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Old September 15, 2012, 07:18 PM   #1
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Looking For 40SW reloading recipies

I'm new to reloading and would like help with recipies that will give high velocities with lighter bullets. I have an older Speer reloading manual and would like help with what others have found to be successful recipies that are not in my manual.
Currently I have Winchester 296 and Unique smokeless powder, Winchester large pistol WLP primers and 40cal. 165gr. JRP bullets. (I think I need small primers.)
My goal is not to push the limits with super hot loads but find the right combination of components that someone else has found successful and give velocities above 1,100fps if possible. If I have the wrong components, tell me what will give me the perfomance I'm looking for?
No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel.
I shoot a Springfield XD and Ruger 44 Magnum (Super Red Hawk).
Thanks much for your help.

Last edited by Mikefromtrippleduce; September 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM.
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Old September 15, 2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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I'm close. . .I have a load which is WSP primers, 155 gr cast SWC, AA#5, mixed brass which goes 1050fps from my XD and has good accuracy. Look in the AA load data and adjust your charge to make best groups in your gun.

I think I had good luck with Titegroup also.
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Old September 15, 2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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Mike - good to see another local Las Vegan on here... I don't have a specific load to give you since I use a different bullet (plated or cast lead 180gr), but I've had good luck with Unique (and SR4756) in my XDm 3.8 .40.

As you pursue your load, remember the basics... work up, and don't take a load you get from anywhere for granted. Each gun is different. Really. I saw it with two Shields that my buddy and I purchased at the same time. One seems to have a tighter chamber than the other... and can't take quite the same load the other one does without showing some pressure signs on the brass.
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Old September 15, 2012, 09:49 PM   #4
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First off you will need small pistol primers. The 296 powder won't do you any good with a 40, but the Unique will work. I don't know the exact bullet you have, but the Aliant website(which is almost worthless in my opinion) has a 165 gr Speer GDHP with 7.2 gr of Unique. Comparing that to a couple other manuals I have, that seems a bit high, but they are also using different bullets. I would start at 5.8 or 6.0 gr of Unique, maybe even a hair lower than that. Those should be on the light side, then work up from there. Don't make up too many at a time, the light ones may not even cycle your gun, but that's ok. Better to start too light than too hot.
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Old September 15, 2012, 09:54 PM   #5
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There's a lot of variables in your question. Which case, which primer, what bullet, and seating overall length.
Only Unique is suitable for 40SW of your two powders and works well in the
.40SW. I'd suggest a start load at 5.5 grains-very mild and work up. To get to 1100 fps with your 165 gr bullet and Unique you're going to have to work up to the maximum powder charges. With 165 gr. jacketed bullets in my loads 6.0 grains gets to approximately 1000 fps. With 6.3 it gets another 30-some fps. My top charge at 6.6 grains gets 1070 fps which is close to your goal. This is with mostly Win brass, CCI 500 primers, and an oal at 1.125" in a Glock 22. My loads up to 6.6 showed no pressure issues when tested at 70 degree temperatures. Careful working up to 6.6 or going higher! Make sure your bullets are gripped tightly in the case!!! Your bullets in your pistol may show different results. Use this info with caution! My 6.3 grain charge of Unique with 165gr. jacketed at approx. 1030fps shot well in my pistol.
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Old September 16, 2012, 02:04 AM   #6
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2004 Alliant load data has some more Unique loads that may help.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2004 40SW Unique.jpg (36.0 KB, 137 views)
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Old September 16, 2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond some currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

From my XD40;
150 Grain nosler JHP
Power pistol, Win small primer, mixed brass, all at 1.120
7.0 grains 1070 FPS
8.0 1161 FPS
8.4 1193 FPS

155 XTP's with 8.4 gave 1240 FPS

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Old September 16, 2012, 10:09 AM   #8
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.40 S&W

If you like zing, try Longshot. Based on Hodgdon data, I'm running 155 gr. Speer Gold Dots at 1275 fps, from an XD-40, and Nosler 135 gr. HP at 1400 fps. The Nosler bullets at that speed are only useful on small game, as they come apart pretty violently. The Gold Dots perform perfectly.

As always, back off a bit, and work up your load, as using different bullets of the same weight can require quite different powder charges to get the same result. For top end loads, I stick to the brand of brass I worked the load up with, and only new or once fired brass.
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:26 AM   #9
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CONTROLLABLE ACCURACY defines "maximum load"

Longshot never developed its advertised velocities for me in 40 S&W.

For desired velocity recommend Ramshot Silhouette (will be acceptable for actual defense ammo), Alliant Power Pistol ('loud' and 'flashy'), and the expensive best choice, Vihtavuori 3N37.

Recommend CCI500, new sized cases ONLY for high performance loadings, OAL 1.130"+.005"/-.015".
Ensure your loading process maintains sufficient case neck tension.

There is no room for forgiveness with the 40 S&W.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old September 19, 2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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Two of my favorites are Power Pistol and VV 3N38. Here are all recent chrono results, all averages.

Power Pistol (1x brass, CCI SP primers, 1.130"):

9.0gr 155gr JHP: 1195 fps - 3" Kahr CM40
8.0gr 165gr FMJ: 1125 fps - 3" Kahr CM40
7.2gr 180gr FMJ: 1015 fps -3" Kahr CM40 (Note: 1143 fps G35 Gen4)
6.3gr 200gr JHP: 906 fps - 3" Kahr CM40

VV 3N38 (New Winchester brass and Win SP primers, 1.130"):

12gr 135gr Nos JHP: 1530 fps - Glock 35 Gen4
10.5gr 155gr JHP: 1363 fps - G35 Gen4 (1234 fps from 3" Kahr Cm40)
10gr 165gr FMJ: 1266 fps - G35 Gen4 (1155 fps from 3" Kahr Cm40)
9gr 180gr FMJ: 1192 fps - G35 Gen4 (1098 fps from 3" Kahr Cm40)
7.7gr 200gr Nos JHP: 1066 fps - G35 Gen4 (975 fps from 3" Kahr Cm40)

All brass looked good. Kahr has better support and cases look unfired. Glock exhibited typical Glock belly, but not bad however. Longshot isn't bad powder, but it doesn't live up to it's claimed speed. It's a tad faster than Power Pistol, but uses about a 1gr more powder. Power Pistol is great and easier found than VV 3N38, but if you can find VV it's worth it big time and VERY consistent and clean burning.

The above 3N38 loads look warm and they are, but not unsafe and I fill could go higher. The only max load was the 7.7gr 200gr and that could have went higher too IMHO.

Last edited by Ruger45LC; September 19, 2012 at 04:25 PM.
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