The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 17, 2013, 08:49 PM   #1
WWWJD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Central KY
Posts: 516
.40 S&W for the noob

Hey all,
Nother' noob post for me. Been itching to get started with .40. I've got about 600 mixed head stamp cases (mostly Winchester), Alliant Power Pistol, CCI #500 primers. I've come down to making a decision on bullets for target shooting in my M&P full size (4.25" barrel). Will be using the Lee Classic Turret press.

MidwayUSA has quite a few in stock, so I'm not sure what my best bet is given the components listed. I've never noticed a difference in performance in any of the factory stuff I've shot, but I'm no pistol marksman either. Now that I've got a chrony and a good range to shoot at, I'd like to get my feet wet.

I was thinking I'd buy a box of those Nosler 135gr JHP, with the thought being that a lighter bullet will give me a more forgiving range in powder charge and a lighter recoiling load; any thoughts or words of wisdom?

Sorry if this is a broken record post.
__________________
~Mark

NRA fo Life Member
WWWJD is offline  
Old October 17, 2013, 09:19 PM   #2
bt380
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Posts: 331
Bayou sells 40sw 2500 for $244 delivered. They are coated lead. It works out to about 10 cents a round for the bullet (http://bayoubullets.net). Search bayou bullets on your tube.
bt380 is offline  
Old October 18, 2013, 07:59 PM   #3
Ruger45LC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 461
To save on money you're going to want to buy lead bullets, they're considerably cheaper than the alternative jacketed or plated.

Generally they run between $30-40 per 500.

Strange thing about pistols is that you'll often get more recoil with lighter weight bullets as long as you're using standard charges. Most people will tell you the heavier bullets seem to shoot softer.

Power Pistol is a good powder for the .40. I've used it with the 135gr Nosler JHP and generally get between 1375-1400 fps from my 4" Glock 23. You don't have to load them to that level, but it gives you an idea of the potential.
__________________
Glocks and Single Actions

Repent America!
Ruger45LC is offline  
Old October 18, 2013, 10:02 PM   #4
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,372
Here comes ol' Nick recommending a faster powder lol.

Seriously, 135's are too light for Power Pistol. And if you're going to shoot lead - as was suggested - then you don't want P'Pstl either.

Power Pistol is great stuff. So if that's what you're going to use, load it with at least a 165g bullet, and it needs to be jacketed, or at least plated.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old October 18, 2013, 11:17 PM   #5
bt380
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Posts: 331
Be careful about uncoated lead bullets. The ignition of the powder and instant heat at the base of the bullet causes lead vapor which may be inhaled.
bt380 is offline  
Old October 19, 2013, 12:08 AM   #6
Wreck-n-Crew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,484
Quote:
Here comes ol' Nick recommending a faster powder lol.


Quote:
lighter recoiling load
If you want speed you can get it from Powder Pistol in the 40 that's for sure . But slower speeds will give you the softer Knocks. SLower speeds from faster powders might sound silly but look over your reload data charts, http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...aspx?gtypeid=1

http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

and compare them to the burn rates, http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html


Cast bullets can be had cheap. I have ordered from two places that I like....
http://www.thebulletworks.net/ and http://www.snscasting.com/40-s-w-10mm/

Just got a batch of the plated bullets with free shipping in about a week ago. If you don't like the lead, cleaning or handling they are nice. Just remember to use the mid range load data for a FMJ as the max data on the plated ones here. So if your min load on a 165 GRN FMJ starts @ 5.0 GRNS to 5.6 Max your Max load on the Plated 165 GRN will be 5.3 GRNS.
__________________
If you ever have to use a firearm, you don't get to pick the scenario!
Wreck-n-Crew is offline  
Old October 19, 2013, 12:17 AM   #7
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,372
I'm not a big fan of lead in 40's. I mean, it can be done, but leading problems tend to be a constant battle. Just like in 9mm.

Lead works great in 38Spl, 44Spl, and 45 ACP (probably 45 Colt too, but I don't load those). And that's really about it, IMO.

And then there's the 135g bullet issue - I don't like them. They're an "unnatural" weight for 40 cal. 40 Cal's should be loaded with 155 - 180g bullets, with 165 being optimum - that's it.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old October 19, 2013, 12:18 AM   #8
noylj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 21, 2007
Location: Between CA and NM
Posts: 506
>Be careful about uncoated lead bullets. The ignition of the powder and instant heat at the base of the bullet causes lead vapor which may be inhaled.

