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.44 mag cast bullet sizing

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by norton, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. I am loading a Lee cast bullet sized to .429. I tried .430 sizing but they were hard to get seated in the cylinder of my S/W 629.
    Using 2400, 15.8 grains.
    When I shot the same load with a .430 bullet I did not get any leading.
    Do you think I will now that the bullet is smaller?
  2. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    More than likely. Check the cyl throats, then if you can, slug the bore. You never want the throats smaller than the groove dia. IMO, in most 44mags, 0.429" is too small for good shooting w/ lead bullets, 0.430" is better & 0.431" isn't too large for most guns.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013

  3. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    .430" works for me in my 2 wheel guns and the lever action. The die from Magma actually came sizing them at .429", and I got a lot of leading, so I opened it up .001" and it works fine now...

    Like Fred said, slug your bore and make sure the throats aren't sizing them down before it hits the forcing cone. You might be able to get away with .429"... One way to find out.
  4. Ordered a Lyman mold for the .44 mag last night. A Keith bullet. Hope this one works out better.
  5. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Was your Lee a TL design? Many guys report leadign w/ the Lee TL. Since I have always lubd & sized, I never tried them, but enough neg reports would tell me to not waste my time. I am not sure how the Lyman is going to solve the problem, it sounds like the throats are too small if a 0.430" loaded bullet won't fit. Under sized bullets always lead. IF the cyl throat is small, it is sizing the bulelt down. Is your leading in the first 2" of bbl? Undersized bullets are likely the cause. Check the cyl throats. Pin gages are best or an internal micrometer. Tough to get good accureate measurments w/ calipers. If ou can easily pass a 0.429" jacketed bullet, then they are waaaaay to small for lead bullets. IF you are not going to lug the bbl, then make sure the cyl throats are at least 0.430".
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  6. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I have several TL molds and get no leading. That said, I'll never get another one. The main advantage to them is that they don't need to be sized. In my experience with several of them, they need to be sized anyway. I get equal results in terms of lubing when TL "normal" bullets and, ironically, the only mold I don't have to size for is a 9mm Lee lube groove mold.

    So, TL grooved bullets shoot great in my guns but offer no advantage over plain bullets.

    As to the original point regarding 0.429" cast bullets in a M29, I have no idea since I don't load that caliber. But, as to undersized bullets, while I agree with Fred that they shouldn't work well, I have had great results with my 0.357" 9mm bullets in 38 SPL. The experience is limited though. I have only loaded them with 4.5 Bullseye for a light load. If I ran them hard with Unique or 2400 in 357Mag, it might be a mess.
  7. My Lee cast bullet is a 310 grain. They are exceptionally long, and almost stick out the end of the cylinder- S/W-629- Lymans cast bullet handbook shows bullets tested as having been sized down to .429.
    I have fired approx. 500 of the 310 grain bullets over the past couple of years. they have always been hard to seat in the cylinders. I do size them. And I have not been getting leading. I looked down the barrel today after having shot about 40 of the .429 310 grain Lee bullets and no appreciable leading.
    I will report back.