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Thread: Light 40 S&W Load

  1. #1
    Boolit Man Cmemiss's Avatar
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    Light 40 S&W Load

    Hello. I've been skulking for a few weeks now, trying to pick up as much knowledge as I can before showing my ignorance. I've been away from reloading for 10-15 years and with the price of boolits (make that bullets, boolits are inexpensive) being what they are I have taken up casting. Currently I am casting 158 gr. 38 spl. with an RCBS 2 holer, and 205 gr. 45 acp with an aluminum NIE. I'll have questions about that later.

    Until I can get a mold for my 40 S&W I'm buying boolits from a local caster who has a nice fp 140 gr. that looks like it would be good for plates at the gun club. My question is what to put in the case. I've had two case head seperations with the .40 S&W, both in an older SIG 229 using commercial reloads I bought 15 years ago that are loaded with 170 gr lead fp. I'm looking for a clean load that is reasonable and will function okay in the weapon. I'm thinking of starting with 5.8-6.0 gr of WW 231. Can't find any loading info for this weight boolit so I'm extrapilating on the load based on published 135 JHP and 150 JHP loads. I'm using range pick-up brass. I'm not attached to 231 so any other powder would be okay. What's the thinking. Too much--too little, start lower? I just don't want another seperation. Thanks in advance for the help.
    Last edited by Cmemiss; 07-28-2010 at 09:54 AM. Reason: typos.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Shiloh's Avatar
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    I have used Unique and AA #5. 231 would be about as fast as I would go.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    WST is a fine target load powder for .40 S&W. I use a lot of it with a 180 grain boolit.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive".

  4. #4
    Boolit Man dogbert41's Avatar
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    I bought the Lee TL401-175-SWC 6 banger mold. After Leementing it they pop out at around 180 grains in Wheel weight led.

    Now I don't often load them up for bear. In fact, I adore shooting .40 light loads. I like it when the brass just tinkles down around my feet in a neat pile for easy pickup, and I like it when the recoil is more pleasant to shoot than a 9mm.

    There's an article complete with load data that is still accessible:

    http://www.handgunsmag.com/ammunitio...06/index1.html

    Follow any of these recipes and your brass will live forever and you should have no problems with excessive pressure or case separation or blown/flattened primers.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man Cmemiss's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips

    Shiloe and Dogbert I really appreicate the information. I bought a pound of AA#5 and tested it out. It seems to work okay, but I really appreicate the .40 lite article, that gives me a lot more information. I still haven't found any loadings for a 140 gr. lead boolit,, so I'll keep extrapolating. Again, thanks all.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Those extrapolations with WW-231 might be a little warm. I'm running a Glock 23/Storm Lake barrel using 4.0 grains of 231 and the Lee 175 TC boolit. My CZ-75B needs 4.2 grains to run reliably and lock the slide back on an empty mag. 4.8 grains duplicates my carry load closely (180 grain WW Ranger SXT JHP). OAL is 1.135".
    "As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned with a downright moron."--H.L. Mencken

  7. #7
    Boolit Master in Heaven's Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9.3X62AL View Post
    Those extrapolations with WW-231 might be a little warm. I'm running a Glock 23/Storm Lake barrel using 4.0 grains of 231 and the Lee 175 TC boolit. My CZ-75B needs 4.2 grains to run reliably and lock the slide back on an empty mag. 4.8 grains duplicates my carry load closely (180 grain WW Ranger SXT JHP). OAL is 1.135".
    Same load works great in my 40. 4gr 231 with the same lee 175 tc boolit. A joy to shoot with very little recoil.

  8. #8
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    I prefer Hodgdon Titegroup
    below is from Hodgdon website.
    this is MAX load.
    I'd start with about 4.0 gr.
    I don't have my reloading log handy to share my pet load, sorry.
    Jon

    40 S&W
    CASE: HORNADY
    BBL: 4"
    PR: WINCHESTER SP
    135 GR. NOS JHP
    COL: 1.125"
    ***THIS IS MAX LOAD ***
    Titegroup 6.4,
    1251 FPS,
    33,200 PSI

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cmemiss View Post
    Shiloe and Dogbert I really appreicate the information. I bought a pound of AA#5 and tested it out. It seems to work okay, but I really appreicate the .40 lite article, that gives me a lot more information. I still haven't found any loadings for a 140 gr. lead boolit,, so I'll keep extrapolating. Again, thanks all.
    Here you go. The full manual is available on Accurate's website as a pdf download.

    Here is the 40 S&W Lead Bullet data



    Bill
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  10. #10
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    I'll second the 'TightGroup' load.
    But 4g is a little light.

    Berry's 135 FP 5.2g 1.125" with 5.8gmax

    a 700x load that does ok is
    4.5g

  11. #11
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    I don't know how heavy your gun clubs plates are, but I needed a 200gr. boolit to reliablably knock mine over in the shorty 40. I am loading 6.5grs. of Blue Dot behind the 200grs TC style boolit. I also cast the Lee 175gr. TC and use 7.1 grs of BD or 5.1grs of WW231 but find that it isn't a reliable plate tipper on any hits on the bottom half of the targets.

    I have some Hodgon HS-6 loads that I am going to try with the 175gr Lees, one at 7.1grs amd one loaded to 7.4grs. HS-6 seems to be a good fit for the upper end of the scale loads but until I do the test I won't be sure.
    Mtgrs737
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  12. #12
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    kavemankel's Avatar
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    I have a great load for the 180 TC lee Mould using AA#2 at 5.0 grains. It shoots out of my 40SW at 945fps through my chrony. No signs of overpressure and clean.
    I was able to get my standard velocity deviation with this powder to 31FPS with 20 rounds.
    Great accuracy and recoil feels comparable to the 45acp.
    Dropped a 350lb pig in my driveway with one shot at 35yards with one through and through.
    Got the picture to prove it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtgrs737 View Post
    I don't know how heavy your gun clubs plates are, but I needed a 200gr. boolit to reliablably knock mine over in the shorty 40. I am loading 6.5grs. of Blue Dot behind the 200grs TC style boolit. I also cast the Lee 175gr. TC and use 7.1 grs of BD or 5.1grs of WW231 but find that it isn't a reliable plate tipper on any hits on the bottom half of the targets.

    I have some Hodgon HS-6 loads that I am going to try with the 175gr Lees, one at 7.1grs amd one loaded to 7.4grs. HS-6 seems to be a good fit for the upper end of the scale loads but until I do the test I won't be sure.
    HS6 is my favorite for the .40, and I've run the gamut. Longshot is a close second. I've gone as far as eight grains of HS6 behind the Lee 175TC with FWFL and WDWW, but that's a bit hot even though I've seen max data for that boolit at 8.4 grains. MY combination with an M&P worked best with about 7.4 grains.

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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