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· Last Stand on Earth
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Turns out it was not as big a deal as I initially thought it would be but my loading manual didn’t have load data for Unique powder for 40 S&W but the Alliant sight did. No range of loads just says 6.5gr, which, when I tested a single load (180gr Berry’s) created 1092 FPS and 477 lbs of energy. That’s a fairly hot round but well within the cartridges territory. It is also the same charge I recall using the last time.

I set up the press for the load and loaded 200rds. It creeped up .3 gr over a couple times and got tired of having to readjust every 20rds. Took a break and didn’t end up finishing the last 200.

Fast forward 5 days. The press is still setup, cases are already in the Shell tray at various stages. I need to check that the powder charge is correct so I crack open my notes and see 6.5gr, 1092 FPS.

I pull the case out that already had a charge in it and weighed the charge... 4.8gr... I looked back at my notes and referenced the manufacturer sight again, they both say 6.5.

At this point I’m thinking, “what the hell is going on!” I looked over at the 200rds I already loaded and thought, “this is going to be bad” 🤦‍♂️

I double checked the next 2 powder charges... still 4.8, so I seated 3 bullets and went to the chrono. 882-896 FPS. Not near a squib. A little relieved, I realize I must have set the charge at 4.5gr, which means I have some 4.4gr loads in there. Random sample puts the lowest tested at 832 FPS or 277 lbs energy. Still in the lower end of .45 ACP but a weak .40 S&W. At least I didn’t have to toss them entirely. I guess they will make decent target rounds.
 

· Last Stand on Earth
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6,319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lower powered but accurate at 20 yards from that new 3.3” Springfield XDS .40 S&W. Me and the oldest boy went out back and shot off all 200. I shot the new CDS and he shot the 4” XD Mod 2. I like em. About like shooting a 9mm. Make good target rounds and would still make a larger hole than a 9mm.

First 2 low shots were to find the point of impact (never shot this one before). The rest of them, 12 rds in about 1.5”x 2” group.

118977
 

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You know they’re light when you aim at the round plate and hit the square one at 20 yards. Years ago, my brother and I were doing these pin matches. You shoot steel 5 bowling pins at 10 yards for the fastest time. We were loading our .38 specials so light that you could hit the pin and not knock it over. You could see the lead hit and fall down. Lol, but very little recoil. Yeah probably cheating.
 

· Last Stand on Earth
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Haha, my very first batch of .38 special I was “conservative” on how much powder I used. At 50, with my Henry, some of them didn’t make it to the range, they fell on the ground almost making it to the target. Got my first and only squib that day. I picked up 3 or 4 of them out of the grass the next day. Ironically, those same rounds hit with authority out of a 4” revolver.

When I tested different powders the other day, I discovered a 5-600 FPS difference when fired between those 2 guns. Some as slow as 200fps from the Henry that moved 800fps from the revolver. Tested a slower burning powder and saw those numbers swap. Trying unique in those now too (4th powder I tried). I’ll test it in the revolver when he brings it out next.

On that note, these are not the case. Light for a .40 they may be but stout enough to put a hole clean through a living target.
 

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i have heard a story many years back of b27 targets stacked 4 deep on a NRA Distinguished Revolver course/competition and at 25 yards a feller's super lite 38 special rds would not penetrate... :ROFLMAO:
 

· Last Stand on Earth
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I’ve circled back around to loading these today. Interestingly, here are the results of the loads today and previously. If the wind dies down enough to put the crono back up, I’ll test a couple more to see if there is much variation. For reference, 985fps are the 180gr Federals at 388 lbs energy.

180gr .40 S&W
6.5gr Unique Powder
1092 FPS, 477 lbs energy

180gr .40 S&W
5.8gr Unique Powder
1026 FPS, 421 lbs energy


180gr .40 S&W
5.6gr Unique Powder
965 FPS , 372 lbs energy

180gr .40 S&W
4.5-4.8gr Unique Powder
832 -896 FPS, 277 -321 lbs energy

The 5.8 in bold is what I’m going to go with. No need to overkill. Anything over 400lbs is a fairly stout round. Results were from a 4” Springfield XD Mod 2. Still 180gr Berry’s.
 
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