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.40S&W, 180gr FMJ, Load Input

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by WrongHanded, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    So I just bought a Lee carbide 4 die set for .40S&W/10mm.

    As I don't have a 10mm (yet, but maybe this year) and do have a few guns chambered in .40, I also ordered 1000 180gr FMJs from RMR.

    I've got a few pounds of Unique hanging around that doesn't have a regular load for it. My storage area isn't quiet overflowing with CCI 500 primers, but I have enough for all those bullets. I have to get brass, but will probably just buy some used range brass if I can. If not, Starline can take more of my money I suppose.

    Any load recommendations with those components? I've got data from a variety of sources, but it's all over the map with Unique and 180gr bullets. I was thinking 6.0gr would be a good goal, but obviously the proof is in the chronograph and targets. I'm not looking for reduced loads, but also don't want to go chasing 10mm performance.

    I figure one of you guys is already doing it with acceptable results. THR really is a great place to share information. :)
     
  2. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Not knowing what you are shooting them through, I suggest starting at 5.5gr and move upwards as experience permits.
    Many of the newer guns have little or no lead (throat) in the chambers and that raises pressures.
    The .40 as loaded by major manufacturers isn’t a timid load.
    I find best accuracy at 85-90% of maximum loads.
    If using used brass be on the look out for “Glocked” brass.

    A while back Precision Delta was selling fired brass in a large flat rate box for ~$50. It amounts to about half of a 5gal bucket of brass. I’ve now got a lifetime supply of .40 brass.
     
  3. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I'll be shooting with either gen 4 stock Glocks, a KKM barrel in a Glock, or stock Sig P22X barrels. I think all are less than a decade old.

    I've heard about the Glock bulge, so I'll look out for it. And I agree that starting lower is prudent.
     
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  4. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    here ya go: 4” STI .40

    180 federal HP 1.147” 6.0 AC
    962
    979
    943
    962
    989
     
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  5. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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  6. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Your load suggestion using Unique is... hodgdon's website? Any particular powder you'd prefer I use, or just hodgdon powder in general?
     
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  7. right winger

    right winger Member

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    Unique will work but there are better choices- I like Ramshot Silhouette, WSF, CFE Pistol, or BE-86. The “glock bulge” only came from early Gen 2 models I believe. I’m sure someone else who knows much more will confirm this to be true or not. Good luck
     
  8. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    I was reading a thread here a few days ago about the SDVE .40 doing it also.
     
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  9. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I’ve got lots of loads for .40’s but no unique ones. Tagging in to see what others like.
     
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  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    No 40S&W "Glock bulge" since Gen3 barrels with tighter chamber and improved case base support. Nowdays, overly expanded/"Glock bulge" cases are from non-Glock barrels.

    :rofl::rofl::rofl:

    Here you go - https://www.speer.com/reloading/handgun-data.html
    • 40S&W 155 gr Speer TMJ FN Unique OAL 1.120" Start 7.2 gr (1048 fps) - Max 8.0 gr (1207 fps)
    • 40S&W 165 gr Speer TMJ FN Unique OAL 1.120" Start 6.2 gr (882 fps) - Max 7.2 gr (1064 fps)
    • 40S&W 180 gr Speer TMJ FN Unique OAL 1.120" Start 6.0 gr (849 fps) - Max 6.7 gr (1000 fps)
    Links to my 40S&W load development with various bullets (lead/coated/plated/jacketed), powders and most accurate powder charges with OALs (Including Guns & Ammo "lite" 40S&W USPSA loads) - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/40-s-w-180g-coated-lead-bullet-data-needed.874760/#post-11635963
    I tested following powders for 40S&W, including for USPSA major/minor loads:
    • Bullseye - Recoil snappy unless loaded to "light" minor PF. Good accuracy
    • Red Dot/Promo - Recoil snappy unless loaded to "light" minor PF. Good accuracy. Almost no muzzle flash
    • Titegroup - You know, burns hot and violent and stuff ... Good accuracy though
    • W231/HP-38 - Good balance of lighter recoil impulse and accuracy. My choice for minor PF loads.
    • Unique - Know any match shooter who uses Unique for their match loads? ;)
    • Universal - Good balance of recoil impulse and accuracy - Meters way better than Unique
    • WSF - Good recoil impulse that pushes rather than snap. My choice for major PF loads and mid level lighter target loads. Powder of choice for decades for loading duplicate factory premium JHP loads due to higher velocities it can achieve compared to other powders.
    • HS-6 - Good recoil impulse that pushes and good accuracy
    • Herco - During previous shortage, tested with very good accuracy and CLEAN burning (I mean, inside the case clean burning). Good recoil impulse
    • Power Pistol - Good recoil impulse and accuracy with basketball sized muzzle flash
    • BE-86 - Replaced WSF due to higher velocities and greater accuracy. It is hands down THE 40S&W powder.
    Why you should load 40S&W longer than SAAMI max of 1.135" (MBC 180 gr lead TCFP with 6.1 gr Herco) - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/40s-w-and-herco-for-lead-plated-bullets.743416/

