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Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

I know I have posted other things asking about the .40 S&W before. My dies are enroute currently. I have never reloaded for pistol before and I have also read about the warnings on unsupported chambers etc. Here are the facts:

I will be loading for a S&W Model 4006 in Stainless- of course .40 cal

Referenceing the Speer manual, they used the same make and model I have for their data and I plan on simulating their loads - primer, brass, powder and bullets.

So, if they used my make and model, am I to assume that this weapon provides for a supported chamber - how do you tell, my local gun shop was not able to tell me.

Looking for pointers here.

Additionally, I have always been good about brass selection for re-use on all of my rifles by kicking out knicked or dented. The rounds I have collected from my pistol have an ink pen tip sized depression about mid-way down - ALL OF THEM, I am assuming from the extraction or hitting the slide. My buddy who loads a bunch of pistol says that this should be removed during the resizing proccess as it will be ironed out by the die, but something is telling me not a good idea. One of the downsides here obviously would require me to buy new brass every time if I cannot get around this small pin sized depression, and of course the obvious of having that depression be reloaded and having it go boom - am I on the wrong track or over thinking this? Is this normal for the pistol to make this mark on the brass?

Again guys, I am not new to reloading, but I am new to loading for pistol. Tips, tricks, advice - bring it on especially if you are familiar with this make/model and caliber.

Regards,

WW

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

The dent is made when the case strikes the ejection port of the slide. ignore this dent. Even if the die does not remove it, ignore it. When you reload this case it will iron out when fired and a new dent will be formed when the case stikes the ejection port of the slide. Repeat this senerio until you loose the case. Very Happy You will, more then likely, loose the case long before it is a problem. I've got .45 ACP (dented cases) and 9mm X 19 cases that you can't read the head stamp and I'm still reloading them.

To determine if you have an unsupported or supported chamber. With the barrel removed insert a loaded cartridge into the chamber. Now look at the top of the loading ramp at the bottom of the chamber and note the amount of case that is exposed (not counting the extraction groove). If it is a great amount say more then 1/8" +/- 1/16" it is supported. If it's more then that, it's unsupported. As long as you are sure that the web of the cases is all that is exposed then it's supported. You will note that the cartridge is fully supported in the photo below including the web. If the web is not supported I would be suspicious. However, if you aren't loading full house loads I still wouldn't worry about it unless you are seeing big bulges just in front of the web. Most dies will iron out small bulges. If the bulge is too big it will deform or tear the case when resizing.



supported chamber .45 acp (small).jpg
 Description:
Some barrels, like the Colt .45 ACP don't have a ramp as part of the barrel, but it's still the same senerio.
 Filesize:  50.57 KB
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supported chamber .45 acp (small).jpg


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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

To add to your loading statement...You can (just like your rifle cases) load any combination (manufacturer) of case, primer, bullet as you wish. You really don't have to stick with the loading data manual product listing (except powder) as long as you start low and work up your load (like rifles) watching for over pressure signs. AND!!! I don't want to hear anything about flattened primers. They are NOT a sign of over pressure. Unless they are cratered and it can't be traced to an over sized firing pin port, punctured, leaking around the primer, split cases or hard extraction...Almost all .40 calibre autos flatten primers...

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

That is exactly what I was looking for Bushy - Thank you!

I know I don't have to, but my plan is to stick with the load info as it stands from the book - primer, brass, powder, bullet - until I gain some experience for loading the caliber and then as usual, I will pull away from the exacts and start tuning and testing a load that works for my pistol and satisfies my personal war against paper targets. Besides, the brass I already had so it works out for now.

Bushy, you did make me feel a bit better about the dings in the brass, I was afraid I would have to discard my hard fought finds - the guys at my range are like the guys hanging out at the net in a tennis match - once it wobbles on the floor, somebody is racing to pick it up.

I will be loading some rounds this weekend - so I will let you know.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

One thing to remember on auto pistol loads like the .40 S&W is that they headspace on the case mouth. In other words, for accuracy yuo might want to trim them all the same length. I'm currently playing with this idea to see how much difference it actually makes.

My current .40 S&W loads use a 135 grain JHP at around 1500 ft/sec from a 5" barrel. The load can be found on Hodgdon's web site.

