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I am loading up some .44Mag cartridges for my buddies son. I am loading 240 grain LSWC bullets over some Hodgdon Titegroup loads and have an issue with OAL. I trimmed the cases to the published "trim to " length using the Lee trimming guide for .44 Mag. I set the bullets to attain the proper overall length (1.620) and and then adjusted for a good crimp. When I get the finished cartride out, the length is now 1.612. ??? ??? :eek: What is causing this?? I picked up these RCBS dies used at a local gunshop. They seemed to be fine except for the seating die which was very difficult to loosen up the lock ring, and the seater plug was also stuck pretty tight. Before using it I cleaned up the die with penetrating oil and brake cleaner and got it apart with a bench vice and pliers. Cleaned it up real well and began using it, but got the OAL results stated above. Can I safely shoot these 1.611 to 1.614 length cartridges in a revolver (proper published OAL is 1.620)? This is my first time loading this calber cartridge! I normally have not had any problem getting my cartridges to the proper OAL I appreciate any thoughts and advice?

CJ
 

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FWIW, I am assuming you are applying a roll crimp. If that is correct, especially with the RCBS seat/crimp die, seating in one operation, then crimping in a second seperate operation is proper - - at least, that is what I do. The roll crimp can "pull" the bullet down a fuzz like you are seeing, following the seating operation.

Also, FWIW, most of the 240 gr LSWC rounds I have assembled have an OAL of 1.610" and with a light to moderate load you are probably getting from Titegroup should not be an issue.

Personally, I don't think you have anything to worry about with these loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
DWB,

Thanks for the response and feedback. Not being previously familar with this round, I wanted some reassurance before testing these loads. I know that you need a good crimp for a hot magnum type load so that the bullets don't shift on recoil and possibly locking up your revolver cylinder. So I knew that the OAL should be as published or maybe slightly less. But appreciate your knowledge of the caliber.

The next thing I need to do is order a new "steel" locking ring for these used dies. The aluminum ones that are on them are in poor shape. Looking at the Lyman slit locking ring. They have good reviews on Midway.

Thanks again! :)

CJ
 

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With a cast bullet, in a revolver, I never even bother to measure OAL. I use the given crimp groove. As long as I crimp there, and the nose of the bullet doesn't extend past the front of the cylinder and lock it up, its good to go.

I use very limited different cast bullets. For my 44s, I am using a 250 Keith for the majority. There is plenty of data on that bullet, and the crimp groove on any variation is basically the same - so see above.

Once exception is my 45 ACP and the Mihec H&G 68 clone. That one I DID measure closely and set an COAL, and check it closely. But this is because it is for an auto. I set the bullet out a little longer than most COAL listings. I wanted it as far out of the case as possible and still chamber freely. And the bullet has no crimp groove like most SWCs.
 

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"With a cast bullet, in a revolver, I never even bother to measure OAL. I use the given crimp groove. As long as I crimp there, and the nose of the bullet doesn't extend past the front of the cylinder and lock it up, its good to go."

Oscar is dead-on. In some 46 years of reloading, 43 of which incudes for a .44 mag, I've never even measured an OAL. The book OAL is what they used to develop the listed data, it's not a 'rule' that will kill you if you change it. (I also stay a half grain or full grain under book max power charges too.)
 

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Cascade Jinx said:
The next thing I need to do is order a new "steel" locking ring for these used dies. The aluminum ones that are on them are in poor shape. Looking at the Lyman slit locking ring. They have good reviews on Midway.
You may want to phone RCBS and tell them about the poor shape the rings are in. They may swap them out for you with the newer steel rings with the set screws. They replaced all of my old aluminum ones for me as they are not suitable for use on my RCBS progressive presses. Worth a call to see or just mail them back and see what happens.
 
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