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Old October 23, 2011, 09:00 PM   #1
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New to reloading, and have load data questions.

Hello everybody. I'm going to start getting into reloading, have all the equipment, and then when I starting reading my books, and big question came up. I'm going to start my reloading with .40 S&W using Unique powder and Hornady XTP 155 gr. bullets. My big question is what powder data to go by for starting loads?

I purchased the Lyman 49th Edition reloading manual, and for the 155 gr. Jacketed Silvertip, starting load is 5.8 and max is 6.5. Then I bought the Speer reloading manual #14, and for the 155 gr. gdhp, starting load is 7.2 and max is 8.0. As you can see, the starting load from Speer is more than the max from Lyman. Alliant powder is the same as Speer on the data. Steve's Pages shows 5.8 to 8.0.

My plan is to start with the min., and work my way up. Should I start at the 5.8 min.?
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Old October 23, 2011, 09:09 PM   #2
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Yes that is a good spot to start. But only load 10 rounds and test to see how your pistol cycles with that load.
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Old October 23, 2011, 09:19 PM   #3
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Do you own a chronograph?
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Old October 23, 2011, 09:36 PM   #4
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Start with the lower velocity loads and gradually increase to you find a load that works well. Personally, for my S&W .40 I use 5.2 gr of V320 and prefer it to Unique since it meters well and burns clean.
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Old October 23, 2011, 10:11 PM   #5
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I have not looked into the book (I don't have the Speer book) but you may want to look at the C.O.L. there might be a difference between the two and that could explain the difference in variances between the two loading ranges. Bullet shape could be another.
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Old October 24, 2011, 10:42 AM   #6
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I too would start with the 5.8 grains of Unique.

I looked up the Speer data.
Strange, they show a spread from 5.6 to 6.8 of Unique for their 150 gr. bullet.
Yet list 7.1 to 8.0 of Unique for their 155 gr. bullet.

I think I would skip on that data.

Did you ever think of using 231/HP38 or TighGroup?

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Old October 24, 2011, 01:38 PM   #7
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Especially, if your just getting started loading use only data from powder or bullet manufactures. You can get this data online from their web pages. Try Here are some places to start. If you find load from another sorce, always check thay with the powder manufacture.
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Old October 24, 2011, 02:20 PM   #8
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Don't forget Alliant powder as well

BTW, Hodgdon is spelled as I wrote it, the other site is a lawyer site

Alliant shows this for Speer 155 GDHP:

1.12 4 CCI 500 Unique 8 1,207
The "8" is the powder charge - max load, so it sounds more like your Speer manual (same company) is reflected by the powder maker

I would trust those two over Lyman since they make the bullet and the powder and they have the pressure testing equipment and liability.......but that is just ME, YMMV
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Old October 24, 2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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Interesting, I just checked both my Hornady books, (4th and 7th editions) and neither list a load for unique with 155 XTPs.
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Old October 24, 2011, 03:40 PM   #10
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Is there any Hornady data for the 155 gr XTP in question? Part of the problem is that you are comparing dissimilar bullets. A Silvertip is not the same as a XTP, nor is the Gold Dot HP. They are somewhat unique (no pun intended) in that neither is a garden variety jacketed bullet. You would be best served if you can locate a Hornady manual. XTP data isn't typically that hard to find because the bullets are quite popular. Failing that, generic 155 jacketed data might be better.
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Old October 24, 2011, 04:43 PM   #11
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Here is what I use for my .40's.

Berry plated 180gr Flat nose or Round nose, min 5.0 to max 5.8 grains Universal, WSP(Winchester Small Pistol) primers. Reload data came from the Hogdon reloading data center. Please note that the bullets listed are the Hornady XTP's.


I started out with a mid load 5.4 grains, then dropped it back to 5.0. the 5.0's are a lot easier on my wrist and make shooting the gun more pleasureable.

Only a suggestion.

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Old October 25, 2011, 09:01 PM   #12
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I have loaded the 155 XTP's with 6.3 unique, and 5.5 W231. OAL 1.125 Shooting from a Sigma
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