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44 spcl dies to reload 44 magnum shells?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by roknHS, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. roknHS

    roknHS Idaho Member

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    I am gearing up to load for a Ruger 44 carbine.....figured I'd need a 3 die set, primer, powder and bullets. When I started shopping for some RCBS 44 dies, the new sets are labeled 44 mag/44 spcl. Well, I've got a set of old RCBS 44 spcl dies for one of my pistols. I found a few fired 44 mag cases a friend left so, I got out the 44 spcl dies and gave it a try. I could full length resize the magnum case, deprime and expand the case mouth for a new bullet and seat and crimp the bullet in place with the old 44 spcl dies, no problem........at least it looks good to the untrained eye. I don't have a 44 magnum pistol or the carbine to try the round in so the jury is still out I guess.
    I really didn't think the old 44 spcl dies would load 44 magnum shells...........from some of you that know a lot more about loading for the special and magnum than I do...........have I done anything that is going to cause a problem with magnum shells loaded with special dies?
     
  2. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    .44 mag and .44 spc use the same dies. The special brass is basically a short version of the magnum brass. I personally prefer to crimp in a 4th stage, so I used the Lee factory crimp die for the final crimp. Just make sure not to put a magnum load in the special brass!
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  3. roknHS

    roknHS Idaho Member

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    Yep, I understand the relationship of the special to the magnum. I figured there would be a machined shoulder in the sizer die that would prevent the magnum case from going in full length or something but, no........ I won't load specials and magnums at the same time so, no chance of mixing up the two.
    I did a 4 step process as well..........seated the bullet to the correct COAL and then backed out the bullet seater and screwed the die in a little for a proper crimp.
    I was smiling when I looked at the finished round...........don't have to buy another $50 die set.
    I'm just checking with you guys to make sure I didn't miss anything........This RCBS 44 spcl die set I used has to be 30 years old...........hasn't been used that much so, it's in great condition. I just never had considered using it to load 44 mags.
     
  4. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well done! Yeppers, the only difference is the length of the case, and backing out the die will give you correct OAL. Just be careful when loading specials, to lower the powder charge and change the primer. I sure enjoy my Super Blackhawk and am glad I can afford to shoot it more as a result of reloading.
     
  5. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    It's the same sort of situation with the .38 special and .357 mag dies.

    For someone who wants "double duty." Just buy the .38 special die set (or the .44 special die set). You can use the "specially made RCBS washer/spacer" (or make your own) to simply correct/reposition the dies from .38 special to use with .357 mag loading (same goes for reloading the 44 special and 44 mag). It's really simple.

    Picture of the die spacer kit (this one is from another manufacturer).

    Die Spacer Kit* | MidsouthShootersSupply.com

    Aloha, Mark

    PS........yes, in your bullet seating die there is a machined shoulder to "crimp" the bullet. So......if you've reloaded .38 specials and like the way everything looked (bullet seating depth and amount of crimp). Then, lock the lock ring down, add the spacer/washer and screw down the die again. You'll be reloading .357 mag (using the same bullet) and getting the same look in no time flat. Tada!!