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New to revolver handloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by SDefender, Dec 31, 2008.

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  1. SDefender

    SDefender Member

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    GM all. I have purchased my first revolver, a Taurus 44 magnum- http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=227&category=Revolver

    I handload extensively and chronograph the loads for my Glock 36 (.45 auto) and Glock 27 (.40 S&W).

    I have read in various places that revolver loads, in particular what I am shooting, should have the bullet roll crimped tight enough that the COAL does not increase under recoil. I am using a Redding profile crimp die and a Hornady crimp die and am comparing my crimps to those in Federal 240 JHP (1400 FPS rated) and Blazer .44 special with 200 grain Gold Dots.
    I am having my COAL increase from 1.60 to 1.608, measured on the fifth round out of five, prior to igniting it. I have both dies adjusted down to what I think is the maximum, as both will now drag/not feel smooth as I operate the press. I then back them off a smidgen to get smooth press operation.

    I have not measured the COAL of the factory rounds after firing others during the same shooting session, so do not know if they are increasing or not. May do that today.

    Question: should I be able to crimp the bullet tight enough so there is no movement in the COAL at all or is my .008 movement OK in these circumstances?

    Recipe:

    Bullet- Montana Gold 240 JSP (.429 measured) with cannelure I am crimping to.
    Brass- New Starline .44 magnum
    Powder- Hodgdon Universal Clays, 9.9 grains (10.2 is the max.)
    Primer- CCI 300 LP
    Belling- Just a tiny amount, enough to allow the bullet to barely sit on top of the case.
    COAL- 1.60"
    Roll crimp- ~.447" same as the Federal cartridges. Have just taken the last batch down to ~.445, which is all there is. Yeah, tough to measure... No I have not measured the wall thickness of the Federal brass.

    Am I just being anal retentive about the COAL as this is well within the load and cylinder specifications?

    Thoughts? Thanks.
     
  2. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    I'd say the crimp groove is wider than .008. As long as you stay within publised reloading data range for powder charge, you should be fine.

    P.S. All reloaders are a little anal retentive. That's why we reload.
     
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    44 Magnum Bullet Diameters

    Bullet diameters run .4295" Sierra and .430" for Hornady. Your .429" is a hair under. I feel the movement of .008 will not hurt a thing as long as the cylinder can still rotate. The combination of brass wall thinkness,.429" bullets all come into play as you know. I remember some old Super Vel brass jumping crimp years ago. The wall thickness was on the small side. And i only notices that because the cylinder would not rotate. I have not measured the last round to see if my cast bullet i now use is moving, so dont really know. What does your expander button measure?:confused: I would look there first. My 2 RCBS expander buttons/plugs both measure .426" The Dillon is .424" to .427" (OVAL OUT OF SPEC.)when checked with a micrometer. I would hope/look for 0 movement.
     
  4. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    Slight increase in COAL with revolvers is not as critical as COAL decrease is in short autoloader cases.

    With H-Universal there may even be no need for for a crimp at all, as long as theres enough neck tension to hold the bullet firm enough under recoil.

    Crimping may well be required for heavier loads using powders like 2400 and 296 etc. To ensure reliable ignition/burning of the charge.
     
  5. SDefender

    SDefender Member

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    Thanks to all. Your responses are helping to put this new revolver guy on the right handloading path. I will not worry about the small increase in COAL, especially with this lightweight piece.

    BTW: I have the same .006 - .008 movement whether I use a light crimp or the current heavy crimp.
     
  6. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    SDefender, you'd probably be better servered with as light a crimp as you can. The more you work the case mouth, the shorter the life of the brass.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Some light weight guns like the S&W 337PD 38 spec. at 10 oz come with a warning. Dont use factory lead bullets in +P ammo as the recoil may cause the bullet to jump crimp. You lite 44mag may incounter the same problem.
     
  8. SDefender

    SDefender Member

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    Just got back from the range and shot the Federals. They also have an increase in COAL of ~.006". And yes, this lightweight revolver does recoil considerably, but not much as one might think. The barrel porting and the ribbed grips seem to do a very good job of helping out with the recoil.

    And yes I do see the case mouth being worked pretty well for only the first loading. Will back off the crimp as suggested.

    Thanks again all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
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