200 gr lead and .40 S&W


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cmhellie
April 8, 2014, 09:07 PM
I've got about 1K 200 gr plated (load as lead) bullets that I purchased years ago when I was a noob. I'm thinking these are best used in 10mm loads, but I don't own a 10mm and am wondering if anyone had loaded these in 40 and what were the powders used. I've looked at other sites and the consensus is to use them very carefully in the 40 due to high pressures and what not. Thoughts anyone? Suggestions? thanks!

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GLOOB
April 8, 2014, 10:08 PM
Sounds like you have a perfectly valid reason to buy a new gun. And you already have the dies!

Either way, be mindful of setback. You should find a way to make sure each cartridge has good neck tension, esp if you picked up any new cases.

bds
April 9, 2014, 12:55 AM
What powders do you have on hand?

cmhellie
April 9, 2014, 07:10 AM
Thanks for the replies so far.

I would love to buy a 10mm. Any suggestions?

Yes setback is a concern for me. My dummy rounds have been dialed in to a COL of 1.125 +/- .005 and the case mouth mikes in at .002 less than the resized diameter.

Currently the powders I have on hand are Unique, AA7 & 9, Win 231, Win 296 and Red Dot.

Rico567
April 9, 2014, 11:01 AM
I would under no circumstances consider reloading 200 grain bullets in my .40 S&Ws. Can it be done? Sure. Should it be done? No, IMHO. Even the 180 grain bullet is a carryover from the days when 10mm emerged, before it was supplanted in popularity by the .40 S&W. In any case, 155 - 180 grains is the maximum range of bullet weights I would consider. I have found 165 gr. to be pretty much ideal for my Glocks, and I load Rainier and Berry 165 gr. plated for plinking and games, and 165 gr. Speer Gold Dots for business.

bds
April 9, 2014, 11:09 AM
Hodgdon actually has load data for 200 gr JHP bullet and W231/HP-38 and if you like, you can reference the load data for the plated 200 gr bullet - http://www.hodgdon.com/basic-manual-inquiry.html
200 gr HDY XTP W213/HP-38 OAL 1.125" Start 3.9 gr (737 fps) 25,900 PSI - Max 4.7 gr (857 fps) 33,400 PSI
Having used 180 gr plated bullets with W231/HP-38 successfully down to 3.8 gr (lighter than 9mm light recoil load but accurate), I would use 3.6 gr as start charge for the 200 gr plated bullet and test 3.8/4.0/4.2 and see how things are accuracy wise.

rbernie
April 9, 2014, 11:28 AM
I would under no circumstances consider reloading 200 grain bullets in my .40 S&Ws. Why not? As far as I know, it's not any more/less safe than loading with any other .400/.401 bullet weight, especially in cast form. Is this a fact-based opinion with data to share, or are you just expressing a strong preference?

I shoot a lot of 40S&W 200gr plinker loads using 5.5gr-5.7gr or so of Unique, which is a full grain under the Alliant 180gr cast load data. They shoot well for me, and the heavier bullet shows absolutely zero tendency to be any more or less prone to setback or any other issue than any other .401 bullet weight.

Rico567
April 9, 2014, 12:26 PM
Why not? As far as I know, it's not any more/less safe than loading with any other .400/.401 bullet weight, especially in cast form. Is this a fact-based opinion with data to share, or are you just expressing a strong preference?

I shoot a lot of 40S&W 200gr plinker loads using 5.5gr-5.7gr or so of Unique, which is a full grain under the Alliant 180gr cast load data. They shoot well for me, and the heavier bullet shows absolutely zero tendency to be any more or less prone to setback or any other issue than any other .401 bullet weight.
Yep. I think that 300 grain bullets can be fired in .45 ACP, too.....but should they? Every caliber has a range of bullet weights that make up a ballistic "sweet spot." If all one cares to do is to prove the extremes to which this can be taken, well, rock on.

jmr40
April 9, 2014, 03:32 PM
The 40 was designed around 180 gr bullets, 200 gr isn't that much of a stretch. Certainly closer than the 135 gr bullets some use.

I don't personally know anything about published data, but if I found data for them I'd start low and work up till I found what worked best. Just the same as with any other round. I do know there are some factory loaded 200 gr bullets out there. My only concern would be lead instead of jacketed. Make sure any data you find is for lead.

GLOOB
April 9, 2014, 05:11 PM
the heavier bullet shows absolutely zero tendency to be any more or less prone to setback
The danger is there's less case volume in what is already a size-efficient cartridge, and it's pushing a heavier projectile. This means that if you do just happen to get some setback, it will cause a higher increase in pressure compared to the same amount of setback behind a shorter and lighter bullet, all else constant. Initial case volume and bullet mass have a significant impact on how the pressure curve builds after ignition, and this affects the rate of burn and subsequent peak pressure.

