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Are Reduced loads in 10mm risky?


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I'm going to a Steel match in a couple of months, and I thought I'd use a 1911 in 10mm with a 6" barrel. Match director has said that a PF of a little over 130 would be plenty to know down the plates etc.

My lightest 10mm load which is already a reduced load is around 175 PF. While I don't necessarily need to get as low as a 130, I thought getting at least a bit closer would be easier on me and the gun.

I've been using 200gr Xtreme plated bullets, but also have some 165gr ones with AA#9. I also have some Clays and some Titegroup on hand.

Would going below the minimum loads in the manuals be risky? A few loads do have warnings like that, but I haven't seen one about 10mm. Since 10mm ballistics are close to 357 magnums, and people have loaded 357's to really low, powder puff levels, I'm thinking I would be okay.

Of course the slide would still have to work and I don't intend to go really low. I think i'm at 10.2gr of AA#9, so I was going to start at say, 9.5 and go down in .2 gr increments until I get a soft-enough load or the slide becomes unreliable. A 150 PF would still be plenty to prevent a squib and feel light compared to the 175PF I'm shooting now.

What do you all think?


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Couple things...

1. I shoot loads below published starting loads all the time

2. There is plenty of data out there on loading long for .40. That wouldn't be too much different from loading 10mm short.

3. Your gun will stop cycling long before you have to worry about squibs.

4. If you are serious about reducing the power, you will have to change out rsa at a certain point. That has other concerns you should look up.

5. You sometimes sacrifice accuracy and cleanliness with reduced loads, but I don't think a reduced load from 10mm power will have these issues since you are starting so high.

I have not gotten into 10mm, but I do reload a decent amount for 40.

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The problem you will have with reduced loads and slow powders is inconsistency and dirt. You are better off with faster powders. Although I am not personally a fan, of Titegroup, that is what I would use (of the powders you list). It is not position sensitive and will burn clean.

I load 40sw down as low as 135PF and have no issues. The 40sw is basically a shortened 10mm, so I don't believe you will have any problems at all.

BTW, I stay at 140PF or above, just because my pistol runs better. 140 is great for ringy-dingy matches, but for matches where you have to knock the target over I use a 150PF minimum. In matches where you have to knock one target over to activate a second, I use major. I want that target down quickly.

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When one moves down the power factor, one should go to a faster powder.

A slow, hard-to-ignite powder like 296/H110 should not be downloaded as it can and has formed a partially melted glob of powder in the barrel, thus causing a barrel obstruction.

So, go with your faster powders and download them (and get a light recoil spring that will cycle the light load and wrap yellow or other colored tape around the trigger guard--like a string on a finger--so you remember that it has a light spring in it).

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Lots of excellent advice here. But I think that its better to say that loading the .40 long is similar to the 10mm and loading the 10mm short would probably be similar to a .40 (although I've never heard of anyone doing that).

I too suggest (and use) a faster powder for this type of load. Clays will work great for this at least with the 180 grain coated bullets from Bayou and BBI (and I've heard that MIssouri Bullets has started using the same coating). I've fired

I saw that you're using the 200 grain plated bullets. I haven't tried them yet. But if you decide to go with Clays and the 180 grain coated bullets, you might start at 3.5 grains at an overall length of 1.23" to 1.26" (for minor pf) and chronograph them and then adjust the powder amount to get what you want.

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