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HELP with bullet selection


davsco
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brand new to reloading.  i've been shooting atlanta arms .40 minor and major in my sti edge, 180fmj.  looking to reload, a lot of bullet types (fmj, coated, plated, etc).  can someone please help me understand the options, or even rank them from love to hate.  this will be for uspsa, 2 & 3 gun, falling steel, etc.  thanks!!

 

and bonus points to anyone nice enough to spec out minor and major load recipes.  i have a jar of titegroup so far...  and yes, zero primers...

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Right now it’s not to much of what you like the best but what you can get. But having said that I like Berry’s the best 165 or 180 gn. My gun, (Smith and Wesson M&P) likes the 180s better. I also use Titegroup and really like it but you really have to pay attention as the charges are so small. When I’m setting up for a session and are dumping the first 5 charges back in the hopper I put 2 at a time in a case and it’s not even close to full could probably put a 3rd charge.

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The very best and most consistent powder I've tried in 40sw was Alliant e3.  I used truncated cone bullets, because they fed better and made a better hole in the cardboard than RN bullets did.

 

Best ever minor load:  Mixed HS brass, CCI 500, 2.8 gr e3, 180 gr TC bullet for 139 FP with an SD of 6.75

Best major load:  Mixed HS brass, CCI 500, 3.7 gr e3, 180 TC bullet for 172 PF with an SD of 6.9  Same load with a LTC bullet had an SD of 4.84  I prefer coated or plated bullets for less smoke.  As far as diameters went.  I shot .400" in JHP and plated, and .401" in coated or lead.

Edited by zzt
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23 hours ago, davsco said:

zzt superthanks!  brand/model rec(s) for the tc bullets?

 

I liked Rainier plated the best before they quit.  Berry's plated are also very good.  X-Treme = okay.

 

The most accurate coated bullet I've tried are Precision Bullets.  I also like Roger's PC bullets.  They are still available and you can order online or walk into the store and buy them.  He does runs of 15,000 of a type at a time.  I'm told they are 80% sold before they are finished.  Both coating have the advantage of not stinking when fired.   I have a boat load of HiTech coated bullets that shoot great, but I can't stand the smell.    I'll save them for when, if ever, I run out of coated bullets I like, or I may just sell them.

 

Plated bullets are very expensive right now.  Some of them cost more than JHPs.  Poly bullets can still be had at reasonable prices.  I'll give you one name.  Summers Enterprises.  I was turned on to them by the guy who made my PCC barrel.  They are cheap and accurate.  Unfortunately they stink when fired.  If you don't care about the smell, give them a call.

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Hate all plated bullets I have tried.

Love Precision Bullets (swaged coated lead bullets)

Love ANY Zero bullet (check with Powder Valley)

Love Precision Delta bullets (jacketed and as cheap as those plated "bullets")

Accuracy not an issue, so order FMJ-RN or L-RN.

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16 minutes ago, davsco said:

alliant calls this a shotshell powder?

 

It is.  So is Clays and TiteGroup.  How many people use them?  e3 is a stable, non-temperature sensitive, clean, consistent powder.  It has multiple uses.  I personally use it for my 45 bullseye loads, my 40sw minor and major loads and minor 9mm loads for pistol and PCC in addition to my shotshell loads. e3 has a decided advantage over Clays in that it does not get spikey when approaching max loads.  It is way cooler burning and cleaner than TG.  It also smokes a lot less with coated bullets.

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15 hours ago, noylj said:

Hate all plated bullets I have tried.

Love Precision Bullets (swaged coated lead bullets)

Love ANY Zero bullet (check with Powder Valley)

Love Precision Delta bullets (jacketed and as cheap as those plated "bullets")

Accuracy not an issue, so order FMJ-RN or L-RN.

Another vote for the Precision 180gr bullets my all time favorite, and 2nd place is Bayou.   I load them with WST 4.7gr 1.185.  Care needs to be take not to cut the coating, so a little more flare than jacketed.  PF runs 172 in hot weather.    I also shot a lot of 200gr Zeros over 4.3 gr of TiteGroup, a little less recoil but too many case failures.  The trick to loading 40 is the GRX push thru case sizer, other wise you run into a lot of rejects.  I roll them in my case pro.  My friend and 7 time world shoot winner put me on the precision bullets.  (Ted Bonnet).

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give you a tip,,as you are shooting different games.

.  Coated not plated. copper plated are iffy quality and so expensive you might as well buy jacketed. Any of the usual suspects. of coated, Id go .401
Buy their 180's and 155's of the same profile.

So get a reasonably fast powder, E3 , tightgroup, wst, sprort pistol, 244, 231 HP 38, Not gonna matter much.

Develop a major pf load with the 180's that functions well.
Then do nothing else but swap in the 155 gr bullets for minor games. Same die, same powder charge, same crimp same everything. Nothing to adjust just change the bullet.
You will have  created a 140 ish power factor load that will cycle the same and have the same point of impact and feed just like your 180 loads.

 

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>not seeing 180's listed at precisionbullets.com, maybe they're just showing what's in stock?

 

Precision Bullets tend to reduce available bullet selection during tight times to try and produce the most popular bullets to sell to the most people. When times are easy, they start to open up their selection of bullets.

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  • 1 month later...

so i'm starting to load up some blue bullets 180's.  getting somewhat inconsistent OAL's.  when loading .223 smk's the OAL's are +/- .001.  but with the .40 blues it's like +/-.005 or more.  certainly not noticeable to my naked eye, but maybe the coatings aren't 100% consistent and they're catching the seating die just a little differently?  the bullets, again to my naked eye, seem seated true and not canted or anything.  haven't shot any of these yet.

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On 11/11/2020 at 2:15 PM, CocoBolo said:

Care needs to be take not to cut the coating, so a little more flare than jacketed.

thanks yes i shaved a couple of the blue bullets then increased the flare.  do you guys flare for fmj, haven't tried that in .40 yet although i loaded .223 smks (hpbt) with no flaring, though they are boattails.

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On 12/26/2020 at 4:08 PM, davsco said:

thanks yes i shaved a couple of the blue bullets then increased the flare.  do you guys flare for fmj, haven't tried that in .40 yet although i loaded .223 smks (hpbt) with no flaring, though they are boattails.

Yes you flair for all pistol bullets. Just not as much for jacketed. Also Don’t flair on your rifle rounds unless you’re loading lead.  (that’s a whole different thread) Just make sure the mouth of the case has a slight chamfer on it. That’s what the chamfer tool is for. Just a little bit to remove that sharp inside edge, you don’t want to make a cookie cutter out of them. 😁

Edited by Farmer
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