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Chuck Would, SASS # 53289

Loading .44 Russian - Dies?

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I'm actually asking for a friend of mine who is not a SASS shooter.  What dies are you using to Load .44 Russian.  Are .44 Magnum Dies too long?

The process will be on a Dillon 650 if that matters.

I know that when I tried loading .45 Cowboy Special with Dillon  .45 Colt Dies, the Crimp Die was the big issue.  Screwing it down to Crimp I hit the Shell Plate before it would crimp.  

 

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I use .44 Russian RCBS Cowboy Dies. You can get Lee'sin .44 Russian as well. I don't think 44 magnum does will work at all for those. 44 Special will but it's a lot less headache to get the right dies.

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I am using Dillon's  .44 Magnum Dies to load .44 Special but I've never tried to load .44 Russian with them.

What I'm being told is that it will not be a high volume round and he really doesn't want to buy another set of dies just to load for this one pistol he just purchased.

My thought was that the only die that might be an issue would be the Crimp Die.  A Lee FCD for .44 Russian might be the answer.

 

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I don't reload .44 Russian anymore, but recall using Dillon .44Mag/Spl for sizing and seating and a Lee .44 Russian crimp die on my 550. I remember contacting Dillon before I got their dies to confirm they would work. Suggest doing the same.

 

Church Key

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37 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

I use .44 Russian RCBS Cowboy Dies.

This is what I use also, work good for me.

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+4 on RCBS Cowboy Dies 44 Russian....

Regards

TR

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To actually answer your question, your Magnum dies will not be able to crimp the Russian, and may not be able to flare for seating.  You're probably going to need these:  https://www.midwayusa.com/product/146319/lee-carbide-3-die-set 

 

As you MAY need 2 dies, might as well get the set.  It's not that much.  

 

However, if you are confident in your expander/flaring die, then one of these will suffice:https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1011209519/lee-carbide-factory-crimp-die  

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I load both 44 Russian and 44 Special on Lee 44 Russian dies. 

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Howdy Chuck

 

Regarding using a FC Die, he is still going to have to seat the bullet with something.

 

I use a standard set of RCBS 44 Magnum/44 Special dies to load 44 Russian on my Hornady Lock and Load.

 

However, in order to be able to crimp the brass, I had to grind the dickens out of the bottom of the seating/crimp die.

 

As you can see here, I keep one set of 44 Mag/44 Special dies set up for 44 Russian. The set on the top. I use the Hornady set for 44 Special. I don't reload 44 Mag.
 

45%20Colt%2045%20Schofield%2044%20Specia

 

 

Because the 44 Russian brass is so much shorter than either 44 Mag or 44 Special, in order to crimp the brass the die has to be screwed way down into the press to form a crimp. Screwing the die down this far did not allow the shell plate to rise up all the way. I had to shorten the bottom of the die a good bit, and also had to grind a conical shape onto the bottom of the die so it could fit down into the relief on the shell plate.

 

Picture is worth a thousand words department:

 

This is the set of 44 Mag/44 Special dies I use to load 44 Russian. The decap/sizing die and the belling die had enough travel that I could use them unaltered for 44 Russian. However you can see how I had to alter the seating/crimp die on the right to use it for 44 Russian. I don't recall offhand how much I had to grind off the bottom of the die, it was a long time ago. However I just grabbed a piece of 44 Special brass and 44 Russian brass and measured them. The 44 Russian is .183 shorter than the 44 Special. Almost 3/16". That is probably about how much I had to grind off the bottom of the seating/crimp die so it would crimp the 44 Russian brass. In addition, I had to grind the conical shape so the bottom of the die would fit into the recess on the shell plate. That was the only way I could get it to work.

 

44%20Russian%20DIes%2001_zpsep8mqnp9.jpg

 

 

 

I don't know what the story would be on a Dillon, but that is the story on my Hornady Lock & Load AP.

 

Why didn't I just buy a set of 44 Russian dies? I don't remember. It was a long time ago. Maybe I visited a local shop and the 44 Mag/Special set was in stock and I didn't want to wait for a set of 44 Russian dies.

 

Been doing it for a long time now, so it definitely works. Here is a batch of Black Powder 44 Russians being loaded. I use the standard Hornady 44 Mag/44 Special shell plate. Yes, the brass is stained. Have I ever mentioned to you that shiny brass does not shoot any better than stained brass?

 

44%20Russian%20Loads_zpstyy1n1zy.jpg

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I use Lee for .44 Russian, RCBS for .44 spl and .44 mag - dedicated die sets for each one, no fuss, no muss, no adjustments, just screw 'em in and start pulling the handle. Also have Dillon .44 mag in the 550.

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Howdy Again Chuck

 

I only had one 44 Russian revolver when I started loading the cartridge. The nickel plated New Model Number Three on the right in this photo.

 

Even so, I decided it made the most sense to set up one set of dies specifically for the cartridge. Eventually I got a whole bunch of revolvers chambered for 44 Russian. I have not regretted my decision to dedicate a set of dies to the cartridge.

 

New%20Model%20Number%20Three%20Blue%2031

 

 

Russian02.jpg

 

 

Two44DAs02_zpsa8d18ab5.jpg

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Tell your Pard to just buy some Lee 44 Russians ( They are cheap enough )

Then he has got the right stuff to do the best job possible  !

 

Heck I think I got 5 sets of 44 Mag dies .

Two sets of 44 Special dies .

Two sets of 44 Russian dies .

Makes it a lot  easier to setup once for a specific load  and leave it that way .

 

Just sayin .

Rooster 

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Buy Lee 44 Russian dies from Titan reloading. You probably only use the decapping die from 44 special.

I load 44 special and 44 russian and have separate die set for both.

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I'm able to load .44 Russian on my 650 with Dillon 44 spl/mag dies. The crimp die bottoms out on the shell plate, I get a good crimp. It works for me, but if he's only loading 44 Russian, he should get a set of 44 Russian dies and make life easy.

 

I load both 44 spl and 44 Russian using the same dies, adjusting them as needed.

 

Tully

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The .44 Russian is the father of the .44 Special and the grandfather of the .44 Mangle-em.  The difference is in the length of the case/cartridge.  Except, possibly in sizing of the .44 Maggie, for which the Russian sizing die might not be long enough, the Russian dies will work for all three cartridges.  In order to avoid re-setting the lock rings, you could just make up some spacers to go under the die lock rings for the longer cartridges.  If your pard is going to load a lot of Russian rounds, buying a complete set of dies would make sense.

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I have done some "rancher rigging" back in the days when I could not afford a new set of dies.

To load .44 Russkies and .44 S&W Specials, I cut off the lower ends my .44 Rem Mag expander die and .44 Rem Mag seat/crimp die off with a fixed hot rock.

There was no need to cut the sizer die down, of course.

 

Then I used spacer shims (7/8" ID washers) to get the correct height for the longer cases so I did not have to change my lock ring settings.

Redding currently sells some spacer rings.  They are not very expensive.

 

But the easiest way is to go order the correct dies from your LGS. :FlagAm:

 

MG

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Got an up date from my friend.  This is the only .44 Russian he has.  Picked up a VERY nice 7-1/2" Flat top target  Colt Bisley at an auction for a good price.  He wants to shoot it as it's very tight.  From the picture I saw, it's like new condition.

He will be loading on his Single Stage as he only plans to shoot it occasionally.  So the expense of a new tool head et al is not worth it.

 

Driftwood.  As always, I appreciate you help and I love the pictures.  You do own some very nice pieces.

 

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