Ruger Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well...I ran out of .45 bullets. I loaded everything I had in the house including 400 Oregon Trail 200 gr LSWC, 100 20 year old Speer 200 gr LSWC and 50 old Hornady 185 gr JHP. Time to start on this pile of .40 brass. I got 350 rounds tumbled and 250 of those are sized, expanded and primed. I'm supposed to be getting a 1000 170 gr LSWC from Keads, but haven't seen them yet. Has anyone loaded any of these before? I was thinking about 5.0 to 5.2 gr of W231 for starters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,301 Posts
I have never done the .40cal but I know one of the best there is and you know him too as 2400. He'll be along or you can PM him and he'll help you out. Did all your .45s work OK?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I haven't had a chance to try them yet. With the wife being sick, I didn't go to the range this week. I think with everyone's help my problem is solved, so I just loaded up everything I had on hand. I did run them all through my .45 barrel to make sure they will chamber. I'll be glad when the guage comes from Dillon. Good idea about 2400 - I forgot he was a .40 fan. I'm sure he'll weigh in when he can. By the way, Mrs. Rman is much better today. Guess she's going to make it, thank God. She was one mighty sick little gal for several days. That stomach flu is really nasty this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,301 Posts
Well that's the best news I have heard in awhile. Glad to heard she's doing better. There's no fun in the house when Mama is sick. Keep her pillow fluffed up and keep the chicken soup warm. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
quote:Originally posted by rman

I'm supposed to be getting a 1000 170 gr LSWC from Keads, but haven't seen them yet. Has anyone loaded any of these before? I was thinking about 5.0 to 5.2 gr of W231 for starters.
As soon as I get the pile of stuff moved that's sitting in front of my bookcase, I'll post some of my loads for you.


Baldy, thanks for the nice words.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
16,369 Posts
Witout a doubt, the 40 S&W is the most dangerous cartridge you can reload. That said, I have loaded tons of them without incident.

Here's the skinney: The 40 S&W operates with very high chamber pressure (in the 35,000 psi range). It is notorious for Kabooms because many shooters and reloaders don't take precautions. A bullet seated a mere .030" too deep (about the thickness of your thumbnail) will increase the chamber pressure to 60k psi.

Nearly all guns chambered for the 40 S&W have non-fully supported chambers (including Rugers). Because most barrels have a built-in feed ramp, it cuts into the chamber and leaves an area just in front of the cases's web where there is no steel to support the case walls. It's very common to see spent brass with a "smile" just in front of the web (solid portion of the case head) where the brass has stretched.

Here's what you need to do: Inspect each and every piece of brass. If you see the expanded "smile" in front of the web, toss it in the trash. Keep your loads on the bottom end of the chart. Hot or even warm loads can cause a catastrophy. Make sure your bullets are seated to the proper depth.

Some of the new ammo is headstampped NT or WIN Clean. This brass uses small pistol primers but they have a tight primer pocket and way bigger flash holes. Be extremely careful if you choose to load this type of brass. The larger flash hole can let enough pressure through to blow primers out.

If you follow the basic safety precautions, 40 S&W cartridges can be loaded without incident.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,621 Posts
Wow! That explains a KABOOM my 11-year-old son had on Turkey Day two years ago-shooting my brother's Glock 22-lead SWC reloads from a local shop that'd had no problems with any reloads they sold---spattered him with powder and no brass-thank God-and ruined his day--but he didn't drop the Glock...the 35K explains why I don't like the .40 recoil's snap, either. Learned a lot from that post...
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
16,369 Posts
Thought I would pass on some more 40 S&W info. Pictures are great and reduce verbage. The first photo is a 40 S&W standard case and a NT case (both Federal). The standard case flash hole is 5/64", which is the industry standard for both rifle and pistol brass. The NT case has a 3/32" flash hole. It will allow about 20% more pressure to push on the primer. NT primers are peened in (much like military brass) to help keep them from blowing out. To reload one of these cases, you must swage or ream the pocket to get rid of the rim, else new primers won't seat.



This is a standard case that was cut away to show exactly where the case wall stops and the head (web) begins. You can make one of these very easily with a 3-corner file. When this case is inserted into a chamber and the cutaway section is aligned with the feed ramp, you should not see any gap if your chamber is fully supported.



Here's the barrel out of the only 40 S&W I own, a Beretta Mod 96 (shown upside down). It is advertised as a fully supported chamber. As you can see in the photo, it is not! I inserted the cutaway case and illuminated the bore with a blue LED. The blue light is emmanating from the void where the case is not fully supported. You can do this simple test with your 40 S&W and see if it has a fully supported chamber. If your chamber is fully supported, it reduces the risk of Kabooms by a huge amount. Also, the brass will be safe to reload.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
quote:Originally posted by Iowegan

Witout a doubt, the 40 S&W is the most dangerous cartridge you can reload. That said, I have loaded tons of them without incident.

Here's the skinney: The 40 S&W operates with very high chamber pressure (in the 35,000 psi range). It is notorious for Kabooms because many shooters and reloaders don't take precautions. A bullet seated a mere .030" too deep (about the thickness of your thumbnail) will increase the chamber pressure to 60k psi.

If you follow the basic safety precautions, 40 S&W cartridges can be loaded without incident.
I've heard that high pressure stuff for years. The 9mm operates at the same high pressure as the 40 S&W, the 9mm +P is higher yet.

Here are the SAAMI pressures for the 9mm, 9mm+P, 40 S&W and 45 ACP.

