Realoding .40 S&W and 45 acp Which one?

This is a discussion on Realoding .40 S&W and 45 acp Which one? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I've been reloading 9mm and 357 mag and want to purchase a new gun in either 40 or 45. I am not looking for stopping ...

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Thread: Realoding .40 S&W and 45 acp Which one?

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    New Member Array kenpomace's Avatar
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    Realoding .40 S&W and 45 acp Which one?

    I've been reloading 9mm and 357 mag and want to purchase a new gun in either 40 or 45. I am not looking for stopping power or which caliber is better for stopping. I want to play and experiment with different loads.

    My question is which would be a better caliber for reloading and having fun shooting? Which would be cheaper and easier to find bullets, brass etc for?

    Just wanted to hear experience from other reloaders to either reload .40s or 45 acp.

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    .45 is lower pressure, more forgiving. You can load from about 160gr up to 255gr.

    .40 is "higher performance" I guess. Higher pressure for sure. Bullets from 135 up to 180.

    I'd get a .45 if you don't have one yet. Brass and bullets are more common to find on ranges - .40 brass depending what it's been fired from needs to be sized with a "bulge buster" or it won't fit in your chamber. I load for both, and no matter what you get - I'd suggest staying away from the plated bullets. They are very soft and the taper crimp tends to swage them down - I've had bullets that literally fell out after being crimped.

    Austin
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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    I agree with the .45ACP, since components are more plentiful (brass & bullets). .45ACP is also a more forgiving round in that the load range is greater than the .40S&W. As aus71383 said, the .45ACP is a lower pressure round, allowing for more experimentation til you find the right load for the weapon you acquire. I used to reload .40S&W, and the difference between min and max powder charge is very small.

    I disagree, however, about problems with plated bullets. I have been loading and shooting Ranier and Berry's bullets for about 20 years and have not had bullets fall out of my brass. I think aus needs to get harder bullets, or lessen his crimp.
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    New Member Array kenpomace's Avatar
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    I always load with jacket bullets, never had the chance to do lead or plated bullets. Isnt there 2 different size primers for the 45 acp depending on who makes the brass?

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    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    45 is more forgiving, and thus easier. There are of course tons and tons of different bullets, bullet molds, loadings, etc. since it has been around so long.

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    I load for both , not sure which I would choose . I load a lot of Berry's and Rainer plated bullets and never had a issue with them either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenpomace View Post
    I always load with jacket bullets, never had the chance to do lead or plated bullets. Isnt there 2 different size primers for the 45 acp depending on who makes the brass?
    So far, about 98% of the .45 ACP brass uses large primers. It seems like just the "green" (non-toxic) stuff uses the small primers, although that's just a guess. It sure is a nuisance when one of those cases arrives at the priming station on my press!

    The friend with whom I shoot a weekly steel match shoots .40, I obviously shoot .45. About the biggest difference in our reloading costs is the price of bullets; primers are the same cost regardless of large or small, the powder cost is about the same, but the cost of bullets is mostly driven by their weight. There's probably a penny difference in per-round cost between the 2 of us.

    In response to the OP's questions, I'd go for .45. It's a low-pressure round so is more forgiving of variations in charge weight, and since it's been around for 100 years there's a lot more collective loading experience (= recipes) for it than for .40. But - no one I know who shoots or reloads .40 feels shortchanged in any way. YMMV!
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    I load both with the following Caveat. 40S&W is a high pressure round and when fired in a gun that does not have a fully supported barrel (Some Glocks) it will bulge and that will not get fully sized in most presses. I use the G-RX die from Redding to full length size the 40 brass. If it is not fully resized it may not chamber into your gun. I also Chamber Check every reloaded round that I make. A few don't make it. If I tried to use them they would take my gun down and really be hard to get a loaded round out of the barrel. 45ACP is a breeze to load. You just have to be really careful with any round you reload and start at the bottom end and work your way up to what works best. Different bullet weights and powders can behave really good or really bad. Good Luck with your reloading. I keep all of my reloading data on an Excel Spreadsheet on the loading bench.
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    Yeah that .45 ACP brass with small primer pockets is a nuisance. A few slipped through when I was loading a big batch of range brass a couple of weeks ago. Guess I ought to be segregating and saving them but tossed them.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    New Member Array kenpomace's Avatar
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    Looks like 45 acp is the winner for me. Should I stick with brass that has large primers or just use up bulk small primers since it is pretty hard to find primers in stock now

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