Notice this is a positive feedback loop. Increased pressure increases burn rate. Increased burn rate increases pressure. You never want to get too close to the breaking point, here, and moving to heavier bullets just naturally gets you closer to this point. This is the same reason why more guns are blown up by relative fast-for-caliber powders. As you move to that end of the spectrum, you have less room for error, is all. Some calibers and loads are just not as forgiving to user error.

If you could find the right powder and charge, you might be able to make a load that would dribble a 300+ grain bullets out of a 40SW, at around 500fps, which is about the minimum speed you can somewhat reliably get a bullet out of a barrel without sticking. But even a small amount of error in charge weight or internal capacity might turn that load into either a grenade or a squib.

bds
April 9, 2014, 05:47 PM
I would gladly exchange some 180 gr plated bullets for 200 gr plated bullets OP has and do the work up using W231/HP-38 and Red Dot.

PM sent.

ATLDave
April 9, 2014, 06:23 PM
I would love to buy a 10mm. Any suggestions?

Currently the powders I have on hand are Unique, AA7 & 9, Win 231, Win 296 and Red Dot.

I love my Tanfoglio/EAA Witness Elite Match in 10mm. Very accurate, and, once set up properly, extremely reliable.

chbrow10
April 9, 2014, 06:23 PM
I've shot lots of 200 grainers in my 1911 and my tanfoligo. No problems to report. Felt the same as my 180 grainers

cmhellie
April 10, 2014, 06:24 AM
To allay some concerns about setback, I have worked up about 20 dummy rounds as I do every time I set up my dies. When I am satisfied that I am at the starting point, I pull all the bullets and toss them into the recycling for some of my casting friends to melt down and reuse.

I bell to about .001 over resize and taper crimp back to resize point.

Unlike past times, when I went to pull the bullets with my inertia hammer, I pounded about 20 time each before the bullet came out. I don't think I have to worry about setback in this situation.

Out of curiosity, what should I be looking for when working up an oddball load? I can't believe I'm asking this question after 20 years of doing this, but I've always been a mainstream, don't rock the boat or push the envelope kind of reloader. Should I be looking for extreme velocity spreads, accuracy in the toilet, both? Other things?

Thanks.

cmhellie
April 10, 2014, 06:28 AM
I would gladly exchange some 180 gr plated bullets for 200 gr plated bullets OP has and do the work up using W231/HP-38 and Red Dot.

PM sent.
PM sent back at ya. Thanks!

cmhellie
April 10, 2014, 06:36 AM
Hodgdon actually has load data for 200 gr JHP bullet and W231/HP-38 and if you like, you can reference the load data for the plated 200 gr bullet - http://www.hodgdon.com/basic-manual-inquiry.html

Having used 180 gr plated bullets with W231/HP-38 successfully down to 3.8 gr (lighter than 9mm light recoil load but accurate), I would use 3.6 gr as start charge for the 200 gr plated bullet and test 3.8/4.0/4.2 and see how things are accuracy wise.
I didn't see a recipe for a 200 gr plated bullet at the Hodgdon site. To date the only recipe I have for a non-jacketed bullet is from Lee's 2nd Edition and here is what I have


Start Gr/Vel - Max Gr/Vel - COL

Accur #7: 7.5 846 - 8.3 931 1.135
Accur #9: 9.5 865 - 10.6C 952 1.135
Win 231: 3.0 669 - 4.0 850 1.135
Unique: 4.8 876 - 5.3 955 1.130
Blue Dot: 7.2 880 - 7.9 960 1.130

I don't personally own Lee's 2nd, so I can't answer any questions about the above.

bds
May 3, 2014, 06:56 PM
UPDATE: I received the sample 200 gr RN plated bullets from cmhellie and successfully range tested them.

They are .400" in diameter, have dished base and have relatively pointed RN. Due to the pointed nose, although longer than 1.220" OAL (Yes, that's not a typo) passed the barrel drop test in factory Glock and Lone Wolf barrels, they were too long to fit in the magazine. 1.160" was the max length that fit the magazine and I ended up using 1.155" OAL for the range test.

At first, I planned on testing W231/HP-38 and Red Dot but since I could not reliably meter 3.0 - 3.8 gr of Red Dot consistently in .2/.3 increments, I just tested W231/HP-38 loads.

Test loads were 3.1 gr, 3.4 gr, 3.6 gr and 3.8 gr of W231/HP-38 and shot from Glock 23 using Lone Wolf barrel at 10 yards.

