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Old January 11, 2013, 03:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: January 10, 2013
Location: Ohio
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New guy needs help

First of all hello. I aplologize to all the experienced reloaders that have to help a new guy. My questions will be easy and numerous because i know no one who reloads. I promise not to post to just to get info from books that i should have as a must for reloading. I bought a single stage rcbs reloader and a kit. I have everything sans powder. (Waiting on ups guy). I have read my 40s&w die instructions and you might as well hand me a rubiks cube. Ive read the latest lyman, speer, and hornady manuals. I cannot find a load for my 40s&w. im using winchester 231, 180gr hornady fmj fn, starlite new brass, cci small pistol primer. (I know, here we go again). Hornady doesnt list win 231. Please help. Im dumber than a bag of hammers when it comes to reloading.
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Old January 11, 2013, 04:59 AM   #2
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I didn't look, but facing thin dilemma, I would look at Hodgdon's data for a jacketed 180 with the same powder. I would start at the min load and divide the range fro min to max into 5 equal groups of 10 and load 10 shells at 5 charge weights. Shoot 5 shot groups looking for your best accuracy. I always shoot seated at a bench with sandbags at 15 yards in 40.

Your best group or best 2 group average should be your load. Also check your cases for pressure signs like excess recoil compared to factory and primer marks. I find as pressures increase, so do my primer swipe marks. I rough limit this to factory load level. I also shoot these over my shooting chrono and integrate that data in my decision.

If you have questions, call Hodgdon. They love to help.
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Old January 11, 2013, 05:34 AM   #3
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I looked at that before, they show a hornady xtp, and a berb fp. Can i use the data from one of those? Thats the part im struggling with. I cross reference between 3 manuals, and cant come up with a starting load. Maybe in over my head? I hope not.
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Old January 11, 2013, 06:56 AM   #4
delta tide
Join Date: June 9, 2012
Posts: 35
Maybe in over my head? I hope not.
It seems a bit overwhelming to start with, but it will all start to make more sense as time goes by.

It would be nice to find the exact components listed in your manuals for a particular load, but with today's component availability, that is almost always impossible. IN MY OPINION, data for jacketed bullets of different types can be loaded with the same data. IF I were working up a load using the components you listed, I would use the Winchester / Hodgdon data for the Hornady XTP. Both are jacketed bullets, and OAL would be fine because the bullet you have is a FP (in calibers that have RN bullets available, you cannot use the same OAL as you would for a HP).

Always start low, looking for pressure signs, then work up.

Always make a couple of dummy rounds (no primer / powder) to test function in your gun. Also use the dummy rounds to do the "plunk test" in your barrel. You can search "plunk test" on youtube or search for it on this forum.

Hope this helps, but some of the more experienced guys will be along shortly with some great info for you.
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw
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Old January 11, 2013, 07:36 AM   #5
Misssissippi Dave
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My best guess is the XTP data will give you a good starting point. OAL length is determined by the magazine and pistol. Dummy loads will help to figure what your OAL should be. I have read several people using 4.6 to 4.8 grains of W231 with 180 grain flat point Jacket bullets. This powder does burn a little dirty when you load to the low side of where it becomes accurate. Adding .1 grain of powder above the minimum accurate level often makes a cleaner burn and accuracy remains the same. If accuracy decreases, you probably already had the best load before adding that .1 grain of powder. Never exceed the max. listed levels. The max level normally is where a load starts to have spikes in the charge. You want to avoid that. Firing that first round you loaded is an experience you probably won't soon forget. It is more exciting than loading the round.

.40 is a high pressure round and not my first choice to start loading. Go slow and you probably will find a good load.
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Old January 11, 2013, 09:46 AM   #6
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Thank you so much for the help. I was cruising a few forums before choosing one to join. I made the right choice. Wow. Thank you for all that replied.
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