good .40 semi-auto handgun for reloader


June 8, 2007, 10:54 PM

I am considering buying a semi-auto handgun in .40. Initially, I thought
a Glock was a no-brainer, until someone pointed out to me that Glocks
have issues with handloads (not in the sense that the manufacturer
dislaims the warranty if you use them, I guess that's an issue with any
guns, even Mosin Nagants), but that its chamber is such that the
brass gets deformed badly during the shot, etc. I also saw something
about polygonal rifling not being good for reloads (didn't quite understand

I was wondering if someone could please share knowledge/tips on what
moderately priced (i.e. the $1000+ 1911s are out of my price range)
semi-autos in .40 are a good choice that would work reasonably
well with reloaded ammo, not just factory-made and won't destroy
the brass.

Many thanks in advance


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June 8, 2007, 11:38 PM
I load for my XD 40. It shoots both lead and jacketed just fine. if you want to shoot lead then stay away from polygonal barrels..It can foul them quicker and constrict the bore diameter.

June 9, 2007, 12:15 AM
I reload for my Glock G23 & G19 - no problems at all. It doesn't deform the brass that I can see. Perhaps they mean Glock
chambers runs a bit large and the brass expands more? I use only brass in good shape and don't go for max loads.

The poly rifling supposedly doesn't work well with lead rounds. Dunno if thats true, but you can always buy an aftermarket
barrel if you want to shoot lead.

June 9, 2007, 12:35 AM
I think you can consider either a CZ-75 or the EAA clone in .40 S&W.

I just checked pricing at Bud's and while EAA was not currently in stock, the CZ-compact .40 looks like it would cost well under $450.00. FWIW, a mil-spec SA 1911 would run about $600.00; I know nothing about other 1911s that are cheaper.

FWIW, absolutely stay away from Polygonal rifling. I was arguably the first person in the US to blow up a Glock 20 (10mm); it had under 300 rounds through it--the first 200 of which was PMC FMJ-TCs to burnish the barrel. I then switched to my own handloads (lead)--for which I had loaded and shot 1000s through my SA Omega, with its Polygonal Rifling--and the chamber blew out at about the 4:00 position, launching the slide over my left shoulder at a lethal velocity at about round 284.

Needless to say, I ate it--Glock said they were glad I wasn't seriously injured and that it was too bad I was using reloads. Winchester, following examination of the barrel and slide, wrote a CYA letter for themselves and any manufacturer arguably connected with the incident. The load was 4.8 gr. of 231 under a 200 gr LTC--and yes, I cannot prove it was not double-charged (but loading on a pro 1000 makes that hard to do), but I 'know' it was not.

Meanwhile, I have also loaded a lot of .40 S&W for my own (early) EAAs. They handle like a 1911, and those early models were high quality made by Tandfolio. I have two in .40, one is actually an SA subcompact; the second is an EAA Witness on a 'middle' frame no longer imported. I would suspect the CZ version would be as good if not better. You can get a double-wide package that has a DA first shot. This frame may not be in fashion right now--but that 75 design is a classic in its own right.

Finally, if you are not locked into .40 S&W, do consider a 1911 in .45ACP. That cartridge is wonderful to reload for, and those two are a wedding made in heaven, so to speak. Lower pressure, can be hot-rodded--and hard to do wrong. I know nothing about the used market--but I'll bet you could find a decent mil-spec one or a modded one for well under $600.00

Jim H.

June 9, 2007, 12:43 AM
Most fully supported barrels should be just fine, if you really want a Glock you can get an after market barrel but it drives the price up to the price of a higher class gun.

I reload for my Sig and XD in 40 without any trouble.

June 9, 2007, 05:58 AM
Go ahead and get the Glock. I have a G35 and G24 that have shot many thousands of reloads with lead bullets and stock barrels. If you still aren't comfortable with that, load plated or coated bullets. I've switched to Masterblasters to get away from some of the smoke when shooting lead. There are too many USPSA shooters shooting reloads without problems for me to worry about it.

June 9, 2007, 09:08 AM
I've shot 1000's of reloaded rounds through glocks but, almost all have been plated.

June 9, 2007, 09:28 AM
XD, CZ. In that order. If you want a heavier gun for recoil control, go with a CZ. The XD is not bad though.

Redneck with a 40
June 9, 2007, 10:15 AM
I second the XD, very receptive to handloads. The XD's have a very well supported chamber, it used to be the best, don't know if it still is.

June 9, 2007, 11:20 AM
I have a Para Ordnance (double stack 1911) P-16 in .40. It has a well supported chamber, eats ANYTHING, is scary accurate and handles recoil like a dream.

