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Mastercast Bullet load


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I am going to run my first load of .40 for my glock 23. I am using lead bullets from Mastercast Bullets in PA. They are 180 grain FP and am looking for a good load. All of my books miss the mark any suggestions?

Also while setting up my Dillon 550 with Lee dies I am missing something because I can not get anything to fit all the way into the case cage. Any ideas why this might be. I have tried everything I can think of slightly shorter OAL, tighter crimp (even to the point that I thought it was over crimped). I even ran tried running them through a Lee bulge buster.

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Welcome to the forum.

I assume you’ve read all the warnings about shooting lead bullets through a Glock barrel and you are either:

A. Dismissing all the horror stories as internet gossip. Insisting you know enough about reloading lead bullets that your willing to take responsibility should anything bad happen.

B. Replaced your factory barrel with an aftermarket one designed to use lead bullets.

C. Using the plated bullets that Mike sells rather than his cast lead ones.

When testing a new bullet, the first thing to determine is what over all length (OAL) works in your gun. Every chamber is different, bullet ogives are different, so what works in one gun may not work in another.

With autoloading pistols, OAL is more about the gun functioning. To short of an OAL and you can get nose dive feed jams. To long of an OAL and you get bullets sticking in the rifling, three point jams, etc. There are many ways to determine your chambers OAL with whatever bullet your using. I use this method:

Things you’ll need:

1. Dowel rod that fits down your bore. (cleaning rod will work in a pinch)

2. Exacto knife, razor blade or scribe.

3. Dial calipers

With the action closed, insert the dowel rod through the muzzle till it’s resting against the breach face and scribe a line on the rod at the muzzle.

Now insert the bullet you plan on loading into the chamber and hold it against the rifling with something. (another piece of dowel rod, cleaning rod, etc.)

Reinsert the dowel rod till it’s resting against the nose of the bullet and scribe another line on it at the muzzle.

Measure the distance between the two lines and you now have the maximum OAL for that bullet in your chamber. (I normally back off another .010-.015 and load up a few dummy rounds to check function through the mags and proper ejection of a live round). Most guns are set up allowing a longer OAL than the magazine will allow but not always.

I know there are other ways of determining max OAL that are more precise and more expensive, but I’ve always found this method more than adequate for my needs.

Once you know what OAL works in your gun. Then, it’s time to start looking at powder choices and data. Since there are so many variables involved with developing load data, reloading isn’t exactly a plug and play endeavor, so you will almost always find conflicting data between the manuals. Take the average max load between at least three manuals and back off that number by 10% and you have your start load.

We’ll make up a powder and bullet weight combo as an example. Looking across the different manuals for our mythical powder and bullet weight, we see max loads anywhere between 5.0 gr.-6.0 gr. Using 5.5 as our average max and backing that off by 10% we get 4.95, so we’ll use 4.9 gr. as our start load. Load ten rounds and test them. Work up or down, using 10 round test groups, in 1% or 0.1 gr. Increments (hopefully using a chronograph to determine Power Factor) till you find the load you want. Once you know what the gun likes, you can load up a bunch and have fun.

Hope this helps.


Edited by fltbed
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