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Need help with .40 recipe, please...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by UKWildcatFan, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. UKWildcatFan

    UKWildcatFan Well-Known Member

    I'm using Bullseye and I need a good range for a Rainier 180g plated HP. I cannot find this bullet in any manual. Thanks!
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Berry Bullet says in the website FAQ to use mid-range jacketed bullet data for their plated bullets.

    Find data for a 180 jacketed bullet of the same shape and use the starting load data to start, then work up to mid-range loads.

    Personally though, I think Bullseye is about as bad a powder choice for 180 in the .40 as you can make.

    Use a mid range burn rate like Unique for less chance of pressure spikes if a bullet sets back in feeding.

    Fast powder reaches peak chamber pressure before maximum velocity is achieved.
    Slow powder pushes on the bullet over a longer time frame before reaching Max allowable pressure for the caliber.

    Think of it as trying to move a bowling ball.

    You can hit it as hard as you can with your fist. (fast powder)
    And break your fist without moving the bowling ball very fast.

    Or you can give it a hard shove with the palm of your hand, and give it a more gradual acceleration without hurting yourself. (medium or slow powder)

    It is possible to move the bowling ball much faster by pushing it then by smacking it as hard as you can.
    And you won't break every bone in your hand!

  3. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    Closest published data is 4.6g for a jacketed bullet (Hornady) and 5.5g from Alliant's web guide. I know that's a big gap, but Alliant often lists max loads.

    I use anywhere from 3.8g for light loads (840fps) to 5.0g for 1000fps out of a 4.25" S&W M&P40 with a COL of 1.135" using Xtreme Plated bullets. Since casting I found almost identical performance with the Lee 401-175TC (which drop out at 180g for me). Sized to .401 and seated to the same depth, I get the same velocities. I have since settled on 4.0g (875 fps) for regular practice loads and this lenght and load feed and cycle the gun just fine.

    You might want to heed RC's advice, but BE works very well for me. I am very careful in my loading and always look into each case to ensure no double charges using an LED lamp shining into the case prior to placing the bullet in the seating stage. BE is more dense than Unique and there is a bigger chance to miss seeing a double charge.
  4. JC98

    JC98 Well-Known Member

    Watch your fps. Plated bullets should be under 1200 fps. I use either the starting load for FMJ or a mid range lead load and chrono to make sure I am not exceeding. I don't have data for 180gr but load 155gr berry bullets with 5.2gr of Win231. Not at the bench but think that puts me in the 1050-1100 fps range.

    Here is a list of powder burn rates.

    I use Win 231 for a lot of my pistol loads. It's close to Unique.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Alliant has ALWAYS listed MAX loads only.
    You are expected to reduce 10% for the Starting load.

    They say in bold print in the Alliant powder guides.
  6. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Hollow Point (HP) bullet will have longer base than typical Truncated Cone Flat Point (TCFP) bullet and be seated deeper in the case neck. I would reduce the start charge by another .2-.3 gr for Bullseye if using load data for TCFP.

    +1 for rcmodel's comment on Bullseye being too fast for comfort in 40S&W. Besides, it produces more snappier recoil than 40S&W already is.

    FWIW, I have used Rainier 180 TCFP (not HP) with 3.8-4.1 gr of W231/HP-38 for light recoil and 4.3-4.5 gr for mild recoil and very accurate target loads with no pressure issues. YMMV depending on recoil spring rate.
  7. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    I've also used Unique, Red Dot and Power Pistol with 40 S&W and agree that Unique is probably the best all around powder for the cartridge with Red Dot being good for ridiculously light recoil loads that keep the action working and PP for max velocity loads.

    The OP asked for Bullseye loads and while I agree that Bullseye may not be the optimum powder for 40S&W, it is certainly a capable powder for mid range (800-1000fps) loads at a very economical price.

    Since I worked up loads for 40, 45ACP, 38SP and 357 magnum and light .308win with Bullseye and found that it works well for my purposes (general purpose target shooting), I made a small "commitment" to it and bought a 4# jug for $57 at the LGS. It burns dirty if undercharged, but like Unique, cleans up nicely when loaded up to its proper operating pressure (about 13 to 14,000 psi) leaving only soot rather than unburned flakes everywhere. That's right around 4.0g.

    Now that I am able to do a QL run, I would recommend going no higher than 4.7g for your Rainier 180g Plated HP seated to 1.135". That still gives you a 25% margin in max pressure and should give you about 980 fps in a 4.25" gun. If you seat shorter, you will generate more max pressure sooner so act accordingly.

