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Handgun loads

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

  1. shepheard


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    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 * * * * Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    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

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    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


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    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.