    [​IMG]

    And the winner is 6.1 gr BE-86 with 180 gr TCFP bullet - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/rmrs-own-line-of-thick-plated-bullets.761471/page-4#post-9646469

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
  11. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Thanks @LiveLife

    Once the Unique is gone, I will start using Power Pistol or BE-86 in its place (depending on application). But right now I've got less than I'd like of those two and more than I need of Unique. Makes sense to burn it up on range ammo.
     
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  12. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    This exactly. If you have any, Accurate No 5 at 7.4gr is the same load, basically, as factory target. I’m shooting a Springfield Armory XDm 4.5” and both of those loads work well with 180gr RNFP jacketed. They’re not hot or cold, pretty much just right.
     
  13. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Start at 5.5gr and work up until POA=POI at 25 yards.
     
  14. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    I’ve settled with Power Pistol under 180 gr bullets as it patterns the best out of my Walther PPQ, Beretta 96 and Glock 32 with a .40 cal barrel.
     
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  15. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    Only that there are many other flavors to use. Understand that you have Unique on hand, but....pick a powder that fills the pistol case (or close), burns clean, excellent accuracy, and acceptable speed. My preference is HS6 ....use in 9mmmmm to 4Four Magnum.
     
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  16. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    I’ve been using the 180gr RMR bullets with 6.5gr of Longshot and its a great practice load. I haven’t done extensive testing but it’s as accurate or better than most factory ammo.
     
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  17. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Update:

    I got bullets and brass to go with the dies, so I set them up and made a dummy. Starline brass and an RMR 180gr FMJ FP at 1.120" OAL.
    IMG_20210912_173831906_HDR.jpg
    It plunks (as do all the others I tested).
    IMG_20210912_174404599_HDR.jpg


    As the Speer and Alliant data both have 180gr jacketed bullets at 1.120" OAL with a max charge of 6.7gr Unique, I aimed to start at 6.0gr (which is starting charge for Speer).

    I loaded 50 rounds. Because Unique doesn't meter very well I ended up with 6.0-6.2gr (I weighed every charge), and an OAL of 1.120-1.122".
    IMG_20210912_173621024.jpg

    Once I see how they shoot, I'll let you guys know.
     
  18. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I made a bunch with Herco and was pretty tickled with how they felt, functioned and grouped.
    I’m usually a Unique man, but Herco really shined in 40s&w with 180s
     
  19. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Once the Unique is gone and I have the 10mm (that is all but inevitable at this point), I will experiment with Power Pistol and BE-86, and just choose one powder for all three cartridges. Both have worked well in .357 Sig, and I think the same will likely be true for .40S&W and 10mm. I can probably use either for the mid level .357 Mag loads for my wife too. Which means I'll be down to 3 powders for all my pistol cartridge loads.

    But for right now, a range load with the Unique seems like the smartest plan if it works half way decently.
     
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  20. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    That's what I found during previous shortage.

    For 40S&W, BE-86 produced the most accurate loads for me.
     
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  21. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    I've used Unique in my .40 S&W, and I've used the RMR 180 grain bullets, but not together. Sorry.

    I've had decent results with the RMR 180 grain using 231, as long as I don't throw a round, lol...

    IMG_20210706_151039385_HDR.jpg
     
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  22. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    WrongHanded, unfortunately for my liking, I've not found a single powder that works exceptionally well in both 40S&W and 10mm. If I had to live with only one powder for both calibers, so far I've found that Longshot works the best for me in my handguns, but I much prefer other individual powders for each caliber: Universal in 40S&W and Blue Dot in the 10mm.
     
  23. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    HS-6?
     
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  24. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    I've never tried it, but it looks like HS-6 will give mid-range velocities in the 10mm. I like my 10mm on the spicy side. If I get the opportunity, I'd try it though...it could deliver improved accuracy.
     
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  25. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Well, I forgot my bags and made do with a hard rest. Even so, I could see that 6.0-6.2gr wasn't very good. I'll call that 6.1gr +/- 0.1gr, and bump it up to 6.3gr for the next 50 rounds.

    Shooting was still fun though. :)
     
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