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Powder(s) for 40 S&W
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Handloader
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
Posts: 1032
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:06 pm    Post subject: Powder(s) for 40 S&W Reply with quote

A friend had to have my Unertl scope and traded me a relatively new Sig 226 in 40 S&W, complete with dies, 1,000 rounds of brass and bunches of 150 and 155gr bullets. My first powder choice has been AA#5 'cuz I have about 8lbs of it. Loading manuals recommend medium burn rates for powders, so I am wondering what powders members of the forum have found to be accurate and deliver top end velocities? Are cast bullets viable in this cartridge?

Thanks for all responses.
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popgun
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Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 735
Location: Mitchell, GA, U.S.A. (2007 pop. 191)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Powder(s) for 40 S&W Reply with quote

Regardless of make avoid "top end velocities" in the 40 S&W IF your gun does not totally support the cartridge. That means barrel around the whole cartridge. With the barrel removed from the gun if you can see case wall with a round in the chamber it is not completely supported.

A few years back I loaded some 40 S&W for my Beretta 96 using Hodgdon Clays powder and a load straight out of the Hodgdon #26 reloading manual for 180 gr HP's. I worked up a load to maximum (4.4 gr DO NOT USE) with no previous high pressure indications. Fired three rounds with no excessive recoil before I got the 'ka-boom'. The case head separated and ejected the head along with the ejector, ejector spring and pin. Had to send the gun off to the factory for repair.

The next edition of the Hodgdon #27 reloading manual contained a warning you need to consider.

Quote::
"**40 S&W Warning: This data is intended for use in firearms which fully support the cartridge in the chamber. Use of this data in firearms which do not fully support the cartridge may result in bulged cases, ruptured cases, case head separation, or other conditions which may result in damage to the firearm and/or result in injury or death of the shooter and bystanders."

The max load in Manual 26 was 4.4 grains of Hodgdon Clays powder and in Manual 27 it was down to 3.5 grains. Check your gun and the most current load data before you load for the 40 S&W. Be very careful regardless of the powder you choose.

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Chris Young, aka: popgun, Moderator
I don't know everything but I have made most of the mistakes already and lived through many of them.
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popgun
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Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 735
Location: Mitchell, GA, U.S.A. (2007 pop. 191)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Powder(s) for 40 S&W Reply with quote

As for lead bullets, you can shoot them but they lead the barrel. If you don't mind the lead removal process go for it.

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Safe shooting,
Chris Young, aka: popgun, Moderator
I don't know everything but I have made most of the mistakes already and lived through many of them.
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