3.1 gr - Very light recoil and slide still cycled

3.4 gr - Light recoil

3.6 gr - Mild recoil

3.8 gr - Mild/Moderate recoil

All the test rounds fed/chambered without issue and produced around 1.5" five round shot groups.


I would under no circumstances consider reloading 200 grain bullets in my .40 S&Ws.
Why not? As far as I know, it's not any more/less safe than loading with any other .400/.401 bullet weight, especially in cast form. Is this a fact-based opinion with data to share, or are you just expressing a strong preference?
Hopefully my range test will give cmhellie more confidence to conduct powder workup with W231/HP-38.

bds
May 3, 2014, 07:11 PM
Although I think 3.6/3.8 gr would be fine for plinking loads, if you are interested, I can still test 4.0 and 4.2 gr of W231/HP-38 and possibly 3.4 and 3.6 gr of Red Dot with a max of 3.8 gr (I may need to hand weigh the Red Dot charges).

cmhellie
May 5, 2014, 08:26 PM
Don't concern yourself with Red Dot loads. I am more interested in Win 231 as it is what I have most of. thanks for your hard work to date.

cmhellie
May 6, 2014, 07:53 AM
BD, I tested neck tension using my $10 bathroom scale and that passed, so I am confident there won't be any setback; but the depth of the bullet and the fact that the neck of the cartridge bore so high on the ogive looked weird to me. It didn't concern you? And my dummy round was at 1.270 OAL.

Thanks again.

SDGlock23
May 6, 2014, 09:13 AM
To me the 200gr loads in .40 shoot very well, I can't understand why anyone seriously thinks 200's are too heavy for the .40, heck some even think 180's are too much.

I've loaded and shot 220-230gr bullets in the .40 with nary an issue! As for the 200's, I'd recommend of the powders you have either Unique or W231, they both can make for a very low recoil and accurate plinking/gaming load, really some of the most accurate and pleasant shooting .40's I've ever loaded were 200gr plated/hardcasts moving out at 800-something fps, loaded a touch longer to roughly 1.140-1.150".

Buffalo Bore and DT even offer 200gr loads that go up to 1000-1100 fps in the .40, and my favorite is the 200gr WFNGC from Beartooth, it's about the same size as many 180gr bullets and have got them to over 1250 fps in the .40 from a longer 6" barrel, which makes for a dandy 10mm-like woods load for hunting without having to go with the pricey 10mm.

bds
May 6, 2014, 09:54 AM
the depth of the bullet and the fact that the neck of the cartridge bore so high on the ogive looked weird to me. It didn't concern you? And my dummy round was at 1.270 OAL.
The nose profile (ogive) of these bullets are more pointed which allows longer OAL to pass the barrel drop test (that determines the max cartridge length).

But the rounds need to be short enough to fit inside the magazine. For Glock magazines, I needed to decrease the OAL to 1.160" but ended up using 1.155" for reliably feeding/chambering from the magazine and this was the "working OAL" I used for the range test.

Yes at 1.155" OAL, due to the longer nose profile, the bullet base did get seated deeper in the case neck than what I am used to with various 180 gr TCFP bullets and that's why I stopped my initial range test at 3.8 gr of W231/HP-38 instead of going all the way to 4.0/4.2 gr. Based on the range test results, I think higher 4.0/4.2 gr charges would be OK and that's why I offered to test them on the next range trip.

I am still thinking about testing the 4.0/4.2 gr W231/HP-38 loads along with hand weighed Red Dot loads on the next range trip.

I tested neck tension using my $10 bathroom scale and that passed, so I am confident there won't be any setback
I test neck tension by feeding/chambering the round from the magazine and releasing the slide. I think slide slamming the bullet nose on the ramp better duplicates the forces exerted when the rounds are actually fired and slide cycled than simply pushing on the bullet nose.

I used to push on the bullet against the bench top to test neck tension but when the rounds that passed the "push test" showed decrease in OAL when fed/chambered from the magazine, I stopped using the push test.

bds
May 6, 2014, 10:12 AM
200gr loads in .40 shoot very well, I can't understand why anyone seriously thinks 200's are too heavy for the .40
That's what I thought at first but when I received the sample bullets, I noticed the longer/more pointed nose and realized the OP would be concerned about bullet base seating deeper in the case neck to increase chamber pressures.

As indicated in my previous post, I needed to use shorter than 1.160" OAL to fit the magazine which pushed the bullet base deep in the case neck.

