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Loading .44 Magnum - UPDATE

Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭
Hi guys,

This past weekend I purchased a .44 Magnum carbine, Lee 4 die set, bullets, brass, primers, and powder. As soon as the defective parts come back from Lee [:(!], I'll be ready to load some. I'll be using H-110 with 240gr Hornady SP's.

Are there any pitfalls that a new loader to this cartridge can fall into? I'm aware of the need to not deviate from the recipes posted in the Hornady manual (from the other thread on .44 Magnum). But as I found out with the other calibers that I load, there are always some dos and don'ts that aren't covered in the books.

Thanks again guys,
Joe


UPDATE: I got my new decapping pin from Lee today finally. I also told them to polish or replace my floating crimp sleeve. Well it looks like they gave it to the new kid to try out his luck with it. It's a little better that it was, but that's not saying much, especially since it took them a week after they got mine before they shipped it back. They did send me a check to cover my shipping costs though. I'm going to load some rounds soon, so I'll see how it works.

As I said before, "you get what you pay for".

Comments

  • dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    Just make sure you have a good firm crimp on the bullet. It's important with H-110 and the carbine.
  • reloader44magreloader44mag Member Posts: 19,356 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    What was the problem with the Lee dies, if ya don't mind me asking.
  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by reloader44mag
    What was the problem with the Lee dies, if ya don't mind me asking.


    I don't mind at all. The tip was broken off the decapper pin leaving a jagged point instead of a normal pin, and the floating crimper in the Factory Crimp Die had a very rough surface inside the sleeve where it would make contact with the case mouth. It looked like threads were cut into it rather than a smooth surface.

    I had this same problem with both of my other Lee die sets in 9mm and .40 S&W. Those I just ground out, and polished until I got a smooth surface. But this time with the broken pin and the 3rd straight screwed up FCD, I just sent it back and hopefully they will send me a good one.

    The result of the thread like surface inside the floating crimp sleeve is that it will shave particles of brass off the outer surface of the case mouth, and deposit all that crud on the lip of the case mouth, which will of course wind up in your gun. It's obvious that they have the feed set too high in the machine that surfaces the crimp sleeve. Hopefully they have taken my previous advice and corrected the issue. There's no way to tell when this .44 die set was made, so I don't know if they have made any adjustments to their procedure or not.

    Sorry for the long rant, but it kind of upsets me when you buy 3 similar things and they all share a common but avoidable problem.

    Other than that, my Lee turret press and dies have performed very well and I'm happy with them.
  • reloader44magreloader44mag Member Posts: 19,356 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I use Lee 4-die sets for my 40S&W and My 45acp...never had or seen that issue...just picked up a set for 9mm...I will have to watch for that issue...
  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The easiest way to see if there is a problem, is to remove the top screw in the die and dump out the floating crimp sleeve. Then look at it under magnification. If it looks like there are fine threads inside the mouth of the sleeve, it will scrape brass off the case mouth.

    I hope you have better luck than I have.[:)]
  • rongrong Member Posts: 8,459
    edited November -1
    I just bought
    2 lee dies- a 41 mag
    and a 45 colt-and I don't like them
    at all -no locking ring,tough to
    adjust-all my other dies are
    redding and RCBS
  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by rong
    I just bought
    2 lee dies- a 41 mag
    and a 45 colt-and I don't like them
    at all -no locking ring,tough to
    adjust-all my other dies are
    redding and RCBS


    The locking ring is actually the rubber O'ring under the nut. It works pretty good after the rubber settles in. Until that happens you might want to check your settings on occasion. I've only had Lee dies, so I can't compare them to other brands. But as usually happens, you get what you pay for. [:D]
  • rongrong Member Posts: 8,459
    edited November -1
    Bubba
    That's fer sure
  • ozona12ozona12 Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I started out using the Lee single stage press kit and the carbide 4 die set 44 spl-Mag.
    Everything except the powder scale worked very well. So I got a little elec scale-fast and easy to read.
    The Dies using the Lee case lube are tough as granite and worked every damn time. Just clean up everything before you put it away-Just like Mom said.
    Also anything new needs tightening and some dry lube to get it going.
    If you are used to Rcbs etc. another brand will not feel right?
    I did have trouble with a new Lee 264 size die with a bad edge and they fixed it.
    Try to remember all the ammo and die co.s are working several shifts with new people trying to keep up with the quadruple demand since the panic in Nov. They did not cause the problem, We did.
  • nemesisenforcernemesisenforcer Member Posts: 10,513 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    what carbine did you get?
  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 6,420 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by nemesisenforcer
    what carbine did you get?


    I got the Rossi model 92. Kind of a replica of the Winchester 92. I like it a lot, but that butt plate was not very comfortable on my bad shoulder. I ordered a small slip-on Limbsaver butt pad that fits it pretty good. Hopefully I can go try it out this afternoon. I just made a brass catcher that I can mount on one of my tripods. I want to see how that works out too. So many toys, so little time. [:D]
  • ozona12ozona12 Member Posts: 5 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've been hunting with a 44 marlin cowboy that I chose because of the way it fit. After my M70 it does feel like a bb gun, but other than easy sight, the similarities, well you know. I did change the rear sight to Lyman peep sight with a taller front blade. This gun is easy to carry around in the brush and fun to hunt on foot with. It hits where I point it, too.

    I loaded 200 gr HP's with H110 up to a little over the printed max, (Check for high pressures now, son) and was able to change effective range from 100 yds to 200 (yes, double)by increasing velocity and therefore extending the place where the bullet falls out of the target.
    Factory 240 gr loads would drop 16" at 180 yds. My 200 HP's dropped 3" at 180 yds. I was smiling while filing down my rear sight stop.
    Buffalo does the same sort of high pressure loads, but uses a much bigger bullet. They also seat the bullets a little long, and they strongly advise using these loads Only in a Few, New, Tough guns like Marlin rifles or Ruger revolvers. Italian? Good luck.

    Most 44 mag loads are stuck in the heavy hard hitting slow bullet idea. If you are putting it in a long gun, lighter and faster means longer range. And yes, The trick is to find a lighter bullet of that big around, that is longer than it is wide so that it can stablize. Otherwise you may as well be using a lead ball. So, More copper, less lead, hollow or plastic pt. You know a 180 gr slug ain't small...
    To me putting a 300 gr slug in a hunting rifle to hit hard misses the idea, unless you intend to use it at 50 feet.
    Uhg--Long gun for long range; short gun for short range.

    A big hard hitting bullet is irrelevant if it can't get to the target.

    Anyway, have fun tromping around the woods with your new gun.
    As for Lee, give them a little break; they are working long hours to keep up with the quadrupled demand caused by our panic.
  • gunprofitgunprofit Member Posts: 157 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    When using H110 I learned the hard way that you need to use magnum primers and a very tight crimp. Otherwise, you could get a squib load.
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