44 spl reloading

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by buster40c, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    I just bought an Charter Bulldog and after paying almost a buck per round for target ammo I have decided to start reloading 44 spl. With the cost of shells, primers and bullets I figure the first run with these shells will cost .35 per round. OOPS! Forgot to add powder costs so it might be a few cents more total cost. IMO That still is kind of high but it sure is a heck of lot cheaper than even bulk ammo.

    I am going to use cowboy 180 gr lead rounded with flat tops. Probably CCI large primers if I can't find Winchester #68. Clays powder and Starline brass. I still have to buy the bullets from RimRock bullets $42 per 500. I am going to buy another turret plate and die set for the 44 set up.

    I bought Hornady critical defense 165 gr for carry rounds. They are supposedly good to go for SD ammo.

    This less than expensive Bulldog sure is causing me to spend a bunch more money. I also ordered a holster and Pachmeyer gripper grips for it. Maybe the grips will make it even more fun to shoot.
     
  2. squirrelhunter

    squirrelhunter Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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  3. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member

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    Hey Buster, now is the perfect time to start casting your own bullets. It can save you a bundle! I've never regretted it.....
     
  4. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

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    Buster, sounds like you have a plan. I do basically the same with my 45 Colt. 200 grain RF, Winchester Brass, Winchester or CCI large pistol primers, and Unique powder. You will pay for your plate and dies in short order.

    I will second what Savage says, but only if you can find free or cheap lead. I still cast a bit but my source of free lead has dried up. 20$ will still buy me a bucket of wheel weights, but they are 1/3 to 1/2 steel or zinc now. I can buy the 45 Colt bullets for $40 /500 as cheap as I can cast them.
     
  5. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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  6. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    You can recommend anything. Now tell me why coated are better. I am guessing less barrel lead fouling? Are they more accurate as well?

    I don't think I am going to get into lead casting. I have a lot of reclaimed lead from my sand trap but at .08 per round I think casting is not worth the health and danger involved. Molten lead can be very dangerous in several ways. At least that's what I have read. Maybe I have blown the dangers out of proportion to reality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  7. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Just me... my personal thing, (along with many of my friends) ,

    I will never shoot non-coated lead bullets again if possible.

    So many advantages.
    Very clean bores, even may help clean a bore of lead .
    Yes no leading in bore.
    Yeas more accurate,
    Higher velocities than non-coated,
    No contaminating your hands with lead,

    I use low end jacket data to start and work from there, until I reach velocities that require a gas check , which works great on coated bullets.

    Imagine jacketed velocities with a lead cast bullet that is coated by yourself easily, or bought even easier.;), at only slightly higher than non coated lead cast bullets.




    Jim
     
  8. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    I read the FAQ on the link above and the guy is a hoot. In response to questions that might be or have been asked he sometimes asks them a question. Are you an idiot that doesn't pay attention? The guy tells it like it is.

    Thanks Jim for the info and I ordered the coated bullets from Missouri. I ordered the Cowboy #12 165 gr coated bullets. Cost is only $1 more per box of 500 than what I was looking at getting from RimRock that weren't coated.
     
  9. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I hope you like them.

    Since there is no loading data on coated bullets (as far as I know) use low side Jacketed data and work up to what you and your gun like best.

    Look forward to hearing your opinion.


    Jim
     
  10. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member

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    You ain't kidding about the prices on bullets. I went to get some .44 cal JHPs for loadiin some moderate loads @ 900 tp 1K F.P.S. I was shocked that 100 Sierra were more than double what I paid before the great ammo and reloading componets shortage. Last box was priced at 23 buck. this one was 53. guess the gunshop decided to keep the prices at the inflated rate. Anyway. Idid not get any and will shoot up what I have left. I was going to load some for a Taurus Tracker round butt snub that is kinda light like the Charter .44 except is is a .44 mag. The 240 gr handloads I use in my S&W 629 are lighter than those for my Super B. Ruger, but still extract hard in the Taurus and recoil is a little stout. And I can still load the reduced load in magnum cases. I have plenty of .44 spl brass, but my late 70s vintage .44 mag dies will not work tp seat *cro,[ tje .44 spl. I might just get a set of carbide .44 des with the spacer for both. I had to do that with my ages old .38 spl. dies cause they got so worn out that they would no longer size the .357s down where they would fit the cylinders of all my revovers. However, I have not used my .44 mag dies as much as I did the old .38 dies. they were also well used when I got them.

