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First time loading 40's


area51
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First time reloading 40's... I have about 100 berrys 180gr fp. I'm loading for a g23. I'm a little paranod after seeing all the kabooms on you tube... :surprise:

Any advice on what powder,, crimp etc I should use. Have unique, w231, hs6, BE.

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I'm a big fan of 231, so that is my choice. Just stick with load data from a reloading manual or the powder manufacturers web site. Start low and work your way up, always watching for signs of pressure. Always double check which container of powder you are using. Most important is watching for double charges of powder. Read and re-read the loading manual instructions before starting out.

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I'm a big fan of 231, so that is my choice. Just stick with load data from a reloading manual or the powder manufacturers web site. Start low and work your way up, always watching for signs of pressure. Always double check which container of powder you are using. Most important is watching for double charges of powder. Read and re-read the loading manual instructions before starting out.

I've loaded lots of 38, 44mags. 357 and 9mm... i understand very litle crimp if any is required for the 40's. from what i've seen and read about, 2 much crimp or excesive loads are behind those kabooms..

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Do not double charge the case.

When you size the case, if you feel any extra resistance over and above normal, check the case for damage or a crease just above the extractor groove. If it is there toss the case. It has a great chance of experiencing a case head separation.

Do not load them short. 40 is a high pressure cartridge. No need to make it higher by loading short. If anything try to go longer than what the book says by 5 to 10 thousandths.

.

You do not need to crimp them, but you do need to remove all of the bell from the case mouth.

After you load up your first couple of cartridges, press them against a hard object. If you can cause the bullet to seat deeper check your sizing die and/or measure your bullets. You should not be able to move the bullet into the case without applying a lot of pressure. A good way to check it while reloading is to feel the amount of pressure needed to seat the bullet in the press. If you do not feel a moderate amount of pressure, ie. the handle almost falls down it moves that easy, something is not right in your presses set up.

Any and ALL of the items listed above are responsible for 99% of all Kabooms.

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Since you are loading plated bullets, be sure to watch your crimp so you don't cut through the plating. Once the crimp is set I usually load 1 dummy round (no primer no powder) and pull the bullet just to be sure I'm not cutting the plating.

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Do not load them short. 40 is a high pressure cartridge. No need to make it higher by loading short. If anything try to go longer than what the book says by 5 to 10 thousandths.

.

You do not need to crimp them, but you do need to remove all of the bell from the case mouth.

.

I disagree with both of these two statements. Velocity is a function of pressure. If one loads longer, they will need more powder to achieve the desired velocity. It's true that reducing OAL increases pressure. But generally speaking, less powder at a shorter OAL will yield the same pressure as a given larger amount of powder loaded at a longer OAL. One should load to an OAL that feeds the best for that particular pistol. Start with a charge weight below published load data and work up while inspecting cases for pressure.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying about loading long though. Maybe you're just saying to deviate towards the higher end of a published load length. If that's what you're saying, I agree 100% and that is how I approach reloading every caliber.

I don't agree with your blanket statement about .40 not needing a crimp. That may be the case for your pistol but its not true of many others. Especially factory pistols. The .40 case is pretty much straight and not tapered like 9mm. My .40's will not feed reliably without a moderate crimp.

I would also be concerned about bullet setback without applying any crimp. And I barely flare the case mouth.

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I'll play it safe and do the oal at 1.13 rather than 1.125 with a very light crimp as recommended... With the Lee FCD.

Any powder recommendations? I'm thinking 4.6 of 231 all the way up to 5

Edited by area51
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Do not load them short. 40 is a high pressure cartridge. No need to make it higher by loading short. If anything try to go longer than what the book says by 5 to 10 thousandths.

.

You do not need to crimp them, but you do need to remove all of the bell from the case mouth.

.

I disagree with both of these two statements. Velocity is a function of pressure. If one loads longer, they will need more powder to achieve the desired velocity. It's true that reducing OAL increases pressure. But generally speaking, less powder at a shorter OAL will yield the same pressure as a given larger amount of powder loaded at a longer OAL. One should load to an OAL that feeds the best for that particular pistol. Start with a charge weight below published load data and work up while inspecting cases for pressure.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying about loading long though. Maybe you're just saying to deviate towards the higher end of a published load length. If that's what you're saying, I agree 100% and that is how I approach reloading every caliber.

I don't agree with your blanket statement about .40 not needing a crimp. That may be the case for your pistol but its not true of many others. Especially factory pistols. The .40 case is pretty much straight and not tapered like 9mm. My .40's will not feed reliably without a moderate crimp.

I would also be concerned about bullet setback without applying any crimp. And I barely flare the case mouth.

You are correct in that I am saying err on the side of safety. A cartridge loaded to 1.130 is safer than one loaded to 1.120 if the book calls for 1.125.

