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loading .40 S&W hard cast hot loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by g29guy, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. g29guy


    Likes Received:
    Dec 29, 2010
    I've loaded some 155 grain swc and 180 grain tcfp hard cast in .40 s&W for general plinking at 6.5 grains power pistol.

    I'm new to the .40 reloading scene, but am familiar with loading 10mm.

    The only load data I can get for power pistol for lead is :

    2005 Alliant loading manual

    Laser cast 155 grain lead bullet, 1.125 oal, 7.0 grain pp, win primer
    laser cast 180 grain lead bullet, 1.125 oal, 6.9 grain pp, win primer

    Are these regular cast lead bullets or are they alloy hard cast bullets?

    The bullets I'm loading have2-6-92 hard casting alloy (BHN 17) and premium lube.

    I would like to load some hot loads using these two bullets. Does anyone have any experience working up .40 with hard cast using Blue Dot or Power Pistol?

    In the 10mm iv'e found that I can load Hard Cast ammo to maximum published load data for speer gold dot hollow points without any pressure signs am I okay to load the same with the .40? I start 10% from max and shoot strings of 10 all the way up examining brass after each string.

    I will be shooting these loads out of a 4.75" kkm conversion 10-.40 barrel out of a glock 29.

    Im not looking to push the limit, as i do shoot 10mm, but would like to know what the limit is for safety and confidence.

    Any feedback to save some time would be appreciated:cool:
  2. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    Likes Received:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    Hard cast in Elmer Keith's day was 12 BHN. Hard cast today is a marketing term to convey "hard" into strength and power.

    Loading manuals that deal with lead bullets, such as Lyman, would be indicative of a guide to use to determine practical limit. A 180gr anything you are looking at 1,000fps or less.

  3. plewi006


    Likes Received:
    Jan 30, 2007
    hampton roads virginia
    I have been casting my own bullets for a while now. my advise is not to load hot rounds with lead as it will lead to leading the barrel. I would stick in the 100 fps or less range. This will allow you to shoot more to get more practice with a particular gun. Should you decide to keep upping the velocities make sure that there is sufficient good lube in the bullet grooves.

    - my rule of thumbs is find out what will reliably cycle your weapon with the cast bullet of your choosing and not lead the barrel and save the hot loads for a jacketed bullet. You might find your self cleaning out the barrel of your gun more than you want to.
  4. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    You answered your own question.
  5. tahco gunworks

    tahco gunworks

    Likes Received:
    May 23, 2010
    Power Pistol, 6.25 gr. with a 170 Missouri Lead will chew out the center ring at 20 yards for me in a Glock 23C, loaded at 1.125 oal.

    Blue Dot, same bullet at 8.2 to 8.3 will give you good velocity with a nice push rather than a snap.

    Also been playing with Clays (the faster one) with a load of 3.0 to 3.2 with the 170 lead, and it's extremely accurate, very clean, and feels like a 22LR. I was very surprised at how well this load performed, and after 200 rounds, there was no lead in the stock glock barrel.
  6. noylj


    Likes Received:
    Jul 20, 2010
    As far as reloading data goes, all lead bullets are the same (except for COL issues). Hard or soft, they are ALL soft as far as the barrel is concerned.
    Start at the lowest starting load and work your way up.

    Bullet Weight Powder Weight Velocity Start/Max PowerFactor COL
    Lyman 401654 L-SWC 150 Blue Dot 8.3 1033 Start 155 1.090
    Lyman 401654 L-SWC 150 Blue Dot 9.6 1171 Max 176 1.090
    L-SWC 155 BlueDot 9.6 1201 Max 186
    Lead 153 Power Pistol 6.1 Start 0
    Lyman 401654 L-SWC 150 Power Pistol 6.3 971 Start 146 1.090
    Lead 153 Power Pistol 6.7 Max 0
    L-SWC 155 Power Pistol 6.7 1084 168 1.125
    L-RNSWC 155 Power Pistol 7.0 1115 Max 173 1.125
    Lyman 401654 L-SWC 150 Power Pistol 7.0 1112 Max 167 1.090
    Lyman 401043LFP 180 BlueDot 7.5 935 Start 168
    Lyman 401043LFP 180 BlueDot 7.5 937 169
    Lyman 401043LFP 180 BlueDot 8.0 995 179
    Lyman 401043LFP 180 BlueDot 8.0 993 179
    L-SWC 180 PowerPistol 4.0 761 137 1.135
    Lead 175-180 PowerPistol 5.7 Start
    Lead 175-180 PowerPistol 6.5 Max
    L-SWC 180 PowerPistol 6.9 977 Max 176 1.125
  7. fredj338


    Likes Received:
    Dec 22, 2004
    THe vel used has little to do with leading. Proper bullet to bore fit, alloy, lube & powder choice are going to determine leading if any. There are a lot of guys shooting lead bullets in rifles to 2000fps+ w/o leading, so if you are getting leading @ speeds above 1000fps, you are doing something wrong or have a gun w/ a rough bore. I have no issues in most of my guns shooting a bulelt as soft as 25-1 lead/tin alloy @ 1000fps w/ no leading. Going to ww alloy, 1600fps in my 45-70 yields good results.:dunno:
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  8. Tombo 65

    Tombo 65

    Likes Received:
    Jun 3, 2011
    I've been shooting lead bullets in revolvers and semi-autos for about 25 years. The general rule of thumb is slow and soft or hard and fast. Soft lead bullets with lower velocities lead very little. The soft lead does not require much pressure to obturate and seal the barrel. This is why many soft lead bullets have a concave rear face. The hollow allows the bullet to flare out and seal against the rifling, preventing gas from getting around the bullet and melting it as it travels down the barrel. With harder bullets, say over 15 bn, the pressure needs to be higher in order to get obturation. If you don't get high enough pressure you will get more leading with a hard cast bullet than a softer one.

    I've found that bullets in the 21 bn hardness range work great from 900 fps up. I don't push lead much faster than 1000 fps, at least in handguns. The faster you go the more of a chance you have of exceeding the lead's ability to grip the rifling. I've pushed lead in rifles and had the accuracy drop above a certain velocity because the rifling wasn't deep enough, or was to tight a twist rate and the lead suddenly decides to ignore it.

    I'm using a 170gr Missouri lswc with 5.o gr of W231. Little or no leading in my 23, and excellent accuracy. I'm sure it could go faster, but I usually reserve velocities of 1000 fps or higher for jacketed bullets in handguns.

    Missouri Bullet has good info on their web site regarding lead hardness and velocity. Good luck, and have fun with the lead. I seldom shoot jacketed out of any of my handguns.
  9. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

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    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    If you are not getting any leading in the barrel it sounds like you are on the right track. Beware of leading from hot lead loads.