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.41 Mag
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I started reloading some .41 Mag again. It's been 28 years since I've done any .41 Mag in volume and nothing feels natural anymore. I'm starting from scratch.

It's a 3-die RCBS die set. I'm loading 25 Gr. of H110 in a Remington case, under a Sierra 170 Gr. JHC bullet. The primer is a Federal Large Pistol primer.

The bullets are not feeding smoothly into the case. (I'm using a burring tool on the ID of the case lip to help get the bullet started.

The problem is that I'm collapsing the case on 3-5% of the rounds unless I'm extremely careful. On some others I'm shaving off just a tad of the bullet base as it starts into the case.

My thought is:

1) That I'm not expanding the case sufficiently, although I found one case where the bullet slid into the case without sufficient interference to "lock" the bullet in place.

2) There is something inherent about the "short" 170 bullet that allows it to misalign slightly in the seating die.

One other issue. I'm trying to seat the cannelured bullet with a crimp. Am I correct that the "seating" and "crimping" should occur on a single stroke, and not two separate operations?

Nothing feels exactly right.

As far as chambering and firing in my S&W Model 57, I've not see anything strange so far with the reloads.
 
Posts: 10781 | Location: Texas | Registered: 10 May 2002Reply With Quote
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I seat and crimp in separate [but equal] steps.

you can seat and crimp in one step but IMO it doesn't produce the same results.

I know there is flair this and flair that amount.
I don't really measure I just put enough on to balance the bullet on the case.
 
Posts: 3255 | Location: soda springs,id | Registered: 02 April 2008Reply With Quote
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I chaffer the inside edge of the case mouth a little. I measure my expander to insure it is correct for the diameter of bullet I am using. I make just enough flare so that the bullet base definitely starts inside it. I get no shaving of lead. Another thing is to make sure the bullet seating plugs has the correct shape to fit the bullet nose precisely to keep it from trying to cock especially with short bullets. If the bullets are jacketed and have a cannelure I time the seating so the crimp starts when the case mouth is within the cannelure groove and you don't roll the crimp in as deep on a jacketed bullet. I do the same on a cast bullet that has a substantial crimp groove and time the crimping as I do with the jacketed bullet. On cast my bullet is roll crimped and the mouth of the case is just right at the underside of the ledge of that crimp groove. You can also do both jacketed and cast bullet crimping in a separate stage. Try both see which you like and what the difference in accuracy is between them. I feel the straight wall revolver cartridges are pretty well straight forward in their loading and rather easy. The 41 mag is a great cartridge.

Why do you prefer the 170 grain bullet?
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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I too crimp in a separate step. Seems to work better that way for me. Been shooting the 41 since the early 70’s and have had several revolvers, but settled on my BH and my Marlin 94. Cast bullets are all that I shoot.


Shoot Safe,
Mike

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Posts: 406 | Location: Middle Georgia | Registered: 06 February 2011Reply With Quote
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When a case collapses it is normally the expander did not go in far enough,not the bell of the case mouth.
When the bullet is seated if you can see a slight bulge where the bullet is seated, that is a good indication the expander did not go in far enough,or the expander is not the correct size. RCBS has made mistakes in the past and will replace the part.
Have you measured your bullets?


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Posts: 364 | Location: Albuquerque | Registered: 28 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Yes, you have to bell the mouth. Do what rapid said. Nothing to do with crimping.
 
Posts: 12680 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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i've used that identical loads for 40 years - do what they say & bell the mouth slightly repeat slightly the 170 sierra is quite soft and distorts quick great load for cougar
 
Posts: 13098 | Location: faribault mn | Registered: 16 November 2004Reply With Quote
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Seems like a whole lotta powder.
Never played with a .41.
I do load with H110 though.

Bell the mouth and solve your problems.

George


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George L. Dwight
 
Posts: 4787 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With Quote
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I found loading the 41 is no different then any other straight walled pistol case.

Again may sure you a belling the case enough and not over crimping.

I looked in my Lee and Sierra manuals and 25grs of H110 is over max in both.
 
Posts: 16090 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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quote:
When the bullet is seated if you can see a slight bulge where the bullet is seated, that is a good indication the expander did not go in far enough,or the expander is not the correct size.


Rapid, that is exactly what I am seeing. I'm going to try to readjust the Expander. Is there any "trick" to that adjustment?
 
