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Thread: Loading 44 Special???

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Loading 44 Special???

    I bought a .44 special revolver yesterday and was wondering about loading
    for it. I've loaded thousands of 44 mag over the years but am kind of trying
    to figure out if I can load the special on 44 magnum dies. I was playing with
    it this morning but can't figure how to crimp the bullet as the case won't go
    into the die far enough. On top of the RCBS die, it says mg or sp. Whats up?
    Thanks for any info.
    Denny

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    You can load 44 spl and Russian with the mag dies with out any problems ,just adjust the M die and the seating die. the depriming should be ok as is.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Being as the Special case is shorter you need to adjust the die down closer to the shell holder.
    A lot of people that load for both the magnum and special, both 357 an 44 make up a 1/8 inch spacer.
    Set the dies up for the special case. When loading the magnum just ad the spacer under the die lock nut.
    Leo

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    put the case in the shell holder and raise the ram all the way up, seat boolit to desireed seating depth, raise seating stem, loosen die lock ring, screw die in until you “feel” tension, lower press ram screw die in 1/8 of a turn or so raise press ram, continue last 2 steps until desired amount of crimp reached.
    Call rcbs and tell them you need a washer the difference in length between 44 mag and 44 special they shouldn’t cost much use the washer if expanding or seating/crimping 44 mag no washer if loading 44 special.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy JoeJames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wl620 View Post
    put the case in the shell holder and raise the ram all the way up, seat boolit to desireed seating depth, raise seating stem, loosen die lock ring, screw die in until you “feel” tension, lower press ram screw die in 1/8 of a turn or so raise press ram, continue last 2 steps until desired amount of crimp reached.
    Call rcbs and tell them you need a washer the difference in length between 44 mag and 44 special they shouldn’t cost much use the washer if expanding or seating/crimping 44 mag no washer if loading 44 special.
    I have the carbide RCBS set for 44 magnum/44 Special. The washer came with the set, but honestly I have never used it. I just adjust the crimp/seating die down or up and that's it. Just adjust it up or down depending on whether loading 44 Special or 44 mag.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    I have that set also, it came with the washer I use it some but usually wind up fiddling with the die lock ring anyway depending on wich boolit im using and how much crimp I need.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Well, something the hell is wrong...I run the die the whole way down on the
    shell holder and it doesn't contact the crimping die.
    Denny

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy JoeJames's Avatar
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    That is plumb weird; I can sure put on a good roll crimp on my 44 Specials.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    Hmmm! that is odd can you post a picture of the die?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by leadhead View Post
    Well, something the hell is wrong...I run the die the whole way down on the
    shell holder and it doesn't contact the crimping die.
    Denny
    You've got a 44 Magnum only seating die, that's all, and it may be mismarked. Call RCBS and request a trade for the correct die.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Nueces, I just called RCBS and was told I have the older seating die.
    They didn't mention trading dies, just the seating die would cost me
    $28 ...... I think I'll look around the gun shows and see if I can find
    one. Thanks for the info....I've been loading for almost 50 years and
    never knew that.
    Denny

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Good plan. I confess to a little surprise that RCBS would not supply the proper die free, if they knew yours was mismarked as good for both length cases.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadhead View Post
    Nueces, I just called RCBS and was told I have the older seating die.
    They didn't mention trading dies, just the seating die would cost me
    $28 ...... I think I'll look around the gun shows and see if I can find
    one. Thanks for the info....I've been loading for almost 50 years and
    never knew that.
    Denny
    I think we're missing something here.

    When adjusted that die should work for either 44 Special or 44 Mag.

    Even when seating and crimping in one operation that should work when adjusted correctly.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Skipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadhead View Post
    Nueces, I just called RCBS and was told I have the older seating die.
    They didn't mention trading dies, just the seating die would cost me
    $28 ...... I think I'll look around the gun shows and see if I can find
    one. Thanks for the info....I've been loading for almost 50 years and
    never knew that.
    Denny
    Denny, if you just need to crimp it properly, you can get a Lee carbide crimp die from Titan for $18.49
    https://www.titanreloading.com/44-sp...h=44%20special
    The strongest reason for the people to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against the tyranny of government.
    -- Thomas Jefferson

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Until ya get the right one-
    Something that might work for you was a deal I did years ago with a bunch of .38Specials.
    I didn't sort the cases, and the lengths were all over the place.
    The crip die would crush some, and not hit the 'bell' much less crimp others.

    I was loading to shoot down by the creek, and nothing serious, so I used the sizing die.
    It didn't crimp, but just rolled the 'bell' off the case mouth.
    They'd chamber fine, and the boolits were tight enough not to have any 'setback' when others in the cylinder fired.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes. However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Never pick a fight with old people. If they don't think they can win, they'll kill you.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I am surprised they didn't offer a replacement to they have always been the best customer service i have seen. as a long time 44special fan welcome aboard. It is a wonderful cartridge.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Grind 1/8" off the bottom of the seating die, then taper the edge inwards. Problem solved.
    This ain't New Zealand. Just saying.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I've probably had these dies for 35 years or more.....The guy from RCBS told me
    that dies that old did were not set up for 44 special. I don't know when they
    changed to the new die, but I guess I'm s*** out of luck.
    Denny

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Get a Dillon .44 taper crimp die. Will work for .44 Mag and .44 Spl. and you don't have to trim cases to obtain uniform crimps.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy JoeJames's Avatar
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    Bless your heart; once you get into 44 Special loading you will consider the 44 Magnum nothing but a passing fad.

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