Can you prove this? I have recovered my cast bullets and bases look the same before and after. Lead has a high enough heat content and the heat is applied for such a short time, that nothing happens.
Some folks do get so leading on their compensators, probably from the hot gasses being blasted past the bullet while it is passing through the comp., but I haven't had that happen with any of my comped guns.
Go to Penn Bullets, Mastercastbullets.com, or Missouri bullets for cast.
Go to Precision Bullets or Bayou for coated lead bullets.
Go to Montana Gold or Precision Delta for jacketed bullets.
Be sure you know the actual groove diameter of you barrel before ordering lead bullets and be sure the bullets are at least 0.001" larger than the actual groove diameter of your barrel.
I love 155gn L-SWCs in my .40s. I'm too poor to shoot jacketed.
noylj is offline  
Old October 19, 2013, 04:04 AM   #9
JustSomeGuy
Member
 
Join Date: October 2, 2013
Location: Oregon
Posts: 49
I have fired many thousands of lead bullets (mostly 180grn) in my various 40caliber pistols. I have no leading issues, but these bullets are moving at speeds only appropriate to a power factor of about 170-175 or so, so they are in the 945-975fps range mainly which is no strain for a lead bullet. Most of my cast bullets come from SNS Casting. They are pretty hard bullets, but like has been said, lead should be at least .001 over bore size, which generally means .401 in the 40cal or .356 in the 9mm (I have shot lots of 9mm lead bullets too with good results.).

Lighter bullets at full velocity do recoil more than heavier bullets at their intended velocity. Light bullets for the caliber use much more powder to drive to reasonable power levels, and more powder will, in the end, mean more recoil.

Various powders will work well with lead and others not so much. Hotter powders like TiteGroup are abysmal with lead and will cause smoke to the point of obscuring the target in a string of fire. Some people say it is only the lube on the lead bullet, but though you cannot see it, I think some lead is being vaporized as well to make the smoke. Silhouette, True Blue, and WSF being very cool burning powders produce hardly any smoke and are in the correct power and burn range for the .40 anyway. Unique works well, but again smokes up the place if using lead bullets. All in all Silhouette is one of the best powders for 40 S&W for a wide range of loads and bullet types. It is also treated for "flash" and will be more pleasant to shoot in low light as well as when used for defensive loads. Longshot also works well if you are going for higher velocity with heavier bullets for the caliber, and again, works pretty well with lead as well as other bullet types.
__________________
I, Procrastitron will destroy evil.... eventually.
JustSomeGuy is offline  
Old October 19, 2013, 11:07 AM   #10
Wreck-n-Crew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,484
Quote:
And then there's the 135g bullet issue - I don't like them. They're an "unnatural" weight for 40 cal.
I have to agree, It's like the 90 GRN in a 9mm.
__________________
If you ever have to use a firearm, you don't get to pick the scenario!
Wreck-n-Crew is offline  
Old October 19, 2013, 11:11 AM   #11
WWWJD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Central KY
Posts: 516
I appreciate the input guys. I ordered some 165gr Rainier plated Round Nose Flat Points to get started; just a few hundred to test over the chrony and for grouping. If they don't work well, no big loss. One of my LGS has a major pile of lead cast; 155 and 180gr. I may go up there a grab a box to try. I think someone local is making these for them; Valiant brand?
__________________
~Mark

NRA fo Life Member
WWWJD is offline  
Old October 20, 2013, 12:04 PM   #12
bigfinger76
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2012
Posts: 9
I don't like the 135 grainers either. My concern is the vastly reduced amount of bearing surface when compared to 165 or 180. While I don't know of anyone specifically who have had setback issues due to this, I like to err on the safe side.
bigfinger76 is offline  
Old October 20, 2013, 05:48 PM   #13
lee n. field
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2002
Location: The same state as Mordor.
Posts: 3,456
Quote:
I'm not a big fan of lead in 40's. I mean, it can be done, but leading problems tend to be a constant battle. Just like in 9mm.
Hmm. I don't have a leading problem shooting my lead handloads in my XD. Maybe a bullet sizing issue?

