Finally Bought A .40 S&W. Bullet Suggestions?

Not open for further replies.


Apr 3, 2009
Finally bought a .40 S&W semi in an HK P30.

Any suggestions on the best bulk bullets I should consider, in particular bullet weight?

Look on Midway for Winchester Bonded in a plain jane white box. Same bullet as their PDX1 line with a brass instead of a nickel case. PDX1 = $20-25 for 20 rounds & the Bonded = $18 for 50 rounds. Best deal I've found, bullet feeds and expands nicely.
My two favorites are Nosler 135gr JHP's and my Lee 401-175-TC's. I used the 135gr Longshot loads from the Hodgdon site. I stopped when I duplicated the published 357 mag 125gr velocities with the 135gr HP.
I've been loading everything from 135 gr. JHP's to 165 g JHP's with Longshot and HS6 for a long time and with really good performance results.

As for bullet make and brand, for economy JHP's the Nosler bulk pack 250 ct It's a pretty good deal for a general self defense round, and a not too expensive shooting load. I think they are 155 gr.?

My favorite self defense load though are 155 gr. Gold Dots and 155 gr. XTP's. Kind of spendy, but when you consider what 20 rounds of factory SD go for, which is $25 I think, they really don't seem all that expensive to reload and shoot some of.

I have been loading a butt load of Missouri Bullet IDP #7 with 231/HP-38 for some soft plinking accurate fun. They function flawlessly in everything I have.
I like Zero bullets from Powder Valley, when they get them back in stock.

However, I just started casting 175gr bullets using a lyman mold.
Hows is casting? I have made sinkers all my life but want to reload as economical as I can. I have a 40 semi what mold would be good for that?

I'm using Lyman mold 401638, sized to 0.401". It does cost money to get into bullet casting, furnace, mold, mold handles, lubrisizer press, sizing die and top punch, plus bullet lube. Then you can start saving money.
I am not aware of Hornady making a 185 grain .40 bullet.

They make several 180's, and they are all excellent bullets.
The 180 XTP is one of the most accurate bullets I have shot in my Glock 23.

I just ordered some of Berry's 165gr Plated FP. They had a good price.

If you are not going to cast your own, Penn Bullet company has a .40 caliber 165 grain truncated round that is excellent and will have a close point of impact similar to Remington's self defense rounds.

My only caution is that from time to time, in the past, I have had some issues with the company. I cast my own now and use 175 grain Lyman mold. I was given a web site on this forum for Magma corporation and looked at their molds. I was sent some sample bullets from a member of this forum and found them to be OUTSTANDING. They were rounds made from Magma equipment.

Oregon Laser cast are good but a bit expensive.
Im testing the berrys 180 gr jhp and when seating tge bullet in the case I get a ring around the end of the bullet tip. The die is putting a ring around the tip of the jhp. Is that normal?

I have @ 200 lbs of lead do cast bullets shoot as well or better than manufactured bullets or precise reloads? Or just a trash plinking round?

I've used the Rainier 165 gr. bullets with great success, and I really like the 180 FMJ bullets from Precision Delta. Precision Delta's prices are quite good as well.
Clinton, probably from a ransom rest at 50 yards you can tell a difference in grouping between good cast bullets and jacketed, but from the free human hand at handgun target distances I think not.
I have had great luck with the rainier electroplated bullets. I run the 165 grain RNFP in all of my .40S&W firearms, which is my primary caliber, so it's quite a few. They digest wonderfully.

Make sure to load 10% light on powder as they are essentially lead only bullets with just a tiny coat of copper.
What are the tolerances for 40 sw? Book shows 1.115 and with threloading the oals were 1.113 to 1.1165. Is that bad? Wish they listed tolerances....

This thread is divergent. But anyways, for .40, the most accurate bullet I have used is the 180 grain XTP. Aside from that, for general shooting, I prefer the 165 grain FMJ or plated. At typical 165 grain velocities, you won't be stripping the plating.
Not open for further replies.