My post about crimp is where I stand. You do not need to crimp a .40 case so that it bites into the bullet. Properly sized it would be difficult to have set back even if you did not remove the bell. It is more dangerous to over crimp the case than it is to apply just enough to remove the bell from the case. The .40 case should have a diameter of .424" just below the mouth of the case. .400 for the bullet and .012 for the case wall. .400 plus two case walls of 0.012 equals .424". My case mouth diameter is at 0.4235 after it is crimped. Enough to remove the belling but not enough to damage the bullet.

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First time reloading 40's... a little paranod after seeing all the kabooms on you tube... :surprise:

Abe, you've got a lot of great advice here so far ...

I'd only add that a lot of the kabooms is people loading heavy bullets with fast powders at major levels

(trying to get their PF level up to 168+).

in an attempt to get the muzzle lift down a bit.

If you stick with lighter bullets, or lower power levels (minor), and you're not getting "setback" when

you push those bullets inthe case, you should be fine. :cheers:

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You are correct in that I am saying err on the side of safety. A cartridge loaded to 1.130 is safer than one loaded to 1.120 if the book calls for 1.125.

My post about crimp is where I stand. You do not need to crimp a .40 case so that it bites into the bullet. Properly sized it would be difficult to have set back even if you did not remove the bell. It is more dangerous to over crimp the case than it is to apply just enough to remove the bell from the case. The .40 case should have a diameter of .424" just below the mouth of the case. .400 for the bullet and .012 for the case wall. .400 plus two case walls of 0.012 equals .424". My case mouth diameter is at 0.4235 after it is crimped. Enough to remove the belling but not enough to damage the bullet.

I agree that you don't need to crimp to the point that the case bites into the bullet. There is a difference between overcrimping and an appropriate crimp.

Just for reference, all of the Federal HST's I just measured have a diameter of .421" just below the case mouth. I don't have any other factory ammo to measure but I'm guessing it will all measure about the same.

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40 is not voodoo. People blowing stuff up are generally doing something dumb. If you don't push the limits with clays or double-charge with tite-group, you'll have a hard time blowing up your gun.

You mention you are using the Lee FCD. If you are also using a lee sizing day, then my experience is you don't have to worry about setback in the slightest. The lee sizing die is a bit undersized and the bullets are snug enough that i can't even pull them with a kinetic puller, so I just have to make sure I don't make mistakes. I use x treme plated bullets, so i set the crimp to be pretty light. Pretty much just enough to take the bell off so the rounds feed 100% reliably.

I use clays for minor and n320 for major. both are clean-burning and meter well and work awesome. I am careful to only put 1 charge in per case.

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Thanks all. I'll follow the advice and make a batch later tonight. Are the 165 preferred over the 180s?

what are you using them for? I loaded 6-8k of 165's when I started shooting competitively, only because 180's were out of stock when I put the order in. The lighter bullets require an extra couple tenths of powder in order to make the same power factor (important if you are shooting uspsa or idpa). I'm set on 180's now, even for 40 minor. They have a very light feel, cycle the slide plenty fast, and still hit stuff at 40-50 yards, so they shoot flat enough for me.

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Crimp for auto pistols is generally set relative to the bullet diameter plus double the average case wall thickness. Most reloaders will add an additional .001-.002 of taper crimp to insure good feeding. Why? Because if you don't then the base of the extracting case may catch on the sharp edge of the mouth of the next one coming up from the magazine and cause a malfunction. So... you want a minimal crimp that will not distort the bullet and destroy accuracy, but will insure good function. Bullet setback is really relative to the sizing of the case. If the sizing die is correct, then the bullet will be held by the properly sized case diameter and NOT the taper crimp used in .40 for auto pistols. In revolvers, of course, you have a different dynamic usually using a roll crimp so the bullet will not move forward under recoil and tie up the cylinder. In auto pistols the magazine will generally prevent bullets from moving forward under recoil.

Edited by Justsomeguy
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  • 2 weeks later...

I loaded some 180 swc with 4.7grains of 231. They did really well at the range today. Found some unburned flakes in the barrel so I'll up the charge to 4.8. The ones I didn;t use the Lee fcd were more accurate.

Edited by area51
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You won't KB your Glock if you pay attention.

Pay attention to the case. Pay attention to the powder. Pay attention to the bullet.

Case: Get a Lee bulge buster or Redding GRX die. If the case looks/feels weird going through, toss it.

Powder: Check the powder charge in each case before you seat your bullet. A double charge is easy to spot.

Bullet: Check the bullet diameter. Some plated bullets are .001" undersized. You'll end up with little case tension

and bullet setback. I use a Lee "U" die to size the first quarter inch of the case to increase tension on

bullets. The "U" die sizes the case an additional .004" and improves bullet pull by like 200%.

Crimp does not help with bullet setback. Get that out of your head. Crimp is a mechanical lock that increases bullet pull... PULL, not push.

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