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Do You Reload .40 S&W?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gary H, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. Gary H

    Gary H New Member

    A shooting friend with 25 years of experience told me that he doesn't reload the .40 because he fears web failure and KB.

    I have limited reloading experience in this caliber. My father recently complained that he should have bought the Walther P99 in 9mm, since the .40 was so much more expensive. He has been shooting Speer 165 and 180gr. Gold Dots and collecting the brass. This is a rather peppy load, but the brass looks good. I know that plated brass is a bit more inclined to fail upon repeated reloading. I've been reading previous threads suggesting that fast powders, bullet setback and leaded barrels are risk factors?

    Plated bullets should take care of the leading. Moderate taper crimps and single chambering should take care of setback. Perhaps lighter bullets would be a bit safers, so would moderate Titegroup 165gr. plated loads be safe and if so, at which reload should I toss brass? ..assuming no obvious brass defects upon inspection.
  2. Arub

    Arub New Member

    I don't know much about the Walther, but I do reload .40S&W for a Glock 23 and a Ruger P944. I use moderate to light loads behind a 180grain FMJ (TMC).

    5.2 grains of Unique (moderate burn rate) is about an 80% of max load. This I use in a Glock 23 for steel plate matches. Minimizes recovery time. This load will not function a Ruger P944. I use 5.6 to 5.8 (90% of max load) grains of Unique shooting the Ruger. For both rounds I load to an OAL of 1.130. No problems encountered. I won't pust to max in either pistol, I am very satisfied with the performance of these loads. All three loads shoot flat, POA = POI at 10 through 25 yards.
  3. dickwholliday

    dickwholliday New Member

    i reload all mine...as a matter of fact i don't think my 40 has ever shot a factory round....i shoot a 180 grain lead bullet in a fully supported ramped barrel....i don't know about the Walther you mentioned but i suspect they've been making barrels long enough to know what it's all about....if i had it i'd be shooting lead in it....as far as brass goes,,,,there is so much 40 around that i don't even pick it up when i shoot it at matches.......Brassman.com has it for 8 bucks per 1000.....the glock is the culpret for most of the Kabooms you hear about in the 40....stay away from the fast burning powders in the 40 and you'll be ok.....another issue with the Glock 40 is the polygonal rifling....it goes not grip a lead bullet very well and will lead.....i don't know about the Walther,if it has polygonal rifling you may want to stay away from the lead bullets.....i shot lead in my glock forty for years and got away with it but i can tell you that the accuracy of lead in the polygonal barrels will suffer.......DICK
  4. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman New Member

    I've reloaded more 40 than all other calibers combined. Mostly on my Lee Load Master. I use lighter bullets to give me more margin for error and to reduce felt recoil. I used Star 165 grain bullets for ages in my Glock 24P. I use Hodgdon Universal for powder and keep the loads around starting give or take depending on where the Auto Disk feels like throwing the charges. With my current baffel that's 5.3 gr.

    I avoid Remington brass because it's thinner case mouth increases the risk of bullet set-back and requires me to re-set my dies. Newer brass may be in spec but I haven't tried it for a while except when it occasionally sneaks in my range pick-up brass.

    For a little more money I think I'm going to switch to the Nosler bulk 135 gr JHP because I get even more muzzle energy and with the extra case volume it doesn't raise pressures signifigantly. Plus the felt recoil is the lowest of any of the bullets I've tried. I'm even using them in my 10mm.

    Things to keep in mind with .40 S&W:
    Always load to as close to maximum COL as possible, or even longer if you have the luxury (as some 1911 race gun shooters do).
    Never use magnum primers.
    Never use questionable brass. If was dented, mangled, bulged, etc use some that isn't. Once fired brass is cheap in 40 and if pick up at the local range often free. Better to throw it out if in question.

    I've messed up and over pressured the .40 in my self destructing unsupported Glock many many times without incedent. I even kept reloading that brass 4 or 5 times.

