New Guy to loading .40


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Tim the student
March 9, 2010, 09:15 PM
OK, so I'm new to loading pistol cartridges. I've loaded .223, .270, and 30-06 before, so I feel like I understand the basics of reloading. I'll be shooting an XD(m).

I would like to start reloading lead. Do you think I should start with jacketed bullets first, or would I be ok to jump in to lead? I would prefer to shoot lead due to the costs involved.

I feel like I have good books (new Lyman, Hornady #7, Speer, Sierra, and Modern Reloading #2) but would you guys suggest any others? I've read mixed things about the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. Is it worth it? What are your opinions on it? Do you suggest any other references (bearing in mind I am new to handgun reloading and would like to load mainly lead?)

Where do you get your load data for lead bullets? Looking through my Lyman, I don't see but data for three lead bullets. I know that I can't substitute jacketed data for lead. This thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678) answered my questions about determining OAL.

Would you guru's suggest any specific powder? It looks to me like Unique may be my choice of powder. Thoughts or other recommendations?

I know I need to trim uniformly, and taper crimp lightly, and I'll need a cartrige gage. I plan on using RCBS carbide dies (and to use lube lightly). Any other words of advice?

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bds
March 9, 2010, 09:45 PM
I know I need to trim uniformly, and taper crimp lightly, and I'll need a cartrige gage.

I don't trim my straight walled pistol cases. I use enough taper crimp so I cannot push the bullet down no matter how hard I push with my thumb/fingers while still freely fall into the tightest chambers I have (Lone Wolf barrels) with a "clink" sound.

Where do you get your load data for lead bullets?

I use 5%-10% less max factory load data for lead bullets. I use the barrel to determine the final OAL (I run my jacketed/plated/lead 180gr at 1.125" OAL). I also try several powder samples in increments of .2-.3 grains and select the most accurate load that will reliably cycle my slide for a particular pistol without leading my barrel.

For 180gr and W231/HP38, I ran samples of 3.5gr, 3.7gr, 4.0gr, 4.3gr, 4.5gr, 4.7gr.

3.5gr too light to reliably cycle the slide.
3.7gr was accurate with very light recoil
4.0gr was accurate with light recoil
4.3gr was accurate with mild recoil
4.5gr was accurate with moderate recoil
4.7gr was accurate with moderate recoil

I use 3.7gr-4.0gr for female/new shooters or those transitioning from 9mm.

I personally prefer the 4.3gr-4.5gr for range practice. I also use Bullseye, Red Dot, HS6, WSF and many here like Unique as well.

I hope this helped.

shootinxd
March 9, 2010, 09:57 PM
Welcome Tim to a whole new world,completely addicting.For the 40 cal forget the trimming,lube stuff.Start with plated(pay attention to plated vs jacketed)and start with light loads.I use accurate #5 and power pistol.I'm starting to favor P pistol though.Good luck and have fun.

Shootin XD

trickyasafox
March 9, 2010, 10:02 PM
I don't pretend to be an expert, but I have been safely using unique to load lead 40sw projectiles for a few years now- and have fired probably close to 2000+ lead rounds through my 40.

In my experience, a firm crimp, moderate charges, and a moderate weight bullet (140-165gr) has produced the best results with regards to low levels of leading, and good accuracy.

giggitygiggity
March 9, 2010, 10:31 PM
I like to use 180gr zero FMJ bullets and 4.5-4.7grains of titegroup. Very accurate round.

Tim the student
March 10, 2010, 01:08 AM
Gents, thanks. I appreciate your info.

Walkalong
March 10, 2010, 09:24 AM
I would like to start reloading lead. Do you think I should start with jacketed bullets first, or would I be ok to jump in to lead? I would prefer to shoot lead due to the costs involved.
I started with and loaded nothing but lead for years before shooting anything else, with the lone exception of the 100 Speer bullets that came with m kit. I would buy the cheapest boxes of 500 I could find at the gun shows here. Then I started playing with plated bullets, and I shoot some jacketed now as well.

Motownfire
March 10, 2010, 09:49 AM
I load my 180 grain lead from http://www.missouribullet.com/ using 4.7 grains of unique at 1.125 oal. I based this on the 190 grain lead data from my Lyman manual.

This shoots accurate and the recoil feels similar to factory ammo. I shoot these from my Glock 23 and Glock 27 stock barrels and have no issues to date with leading.

Historian
March 10, 2010, 10:02 AM
Hi Tim,

I have not looked at it carefully but I know that Lyman#49 has a very extensive section on lead bullets. Right now I am shooting 180g plated Barry's Bullets over 4.5g of W231 and getting very consistant results out of my M&P .40. Best of luck.

Historian
_________
"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely undo the liberties of America than the whole force of a common enemy."

Samuel Adams

schmeky
March 10, 2010, 11:49 AM
Tim the Student,

Welcome to the wonderful world of loading for the .40 S&W, my second most favorite round to load (.45 ACP is my 1st).

I have found an incredibly accurate load using the Missouri Bullet 170 LSWC and WW231 as a propellant. 3.8-4.0gns is literally one-ragged hole accurate at 25 yards from my accurized Colt 1911, .40 S&W.

My little CZ-75 in .40 S&W will stack this load consistently in about 1.25-1.50" @ 25 yards from a rest. Recoil is very mild and there is no leading whatsoever in any of my pistols with this load. Just a really bitchin' load for the .40

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