new here and new to handloading


ohio shooter
September 10, 2011, 02:20 PM
Currently loading. 40 S&W anyone have any tips or suggestions?

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September 10, 2011, 02:44 PM
165g or 180g Berry's plated bullets and AA#5 powder has been a good combination for my 40 S&W loads. Welcome to the forum and to the reloading hobby.

September 10, 2011, 02:46 PM
Acquire a number of reloading manuals and read & reread them. IMO one of the best is the Lyman manual, might as well get the cvurrent one.

September 10, 2011, 03:45 PM
Do not hot rod it. It's hot enough like it is.

Stick to medium burn rate (Unique/Universal) or slower powders.

All the Best,
D. white

Miata Mike
September 10, 2011, 04:11 PM
I have been sticking to 155 grain bullets, mostly Berry's plated. I am happy using Unique powder in my favorite loads that work very well out of my Sig P239.

My reasoning has something to do with bullet setback raising the pressures in the already high pressure .40S&W cartridge. Might not be a good reason for 155 grain, but it is my reason. ;)

Welcome to the forums and keep your focus when reloading!

September 10, 2011, 06:02 PM
You should start with the .45 ACP.
Skip the plated bullets--they cost too much now thanks to EPA regulations. Either shoot jacketed (Montana Gold, Precision Delta, or Zero for the same cost as plated) or shoot lead bullets for a lot less.
Stick with relatively slow powders--AA5 should be the fastest powder you use and you would be better off with Silhouette, HS6, Unique, and True Blue. I find that best accuracy in my guns is with a 145gn L-TC or a 155gn L-SWC using AA5, Silhouette, or HS6. It is a wonderfully accurate cartridge, like the .45 ACP, but without any of the other good qualities the .45 has.
.40S&W has bitten many a reloader and generally the load was a heavy bullet and a fast powder.
I have had one KB in 40 years of reloading and it was a .40. Blew the bottom out of the magazine. I am fairly sure that it was an over-charge. Point being that there is NO room for error with the .40.

September 10, 2011, 06:50 PM
I'm on the same page as most here in that you should work with the slower burning powder's. This is especially good if your new to reloading as it pretty much eliminates the possibility of a double charge slipping by.
Also, the slower powder's are very easy to avoid pressure spikes with, if you should be a little heavy from one charge to the next, pressures won't suddenly jump sky high.
And lastly, performance will be more realistic and typical for what ever cartridge you are loading for. I generally start around the middle of the load range and then work up if I want more.

September 10, 2011, 07:18 PM
All this is good advice. Don't try hotrodding that .40 is the best advice for that calibre. Note that Glock, Alliant, and Speer all recommend NOT loading this cartridge in unsupported barrels. Especially older .40 Glocks. KB's are common with that combo, at least more common than other combos. I use Viht powders when I can, I like them a lot. N340 is what I use for target stuff in the .40 right now. Viht's data should be relatively conservative too, but still, be careful.

10mm is the one you can hotrod, but you still have to be careful. The .40 is a specialty cartridge, designed to be a cut down loading of the 10mm --it had the ballistics they wanted at the time and could be run in a shorter pistol. Today, people try to hotrod it like it was designed from the ground up. It wasn't. 10mm is flexible, not the .40.

That said, I still load for the .40 and I do it for a Glock. But I also keep the charge down, I only load practice ammo for it. I have seen some factory ammo get pretty close to blowing out. Not good. In general, it isn't the best reloading round, but if you are reloading, why not be able to do them all? Just purchase your carry stuff and stick to loading target loads with this one though.

You didn't say what pistol you will be loading for... If you are loading for a Glock, and if you load 'em too warm or hot, you will notice the brass bulges. This kills the life of your brass dramatically. That is probably the number one reason I keep my loads on the mild side in .40, conservation of brass. Some people think you need to practice with what you carry. Now that you load, you can duplicate a similar performing round and use that instead for practice. I've never had a problem doing this.

Best advice is give up. No, I'm just kidding! Welcome to the new "I gotta have it" hobby. Seriously, best advice is start simple, focus on fundamentals, and work your way up. Work your way up with the loads of course, but also work your way up regarding equipment and complexity. Check and double check all load data, or any data for that matter. They do make errors. Don't use internet data, or at least don't use it "as is". Compare it with other data and work up to that yourself.

A good book is nice, try to find not the newest edition, but the previous one used on Amazon (unless you have a book that came with your press --they all should be the same save the data). A lot of people say the Lyman, if you need a book get that one. I don't have it, but I've looked at it and it looks nice. I have Speer because it came with my gear years ago. For calibre specific loads, Loadbooks is my favorite. Tons of load data for one specific calibre. You can also get good data online from the powder manufacturers. Bullet manufacturers will also email you their calibre specific data. Hornady just sent me all their Grendel data --didn't need to buy the book. After you have a good book that has all the basics and info in it, these will get you a lot of good data from actual component manufacturers fast and cheap.

