Reloading 40 s&w?

Discussion in 'Ammunition and Reloading' started by Goryous, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Goryous

    Goryous Guest

    Who reloads 40 s&w, what are your favorite loads and what is the case life you are getting?
  2. MrApathy

    MrApathy Active Member

    havent been shooting and reloading much this year but last year I got up to 4 loads. had one lots that got up to 6-8 I lost them before I could wear them out.

    gearing up for some shooting though just need some cheap bullets.

    winchester fmj 180gr with max of wsf at 1.135" is tack driver but recoil is on stiffer side.
    favorite power house load is longshot max with 180gr pill 1.125" though its a punishing round and very loud.
    dont reload the cases more than couple times with longshot but will use reduced loads of other powders.

  3. Goryous

    Goryous Guest

    Thats interesting, I heard steyr's had great chamber/case support for the 40 s&w and works well. Before, I always heard case life was bad reloading 40 s&w. Probably because most others dont support the cases well.
    One more thing, are 200~215gr bullets too long and cut into the powder capacity vs 180gr ie can they be used but just at a loss of fps?
  4. MrApathy

    MrApathy Active Member

    if you use reduced loads you can get more loadings out of the brass.
    max loads I limit it to 4 generally it depends on the brass. I do my
    best to inspect every piece before loading.

    200+ gr is meant more for 10mm.
    it leaves little room in the 40sw case.

    some people use 200gr in 40sw and load them longer than saami max 1.135" though some of them
    have had the freebore in front of the chamber reemed and use 1911 pattern guns
    designed to accept longer 45acp OAL's so longer OAL is somewhat preferred for reliability.

    40sw case is not as thick at the base and lower wall as 10mm. 200gr is a pretty big pill to push.
    some people are afraid of 180gr bullets being too big and have too little of a safety cushion.
    I draw my limit at 180gr myself dont want to try 200gr.

    case support in the Steyr M40 is excellent but repeated sizing will weaken brass
    need to keep an eye on where the wall meets the casehead after repeated max loads
    and full length resizings it may start looking ugly wont look like a straightl or even a taper
    will have the case head then kinda belted look with the thicker lower wall bowing out then thinner wall above it
    bow inward then it tapers. sometimes the wall will expand in an uneven fashion this can leave the casehead slightly canted
    which can cause minor issues with accuracy or shell plate and loading ie bullet winds up canted off center.

    despite good chamber support the casehead and walls can still separate its less chance with better support.
    it just wont bow out at a intruding feedramp into the chamber as some pistols have will try to go path of least resistance

    think of it this way. whats easier for the pressure in the chamber to push a 200gr bullet or a thin case wall or the casehead.
    the pressure doesnt care where the bullet is supposed to go the pressure will go the path of least resistance.

    9mm brass is much stronger though from what I hear it sounds like the newer stuff may not be as strong
    companies cheaping out and skimping due to the dollars plunge vs metals.

    worse brass I have seen with thin casehead and wall was the old FC stamped Federal 40sw brass which was recalled
    it caused the casehead separations consistently in glocks and other pistols.

    most data I have seen 200gr in 40sw flies 800-950fps with most powders available. some shooters prefer fast and heavy bullets for recoil
    but this can be a dangerous combo which can spike pressure fast. for target it is probably fine but for defense its not much for energy
    I am curious to the effectiveness of 200gr flying 950fps or less when it flies faster with 10mm. DoubleTap does send it some 1000-1050fps in 40sw which is pretty good.

    if you try 200gr I recommend you load minimum 1.135" and try to go longer though check you dont put the bullet into the land when chambered and check to see if the loaded cartridge will eject nicely.
  5. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

    Hiya Gor* :)

    Ditto what MrA said bout the 200 grainers for 40 SW. There's no performance advantage past 180 gr's for the 40 SW cartridge, leastwise, not inna 4" bbl'd self loadin' pistol, IMHO. <shrug> But, inna 14" bbl'd T/C, HELL YEAH!!! :twisted: Hornady has an easy to use little ballistics calculator that can give ya a feel for what's goin' on with the external ballistics of whatever bullet you're usin' at whatever velocity.

