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.40 S&W question.

This is a discussion on .40 S&W question. within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Let me preface this question with the fact that I have been reloading for 50 years or better, but I've never seen this. Thought maybe ...


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Old January 16th, 2017, 09:51 AM   #1
 
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.40 S&W question.

Let me preface this question with the fact that I have been reloading for 50 years or better, but I've never seen this. Thought maybe someone here could comment.

I went to the range Friday with my old standby .40 load, an Xtreme plated RNFP 180 loaded over 4.0 Red Dot, standard primers. This load is accurate and nice to,shoot, giving about 850 FPS or so. I wanted to try a new load, with the only difference being 5.0 HP38, which is a starting load generating around 75 fps more than the Red Dot load.

In two pistols, a Glock 23 and a Browning HiPower Ttactical, the loads shot about a foot lower on the target and were only charitably called a group.

This was at 10 yards.

Never seen this kind of disparity before, and was hoping someone could give me an educated guess as to what is going on?



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Old January 16th, 2017, 04:53 PM   #2
 
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I own a Glock 23 and have used HS6 and HP38 with 155gr to 200gr Hornady XTP's at mostly medium powder charges.
The worst I ever got was 10" groups at 25 yards using a sandbag as a rest.
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Old January 16th, 2017, 09:01 PM   #3
 
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That extra 75fps may be your problem. I only hand-load 180gr and 200gr XTP's for my G22, but have experienced the same issue with .44cal plated bullets. Is that "starting load" for a jacketed bullet? If so you still need to back it off. I've had great result with plated bullets in small bore sizes (.357"), but found in bigger calibers they are easily over-driven. They don't bump-up as easily as bare lead, but are still so soft I think they can skid across the rifling. Shotgun patterns instead of groups are what I experienced. I used Unique and finally settled on a load below starting level for cast lead bullets to get good accuracy.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 07:53 AM   #4
 
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Thanks. I figured as much, although I have read the the plated bullets are good to 1200 fps. You're right, it was starting data for a jacketed bullet. Guess I'll just stick with the old tried and true Red Dot load.

Thanks for the tip.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 09:06 PM   #5
 
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This may have been covered, but I got confused trying to follow the posts, so, my thoughts not meaning to step on any toes:
Just a point—for plated bullets, it was normal to use lead bullet data. Currently, manufacturer's are claiming that you can use jacketed data (from start to mid-range) for heavy plated bullets. Thus, my load data for 180gn lead and Red Dot would be 4.1gn start and 4.4gn MAX, and I would walk away from any powder with a 0.3gn range (particularly in .40 S&W). Even based on the standard 10% charge drop from MAX, the start load should be 3.9gn, not 4.1gn, so I wonder what was going on below 4.1gn that made them show such a high start load.
If I was using a real jacketed bullet, I would look at 4.3gn as a start load. However, it has been a successful load for you, so I supposed my concerns are not that pertinent, but I felt like presenting them.
Next: I have never found a fast powder to be accurate in .40 S&W, with AA5 being both the most accurate (from start to mid-range) and the faster powder that gives actual groups (<2" at 25 yards). I much prefer Silhouette for .40 S&W.
I have had great results with cast lead and jacketed bullets, but NOT with any plated bullets, in .40 S&W.
If you are going to load super-fast powders in a case that has a marginal web for the max pressures, staying right near the start load would be best.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 07:54 AM   #6
 
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Thanks for the info. I'll try a slower powder and see what happens. I know the .40 gets squirrily at the upper limits, so maybe the slower powders are the answer. Thanks for posting.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 08:34 AM   #7
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scattershot, Like it's 9mm and 45 ACP cousins, the 40 S&W works the best with a mid-burn rate powder. With any load, you have to consider three issues .... chamber pressure, slide thrust, and accuracy. When loads are too light, you will get erratic velocities (high max velocity spreads), which may not have enough residual barrel pressure to operate the slide. These low pressure loads also burn dirty.

As noylj mentioned. AA#5 works great along with Universal, Power Pistol, and Unique.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 09:17 AM   #8
 
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Thanks for the info. I have heard good things about BE 86, too, but can't find much info on it.

Last edited by scattershot; January 18th, 2017 at 09:20 AM.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 09:41 AM   #9
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scattershot, Yes, BE-86 should also work well with a 40 S&W. This new powder is listed in the new Hornady 10th Ed manual. With a 155gr XTP bullet, powder charges are from 6.0gr (1000 fps) to 7.1gr (1150 fps). For Hornady's 180gr bullets, 4.8gr is minimum at 850 fps, 6.4gr is max at 1050 fps. For Hornady's 200gr bullets, 3.8gr is min (700 fps), 5.3gr is max (900 fps).. The COL for all the above is 1.125". Sorry, nothing for plated bullets in the Hornady manual.

BE-86 is supposed to be a variation of Power Pistol with an added flash suppressant. It has a wide range of use .... just like Power Pistol but load data is notably different even though the burn rates are very similar.
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Old January 18th, 2017, 12:46 PM   #10
 
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This load of Unique has the same POA & POI as my Winc FBI factory jacket load . I load Unique in all my gun since 1968 .
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Old January 18th, 2017, 01:20 PM   #11
 
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Thanks, I'll check it out.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 07:02 PM   #12
 
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40 is one of my favorite calibers to reload. If you can not find any of the mentioned powders, I have had great results with Winchester AutoComp and Hodgdon CFE Pistol. Both are mid-burnrate powders. BE-86 works good.
CFE Pistol is my favorite.
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