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Never melt, and cast lead without adequate vent fans.


BTW, I wish you casters were close to me,

I have approx. 600 lbs of lead , in sheets, blocks, and already cast ingots...I would share.

Good luck finding lead wheel weights. All zinc now, and the tire shops wised up, and are asking an arm and leg for any they still have.

Best source= old hospital demolition , radiology lab walls.



Jim
 

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Coated bullets from Bayoo Bullets are $56 for 500. S& H brings it to $67.50, they recommend standard lead bullet loads.:D
 

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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.
No , not at all ....I'm just trying to get free wheel weights , my good friend in the tire business retired after 50 years and I could use a new free source. Handling lead is hazardous , no question about it.
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I received my bullets and casings so I went and bought the die plate, 3 die set, and primers. So I set up the press and checked the OAL and powder loads. I am using 3.6 gr Hodgdon Clays powder. When checking the loads they varied from 3.6 to 4.0. This Lee powder charge isn't to exact that's for sure. Loading specs states 3.6 min to 4.6 max. At least I am not over charging.

I loaded 5 and shot them to see how they perform. Dang it I am shooting low now. But now I am shooting 165 gr versus 240 gr the first time when I wasn't having that problem. Even in single action I am low. I am guessing the sights are set for using around 240 gr. Is that possible? I have to also report that putting the Pachmeyers on it the recoil is probably even less felt than shooting 38 spl in the LCR. that makes me think I am not dropping the muzzle for recoil anticipation.

I am having a problem when coming down from the charge. The movement sticks and takes a lot of pressure to come down out of the die. When loading 38 special it had a catch but nothing like this. Lee even says it will have the catch and it helps keep the powder moving down. I think I am going to call Lee tomorrow because I have to use so much force it shakes my heavy loading bench.

I am totally surprised shooting this 44 is a piece of cake to shoot. The Pachs do make for a bigger butt print when carrying. I have to figure why I am shooting so low and how to remedy the problem.

Okay guys throw some helpful info at this novice.
 

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Are those powder charges for lead bullets?

3.6 to 4.6.

Ive never used Clays powder, so I don't know its characteristics.

Factory sighting is for 240 grain bullet.

So, your gonna have to play with different powders and charges.

Play with the crimp, light- heavy.



Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
The powder load is for lead rnfp which is what I have except mine are coated. I have found those min/max loads on three different data sheets.
 

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.... "I am guessing the sights are set for using around 240 gr. Is that possible?" ....

__________________
buster,
I bet Jim's right about the sights being set for the heavier bullet.

In the .357 and .44 mag lighter bullets will shoot lower than heavier bullets. (Using the same powder w/light and heavy bullets).
Don't know why it would be different in the .44 Spl.

Of course you gotta keep in mind... I've never loaded a single round of .44 Spl and have only fired a few.
Also, I've never used Hodgdon Clays so I can't be of much help here. :dunno:
 

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The powder load is for lead rnfp which is what I have except mine are coated. I have found those min/max loads on three different data sheets.
Look at the powder load for jacketed bullets and see what the difference is.

Because the coated bullets simulate Jacketed bullets more.

With coated I start with lowest jacket data. Those are really light bullets for 44 cal.




Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
Subject: expander die sticking

I just bought the 3 die set for 44 special. The expander/loading die sticks so bad that my 100 pound table is moving away from the wall when trying to push up the handle trying to release shell from the expander die. It takes such force to come out of the expander that the powder in the casing is even flying out of the casing. The primer tool on the shaft even flies off the press from the horrendous jolting of the press and table. The jolt is even causing my powder loads to vary so bad that instead of 3.6 grains it often is as high as 4.0 gr. Most were around 3.7 gr. I know this because I was checking almost every load for total grain content. I have powder around my press from this jolting action. I often have to hold up on the handle while I smack the handle with my other hand to get the dang casing out of the die. I have things on the loading table falling off the table because of this horrendous jolting. This is totally unacceptable.

I am using new never fired Starline brass casings in 44 special. When I was loading 38 spl the expander had a slight catch but it was nothing like this. I am willing to bet it is taking well over 100 pounds of pressure to get the expander to let go of the shell. I have set the expander so the .429 bullet just barely goes into the casing mouth. I checked my bullets dia. and all are at .429. I measured the expander piece dia. and it is .427. The expander die is ,489. My new casing before using #1 full length sizing die is .449 od and .424 id. By hand I can just barely push the new unsized casing onto the expander. This is obviously causing the jolt from when the expander goes deeper and getting stuck in the casing to expand the mouth.

I removed the die and made sure it was clean of any debris but still have the same problem. I have reloaded 100 rounds and had the same problem with the last round as the first round. I ran 100 thinking maybe a break in period would help but it didn't. I am guessing I am setting or doing something wrong. I am maybe pushing the casing to far up into the die?

I need some help and answers and I emailed this to Lee customer service.

BTW for giggles since the round total weight was varying from 172 gr to 184 gr I checked the bullets weights. The bullets weights varied quite a bit.
Here are 6 bullet weights. 174.3, 173.5, 173.3, 166.1, 166.6, 173.6. As you can see I didn't have a single bullet at 165 gr. No wonder my total round weights vary.
 

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Your 'total round' weights will vary for several reasons, mostly not due to the weight of the powder charge. The empty cases themselves may vary by several grains; if they are mixed headstamps the variation will be even more.

I don't know why the bullet weights vary so much; they hadn't ought to. Erratic coating amounts?

You seem to have an unstable reloading setup, Buster. I am unfamiliar with most of its elements, because mine is entirely different. I hope someone here can help you with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I also checked the casing weights and all were basically right on with each other. Probably because they are all new from Starline.
 

