Reloading the 40S&W


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Jurist
September 3, 2011, 12:49 PM
I have reloaded the 40S&W year now,without any problems.I just read an article suggesting that the 180grn weight bullet that I have been using may not be the best choice for that caliber.The article states that the 165grn is the safer and better bullet for this caliber.I have had great results with my choice of bullet,it feeds flawlessly,very accurate and not very costly to buy.I am considering switching to the 165 for safety reasons.Am I doing the right thing?,considering that I have not had any problems?.Yes safety is a priority concern,since the 40S&W is a high pressure cartridge.I am a little reluctant to change since I have allot of Unique and Red Dot available to me,and use these powders in all my reloading. .380ACP,9MM 40S&W 357MAG.I hate the thought of buying another type of powder.
Article@ http://greent.com/40Page/ammo/40/180grn.htm
Let me know what your take is on this subject.

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guzzi
September 3, 2011, 01:56 PM
I too have loaded a bunch of 180 grain with Tightgroup, Bullseye and Universal. But I have gone to 165 with Tightgroup due to the slightly lower cost, and in my M&P it is just slightly more accurate.

I have never heard about issues with the 180 grain bullets. Please tell me about the safety issues.

Thanks

Snowbandit
September 3, 2011, 02:19 PM
I'm curious as to why you have to switch powders? I'm loading 165 grain plated bullets (1150 fps) and 175 grain cast (1000 fps) with Unique and they seem fine.

bds
September 3, 2011, 02:20 PM
I have reloaded plenty of 180, 165 and 155 gr weight jacketed, plated and lead 40S&W bullets but prefer the 180 gr bullet over the lighter when I want to use start-mid range load data as accuracy is still maintained at lower powder charges.

With 155/165 gr bullets (especially jacketed), I get greater accuracy at high+ range load data.

But as to the article stating that the 165 gr is the safer and better bullet for this caliber over 180 gr bullet is puzzling.

rcmodel
September 3, 2011, 02:27 PM
But as to the article stating that the 165 gr is the safer and better bullet for this caliber over 180 gr bullet is puzzling. Yes it is!!

Especially when you consider that the 180 grain FMJ load was the only bullet weight there was when the .40 S&W was developed and first came out.
180 is the "Standard" bullet weight for the caliber.
The light-weight whiz-bangs are only a fairly recent innovation.

The 180 is no more dangerous then any other weight if you follow established reloading data for safe loads.

If you don't, you can blow up your gun just as easily with a 135 or 165 as with a 180.

rc

rsrocket1
September 3, 2011, 04:08 PM
I use that same combination (180g bullet with either Red Dot or Unique). I don't go for max speeds, although with Unique I can easily get 1000fps+ without overpressure. Both Red Dot and Unique are bulky powders and a double charge would spill all over the bench so it adds a little safety factor there.

Use Red Dot or Promo for inexpensive rounds and keep it at or below 900fps (I use 3.5g for general target shooting). Unique can get you about as high a speed as any powder, but if you load for 900fps with it (5.0gr for my 4.25" M&P 40), you are safely down on the pressure, but still high enough to seal the case in the chamber, cycle the action and burn very cleanly.

Unique in the 45ACP tends to be more dirty with lots of unburned flakes when used at lower pressures. It cleans up only when you approach max charges. That's why I like Red Dot for reduced recoil 45ACP rounds.

gab909
September 4, 2011, 01:54 AM
+1 on the question why you would have to switch powders. I am now loading Unique in the .40 with 155 gr bullets and they are a joy to shoot. Low recoil, accurate, and cheap. Triple winner in my book!

gamestalker
September 4, 2011, 01:26 PM
180 gr., 165's, 155's, it doesn't matter, they all work just fine. It's the handloader making any of them DANGEROUS, as with any cartridge being loaded incorrectly.

PO2Hammer
September 4, 2011, 04:37 PM
Choose the bullet you want. As long as your bullets aren't being set back in the case when they hit the feed ramp, you'll be fine.
I use the Hornady 180 HAP and the Rainier 180 plated over Universal with great success. I have no plans on changing anything.
I use Universal and Clays for just about everything, they are very similar to Unique and Red Dot.

JohnhenrySTL
September 4, 2011, 04:47 PM
I am wondering if somebody is willing to direct me through the whole process of reloading. I have numerous handguns. My main intrest in calibers are .40s and .38s. I first and foremost want it to be something safe that I feel like I can do. I also want to make mainly loads that I can shoot at paper targets cheaper than what i can shoot at present cost, most likely medium energy. Any thoughs on anything would help, Lee infield reloader? Sorry if I am misdirecting this thread.

