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40 loads for steel challenge


nikdanja
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Heard that you use the same powder charge but get the lightest bullet you can get. 
 

I want to shoot more steel challenge during the winter. Figure it’s has to be great USPSA practice. Calling your shots, drawing 20+ times during the day, quick transitions etc. 

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Heard that you use the same powder charge but get the lightest bullet you can get. 
 
I want to shoot more steel challenge during the winter. Figure it’s has to be great USPSA practice. Calling your shots, drawing 20+ times during the day, quick transitions etc. 

What’s your question? Are you asking if you can use the same charge weight but with a light bullet to get a minor PF load?


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Both. 
 

there isn’t a PF in steel challenge but just wondering what guys use. Never really “made a load” other than to make major for USPSA. Steel really isn’t my thing but want to get into it a little for the winter. 

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Both. 
 
there isn’t a PF in steel challenge but just wondering what guys use. Never really “made a load” other than to make major for USPSA. Steel really isn’t my thing but want to get into it a little for the winter. 

I shot it once last year under the same premise (uspsa practice) and just used my major load. Seems it would be better practice that way.


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21 minutes ago, MJinPA said:


I shot it once last year under the same premise (uspsa practice) and just used my major load. Seems it would be better practice that way.


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I guess you’re right with the recoil and all. I just don’t see myself not being competitive and shooting steel challenge. Even though I want to shoot it to hone USPSA, after the 2nd or 3rd go at it I’m going to be pissed by seeing my name so far down the list lol. 

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The sweet spot for 40sw and Steel Challenge is around 130PF.  My SC load is mixed HS brass, CCI500, 3.2ge Alliant e3, 155gr Precision RNFP coated bullet.  Awesomely accurate, consistent and clean.  You can use your major load, but you will be slower on several stages because of the extra recoil and muzzle rise.

 

Following the conventional wisdom of just using a lighter bullet with the same charge as your major load only works with some powders.  Slower powders tend to be smokey and inconsistent with light bullets and low velocity.  You need to keep chamber pressure up to get a complete burn.

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12 hours ago, zzt said:

The sweet spot for 40sw and Steel Challenge is around 130PF.  My SC load is mixed HS brass, CCI500, 3.2ge Alliant e3, 155gr Precision RNFP coated bullet.  Awesomely accurate, consistent and clean.  You can use your major load, but you will be slower on several stages because of the extra recoil and muzzle rise.

 

Following the conventional wisdom of just using a lighter bullet with the same charge as your major load only works with some powders.  Slower powders tend to be smokey and inconsistent with light bullets and low velocity.  You need to keep chamber pressure up to get a complete burn.

What recoil spring weight do you use?

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On 11/7/2019 at 7:58 AM, zzt said:

The sweet spot for 40sw and Steel Challenge is around 130PF.  My SC load is mixed HS brass, CCI500, 3.2ge Alliant e3, 155gr Precision RNFP coated bullet.  Awesomely accurate, consistent and clean.  You can use your major load, but you will be slower on several stages because of the extra recoil and muzzle rise.

 

Following the conventional wisdom of just using a lighter bullet with the same charge as your major load only works with some powders.  Slower powders tend to be smokey and inconsistent with light bullets and low velocity.  You need to keep chamber pressure up to get a complete burn.

The light bullet same charge doesnt do that, You have the same velocity. and folks dont generally load slow powders in 40 major.
Assuming, you are running 180's at major, change to same profile 155, nowadays in a different color so you dont mix em up. Change nothing else on your press.
You end up around 140, pf with a load that chambers and feeds and runs just like your 180, has same point of impact, so no sight issues, also usually will run with the same spring.
If you drop down to 135's you will probably need to respring and zero sights.
If you are switching back and forth between sports it's a pretty good way to go.

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1 hour ago, nikdanja said:

What are you looking for when you “tune” them spring wise?

 

100% reliability and a quick return of the sights.  Too light and the slide loiters at the rear of the stroke.  Too heavy and you risk stove pipe jams.  As a general rule, if the brass gets tossed 3' away, your in good shape.

