different powders for the 40 cal??


poor man
February 16, 2013, 12:43 PM
i read on a post that some have used different types of powders to load the 40cal... i was wanting to load some lite loads for target shooting, anybody ever use any of the powders i have listed below??? thanks

Hodgdon H414

Hodgdon Varget

Hodgdon universal clays

LiL gun

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February 16, 2013, 01:01 PM
I've used both Universal Clays and LilGun however I don't load 40's at all. I like the Universal in 9mm, 45 ACP and 45 Colt. Lil'Gun I use only in my 45 Colt rifle using a 290 gr to 300 gr hunting loads. Not something I have tried in smaller amounts.

February 16, 2013, 01:15 PM
poor man,

Have you got or looked at a loading book? For that matter at the on-line sources?

Hodgdon H414 - I don't use it, but, it is used well in rifles - I don't think it to be suitable for the very small case capacity of the 40 (Assuming you are referring to the 40 S&W.)

Hodgdon Varget - I have used this powder in loading for the .223/5.56. Again, I don't think it to be suitable for the very small case capacity of the 40.

Hodgdon universal clays - I don't use any of the 'Clays'. Some are useful as pistol powder, others are not. I just stay away from them as I don't know one from another. If you loading book lists one, make certain it is the same one you are going to load with.

LiL gun - This started as a .410 shotgun powder. It is used in large caliber Mag loading (I have seen some information on it burning/cutting top straps in revolvers. For me the jury is out. I have used it in loads for the 300 AAC Blackout 'rifle' cartridge. Again, I don't think it to be suitable for the very small case capacity of the 40.

Look at 231/HP38, unique, bullseye, power pistol, HS6 or Titegroup. There are many more 'Pistol Type' powders that are suitable.

I suspect that you are searching for a powder due to the current insanity. I feel for you. But you've got to use powder that is safe.

February 16, 2013, 01:32 PM
I use Clays or Clay Dot for practice/IDPA loads with Berrys 155 gr. Plated for the 40 S&W. 3.8 gr of either power works good for me and makes the 125k power factor.Clean burning and very economical for me.I use Clay Dot with Clays data and have since ComradecObamas 1st term. I have shot several k rounds with no problems.Alliant says that Clay Dot is an exact replacement for Hodgdons Clays .

February 16, 2013, 01:43 PM
Universal is what I have loaded in my 40s for about 3 years now, it works really well. If you load near max, it burns really clean.

February 16, 2013, 01:54 PM
poor man,

Looks like you have a possible match. 'Universal' or 'Clays or Clay Dot' or 'Hodgdon universal clays'.
Oh no, I'm confused again.

Please only error on the side of safety.

February 16, 2013, 02:31 PM
Acc # 7 and Winchester 231

poor man
February 16, 2013, 02:35 PM
thanks yall, the powders i listed were powders i have here for loading rifle and 9mm and 410 shotgun....

yes and no on the reading of a manual... I have looked at some "online" guides to what powder to use, BUT most of my "reading and learning" has been on this site... and its full of it..

i cant seem to find any powder locally at all and i dont shoot enough to justify buying big quanitys online and hazmat fees :( il keep looking for the "right" powder for the 40cal s&w load. just to be on the safe side the clays universal i have here is listed at the link below



PS: is the powder in the above picture the same as the "universal" listed in this picture


February 16, 2013, 04:40 PM
Yes, it is often just listed as Universal, instead of Universal Clays. Plain old "Clays" is much much faster.

Varget and 414 are rifle powders and unsuited to any pistol applications.

You want medium speed pistol powders for most .40 S&W loading. You can make some light loads with fast pistol powders, but be careful when getting towards max.

February 16, 2013, 04:45 PM
lite loads for target shooting

in any handgun cartridge, that means you want a fast-burning shotgun powder. Red Dot or Promo gives me the best accuracy in everything, and it's bulky, and it burns clean. Doesn't give top velocity, but that's not what you're looking for anyway.

Arkansas Paul
February 16, 2013, 05:52 PM
I guess I'll be the jerk.
If you're talking about .40 and Varget or H414 in the same sentence you need to purchase a load manual. If you already have one, read it. Look at the data for various calibers. That is the best way to determine what is good for what.

February 16, 2013, 05:55 PM

February 16, 2013, 06:42 PM
Universal Clays is very close to Unique in performance (it was made as a competitor to Unique) so don't expect it to perform well with a light load.
You want Clays, just straight Hodgdon Clays.
3.0g will make it feel just like a 9mm. Wear a cap and goggles because the cases will flip up only about a foot and may land on your head.
The same charge of Red Dot will perform almost the same.
Don't try to get more velocity out of these powders, they will simply generate too much pressure.

Universal Clays will work at 4g for low recoil, but may leave sooty cases, blowback in your face and be kind of smokey.

poor man
February 16, 2013, 07:44 PM
OK now that im back home from the reloading store i see all the replys :( soooooo what the guy at the store sent me home with was.... Alliant green dot, he said it would be good for making up target loads, he said something like 5.3 grains... Il have to check the chart for that to be sure.... thanks

February 16, 2013, 07:57 PM
Wow, 5.3g Green Dot would be about the maximum load. 4.5g would be a pretty stout load. No guarantees here, but I would start there and work down toward 3.5g and look for signs of underpressure (sooty cases, unburnt powder) or under velocity (poor ejection from the gun/not locking the slide back on the last shot).

February 16, 2013, 08:12 PM
Green Dot is a good (and often overlooked) powder, but depending on what bullet weight you are using, 5.3 grains is not a light target load. That's a max load for a 180 grain JHP.

poor man
February 16, 2013, 08:42 PM
he did say it was for 180gr FMJ but he did say a lite load :( i found some green dot loads online, that start at 4.3 gr for 180FMJ

Im still looking and NOT loading anything yet, until i get all the info :)


February 16, 2013, 09:19 PM
BUY A RELOADING MANUAL, from any vendor/manufacturer.. and read it to determine what are good powders and what are SAFE starting loads with that powder for a certain bullet weight/type. Please...your fingers and face will not regenerate themselves after a KABOOM!

February 17, 2013, 12:13 AM
poor man, not to beat a dead horse, but get a reloading manual. Even if you're reloading for a cheap gun like a Hi-Point .40, a $20 reloading manual is cheaper than replacing your gun. A manual is certainly cheaper than paying medical bills if your gun blows up and injures you. The Lyman 49th edition is great for general info on the reloading process but lacks some data. The Lee manual has a wide variety of powder choices for most calibers and it's info on the process is pretty good if you ignore Lee's product bias. BUY A MANUAL, please.

February 17, 2013, 07:12 AM
That Green Dot will be a pretty good powder for what your wanting. I played with it some from an 8lb jug I got for free, but the several loads I shot showed good accuracy, it may get sooty under mid range charges but they should be mild recoiling.

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