I also have a SIG 229 in .40. Another really good choice that is a bit smaller than the above. It is 100% reliable, accurate, a bit more snappy but also does not produce pregnant looking brass. Give SIG's a look too.

June 9, 2007, 12:28 PM
i reload for my g23 with stock config and shoot lead as well. 175gr LSWC to be exact.

i haven't really noticed anymore leading with them than other firearms, but i mean i guess its possible.

XDs are nice though. if i was buying a gun again, i wouldn't over look them. anyone have any experience with the SW MP? i haven't shot one so i don't know much about them.

the sigs are nice, if you can find a CPO one (they seem to have dried up by me lately) it might be a great way to get a very nice gun reasonably. I couldn't bring myself to ever buy a new sig though, just wayyy to expensive for me.

June 9, 2007, 12:33 PM
I have a 75 B in .40 S&W. Not only is it the most accurate .40 I have ever fired, it will shoot with 1911s in .45 ACP that cost three or four times the price. It is probably the most accurate production pistol I've ever fired in any caliber, and friends of mine that have fired it, feel the same way. The XD is a great pistol and I previously owned the 5" Tactical model. I liked it very much, but it wouldn't shoot with the 75 B I have now.

I would highly recommend the original over the clones. I had a ported Witness/Tanfoglio that wasn't close to being the equal of the CZ 75 B. The price difference is small enough to make it a moot point.

New CZs may appear to be lacking in the trigger department. They do require breaking-in. That's why CZ provides snap caps with replaceable rubber inserts for the plastic cartridge's primer cup. Wear out four or five of the rubber inserts dry firing in both SA and DA and you will get an excellent trigger. The DA pull is about as close as you'll come to a S&W double action revolver trigger with a DA semi-auto pistol. SA will become much crisper. If you want a better trigger than what you achieve through dry-firing, Miossi Gunworks (check out CZ Forum) does very good work and you'll get a trigger that will rival a custom 1911s at 3 - 3.5 lbs in SA. I have never fired anything but handloads in my gun and good loads will routinely group 5 rounds under 1" and less rested at 50'. It is capable of .5" accuracy. With a trigger job with trigger stop installed, I feel it would be a common occurence with mine, although I haven't made any modifications except smoothing the edges of the trigger face. I mostly load 150 gr. NOSLER JHPs and the Lasercast 170 gr. SWCs with Ramshot True Blue and Silhouette, although I have used a number of other powders and bullets.

The 75 B can be carried cocked and locked if you prefer SA firing. I carry mine at half cock for first shot DA. I shoot it the same way offhand and it is capable of shooting groups that are as accurate for me at 50' as they are if I fired them all SA. Chambers are fully supported and rifling is crisp and precise. ;)

June 9, 2007, 12:34 PM
I reload for my sig P229, but...

the XD chamber is fantastic, the most supportive I've seen in a service pistol.

Glocks balloon the cases so much that they are useless after a couple of resizings. I resize range fired brass for my reloads, you can spot Glock brass a mile away. I have no idea how someone could recommend a Glock to a reloader, that brass would be maxed out stress-wise after two or three resizings.

June 9, 2007, 12:36 PM
INHO I love Glocks. but...I think that HK & Sig make a better .40 caliber gun. You will be well served by the glock but my research has led me to look at HK & Sig if Iwere to get a .40. That said I'm not a raeal big fan of the caliber to begin with and don't own one. I'd rather have a 1911 .45 any day of the week. Also not a fan of 10mm. Glock IMHO makes the best 9mm hand gun ever regardless of model. G17/19/26/34 all ar teh best made IMHO.

June 9, 2007, 09:53 PM
Gentlemen, thank you all very much for the very detailed and useful responses. I got the picture now and will probably choose from CZ (which I already heard great things about), XD (aka the Croatian Sensation) and Sig ('nuff said). Will probably skip the Glocks just to be sure as the opinions seem to be mixed. Love Glocks, but ability to reload is vital, so I'll have to pass on these unfortunately.

Again, many thanks!


