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Handgun loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by shepheard, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. shepheard


    May 18, 2009
    I've been loading for a while now handgun and rifle. I have worked up loads for my rifles with pretty good results. For my handguns (44,357 and 40) I pretty much pick powders that aren't too dirty and that cycle the action in my guns. For rifle I load up in .3gr incriments to find my sweet spot for accuracy. Are handguns the same? Do they have a specific sweet spot with a bullet and powder combo? I have settled on 22.5 H110 for my 44 eagle, cycles the action fine and is accurate if I do my part. I use 231,Bullseye,AA#5,and power pistol for my 40. All my loads are for paper punchin and don't really load anything real hot. About 5 gains Bullseye for a 180jhp type load. If I did my part would I see a difference between 4.8, 5, 5.2 etc? Hope this makes sense to you guys? Thanks much.
  2. MakeMineA10mm

    MakeMineA10mm * * * * Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 13, 1999
    Central Illinois
    You won't see the wide accuracy swings with small tweaks to the powder charge in handguns like you do in rifles.

    Generally, I start with the starting load in the manual, and if the pressure signs are fine, I move up. If pressure signs are there, I double-check everything, especially OAL, bullet weight, even that I'm on the right section of data in the book.

    If I'm at a starting load, and I'm getting no pressure signs, I'll jump up .5 to 1.0 grain at a time, depending on the powder and load. (Faster powders and smaller max charges, I go slower on.)

    For pistols, I long ago gave up on loading a precise "pet load" for each firearm. I own FAR too many guns in each caliber to keep it all straight. Besides, I feel like the guns should work at least passably well with any good ammo I feed them. (After all, the factories don't produce specialized ammo for certain guns...) Therefore, long ago, I came up with my standard loads that I use now for everything in each respective caliber. I won't ruin your fun of developing such loads for yourself by telling you mine. :cool:

    Good luck in your fun hunting for just the right load.

  3. Myke_Hart

    Myke_Hart Handloader

    Dec 5, 2007
    Mount Eden, KY
    Yep handguns are the same, just a shorter barrel. The wide swings 10mm is saying you wont see is because of the distance your shooting at. I bring the targets out a good distance when tweaking a load. You can't see the accuracy differences at 7-20 yards. Theres is always a sweet spot for bullet, powder, primer, and brass. Finding all the sweet spots would take a lifetime, then you would have to do it all over again for the next pistol. But that is the fun of it, right?:embarassed:
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  4. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    AS noted, it matters, just not as much, especially at short range (under 15yds). If you are shooting 25yds & beyond, diff powders & charge wts will show up in your pistol shooting. For powders faster than Unique, 0.1gr increments. For powder from Unique to Longshot, in most cases you can get by w/ 0.2gr increments. With the slow magnum powders 0.3gr increments, at least that is how I play.