reload and somehow got stopped after the resize/deprime/reprime step. Without listing all 50 cases, I got ID's of around 0.420" to 0.427" trying to measure a single case, so I agree that using calipers to measure ID's may not give consistent results. This was a Frontier / Hornady brass mix.

I have no idea how you could get a dimension like 0.373" or 0.386" ... when I set my calipers to these values and insert them in a case, the caliper jaws rattle between the sides.

Sometimes caliper jaws can catch on the material when making measurements, but they do have to be parallel to take a meaningful ID estimate.

I measured the Speer JSP's I use and got 0.428". I'd have to guess I'm seeing 0.002" to 0.003" of tension, and I'm not having bullets push into the case before crimping.

I really can't guess what is going on, but I'd love to see some more consistent numbers on the case ID's...
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Last edited by dmazur; June 20, 2010 at 11:56 AM.
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Old June 20, 2010, 02:46 PM   #30
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Inner diameter variations

I just measured some (fired) 44 Magnum brass and found sizes between .418" and .435".

These were casings I picked up off the ground at the range, and had probably been stepped on and were obviously out of round, but even seventeen thousands is awfully hard to see by eye.

As far as the loose fit of the bullets into the cases (presumably after they have been passed through the sizing/deprime operation), I don't know. Last week I was helping my friend reload a bunch of his 500 S&W and found that after belling the case mouth, I could push a bullet into the case with my hands. But to get it all the way down to the crimping groove, I had to push the flat of the nose of the bullet against the side of the bench, using both hands to push on the case, essentially getting my whole body into it. How hard do you push to get the bullet to "slip" into the case?

Lee Precision claims that their molds cast bullets at finished size, relieving the need to size the bullets down to specification in a separate operation. Is it possible these bullets are undersized by a tiny bit?

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Old June 20, 2010, 09:25 PM   #31
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Since we know that the majority of the bullets fit properly into the cases lets get back to discussing whether or not these loads are safe to fire?.
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Old June 20, 2010, 11:34 PM   #32
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Quote:
...lets get back to discussing whether or not these loads are safe to fire.
OK, if you're shooting them in a revolver and you have poor case tension, the bullets might pull on recoil, which would tie up the revolver.

If you're shooting them in a carbine with a tubular magazine, it is possible that the full magazine of cartridges could cause setback due to recoil, and bullet setback can result in drastically reduced case volume and a "kaboom".

From what I can tell, you are not dealing with maximum .44 Mag loads, so the above are possible but unlikely, IMO.

The safest solution is to figure out what went wrong, pull the bullets and start over.
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Old June 20, 2010, 11:41 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaz
Since we know that the majority of the bullets fit properly into the cases lets get back to discussing whether or not these loads are safe to fire?
Fair enough. No, they are not safe to fire.

You have demonstrated that you are having a serious problem with measuring just about anything. That difficulty could also include measuring the powder loads.

Is there anyone you can call on locally to physically eyeball your reloading techniques, especially your measuring techniques? Maybe a gun club member or shooting range employee who reloads?
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Old June 20, 2010, 11:43 PM   #34
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He could also shoot them single-shot. (how many are we talking about?)

OTOH, pulling a whole bunch of bullets is good for you. (once)
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Old June 21, 2010, 12:08 AM   #35
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Quote:
I don't see the need for manuals anymore if a fellow has an internet connection. Everything this fellow asked is explained in the Lee instructions I get with each set of dies. Same for RCBS dies.
No flame intended, but this is one of the most dangerous posts I have ever read on any forum.

YOU NEED RELOADING MANUALS. Note the plural.

The manuals give you step by step instructions with illustrations on how to load your cartridges. They are easy to follow, and you have a wealth of printed information for reference at your fingertips. I recommend the IMMEDIATE investment in the latest Speer, Hornady, Nosler and Sierra manuals. Keep them and study them well.

Friend, reloading is an enjoyable and fulfilling pastime. For the dedicated shooter, nothing compares to seeing stacks of boxes of loaded ammunition in pristine condition that YOU crafted yourself, custom loaded for your guns.

At the same time, never, EVER forget that you are handling tens of thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure every time you drop the hammer or pull the trigger.

A firearm is indeed an engineering marvel; they are built strong. But an overcharge can turn that handgun or rifle into a grenade with disastrous or lethal results.

Get the manuals; study them well. Then, when you get your equipment assemble your first rounds under the tutelage of an experienced reloader.

Don't take shortcuts! Good luck in a very enjoyable pastime--but always, ALWAYS treat it with respect. You'll stay happy--and safe--that way.

Cordially,

your friendly neighborhood Powderman
(loading now for 30+ years, and STILL studies the manuals!)
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Old June 21, 2010, 02:32 AM   #36
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diappointed

I am really disappointed in how the latest comments on the forum indicated a lack of confidence in my ability. Don't misunderstand me I really apporeciate your comments both good and bad.

