Help with 40 Cal reload accuracy please! - Pistolsmith

Go Back   Pistolsmith > Gun Forum > Reloading

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-17-2004, 04:39 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 12
Help with 40 Cal reload accuracy please!

I have just started reloading 40 Cal for an STI pistol and cannot get an accurate round (not even close). I have loaded tens of thousands of rounds for 9mm and .45 and never had a problem. I have changed OAL, bullet types, and crimp all to no avail. Factory rounds are dead on and mine SUCK! Any clues for the clueless?
Remove Ads
Old 05-17-2004, 05:13 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 964
How about different powders? Different primers sometimes make a difference. What kind of bullets have you tried. How is your brass? What brand of brass?
Old 05-18-2004, 05:43 AM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 12
inaccurate 40 Cal reloads

I have only used VV 320 powder so far. The brass is once shot winchester and the bullets are all West coast plated 180 grain FP. The local guys use the West coast stuff and love it. I bought some Zero FTC bullets the other day and will give them a try.
Old 05-18-2004, 09:14 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 964
Every gun is a rule unto itself, so your pistol may not like the bullets, it may be the powder or it could be the combination of this bullet and this powder. Experiment a little with different powders and bullets. I think Winchester brass is just fine, Remington brass tends to be a little soft and will not always hold a bullet tightly and we won't even discuss AMERC brass.
Old 05-18-2004, 10:46 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Winfield, IL
Posts: 58
OK. I've been through the learning curve with the .40 for USPSA and after researching over 10 years of publications, here is what I've learned:

1) The .40 is a high pressure round, and like other high pressure rounds (i.e. 9mm, 38 super) it is very sensitive in finding a particular "sweet spot" for accuracy (unlike a low pressure .45 where almost every receipe works).
2) Winchester brass for strength is probably the best (remember, this is a weak cartridge design).
3) The 180 gr. bullet was originally designed for optimum use with the 10MM, not the 40. Even the FBI loads conclude if accuracy is warranted, the 165 JHP is best (however, the boarder patrol uses the 155 gr. for glass penetration I am told). I use Montana Gold 165 gr. JHP and they are very accurate. I also experienced good loads with Zero bullets as well, but hollow points are inherently more accurate and the .40 needs all the help it can get.
4) Very early on, the WSF (Winchester Super Field) was discovered to produce very good accuracy. That's what I use.
5) I load "long" for better functioning and reduced lower pressures.
6) I do use Winchester small rifle primers. It keeps buying inventory more simple when shooting .223 and it's safer (stronger) in a high pressure pistol round. Also, I'm told you gain approximate 35fps as a bonus.

Having said all of this, I find my Wilson barrel very accurate; however, I'm a big fan of Nowlin as well.

Note that I'm into accuracy; however, many USPSA guys will go for a softer "push" load with a heavier (200gr. bullet) that's not nearly as accurate but OK for close up shooting. The .40 does "drop off" quickly at longer distances.

Good luck and good shooting.
Old 09-07-2004, 10:11 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Eastern Kansas
Posts: 122
I had terrible results with plated bullets in a Browning HP. I am using bulk Winchester JHPs now: a great improvement. So far, I've found it works the best with Alliant Power Pistol. The faster burning powders just don't work. Federal and Speer brass seems to hold up better than the Winchester brass with the high-pressure loads.
Old 09-07-2004, 03:03 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 16
40 S&W Reloads

I am shooting IPSC/USPSA with a 40 S&W gun. Reloads with
plated bullets have been inferior to reloads with same weight, jacketed
bullets. Presently using Winchester 165 gr., Truncated Cone bullets.
Prior to switching from 45 ACP cartridge I used plated bullets for
several years with excellent results. In particular the West Coast
200gr. Round Nose, plated bullets performed well.

My impression, based upon my experience and that of others whom I
shoot with is that plated bullets are accurate in cartridges that have muzzle velocities
on the order of 950 feet/second, or less.

R. Sparks
Old 09-07-2004, 05:35 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 964
I have tried plated bullets in 357 magnum and 45 ACP. They worked better in the 45 ACP than in 357, but they were still inferior to cast lead or traditional jacketed bullets.
Old 09-07-2004, 07:26 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Fort Worth, Tx
Posts: 249
My recipe is 3.9 grains of WST over a Precision Cast 155 RNSWC. It doesn't make major but i'm impressed with the accuracy. The Precision Cast bullets don't seem to suffer from the quirks that the plated ones seem to but they don't lead your barrel either.
Old 10-02-2004, 09:37 PM   #10
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Santa Ana, Ca
Posts: 17
I use a recipe of 180 GR. Bear Creek Truncated moly, over 4.2 gr. of Titewad with an OAL of 1.175.It works fine in my Para P-16 Limited for IPSC .

  Pistolsmith > Gun Forum > Reloading

Search tags for this page

accurate 40 s w reloads


best bullets for reloading 40 s&w for accuracy

best powder for 180h 40 cal

most accurate 40 cal load


most accurate 40 s&w bullets for reloading

most accurate load for 40 s w

nice accurate loads for the 40 cal

pistol accurate loads

reloading 40 sw for accuracy

Click on a term to search for related topics.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brass - How many times do you reload it? gorf Reloading 9 02-08-2003 10:33 AM
Reload ?'s L. Reynolds Reloading 8 10-10-2002 06:39 PM
USP 45 reload problems Huckaby Heckler & Koch Pistols 5 08-13-2002 08:11 AM
Starting to reload Brodog Reloading 8 04-02-2002 06:29 PM
Pistol Accuracy Vs Rifle Accuracy Bill Caldwell Pistolsmiths 8 12-21-2001 01:52 PM

Top Gun Sites Top Sites List

Powered by vBulletin 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © 1999-2012 Pistolsmith. All rights reserved.