Can you load .40 s&w for carbine performance?


March 14, 2010, 11:10 PM
This might be comparing apples to oranges, but I noticed that .40 doesn't seem to get much boost in a carbine. 165gr CorBon from 4" barrel gives a velocity of 1164, from a 16" barrel the velocity is 1351.

For .44 magnum the same weight and brand ammo (albeit a little wider) gives velocities of 1150 and 1552.

So can you load the .40 to get that kind of boost from the longer barrel?

If you enjoyed reading about "Can you load .40 s&w for carbine performance?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 14, 2010, 11:26 PM

40's use medium/fast burning rate powders that are designed to be consumed mostly within the short barrel.

44's use three times the amount of a slow burning powder and benefit from longer barrels.

March 14, 2010, 11:33 PM
corbon makes hot loads,and velocity is increased by the length of the barrel to a certain point,after the initial increase ,power drops off on barrels over 18 in.:cool:

March 14, 2010, 11:56 PM
You can get good increases in velocity, but not with conventional .40 powders.
Ramshot printed .40 SW data for their "Enforcer" magnum powder. With the 155gr XTP and a less then max. load it did 1350+ fps out of my fully-supported 1911 5" barrel. I saw no signs of over-pressure, but I didn't bother to go any higher with the charge weight. But, there was an increase in muzzle blast ( no surprise there...)

It showed me that there is room for different powders.

evan price
March 15, 2010, 12:37 AM
.40 does not leave a lot of wiggle room. It runs maxed out- which is why there is no +P load for .40.

However, by doing your homework you can get a carbine load.
Choose the slowest powders you can find data for. My favorite for .40 is IMR 800-X. Most velocity with least pressure.
Work your way up to a max load with the components they recommend. Slower powders give the most improvement in a long barrel.

You might be able to get closer to 1400fps with that 165 grain slug. But I don't think you will get to that number, safely.

March 15, 2010, 05:37 PM

What kind of carbine? Been looking for one myself. Actually I'd really like a NEF Hand-Rifle with both 38/357 barrel and a 40 S&W barrel. They do the 38/357 but apparently the barrel is not interchangeable with anything else.

All the Best,
D. White

March 15, 2010, 06:32 PM
In the 5th edition of "ABC's of Reloading", Grennell mentions testing 9mm carbine reloads loaded with H110. Can't remember the numbers, but he was happy with that load.

You might try it also in your 40, but I would guess the muzzle blast in a hangun would be stunning!

March 15, 2010, 11:38 PM
I'm looking at either a beretta or kel tec.

March 16, 2010, 08:52 AM
Ruger PC4 for the win if you can find one. :D :D

March 16, 2010, 09:42 AM
This question about loading pistol calibers for carbines comes up from time to time.

It doesn't matter what you shoot the round in, it has to be at or under SAMMI max pressures, which means we have to follow our load books and online PDF's from the powder makers.

In general the powder that gives the best velocity in a short barrel, does so in the long barrel. I have seen where it wasn't a couple of times though in my limited testing with carbines and pistol calibers. Mostly 9MM, but a little .40 and .44 Mag. When the fastest short barrel load was not the fastest long barrel load, it was still very close to the top velocity in the long barrel.

I have had some time off lately and have shot around a dozen different 9MM loads with two different bullet weights through a 3" EMP, a 4 1/2" TZ, and a 16" AR. Every single time the fastest in the EMP was the fastest in the AR, as has been in the past.

Stay within the limits set by the load books etc. Test your different loads in the carbine to see which gives the most velocity and which is accurate.

Of the three I shot yesterday with a 125 Gr jacketed bullet, the one that surprised me as far as velocity was N 340. The EMP and the AR were very accurate with it as well, and it shot pretty well in the TZ. What really surprised me was that it was by far the best velocity in the EMP, but was short of the best in the AR by a few FPS. Close, but no cigar. (Note: It's "Hi" was tied for the highest "Hi")

In my quest to find a good, fast, accurate, 9MM 125 Gr load for the AR, I found a good option for a short barreled 9MM powder. One that still gave very good velocities in the AR. Go figure.

All max loads by current on line data. Yesterday - 62 Degrees - WSP primer - Master Match 125 Gr SP at 1.122 O.A.L.

5.7 Grs N340

3" EMP = 1135 Avg FPS

4 1/2" TZ = 1205 Avg FPS

16" AR = 1330 Avg FPS

6.4 Grs AA #5

3" EMP = 1059 Avg FPS

4 1/2" TZ = 1122 Avg FPS

16" AR = 1296 Avg FPS

6.8 Grs HS-6

3" EMP = 1087 Avg FPS

4 1/2" TZ = 1172 Avg FPS

16" AR = 1336 Avg FPS

If you enjoyed reading about "Can you load .40 s&w for carbine performance?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!