I have succesfully loaded about two thousand cartridges of 9 mm and 45 acp with great success solving all the problems as they occurred.. I gleaned a lot of good experience in the process and have a pretty good idea and respect for accurate measuring. However, this is my first experience loading lead bullets.

I fired 50 rounds of factory 44 mag ammo in my new 629 revolver and am certainly aware of the necessity of safe reloading of such a powerful caliber. In this case of my first experience with loading 44 mag on my new S & W 629 revolver I thought it best that I look for comments and I do appreciate them. I want you to know that I enter this reload of 44 mag with a successful and confident level of experience. Knowing that, I would like to know if you are still concerned about my ability to safely reload 44 mag ammo? I still want you to be honest with me as you have been.

I can certainly see why my measuring ability can be of concern based on the wide variety of some measured results. I tried very hard to be as complete as possible in seeking your comments.

It may not look like it, but I do read my manuals. I possess and read the Hornady, Lyman and Sierra manuals.

It seems that the use of unsized lead bullets is a large cause of the strange measuring readings. Measuring an unsized lead bullet with peculiar lead protrusions around the periphery affecting diameter is a problem causing strange diameter differences. Let us not forget that I used a Lee 429 mold. I do have a 430 diameter mold on order with which I will expect to size and get better and consistent measured diameter results. So far I have loaded 50 rounds of the current loads using the current bullets. If necessary I will take those loads apart and wait for my new 430 molded bullets.

Please continue with your very appreciated comments.

Last edited by Plaz; June 21, 2010 at 04:47 AM.
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Old June 21, 2010, 07:59 AM   #37
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Plaz, I don't believe anyone was trying to demean you. But, your initial question gave the impression you are a complete beginner. The responses were written to help a beginner begin safely.
If you need help with a specific situation, ask a specific question.
If you ask general questions the responses will be general in nature.
The responders were only trying to help. Jumping on them shows lack of gratitude.
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Old June 21, 2010, 09:11 AM   #38
dmazur
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My comments and questions were intended to be helpful.

The question still stands: How did you measure an ID of 0.373" on a .44 Mag case?

Try setting your calipers to that dimension and inserting the jaws in the case to see what I'm talking about.

Also, bullets are supposed to be round, AFAIK. If you have strange protrusions on cast bullets, something may be amiss.

What are you using for lube?
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Old June 21, 2010, 09:43 AM   #39
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Buy some commercial cast bullets and learn what you are doing on those before throwing in another big variable -- your own dubious cast bullets.
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Old June 21, 2010, 03:39 PM   #40
Plaz
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Quote: Plaz, I don't believe anyone was trying to demean you. But, your initial question gave the impression you are a complete beginner. The responses were written to help a beginner begin safely.
If you need help with a specific situation, ask a specific question.
If you ask general questions the responses will be general in nature.
The responders were only trying to help. Jumping on them shows lack of gratitude.

--------------------------

It is a known fact that emails have a tendency to give the wrong impressions. I am sure this is what happened here. I was not disappointed with the forum. It was like receiving a failing grade at school. I was disappointed in the grade not the teacher.

I intend to purchase ready sized commercial lead bullets as suggested and will study the situation further. I am not a bit worried about arriving at a safe load that is agreed to by all for safety. It is just a matter of time in getting the issue resolved with confidence. As a matter of fact I am not overly concerned about firing some of my existing loads. I feel that the bullets I would fire fit tightly in the cases with less than 50 % of maximum load for the weight of the bullets. I still would rather hear a positive agreement from the forum in case there is something I overlooked.

In the meantime I want to apologize for any unintended bad comments. I have a lot of respect for the forum and have used it many times.

Please keep the comments coming.
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Old June 21, 2010, 07:16 PM   #41
Plaz
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Quote: June 16, 2010, 02:07 PM #27
TATER
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Join Date: November 19, 2002
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 303 Art is sometimes subjective, and I guess so are terms that are used...
The word “slip” concerns me. Slip, would suggest to me, that there was
no friction and that the bullet is loose, if not for the crimp holding it, it would fallout.

If that is the case then NO, You are not Safe.
My powder of choice for 44 mag is WW296/H-110 and it is fine enough to work
Its way out. You could run the real risk of lighting up every Chamber when you pull the trigger.
I’m sure there will be some nitpick’en on this particular matter. Just know that I would not
Do it.

Now, If there was some friction in conjunction with the lube it should be sealed and
you are good to go. (With a Good Crimp)


Ouch....Sorry Mal H, I did not know there was a second Page.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by TATER; June 16, 2010 at 02:14 PM.


