cartridge length

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by mtnman05, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. mtnman05

    mtnman05 New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    I ordered some 180 gr hardcast RNFP .44cal bullets from SNS casting the other day. They seem to be really good quality. I was getting my seating/crimping die set up today for these and when I seat and crimp into the crimp groove in the bullet the COL is about 1.47". My reloading manuals show a minimum COL of 1.585" with a 180gr. Is this going to cause an issue with pressures? If I crimp them at 1.585" I am in the lubricating band below the canalure. I was going to use these for mild magnum loads for target practice. (20 gr of 2400.)

    What would you do.
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    I think you'll be just fine with that start load, pressure won't be an issue. Everything I've cross referenced between Hornady, LymanCastBulletHandbook and Lyman 48th and 49th shows you to be at a good starting load. The load I show for 180gn WC's with a COAL of 1.420 shows a start load of 2400 @ 20.3 gns, so you will have more case volume avail with the RNFP; pressure should not be a problem.

    Each bullet is different, the best thing to do is to crimp it in the appropriate groove and do as much research on it as possible if you can't find the exact bullet and an exact recipie. ( which you did well to ask around here ) See what others have to say also, but I have found multiple references with similar/slightly heavier bullets to say that you're in a safe range to start your load development.

    If you could post some pics, out of curiosity sake. bullet alone, bullet seated at 1.47 and 1.585.

  3. mtnman05

    mtnman05 New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Ok, i will try to post some pictures up sometime. I was figuring 20gr should be ok since thats like a max load with a 240 gr so with 180s it should be fine.
  4. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I strongly suggest that you stop figuring, and stay with what is printed!:eek::D I can tell you some real horror stories involving some folks who thought they could get by estimating the results of their actions!
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  5. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Okay .44 caliber, COAL 1.585". I'll assume .44Mag but it could also be 44WCF(44-40).
    As carver mentioned, figuring...and assumptions...can get dangerous really fast. Help fill in the blanks and we can post up more complete advice. :)

    For starters, unless specifically stated otherwise, that overall length measurement is a MAXIMUM, not a minimum.
    You can seat the bullets down to the cannelure with no problem.
    A 180grRNFP .44 is a pretty short bullet so you will probably be seating them shorter than the listed COAL. It's a more common weight/profile for 44WCF but I've used a lot of 180gr RNFP lead in 44Special loads...I've never tried it for even starting .44Mag loads though.

    As for the powder charge, find some 180gr lead data and stick with it.
    Cross-referencing to several manuals (and jacketed data mind you, so it won't corelate 100%) a starting load of 20gr of 2400 will get you into the 1200-1500fps range depending on what barrel length you're firing out of.
    Even 1200fps will almost certainly guarantee that you'll have some leading without a gas-check or at the very least some VERY good lube.
    Hodgdon's online data center shows several loads for a 185gr lead RNFP. This data will work for your 180gr lead.
    They list 1.54" for COAL...but without knowing for sure which brand bullet they used for that data it's still open for a bit questioning.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  6. mtnman05

    mtnman05 New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    I am trying to stay with whats printed. Its just hard to do that when I have looked through numerous reloading manuals and there is no information on a hard cast 180gr RNFP bullet. There is plenty for jacketed bullets and I have been successful loading those at 1.595" COL. The shortest COL data I have found in my manuals is 1.585" and the only way I can get to that measurement is to crimp in the grease groove. These are suppose to be for 44 magnum as it states so on the box they came in. Trust me, I have had these for over a month and I want to load some to take to the range but I have been tossing this around because I dont want to lose a hand.
    The concern I have is since the bullet is going to be deeper in the cartridge that is going to cause the pressure to be higher. I will try to get some pics up soon.
  7. mtnman05

    mtnman05 New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Oh and sorry for confusing everyone. This is for 44 magnum loads. S&W 629 4".

    My gun groups the best with 180gr XTP hornadys that I load with 22gr of 2400 so I was wanting to see how it did with some inexpensive hardcast 180s. $42 for 500 including shipping was hard to pass up. Just trying to work up a load at around 1200-1300 fps out of my 4" gun with these.

    thanks for your help
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    shoot, with the 180s even at the 1.47" your seating them to that 20 grains 2400 has got plenty of room.

    I run 20 grains under 240 gr cast for Kieth duplication loads (240 @ 1250) I figure that 20 grains will prolly be scootn them 180s along at around 1300 or better from that 4 inch tube.

    In fact, a powder change may be necessary to recognize optimum accuracy without over accelerating the lead boolit. I try to keep my lead to 1250 or less.
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Ill go ahead and make a prediction for you too Mtnman, if the bullets are of beveled base design, they will lead the barrel if pushed beyond about 900 fps.

    You will be far better off developing a load for target practice using unique or titegroup and keeping velocity in the .44 spec range.
  10. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    For thr first several years of my reloading, I didn't bother with OAL too much when reloading for my revolvers (357M and 44M), I just crimped them in the crimp groove. I never loaded to max. and had no problems. I shot thousands upon thousands of these rounds and OAL wasn't an issue (still ain't today), and didn't start dealing w/OAL until I started reloading 45 ACP.

    As for the listing for a 180 gr LRNFP, I found some info on page 169 of my Hodgdon reloading manual for 185 gr LRNFP...

    Don't know about other reloaders, but I research my reloads first, before buying components. If I couldn't find load data for a specific bullet, I surely wouldn't buy it. Maybe there is a reason nobody lists reload data for that bullet?
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