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Thread: New To Handgun Reloading

  1. #1

    Default New To Handgun Reloading

    I have been reloading rifle shells for years. Just got a Ruger 44 Mag and want to reload. Is it as simple as purchasing components and dies, checking load specs and starting? I have a single stage press.

  2. #2
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Nothing much to it. Just look out for the dreaded double charge.

    Good-on-ya, have fun!

    Andy

  3. #3

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    Handgun reloading is easier than rifle as far as I'm concerned, so you should have a short learning curve. As ADF said, powder charges are the major differences.

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    Default Most significant difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by ldh1187 View Post
    I have been reloading rifle shells for years. Just got a Ruger 44 Mag and want to reload. Is it as simple as purchasing components and dies, checking load specs and starting? I have a single stage press.
    Most rifle shells headspace on the shoulder. The 44 Magnum headspaces on the rim. (Most semi-auto pistol cartridges headspace on the case mouth.)

    But the most significant different to you as a reloader will probably be that (if you use a tungsten-carbide sizing die) you do not require case lubrication. (If you use a regular tool steel die, you will use lube.) Saves a lot of time and messing around. I love it.

    Happy shooting.

    Lost Sheep

  5. #5

    Default wont crimp

    Just off the reloading press. Am finding that my RCBS, .44 Bullet seat die will not crimp. Never had this problem before, just loading my pet ld for the .44. Tried adjusting the depth of both the die and bullet seat, sill no crimp. Any suggestions out there?

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    Another difference you'll see with handgun reloading is the step of case mouth flaring (which is of course also required when reloading straight walled rifles cartridges such as the 45-70). There is a die for flaring (hence the 3 die set). It will take a couple of times to get the die set just right...not too much, not too little. If over-flared the case won't go into the bullet seating die, and if underflared you'll crush the case when seating the bullet. Flare it just enough so that the bullet sets level in the case mouth. You've probably already figured out the right setting...my first flared cartridge was pretty interesting looking.

    Crimping is another important step with handgun reloading that I have stopped doing with rifle (except .223 out of an autoloader). I have a Lee Factory Crimping Die for each of my handgun cartridges...it is the way to go, they are reasonably priced, and they will work even if the bullet doesn't have a cannelure (as is mostly the case with autoloader bullets). For 44 and 454 I put serious crimps on them so that I don't get bullet creep in the last rounds of the cylinder. For autoloaders I adjust the crimping die to the point that the bullet is firmly gripped, yet the case mouth is still in place for proper head spacing...it gives me confidence against bullets being nosed-in during feeding, which would cause increased pressure.

    Loading for handgun is easy...but as others have noted, watch those powder charges. Good luck and good for you!

  7. #7

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    Thanks Doc, I noticed the three die set and your information is spot on.

  8. #8
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    The Redding profile crimp die is a good one for the 44 mag.

    Personally I seat and crimp in two different steps whenever I do crimp cases.

    If I crimp using the bullet seating die then I back the bullet seater out and lower the die for crimping.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Quote Originally Posted by grizschmitz View Post
    Just off the reloading press. Am finding that my RCBS, .44 Bullet seat die will not crimp. Never had this problem before, just loading my pet ld for the .44. Tried adjusting the depth of both the die and bullet seat, sill no crimp. Any suggestions out there?

    Back the seating stem out then screw the seating die body down until it touches the shell holder. That should be maximum crimp. Back off slightly for less crimp. Seat all bullets then readjust the seater and crimp as above.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I'm with Doc on the Lee Factory Crimp die(handgun). Not only does it crimp, but it also has a carbide ring that will "size" any round that is too big around. I have them for most of my handguns. Some times when you're (I'm) seating and crimping in one step the case will swell slightly below the crimp. Problem solved with the 2 step and Lee die. If it goes through the die it will fit in the chamber.

    Another note on the differences between rifle and handgun loading...other than comp. rifles, I tend to load and shoot a lot more for handguns.

  11. #11

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    Thank you! It sounds like a set of Lee dies are in order

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    Default Use a bulky powder !

    I would recomend starting with a bulky powder like H-110 or Lil gun ! any double charge will spill powder on the fllor and wil be obvious ! I use the Lee dies including the Factory crimp dies in my .454 Casull loads ! Kevin

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    Default Lee factory crimp die

    If shooting cast boolits, you may not want to use the lee factory crimp die as it will shrink the cast bullet in the case. Shooting undersized cast can cause bad leading. If shooting jacketed, they shouldn't need resized after loading. They may be very helpful for accuracy in rifle loads but I've never seen a need for them with pistol rounds. 2400 is a very good 44mag powder as you can load mid to full power and can't double charge. 296 (H110) shouldn't be downloaded more than about 5% and Lil Gun tends to get erratic if downloaded much. For the most part, not much different than loading for rifle. Just add the step for flaring the case mouth and then crimping to some degree or another, at least enough to remove the flare.

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    Is the Lee roll crimp adjustable? I assume from what you say that its a delicate balance, as most suggest a good roll crimp is essential for proper function in hi-pressure loaded revolvers. I wouldn't want to over crimp and resize the cast bullet, but I was under the impression as long as the case didn't start to deform below the crimp it was set right.

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    I use my Lee Factory Crimping Die to put a serious crimp on my 454 handloads (CP 360gr cast bullets & W296). I've not heard of downsizing a cast bullet through the application of a strong crimp, but I'm always learning. I'm certainly not refuting the statement. I've just not experienced any problems thus far...or I'm totally oblivious to the signs. I don't see excessive leading, and the performance is truly impressive. I'm amazed at what that hand-cannon can do.

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    This is something that can happen not will happen. Measure bullets before loading and then pull a loaded one with lee factory crimp and measure it. If it is sizing down the bullet to less than cylinder throat size leading may happen. Hardly anything is set in stone when using cast. Just a warning as to what may happen if using factory crimp dies with cast bullets

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    Default thank-you

    Warning noted rbuck351...I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the precautionary heads-up, sir.

    Doc

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