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Yesterday, 02:46 AM #28
Plaz
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Join Date: December 23, 2007
Posts: 125 Quote:You haven't said which powder/weight you are using, and which primer. Without that info, it would be impossible to say whether the rounds are safe or not.

As for the loose bullets, it sounds like the only thing holding them in place is the crimp. That could cause some problems with setback if you happen to be making some stout loads.

Did you run the cases through the resizing die? A true .429" bullet shouldn't just slip into a properly sized case.

--------

The following information applies to my loads:
- Lead: from wheel weights
- CCI large pistol primers
- Powder: W231
- Grains of powder per load: varies between 5.2-6.4 grains
- Mold: Lee 429
- Bullet weight: mostly 250 grains

- Bullet diameters: #1 bullet: .427-.430
#2 bullet: .427-.430
#3 bullet: .427-.428
#4 bullet: .426-.429

- Bullet lengths: #1 bullet: .757
#2 bullet: .754
#3 bullet: .750
#4 bullet: .749

- Cases: all brand new Winchester 44 mag cases

- Inside diameter of the sized cases determined with calipers :
(these variations are astounding, however, there is some consistency in the maximum dimensions)
case #1: .414-.423
case #2: 373-.425
case #3 .386-.424
case #4: .423-.425

- Cartridge COL: All close to 1.610

--------------------------------

The issue of the .373 inside case diameter has never repeated. I have concluded that this was an incorrect test point caused by not permitting the reading to settle down to its correct firm reading. This had to be the case,since such a low diameter is virtually impossible. Accordingly, I have deleted this test point from the data.

The issue of the bullet slipping into some of the cases also has never been repeated. However, I remain concerned about this issue. I fully intend to check all seating manually prior to seating the bullet to see to it that this never happens and if so why. Those of you with a lot of casting experience should be able to tell me if this kind of bullet diameter reduction is possible when undertaking the total casting, handling and quenching procedures. Even if we find the answer to this question, I still intend to always manually check fitting the bullet in the case prior to seating it.

I still feel that my current loads as listed above produce a safe cartridge. I feel that the current load is producing a cartridge of less than half the maximum load required for its bullet weight. As long as my manual loading procedures monitor any potential problems, I will feel safe. Afterall, darn near everything we do manually in reloading has a price to pay if you do not follow it correctly.
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Old June 21, 2010, 07:39 PM   #42
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Your loads look a lot like Win 231 loads for .44 Special. At least they shouldn't be "squib" loads, even in the .44 Mag case.

You didn't mention slow powders, so this may be unnecessary -

H110 shouldn't be reduced more than 3% from published data. There are concerns of detonation with reduced loads. So this is one powder that isn't safer to use at 50% of maximum.

Also, H110 requires a really good crimp to prevent setback, as well as provide for proper ignition.

A lot of the concerns with .44 Magnum reloading are related to the fact that you can get a lot out of it, IMO.

I haven't tried any "target loads" in .44 Mag. However, I have a pound of W231 and I might just load up 50 to see what they do...
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Old June 21, 2010, 08:06 PM   #43
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There are a couple of potential causes for concern, as far as I can see.

First, it seems that your bullets are ranging in diameter over a wide spectrum. This is unacceptable, if you expect to hit anything past two feet.
I own, and use, different Lee molds. My favorite casts the .45 caliber HG 68 profile, 200 grain LSWC. I size them in a Star lubrisizer at .452, and lube with Javelina Alox. My chosen target load is 3.8 of Clays; this load is very accurate from my guns, and I've been shooting them in Bullseye competition since 1999, with three trips to the Nationals. So, I think you might have a casting temperature problem.

Remember, aluminum molds have to be run HOT. Yes, the bullets might well be frosted--but that's just cosmetic. Heat those molds UP!

I preheat mine on an electric burner set on low for about 20 minutes; when I start casting I discard the first four fills to really bring it up to temperature.

Second, if you can turn the bullet by hand in a loaded round, you are not using the correct sizing die--or you're expanding the case WAY too much. The expander should barely bell the case mouth. Moreover, make sure you are using the correct sizer. Is it one for .44 Special or .44 Magnum?

Your loads with W231 sound good. After some trial and error, I settled on the Keith mid-range load for my .44 Magnum--250 grain Keith type LSWC, cast from wheelweight and sized to .430 inch; lubed with Javelina Alox; loaded on 8.5 grains of Unique. Shoots REALLY well!
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Old June 21, 2010, 11:21 PM   #44
Plaz
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I am not interested in using 296 or 110 powder. I think the very high load rates are an unnecessary extensive use of powder. I prefer to restrict my loads to more practical 231 and unique. I have no reason to achieve the very high maximum bullet velocities achieved by 296 and 110 powders..
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