Reloading Podcast 251 - does that trimmer really work

Hello, and welcome to the Reloading Podcast here on the Firearms Radio Network.  

Tonight the guys are talking about trimmers.

  1. Still new to reloading and I am limited on space for all my equipment. What is your opinion on the lee case trimmers? I am working on saving the money for a case prep center. Not sure if you have done a podcast on trimmers. Thank you Chris

  2. I just purchased a new tikka t3x rifle in 6.5creedmoor. I also purchased 50 new Peterson brass in LR primer pocket. I started load development with two different powders; reloader 16 and reloader 17. This is my second 6.5creedmoor so this caliber isn’t new to reloading for me. I use Redding competition shell holders and national match die set.  Bullet: 143eldx Reloader 17 has a max charge of 41.4 grains in the hornady 10th. I started out with 40.2gr of reloader 17 and moved up to 42.4gr in .2 gr increments. I noticed a very slight ejector mark (mostly visable and couldn’t feel with finger nail) starting at 40.2gr with a velocity of only 2640fps. I kept moving forward as there is no way this seemed correct. The next piece at 40.4 showed no mark. Went through the rest and some showed slight marks and some didn’t all the way up to 42.4. Next I started with reloader 16 at 41.6gr and worked my way up to 44.0gr. Noticing similar results, but no ejector marks until about 42.6gr. Bouncing back and forth between .2gr increments showing slight pressure signs via ejector mark. Nothing extensive, just slight when it showed until I got to 44gr. 44gr showed a mark that could be felt via finger nail, albeit not extreme, but noticeable. There is no load data for this bullet but there is plenty data regarding 140 and 142gr bullets on Alliant a website, which is how I can up with my starting charge. Max for 142gr sierra match king is 43.9gr.Sorry for the long winded email. The whole reason for this long email is frustration. Why do some cases show pressure signs lower on powder charge, but other higher on powder charge not show pressure? Before anyone asks, I full length resized the new brass. Could this be a brass issue? Thanks for any input, Jon Sorry I forgot to add that I’m seating to 2.900” and this eldx touches that lands at 2.925” I’m also using a standard cci 200 primer

  3. Spent Primers posted in RLPG MeWe: Moving again! New house, new reloading room. Fresh 9.5x12 foot, air conditioned canvas. Should I yank the carpet? I reload rifle, pistol and shotshell but am clean and careful. What do ya'll think?

Cartridge corner: 44 Special

This week’s source is Wikipedia, again, because Jim couldn’t find the cartridge in Ballistic Studies...

The .44 Special or .44 S&W Special is a smokeless powder center fire metallic revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson in 1907 as the standard chambering for their New Century revolver, introduced in 1908.

Development history

On the late 19th century American frontier, large .44- and .45-caliber cartridges were considered the epitome of handgun ammunition for self-protection, home defense, and hunting. Black-powder rounds such as the .44 American, .44 Russian, .44-40 Winchester, and .45 Colt enjoyed a well-earned reputation for effective terminal ballistics, accuracy, and reliability.[4]

At the start of the 20th century, Smith & Wesson decided to celebrate by introducing a brand new revolver design which they called the New Century.[5]

Smith & Wesson wished to pair their new revolver design with a worthy new ammunition chambering.[5] At the time, smokeless powder was state of the art in ammunition technology. Older black-powder ammunition was in the process of being converted to smokeless. Smith & Wesson's popular .44 Russian cartridge had established a reputation for superb accuracy and was a renowned target load, and they decided to use an improved smokeless powder version as the basis for the new round. Due to the lower energy density of the early semi-smokeless powders, prior efforts to convert the .44 Russian to smokeless had produced less than stellar ballistic performance. Smith & Wesson addressed this issue by lengthening the .44 Russian cartridge case by 0.190-inch (4.8 mm) and increasing the powder capacity by 6 grains (0.39 g).[6] The resulting design, which S&W called the .44 Special, had a case length of 1.16-inch (29 mm).[5]


Unfortunately the ballistics of the new cartridge merely duplicated the 246-grain (15.9 g) bullet @ 755 ft/s statistics of the .44 Russian, when the powder capacity of its case would have supported performance rivaling that of the .45 Colt and close to the .44-40. Nevertheless, the .44 Special retained its progenitor's reputation for accuracy.[3]

Black Powder Factory Cartridges c 1907-20[7]

The SAAMI maximum pressure standard for the 44 SW special is 15,500 PSI.[8]

The .44 Associates

Keith Semi-Wadcutter Hollow Point developed by Elmer Keith/Harold Croft c 1929-31

Almost from its introduction, firearms enthusiasts and cartridge handloaders saw that the potential of the .44 Special chambering was far from being realized and by the end of the 1920s were loading it to much higher velocities than factory standards.[5] Led by articles in firearms periodicals penned by gun writers such as Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, a loose cadre of enthusiastic fans who called themselves the ".44 Associates" formed.[5] Trading information such as .44 Special handloading data and tips regarding the conversion of revolvers to .44 caliber, they promulgated the belief espoused by many firearms authorities and experts that the .44 Special chambering is one of the best overall in the handguns.[4][5][9][10]

Currently a variety of factory ammunition loadings are available in .44 Special, including bullet weights of 135, 165, 180, 200, 240, 246, and 250 grains (16 g) at various velocity levels.[14] Special high performance terminal ballistic loads are also offered, such as the Hornady JHP, Winchester Silvertip JHP, Speer Gold Dot JHP, Federal LHP, Cor-Bon JHP, and various other jacketed hollow point and soft point designs.


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