For data, I like the bullet manufacturers data, and if that isn't available for whatever reason, I like the powder makers data for similar loads. Kind of my flowchart if you will.

Measurement is KEY in this. Critical. Loading is a precision endeavour. Don't trust powder measures either until you are VERY comfortable with what it does --flake powders measure HORRIBLE and can get you in trouble. A powder trickler is very nice to have, but now I use the digital scale/dispenser with trickle function. VERY nice! A case prep station is helpful too, that gets old quick. Good luck and welcome to the crowd!

September 10, 2011, 08:17 PM
Acquire a number of reloading manuals and read & reread them

Do not hot rod it. It's hot enough like it is.

Stick to medium burn rate (Unique/Universal) or slower powders

You should start with the .45 ACP
It is a better choice for a beginner. It is a low pressure round and is much easier to find excellent loads with vs the .40, but if .40 is what you have, that is what you must reload. If you have both, starting with the .45 ACP is a great suggestion.

Welcome to THR

ohio shooter
September 11, 2011, 12:23 AM
Thanks guys yeah .40 is what I have available. I guess I couldcould have stated my charges and fire arm. Glock new model 23 loaded 5 grains hs6 with 180 grain FM. Brass seems fine no cracks bulges or breaks also chamber appears ok. I new risks of the .40 and went low on the charge to start especially in the Glock. I am using modern reloading from LEE with a single stage LEE. I want to keep it slow and proper checking weight of charge every 10 drops and checking 3 drops. I know alot of people don't like LEE but with a family cash is tight. I need a way to save on the rifle ammo and I figured the pistol cartridge would be an easier learn. I want to make the .308 as accurate as I can. I always wanted to see how far I could go accurately and an 800 yard range just became avalible to me. Hehehe any body got a good combo for those.

September 11, 2011, 12:27 AM
In the 40 S&W HS-6 with lead bullets is a great match. When loading jacketed bullet use HS-6 or even Longshot. Longshot works very well in the 40 S&W and 10mm.

September 11, 2011, 12:46 AM
ohio shooter,

Thank very much for putting up your poster. I too have a family, I am wanting to get into reloading, I shoot a .40, and want to soon acquire a .308 and make really awsome long distance shots with it. Of my guns I have narrowed to starting off making .40s for my sig p229. This morning my neihbor ran out and gave me a Lee single stage loader. I was indecisive on what to buy. He made it easy. I ordered the 2nd edition Lee book from amazon, I am hoping its the right book. I have been going to the range often and spending lots of money on ammo. From I can tell, I think I can cutt out about forty percent of my cost. Thanks eveybody, all your info has been helpful.

I forgot one question to ask, maybe it will be in the book. I intend on picking up all my brass from gun ranges around here for free. This is something I have worked out with the owners. As far as producing entry level and safe rounds, are there loads I can produce that universally involve mixed brands of brass?

ohio shooter
September 11, 2011, 08:43 AM
I may be wrong but in my research I think brass spec are caliber specific and all brands are made to same specs but don't take my word for it.

Miata Mike
September 11, 2011, 09:56 AM
I know alot of people don't like LEE but with a family cash is tight. I need a way to save on the rifle ammo and I figured the pistol cartridge would be an easier learn.

Nothing wrong with Lee. Take your time and remain focused during loading. I think you are going to do just fine. ;)

I was amazed at how easy it was to load my .270 cartridges compared to like my .45acp with lead bullets. I find myself wiping the bullet lube and what not and the .270 is just dump in the powder and seat the bullet.....that is after all of the case prep and priming that I seem to have all but forgotten. ;)

September 11, 2011, 10:12 AM
Brass is made to a spec, although there can be small differences from brand to brand.

September 11, 2011, 11:47 PM
Welcome to the affliction! Walkalong pretty much covered it.

September 12, 2011, 12:48 AM

If you're gonna reload .40 using pickup brass, be wary of what is known as "Glocked" cases, that is, cases fired from an older Glock in which rounds are less than fully supported in the chamber. A bulge can form near the webbing on the side of the case that was facing 6 o'clock when it was fired. Running such cases through the normal sizing process doesn't fix the bulge; it is closer to the webbing than the sizing die can reach. Bulged rounds will load into your mag just fine but may not chamber or may chamber but not eject. Google something like "Glocked brass fix" to read about various remedies. I have the Lee system, and it works great.

If you enjoyed reading about "new here and new to handloading" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!