Some of you may wonder why I used longer than SAAMI max of 1.135" OAL. Due to the nose shape (ogive) of these bullets, using typical 1.125" OAL would result in extremely deeply seated bullets and unless I used a lot of taper crimp, bullet diameter would be smaller than the case mouth. Many match shooters use longer than 1.135" OAL for typical 40S&W TCFP profile bullets for less gas leakage/more consistent chamber pressures/greater accuracy. For the 40S&W Herco thread, I used upto 1.143" OAL with 180 gr TCFP bullet for greater accuracy loads - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=9362819#post9362819

cmhellie
May 11, 2014, 08:38 AM
Ok, so I am getting ready to load these little suckers after about a month of swapping posts and PMs with all you great folks here, so first off a heartfelt thanks to all and especially BDS for his work and encouragement.

I have some other questions that maybe I should know the answers to, but I don't because I am an extremely type A/by the book/don't rock the boat reloader. So here goes...

BDS's r&d arrived at a COL of 1.155" and this is based off of proper feeding in his Glock. I have a SIG and my mag will allow up to 1.175.
1. What internal difference happens when/if one changes the volume between the projectile and the powder charge?
1a. My head tells me if one increases the volume the pressure falls and if one decreases the volume the pressure rises.
1b. Does it change the velocity or cause extreme spreads? I plan on chronoing my rounds and I will report the findings.
1b1. My head tells me if the pressure falls, the velocity falls and POI would be wider and if the pressure rises the velocity rises and POI would be narrower.

Any other internal dynamics that occurs based on changes in COL or anything are appreciated.

bds
May 11, 2014, 11:44 AM
The working OAL should be determined by the barrel. The reason why I used the magazine to determine the working OAL was because the max OAL for the Glock/Lone Wolf barrels with this particular pointed RN bullet was longer than the length limited by the magazine or the SAAMI max cartridge length of 1.135".

I didn't read in your post whether you determined the max OAL using the Sig barrel but this should be the first step. If the max OAL is longer than 1.175", then you should start with 1.175" to determine your working OAL by feeding the dummy round from the magazine and incrementally decrease the OAL until you have reliably feeding/chambering from the magazine, which would be your working OAL.

Why did I use 1.155" when my magazine allowed 1.160"? Because of variation inherent to reloading due to components/equipment. Since my press bullet seating is done with seating stem pushing on the ogive of the bullet (Lee dies with round seating stem) and not the nose tip, this particular batch of bullets showed enough variation in bullet nose length that translated to variation in OAL. So I used the shorter 1.155" OAL to accommodate the variation in OAL to ensure all the finished rounds fit the magazine.

As to change in chamber pressure in regards to seating depth, I would first wait for you to determine the max and working OAL. If your working OAL is longer than 1.155", then you may be OK using the powder charges tested in your Sig. Since my powder work up was based on the most conservative load data start/max of 3.0-4.0 gr, if your working OAL is shorter than 1.155" (say 1.145"-1.150"), I would consider dropping the start charge by .2-.3 gr and perhaps starting at 2.8 gr and working up from there (but I have a feeling 3.0 gr start charge may be OK).

Let us know what max OAL and working OAL you come up with.

cmhellie
May 12, 2014, 08:19 AM
I actually ended up a little shorter than you. I made some dummys at 1.175 and when I cycled them to check for setback, the ears of the feed ramp made some pretty good gouges in the bullet to a point that I'm pretty sure accuracy would be affected. I dialed my bullet seat down in increments of .01 +/- .005 until I reached the point that no bullets were marred and that was 1.150. This will be my test length. It will probably take me two weeks to get to the range, but I'll get there and report back.

I have read about this feed ramp issue many times and I probably should take all my guns in to have some tuning done, but I haven't.

bds
May 12, 2014, 10:25 AM
Great. Looks like you are headed in the right direction.

Keep us posted as to how the range test goes.

As to feed ramps, with the exception of one tight chambered 1911 match barrel, I have not touched the feed ramp of any factory pistol/barrels and I haven't had much issues with feeding/chambering. Even for feeding SWC loads for tight chambered Sig 1911 and various Lone Wolf barrels.

I would try working with the bullets/loads before I make any changes to the feed ramp.

wally
May 12, 2014, 12:51 PM
I shoot a lot of 40S&W 200gr plinker loads using 5.5gr-5.7gr or so of Unique, which is a full grain under the Alliant 180gr cast load data.

Are you sure of your numbers? I didn't see any cast load data on the Alliant web site.
They give 6.7gr Unique as the load for a 180gr Gold Dot JHP with CCI primer and 1.12" OAL

I use 5.2gr Unique and 180gr hard cast bullets and I'd hardly call them plinker loads -- mixed in a magazine with Gold Dot JHP factory ammo I can't tell which is which when shooting. All I'm saying is my experience with these loads (about all I shoot in .40S&W) I'd be real leery of using more powder with a heavier bullet.

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