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40S&W 180gr Lead + Unique Recipe


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I have searched my butt off and cannot find anything solid ( I know reloading is a rabbit hole and full of opinions ) HOWEVER, I have 2 STI Edges on their way from DP....I also have around 2200rnds of factory 40. I have enough Unique powder + 1lbs of No. 5 on hand to load plenty of 40. The question is....what are good recipes for 180gr lead bullets using Unique powder looking for MPF? No book I have seen online or at my house gives any good information. Also I do not have a Chrono ( bad juju I know ) so I am looking for help here as I want to have a good safe load ready for when the 2200 factory loads are gone.

If I have missed something during my searches on the forum please be kind and let me know. Thank you in advance to anyone who reads this and has the time / data to help.

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Found these two loads on Load.data.com using Unique: 180 Lead Bullet Alliant Unique 5.2 919fps Remarks: start load; min. OAL: 1.125 180 Lead Bullet Alliant Unique 5.5 973fps So I would start at 5.2g and work your way up from there using a Crono to determine results as far as Power Factor, etc. 5.2g being minimum load and 5.5 being maximum. Invest in a chrono between now and when you actually start reloading.

Edited by The_Vigilante
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Alliant shows a max charge of 6.7gr with a Speer Gold Dot Hollowpoint at 1.12" going to 1000fps. You are using lead and only need 916fps for Major PF. I would suggest you start around 5.2gr of Unique and see what you get.

PS: Get or borrow a Chrono.

http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/recipedetail.aspx?gtypeid=1&weight=180&shellid=29&bulletid=42

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Yes a chrono is the very next thing on my list. I will make sure I have one before I begin testing loads ( I've borrowed one in the past for my rifle loads ). Just tumbled 2200 pieces of free brass today and still looking for .40 dies as they are required for loading I guess :roflol: . Got all my 308 loaded but want to have all my 223 loaded ( 2.5k to go ) before I begin loading the 40 anyways so I have a little time. Hope to have more suggestions by that time but I will take any and all suggestions regarding 180gr lead + unique in mind and find what works best.....when the time comes.

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From some old chrono tape of mine.

Loads were all 1.120 oal, Fed spp, Lee 175?401?TC. The bullets are 185 grain out of my mold and shot out of a Glock 35.

5.1 gr. averaged around 955 fps.

The problem was the loads had a huge fps spread. The low was 944 and the high was around 1005. I have found that Unique works o.k. in its lower loads but the velocity spreads are always like that with the starting charges. I have tried this in a few other calibers and found similar results.

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My only data with Unique and 180grn lead (S&S cast LFN) used 5.4grns and produced about 980-ish velocities in a 4.5" XDm. Like leas327, I experienced some higher spread values than I am used to. While 44fps isn't horrible in a 4.5" gun, spreads in shorter barrels were almost twice that. My notes indicated the powder burned clean at these loadings, but like all Unique loads I have tried with lead it proved pretty smokey, and could make it harder to see the target clearly on a calm day in a long string of fire. It was accurate though.

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182gr lead bullet from a Lee mold loaded to 1.175 OAL and 5.0gr Unique averaged 166 PF in my 5" para ordnance barrel. One or two tenths of a grain more would give me a little margin for error to make major in that gun. I used up all of the Unique I had and it worked fine, but I don't use it now.

Mike

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I am overwellmed with the help given. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE. I am gonig to do 10 of each 5.0 5.1 & 5.2 to start. I did get some dies so now I only need to get a good deal on some bullets....thinking SnS 180rn.....anyone have any lines on a used chrono or live in oregon near portland and may let me borrow it or meet me at Tri-County one day I would appreciate any help in that area.

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I used to load cast 180's with 5gr Unique at 1.135 it was very accurate and made major all day long around 172pf

What type of weapon did you shoot this load with? I'm shooting a Tanfoglio Limited with a 4.75 barrel.

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