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Thread: Need Advice & Info on Beretta 96.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2006
    God's country - WI.

    Need Advice & Info on Beretta 96.

    Hi All:
    I recently acquired a Beretta 96 in near new condition. This is my first experience with the .40 S&W. Since factory ammo is currently expensive and scarce and once-fired brass is plentiful and cheap I'm thinking about loading for it. With decades of casting and reloading experience I'm not a newbie - but my auto pistol loading experience is limited to the .380 and the .45 ACP. I've read and heard that 40s are problematic to load for - even dangerous in some cases. (ie: Glock & lead - or Glock w/"bulged" cases.) My gunsmith buddy once advised me in firm tones to avoid .40s altogether - says they're more trouble than they're worth and none too safe even sometimes with factory ammo. Although I sometimes ignore his advice I still respect his judgment. The whole situation seems well worthy of a slow and cautious approach to developing loads - so I'm asking advice of those who've been there already.
    I need to come up with an inexpensive practice load that simulates full-power "service" loads in recoil and accuracy.
    Does the Beretta barrel support the case better than the Glock?
    What boolits have given you good results in the 96? With what loads?
    Are there any specific tips or warnings applicable to loading cast for the Beretta 96?
    Thanks in advance for any information that will help.
    Uncle R.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Central Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    Uncle R.

    Cases that have been fired in Glocks are sometimes bulged near the rim and won't chamber even after full length resizing.
    For that reason, some folks just throw them away rather than deal with them.
    You can spot "Glocked" brass by looking at the firing pin mark as it has a square shaped impression.
    Other folks buy a Lee Carbide factory crimp die and run all the brass through to size it down.
    You need to remove the crimp plug and push the cses completely through with a plunger like the one supplied with the Lee boolit sizing die.

    The 'normal' loading in the 40 S&W cartridge is very near maximum pressure and there is not a lot of room between normal and over pressure loads. The guns that chamber the cartridge are largely not built to 'magnum' specs so you are working somewhat close to the maximum that these guns will handle, again, not much room for error.

    All that being said, many thousands of people handload for the 40S&W without any problem.
    a slow and cautious approach
    is always a good idea.

    No experience with the Berretta, sorry. All my .40s are Sigs.


  3. #3
    Boolit Master S.R.Custom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Salmon, ID
    Having had several Beretta 96s over the years, I can say that yes, the Beretta barrel supports the round MUCH better than the Glock. All in all, the Beretta is a very cast friendly gun if you treat reloading the .40 the same you reload the .45 and .380. That is, very little --if any-- of the full diameter part of the bullet should protrude past the case mouth.

    That said, the best shooting bullets are the 170-180 grain truncated cones-- very slick feeding and very accurate. Stuff it in over the top of a published amount of AA #7, and you'll have a very satisfying combination.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2006
    God's country - WI.
    Thanks - that's the kind of information I was hoping for.
    Uncle R.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master wonderwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    I just picked up a 96D a few weeks ago, Using a lee 175gr TC mold and 4.5gr of red dot in two different guns, works fine, cycles fine, shoots very well using standard CCI primers.
    My firearms project blog

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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
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check