Suggested loads for Rainier 165 gr RNFP plated bullets in 40 S&W?


December 17, 2011, 06:38 PM
I'm trying to get back into reloading and just purchased 1'000 Rainier 165 gr. RNFP bullets for 40 S&W on sale. Currently I'm out of the country on business and don't have access to my Manuals. All I can seem to find online is confusion as loading plated bullets. Right now all I have in 40 is a Glock 27 and I have a XDM 40 waiting at the FFL from Santa.

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December 17, 2011, 06:44 PM
For loading plated bullets it is usually recommended that you use cast bullet data for the same weight projectiles. If you need specific cast load data then you'll need to list what powder you're using. ;)

December 17, 2011, 06:49 PM
Personally I look for pulled bullets which you can find as or cheaper then Rainer or Berry bullets and you don't have to worry about reduced loads and all that. Before I figured this out I loaded some Rainer 165 grain hollow points for my Kahr and XD 40 with 5.8 grains of Unique and CCI mag small pistol primers. You are supposed to use lead load data or reduce jacketed load data down 10 percent. The theory is that the plated lead bullets will shed there thin jackets if pushed to hard but some guys are pushing these plated bullets at near max loads for jacketed bullets with no problems. Like I stated my foray with plated was short and I am happy loading pulled bullets at moderate powder levels with no worries.

December 17, 2011, 06:50 PM
Thanks, I'm currently in Sri Lanka on business and we just moved to the new house on top of that. I'll have to see what I still have when I get back to Fort Worth. I'm open to suggestions though.

December 17, 2011, 07:03 PM
Rainier bullets are sized same as jacketed bullets and I have used lead/jacketed load data in the past and depending on the bullet/weight, obtained better accuracy with mid-to-high range jacketed load data but this is what Rainier has to say -
We, at Rainier Ballistics, recommend using lead bullet load data when loading our bullets. There is no need for adjustment when using lead bullet load data. Our bullets are jacketed using an electroplating process and are softer than traditionally jacketed bullets; hence the recommendation to use lead bullet load data. If you only have access to traditionally jacketed load data, we recommend a starting powder charge directly between the listed minimum and maximum load.

Caution: Lyman #49 load data for 40S&W was tested using .401" groove diameter test barrel. If you are using .400" groove diameter factory/aftermarket barrel, exercise caution and consider referencing powder manufacturers' load data.

Also, consider this caution from Hodgdon ( when loading for 40S&W:
This data is intended for use in firearms with barrels that fully support the cartridge in the chamber. Use of this data in firearms that do not fully support the cartridge may result in bulged cases, ruptured cases, case-head separation or other condition that may result in damage to the firearm and/or result in injury or death of the shooter and/or bystanders.

Lyman #49 load data - 4" barrel, 1:16 twist, Winchester SP primer:
165 gr Speer TMJ W231 OAL 1.120" Start 5.2 gr (937 fps) - Max 5.8 gr (1050 fps )

Hodgdon load data - 4" barrel, 1:16 twist, Winchester SP primer:
165 gr Sierra JHP W231 OAL 1.125" Start 4.8 gr (946 fps ) - Max 5.3 gr (1001 fps)

Lyman #49 has load data for 165 gr TMJ Speer plated bullet but on page 362 lists the 4" Universal Receiver's groove diameter as .401" instead of the typical .400" for 40 caliber barrels. Lyman #49 load data for W231 shows higher powder charges than Hodgdon jacketed load data and that's probably due to more high pressure gas leakage around the bullet ;). Although Lyman #49 has load data for 165 gr TMJ plated bullet, I have used Hodgdon's start-to-mid range jacketed load data for .400" diameter plated bullets (Rainier, PowerBond, X-Treme) with .400" groove diameter Glock/M&P factory barrels and Lone Wolf aftermarket barrels. For .401" diameter Berry's plated bullets, I have used lower powder charges. YMMV

So, I suggest you slug your barrel to determine the groove diameter before using the higher Lyman #49 load data.

Be safe.

December 17, 2011, 07:22 PM
I shoot 155 grn Rainier with 6.5 grns of Unique in my XD. It is very accurate.

December 17, 2011, 07:31 PM
That is my preferred bullet for IDPA bullet. I use 5gr of Tightgroup and a magnum primer with this. The velocity through my S&W M&P40 is 1019fps. Although this is a fair bit over the required power factor for SSP in IDPA, the recoil is OK with me.

Happy shooting

December 18, 2011, 07:45 AM
Thank you all for The rapid responses. It has really helped clear up some of confusion.

December 18, 2011, 07:37 PM
I use 5.2 gr of universal clays with 165 rainiers and 5.7 gr for 155 rainiers, work great in my S&W and witness silver team

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