Seeking advice for .40 Firestar


November 15, 2006, 10:58 PM
After having good results with 180 gr factory fodder, I loaded up some 165 gr Berry's plated bullets over Winchester 231 thrown from a .46 Autodisc cavity.
Reliability was 100% but I could not keep all shots on a pie plate at 25 yds from the bench.

Any suggestions? I have been reloading 30 years but am new to the .40 S&W.

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November 17, 2006, 03:20 PM
BTT: No responses?

OK here's another question. I recall stumbling across a web site where the guy had organized reloading data into an Excel spreadsheet.
There was info on a bunch of calibers and he had notes about how each load performed in certain firerarms.

I lost that link, anyone elso know it?

November 17, 2006, 04:08 PM
OK, how many grains of 231 does that disk drop? Have you chrono'd that load? Some barrels don't like plated bullets. Barrel might not like 165 gr bullets since it did group good with 180's. Make sure you aren't crimping the case into the plated bullets, set crimp die to just take the bell out of the case mouth. I have used various plated bullet/powder/caliber/gun combinations and it sometimes takes a lot of experimenting to find the right combo.

November 17, 2006, 04:22 PM
.46 = 4.9 grains of 231
No chrono, but based on recoil feels about the same as the 180 gr. factory stuff.
Did not apply a crimp.
Other than jacketed, this was the only bullet the local store had.
I am suspect about the plated bullet.
I was hoping to find a lighter (155 gr) lead bullet load that someone had tried in a Firestar.

The Bushmaster
November 17, 2006, 09:43 PM
I would have helped you, but all I have is a M-43 and I only use jacketed bullets in all my firearms. I will say that W231, in my opinion, is a fine powder and I use it in some .357 mag, .38 Spec, .45 ACP and my 9mm X 19...:)

November 18, 2006, 02:16 PM
231 has a solid reputation for .45 ACP loads, but there are better choices for the .40 S&W. The .40 is a naturally fast pressure peaking cartridge and you'll get better results going to a slightly slower burn rate powder, unless you only shoot light loads. Ramshot Silhouette is a very solid choice and used to be sold by Winchester as WAP. It is the powder originally formulated for Winchester's .40 S&W loads. True Blue works great for me, but it is not as clean as Silhouette, but cleaner than 231. If you want to stick to the Winchester label try WSF, it set the standard for .40 S&W accuracy early on. Hodgdon: HS-6 for ball and Universal for flake. I don't use flake powders for defense loads, for plated/cast bullets they work great. V-V: N340, 3N37.;)

November 19, 2006, 08:37 PM

How about Alliant Red Dot?

November 19, 2006, 10:00 PM
Ascot500: Red Dot is an even faster burner than 231. If you have it, you can try it to see if accuracy is better. I'd look at one of the slower burners mentioned previously. If you are having trouble finding powders, look at Unique. Anyone who sells powder should have it.;)

November 19, 2006, 10:07 PM
Believe it or not Unique was tried first.
Results were about the same as what I got with the 231.

I don't have a lot of it left, but I will try it with jacketed bullet next.

Thanks for all the advice.

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