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Old October 15, 2001, 04:38 PM   #1
Dr. Scott
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reloading for semiautomatics

I'm planning to start reloading after much procrastination. I have read some threads discussing excessive brass expansion in some guns due to loose tolerances in barrel and chamber designs (to allow more reliable feeding). I have two guns I wish to reload for: Glock 36 (.45 ACP) and Beretta Cougar (.40 S&W). Neither manufacturer reccomends reloads-I am unsure if it is due to this or just routine liability stuff. If a once fired brass will fit in the resizing die does that mean it has not been over expanded and is acceptable to reload? Please help a newbie!
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Old October 15, 2001, 07:00 PM   #2
Keith J
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Glocks are hard

Very hard on brass for the .40's. I don't know any about the .45's but the thing on the 40's is the noticable bulge on the cases from the excessive feeding ramp.

This works the brass excessively and will cause a case failure. The best check is to see if the fired brass will rechamber after resizing in a normal die. Chances are it won't so pitch it.

I find brass will last forever in the .45 if you can rechamber it without sizing. This is worth a try in the 36. If it can be rechambered, all is fine.

Also, don't expect to load the .40 to factory levels. Try for midrange loads in the 800 FPS range with 180 leads. Just do the minimum that functions if you do have a "sowbelly" chamber in your .40.
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Old October 16, 2001, 01:28 AM   #3
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Just a bit of overheard advice:

Don't shoot lead bullets in a Glock. I don't own one myself, but this is one of those rare gunowner word-of-mouth bits of info which I've heard where there's no dispute.

I'm sure there's more to follow on this note.

The .45 is one of the few pistol cartridges which I reload. I'd guess it's popular because of the availability of reloading data, materials, and the relatively low chamber pressure and long case life. Plus, it's fun to shoot!

Check Six.
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Old October 16, 2001, 05:51 AM   #4
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A friend shoots .40 reloads in his H&K USP without a hitch. As far as lead bullets, another friend can't use them in his gas operated H&K M7 because it plugs the gas ports and piston. I just bought him 500 bullets of Rainier 'lead safe' TMJ for $30 at These bullets did not expand, so shoot accordingly. I dug a dozen out of a dirt pile and other than the rifling marks could have reloaded them. In comparison, the XTPs I shot had shed the copper jacket in the dirt.
About every gun manufacturer states the same thing about reloading.
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Old October 18, 2001, 10:50 PM   #5
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Glock reloads

Read about lead and reloads for Glocks. I reload for a G20 - that's 10mm. No problems or "sowbelly" but I kept pressures down and use West Coast plated 180gr projectiles.. I now have a KKM barrel with a more reload friendly rifling and chamber. Can't say for sure for .45 but you are working against polygonal rifling and a loose chamber where the ramp makes a little past the brass web unsupported. If you get serious about it the KKM barrel is a drop in for $164.
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Old October 19, 2001, 06:31 AM   #6
Dr. Scott
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Thanks for the responses!
I think I'll start with the .45ACP and jacketed bullets. How many times is it advised to reload a single piece of brass before throwing it out? Any good online sources for aftermarket barrels if I go down that road later?
The more I read on the .40 S&W, the more I hesitate to reload for it.
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Old October 19, 2001, 07:08 AM   #7
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Don't worry about reloading for your 40 Cougar. My hunting buddy owns one which we worked up some lead loads for over the summer and it works very well. He has been loading JHP's but likes the clean holes my 45's make using lead semi-wadcutters. The Cougar, unlike some others, uses a fully supported chamber, and you will not run that danger-still pays to keep the pressures at a safe level though. His biggest complaint is the lack of lead reloading information available for lead shorty 40's, but we have worked out some for 155 and 170 grain slugs which seem to be pretty accurate for him. We're going to the deer camp this afternoon and won't be back until next Thursday, but if you like, send me an e-mail directly and I will follow up with him for all the detailed info.
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Old October 19, 2001, 07:09 AM   #8
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reloading the 40 is ok just stick with light loads
and use 155 gr bullets.
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Old October 23, 2001, 12:28 AM   #9
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Dr. Scott,
I reload for my .40 BHP and keep the load in the 800 - 850 fps range. I use Rainier 180 gr. seated for an OAL of 1.130 -1.135. All the reload manuals state their specs at a 1.12 OAL. From what I've read, bullet seating depth in the 180 gr. is critical. Pressures will rise sharply with the bullet seated too deep. There ain't a lot of room in the case with a full charge of powder and the rather longish 180gr. bullet. So 155gr is probably the way to go.
I did experience head seperation on a few rounds at 100% of max load using V V N350, Winchester 180gr. JHP, and Winchester Small Pistol primers. Brass was PMC on their third reload, cartridge OAL of 1.120 to 1.125. I removed the bullets from the remaining 46 cartridges.
I don't recall reading any prohibition of using reloads in my Browning's manual.
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