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Old August 20, 2001, 07:51 AM   #1
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Problems loading for a BHP in .40

What am I doing wrong?

Trying to build reloads for my NEW Browning High Power in 40 S&W (A Mark III)
The Pistol is "STOCK" from the factory.

Am trying to use Hodgdon CLAYS and 180 grain Truncated Cone
bullets in FMJ AND Hard Cast Lead.

Looking at SEVERAL reloading Manuals:

---------- ----- ------
Laser Cast Lead TC
(Oregon Trails) OAL > 1.135

MINIMUM 3.2 848 ?
MAXIMUM 3.4 880 ?

Hodgdon 180 HDY XTP
COL > 1.125

MAXIMUM 3.5 847 34300

NOTE: The 34,000 seems out of line with other manuals

Lyman 175 lead TC
OAL > 1.100
Minimum 3.3 641 17800
Maximum 4.0 992 20900

180 Jacket HP
OAL > 1.115
Minimum 3.4 551 17900
Maximum 4.0 912 21900

Lee 180 Jacketed OAL > 1.085
Minimum 3.1 ? ?
Maximum 3.5 847 34300

NOTE: the CPU for 3.5 of CLAYS (seems out of line with the others)
This data is Identical to the Hodgdon data (probably comes from there),
Since Hodgdon only gives Maximum and NO Minimum > Lee probably took
10% off for the Minimum grains and having no data > left vel and cpu out)


Going for a LIGHT Target Load I used the most conservative (Laser Cast/Lee)
I built 100 test rounds as follows: >>

Built 10 each with an > OAL = 1.130
CLAYS 3.1 / 3.2 / 3.3 / 3.4 / 3.5 180 gr FMJ
CLAYS 3.1 / 3.2 / 3.3 / 3.4 / 3.5 180 Hard Cast Lead

The 3.1 , 3.2 , 3.3 , and 3.4 WOULD NOT CYCLE THE BHP.
The 3.5 only cycled the BHP aproximately half the time.
All indications seem to say that the load was too light.

Obviously, I am doing something wrong.
What is it?

The BHP is NEW and tight.

I am thinking to try again with 3.6 / 3.7 / 3.8 / 3.9 / and 4.0 of CLAYS
the Lee/Hodgdon > (34,300 cpu for 3.5 of CLAYS) scares me.

What do you all think?
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Old August 20, 2001, 08:19 AM   #2
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Join Date: February 21, 2000
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I will give you my "limited" ideas on loading for
the 40, I have been loading for years and just
started with the 40. I have been using red dot
powder and 170gr lead swc in an feg compact, they
work very good. However I have been doing some
reading on the 40 because of high pressures and
blow ups, most of what i have read is stay away
from 180gr bullets.(I am sure someone will dis
agree) but most problems have been caused with
that bullet and of course the Glocks in un-supported chambers.
I do not have a BHP but am guessing the recoil
spring is very stiff, new, hence the reason for
action not cycling.
For what its worth once my 170gr lead is gone
I will switch to a copper 155 (berry's)and
stay with that.
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Old August 20, 2001, 09:35 AM   #3
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I suggest Clays is too 'fast'; highly recommend Alliant Power Pistol.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old August 20, 2001, 09:51 AM   #4
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For .40 BHP

Can't speak to the problems of loading H. CLAYS in the .40, except to sympathize with your confusion.

When I first got my .40 BHP several years ago, I bought some of that powder by mistake, meaning to purchase UNIVERSAL Clays. When I discovered the error--luckily, before I opened the container--I consulted with a couple of friends who had been loading .40 for a while. They said bad idea to use CLAYS because the acceptable variance wa just too narroy, expecially if any of my loads ever found their way into Glocks. I exchanged the powder and got UNIVERSAL.

I've had very good results with UNIVERSAL and Unique both, using both lead bullets and jacketed. Never had any problems with cycling, using loads about 0.3 to 0.5 grains below maximum.

Best of luck.
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Old August 20, 2001, 12:31 PM   #5
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As you may have guessed from the previous posts, fast powders and heavy bullets are a bad combination in the 40s&w. One other thing to watch is your OAL, keep it as long as possible while still feeding in your gun (I load all my 40s&w to 1.145"). Take a look at:

If you want to use those 180gr hard cast, try 4.3-4.8 grains of Universal for about 900-950 fps. Don't try for screamers, just get it to cycle reliably.
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Old August 23, 2001, 01:08 AM   #6
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Weshoot2 _ Power Pistol Load?


Would love to find a consistent and accurate load for Power Pistol with 165 FMJ for my Glock 23 and Sig 239. I get a lot of flash and lousy accuracy. Have tried everything from 6.8 grains to 7.5. This with 1.125 OAL, and WSP primers.

Consistency is the last resort of the unimaginative.
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Old August 25, 2001, 09:28 PM   #7
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First, determine if accuracy problem is gun(s) or operator (not being smarmy, just trying to get to root cause of inadequate accuracy).

Second, try this: any case (prefer starting with new), CCI500, 6.0g Power Pistol, 180g (repeat, 180g) Rainier TMJ-FN, OAL 1.128-1.135".
Finish using LEE Carbide Factory Crimp die.

If that doesn't work e-mail me direct.

PS PP is a 'flashy' powder, but how often do you carry handloads for defense?
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old August 26, 2001, 11:30 AM   #8
Join Date: October 4, 2000
Location: Redmond, WA
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BHP .40 Reload Suggestion

I have had very good performance with the following load. I shoot informal IPSC with my .40 BHP Practical and have had NO FTF, using OE Browning magazines. It bears repeating that under no circumstances should you assume reloading data given here to be true. Do your own research; get the most up to date reloading tables from the powder manufacturer's website. Manufacturers have been known to change their formulas which render old data useless or even dangerous. Don't ask me how I know this!
I use a Dillon Precision go-no-go gauge for EVERY finished round; I use Lee Tungsten Carbide resizing dies, and seat/taper crimp bullets for an OAL of 1.14" on my trusty old RCBS RockChucker.

Bullet: Rainier Ballistics 180gr. RNFP (as soon as these are gone I will go to 165gr.)
Case: Starline, PMC, Speer, Winchester
Primer: Winchester Small Pistol
Powder: Vihta Vuory N350 6.1gr
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Old August 26, 2001, 10:49 PM   #9
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Some Specifics this time - - -

r7697- - -

This goes toward answering both this topic line and the later one, dealing mostly with springs - - -

As above, I have no experience with the two powders you mention. I do have a few loads which work fine in my Browning HP .40---

H. Universal, 5.6 gr with either 180 jacketed or lead truncated cone, length 1.120
Unique, 6.0 gr, with same bullets, same length.

These loads are under published maximums, and they function my pistol perfectly. Yours and mine both work with American Eagle factory. Going on the theory that, if a = b, and b = c, then a = c, why not try the handloads which run well in my pistol?

I'm a little afraid of what happens if you mess with your recoil spring tension and get it to work with your other loads, and then you put some warmish factory loads into your pistol. I am working under the theory that this type pistol will at least occasionally be called into service for defensive work.

Best of luck to you - - -
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