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Have a chance to purchase a 40 caiber xd. I like to reload, but have heard, read or whatever that the 40 caliber is a bit of a bear to load correctly. Everything "I've read" points to the 180 grain bullet. I guess my questions are: Is the 40 caliber such a bear to load properly? Is it just the 180 grain bullet or are all of them tough to handle? Any answers would be appreicated.
Thanks in advance
 

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What are you loading the 40 (assume the short and weak version not a 10mm) for?

If it is just for target practice get a lighter bullet. The issue is how supported the case head is. Some guns designed for 9mm rounds do not support the case head enough, so you risk a blowout if you push it to hard.

Personally, as a die hard 10mm fan, I DO NOT load anything over 165 grns in the 40 short and weak. I have, but would not do it again. Go for the 150 grn or even 135 grn JHP's for best results. My standard blasting bullet is the winchester 155 fmj that can be bought in bulk.

The other solution is just to load light if you really want the 180 grn bullets. Some of the load books have info for unsupported chambers.

Finally a comment. I have not a clue if the XD is unsupported or not.
 

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I have loaded over 4,000 40 S&W rounds over the past 2.5 years. I am shooting them in STI guns with supported barrels. I run my loads with a 180gr fmj Montana Gold at right around 1050 fps. I have never had a problem and I have fired some of the brass over 5 times. For matches I use 1-fired roll sized brass from a big vendor. I am using this for steel plate and duelling tree matches at a local club. I am now using Vit-Vor 340 powder and have used Longshot and #7 with great results as well. I have not used any FASTER burning powders and I think that is where people get into trouble loading the 40 and 10 using HOT loads..I stay away from fast powders when pushing for speed.
 

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I agree with the prior post. The problem with the 40 is guys trying to make it into a 10mm.

That is probably the real key to the problem.

Edited to add that I just checked my notes. I loaded 11,535 40 rounds in the last 4 years, so we are about at the same pace.
 

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I've loaded about 6-7000 rounds over the last 8 years and basicly learned reloading on the .40 S&W. I made some major mistakes along the way but fortunately none of them resulted in catastrophic failures even though I'm shooting them throuh a Glock.

I started with 180 gr Rainer lead safes, then 165 gr Raniers, then I discovered Southern Belle Brass and then started using Star 165 gr FMJ bullets but, for just a little more money, I'm switching to Nosler 135 gr JHP bullets for even better safety margin, less felt recoil, and more muzzle energy. Of all the powders I have tried I keep finding myself going back to Hodgdon Universal. But I don't load hot. My current 165 gr FMJ loads are using 5.3 gr of Universal.

Plus if for any reason I need to shoot for self defense I'll be using the exact same ammo I've been practicing with. So far I haven't made any 135s in .40 S&W but the Fed Prem Def loads I have in 135 gr work great. I have my Delta Elite 10mm tuned for 135 gr rounds and it's a real tack-driver with them with about 13.2 gr of AA #7.

Nothing wrong with loading for .40, just don't try to hot rod it and you'll be great. And don't subtitute magnum primers just because you've run out of standard ones. Makes for some very ugly bulges in the cases out of a Glock. I bet you can guess how I know.
 

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I load .40 for a Kimber and a Glock. The problems I have had are from repeatedly loading the same brass with mid to upper range book loads and shooting them in the Glock. Over time the base of the brass swells and, because the Kimber has a tighter chamber than the Glock, there are feeding problems in the Kimber. Also, when I loaded up to PF 200 for pins I had a kB. Now (1) I never reload .40 brass out of the bottom third of the book values; (2) I case gauge and sort all loaded rounds, those that drop in and out freely can be shot in either firearm, those that do not are shot once more in the Glock only and the spent brass is left behind; and (3) I shoot only a .45 at pins. No problems since.
 

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Badger,
Which gun had the KB?? The Kimber or the big chambered Glock?
 

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Everything "I've read" points to the 180 grain bullet. I guess my questions are: Is the 40 caliber such a bear to load properly? Is it just the 180 grain bullet or are all of them tough to handle?
That is unmitigated nonsense. The problem you heard about came from the mid to late 90s when people were loading IPSC Major power factor loads, then 175 PF (often 200 gr. bullets at about 900 fps.) using 200 gr. bullets and VERY fast powders like Hodgdon Clays. Popular guns in that division were Glocks and Para P16s and Para Limited models, neither of which had fully supported chambers. The vast bulk of KABOOMS came from those bullet/powder/gun combinations.

Since the USPSA lowered the Limited/L10 power factor to 165, the most popular bullets are by far 180s. The handful of people still using Clays and 180s are few and mostly limited to people using premium match grade barrels with fully supported chambers and are doing so without problem. The .40 is hugely popular in USPSA Limited and L10. The number of rounds loaded and successfully fired just in that group of people is incredible. KABOOMS are now virtually unheard of. The vast majority are using 180 gr. bullets, mostly because the recoil impulse is easier managed and tolerated by most people. The few KABOOMs I've heard about in the last few years have all been in .45s because of double charges or bullet setback.

There are plenty of safe loads for light and heavy bullets using all sorts of powders. Like one of the other posters said, just don't try to make it a 10mm and you'll be fine.
 

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My favorite .40 load:

155 grain bullet (I like Montana Gold, because it's cheap, but good quality.) Your pick.

7.0 grains Alliant Power Pistol.

Winchester or Federal primers.

I have loaded cases for this load in excess of 10 times. No bulges, no case failures, no loose primer pockets. I don't shoot USPSA or IPSC anymore, but I guarantee this load will make Major. Won't tear up your pistol, either. Try it out.

By the way, these loads go out of two Glocks--22 and 27. They eat this stuff up.
 

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4.8 grains vvN320 pushing a 180 grain head to 970 fps is what i use for ipsc competitions. oal 1.212
 

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EME,
I have loaded over 25k rounds in the last 2 years with the majority being the .40 S&W. I believe the Kboom phenomena was originally associated with Glocks and then with any unsupported barrel. But as kbear38S said, that was primarily when power factors for IPSC was at 175 minimum for major. Todays 165 makes alot of difference in the pressures of the .40.
I load a 180 MG fmj over 5.6 gr of V-340 loaded to 1.15" with a federal primer. My practice load is the same except I use a 175 gr LTC that I cast. I shoot them out of a STI/Briley and my 610 revolver and get about 920-950 fps (depends on whose chrono I use and which gun I am shooting) which is a pf of about 165-171. I regularly reload brass fired from glocks with its tell-tale "guppy" swelling from the unsupported barrel, but with full lenght resizing, I have had no problem.
I have loaded 9mm, .40 S&W, 10 mm, .45, 38 special and .357 magnum and have seen nothing that would make the.40S&W any harder or more of a bear to load.
Just always remember to start out about 10% below PUBLISHED load charts and work up watching for signs of pressure like flattened primers and split brass. You should find a comfortable load long before you get overpressure signs. Be careful and I hope you enjoy reloading as much as I do:D :D

Just my humble opinions, sorry to have rambled on so!!
Dennis
 

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I use to load 180 gr. ranier with bulseye when I first started reloading. I loaded at least 3000 of them with no problems.

For the last couple years I have been using 1
55 gr. ranier fp
loaded with 4,4 gr. of bulseye.
1.125COL
I have loaded at least 5000 with out a problem.
Great IDPA load.
Good luck.
Para p16-40 with Bar-sto barrell
 
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