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Thread: 40 S&W and Bullseye

  1. #1
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    40 S&W and Bullseye

    For the good of the order... I Have been loading 40's with 10.5 gr. Accurate#9 and a tight crimp. It shoots ok, but leaves some unburned powder. A knowledgeable friend suggested I use magnum primers. I didn't have any, so I swtiched th Bullseye. (I already use bullseye for 9mm and 38 DEWCs.).

    The Lee and Speer manuals recommend a start weight of 5 gr. So I started with 5 gr. but kept the tight crimp. The results were very surprising! Those rounds fired like full power loads! I'm thinking the crimp is too tight. Yes?
    Jon

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...aspx?gtypeid=1
    I never thought the crimp would matter, except for accuracy and holding the bullet in place.
    I can't imagine it would raise the pressure that much.
    The link above is for the Alliant website for pistol/revolver cal's., 5.0 gr. would be a starting load (10%) under their max. load for 180 gr. jacketed bullets.
    So if you have acceptable accuracy (w/ 5.0 gr.), I wouldn't worry about the powder charge or pressure.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Bullseye will work fine in the 40 s&w but not for full loads ! The crimp should only be tight enough to stop the bullet from pushing in the case when transitioning from magizine to feed ramp and no tighter , if you crimp to much you will change the head space as the 40 headspaces on the case mouth , unfortuneatly i have no prefered crimp demnsion for the 40 s&w to give you .
    I would also use a powder that uses a lower charge weight to acheive the desired velocity for economy. A med burning powder should be able to achevie full velocity.
    In the cartrages that ive used AA #9 in ive allways used mag primers

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    Thanks bobthenailer...I've backed off the crimp. Its a light crimp now...enough to prevent bullet set-back. I hope that will lighten the felt recoil. Otherwise it was good shooting and cycled the action very well.
    Jon

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    ive tried AA#9 in the 38 super with good results ! but you have to use too many grs of powder to get that velocity that can be done with a faster burning powder and a lower charge weight.

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    IMO Bullseye is just a tad fast for my preferences.. on crimping an auto pistol round, you just need enough to take the flare from the case mouth. If the case mouth is .420" that is just about perfect.. anything more and there can be headspacing issues. If it is cycling the action, then that should be good enough. Unless you are shooting competition and need to make a specific "power factor" then chrono'ing the ammo is not neccesary.. unless you are curious..

    I tend to like a single based powder over the double based propellants.. in my experience, they tend to be less smoky. Tightgroup is another fast burning high nitro powder that people like.. with a 180, the starting load starts around 4.2 gr and the max charge hovers around 4.7 gr. I stopped using it due to the smoke issues.

    Going from Accurate #9 to Bullseye is a big jump powder wise.. AA#9 is one of the slowest pistol powders on the market.. in the range of Alliant 2400, Hodgdon H110 and Win 296. Those powders are usually reserved for the magnum calibers. Bullseye is one of the fastest powders on the market.. it goes along with Titegroup, 700x, Red Dot, AA#2, Nitro 100 and the like. I am not surprised that AA#9 was leaving unburned powder.. I believe AA#5 and AA#7 are more suited for the 40.. something in the mid to mid slow burning for maximum velocity. But if what you are using works and is accurate, then keep on using it.

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    I read another thread about loading 40 SW bullets. A couple comments suggested Unique would be a good powder for 40's. What do you think?

  8. #8
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    Unique is kind of a middle of the pack, good for most powder. Most people I know are competition shooters, so they tend to go for the fast burners. Unique works ok in just about every pistol cartridge I know of (and likely a few I don't know about).. It's not going to get max velocity, and the charge weights are more than the fast burners, but it does work.

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    Unique would be a better choice but if you have a supply of Bullseye, use it. Keep it toward the middle of the scale of the give load data. I use AA #5 as my go to powder for 9mm and .40 S&W

    Shiloh
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    Thanks,

    I'm using Bullseye for 9mm (3.9 gr), and 38s (2.7 gr) with very good results. -- I'm loading the minimum charge weight for the 40 (5.0 gr). -- and FYI, my bullets are the Lee 401-175 gr. TC. with a COL of 1.140"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    The taper crimp really doesn't do much to hold the bullet in place. A light crimp doesn't do anything at all to hold the bullet in place.

    Should you doubt, it's easy to discover how to test this. It's best to figure the crimp turns in the mouth flare from the expanding step and is a reliability aid, and no more.

    Because that's what it is really doing.

    The load you're shooting feels like a full power load because it is pretty much a full power load. At least, it will replicate the velocity of comparable weight factory ammo in a "close enough" fashion. The crimp doesn't have anything to do with the "feel" of the load, as its influence on holding the bullet in place is minimal in terms of outgoing resistance.

    If you don't apply the crimp the loads will get the same velocity.
    Last edited by 35remington; 04-01-2011 at 01:21 PM.

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    Good to know, Thanks.

