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Choosing a New Powder for .40

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jkf74, May 30, 2012.

  1. jkf74


    Nov 18, 2011
    I have been loading 180gr Berry's RN plated for my Glock 23. I have loaded and shot several hundred. My loads have ranged from 4.9gr of Unique to 5.8gr. All my loads have shot fine. But Unique leaks through my powder measure and at the end of a reloading session I have powder all over my bench. All I want to load is as light as I can and still work the slide, and meter well. Im not worried about max loads at all. I am just a plinker. What powder would be a good replacement for Unique. I will also be switching to 165gr fmj bullets if that makes a difference.

    Meter Well
    Work well for light loads
  2. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    If Unique leaks through your measure anything anybody suggests will probably leak even worse.

    Why does you measure leak?

  3. Steve Koski

    Steve Koski Got Insurance? Millennium Member

    Jan 31, 1999
    WST is my suggestion. Run 3.6-3.8 grains under your 180 grainers.
  4. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Welcome to GT and GT Reloading.

    I don't reload .40, but it sounds like you're describing WST.
  5. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    WST was going to be my suggestion too. But if Unique is leaking then WST will leak worse.
  6. jkf74


    Nov 18, 2011
    I'm really not sure why it leaks. It is the Lee auto disk measure. It is on plenty tight. I have not pinpointed exactly where it is coming from. I'm going to load with the rest of my Unique in the next day or two.
  7. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011
    Sounds like you have the regular AD (rectangle hopper). If you get a Pro Auto Disk upgrade kit your leaking days will likely be over. The pro comes with an elastomer seal between the disks and the hopper, works pretty good.

    You can make the regular hopper leak much less, definitely stop a powder like Unique from leaking. Take the hopper off and with some fine sandpaper on a flat surface, run the edges of the hopper that sit on the stand across the sand paper. Sand it down enough to close the gap between the hopper and the disks. Go slow as if you take a little too much off the disks will drag. Do it on a flat surface to keep the edges of the hopper flat. This should cut most powder leaking to almost nothing. Powders like AA#7, AA#9 will likely still leak a little with this fix, but Unique, WST, Bullseye, etc. won't.

    But the AD Pro upgrade is the real solution. The upgrade kit is like $25. It also comes with an adjustable charge bar so you can venture between disk cavity sizes for that special load.

    In the off chance you do have the AD Pro, yours is a little out of spec. Basically you will want to do the same thing that I described above, take the screws out of the hopper (a pain because they are long) and then sand the edges lightly on a flat surface (the edge that the screws go through). You can sand the little ledge off the bottom of both edges and that will be plenty to move the hopper and seal down closer to the disks to seal even the finest powders.
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  8. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    Sep 24, 2008
    East Coast
    Post a pic how the hell does it leak? If your using the crappy lee hopper with the manual handle then yes I understand that's a pos
  9. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    Sep 24, 2008
    East Coast
    ps I use WSF thanks to Fred a few years back!
  10. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    I use WSF, but for lighter loads WST is a better choice. As soon as I read your OP, I figured you were using a Lee powder measure. The others are correct in that the Auto Disk Pro is the better measure and will give you a lot less (or eliminate completely) the powder leaking problem you have.
  11. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    What Freakshow said,I have zero powder leakage in my two Pro Auto Disks. SJ 40
  12. scccdoc


    Dec 28, 2011
    I use a Dillon "Square Deal" so I'm not sure I can help. I load 165 FMJ for plinking also.I use Hodgdon HP-38 and get consistent results. Not familiar with WST......... DOC
  13. OrGlocker


    Mar 8, 2009
    Salem, Oregon
    WSF is a very good powder for the forty, but I'm sure Fred will be around here on this OP and he will recommend his favorite powder of all time "TIGHTGROUP". LOL Fred
  14. Rinconjoe


    Dec 1, 2006
    carthage NC
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    WST is good for light loads but when you get down into the "as light as I can and still work the slide" powderpuff loads, any of the Ball powders will get pretty erratic.

    I get more uniform low velocity with any of several flake powders, 700X, Solo 1000, Clays, and yes, dirty old Bullseye. Of those, Bullseye meters the most precisely in my Dillon. So I have to clean the gun every once in a while, so what?

    No doubt N310 would work well but it is uncommon in stores and expensive when you find it.
  16. chaplain 31

    chaplain 31

    Nov 3, 2011
    I shoot 40 a lot. I've tried fast powders like 700x and Tightgroup and they work okay. However, for me, I have found that a slightly slower powder does a better job with 40 lite to medium rounds. I prefer HP-38/W231 for those and HS-6 for full power.
  17. CaptainXL


    Nov 20, 2009
    I also had powder leakage with the "standard" rectangular Lee Auto Disk. I bought the Pro Upgrade kit for the Lee Auto Disk and no longer have a leakage problem. The upgrade kit was $20 very well spent.

    In addition to stopping powder leakage you get an adjustable powder measure so you can dial in your powder weight to the exact weight that you want.
  18. SonnyCrockett


    Jul 9, 2010
    6.0G of Power main 40SW load
    Clean and pretty dang accurate for me
  19. FFR Spyder GT

    FFR Spyder GT Ex-Gunslinger

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hog Jaw, Arkansas
    I load about 10,000 .40S&W loads a year and for plinking loads I use Universal.
  20. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    As freak & bello notes, I do like WSF in the 40 for midrange to full power loads, any bullet wt. Unique is also right there, but WSF meters a bit better & a bit cleaner. Both shoot in my very finicky 4006 better than anything else.
    I wouldn't soil my best guns w/ TG.:poke:
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012