9 mm Luger 35,000
9.mm Luger +P 38,500

.40 S&W 35,000

.45 ACP 21,000
.45 ACP +P 23,000

As Iowegan said "If you follow the basic safety precautions, 40 S&W cartridges can be loaded without incident." That is good advice, take your time, check your brass, check your powder charge and primer type, make sure the bullet is the correct one for the load you have, make sure you have a good crimp, check the total overall cartridge length and then load em up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,249 Posts
It sure is good to have guys like you ( 2400 and Iowegan ) to keep us informed and help us reload safely. I've had several auto pistols in 9mm but never reloaded for them but I find this interesting however I do reload for a number of revolvers and rifles and still have room for more knowledge in reloading. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info Iowegan and 2400. Those were great pictures and make it easy for even a old fool like me to understand. I stumbled onto the NT style primer pockets quite by accident. Most of my .40 brass is plain old WWB and Remington in the white and green box. I had one box of Federal and the first thing I noticed about them was the large flash holes. At first I thought I was seeing things, but I gauged them and confirmed my suspicions. I didn't try priming them, so I didn't notice the the primer was crimped like the old GI brass. I decided that I didn't want any part of them because of the flash holes. (No genious on my part - I just thought it was a bad batch of brass.) I used to ream out the flash holes on .38 Spec cases, prime them and use them for training blanks. Also used to do that and load parafin bullets for point-shooting practice. In both cases, without the enlarged flash holes, the primers would back out and freeze up the revolver. I always marked the case heads with a red permanent marker and never used them for live ammo.

I'm sort of like a boxer who has come out of retirement. From about 1968 to about 1985 I loaded tens of thousands of rounds of ammo for rifle, revolver and .45 auto. For reasons explained in other posts, I quit for about 20 years and have just now begun to load again. I remember most of what I learned in the past, but it is coming back in stages. I've always been a very cautious reloader. I always clean and then inspect my cases before trying to reload them. While this is time-consuming, it has saved me a lot of grief over the years, especially when loading for any semi-auto pistol or for high intensity rifle rounds. I've never been much on pushing the limit on max loads. When I load for autos, it's always just for practice and they are ususually mild. Just enough to function good and be halfway accurate. While I trust my reloads, I prefer to use tried and true factory defense loads for serious social encounters. Revolvers on the other hand, are a different story. I start low and work my way up until I find a good compromise between accuracy and velocity, but I never exceed published maximums. Because I'm a bit paranoid, I've never had a double charge or a case with no powder. (Knock on wood)

There are a lot of people who don't like the .40 S&W for one reason or another. I don't have a lot of experience with it. I've only shot about a thousand rounds of it total, most of it in a Springfield XD and maybe 300 rounds in a couple of different Ruger P944's. I have 4 9mm's, 4 .45's and one .40 S&W. I sure don't need a .40 and I feel better armed with a .45, but the ones that I have (had) are accurate and fun to shoot. The XD I had was a fine weapon. I had zero malfunctions of any kind. I had a little trouble getting used to the trigger and while this is no useful criteria for judging a gun, I thought it was butt ugly. In my case, I guess it was an experiment and ultimately just an excuse to buy one more Ruger.

Again, thanks for your input - I WILL be careful.
Tom
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
16,369 Posts
2400, You are absolutely correct about the 9mm (38 Super too). They run about the same chamber pressure as a 40 S&W. But there is way more to the formula than just pounds per square inch. If you calculate the square inches of a 9mm bullet (the old pi R square formula) then multiply by 35,000, you will see the actual pressure exerted on a 9mm case is 3461 lbs. With the same chamber pressure, a 40 S&W will have 4396 lbs exerted on the case. Then there are the bullets. A typical 9mm shoots a 115-147 gr bullet whereas the 40 S&W run from 155-180 gr. This is a factor of 75-80%. In other words, the 9mm has 78% as much force on the case from chamber pressure and about 78% as much from bullet weight. That brings the 9mm's total to 60% of the pressure exerted on a 40 S&W case and that's why 40s tend to blow up more often. PSI can be very misleading as to what really goes on inside a case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
quote:Originally posted by Baldy

Well that's the best news I have heard in awhile. Glad to heard she's doing better. There's no fun in the house when Mama is sick. Keep her pillow fluffed up and keep the chicken soup warm. Good luck.
Thanks for the sentiment and the good advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,301 Posts
Man there's some good stuff here. All I ever knew was cornbread is square and pi's are round. Thanks 2400 and Iowegan for some great info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
rman, did you get the email I sent with some loads to start with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
quote:Originally posted by 2400

rman, did you get the email I sent with some loads to start with?
Nope...haven't seen it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
quote:Originally posted by rman

quote:Originally posted by 2400

rman, did you get the email I sent with some loads to start with?
Nope...haven't seen it.
PM'd you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
hit the range today with the CZ40B.
tried my cast bullets and I have found a 40 load it likes:).

175 gr swc my cast sized .401
4.7 grs unique
speer brass
win sp primer

firing at 10 meters(ft hood range) it cut a ragged hole.
the factory 180's sure were a little warm.good bark and flame.
this is my first 40 and I like it.
pete

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,620 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
quote:Originally posted by txpete

hit the range today with the CZ40B.
tried my cast bullets and I have found a 40 load it likes:).

175 gr swc my cast sized .401
4.7 grs unique
speer brass
win sp primer

firing at 10 meters(ft hood range) it cut a ragged hole.
the factory 180's sure were a little warm.good bark and flame.
this is my first 40 and I like it.
pete
Nice gun Pete...sounds like you have a good load worked up. I have a KP944D, which is my third .40. I had a nice XD40, but I can't seem to stay away from the Rugers. I still haven't loaded any .40's yet. I'm waiting for bullets and Christmas activities have cut into my range and reloading time.
Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
thanks tom.the lee 175 gr tl is a good bullet if you cast your own.with my alloy they drop a .403-.404 and sizing is required.
the load above is doing about 900 fps.I will chrony the load later.
the best part I had zero leading:).
pete
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top