Posts: 10781 | Location: Texas | Registered: 10 May 2002Reply With Quote
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What problem are you trying to solve? Having slight bulge is not an issue as long as the bullet is tight. It means that your sizing die is sizing the brass more than it needs to.
Making a longer expander plug only will work your brass even more.
There is no adjustment you can do; make a new plug is what you are looking for; in order to solve a nonexistent problem, as I understand it. You said you were crushing cases; bell the mouth more. Loose bullets? Tell us the expander OD. Case bulge? get a longer expander plug. Or live with it. It's normal on older RCBS and Lyman dies to size, aggressively.
 
Posts: 12680 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Reloading straight walled revolver cartridges is pretty straight forward. Resize deprime the case, expand the case mouth with a very slight bell, primer, powder, bullet. Me thinks that you may be inserting the expander too far in the case and that 170 grain bullet has short sides to it being it's generally on the light side for a 41 mag and some of it's wall area in where the case may be belled too much. Very rarely is the expander plug on the RCBS die going to be too large. Only way is if it was a set for Cowboy Action Shooting and reload which use cast bullets which are generally fatter in diameter then jacketed.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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I was questioning the Sierra bullets also, when suddenly one bullet, using the same die set-up, nearly fell into the case mouth. Once the bullet was seated in place, pre-crimp,I could spin it with my fingers and push it in and out. All the other bullets either started "correctly", or were difficult to start. I discarded this round as well.
 
Posts: 10781 | Location: Texas | Registered: 10 May 2002Reply With Quote
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Did you measure it? Do not throw things away before doing the root cause analysis; you are just guessing now.
Take a picture of your case mouth bell with a bullet inserted in it. Once set, it won't vary though. Or send me your dies and I will test them for you.
Loose bullets are more often caused by over crimping than anything else.
 
Posts: 12680 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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I tend to shoot a lot of cast loads in both rifle and handgun. When loading these I use the Lee Universal Neck Expander die. It works well when used correctly. I like it much more than the standard die set.


Shoot Safe,
Mike

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Posts: 406 | Location: Middle Georgia | Registered: 06 February 2011Reply With Quote
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quote:
Did you measure it



Makes me wonder if he has .400 instead of .410 bullets
 
Posts: 16090 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Expander balls come in various sizes, sounds like you could go one up..Its pretty much the same as other straight walled cases, 375, 44, and such..You need a bit more flair I suspect.


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
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rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 36564 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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The remaining 47 bullets in the box check-out as being .41. I use the 170s on paper targets. I hope to load the Hornady 210 Gr. XTP for hunting this fall if I can find a box.
 
Posts: 10781 | Location: Texas | Registered: 10 May 2002Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by p dog shooter:
quote:
Did you measure it



Makes me wonder if he has .400 instead of .410 bullets


You go to Sierra Handgun bullet chart and you will clearing see that the bullet he is using is indeed a .410 170gr bullet for the 41 Mag. Sierra doesn't make a 170 bullet for .400 diameter.
 
Posts: 643 | Registered: 15 May 2018Reply With Quote
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Found 210 Gr. Hornady XTP easy enough at Cabela's. What's rare is large pistol primers. Haven't found any. I'll use what I have left with 21 Gr. of H110.
 
Posts: 10781 | Location: Texas | Registered: 10 May 2002Reply With Quote
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I’ve always had problems with straight wall cases when I try and do minimal belling of the case. Now, looking like a trumpet isn’t good, but all a little too much bell costs you is a potential decrease in case life.

I’d worry less about the expander die, and give a bit more bell if you are having issues.

Crimping and seating at the same time is workable, but the cases need to be the same for it to work, particularly length, and if you try and seat and crimp at the same time with a longer case, it will crush things.

Having the brass show a bulge where the bullet is doesn’t cause problems as long as the round isn’t oversized.

As to primers, I’d be using a large pistol magnum primer with H110/296.

Your 170 grain bullet is one of my favorites in the .41. Depending on what you are hunting the 170 should be fine for deer and such.

The .41 doesn’t seem to be as picky as some others, either. All mine are quite accurate- one of which is actually better than most rifles out to 100 yards.
 
Posts: 5828 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
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Get out the instructions that came with your die set. Read them front to back. They are very detailed and will straighten you out. And yes, IMO, crimping and seating should be done in separate operations. With magnum loads--even .41 magnum you need a decent crimp to prevent bullets jump under recoil.
 
Posts: 336 | Registered: 03 March 2005Reply With Quote
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It the expander ball is to small, then order of find another in a larger size, if its too large the chuck it up in a drill press, wrap a file with wet and dry paper and file the expander ball down a bit at a time until its perfect..easy operation..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 36564 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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