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Loading lead bullets in .40 SW

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Stormin.40, May 12, 2011.

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  1. Stormin.40

    Stormin.40 Member

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    Okay,

    A couple of basic questions. What would I need to change to be able to load the .40 S&W with Lead, currently have a receipe that I like with 165 gr. FP plated bullets from Rainer but thought I could save even more if I used lead.

    Do most come lubed, do they need to be lubed? What are gas checks, and do I need them?

    I realize these are basic questions just looking to get pointed in the right direction.
     
  2. Sin City Shootist

    Sin City Shootist Member

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    Most do come lubed. Gas checks are used to control gas seepage from cutting the base of the bullet causing leading. I have not seen any 40 S&W with gas checks, yet.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    I don't know of any company selling unsized & unlubed pistol bullets.
    Lubing is just part of the sizing process with any cast bullet.

    I also don't know of anyone selling gas-check bullets for the .40.
    And you can't just add them to any old bullet you happen to have.
    The bullet mold has to be made to cast a gas-check bullet design or there is no place for them to fit on the base of the bullet.

    Again, the gas check is crimped in place during sizing & lubing.

    Anyway, you do not need gas checks at normal .40 lead bullet pressure & velocity.

    Try Missouri Bullet for correct hardness & selection.
    http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php?pageNum_rsCWResults=0&category=5&secondary=11

    rc
     
  4. MulticalinMO

    MulticalinMO Member

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    I load IDP#5 from Missouribullet.com with 5 gr. of Bullseye and they are a pretty snappy load. Works great in everything I have tried it in. According to the owner of the bullet company, those are good up to 1400 FPS, but if you want to go faster than that use jacketed or a gas check. To me it just doesn't make sense to use anything else under 1400 FpS.

    According to one manual, 5.1 gr. of Bullseye with a 180 gr. lead projectile will give 970 FPS, and I load 5.0 gr. so it will be just a bit less than that.

    Good Luck
     
  5. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

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    I shot a lot of 40S&W (several hundred thousand) and it's been my favorite caliber the past 16 years.

    Although I shot mostly jacketed bullets (Montana Gold), I shot plenty of plated bullets and lately, lead.

    When I first transitioned to lead, I started with the 180 gr TCFP with about 4.0 gr of W231/HP38. As with reloading any other lead bullets, I slightly increased the case neck flare to not shave the bullet side during seating.

    I have reloaded lead 40S&W bullets with several different powders and have gotten good results. I am gearing up to do a lead 40S&W bullet/powder comparison test and perhaps I will post my results here (8 bulllets and 9 powders).
     
  6. kfox

    kfox Member

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    My pet load for the 40 with 180 tcfp MO bullets is 5.4 grains of Unique, I chrono them at 974 avg. Good shooting load. With the 140 TCFP's I use 6.0 gr but have never run them across my chronograph. I have had no trouble with leading in any of my Glocks with these loads.
     
  7. Steve Koski

    Steve Koski Member

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    Stormin,

    To get the same recoil feel from lead bullets, back off your powder charge a bit.

    Koski
     
  8. Brian10

    Brian10 Member

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    I load Missouri 170gr SWC with 3.15 grains of Clays. There's nothing extra to do in terms of lead bullets, plated, and jacketed as long as you buy the lead bullets and not cast them yourself.
     
  9. Stormin.40

    Stormin.40 Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I was looking at Missouri Bullet, seems they do a good job on adjusting the hardness of the lead to meet the requirements of the load.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  10. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I can't say this as fact, but I've "read" that lead bullets don't work well in hexagonal barrels. What kind of gun will these be fired in? Rifled barrel or hexagonal? (or whatever it's called)
     
  11. Sin City Shootist

    Sin City Shootist Member

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    No problems in my G21's.
     
  12. Minnesota Wild

    Minnesota Wild Member

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    I've shot a goodly amount of lead in my 40. The loads are accurate, but much dirtier than with jacketed bullets. Glock does not recommend shooting lead bullets in their guns due to their barrels having polygonal rifling.
     
  13. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

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    <Rant On>

    This is The High Road - I think we really need a "read the OP first before responding" rule added to the forum rules. :rolleyes:

    The OP never mentioned that he/she was using a Glock. :D Stormin.40 just asked what he needed to do to shoot lead bullets in 40S&W.
    Besides, many have shot lead bullets in Glock's hexagonal polygonal hill/valley rifling with good success. I shoot lead bullets in my Glocks and like rcmodel, recommend inspecting and keeping the barrel clean (~200-300 rounds) of any leading/fouling build up near the chamber end of the barrel that may lead to obstruction/increased chamber pressure if left unchecked.

    Like most other gun manufacturers, Glock also has "Do not recommend shooting of reloads" policy. BUT, have you stopped to think and question what do numerous factory sponsored match shooters/teams shoot? Yup, their own "custom spec" reloads, even for the Glock factory team.

    This is The High Road and most members adhere to the general reloading safety principles but I think keep posting "Do not shoot reloads in Glocks because they said so" falls flat on the ground in the face of tens of thousands that shoot reloads in their pistols everyday. I have shot several hundred thousands of reloads (jacketed/plated/lead/moly) out of my Glocks with most of them being 40S&W and will continue to shoot reloads until I can't shoot anymore.

    Peace. :D

    <Rant Off>
     
  14. Stormin.40

    Stormin.40 Member

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    I am planning to use these in a Beretta PX4 Storm. My main questions were answered but I would be interested if others have further tips.

    I don't plan to push the lead bullets too fast just wanted more economical components so I can shoot more often. I am planning to use HS-6, I like the results with plated bullets, though it is dirty. I didn't like titegroup and plan to use what I have left for .38 special loads.
     
  15. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    BDS, make sure you try WSF for lead in the .40. I use the non-canister equivalent and it's wonderful. But if you want the .40 to scream with light bullets, use Longshot.

    Stormin.40, you want medium burn rate powders with low temperature. HS6, #5, WSF, are what I'm talking about, but #5 isn't economical and HS6 burns a little hotter than the others which can lead to leading. WSF is just about perfect for lead bullet loads in auto pistol cartridges. I recommend you start there before you venture out. Fast powders like Clays, #2, Titegroup, etc burn too hot for good results with lead.

    You have to tune your load to your gun. Don't give up. It's about sizing, hardness, lube type, and powder selection to get a worry free load for your gun.
     
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