Problems with .40


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nt_bush
April 7, 2013, 11:04 AM
I just purchased a lee loadmaster, and lee 3 die set to make .40 rounds for target shooting. I am new to reloading, so I read some books, and looked on the Internet, for some tips and advice. I got some rainier 165 gr. FN bullets, titegroup powder, cci 500 primers, and used brass. I made about 35 round and shot 20 thru my Taurus pt 140 and 15 thru my smith and Wesson m+p. they shot perfect. So I made the remaining 500 165 gr. rounds. In the meantime I ordered some rainier 180gr. bullets and made 100 rounds to try out. I went and shot yesterday and I had feeding issues with both guns and both bullets. A lot of rounds would jam at the start of the feeding process and would leave a dent on the face on the FN bullet. Others would feed but not seat all the way. And some the primers would not work. I would pull the trigger and nothing,rack the gun, look at the bullet and see a dent on the primer. Put the round back into the gun and it would shoot.This happened a dozen times out of one hundred.I know it has to be my rounds because this happened in both my guns. I never had any problems with anything i shot with either of these guns. I was very confident going in but left very disappointed. I saved the ones that jammed and checked some things with the calipers. The recommend oal was 1.125. The rounds that jammed ranged anywhere from 1.122 to 1.129. I checked the outside of he case and they were consistent .424. Anyone have any suggestions?

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m3mh0g
April 7, 2013, 11:50 AM
I had a similar problem with loading .40 in my sig p229. I had two issues. I needed a new recoil spring, that one was 10,000 plus rounds old, I also had to seat shorter than the book to feed well. I was just making range ammo so it wasn't a big deal. Just keep cranking it down and finding that sweet spot that works in your gun,being mindful of pressure signs on the case so as to not seat too deep.

gamestalker
April 7, 2013, 11:50 AM
A couple of thing are going on here. In determining the OAL for any bullet is accomplished by removing the barrel from that firearm and then seating it so that it is clearly contacting the lands. Then continue seating deeper until you are certain it is not touching the lands, it should make a plunk sound when you drop it in and you should be able to spin it and feel that it is not touching the lands, this is YOUR MAXIMUM OAL FOR YOUR BARREL. Once you've determined the barrel max. OAL, then move on to determining what the magazines max. OAL is. Adjust the seating die as per those above tolerances, but now you are finding the maximum OAL that fits your magazine. The OAL published in the books is the minimum OAL, not the maximum. This is the OAL that the powder / bullet manufacturer tested those charges / bullets at, in their test barrels / firearm. This is why we must work our charges up from a lower end of the published data, as pressures will run higher, or lower, depending on how much shorter or longer your firearms OAL will be. So if your firearm requires a shorter OAL than the published minimum, pressures are going to be higher. You need to determine the OAL that will accommodate both barrels and magazines.
When crimping a rimless cartridge, such as the .40 S&W, the crimp is only a means of removing any belling of the case mouth that is utilized to provide straight seating, and without bullet shaving. Do not crimp more than what is necessary to return the case mouth back to original diameter, or you will lose neck tension, distort head space, and pinch case mouths in the chamber throat while discharging the weapon. If the case mouth gets pinched, pressures can go wildly and unpredictably high.
Primers that don't detonate on the first attempt are not seated deep enough. Primers must be seated completely into the pocket. A properly seated primer will be .004"-.006" below the case head. What happens when they are not seated deep enough is the energy from the firing pin is absorbed by the primer moving forward when struck, thus not creating a deep enough dent, or not enough impact on the primer cup to fracture the primer compound with the anvil.

GS

greenlion
April 7, 2013, 06:30 PM
Good advice.

I agree. The first thing I would check is whether I was crimping too much, since that round headspaces on the case mouth, and will fall further down in the barrel if it is crimped too much. the next thing would be checking to see if I seated the primers all the way into their pocket.

gamestalker
April 7, 2013, 09:17 PM
One more suggestion regarding working up loads. It is best to load a few of each test phase, rather than large quantities when developing a new load. This will help to reduce the amount of time spent pulling bullets for corrective actions needed. But on the other hand, having to pull 100 rounds will help you to develop a " look before you leap " mentality in the future.
Welcome to THE HIGH ROAD, and the world of reloading!
GS

nt_bush
April 7, 2013, 10:17 PM
Thanks for your replies. I will defiantly break my guns down to try to determine the oal. Thanks again.

bigfinger76
April 7, 2013, 11:06 PM
And be patient. Don't get frustrated this early on.

Ken70
April 8, 2013, 03:01 PM
One more suggestion regarding working up loads. It is best to load a few of each test phase, rather than large quantities when developing a new load. This will help to reduce the amount of time spent pulling bullets for corrective actions needed. But on the other hand, having to pull 100 rounds will help you to develop a " look before you leap " mentality in the future.
Welcome to THE HIGH ROAD, and the world of reloading!
GS
Great advice, I have a backyard range, so I make up 10 and go shoot those. Then I QC my production to stay at a working dimension. I always cringe when I see someone putting 1000 rounds together and then find out they don't work....

cwbys4evr
April 8, 2013, 09:35 PM
That was probably the best advice I got when I first started a couple of months ago. I made 10 rounds each of two recipes. The first recipe was crap. The second I loved. Glad I didn't make a large quantity of that first one.

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2

baddad06
April 12, 2013, 11:11 PM
Although I agree with the OAL theory I factory crimp all of my .40 loads. Its an extra step but I use them in Glocks as well as SA and S&W handguns from 3" to 5" barrels. Never any ftf issues. I paid 20 bucks for the the factory crimp die and its worth every penny. Im just sayin.

Matt Dillon
April 13, 2013, 07:27 PM
Plus 1 on the Lee factory crimp die. I load .40 S&W to 1.127 OAL for my CZ75

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