The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 30, 1999, 08:08 PM   #1
Ankeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 1998
Location: Shoshoni, WY USA
Posts: 556
Sorry about the terrible French.

I thought I knew how to reload, until today. I have a G35 (Glock .40 S&W) that I am trying to work up a load for. I spent all summer shooting up a couple of cases of factory ammo and now it is time to crank up the press and replenish my supply of ammo. I have read a lot of bad stuff about unsupported chambers and the .40 Smith, but it seemed like bad ammo contributes to the KaBooms and I know I can load quality ammo.

Anyhow, I loaded a 180 grain Hornady XTP bullet in front of 4.5 grains of Tite Group powder. I seated the bullet to the overall length as indicated in the manual. The powder charges were weighed individually on an electronic scale. Since I wanted to test my Glock for accuracy, I was very careful about consistency. Oh yeah, the brass is once fired brass that I bought as new factory loads.

Anyhow, I charged the magazine with five rounds of ammo and started shooting. Instead of picking up the first round (lazy and dumb) to inspect it, I just kept shooting. The first four went fine, and then the fifth round was fired. The case head was ejected and it landed on the bill of my cap, the remainder of the case stayed in the chamber but was easily pushed out with a cleaning rod. No damage at all to the pistol or shooter.

So what the heck is up with this crap? Once fired brass, electronically weighed charge below published maximum, overall length within a couple of thousandths of published length, and the head totally separates from the case.

After the horse was out of the barn, I picked up the empty brass and sure as heck a nice bright ring where the chamber stops supporting the case. So, do I just shoot factory ammo? Get a supported tube, only load squib loads?
Ankeny is offline  
Old November 30, 1999, 08:46 PM   #2
Big Bunny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 9, 1999
Location: New South Wales - Australia
Posts: 605
We have reports that Glocks in 40S&W should only use factory ammo, due to danger of blow-ups.
Sansome - one of their Qld distributors prints this across the bottom of all their adverts.

Handloads if carried out atall I believe should be of low velocity and lead/teflon coated only - as per the advice we in the SSAA(ssaa.org.au)have received, and as used by the NSW Police on our ranges.

This is hearsay but it would pay you to get onto your NRA and the distributor.

Best of luck, glad you were un-injured. Must have been wearing eye/ear protection!

------------------
***Big Bunny***
Big Bunny is offline  
Old November 30, 1999, 10:54 PM   #3
NCglocker
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 1999
Posts: 10
I was using TG with my 180gr reloads for my .40 glock, but at only 4.5gr (I was using that too) I notices quite a bit of the brass was bulging more than I wanted it to. So I switched to a slower burning powder. I went with N340 and the velocity is slightly higher and the brass does not bulge, excellend deal for me I think. Another highly recommended .40 powder is WSF. Low pressure and good velocity. Change your powder, keep it moderate (like you are already doing) and keep shooting. BTW, what kind of brass was that that gave out on you?


NCglocker
NCglocker is offline  
Old November 30, 1999, 11:16 PM   #4
TheOtherMikey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 1999
Location: Surprise, Arizona, USA
Posts: 171
I don't know where all this Glockmeister stuff comes from. I guess next they will be saying you can only fire ammo manufactured by elves in Austria!

My personal experience is that I have fired over 2,000 reloads in my Glock 22C with NO problem. I use Win 231 and a Ranier copper plated projectile, Win primers. The one thing I do which might make a difference is that I always finish my auto pistol rounds (9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP) with a Lee taper crimp die. Also, I use a Dillon 550B press and Lee carbide dies.

------------------
Retired, Broke, and In Need of Brass, Powder, and Shot. Will Work To Shoot!
TheOtherMikey is offline  
Old December 1, 1999, 08:44 AM   #5
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
I've made mucho 40 ammo (60,000+) but I've ALWAYS used slower powders like WAP, AA7, and Alliant Power Pistol.

IMHO this TiteGroup frenzy is ridiculous; the powder is for light target/plinking loads. Never intended for "Major" (except maybe 45ACP).