PO2Hammer
September 4, 2011, 05:22 PM
The first thing I would recommend is getting a Lyman reloading manual and the 'ABCs of Reloading' and read them very thoroughly until you understand all the whys and why nots.

Wen you decide on a reloading press, read everything you can about how to set it up and operate it.

Don't rely on internet advice for the basic procedures.

bds
September 4, 2011, 05:41 PM
I am wondering if somebody is willing to direct me through the whole process of reloading ... .40s. I first and foremost want it to be something safe that I feel like I can do. I also want to make mainly loads that I can shoot at paper targets cheaper than what i can shoot at present cost, most likely medium energy
+1 on the reloading manual.

I would recommend you start with the heavier 180 gr TCFP bullet over 165/155 gr bullets and start-to-mid range load data for W231/HP-38. I load them to 1.125" OAL and they feed reliably in various pistols/barrels but go with the OAL that will reliably feed in your pistols.

Start charge will produce light recoil yet very accurate load that is especially good practice for those transitioning from 9mm.

Mid range charge will produce mild recoil and accurate loads that will not bulge the case.

Once you get comfortable, you can work up towards max load data and/or try other powders. I have used Universal, HS-6 and WSF for full power loads but prefer W231/HP-38 for target loads.

JohnhenrySTL
September 5, 2011, 02:53 AM
Thank you guys. I will order the book tomorow on amazon before I get involved. My main focus is to produce a round that is accurate, safe and consistant. Poking a hole in paper should not require a hot load, however I don't want to become used to soft recoil. I can shoot my sig p229 in .40 caliber really well. I am considering entering into low level competitions. I really like to shoot it. It seems like there has to be a cheaper way to shoot my .40, its one of those things that is hard to jusitify spending money on. 200 rounds cost me atleast sixty bucks just in ammo. That is only if walmart happens to have the cheap winchester white box availbale for me. Thanks again,

TonyT
September 5, 2011, 07:39 AM
I do not understnad why loading with 165 gr. bullets is safer than loading with 180 gr, bullets - pure bunk in my opinion. It is true that maximum loads with both bullet weights will yield lower velocites with the heavier bullet - that is true for all calibers.
For mild loads (ca 725 fps) with either 165 or 180 gr. jacketed bulets I have used Red Dot. Unique would be better than Red Dot for higher velocity loads. For full power loads I would prefer either Power Pistol or WSF.

guzzi
September 5, 2011, 09:02 AM
I just did a re-read of the OP's post where he has done an edit to include a link to the information that this thread is based on.

After reading the linked information I see where the concern comes from. So, is the the source of this information to be believed? That is now my question, and may well be what the OP is interested in also.

Mr.Revolverguy
September 5, 2011, 08:56 PM
I think maybe what he is trying to say is that the 180 because it seats deeper in the case and due to COAL there is less room for error when loading towards max pressures. Yet still I think it is up to the reloader, I only reload 180gr in 10mm and I do soley use 165 for 40S&W but I do that because I have found that for some reason that is what I shoot best in 40S&W.

1SOW
September 6, 2011, 01:18 AM
A lot of the comp shooters use the 165 also---for whatever reasons.

Maybe, as Mr. Revolver guy said, there's more room to adjust the load for speed..

bds
September 6, 2011, 01:44 AM
A lot of the comp shooters use the 165 also---for whatever reasons.
Many match shooters will shoot 1000-2000+ rounds a month. Some will compete in both USPSA and IDPA matches and practice sessions eat up a lot of ammo.

Cost savings between 180 gr vs 165/155 gr on an annual basis is significant when powder charge difference is not that much. Economy is why Titegroup is popular with many shooters. As long as the load makes power factor, some will even accept a bit of loss in accuracy.

noylj
September 6, 2011, 01:48 AM
The .40 S&W is a bit too small for 180-200gn bullets. I know that LOTS of folks load 200-220gn bullets, but then LOTS of folks load 24-255gn bullets in their .45 Auto.
In both cases, the case volume with these heavy bullets is quite low and ANY loading error, particularly with the .40, can, has, and will lead to a KB.
The 165gn, for the average reloader, is a nice "safe" weight that has a little more leeway than the 180gn and up.
I like 145-175gn bullets in my .40s, and find that in terms of accuracy, they are all quite accurate (when you find the loads they like). The 180 and heavier bullets are best used by action pistol shooters who, apparently, care more for the game than the safety margins of their reloads--as they are firmly addicted to very fast powders and very heavy bullets, unlike any thing they would actually carry on the street.
Most of the shooting industry recommends NO bullets heavier than 180gn for the .40 S&W.
As always, follow your own needs and be responsible for your own actions-and if I get hit by a piece of flying plastic or metal from your gun, you will hear about it from me.

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