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Take any of your bullets and weigh them.

They all vary.

That's why I sort them and put them in groups ,
When I shoot , I shoot the groups , that way I get more consistency.

I have 1000s of lead cast bullets , and they all vary that much.
Even jacketed bullets vary in weight.

I do not know why your expander die will not let go of the case.
The only time Ive seen that is when the die is going way too deep.


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Comparison my reloads to Hornedy critical defense. Both are 165 gr.

Well I think my reloads are rather decent because they were mostly same as shooting the Hornedy rounds. Also low and behold both shot about 8" low from 10 yards. Consistency from both was about the same also. So I am rather pleased with my reloads.

So my reloads will be excellent for practicing for CC rather than using up the expensive Hornedy defense rounds.
 

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I have a non-destructive (to the factory sight) idea for correcting that 8" low problem -but since it is potentially stupid I will try it before telling it.

:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Will be waiting to see your idea before filing down my front sight. That might be potentially stupid for me to do.
 

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Will be waiting to see your idea before filing down my front sight. That might be potentially stupid for me to do.
Well shucks, I can't try it myself for maybe a week. Heck with the heckling I'll get, I'll tell you what I have in mind.

Put a dab of nail polish about half-way down the ramp of the front sight (maybe tape the top to keep it clean). Make your sight picture with the top of the nail polish where the top of the sight normally is.

I'm not at all sure you can actually acquire that sight picture, is why I wanted to do a reality check before suggesting it. It might be better to just hold on the neck to hit the breastbone.
 

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Hey Buster, if you can, try a different type of brass. Also, try setting to die so it just barely flares the case. Not even enough to accept a bullet. Something like 1/8th of a turn. See if it still sticks. You may have a defective die.
 

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Subject: expander die sticking

I just bought the 3 die set for 44 special. The expander/loading die sticks so bad that my 100 pound table is moving away from the wall when trying to push up the handle trying to release shell from the expander die. It takes such force to come out of the expander that the powder in the casing is even flying out of the casing. The primer tool on the shaft even flies off the press from the horrendous jolting of the press and table. The jolt is even causing my powder loads to vary so bad that instead of 3.6 grains it often is as high as 4.0 gr. Most were around 3.7 gr. I know this because I was checking almost every load for total grain content. I have powder around my press from this jolting action. I often have to hold up on the handle while I smack the handle with my other hand to get the dang casing out of the die. I have things on the loading table falling off the table because of this horrendous jolting. This is totally unacceptable.

I am using new never fired Starline brass casings in 44 special. When I was loading 38 spl the expander had a slight catch but it was nothing like this. I am willing to bet it is taking well over 100 pounds of pressure to get the expander to let go of the shell. I have set the expander so the .429 bullet just barely goes into the casing mouth. I checked my bullets dia. and all are at .429. I measured the expander piece dia. and it is .427. The expander die is ,489. My new casing before using #1 full length sizing die is .449 od and .424 id. By hand I can just barely push the new unsized casing onto the expander. This is obviously causing the jolt from when the expander goes deeper and getting stuck in the casing to expand the mouth.

I removed the die and made sure it was clean of any debris but still have the same problem. I have reloaded 100 rounds and had the same problem with the last round as the first round. I ran 100 thinking maybe a break in period would help but it didn't. I am guessing I am setting or doing something wrong. I am maybe pushing the casing to far up into the die?

I need some help and answers and I emailed this to Lee customer service.

BTW for giggles since the round total weight was varying from 172 gr to 184 gr I checked the bullets weights. The bullets weights varied quite a bit.
Here are 6 bullet weights. 174.3, 173.5, 173.3, 166.1, 166.6, 173.6. As you can see I didn't have a single bullet at 165 gr. No wonder my total round weights vary.
Buster, did you clean the brass before you tried loading it? If not, try that. I use the Lyman media, walnut with rouge. If you are using lizard bedding add some Nu-Finish to it.

Are you lubing your cases? I know you have carbide dies but you will be surprised at the difference lubing your cases make. I make y own lube. 1 part liquid lanolin and 3 parts 90% isopropyl alcohol. I have used HEET in the red bottle in place of the alcohol and it works well also. Just don't use the 70% isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol is just a carrier, it evaporates leaving the lanolin. It doesn't contaminate your gunpowder. I guess I should say use a spray bottle to apply, don't soak your brass in this concoction.

Another thing you can do is to stick each case mouth first into some powdered graphite. Your gunpowder already has graphite in it so you can eliminate fears you may have of contaminating your powder. You can polish the expander plug, but be careful, maybe a few turns with 0000 steel wool. You don't want to change any dimensions. The powder through expanding die is supposed to have a slight catch in it. It settles the powder.

I had the same thing happen, also with some Starline brass, but in 45 Auto Rim. After I fired the brass, the problem went away. I inquired about the issue and was informed that the extrusion process to form the brass can leave the brass rough on the inside. The first firing fixes it. I'm betting you have the same issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 · (Edited)
Thanks SG. I took your advice and reset the expander die. I did run two fired rounds through the sizer and expander dies. It is much better and acceptable now. It still has the catch but more like it is supposed to be. I guess I had it set to deep the first time trying to get the flange of mouth bigger. Anyway the table and everything isn't jumping all around now. Loaded another almost a hundred making the total 199. LOL I lost one primer somewhere. I don't think I did a double primer on any round but maybe I should check to see if I did manage that. That would be impossible but me I don't know.
I should have stopped and reset it about 80 rounds ago. Stubborn is as stubborn does. That's putting it politely to myself.

Gregr I am going to try some lube. I am guessing it will help.
 
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