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15 minutes ago, zzt said:

 

100% reliability and a quick return of the sights.  Too light and the slide loiters at the rear of the stroke.  Too heavy and you risk stove pipe jams.  As a general rule, if the brass gets tossed 3' away, your in good shape.

Good to know, thanks!

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On 11/5/2019 at 5:37 AM, nikdanja said:

I guess you’re right with the recoil and all. I just don’t see myself not being competitive and shooting steel challenge. Even though I want to shoot it to hone USPSA, after the 2nd or 3rd go at it I’m going to be pissed by seeing my name so far down the list lol. 

 

do you think changing power factor will move your name up the list significantly?

 

I've shot some of my best steel times (at the time, it was my personal record) with 45 major. I still normally shoot light 9 mm loads for steel, but I can't see that it makes a significant difference for me.

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I just shoot my regular USPSA major PF load in steel. It won’t keep you from being competitive, either you can control your pistol or not. USPSA vs steel doesn’t matter much to me. I’m fast and accurate or I’m not. My perspective. 

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I've seen guys shoot SC fast with major loads.  But those same shooters are going to be faster with softer loads.  That, however, is not necessarily the primary consideration.  It's nice to have one load that works for all the games you choose to shoot.  I stick with one load -- happens to be 9mm at ~129PF -- for USPSA, Steel Challenge, club practice matches.

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On 11/8/2019 at 8:05 AM, Joe4d said:

The light bullet same charge doesnt do that, You have the same velocity. and folks dont generally load slow powders in 40 major.
Assuming, you are running 180's at major, change to same profile 155, nowadays in a different color so you dont mix em up. Change nothing else on your press.
You end up around 140, pf with a load that chambers and feeds and runs just like your 180, has same point of impact, so no sight issues, also usually will run with the same spring.
If you drop down to 135's you will probably need to respring and zero sights.
If you are switching back and forth between sports it's a pretty good way to go.

^^^^^
good info. Not only with 155, but I had good luck with 140’s too. However as mentioned above I did run lighter ,recoil spring in Glock 35, and 1911. Tried Titegroup, WST, and Bullseye, my best results were with WST, but all three would have been suitable for Steel Challenge 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/3/2019 at 5:21 PM, Atlasguy321 said:

I was listening to an Anderson podcast and he mentioned steel loads. He said to take the same powder charge and use the lightest bullet you can get your hands on. 
 

I haven’t tried it yet, but the physics makes sense to me. 

I tried that with several  different lighter bullets. It does not really work unfortunately if you are trying to get a real minor load.  You still need to either adjust the OAL or the powder charge or both at the end.  Initially It does reduce the PF considerably but it is still too hot.  I ended up with developing a completely different load to shoot minor. I have to adjust my reloading setup each time I need it. It is a pain in the rear but I do not really need a lot of minor ammo so a few thousands are enough for a while.  

I am using 165gr bullets vs 180gr that I normally shoot through my Limited gun just because The Blue Bullets do not make 155gr and I wanted to stay with the same bullet profile. Otherwise you also have to change the OAL. 

 Also I change the recoil spring to 9# from 11# that I normally run if I am to shoot minor.

Edited by cheby
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  • 2 months later...
1 hour ago, pixfella58 said:

I've tried that and in my case it worked fine. My major load is 200gr Bayou bullets with WST running 168PF. Without changing anything on the press I load 165gr Bayou bullets and get 143PF. I shoot the 165's for Steel Challenge.  Hope this helps.

I actually have a sample pack of 165 blues in the mail that I’m going to try. I may drop the powder a grain to see whats going on. I feel it maybe lighter. 

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3 hours ago, pixfella58 said:

I've tried that and in my case it worked fine. My major load is 200gr Bayou bullets with WST running 168PF. Without changing anything on the press I load 165gr Bayou bullets and get 143PF. I shoot the 165's for Steel Challenge.  Hope this helps.

Same idea but 140 bayous may be 145 don't remember and I'm not home

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