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Noob seeks advice


Carl02
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I will soon be loading 40 S&W using 165 gr plated bullets (0.400) and a starting charge of 6.1 gr of WSF, on a Dillon 550B for the first time (have never used this press before). I have a Ruger SR40, which *appears* to support the entire case wall; however, I have read elsewhere that 40 S&W brass should not be reloaded more than 3 times due to pressure issues.

Any hints, caveats, etc. will be much appreciated !

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Your very close to HODGDON's starting load.

Don't go crazy and load a lot. Load a few and try them, better if you could chrono them. If you don't own one maybe get someone to help you.

It's easy to make a mistake with a 550, rig a small lite and mirror on your press and get in the habit of looking every time you place a bullet.

Squibbs are dangerous, double charge is worse. Keep your mind on what your loading.

Have FUN, be SAFE,

Mountain saying "Don't do Dumb Sheit"

Perry

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Perry -- Thanks for the tips. In a previous life I loaded 9mm and 45 acp (about 35 years ago). I got a small high-intensity lamp to set near the charging station so I can see into the case; also got the tip to keep a properly charged case sitting nearby for a quick visual reference/comparison for each load going through.

Recommend a chrono ?

Any tips on crimping ?

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Recommend a chrono ?

Any tips on crimping ?

I've been using a Chrony ($70) for years - tells me how fast the bullets are travelling. :ph34r:

With the plated bullets, you need to open the case up a little more (so you don't scrape

the plating while the bullet is going into the case).

Crimp has to be straight - just enough to let the round slide into your chamber, but not

enough to leave a band around the bullet - most people do this with a caliper - I do it

by trial and error.

:cheers:

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Your problem with 40 will be the sizing. Cases out of a loose chamber will be worked more than those out of a tight chamber. If you try to size a case and you feel excess pressure, pull the case before you run it through the rest of the machine. If it still looks good then put it back in and continue. IF it looks like a ring has formed above the extraction groove then toss it. It likely will not chamber properly, and if it does chamber that ring could now be hiding a crack. That crack is a case-head separation in the making.

There are a lot of chrony's out there. I use the Digital Pro with IR screens. More than anything else it is the screens that will make or break the chrony. They do not like sunny days, they do not like shadows. Both make it hard for the machine to see the bullet. Many are now going to IR because it is more consistent in its readings.

Crimp enough to remove the bell. You do not need to any more than that. The bullet should be held in place by the case walls.

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I would find your load min and max and load 10 rounds at every.2 say from 3.6-4.2 load 10 @ 3.6 @ 3.8 @4.0 @ 4.2 ( be OCD on the highest value , weigh every load at this level) bring them to the range and see what works best for your pistol as far as groups and power factor. if it groups best at 3.6 and 3.8 i would do it again with 10 @ 3.6 10@ 3.7 and 10 @ 3.8 and see which is best for accuracy and make sure it will also PF for what you want to do .

Just my 2C its what i do for all my guns some say im crazy..

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First, you gotta run the gun! If the load is too light it won't. Second, I have a lot of 40cal brass and many have been reloaded a lot more than 3 times. I use XD type pistols though which have pretty good support in the chambers. Your Ruger should be good to your brass as well, and I think you will get at least 10 loadings out of most of them if you do not load to absolute maximum pressures. To avoid that kind of pressure you should stick with a good mid range powder and avoid loading fast powders to "major" as they will be harder on the brass. Personally I like Silhouette, but WSF is good too along with a host of others in that range. Also try to find the OAL that feeds best for your gun. This will generally be a bit longer than the listed "minimum" OAL, and longer is better from a pressure standpoint too. Don't forget is has to fit in the magazine as well. You can determine the OAL maximum for the chamber by loading some dummy rounds with no powder and trying them with the "plunk test" to see if they will go into the chamber. If they start to hit the lands and not go all the way in, it's too long and you need to back off. Generally, you want to be at least .005 shorter than hitting the lands, and still have something that will fit in the magazine without rubbing the nose of the bullet on the mag when fully loaded. That is, the first bullet in should not touch the nose to the mag when the mag is fully loaded on top of it. Even so, a lot of 9mm frame pistols in 40cal (as opposed to 1911 types that like longer OAL's) will like an OAL somewhere around 1.135 or so which seems to give reliable feeding with some extra internal space for lower pressures when fired.

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