    The risk is only slightly higher than that of other cartridges, you have to determine if you're willing to take on that extra risk. If you frequently "mess up" reloading and run into problems with other cartridges then avoiding the .40 might be a good idea.
  5. MrMunster

    MrMunster New Member

    As already stated, don't try to push the envelope. Stick to the lighter weight bullets with modest charge rates (80-90% of max) and you should be safe.

    I've loaded and shot upwards of 10k Rainier bullets of the 155 & 165 gr varieties. For my light target loads, I find that 231 works very well. However, I would not recommend this to new reloaders since it is possible to double charge without overflowing the case. I've also found that Unique works well, but is dirtier than 231.

    Make sure not to overcrimp when using plated bullets.

    Here are some of my favorite loads. I've reloaded brass up to 7 times with these loads before seeing signs of case failure.

    Rainier 155gr TFP
    5.0gr Win 231
    1.130 OAL
    light to medium crimp with Lee FCD

    Rainier 155gr TFP
    5.9gr Unique
    1.130 OAL
    light to medium crimp with Lee FCD

    FYI: If you are looking for an inexpensive, high-quality bullet, check out the Rainier 165gr RNFPs on the overstock page at www.lockstock.com. My cost for 6k was under $0.045 per bullet.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2003

    HSMITH New Member

    I load and shoot copious quantities of FULL power 40's for my G22. No worries and no problems. Setback is what is blowing up 40's. Buy good dies, adjust them properly and keep an eye on things. If you do loading 40 is just as safe as anything else.

    Use Power Pistol, it is less sensitive to small changes and does not spike pressures like most if not all other typical 40 powders.
  7. Gary H

    Gary H New Member

    Seems like Titegroup is a bit fast. Is Power Pistol a spherical powder? I ask because my press likes spherical powders. Are you using standard dies, or undersized sizing dies?
  8. NavajoNPaleFace

    NavajoNPaleFace New Member

    My best .40 recipes are:

    For target-180 gr. Round Flat Nose Lead Semi Wad Cutter
    7.2 gr. Accurate 7
    1.135" COL

    Self defense loads-180 Fr. Total Metal Jacket Hollow Point
    4.2 gr. Hodgdon Tite Group
    1.130" COL

    I haven't really seen excessive leading with the wad cutter.

    WESHOOT2 New Member


    Tested in over one hundred guns: R-P/IMI/Fed case, Rainier 180g TCJ-FP, CCI500, 6.0g Alliant Power Pistol, OAL 1.130"+.005"/-.005".

    Av = 916fps

    Ensure sufficient case neck tension; I use an undersized sizer for used cases.
  10. Arub

    Arub New Member

    This is turning out to be one of the best 'reloading .40S&W' threads I have seen on any of the boards I frequent. Keep the recipes coming, folks.

    And thanks to those who already contributed.
  11. dickwholliday

    dickwholliday New Member

    look no further than right here for real world reloading data......real guns and real people sharing their data...... i always look here first for 40 and 38 super http://home.columbus.rr.com/jmaass/ipscload.htm


    PS.... i printed these pages because as sites sometimes do "They disappear"
  12. jw29650

    jw29650 New Member

    I also load the 40S&W for a P99. I use VV3N37 and it work real well. I also use a LEE factory crimp die to make sure the mouth is crimped after it has been belled to seat the bullet. I use what ever brass is available. I started using 180 gr bullets but now have switched to 165 Remington golden saber from Midway. I use the Lee auto disk powder measure set the same as I use for loading 9mm rounds.

  13. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman New Member

    Yes, the Lee factory crimp die is almost manditory for really consistant pistol ammo. I love it and you can finally get Lee die sets with it included.
  14. JimC

    JimC New Member


    I've been doing so since 1990 when I purchased my first G22.

    I have or currently load for:

    G22 (2)
    Walther P99 (2)

    I've loaded thousands upon thousands of rounds of .40 S&W ammo without a single problem with either ammo or pistol(s), contrary to what has been written many times.

