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Old 01-20-2014, 02:11 PM
kenneth allen kenneth allen is offline
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Default newbie reloading 40cal pistol

I presently load and shoot 38 s&w and have a new to me 40 cal auto. I would like to use the same IMR 4756 powder and found different loads listed for the 40. I have only used factory bullets so far but want to reload. Not sure what bullet etc. is best for target shooting.
Would like to hear your experience with the 40 auto reloading.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:16 PM
madd matt madd matt is offline
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Look on Rocky Mountain Reloading. I don't own a 40, but I do load 45acp.
I have used RMRs 45 230gn seconds and can't tell diffirance to winchester
or remington bulk bags. Except the price RMRs seconds $75. per 500, winchester, remington $20. per 100.
Check them out!
Madd Matt
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:17 PM
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Assuming your talking about 40S&W i reload 165g and 180g copper jacketed. Those are the most common rounds.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:20 PM
dswancutt dswancutt is offline
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Unless you are shooting a Glock or H&K with polygonal rifling, lead bullets are fine in 10mm/40 S&W.
I would suggest going to the powder manufacturer for load data.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:26 PM
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I'd say when beginning reloading a new cartridge to start with a tried and true combination. Check your reloading manual for a bullet compatible with your chosen powder. When you get that combo down, then you can "experiment" with different bullets/powders...
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:12 PM
kenneth allen kenneth allen is offline
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I will be shooting an H&k and read a number of post that recommend plated bullets and some jacketed. I hate to buy something that will not feed properly. Autos are new to me and have heard bad things about some bullets. I don't intend on using hot loads for punching paper. Thanks for the replies
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:54 PM
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Rocky Mountain reloading, Xtreme bullets and TJ Conevera's sell great plated bullets. I regularly push them around 1250+ FPS with no issues.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:51 PM
Pawpaw40 Pawpaw40 is offline
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Default 40 S&W Reloading

I reload for a SIG 239, 229 and a XDM. I use Berry's or Xtreme plated 165 gr. bullets pushed at a little over 950 fps for a light target/practice load. Easier on the gun, easier on my hands (arthritis), and cheaper. I carry and occasionally practice with factory SD loads. At these velocities I could probably use cast lead, but the plated are not a whole lot more expensive and they are cleaner.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:09 PM
scooter123 scooter123 is offline
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If you look around you will find that cast lead bullets are less expensive than any other type. However, there are some issues with using lead bullets. First, they typically don't function well in polygonal rifling. Second, the lubricant used is distinctly smokey and this smoke does tend to clog high efficiency HEPA air filters, which are quite expensive. So, many indoor ranges will ban the use of lead bullets in centerfire ammunition. Third, unless you use a respirator you WILL be exposed to some lead vapors with each shot fired. Finally, you should use either Latex or Vinyl gloves when handling lead bullets because it can be absorbed through the skin.

Cost for lead bullets can run as low as 5 cents each for 38/9mm up to about 9-12 cents for 45 caliber. However, the weight of the bullet does factor in so there is some variation in the stated costs.

Plated bullets are the next step up in price and probably the most widely used type of bullet for reloading. They will produce the same results as jacketed bullets with just one exception. That is that most of the plated bullets you find in bulk for reloading are generally limited to a velocity of 1200 fps or less. If you try to push a plated bullet to Magnum velocities you'll usually find you have a horribly leaded barrel due to the plating being stripped off in the barrel which then leaves a trail of lead behind. As for load data, you can use the data for jacketed bullets as long as you limit your potential velocity to 1200 fps or less. In your case using a 180 grain plated bullet will permit you to do this with ease.

The benefit of plated bullets are multiple. First, they work as well as traditional jacketed bullets in polygonal rifling. Second, the plating is the lube so a lot less smoke at the firing line and indoor ranges love them. Third, ZERO lead exposure from the bullet, they are totally encapsulated in the copper plating so they are safe to handle and safe during firing. BTW, traditional solid point jacketed bullets normally have an exposed lead bit at the base so there is some small exposure to lead vapors during firing.

Cost for plated bullets. The 9mm/38 caliber will cost about 8-9 cents each for 125 grain bullets and about 11 cents for 158 grain plated bullets. In the 40 caliber the 165 grain bullets run about 10.5 cents and the 180 grain bullets are about 11 cents each. In the 45 ACP 185 grain bullets runs about 13 cents and the 230 grain bullets average about 15.5 cents each.

Sources for high quality plated bullets are multiple. Brands I've used and will purchase again are Berry's, Rainier, Rocky Mountain Reloading (RMR), Extreme, and Hunting Shack (HSM). IMO in terms of measurements and actual function all of these brands of bullets are basically interchangeable. At one point out of curiosity I compared 180 grain Hornady jacketed, Berry's, HSM, and RMR 180 grain bullets in a 40 caliber load and all were within 10 fps of an average of 960 fps for the aggregate. BTW, the powder used was 5.4 grains of IMR SR7625 and the test pistol was a Sig P229. As for which particular brand I purchase, it depends on price and availability, so whoever has what I want in stock at the best price. Lately that has been Extreme bullets due to their "off bullet" promotions, at one time they were offering a 17% discount.

Finally, jacketed bullets. If you want to load for a pistol caliber Carbine or build a hot Magnum load you will exceed the velocity that a plated bullet can tolerate. Shoot a 1000 fps 180 grain load out of a 16 inch rifle and you'll probably exceen 1500 fps, which will rip up a plated bullet. In this case I tend to get a bit "spendy" with my bullet choice. Personally I've found that the Hornady XTP bullets can withstand some rather extreme velocities so I don't mind a bit if they cost me about 20-25 cents each. Another highly regarded bullet is Nosler and I would expect their Sporting Handgun bullets would work as well as Hornady's bullets.

Anywho, hope this will provide a bit of guidance on bullets. One thing that I can tell you for certain is that you will find loading your own a real money saver.
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