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Loading for for the .40 S&W

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Agent6-3/8, Nov 6, 2012.


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  1. Agent6-3/8

    Agent6-3/8
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    For the first time in quite a while I'm adding a new caliber to the stable, .40 S&W. I'm going to be loading Rainier 155g FP's with either HP-38 or HS-6.

    Of the two powders does anyone have any preferences for the .40? Recommended loads? I'm thinking of a starting load of 5.5g HP-38. Chamber support looks pretty good in my Gen 4 G22, but I'm still not interested in pushing things. On that note, is a Lonewolf or KKM barrel something I should consider in the future?

    Thanks!


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    #1 Agent6-3/8, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  2. ejs54

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    I've had good results with HP-38. If you already have the powder on hand, I'd try that and see what you think. If not, no harm in picking it up. Loads wont be extremely heavy. That said, I don't think your case bulge from the factory barrel will be a huge concern, but I'd look for an excuse to pick up the barrel. You'll have a more enjoyable and fluid resizing process that way as well.
     

  3. Murphy's Law

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    I've been using/reloading my G23C for 6 years now and never had an incident. I use W231 which I've seen here others say the same as HP38. Although I use 180gr fmj's over 4.5gr of W231 it's a very accurate load in my Glock. I've even used Titegroup without any problems. As long as you stay within safe limits, don't let that "is the brass supported or not requiring a different barrel". Bunk, so semi pistol is technically fully supported. Enjoy loading & shooting your 40 S&W. It's a great calibre to shoot.
     
  4. shotgunred

    shotgunred
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    No need for a new barrel.
    Hp 38 is a good choice.
     
  5. Agent6-3/8

    Agent6-3/8
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    Thanks for the info guys! Just wanted make sure I was on the right track.

    I'm a fan of HP-38, it's my go to pistol powder for several different cartridges.


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  6. scccdoc

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    I use 4.8 gr of HP-38 with 165 FMJ. Nice for range time and very accurate. Not so much recoil to be concerned with............ DOC
     
  7. Colorado4Wheel

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    Your barrel is fine. Don't even worry a second about it.
     
  8. Kentguy

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    I hate to piggy-back on top of Agent 6-3/8's thread but for those of you have have loaded this caliber for a while I have a question.

    I am starting to collect data myself for .40 S&W reloads. I may be picking up a .40 cal. very soon and would be interested in which bullet weight to start out with for "general target loads". I'll move on to more of a home/self defense load a bit later.

    I have read that the 180g JHP was what S&W first tested this caliber with. With this bullet weight/type would you recommend a powder more like Power Pistol, Hodgdon Universal, Unique... something in a "mid" burn rate type powder or a powder more down the burn rate chart?

    Is this the best bullet weight & type? I would think that perhaps a lead bullet might be a better target bullet, but then again like I said, I'm just starting to collect data for this caliber.

    Any advice you could offer would be helpful
     
    #8 Kentguy, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  9. Bluescot

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    If you decide that you want to go the aftermarket barrel route and the choice is down to those two brands I can give you the benefit of my experience with both.

    I bought two barrels from LWD, a G27 stock length and a G30 stock length. Both of those barrels had a terrible time functioning with the .40 and the 45ACP reloads that had worked through a host of the same calibers in other makes of handguns. Some reloads were cast lead and some were plated bullets all with the same experience. Failure to feed galore.

    I called up LWD and told the lady at the front desk my problem and she basically told me I was an idiot reloader and that their barrels functioned flawlessly with factory ammo and that if I sent them $30/barrel plus postage they would ream out the barrels. I thought she didn't understand that I was shooting reloads but again she confirmed to me that I was an idiot reloader. LWD doesn't seem to or want to realize that most lads buy there barrels to shoot lead reloads. As seen in some threads here, enough stink was raised by former customers that the owner finally agreed to ream out the chambers for free with a new reamer called the GT hole. I sent my barrels in and after 104 days got them back reamed out with the GT hole. The G27 barrel works some of the time and the G30 barrel fails most of the time with failure to feed. I changed around my dimensions on the reloads with no improvement in performance from these two reamed out barrels.

    I called up KKM and talked to them and after a phone conversation with them ordered the same two barrels and now both the G27 and the G30 are wearing those barrels and shooting just great. The KKM barrels are a little bit more expensive but look much more finished and clean and are worth that slight price difference. These KKM barrels are perhaps a whisper more accurate than the factory barrels but not much more.
     
  10. Kentguy

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    Bluescot,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. There is a HUGE thread about LW barrels here, I quit reading after about 10-12 pages, enough to get the picture that I really don't want to go down that road.

    I ran across a really great deal on a G22 that i'm almost positive that I am going with it (too good to pass up). Up to this point I haven't had much interest in the .40 cal but if you run across a offer you can't refuse... well lets just say i'm ready to start reloading & shooting the .40 cal.
     
  11. shotgunred

    shotgunred
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    There is a lot more load data available for the 180's. A lot less for all the rest.
    Start with fmj and move to lead later if you want to.
    For powder I would look at SR7625, Win 231 or WSF. But any medium burner will work.
     
  12. Bluescot

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    Once I got my first .40 a Sig 226 it became addicting and now it's up to 3, another Sig 2230, and a G27 as mentioned. I really like to carry that G27 and with the KKM barrel using Power Pistol it is shooting accurate and with some moving velocities. 155g at 1300fps and 180g at 1150fps all cast bullets.

    We have 4 sons and 3 of them have .40's with one having a 10mm (kind of a .40). All like the caliber and have taken some critters with that caliber.

    I think you'll like it once you start shooting that G22. Good Choice.
     
  13. sourdough44

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    My more common loading for the 40 are with 165 grn bullets, plated & hollow points. My usual powder is H Universal. I'd go with a similar medium burning powder.
     
  14. stevo629

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    Im looking for good recipes for reloading .40 s&w? I have a G23 gen 4. I currently have some HP38 as well as alot of Alliant Power Pistol. Also have Ramshot Zip coming. Yes I have reloading manuals but Im just interested to see what others have found? Thanks in advance!

    HP38, Power Pistol,Zip

    Rainier 165 FN
    155 FN
    180 HP

    Montana Gold 155 JHP
    Nosler 150 JHP
    oal? crimp measurement?
     
  15. ejs54

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    +1 on starting with the 180 grain bullet. If you are reloading something else in pistol already, chances are you will have a powder that will work for this bullet. It might not be the best one, but will work.
     
  16. oneofthose

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    In the April 2013 edition of “Handloader” magazine, there is a great article on the .40 S&W, by Gil Sengel. Good info.