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Old January 10, 2002, 12:26 AM   #1
Join Date: November 21, 2001
Posts: 92
Help with very poor accuracy on my first .40 S&W reloads!!!

I am reloading .40 S&W. I am shooting a Glock 23C. (factory compensated)

Federal Brass
CCI Small Pistol Primers
Hogdon Titegroup
OAL - 1.121

I loaded 10 rounds each at 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4 grains.
The results were extremely disappointing. I shot at 15 yds and the best group of 10 rounds I had was 6 3/4". That was shot with 5.3 grains. There was very obvious keyholing in all of the targets though it was lessened in the 5.3 grain loads.

Just to find out if I was having a horrible day, I shot another string of 10 with factory ammunition. This group measured 1 1/4" edge to edge.

The only ofher time I have seen anything like this is when a buddy got barrels confused on a Sig Sauer 226 and shot .357 Sig through his .40 S&W barrel. My targets looked this bad!

None of the fired brass showed any signs of high pressure. I had two seperate failures to feed (the first in this gun). Both FTF's were bullets sticking against the feed ramp. Racking the slide easily chambered the rounds.

Could this be caused by the PMC bullets. I measured a bunch of them and all were exactly .400 in diameter. Speer #13 lists velocity for the loads I used in the range of 957-1035 fps. These bullets came with a note that says
"Notice: These are low velocity target grade bullets. Maximum velocity 850 fps. For best accuracy, load at 760 fps to 800 fps. Do not exceed 850 fps."

Am I suffering the consequences of not reading this note until I was done loading? Can I load these down this low? The loads I used at 5.0 grains cycled the slide easily with very little recoil. Is there anything I should be thinking of?

Please don't hesitate to ask if there is any other info I can offer.
Thank you, Tol
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Old January 10, 2002, 08:17 AM   #2
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Wrong powder?

Longer OAL?

Try Rainier 180g TCJ-FP.

Try 6.0g Power Pistol.

Try 1.130"+/-.005".

(I didn't know PMC even made bullets LOL.)
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old January 10, 2002, 10:14 AM   #3
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From my experience, the single most likely culprit here is applying too much crimp. In this situation, you should be applying no more taper crimp than is necessary to remove the bell you put in the case mouth when you flared it prior to seating the bullet.

Some plated bullets are very prone to deforming under crimp pressure. The deformation leads to destabilization and keyholing.

- Leonidas of Sparta, 480 B.C.
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Old January 10, 2002, 10:29 AM   #4
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I agree with LIProgun that a good starting point would be to check your crimp. When I started reloading plated bullets, I overcrimped the bullets. In my case, I discovered this before I went to the range when I took apart a couple of cartridges which were shorter than I wanted. The bullets were extremely "wasp-waisted" - big crimps which signficantly narrowed the bullet at the crimping point. I can't believe they would have been accurate.

I also think you can rule out the powder and OAL. I formerly used Titegroup (I since switched to a slower powder) with light loads of 4.7-5.1 with an OAL of 1.125. I got fairly decent groups that are much closer to your factory results.

Good luck and let us know if you figure it out. Happy shooting.

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Old January 10, 2002, 12:17 PM   #5
Join Date: November 21, 2001
Posts: 92

I appreciate the responses.

I am using a Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die and putting a heavy crimp on. I will try a new batch with a very light crimp and see what happens.
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Old January 10, 2002, 02:35 PM   #6
Ben Shepherd
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It's the crimp. Take one of them you loaded apart with a bullet puller. The thin plating behind the crimp will shave off as you pull the bullet out. Your measured diameter where the jacket pulled off will measure 1-2 thousanths under .400. Same situation/conditions as 357 down a 40 barrel.

Lighten the crimp, problem solved.
From my cold dead hands.........

NRA certified rifle, pistol and shotgun instructor.
Hunter education instructor
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Old January 10, 2002, 03:17 PM   #7
Keith J
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They are right...

You probably overcrimped to the point of reducing most of the bearing surface to where it rattled in the bore. We had this discussion a few weeks ago and I did a maximum possible crimp. The pulled bullet dropped without resistance through the bore...
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Old June 26, 2002, 03:58 PM   #8
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i had the same problem and it was the col i was loading to 1.125 i went to 1.135 now it shoots great
It's not just a gun it's the symbol of freedom
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Old June 27, 2002, 01:20 AM   #9
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Gotta ask regards the heavy crimp with plated bullets.

I've only reloaded with 'em once & had good enough results, but can't see any reason to do so again.

Anyway - the question:

Even with a really heavy crimp, won't that just be "washed away" when/soon as the bullet gets engraved by the rifling?

Maybe overlooking something here, but can't imagine that a crimp (in just a coupla thousands of an inch) could "compete" with a full-bearing surface of the remainder bullet length .....

Stranger things happen when reloading, I don'thave enough experience under my belt to comment either way, but logically, it just doesn't seem it could matter.

Anything's welcome .....
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Old June 27, 2002, 08:23 AM   #10
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I have tried various powders in 40 and for
me AA5 has given best accuracy, titegroup
dident fair well at all but does great in 45acp,
also with the 40 I have found lite to medium
loads give more accuracy. I use 155gr west
coast plated.
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Old June 29, 2002, 09:10 AM   #11
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ZEN (friggin *&#^%#$^%&*&^*%^!!) CRIMP

Crimp is a critical component of accuracy, and one might consider experimenting whilst developing accurate loads.

IMNSHO autoloader cartridges suffer from too often TOO MUCH crimp, and wheel-bangers suffer from too often TOO LITTLE crimp.

Autos: LEE Carbide Factory Crimp die, size the entire body but just remove the mouth flare.

Wheels: Redding Profile Crimp die, heavy crimp for all but light and light-to-medium loads.

Experiment ("What is the perfect crimp?" A never-ending journey.......).
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old June 29, 2002, 09:43 PM   #12
the duck of death
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I don't know about that crimp business. I use the Lee Factory Crimp and crimp the hell out of the bullets. I don't want any set back. I find my loads accurate in my SVI Infinity and my Glock 23. I use Montana Gold 180gr CMJ bullets and V V N320 powder. For the SVI I use W-W small rifle primers & load to major for USPSA and W-W small pistol primers for the Glock loaded to minor for IDPA.
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