    I think one who loads for the .40 S&W, especially in a Glock pistol with is more than generous lack of case support at the 6 o'clock position, must use a degree of caution when choosing their components, maybe a little more than with other calibers but not overly so.

    Yeah, I agree that lead is out for the Glock rifling but, that being said, in the beginning I loaded and fired a ton of 175 gr. lead SWCs thru that G22 at MAX or "major" levels for IPSC shooting many years ago! :eek: :)

    I rarely load "full max" and, like I said, I've only loaded lead bullets in the very beginning.

    I like and shoot a lot of the Winchester 180 gr. FMJTC bullet. I've found it quite acurate at all velocity levels. I'll say it's my all time favorite .40 bullet to load. Their 165 gr. FMJ isn't bad either.

    I've tried a few of the plated bullets but not all of them. I've never found one that shoots as well as the Winchester bullet.

    I used to load a very low charge of WST in a Winchester case, Fed. #100 primer and the Winchester 180 gr. FMJTC bullet for my G24C for GSSF shooting and did quite well with it. The velocity was just under 700 fps with very little recoil. Most of the time it would not function with a stock 17 lb. recoil assembly.

    I've had great success with both AA #5 (full power or slightly less) and WST for target loads.

    I never use the same brass for the higher velocity loads more than three times and if any look suspicious, especially in the web area, I discard them right away. This is a real good reason to mention that I NEVER use "range brass" that I might find lying around.

    I like to use Starline or Winchester brass with Fed. #100 primers nearly 100% of the time.

    I've had access to a lot of LE fired CCI brass and found it to be crap for good reloads. :(

    I don't like Remington .40 S&W brass either. It doesn't seem to hold up like Winchester or Starline does.

    So, load for your .40 S&W with due caution and respect fo it and enjoy it. :D
  15. torlang

    torlang New Member

    Have been reloading .40 for years, using 155 GD, 180 GD and lately 165 GD exclusively, using W231 in Glock 27 and Glock 23. I must have shot at least 15K through the 27 using 155's and 180's. No problems, no misfires,KB or anything else. Using a Dillon SD which is about 12 years old. My 23 is a newer gun and have shot roughly 1500 rounds through it, no problems of any kind.
    Last load made: 6.2 gr W231 behind Speer Gold Dot 165 gr clocked over the crony at anywhere from 1080-1110 fps (G23)

    Pay attention to what you're doing, specially if you're using W231, as this is a very fast powder. But very reliable, very consistent and very clean.

    Note: I use a RCBS carbide resize die for the .40 in a RCBS press just for resizing. The Dillon SD carbide resize die don't resize all the way down, at least mine don't.
  16. Khornet

    Khornet New Member

    I've been happy

    with Accurate #5, 7.3 gr, Rainier 165 gr plated bullet, Rem. 61/2 primer, various brass in my G22. Also did fine with Unique.
  17. MAUSER88

    MAUSER88 Member

    I shot 3000 rounds of 180 grain lead through my G23 using Unique powder with no problems at all. I load two columns off the max. in the book.
  18. Jeeper

    Jeeper New Member

    Yep. I load and shoot about 3000 rounds a month of 180gr MG JHP with VV N320.
  19. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho New Member

    I reload moderate .40 S&W loads. The Glock 22 never saw a lead or plated reload. But the USP (with standard barrel) Sig Pro, and XD have all eaten up the reloads with no problems.
  20. Drewcat

    Drewcat New Member

    I have reloaded thousands and thousands of rounds for use in my Glock 35 for IPSC competition. I do have an aftermarket KKM barrel that offers some additional support (also has traditional rifling) but I don't think it is necessary. I've got a buddy who shots the stock barrel and has brass that looks like belted magnum rounds. He continues to shoot this brass with no KBs yet!

    My load: 5.2 gr Universal Clays, Winchester small pistol primer, 180 gr TMJ Montanna Gold bullet, various brass (Mainly once fired from Midway).

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