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Old October 25, 2000, 05:39 PM   #3
Hal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 1998
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 7,951
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).]
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