    I did the bullet casting thing for years too. Mostly .357 & .44 only. I just don't shoot enough now to do that now. And I shoot alot more auto pistol rounds which I don't reload for cause I lose all the brass.
     
  11. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member

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    Since I started casting, my costs have gone way down. For .357, .38, and 9mm, my cost is $3.80 per 50.
     
  12. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    WOW That's cost effective for sure.
    I guess if someone wanted to stock up on lead they could go to parking lots and yank the wheel weights off the car. Just kidding........don't try this.
     
  13. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

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    Problem is, if you did this, you would end up with mostly zinc. (Like Buster said, don't try this!)

    I don't see a lot of sense to casting anymore without access to free or cheap lead. I just did a quick search on the web, Rotometal is selling 5 pounds of lead for $11.29, or $2.589 per pound. A pound will yeild 38 180 grain bullets,for $0.068 per bullet. My own 200 grain 45 Colt bullets are sold by a LGS for $0.074 it would cost me $0.065 to cast them. Casting saves $0.009 per bullet, not hardly worth it. Plus I don't have to pay shipping for the bullets I pick up at the LGS.

    That said, I do cast, especially for hard to find or expensive bullets. I also powder coat, talked into it by Jim. I like the end result of powder coating.
     
  14. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

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    Just under $0.08 per round I remember the days. You must be getting free lead and picking up range brass.

    I remember the weekend I shot up the last of the free lead reloads I had. Went through over 900 rounds of 9mm cost about $75. Those days are gone for me I guess.
     
  15. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member

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    Looks like I haven't recalculated since moving to Idaho. My prices have come down!


    I get lead from a local scrap yard for $1 a pound. I load 125 grain bullets. primers and powder is cheap up here.

    1 lb= 7,000 grains divided by 125 = 56
    1 lb cost $1 so $1 divided by 56 = $0.017

    Primers are $2.79/100. $0.027

    Powder is $19 for a pound (Titegroup)
    7,000 divided by 3.6 (9mm) = 1944.
    $19 divided by 1944 is $0.009

    Brass is range pick ups.

    So, total cost per round is:

    Bullet: $0.017
    Primer: $0.027
    Powder: $0.009
    =$0.053 or $2.65 per 50.

    .357 and .38 spl have an increase in powder by 1.1 grain ($0.003) do my total would be $2.80 per 50.
     
  16. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Back around 1978, I picked up 40lb. of Linotype for (if I remember right) $10. Made a few hardcast bullets using that and lead mallet-heads from the shop.
     
  17. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    He's right ...it's so dangerous just PM me and I will dispose , free of charge , of any and all lead to protect you from the dangerous lead ! Clip on wheel weights are the most dangerous...don't handle them...call me.
    Gary's Lead Disposal Service.
     
  18. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    Evidently you think my beliefs of lead casting are totally unwarranted. You may be right. If you lived close by I would give you all my reclaimed lead for free. I am sure not doing anything with it.
    Anyone that wants my lead that does live close to me is welcome to come and get it.
     
  19. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Casting lead bullets should be done by old folks, since it takes awhile for the poison to do its work, and we will probably succumb to some other villain before the lead can become a nuisance.
     
  20. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    Well VT you do have a point there but molten lead melts through old folk skin much quicker also.
    Are those zit pock marks?
    No that's where exploding molten lead got me.