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

It will take a bit of time Pumpkinslinger. But you are on the right track on case length. Most will disagree with you. Most handloaders don't trim straight wall cases (claim they don't stretch enough to worry about or tend to shrink). In my revolver cartridges I like consistent crimps that only cases the same length can get you. My auto cases for 9mm X 19 I have never worried about, but my Colts .45 ACP prefers them at .890" to .892"...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

Bushmaster, thanks. I figured the guys who have shot Bullseye type target matches with autos would already know the answer here.

Since you seat bullets to a length referencing the base of the case it just makes sense that, if the case lengths are different and the cartridge head spaces on the mouth, the bullet will end up at different distances from the rifling when firing.

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

He he he...I don't shoot Bullseye. I'm just a curious fella and don't believe all I see, read or hear. Got to try it myself. My 9mm X 19 doesn't care how long or short they are.

I'm very anal when it comes to reloading, Pumpkinslinger. Why I even weigh ever powder charge I drop into a case. Be it rifle, pistol or revolver. Cases trimed to MY specification. All brass is matched by head stamp and if possible from the same lot...I'm not a competition shooter, just persnickity. If I can make the best, then I will make the best. ( I like'em shinny too.)

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

Bushmaster, I understand, I tend to be that way myself. Besides, I enjoy the "details".

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KYGunner
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

I am glad both of you guys are "persnickity" as Bushy says. Your details sure help out those of us looking for info. Keep up the curiosity and the detail detective work. I like your insight.

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

Well I finally shot them off, it was a good confidence builder, all 100 rounds went off without a hitch. With a few tweaks I should be able to tighten them up a bit.

I always get a bit anxious about a new caliber, and for having never loaded pistol before I was especially pleased, the load seems a little smoother than the factory rounds I usually shoot. I think I got a little too caught up in the whole "unsupported chamber" deal, especially since my reference book loaded for the same make/model as I own. Oh well, better safe than sorry. Thanks for the pep talk and talk through.

WW

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

WileyWapiti,

You do need to respect the unsupported chambers like you have thus far.

They can bite you if you don't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was at a indoor range when a guy with a Beretta 92 learned the hard way. When it blew it sent the mag out the bottom, the grips into numerous peices and put a large gash in the palm of his hand.

Once he calmed down and realized he was going to be alright, we started questioning him on what happened. Long story short, he had been reloading the same cases in the unsupported barrel for a while and the repeated resizing of the bulge became a weak spot.
Looking at his unfired ammo it was easy to see the weak spots.

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

Chambered - you bet I do. I have checked and my pistol is NOT one with an unsupported chamber. I realize the issue and was concerned with the thought. I am not sure I would buy one without an unsupported chamber for that reason out of mere personal preference, I was unaware of how to tell until Bushy threw it out there, since then I have done some further research as well. I will keep to my strict repetition and quality control measures to make sure all my ammo is produced correctly.

Regards,

WW

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

That Bushy is a pretty smart guy. I was sitting here trying to figure out how to explain the unsupported thing.....................
He goes and takes pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alot easier to understand that way.


If I was buying a gun for carry or not gonna reload for it I wouldn't think twice about it being unsupported. (I only use factory ammo for carry)

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Arron
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:54 am    Post subject: Re: Calling all .40 S&W Reloaders Reply with quote

I will also add that sometimes you will get a bullet that is not centered even with the "centering" dies from the maker out there in GI, NE. that I like oh so much. One way to keep this from becoming a big problem with straight walled handgun and rifle cartridges is to slowly rotate the case about a 1/4 turn and then lower the ram and rotate again. The LEE Factory Crimp Die is supposed to "cure" this problem and I will admit it does help but my experience shows it does not do the same thing as turning. The .40 Short and Weak is NOT that weak!!! Any cartridge that operates at pressures around 30-35K is NOT WEAK at all! It is just that compared to it's parent the 10mm in it's original loading it is lower powered, thus weaker. Though there is NO WAY I WOULD EVER USE A TRUE 10mm in a GLOCK, OR ANY MODERN 10mm FOR THAT MATTER!!!! Not unless I did not care for the firearm in question, or wanted a trip to the hospital to remove pieces and or the slide from my FACE! I have found that 8gr of HS6behind a BERRY's 165gr platted flattened nose works GERAT in my 10mm have not tired them in a .40 yet.
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