Had my first Reloading "Mishap" the other day


September 22, 2003, 01:51 AM
I have a bunch of 180 grain total metal jacket (I think that's speer's word, and these aren't speers, but you know what I mean the jacket covers everything, no exposed lead) .44 cal bullets. It's my understanding that you can't crimp a jacked bullet with no crimp grove so I figured I'd just load them kinda light and seat them pretty deep to get a good hold.

Well this worked for about a hundred of them, until I got to the last two. I think this is what happened:

I'd been tromping around in the woods lately carrying my .44 vaquero. I'd load it up with my .44 TMJ reloads and go about my business. Usually I'd fire a round or two, if I saw something small and tasty looking in season... or a crow. Anyway I think what happened is two of these rounds managed to often get in the gun but never get shot and the subsequent beating the took from recoil slowly started to push the bullet out of the case ( I should have been inspecting for that but didn't notice it) Anyway the other day I decided to sit down and finish off my box of these things. I'm down to the last six and after the fourth shot the revolver jams... "Hmmm... I think, revolvers aren't supposed to jam. There's not a single piece of lock work that I haven't replaced or customized in this hogleg and I'm starting to think my do-it-yourself gunsmithing has finally caught up to me.

Dejected I point the revolver skyward and start to withdraw the base pin when I notice two bullet noses sticking out of the front of the cylinder... I was relieved actually, at least nothing was wrong with my gun.

"hmm... those are only 180 grain" I did some quick mental calculations (chamber length - case length - bullet length) and came up with a positive number which told me the following action was going to make a mess. I removed the cylinder and two .44 cases and a bunch of power dumped out on the ground, one of the bullets fell out, but I had to tap the other out with the ejection rod.

I felt dumb, but at least my first reloading flub didn't involve lead poisoning, a fire or an explosion.

Now a question, Is there any way to crimp these no-cannelure bullets (I think a lee factory crimp would work, but is there anything else)? Thanks

If you enjoyed reading about "Had my first Reloading "Mishap" the other day" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
September 22, 2003, 02:40 AM
Yep,you can crimp a non-cannelured bullet,I reload 30-30,45/70,45 ACP,and 40 S&W and haven't shot anything with a crimp groove yet. There are other crimp dies out there,I'v used the Redding profile crimp dies and then switched to Lee.The Redding and others require all your cases to have a consistent trim to do the job properly and require you to lube every 3rd-4th case. With the Lee the trim length isn't as critical. And its 1/3rd the price of others.

September 22, 2003, 02:58 AM
Hmm... I wonder where I picked that up then...

September 22, 2003, 03:48 PM
Get a lee carbide factory crimp die you will have far fewer headaches than with a conventional crimping die.

Go Missouri tigers 4-0!

September 22, 2003, 03:51 PM
Yeah, Mizzou is 4-0, but needed a missed PAT in overtime to beat Middle Tennessee State?????????


September 22, 2003, 03:53 PM
They still beat 'em!!!!

September 22, 2003, 07:07 PM
generally, IME, a crimp won't hold a bullet all that much in recoil. You'll get better results regarding bullet pull by increasing case tension. Crimp turns the belling in, and holds the bullet during ignition - not for very long..., Its true.:D Perhaps a taper crimp, or (my revolver favorite) a profile crimp will serve you better. The Lee can imbed the brass into the bullet too deeply for my taste.:uhoh:


If you enjoyed reading about "Had my first Reloading "Mishap" the other day" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!