    At a friends suggestion, I planned to try AA #5 but am having a hard time finding it at my local gun shops. Is there a medium burn powder like AA5 that meters well? (other than Unique)...
    Jon

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    Universal Clays, commonly known as Universal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    Universal Clays, commonly known as Universal.
    I picked up a pound of Universal and gave it a try. The data on a 180 gr. lead bullet calls for a start load of 5.0 grains. That had quite a snappy recoil. I was looking for a light target load (like WW white box).

    Kept reducing the charge by 0.5 grains. At 4.0 the load was perfect! Nice target load with a reduced recoil....not as "snappy". It cycles the action well.. Over 100 rounds fired out of both my Beretta and Glock with no failure-to-feed, stove pipes or other issues. Also, the Universal burns VERY clean. Think I'm gonna stick with it.
    Jon

  15. #15
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    RNer--

    I've used the fairly fast WW-231 in 40 S&W for quite a while with the same boolit--the Lee 175 TC. OAL is 1.135". 4.0 grains of 231 will run the Glock 23--barely. 4.2 grains will function the CZ-75B reliably, as well as the Plastic Piglet. 4.7 grains matches the ballistics of my carry load (180 WW SXT) @ 925-950 FPS.

    Most service-level loads in 40 caliber have a bit of snap to them. 90% of my 40 S&W shooting gets done with service load duplicators, a trait I carry to the 9mm, 45 ACP, and 357 Magnum--all the calibers I carry socially. I don't know if you've fired any of the using service's M-882/M-9/M-11 ammo in 9mm, but 125 grains going 1250 fps has some snap to it also. Blend those great ballistics with a decent controlled expansion bullet, and you have a serious 9mm pistol.
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  16. #16
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    im new here and this is the first post. this is a great thread because im having a wicked time from leading the barrel. i started with 5.5 then 5 and now down to 4.5 and not seeing much difference. im also using the 401-175-tc for a mold. im using a springfield xd. i never had leading issues with my smith and wesson so im stumped at this point. for what im reading on this post is that clays or unique would be a better choice?

  17. #17
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    Welcome bryonbush

    Quote Originally Posted by bryonbush View Post
    im new here and this is the first post. this is a great thread because im having a wicked time from leading the barrel. i started with 5.5 then 5 and now down to 4.5 and not seeing much difference. im also using the 401-175-tc for a mold. im using a springfield xd. i never had leading issues with my smith and wesson so im stumped at this point. for what im reading on this post is that clays or unique would be a better choice?
    For my purposes, I was looking for a powder that would be slower than Bullseye, but faster burning than AA9. For me at least, the Universal Clays worked great.

    As for your leading...its hard to tell what factors could cause that....there are many. Most guys will ask if you have slugged your barrel. An undersized boolit, they profess, is the number one cause of leading. If you do a topic search, you find LOTS on barrel leading...causes and cures.

    Welcome aboard!
    Jon

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    ive slugged the gun, checked the rifleing, etc. you name it ive done it to try and find a cure. im too tired to check out what all my exact dimensions on the bullet before and after slugging. the only thing that i can think of is that maybe its the powder. when i get more time ill dig up all my postings from other forums and re post them on here.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master AZ-JIM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    The taper crimp really doesn't do much to hold the bullet in place. A light crimp doesn't do anything at all to hold the bullet in place.

    Should you doubt, it's easy to discover how to test this. It's best to figure the crimp turns in the mouth flare from the expanding step and is a reliability aid, and no more.

    Because that's what it is really doing.

    The load you're shooting feels like a full power load because it is pretty much a full power load. At least, it will replicate the velocity of comparable weight factory ammo in a "close enough" fashion. The crimp doesn't have anything to do with the "feel" of the load, as its influence on holding the bullet in place is minimal in terms of outgoing resistance.

    If you don't apply the crimp the loads will get the same velocity.
    I have not chronographed mine for the comparrison but without the crimp they were all over the target. With just enough crimp to reverse the flare my groups closed right up.

    Quote Originally Posted by bryonbush View Post
    im new here and this is the first post. this is a great thread because im having a wicked time from leading the barrel. i started with 5.5 then 5 and now down to 4.5 and not seeing much difference. im also using the 401-175-tc for a mold. im using a springfield xd. i never had leading issues with my smith and wesson so im stumped at this point. for what im reading on this post is that clays or unique would be a better choice?
    I use 5.0g of bullseye in mine and have zero leading in my smith. I have run them through a friends XD as well with no problem. What are you sizing them to? Mine are .401 and what are you using for lube, I use 50/50 beeswax/alox.

    az-jim
    Last edited by AZ-JIM; 04-15-2011 at 09:37 AM. Reason: 5.0g not 5.5g of bullseye, my mistake
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    here is what ive had saved from another forum:
    so i slugged my barrel last night because i was bord. heres what i found out: inside the grooves its .391, outside of the groves it was .400 and the cast bullet itself is .402.

    dont know if this is good or bad. help a brother out! as for lube im using the white lable lube. ive evenmixed up some LLA/JPW mix. i dont size anything as for ive never had this problem till i got this springfield.
    Last edited by bryonbush; 04-14-2011 at 10:20 PM. Reason: added info

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check