FWIW, I load 175 grain bullets cast from a Lee 401-175-TC mold, that actually weight out closer to 180 grains. They are sized to .401. I use 4.7 grains of Bullseye.
__________________
"As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. "
lee n. field is offline  
Old October 21, 2013, 08:04 AM   #14
WWWJD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Central KY
Posts: 516
Am I correct in saying that for the 165gr Rainier plated round nose flat point, I should be playing in the 5-6gr range using Power Pistol?
__________________
~Mark

NRA fo Life Member
WWWJD is offline  
Old October 21, 2013, 11:45 AM   #15
Jeff2131
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Location: Spring City, PA
Posts: 435
Yes, i load 165gr FN and i load them at 6.2 grs of power pistol. I agree with nick on this one. Powerpistol is a great powder but youll get better results with a heavier bullet and youll use less powder. Remember, the heavier the bullet, the less powder in the case. But, you need to consult your reloading bible for exact specs and charges.
__________________
---I DON'T DIAL 911---
Jeff2131 is offline  
Old October 21, 2013, 08:00 PM   #16
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,372
Good choice of bullet. The 165's will work well for you.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old October 24, 2013, 10:45 AM   #17
WWWJD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2011
Location: Central KY
Posts: 516
.40 S&W for the noob

I put together my first batch last night with charge weights from 5.0 to 6.2gr (intervals from a Lee autodisk). I kinda guessed at an OAL based on what I was seeing in Lyman and a few other places. Right now they're all sitting at 1.125".

Does this sound ok? I also noticed that once all is said and done, my finished cartridges look like they're on Jenny Craig. Diameter at the base and neck are right at .420-.421, while the middle of the cases are floating around .417. It's not much, but it's enough to see and feel. Is this normal as well? I backed off the FL sizing die to see if that had any effect; it didn't. They all feed and chamber just fine with some wiggle room in my M&P.


Last edited by WWWJD; October 24, 2013 at 11:41 AM.
WWWJD is offline  
Old October 24, 2013, 11:47 AM   #18
Jeff2131
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Location: Spring City, PA
Posts: 435
Yes, thats normal my 40's & 9's look that way too. The feed and shoot fine.
__________________
---I DON'T DIAL 911---
Jeff2131 is offline  
Old October 24, 2013, 11:56 AM   #19
rg1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2001
Posts: 789
165 grain is a good choice for 40 SW. I'm new to 40 loading myself and tried 4 different powders. Winchester Super Field WSF and Power Pistol were my best tested powders with WSF being my 1st pick followed closely by PP. Your overall length is standard for 165 flat points. Your charge at 5.0 grains is pretty low and you should start seeing better results up around 6.0 grains which is also not near maximum. I think you should work up to 6.7-7.2 grains carefully of course and comparing all data sources information. I wouldn't back off the sizing die as I think you need to size as far down on 40 brass as far as you can.

Last edited by rg1; October 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM.
rg1 is offline  
Old October 24, 2013, 10:23 PM   #20
rodfac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,530
I've had good luck with several of the 180 gr Lead Alloy Truncated Cone bullets by several manufacturers. Herco is my powder of choice so far, better than Accurate #7, Unique, Win 231, HP38, or WST. Accuracy with known good quality bullets is on the order of 2" gps at 25 yds.

That same Herco works wonders with Nosler's 135 JHP, Montana Gold's 155 gr JHP, & Remington's 165 gr Golden Sabre HP. I don't push any of the above and don't plan on carrying them for CCW purposes, but if pushed to name a good SD bullet for carry purposes, I'd take the Remington 165 gr Golden Sabre. Accuracy with these jacketed types is at least as good as the lead alloy; turning in groups down around the 2" range.

I've used both the lead and jacketed types listed above in a Colt Gold Cup Elite in .40 S&W, and a Sig P226. I've also had great accuracy and functioning with the jacketed types in a Glock 23.

While I really prefer the heavier weights, say 155 to 175 grains, those Nosler 135 gr JHP's do very well indeed, with better average accuracy than the two heavier jacketed types in both my Colt and Sig, and with better expansion due to the increased velocity.

As to powder selection, I've had the best luck with mid range pistol powders, in and around Unique's burning range...with Herco the best to date in all three of my guns, but Accurate #7 is a good 2nd choice.