Recommend Power Pistol for 40 S&W.

------------------
"All my ammo is factory ammo"

WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old December 1, 1999, 09:32 AM   #6
WalterGAII
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 7, 1999
Posts: 1,516
Having blown up a treasured G21, using heavy bullets and fast powder, in .400 Cor-Bon, I believe that Weshootz is correct. I also fired a round that on which the bullet had been setback, exacerbating the pressure problem. While I have no interest in the .40, due to my aversion to bulged cases, the necessity for me to reload if I plan to shoot, I'd definitely recommend slower powders and lighter bullets to .40 reloaders.

------------------
Shoot to kill; they'll stop when they're dead!
WalterGAII is offline  
Old December 1, 1999, 10:06 AM   #7
Ankeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 1998
Location: Shoshoni, WY USA
Posts: 556
Thanks for the info guys. And I do "finish" the cases off with a separate taper crimp die. By the way, Accurate Arms will tell you not to use AA7 in an unsupported chamber in .40 S&W and so will Alliant.

My point is this. I loaded some ammo that is well within published specifications. Still, the case head came clear off. I have never owned a firearm or caliber combination that I could not use less than "full" power loads as published.

I like to practice on occassion with ammunition that is as potent as what I use for self defense. Folks who shoot squib loads in their defense pistols don't really get an idea of how the firearm behaves under "real" conditions.

I have learned this about Glocks and the .40 S&W. Reload only low power low pressue loads. I am going to use TG, but with light charges and 165 grain bullets. In my opinion, the .40 and Glocks have rightfully earned the bad reputation they have with regards to reloaded ammunition.

Also, I appreciate your suggestions as to which powder to use. However, in researching the boards here and at Glock Talk, the preferred powder is indeed TG and that's why I bought it. The manuals all tell me not to use any of their powders in my Glock. Maybe I need to buy a tube with a supported chamber and just scrap the factory barrel.
Ankeny is offline  
Old December 1, 1999, 09:03 PM   #8
NCglocker
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 1999
Posts: 10
TG is the choice for 9 and 45, but not for .40. I got a KKM barrel for my glock .40, and it works really well! I shoot really good groups with it and of course, the chamber is ultra tight and more supported. If you are planning on doing anything serious with your glock .40, I would highly suggest an aftermarket barrel. If you want the best, get a barsto, but the wait is enormous! Try a KKM, lots of people on glocktalk use them and I do and I like them. When I get my 35, the first upgrade for me will be a KKM barrel for it...

NCglocker
NCglocker is offline  
Old December 2, 1999, 06:18 PM   #9
Peter M. Eick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,879
I hate to nit pick, but would not a pound of Power Pistol ($15.75 here in Texas) be a lot cheaper then a barrel, regardless of what the glock boards say?

I personally love Power-Pistol in my 40's. My MD96 loves it with 165 JHP's and my P9 just soaks it up for 180 JHP's.

Try some different powders, Blue Dot works well also.

pete
Peter M. Eick is offline  
Old December 2, 1999, 11:18 PM   #10
Ankeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 1998
Location: Shoshoni, WY USA
Posts: 556
Oh, don't get me wrong guys. I am going to try different powders. I do have a light load using TG with 165 FMJ Speers that shoots exceedingly well. When the TG is gone I'll go with something else. Worked up loads this evening with Power Pistol and AA5 and AA7. I'll try them this weekend. By the way, I started way below maximum this time.
Ankeny is offline  
Old December 3, 1999, 02:04 AM   #11
Ivanhoe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 1998
Location: Virginia
Posts: 412
Ankeny, what manufacturer made the case? Federal had a bad run of .40 brass back around 1993 or 1994. if the failure was a nice circular fracture all the way around the base just in front of the extractor groove, then it was probably bad brass. if the brass blew out over the feed ramp then it was probably either too much pressure or tired brass.

and an aside; "once-fired brass" sounds like "once-used condoms" to me. you don't know how many times it was used, nor who used it, nor what it was used for. why put your body at risk for a few dollars?