June 9, 2007, 10:16 PM
JP: I've been shooting the .40 since it arrived in 1990, and you have a very good take on it. I've owned all of the pistols mentioned in this thread, except that I've never bought a 1911 in .40 S&W. I actually stopped shooting it around 1998, and then tried one more with the XD tactical a few years ago, and kinda lost interest again. The CZ 75 B in .40 has been an eye opener. It has delivered the kind of accuracy I felt the cartridge was capable of. I haven't fired the compact. To me, it is a bit heavy for a carry pistol and I really wish that CZ had done it with a forged alloy frame like the outstanding P-01 in 9mm. The Compact outweighs the full size 75 B, btw. My first .40 was a G-22 I bought in June of 1990. To me, it is not the .40 for a reloader unless you plan to feed it a steady diet of 9mm level handloads. The H&K USP was superb in everything but accuracy. Since you're a reloader, obviously, you have something different in mind. The 75 B, or the 75 B SA will get you what you want, and probably for around $400 if you find a good deal. Don't pass up a good on a CZ 40 B, either. It was the pistol Colt planned to market as the Colt Cee-Zee, but as a DAO.

$200 more of modification on the trigger, will make many 1911 shooters druel. Especially if they spent $1500 or more for a custom pistol!;)

June 9, 2007, 10:16 PM
I've been shooting a lot more .40 lately since brass is so easy to pick up for free at our range.

MY favorites:

CZ40B, if you can find one, These are about the best bargain in a full sized .40S&W gun.

CZ75B, used to be the best bargain, but word has got out and prices have gone up quite a bit. Still very much worth it.

Taurus PT100 Still can usually be found under $400. Love the cocked and locked safety that also decocks if you like DA/SA operation.

All have standard rifling so lead bullets are OK. I like the 180gr hard cast "Bushwacker" from Powder Valley with 5.2 gr Unique.


June 9, 2007, 11:29 PM
I would look at the Beretta PX4 Storm in .40 it really shoots great and so does the S&W M&P both can be had for around $500 NIB. Also the Browning/FN Hi-Power in .40 is a great shooter at about the same price.

June 10, 2007, 08:20 PM
Over at CZ-shooters, the rumour is that CZ will be coming out with a .40 s&W based on the P-01 design, called the P-06. Several people have actually shot the prototype. This would be a great development--and I will sell my Glock .40 when that happens.

I, too, have not had any problems reloading for my .40 glock.


June 11, 2007, 01:04 PM
I think if you want a basic 40sw that will eat anything you feed it and not break the bank then I would suggest a Ruger P94. Thier inexpensive, reliable and tough even if they are ugly and don't turn heads at the range. You won't win any competitions with the P94 but it will give you good accuracy and always go bang

June 11, 2007, 04:20 PM
this has come up before about the ability to reload brass fired from a glock
.40. I don't want to hijack the thread, but could one of you post a picture of .40 brass fired from a glock and one from another gun so I can see this? I have reloaded .45 for a long time and am getting ready to start reloading .40 and I have brass from glocks and do not see anything wrong with it. Thanks

June 11, 2007, 05:53 PM
I resize mine as as soon as I get it, otherwise I would have done it. Picture a truck tire from the front about 30 psi low on air.

June 12, 2007, 11:05 AM
Smith M&P40 is perfectly fine with reloads. I have over 1000 through mine. Doesn't buldge the brass at all. 3.8gr Clays with a Rainier 155gr Flat Point, CCI primer at 1.125 OAL. Smooth shooting and you can pick your brass up three feet behind and right of you.

August 8, 2007, 10:11 PM
I think it is worth a mention that I spoke with the manufacturers of the .40s I am still considering: Sig, H&K, S&W, Springfield (XD) and CZ asking them about their take on reloads (and warranties). Of the five, S&W gave me the hardest time about reloads; Sig put me on hold for about 30 mins at which point I gave up. H&K and XD said they would honor the warranty if the issue is obviously not load-specific. But CZ really stood head and shoulders above and told me they had no problem with the reloads and their gun should be able to handle them very well and there would be no problems with the warranty!

Just thought it's worth pointing out. I also posted this in a separate thread dedicated to reloading voiding warranties.

August 8, 2007, 10:31 PM
getting ready to start reloading .40 and I have brass from glocks and do not see anything wrong with it

The square firing pin hit gives it away that it was fired in a Glock. Measure the case diameter just above the rim, and rotate the case in your calipers -- you'll see the brass has a bulge aligned with the firing pin strike long axis where the chamber support is reduced.

This works the brass more than normal and could lead to a rupture if used repeatedly in a Glock or other gun with poor chamber support. Minimal issue with a gun that has a fully supported chamber where the one trip thru the Glock jsut made it a tad harder to resize.

I don't own a Glock .40 but I've reloaded lots of range brass that had obviously been shot in a Glock without issues, but then I don't push max loads.


August 9, 2007, 01:17 AM
I reload for my CZ 75 Compact 40 S&W. No problems, no damaged brass and the brass is easy to resize (not so with all brands).

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