    As others have said, start low, work your way up and stop when you find your best accuracy, max recoil for your comfort, or any signs of excessive pressure on the cases.
  8. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Well-Known Member

    power pistol is used to make my 40 S&W 180 gr.
    try for a velocity in the mid to upper 800's

    rcmodel is correct about bullseye;
    i use it in short bbl guns...under 3.5"
  9. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    Forgive me, but Berry's Bullets know squat about their junk, since they do NOT test any of their stuff themselves, try Lyman's 49th edition for load data.

  10. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Recommend you use a slower powder for 180gr bullets in .40S&W. I like HS-6.
  11. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    jim, with all due respect, with what basis are you making your statement?

    I do believe Berry's MFG conducts certain amount of limited product testing (like in the case of new premium hollow point bullets) but lack the proper facilities to conduct full-range pressure testing to publish load data. There are limited amount of published load data currently available (done with actual Berry's MFG plated bullets) and more to be released when more comprehensive testing is done by powder manufacturers.

    Accurate load data (version 3.5) for Berry's (BRY) and Rainier (RAN) plated bullets.


    This is from Hodgdon load data


  12. LightningMan

    LightningMan Well-Known Member

    I'm using Bullseye for the .40 S&W but mostly for 180 gr. lead bullets. My favorite load is 4.2 grs of Bullseye with Missouri cast bullets. When using Rainier or Berry's plated bullets I go with Accurate #2 or #5, as there is data for them. LM
  13. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    OP, be careful. Berry's and Rainier's are not the same bullet. Rainier's recommends lead data for their bullets. You might think they're all the same. I did. Until I tried subbing Rainier 155 gr FP's in the loads I worked up with Berrys 155 gr FP. They proved too hot for my Glock. Fortunately, I had another pistol which gladly ate 'em up.
  14. UKWildcatFan

    UKWildcatFan Well-Known Member

    First, thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate it. I've been researching my manuals and Lyman 49th shows a 180g JHP with W231 range of 5.0g - 5.6g, 927fps and 1015fps, respectively. I'll start at 5.0, load a couple mags and then do the same for
    5.2g and 5.4. I'll take them to the bench, bag rest my Kahr CW45 and see what works best. Think of this as Kahr Madness as I'll have a tournament for powders to find that best load for myself and my Kahr. Then, on to the next powder and/or gun. Does anyone see an issue with my range I'm starting with up at the top of this post? Thanks, again.
  15. UKWildcatFan

    UKWildcatFan Well-Known Member

    I meant my CW40.
  16. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Not so fast. I would suggest more like 3.8-4.0 gr to start. Here's why.

    Rainier Ballistics recommends you use lead load data for their plated bullets, not jacketed load data.

    Besides, Lyman #49 used .401" groove diameter 4" test barrel instead of more typical .400" and start/max powder charges are higher than other load data (I don't know what Lyman technicians were thinking when they did that :rolleyes:).

    So, unless your groove diameter is oversized at .401", I tend to reference powder manufacturer's published load data.

    Hodgdon load data:
    I think it's better to start at lower start charge than at published max ... ;)

    As to lead load data for W231, I reference 1999 Winchester load data:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  17. UKWildcatFan

    UKWildcatFan Well-Known Member

    bds, I really appreciate your info here. Really good help.
  18. UKWildcatFan

    UKWildcatFan Well-Known Member

    One last question, if I start at 3.8g and work up in .2g increments, what would you say would be a max up to "mid range?"
  19. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    That will be up to you and your pistol/recoil spring rate.

    I get reliable slide cycling/spent case extraction even with 3.8 gr of W231/HP-38 and Rainier/Berry's 180 gr TCFP plated bullets using M&P40/Glocks.

    3.8-4.1 gr will produce lighter recoil than 9mm yet accurate loads.

    4.2-4.3 gr will produce mild recoil/accurate loads.

    4.5 gr will start to increase the recoil more typical of 40S&W and still be accurate. For Rainier 180 gr TCFP, I would consider 4.5 gr "mid range" as using .420" taper crimp, I have yet to experience plating separation from the lead core even when loaded towards max load data.

    If you don't experience decrease in accuracy, you can try the work up towards 5.0 gr while looking for pressure signs/issues.
  20. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Well-Known Member

    just did 6grs Unique w/ 155 plated 40S&W 1.13OAL shot real well

    As stated elsewhere, Unique's been hittng the ball good for many decades...

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