    Ballistics Calculator

    Check it out when ya have the time. (Intersection of Time and Computer :shock: ) BTW, with my 40 SW, Sierra 135 gr'er JHP's (#8425) at nearly 1350 fps made for a very impressive SD rounds, energy-wise. Accuracy-wise, it just didn't come together for me...not without droppin' the powder charges to unacceptably lowered velocities. :roll: The performance advantage was then lost to 155 gr JHP's, accuracy-, energy- and penetration-wise. <shrug> The accuracy "sweetspot" for me when I was actively workin' up potential 40 SW SD loads for my Walther P99 was with 165 gr Speer GDHP's (#4401) just over 1100 fps with Bullseye. And, the recoil was very tame for the 40 SW cartridge...and that was with a Walther P99. I'd expect the M40's to have even less recoil and muzzle flip cause of the lower bore axis. If you are interested in more detail, PM me. Hava great weekend. :)

    Wulf <-- ... memberin' the thrill of Sierra 135 gr JHP's impactin' water filled milk jugs :twisted:

  6. breechplug

    breechplug Guest

    I like 155 gn. Hornady XTP in winchester cases behind 7.2gns. of Power Pistol with WSP primers,very accurate
    load. :roll:
  7. Dag

    Dag Guest

    Reloading .40 S&W

    Hi Goryous

    Welcome to the group! I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    I usually load 180 gr hard cast lead flat point bullets over 4.7 gr of TiteGroup or 4.8 gr of W231. OAL at 1.125" and currently using Winchester primers. Mixed brass. I don't have a chronograph, but I'd estimate something around 900fps, based on manufacturer's numbers. Both are within SAAMI limits, based on that same manufacturer's load data. I use a Lee AutoDisk, so I don't have full .1 grain control over charge weight, but, as they say, close enough for Government work! :) Just FYI, I never exceed a manufacturer's load data, which is probably pretty conservative in the first place, so I'm confident that I don't exceed SAAMI limits. My main goal is to generate practice ammo that's close to my factory SD round. Titewad that I am, it's a WHOLE LOT cheaper to shoot handloads than factory ammo. :twisted: I've also used plated bullets, same weight, but I'm not sure there's enough difference to justify the cost. For SD use, it's strictly factory stuff. Currently using Double Tab 165 gr Gold Dots, but just received a case of Federal 180 gr HST (haven't had a chance yet to shoot any of them).


    As for brass life, I agree with MrApathy, I tend to lose brass before I wear it out. I have cases with close to a dozen reloads, with no problems. The failures I have are usually splits at the case mouth, with an occasional case that won't provide enough bullet tension (metal fatigue). As far as I'm concerned, keeping flare and crimp to a minimum will greatly extend case life, even with max loads. I flare the absolute minimum I need to be able to cleanly seat a bullet, and taper crimp only enough to remove the flare. Been good for me so far (YMMV). :wink:

    Are you new to reloading, or an old hand?

  8. neviv

    neviv New Member

    190 grains copper plated (stronghand)
    4.5 grains VV N320
    Magtech primers
    1.135 OAL
    171 - 173 PF
  9. kraigster414

    kraigster414 Guest

    I could not afford to shoot as much as I do if I didn't reload - have been doing it for over 25 years. Currently, I just reload .40SW and .357 SIG. I have developed a very nice, low-recoil range load using a Rainier 165 gr. fully copper coated bullet and 6.3 grains of Power Pistol. It's a starting load in Lyman's reloading handbook. Cycles the slide on all my .40SW semi-autos with no problems, is clean, easy on my old body, and keeps the spent brass fairly close by for retrieval afterwards. I employ a medium taper crimp. Press is a a Hornady 4x4 Lock 'n Load progressive - I like it better than my Dillon 550b. My .40 station dies are a mixture of Hornady, Lee, and Dillon.

    I buy virtually all my reloading accessories from Midway except for primers, powders and tumbling media - usually buy at the gun shows.
  10. nixon

    nixon Member

    Hi Kraigster,
    Wonderin' if your lock n' load is auto indexing ? How do you think it compares with the dillon xl 650 ? I 've been tempted to get one of those because the price is so reasonable right now at 329.00 with free bullets to sweeten the deal. I plan to use it for small primer calibers like the 9 mm and 40 sw and leave my dillon for the large primer 45 acp etc. My question with the lock and load is, is it easy to change caliber ? I imagine changing the die set and shell plate is a given.

  11. kraigster414

    kraigster414 Guest

    Yes, auto indexing on the Hornady. To me, the Hornady is just a simpler, less complex design that does what it is designed to do and does it well. I only have experience with the Dillon 550b. And Hornady's customer service is excellent. They always have spare parts and for the most part they'll send you stuff free (on the little items). Midway carries all the needed accessories but you really don't need much beyond what comes with the press. And the offer of 1000 free bullets can't be beat. I too am thinking of using my Dillon 550b just for .45 because of the need to change plates and primer catcher on the Hornady from small to large - the latter a bit of a pain in the Hornady. I also got my Hornady press from Midway.
  12. penguin

    penguin Guest

    I'm running 180g through mine with no problems. I have to agree that this would be my limit. I would just worry about the case head with some of my brass at 200g.

    A Christmas present!