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 40 S&W at less that the recommended 'starting' grains? 
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 Post subject: 40 S&W at less that the recommended 'starting' grains?
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:24 am 
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I started loading 40's. Trying to keep the powder counts down, so I started with HS6 which I'm already using in my 9's. Hodgdon site recomends starting at 7.3gr with a max of 8.0gr for 165gr bullet. I dont have my notes here, but after chrono'ing some yesterday, power factor figured to 151 (920fps IIRC). I will be using these loads strictly for shooting USPSA production class from my sub compact and since I'm automaticly shooting minor, I'd like to get recoil down to a minimum. The question is, can I safely go below the recomended 7.3grains starting load?

If not does anyone have a good low recoil recipe for 40SW.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 3:25 pm 
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Personally I would never load outside of the recommended ranges.
My recipe for low recoil 40 cal.would be 9mm.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 5:10 pm 
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A couple of things.

1. Check out the Speer reloading manual #13. It will talk about why you don't go lower then the recommended load. Hint: KA-BOOM

2. .40 is about the worst cal you can pick for recoil. Being that you have a .40 and not a 9mm, I would recommend trying some diffferent powders. Blue Dot has worked well for me.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:26 pm 
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For IDPA ESP class, (similar to USPSA production) I am loading 3.4 grains Titegroup under 180gr JHP bullets with Federal SP primers. Makes 130 PF and has been very consistent so far. I use a 12# recoil spring in my CZ 75SA. Recoils like a mild 9mm.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:11 pm 
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how about a lighter bullet?

135's and 140's are out there for .40s and they really help ease the recoil bite. Going a few tenths under in MOST cases is ok, MOST reloading manuals will talk about why certain powders should not be down loaded below minimums but that is usually reserved for slow powders in a bigger pistol case. Too little slow powders result in a incomplete burn, pushes the bullet part way in to the barrel then pressures rise quickly when the bullet stalls for a micro second and then blammo blown case or worse, barrel.

There are faster powders like titegroup, 800x and such that are so easy to ignite that you really do not have to risk it. In most of the powder and bullet manuals are listed 1 800 numbers for their shops, call them ask them what they can do for you.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 8:27 pm 
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Shoot a 229 and it is more like a push than a punch.

Ditto on not really creeping too far below the minimum - there are problems with doing that.

Try a lighter bullet - try WW231 - try a lot of things before you go reducing things down too far. Make sure to put a good crimp on anything 40... Always wise.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 9:20 pm 
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Pinnacle wrote:
Shoot a 229 and it is more like a push than a punch.

Ditto on not really creeping too far below the minimum - there are problems with doing that.

Try a lighter bullet - try WW231 - try a lot of things before you go reducing things down too far. Make sure to put a good crimp on anything 40... Always wise.


If you are buying another pistol the 229 will give a very nice recoil... but so will a 9mm XD or Glock for less.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 9:20 pm 
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Actually what he could get if not extremely careful undercharging a round is called a "squib" round which can result in a KB. You'll be doing one of these if it happens :bang:

http://www.thegunzone.com/stop.html


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 7:53 am 
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Well thanks for the ideas and opinions.

I thought I had read somewhere that undercharge could go boom too, but couldnt' find it again, and didn't understand why (yes I understand and know about squib loads). In any case I know the SC 40 isn't an ideal game gun, but I'm shooting what I carry. I guess I could just get a SC XD9, that way the manual of arms and everything will be the same, plus it's a good excuse to buy another gun :) For now tho I'll just keep shooting what I have. I'm far from being good enuf that the extra time needed to recover from the recoil is going to matter. I was just looking for others thoughts/ideas.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 8:06 am 
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It is called a low volume detonation. This happens sometimes with larger capacuty cases like the 38/257 wth small charges - powder just goes all at once instead of burning and pressures spike.

This is a bad thing. It is hard to do it with a 40 BUT not impossible - there are other problems like a squib (dangerous situation)

If you want to shoot light loads - use cast bullets and a suitable powder.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 8:38 am 
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Pinnacle wrote:
It is called a low volume detonation. This happens sometimes with larger capacuty cases like the 38/257 wth small charges - powder just goes all at once instead of burning and pressures spike.

This is a bad thing. It is hard to do it with a 40 BUT not impossible - there are other problems like a squib (dangerous situation)

If you want to shoot light loads - use cast bullets and a suitable powder.


If I were to want to load lighter loads, I would obtain as much manufacturer published information as possible, (buy lots of books) as different manufacturers have published both lighter and heavier load data. I would attempt to find a formula recommended by a bullet or powder manufacturer that has been tried and tested and emulate that formula as closely as possible.

I would not recommend underloading for all of the reasons stated by others, but if you "must" underload, use cast or swaged bullets (as Pinnacle said) and a slower burning powder that requires more of it so that the case is filled to the optimum amount. Again if you "must" do it, be extremely cautions, firing one shot at a time until you are certain that the load works as you expect. If there are any anomalies in a shot do not fire another round, but check and clear the barrel to prevent disaster.

Loading outside of the guide lines of manufacturers published information is dangerous and should not be done for safety reasons.
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:38 am 
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READ THE MANUAL - FOLLOW THE MANUAL - LIVE BY THE MANUAL -

As stated time and time again - the powder and bullet manufacturers know a hell of a lot more than all of us combined.

Experiment at your own peril. There are some do's and dont's with reduced loads and loading - know what you are doing - dont deviate.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2007 11:00 am 
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Jeff Bergquist wrote:
I am loading XX grains Titegroup

I have had some nice target loads using Titegroup in other calibers. It's not quite as snappy as others, more of a push.

RTFM! :wink:

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 Post subject: Light 40
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:34 am 
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I also have a 40 that I wanted to have some soft loads for. I purchased it so my 15yr old so he could shoot it now and grow into it, verses starting him with a 9 and then moving to a 40 for major later.

So I load 6.6 gr of 4756 with 150gr rem hollow point. It is within the range and the 4756 is very slow burning, that with the light bullet works great. I had to drop the recoil spring in the para by 2 lbs to get it to run but it is 100% this way.

Accurate as all heck too. Don't kick yourself for going 40 over 9, work up a load and you'll be great.

You did not mention what your shooting this out of but for me the 1911 style allowed me to play with the recoil spring and run closer to the mins.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:57 am 
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I have a Ruger 9mm that I could be using for the game, but 1/2 the reason I'm playing is for the training with what I carry, a SA subcomp XD40, so I don't want to shoot league with something I don't carry and then find the motor reflexes out of wack if I ever had to pull my carry weapon. Which is why I've considered buying the SC XD9, game with the xd9, carry the xd40... same manual of arms and everything, except caliber. I have no intentions of being able to 'win' at the range so the recoil of the 40 isn't hurting me that much. I'm not sure if I'd be able to get a lighter spring for the XD, so that option might be out also. I'll try the lighter bullets next time at the 'starting grains' and see how that goes, but I'll keep my charges at least at the starting point and wont go under.


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