Need input loading .40 S&W


November 23, 2008, 12:53 PM
Hi all. I am just starting to load for the .40S&W for my XD.
Anything I should be aware of. I will be shooting cast bullets.:)
Your favorite loads would be nice.
I load for 9mm, 357, 38 SPL. and 38 Super.

Any input would be appreciated.

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November 23, 2008, 01:36 PM
Hey Floydster,

I am still a bit new with this caliber as well. Only been a few months that I started screwing around with it.

I found my Berretta Inox likes 155 grain bullets with Titegroup and Clays Universal for light to medium loads and AA#5 for full power (Thanks again, Walkalong)

Light loads:
Titegroup: 4.9 grains pushes just under 1000 fps with a nice little snap
Universal Clays: 5.0 grains - pushes at about 950 fps very clean

Universal Clays: 5.5 grains - pushes a little over 1000 fps - again very accurate/clean

Redline load:
AA#5: 8.2 grains - pushes around 1100 fps or just under. Nice...

I worked up some loads with Unique but I got side tracked with a new hunting round for rifle so it is still under developement.

I have made some ladder rounds with VV320 (my main 9mm powder) and Power pistol (my other main 9mm powder) but I have not yet shot them.

Hope this helps...


November 23, 2008, 02:15 PM
Thanks so much for your post, it gives me a place to start.
I never thought I would be loading for the .40, but my Son-In-Law shoots a
.40, and you know how that goes,hehe. I'll have to see if I can outdo him.
The .40 will have to do some to compare to my 38 Super, what a fantastic round to load for.
Thanks again, Floyd:)

November 23, 2008, 03:06 PM
my 38 Super, what a fantastic round to load for.Big ditto. I wish I had discovered the .38 Super ( earlier in life.

I have made some ladder rounds with VV320That should work great for light to medium loads and a bit more, although I have not tried it since I was so happy with Universals performance. N320 is the cats meow for light 115 Gr 9MM loads.

November 23, 2008, 03:10 PM
Any time, Mate.

I still have yet to fall head over heels with the 40 S&W. What can I say, I love my 1911's...
But it is a very cool pistol caliber (as they all are, in their own way).


November 23, 2008, 03:13 PM
I still have yet to fall head over heels with the 40 S&WMe either, even as good as it is.

November 23, 2008, 03:25 PM
I see you are very serious about the 38 Super, all I can say is WOW!!!!

November 23, 2008, 03:29 PM
I picked the Springfield up at a real good price. An old competition gun someone had outgrown. It is SWEET!!!!!!

The other is a plain jane Colt with the Nighthawk grips that came with the Springfield. They looked real good on the Colt. The rubber wrap around grips had to go.

November 23, 2008, 03:30 PM
I've noted a site where you can download a PDF file which has a wealth of 40 info.
I have used it extensively in working up loads for several 40S&W's. You should approach those loads with caution, working up slowly, but many of my most accurate loads were close to max loads with some lead and many jacketed.

Precautions on loading lead for the 40 include:

Examining the barrel for leading, often, every 50 roundds until you know at what round counts you can expect leading (if it is going to lead).

Examine around the front of the chamber where the case headspaces, as in some weapons, lead will build up here and case the case not to go into battery.

Clean out the lead (if it is doing do) early and often. There is controvery over firing jacketed bullets down a leaded barrel to clean it, so I no longer do that.

Apply just enough crimp to keep the bullet from setting back in the case. Overcrimping will effect accuracy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
List the powders you curretnly have, and the Forum may be able to include loads for those powders.

November 23, 2008, 07:22 PM
Thanks Shoney, I do have that PDF file in my favorites file.
Also thanks THR's for all the input.:)

November 23, 2008, 07:41 PM
The biggest question regarding reloading the .40 is what do you want it to do? You can load bullet weights from 135 to 200 and velocities from 750fps to 1350fps. A 200 gr round at 750 is a very different animal than a 135 at 1350.
I typically load 180's at around 1000 fps, using Universal Clays powder and Montana Gold bullets. That is a stout load to be sure, but it is accurate and knocks down steel poppers with authority.

November 24, 2008, 01:24 AM
This is a good reference tool...I hope it helps !! :)


November 24, 2008, 09:24 PM
Hey FLoyd

Here is a suggestion. If you are loading for an XD you may want to avoid LSWC bullets. For some reason XD's don't like them all that much. (especially the XD 45). I have not had much luck with LSWC rounds in my XD 40 and XD 45. but my M&P 40 will shoot them all day....go figure.

Just something to look out for.


November 24, 2008, 09:35 PM

I agree. The .40 is more flexible than the 9mm, IMHO. I feel it's practically as versatile as the .45.

I am beginning to prefer the .40 over the 9, especially if you're a reloader.

XD-40 Shooter
November 24, 2008, 10:42 PM
As long as your diligent and carefull, the 40 S&W is a great "reloaders" caliber, I really like it.:)

My pet loads are 6 grains Unique under a 165 grain Ranier, 7 grains Longshot under a 165 grain Ranier, and 9 grains of Blue Dot under a 165 grain Ranier. Obviously, Unique the most efficient for rounds/pound, but I have found Longshot burns really clean and the Blue Dot performs just fine.

Unique soots up the chamber quite a bit more than Longshot, but I'll continue to use it. I've only got 1lb of Longshot, I have 8 lbs of Unique, lol.

November 25, 2008, 06:13 AM
Try here:

November 25, 2008, 09:50 AM
I will be using 180 gr. TC bullets with 5.2 grs. Unique to start, OAL 1.133.
I use the same TC bullet in my 9mm's and they work good.
My Son-In-Law has the XD as I post this so I can't test for chambering, I am seating the bullets .02 under max OAL.
We shoot twice a month at the police range. Sorry for the fuzzy pic.

November 25, 2008, 09:58 AM
I am surprised to read the XD's don't like the LSWC bullets. I was concerned about my CZ-75/.40 but so far, it has chambered anything I have tried, including LSWC, JHP's, FMJ round nose, and the sometimes troublesome truncated cone bullets.

You never know till you try.

November 25, 2008, 10:21 AM
I like to load a 155 gr bullet wit 5.0 gr of titegroup.;) It made me very happy in my XD-M. As a matter of fact, I use tite group in just about everything.:D

November 26, 2008, 12:07 AM
What is the cleanest, NON smoking powder for the 40. I am having a heck of a time finding one that does not make a James Bond smoke screen when loaded under 1000 fps. I tried Power Pistol, and VV N340 so far. The N340 makes more smoke if I down load it under 920 fps for practice rounds. But still makes a good bit of smoke when loaded to make major with a 180 gr LTC. I have heard that Unique is cleaner, with less smoke. Will be buying new powder as soon as my last couple of pounds of N340 is loaded but do not want to buy another 4 or 8 lbs of a dirty, smokey powder.

November 26, 2008, 06:04 AM
VV N320. The absolute best powder for 40's available.

November 26, 2008, 10:19 AM
I use Hodgdon Universal and Berry's plated bullets to reload .40 ammo. I have 2 pistols (Taurus 24/7 Pro and Firestar M40) and a Hi Point carbine and they all shoot good using 5.2Grs of Universal and Berry's 180Gr bullets.

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