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Favorite powder for 165 grain .40 loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by caz223, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    I am having trouble finding an accurate load for my .40 caliber pistols.
    Any 165 grain load data that has worked for you would be appreciated also.

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Universal Clays, Power Pistol and 800X in that order is what I would recommend you try for an accurate load. One key is going to be a case full or nearly full of powder for consistent ignition. The 40 LIKES pressure, so as long as the pressure signs are safe and you are not at max keep working up until you see pressure signs or hit the top end of the data. Midrang loads at the minimum OAL will also generate the pressure needed for consistency. Get some Winchester or Federal primers, NO MAGNUM PRIMERS!! The last thing I would look at is making sure the bullet is not "tipping" slightly in the case on some loads. It is quite easy to do and ruins accuracy.

    Hope this helps.
  3. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, will try all three.
  4. usp_fan

    usp_fan Well-Known Member

    For 165 grn. lead reloads out of my usp compact, I've had great luck with Win. 231.

    Accurate, and when used for Bowling Pin matches, the pins move right back off the table.

  5. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos Well-Known Member

    I actually just tried an experiment with Universal Clays and Power Pistol in 165 grain bullets. Guns used were a HK USP Compact (4.5 Barrel), Glock 24C (6 in comp barrel), and Beretta 96fs (5 in barrel).

    Both loads are rather accurate, and the Power Pistol seemed to be a bit better (but that may be New Load Bias there).

    The Power Pistol is a bit hotter by nature, so recoil was a touch sharper and muzzle flash was a bit brighter. Overall, to me at least, these two powders are pretty close. I haven't chrono'ed them yet, but I would imagine the Power Pistol will be faster. Plus, the loads were book starter loads, so they aren't very tailored yet. That's when I start chrono'ing and getting serious about the accuracy.

    Also, I compared PP to Blue Dot in some .357 mag loads. Blue Dot brighter flash, PP much sharper recoil. (This was 125 grain out of a 2.25 SP101.)

    I use Blue Dot in 180 grain 40 loads, but haven't shot 180s in forever since my Beretta (and my friend's HK and Glock) like the 165s.
  6. Khornet

    Khornet Well-Known Member


    I've used W231, around 5.0-5.3 grains if I recall, with good results. I've also done a lot with Unique. Unique fills up the case better and I've gotten better accuracy than with 231 but I like them both.
  7. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    I am unable to locate power pistol locally.
    I guess I'll start with clays.
    I use unique for .45 (With very good results.), but it never occured to me to try it in .40 .... just seems like it would burn too fast.
  8. euclid

    euclid Well-Known Member

    Be sure to get UNIVERSAL CLAYS not CLAYS. There's a big difference between the two. Clays is a much faster-burning powder and the .40 likes medium burn rate powders, like UNIVERSAL CLAYS.

  9. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, euclid.
    I would have prolly screwed that up.
  10. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    Examining my burning rate chart, it seems that I have two powders (in stock) that may be possible matches for the sweet spot in .40, unique, and HS-6.
    I will try unique first, the holdup may be how it flows through my dillon powder measure.

    It would seem that bullseye is too fast for .40 (and doesn't fill the case full enough.)

    I haven't found a load that bullseye works for.
    I've given up on it.
    Even though I don't like flake powder, blue dot and unique are awesome powders in their own right.
  11. Khornet

    Khornet Well-Known Member

    Reviewing my handloading log

    I see that among 231, Bullseye, and Unique that I've used over the years, Unique is the clear winner.
  12. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Well-Known Member

    I've used Universal for a LONG time with good results. I was a part of Kamicosmos' test and and the Power Pistol were very good loads. Better than the American Eagle factories I was shooting for comparison and better than my own loads.

    Part of the accuracy of them came from the fact that they were loaded on his single stage and mine were loaded on my progresive. Still, the powder was definately not at fault and worked particularly well in the shorter barrelled guns. My only complaint was that it had quite a bit more flash than the other loads.

    The differance wasn't signifigant enough in my Glock for me to switch but in the HK compact it was pretty noticble and had about the same felt recoil.
  13. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    Of the three loads that I tested today, unique was the clear winner.
    Bullseye was closer than I'd like to admit,and HS-6 didn't do as well as I had hoped.
    I guess I'll have to crank out some more unique loads and do an informal info-gathering session with a few friends to eliminate load bias.
    Thanks to all for the replies, and info, it was very helpful.
  14. Samgotit

    Samgotit Well-Known Member

    For those using Clay's Universal (Universal Clay's Technology), can you give your load data?
  15. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Well-Known Member

    Clays will not measure consistently in any powder measure I have. Tightgroup on the other hand was very consistent and performed great.
  16. kennedy

    kennedy Well-Known Member

    .40 with 165gr rainiers so far
    5.0 gra of win 231
    4.9 gr of universal
    I tried 4.6 of win 231 but did not always cycle the action. I am going to try both win231 and universal with hotter loads up to max to see what happens.
  17. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    I buy all my powder and primers from Schanz's in Otsego, just bought a 4# jug of PP.
    I load 165gr Win TC bullets over 6.4gr PP, runs about 940fps through my G23, very accurate:)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2008
  18. kk5ib

    kk5ib Active Member

    My old favorite was SR-4756, settling on about 7.5 gr with Remington 165 gr Golden Sabers. Have gone as low as 7.0 and as high as 8.0 grs, gun is a Ruger KP944DAO stainless DAO. Info is from Sierra Vol V. I don't like fast powder like 231 in semi-auto pistols, part of a gr can make a large difference in pressure. New favorite is Power Pistol, 7.5 to 7.8 grs as per Speer #14. With slower burning powder, part of a gr more or less doesn't seem to effect pressure and accuracy as much.
  19. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    I've tried Unique, Bullseye, W231 and Bluedot in 40S&W. For general plinking I'll take Unique followed closely by W231 and Bullseye. For hot loads, Bluedot is lots of fun.
  20. XD-40 Shooter

    XD-40 Shooter Well-Known Member

    165 grain Ranier, 6 grains Unique, CCI 500 primer = accurate, mild recoil, target load.:D Unique rocks in the 40, its the only powder I use.:)

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