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OAL for 44 Mag

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tkcomer, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. tkcomer

    tkcomer Well-Known Member

    I have a question about overall length. I'm loading for the 44 mag. Both books (Sierra second Edition and a Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook) say the OAL is 1.61”. But the Lyman book lists OAL for some of their bullets up to 1.71”. Except for one bullet, all are over the recommended maximum length. The reason I ask is I have some no-name bullets I bought years ago. It's a 245 plated square nose. With the bullet set in the crimp groove, the OAL is about 1.65”. The dummy round I made up chambers, but I'm concerned because the OAL is over the maximum listed in the books. Is 1.65” too long?
  2. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    If it chambers fine you should be alright.

    This is assuming your powder and powder charge wieght are correct for a 245 grain slug in a 44 mag.

    Mind sharing load data and launch platform with us?
  3. tkcomer

    tkcomer Well-Known Member

    I'm not using a good powder for my 245 lead loads. 20.5gr of IMR 4227. That's just over the minimum for a 245gr bullet in the Lyman book. People have said the 4227 is not a good powder for my lead bullet loads. It does leave some unburned powder in the barrel and on the table after a shooting session. Meters just great in my RCBS powder measure. I have another powder in mind, but I still have a pound of this stuff to go through. OAL is kinda touchy to me. I have a 600 Remington in 243. At OAL, the bullet is touching the lands. I actually had a bullet stick in the barrel once when I unloaded it. I loaded all bullets at the max OAL in that caliber. I know pistols aren't as touchy, but I wanted to ask to make sure I wasn't messing up. Thanks.
  4. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Actually that 4227 is a pretty good powder for your application. Just make sure you're using a very firm crimp. And if you aren't currently, switch to a magnum primer. (If you need to switch, start over with load development.)

    With a revolver, as long as it fits in the cylinder, your OAL is fine. This assuming that the avalible powder space in the case is correct for the chosen powder.
  5. tkcomer

    tkcomer Well-Known Member

    I'm using a light roll crimp and magnum primers. Glad to see OAL isn't that critical in pistol calibers. I like to keep lead bullet loadings kinda mild. I bought some bullets at a gun show once that was not labeled correctly. They came in a coffee can. It said 200gr but they were 255gr. Gun kicked very hard and leaded the barrel up bad on just one cylinder, THEN I weighed them to see what was wrong. I was told the 4227 was not a good powder for reduced loads. It's seems great for the full powerhouse loads when I use jacketed bullets. But for 44, they are getting kinda high priced. So, I guess max OAL in a pistol is a recommendation. As long as they chamber and the cylinder turns. That eases my worries. Then again, I worry a lot when it comes to things that are outside the book.
  6. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Reduced loads? How reduced? I got a liitle confused with you posts- In the first you said "plated", after that you said "lead". With plated you're correct 4227 isn't so good.

    If you're loading near the bottom end of the book, yep, that powder will burn a bit dirty. Maybe even slightly erratic velocities. Since you have plated bullets, high velocity and heavy crimps are no-no's. You may want to consider getting a pound of a different powder, unique, trail boss, etc.

    Now with un-plated hard cast lead, 4227 can be wonderful if you like big thumpin' loads, as high velocity and heavy crimps are OK.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  7. bender

    bender Well-Known Member

    the reason some books mention 1.61" OAL, is that lever rifles say not to use OAL more than 1.61.
  8. tkcomer

    tkcomer Well-Known Member

    I buy bullets for my pistols in 500 or 1000 lots. When ever I get low I go hunting for the best deal. Lead, plated or jacketed. I load the lead or plated bullets at just over the lowest charge shown in the book. I never thought about the max length for a lever action. This batch of bullets are plated and have a crimp groove. I actually forgot I had them. Kinda hid them from myself. Bought them years ago and I can't even remember who made them. My last batch of lead bullets had a crimp grove but they were under the max OAL listed in the books. And I am looking into a new powder. Thinking of Ramshot's True Blue because they have loads for the 44, 357 and the 38. I just want to burn the other powders up. Won't take that long.
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    If you load for a revolver with a real revolver bullet, the location of the crimp groove or cannelure determines your OAL. Crimp in the groove. If it is at all shorter than the cylinder you are ok. Most name brand bullets will seat to a length that will work in lever actions. Most, not all.
    I do not use the soft slick cheap plated bullets and can't comment on seating them.

    There are few guns and bullets left that require Elmer Keith's practice of crimping over the shoulder of a SWC or the old BP system of crimping over the start of a RN's ogive.

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