Just a tip that I've found helpful....sort your brass by head stamp if you're looking for the best accuracy. And as another responder pointed out, don't mind a little hour glass shape to your reloads, mine do the same in both 9mm, .38 Super and .40 S&W.

A good loading manual is essential, and I've found both Lyman's and Speer's current offerings to be of help. Cross checking loads between them will show you what seating depth means in terms of pressure and velocity. It's important, for both reliability as well as safety!

HTH's Rod
__________________
Our Flag does not fly because the wind blows against it, it is moved instead, by the dying breath of our patriots in uniform. Our Freedom is not free, it's been paid for many times over.
USAF Forward Air Controller, 5th Spl Forces,
An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73

Last edited by rodfac; October 24, 2013 at 10:34 PM.
rodfac is offline  
Old October 24, 2013, 11:00 PM   #21
bt380
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Posts: 331
You can prove lead yourself, place a respirator a foot away from the barrel (not with hand) and fire several rounds thru it. Send it off to the lab for testing. You'd be surprised about what you find. I called and asked where is the lead coming from and was told the heat can cause it. Some of the microscopic lead also blows with the air lands can be inhaled from what I was told. Hence the coating like Bayou has. May be it's a sales pitch, but I know the lead from the lab was real. So, test it yourself with untreated lead ammo. There are also folks that have high lead values in their blood from the handling of lead. You can google that one.
bt380 is offline  
Old October 24, 2013, 11:13 PM   #22
Valornor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2010
Location: Orem, Utah
Posts: 244
Typically your greatest exposure is going to be on indoor ranges. Outdoors in well ventilated areas I doubt it would be as much of a problem. If you place the respirator next to barrel you'll get lead on the mask from the muzzle blast. I would be interested to know what the shooter gets. Unless you are using a comp I doubt it will come back towards the shooter.

Also it's going to greatly depend on how you drive those slugs. Really heavy loads and you'll get gas cutting, and melted lead from bore fricton. In a revolver you get it ejected out of the gap and forcing cone. I don't doubt there is a lead risk, but I don't think shooting lead outdoors is a significant risk.
Valornor is offline  
Old October 25, 2013, 09:22 AM   #23
David Bachelder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2011
Location: Trinity, Texas
Posts: 632
SAAMI specs say the .40 S&W OD at the brass should measure .424 just above the base and .423 Just below the bullet crimp. Mine have a OAL of 1.125" +/-.005 and a case OD of .423 just below the bullet and .424 just above the base. Same as SAAMI specs.

My loads pass my Glock 23 plop test, my Ruger SR40 plop test and fit nicely inside my Wilson case gauge.

I use a 165HP/175FP grain self cast lead bullet over 5 grains Hodgdon Universal or 4.4 grains TiteGroup, or 5 grains HP-38/Win231. these are midrange loads, I appreciate the lighter recoil when shooting the 40 and don't try for max loads.

Size-wise, what I read from you your data, your rounds should do well.
__________________
David Bachelder
Trinity, Texas
I load, 9mm Luger, 38 and 40 S&W, 38 Special, 357Magnum, 45ACP, 45 Colt, 223, 300 AAC, 243 and 30-06
David Bachelder is offline  
Old October 26, 2013, 06:00 PM   #24
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,372
WWWJD, it looks like you loaded some beauties there! With those charge weights, I think you'll find yourself moving them up a bit more. You have lots of headroom there.

Let us know how they shoot.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old October 27, 2013, 03:10 AM   #25
JustSomeGuy
Member
 
Join Date: October 2, 2013
Location: Oregon
Posts: 49
Those rounds look good. 1.125 is a pretty general OAL for .40. I make most of mine more like 1.135 because I like the way they feed in my (mostly XD type) guns.

Don't back off your sizing die. You want the cases full length sized all the way to the web area or you could get feeding issues later on. The slight "coke bottle" effect will not reduce your accuracy and will make sure the bullet is held tightly by neck tension and so prevent setback. Setback is a BAD THING, especially in the 40 as pressures will become intolerable quickly with a short round. Good neck tension is your friend! You cannot "crimp" your way to good bullet grip.
__________________
I, Procrastitron will destroy evil.... eventually.
JustSomeGuy 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 12:25 PM.


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 0.12299 seconds with 7 queries