Help! Need help with .44 Special Load Data


October 13, 2003, 04:20 AM
I think there is a misprint in my Lyman manual...

I am using new Starline brass and Speer 225 grain .429 JHP #4435 bullets.

The 48th Lyman Manual lists OAL as 1.615", I thought the bullet should go into the case just a bit more than 1/8 or so... and the Max OAL is 1.615" too.... hmm.

So I look over at the Speer 240 gr JHP, and it lists an OAL of 1.175", huh? The Trim to length is 1.150" !!

All the other loads list an OAL around 1.5" which seems about right, and out of all my other freeby manuals, I have no data for 225 gr Speers, could ya'll check what your manuals say? Is there something wrong? I'm not to the point in my reloading life where I can just stick the bullet in for an OAL around 1.5" and be happy trying to fire it. Thanks!

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Mike Irwin
October 13, 2003, 12:42 PM
I don't have any of my manuals here at work, but that certainly sounds like a transposition error.

Why don't you give Speer a call on their 800 number?

Mal H
October 13, 2003, 01:16 PM
Those have both got to be misprints which emphasizes why more than one reference is essential.

Lyman #47 has the 240 OAL at 1.475" which sounds correct when compared to Speer #13 (1.465"). The 225 should have the same OAL as the 240, so it should also be from 1.465 to 1.475". 1.615" OAL is even longer than the .44 Mag OAL for a 225!

Kinda makes you wonder how many more errors there are, doesn't it?

Jim Watson
October 13, 2003, 02:02 PM
Published OAL for revolver ammo is applicable for the specific bullet listed only and does not mean diddly squat for any other. And is subject to printing error.

Revolver OAL is properly established by seating the case mouth to the crimp groove, PERIOD.

Is the 225 grain .44 Speer still of the old 3/4 jacket semiwadcutter style, with all-lead nose and lead shoulder showing above the jacket metal without a distinct crimp groove? If so, seat it so that the crimp rolls the brass slightly over the front edge of the jacket

Either Lyman misprinted (No 47 shows the same weird 1.615") or they loaded the bullet way out with no crimp or a taper crimp into the smooth side of the jacket. Left more powder space to keep pressure down, but not the right way to load that bullet.

Hmmmm, No 47 shows 1.475" for the 240 gr JSP, so No 48 with 1.175" is definitely a misprint.

My old Speer No 10 does not even show OAL for their own revolver bullets, they say to crimp in the groove for lead, in the cannelure for jacketed, and over the edge of the jacket in the old-style bullets like 4435. No chance for error by the numbers, you go by the mechanics.

Do not promiscuously swap maximum load data around among bullets of different seating depth and you will be ok.

I do not fool with the soft smooth plated bullets, although they are popular with some loaders, mostly because they are cheap.

October 13, 2003, 02:37 PM
Jim: Yes, it's the mostly covered bullet with lead nose and lead exposed shoulder. I was going to load them like the pictures showed, crimping right over the edge of the jacket, but I needed to make sure of things.

Mal H: The insert that came with the dies shows 1.485 OAL for the 240 weight JHP bullets. I'll try 1.475 and 1.465 and see which seat it best.

Thanks all, I'll contact Lyman and see what they say.

Jim Watson
October 13, 2003, 06:27 PM
Why Lyman? Even though I consider them one of the better references, they have printed this one wrong twice. Try to get a look at a current Speer book.

Do NOT load this bullet LIGHTER than shown by Speer. It is quite possible to stick the jacket in the bore and send the core downrange with a too LIGHT load. You see the core land and don't realize the bore is still obstructed so you fire another and bulge the barrel. I have seen this done, although in .38 rather than .44.

Fine tweaks to the seating are OK. You want to position the mouth of the case over the cannelure so that a roll crimp does not bulge up brass *behind* the crimp zone.

October 14, 2003, 02:14 PM
Well, here is what they e-mailed back to me.

"Unfortunately, we do have an error on the OAL for these bullets. The OAL for the 225 grain JHP should be 1.565" and the 240 grain JSP should be 1.465". We apologize for the msitake. These will be corrected on our next printing."

Too bad they don't have an addendum page on their website.

I'm going to go pick up a second manual today if I have time, probably a Speer one.

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