You just never know!


March 14, 2013, 10:05 PM
A little adventure I am just getting done with.:)

A couple weeks ago there was an estate sale nearby and I bought some "stuff' there. Part of the lot was three boxes of reloaded 40 S&W ammo. It was in Missouri Bullet IDPA#7 boxes. The load listed on the boxes was 11.5 grains of HP-38.:( Now I load with 231 and my load is 5.6 grains (unsure where I got that load now) so this was WAY OVER the safe range IMHO. I took about 15 random ones apart and measured the propellant---yep all were 11.5 grains so I started to break down some and stopped at 100 rounds. Then I looked at the propellant and yes it DID look like 231/HP-38 but to be sure I loaded up 10 with 5.6 grains and took them over to a friends that had a crony. Shot some of mine and the 10 I just made and the speed was nearly identical at around 950-960 FPS +/-. So I go back and pull almost 400 bullets total, resize, bell, and reload them to my go to load. I have no idea what he loaded them that hot for but I feel that they were about a double charge according to my load.

Nobody should shoot anyone else's random reloads because of this exact problem. He had the recipe there but someone else that was not a reloader or a reloader that was new might have tried to shoot them as is with a resulting kaboom.:what: I was happy to get the components and now have 400 more rounds to shoot with minimal cost plus some more 231 to use up.

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March 14, 2013, 10:09 PM
Good grief, that's damn near a double charge in every single one!

twice barrel
March 14, 2013, 10:13 PM
Well, you said it was an estate sale. :what:

March 14, 2013, 10:18 PM
Missouri Bullet IDPA#7 ... The load listed on the boxes was 11.5 grains of HP-38

Now I load with 231 and my load is 5.6 grains (unsure where I got that load now)

When I did my load development for MBC 40S&W bullets, I referenced current Hodgdon load data, 1999-2005 Winchester load data and Lyman #49.

Hodgdon load data (
150 gr NOS JHP W231/HP-38 OAL 1.125" Start 5.2 gr (1024 fps) 26,900 PSI - Max0 5.8 gr (1116 fps) 33,500 PSI

1999-2005 Winchester load data (

Closest load data for lead bullet weight came with Lyman #49 listing for 150 gr LSWC and W231 start/max of 5.5 - 6.5 gr. Since Lyman #49 used .401" groove diameter and my barrels are .400", I tend to go conservative with Lyman #49 load data.

For the MBC 140 gr TCFP (IDP #7), I would suggest start charge of 5.0 gr of W231/HP-38 and work up towards 5.5 gr, depending on the pistol/recoil spring rate.

March 14, 2013, 10:33 PM
Well, you said it was an estate sale.
Excellent observation...and unfortunately, may be right on the money.

I have read a few posts quoting new handloaders who figure that filling the case is the correct recipe.

Hope I am never in the lane next to one of these Einsteins.

Speaking of Einstein, I believe he once said "Nothing is infinite except the universe and the capacity for human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe".

March 14, 2013, 10:45 PM
I use the 5.6 grains of 231 in my High Point and they are some accurate and behave well. I have used this load for a year or so with no problems in the hot or cold weather. I have a new S&W HD 40 (sigma) that I am going to work up the loads for again as soon as I get the time this spring. It might like something a bit lighter I feel.:) If the propellant ever comes back I will get some more #5 and try some loads with that. I need to keep the VEL to 1000 FPS or less to use the indoor range here and I want the rounds to eject so that is my big problem.

March 15, 2013, 12:14 AM
I would probably toss that powder. You don't really have a scientific way to verify 100% that its HP38.

March 15, 2013, 02:01 AM
Toss the powder in your garden and start from fresh. Always better to be safe than sorry (and injured).

March 15, 2013, 02:25 AM
Holy cow! I have seen such things before, unfortunately. I had inherited some 38 special from a friend of a friend one time. It was a bunch of cases, powder, primers, bullets and about 250 loaded rounds. The loaded rounds had the load data listed as AA#5 9.2gr with 158gr SWC. I load a lot of AA powders so this lot of components and powder was right up my alley. When I saw the data it didnt look right, so I looked it up. 5.9gr is the max per Accurate. Tore them down and they were everything from 8.8 through 9.4gr. I couldnt imagine shooting any of them.

March 15, 2013, 02:59 AM
WOW! 11.5gr W231 under a 140gr lead bullet in the 40 S&W, that's way too much. That load would even be way over pressure in a 10mm let alone the 40 S&W.

March 15, 2013, 04:36 PM
Was there a box with just one round missing?

March 15, 2013, 05:39 PM
No kidding Havok, That is the reason why to never, ever shoot a reload unless you personally know the person that reloaded it and that they are competent and careful about the process. I have friends all the time wanting me to reload them some plinking ammo, I tell them they can come and I will show them how, but I won't reload for them. I would not be able to live with the fact that someone was disfigured or dead because of my mistake. Good call OP.

March 15, 2013, 05:57 PM
True that, Havok.

Estate sale means somebody died. Not to be morbid, but if the person whose estate this was shot those rounds...I'm just saying.

March 15, 2013, 06:51 PM
I think you were smart to pull the bullets. You now have componets that you can properly load. I also would dump the old powder as it may not be what you think it is.

March 15, 2013, 08:32 PM
Well, contrary to most folks' belief of bubba loads :

The label was present, and accurately represented the contents.

Who knows what he used 'em for. You got your moneys' worth, and he did his part in letting you know what was there.

Maybe he had a bolt action 40 S/W rifle. The world may never know.

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