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I'm a reloading newbie. I wanted to give it a try before investing, so I started with the Lee Loader. Yes, the one you use a hammer with. I'm enjoying it and will be advancing soon as the Lee Loader is quite slow, but was a good way to learn.

I have been loading for .44 Special and Magnum using a 240gr. LSWC bullet and CCI 300 primers. Powders are Unique and 2400. No problems with the loads I put through my Model 29-2. I experimented with different charges, avoiding anything too hot.

I liked the caliber so much, I added a (new) workhorse Ruger Super Blackhawk, which I plan to shoot more and try heavier loads.

The Ruger exposed the problem. Magnum cartridges that easily slip into the Smith chambers are tight on the Ruger. Some I would have to force in, which of course, I do not do. With the Specials, it does not happen. They fit into both guns with ease.

The brass I am using now came from factory loads, shot out of the Smith. The Ruger is new and I have not had a chance to see how a factory Magnum round fits.

I have read it may be a crimping, flaring or seating issue. But I tried the brass on it's own after sizing and had the same problem. Some, but not all, just don't fit right. Again, this is only with Magnum brass and cartridges, not Specials.

Any ideas why this may be happening and what I can do to fix it?

Cheers!
 

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Your brass is not being sized properly ( enough ) a correctly sized case should fit in any chamber for that caliber. There are times when over crimping case bulge a case at the neck and cause the case to swell a little. I would rather think it's the tool your using or not using to it's full Re-sizing potential.
You must have some free space between the brass and the chamber or you will spike pressures and could have a bad day.
 

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Based on the information you gave, I also think it is a incomplete sizing of your brass. The Ruger may have a tighter chamber then your Smith and your sizing die may be somewhat oversize in Dia.
Most of the time it is a bullet seating problem where the shoulder of the bullet is jamming into a tight chamber throat. Due to you stating that empty re-sized brass is hard to seat leads to the problem being your sizing die. I would try another brand of dies and see if that cures your problem.
 

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You said the magic words " I'm enjoying it". I started with a Lee loader over 50 years ago and they are a great way to start. The Lee Loader is not sizing the cases properly for your Ruger, nature of the hammer in tool. Since your are enjoying the reloading its time to step up in equipment, then I know you will really enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies, incorrect sizing sounds like the problem. The cartridge will get about halfway in before sticking. Time to start surfing around for a press and dies!
 

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I am not familiar with the Lee loading tool. However, If the cartridge will fit the S&W chamber, it should also go into the Ruger chamber. I have encountered a similar problem which may shed some light on your difficulties. If you have been shooting 44 Special rounds to any extent in your Ruger, a ring will form in the cylinder where the mouth of the .44 Spl. case is. Carbon will build up there and if not removed, will prevent the larger magnum case from being fully inserted. To check this out, get a brass wire brush and solvent and clean each chamber completely. You might solve your problem.
 

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I agree that it's a sizing issue. It's been awhile since I used a Lee Loader, but as I recall, they do not full length size the case. If you fire those rounds in the Smith and then resize them, it leaves a slight bulge in the case . Since the Ruger has tighter chambers, the new rounds won't fit.

Until you get a new press and dies, you may get around the problem by segregating brass, and keep one lot for the Smith and one for the Ruger.

Good luck!
 

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Scotchblade,

I know, a personal thing, but I have never been much of a Lee fan with very limited exceptions.

However, something we as reloaders deal with is manufacturing tolerences, which effects the chambers of our firearms as well as the sizing dies we use.

There is some good councel provided above, such as segrate the brass and keep the S&W brass from the RUGER brass. Also, I not being a Lee fan, have never used the hammer method of sizing in their die. However, those who speak of that system not completely and properly sizing your brass after firing in the S&W are likely speaking factually.

AS per firing of the "special" length brass and it's leaving a ring which causes difficulty of chambering "magnum" length brass, that can be a factor but nothing that keeps me from firing far more .38 "special" then .357 magnum. Same would go for the .44

An over night soak in Hoppies will make the ring a snap to remove, the ring being made up of powder, cast bullet lube and lead, or at least that is the case in my situation because I shoot almost entirely cast boolits/bullets in my handguns.

Keep a look out for used equipment, and you can more then likely buy quality equipment at waaaaay below new price.

Run a "want ad" but don't over pay as there is plenty of unused loading equipment out there, you just need to be connected and the ad just mi9ght do the trick.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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You said the magic words " I'm enjoying it". I started with a Lee loader over 50 years ago and they are a great way to start. The Lee Loader is not sizing the cases properly for your Ruger, nature of the hammer in tool. Since your are enjoying the reloading its time to step up in equipment, then I know you will really enjoy it.
I agree with this as well as what graywolf1 told you. I also started with the LEE handtool in 1986 for the .41 Magnum and a Ruger Redhawk. It's time to move up and I highly recommend the LEE Classic Turret press. Great to start with and you can move up with higher production as your skill level increases. The only other LEE product I use is the Autoprime. ;)
 

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I have two Colt Trooper Mk III's, one made in 1970 and one in 1971. The 1970 has a cylinder length of 1.590 and the 1971 is 1.600. Some of the .357's I loaded for the 1971 will not fit the 1970. A little deeper seating and they work fine
 

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I started out with a Lee Loader. The instructions tell you that you are just neck sizing the brass and it is best to use the brass in only the gun you are reloading for. This is true for any reloading equipment that you are only neck sizing. As "Scattershot" said segregate your brass.

There is nothing wrong with just neck sizing. Actually it is the way to go for real accurate loads. A lot of target shooters do it for the best accuracy. The down side is what you have experienced, the brass often only fits in the one gun.

Grampie not Grumpie,
 

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The Lee C press sells for around 25 bucks, less on sale, and the Lee carbide 4 die set is on sale today at Midway for less than 40 bucks. Add a $25 Lee Autoprime and you are set for under 100 bucks, can full length resize all those cases so they fit both guns, and both speed production way up and produce way higher quality ammo. I use basically this setup today, as I batch load (resize all the cases, next prime them, then expand them and check to see that the bullet will fit in the mouth easily, put in the powder with the scoop that comes with the die set and seat a bullet in that case right away so you don't double charge something, and finally crimp). Quick, easy, and most importantly accurate. Only haev to change dies 4 times. Can't go wrong with Lee.
 

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I believe the Lee Loader pistol calibers do full length resize, it's the rifle cartridges that neck size only. I'd start by trying a new factory cartridge in the Ruger. If it fits, mic the case and then mic a sized case and see what the difference is. If they are close, I'd mic the cylinders on the Ruger to see what the actual size is.

Ed
 

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Some Ruger revolvers have tighter chambers than S&W etc. I have a Blackhawk like that. Even when properly sized and with the proper roll crimp, my handloads would not fit in the BH chambers. I bought a "taper-crimp" die and use this die instead of the roll crimp shoulder in the seating die, and they will drop right in every time. I have since found two other shooters at the range with the same problem..........Both Ruger owners, and the Taper-crimp solved their problems too.
Just my $.02.....If you can afford to get a good C or O-frame press it would make your reloading much more enjoyable and your ammo better quality, IMHO
...........Good Luck and good shooting............Don in SC
 
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