Ivanhoe is offline  
Old December 5, 1999, 10:36 AM   #12
skipperJ
Member
 
Join Date: October 7, 1999
Posts: 85
I have a Kahr K40 and have shot nothing but reloads in it, Bullseye, 231 for the most part. No problems. I don't know what an unsupported chamber is. Would someone please explain.
skipperJ is offline  
Old December 5, 1999, 05:06 PM   #13
Peter M. Eick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,879
Skipperj,

If you take the barrel out of your kahr, and put a FIRED empty case in the chamber. Look at the amount of exposed brass not covered by steel. On my 40's (both with supported chambers) you can see a bit of brass on the side of the barrel where the extractor cut is and that is pretty much it. On an unsupported chamber, you will see a lot of brass exposed at the base of the feedramp, while the sides of the case are supported by steel.

The point is that on a lot of glock 40's, the bottom rear of the chamber is unsupported. When the cartraige is fired, the thin brass is all that is keeping the 17 odd tons of pressure in the barrel and not your hand. If the brass fails, the gun goes KB and you better have a strong grip to hold back that type of pressure.

Seriously, if the cartraige fails, it will probably mean a trip to the emergency room, (if you are lucky to make it that far). If you shoot at a public range, you can usually find 40 cases shot in unsupported chambers (probably glocks) because they have a bulge or protrusion on the base of the case just ahead of the extractor cut. The problem comes if you reload this case, the brass is stressed at that point. How many times till it gives?, who knows and who wants to take the risk?

Does this help? Also, does anyone want to revise my description?
Peter M. Eick is offline  
Old December 6, 1999, 12:35 AM   #14
Ivanhoe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 1998
Location: Virginia
Posts: 412
Peter most case failures do not result in injury to either shooter or gun. aside from bad nerves, of course! this is a failure mode that gun designers have known about for roughly 100 years; plenty of time to work a "case failure" scenario into their destructive testing program.

the .45 crowd is very familiar with case failures in the 1911. again, a partially unsupported case, though 45 ACP is normally lower pressure than 40.

on re-reading Ankeny's post, I now realize that his "once-fired brass" has been once-fired by *him*, not purchased used. hope I didn't confuse anybody else.

Ivanhoe is offline  
Old December 6, 1999, 04:47 PM   #15
Mikie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 19, 1998
Location: Eastern MA, USA
Posts: 228
I have reloaded/fired roughly 2K rounds for my G23 this past year. Though the chamber is unsupported, I have reloaded the same shells anywhere from 3-5 times(I have a large supply). I have used 5.5-6.0 gr of WSF with 180gr heads and up to 7gr of WSF with 165gr heads. I've fired lead with lighter loads but jacketed as high as the 400 ft lbs range without a problem.

------------------
Mikie is offline  
Old December 7, 1999, 09:04 AM   #16
Peter M. Eick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,879
Ivanhoe,

I have only witnessed one case letting go, and it basically shattered the grips and filled the poor guys hands with shattered wood and metal. He had a pretty rough go of it till the EMT's arrived. Lots of loss of blood, etc. I do not know the long term results but it did not look good.

The RO on duty picked up the gun and equipment quickly, so I could not tell you the caliber or make of the gun.

I am probably an alarmist, but it was a mess and I would not wish that on my worst enemy.

pete
Peter M. Eick is offline  
Old December 9, 1999, 03:14 AM   #17
Ivanhoe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 1998
Location: Virginia
Posts: 412
Peter, sounds like the classic 1911 failure situation. this is why some aftermarket grip panels have a steel sheet embedded in them.

my experience with case failures were with the aforementioned Federal ammo in a Glock 22. one was quite an experience, but no damage except the gun jerked down and struck my trigger finger, inducing some arthritis that took about a year to go away. the other two or three were merely unnerving (it took me awhile to realize I had an ammo problem, as Federal did not admit the problem for awhile).

Ivanhoe is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09938 seconds with 7 queries