bullet question

This is a discussion on bullet question within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I will be reloading soon for my .40cal m&p and found these bullets - Super Hard Cast Alloy Bullets. All Bullets are Sized and Lubed. ...

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    Member Array usmc0811's Avatar
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    bullet question

    I will be reloading soon for my .40cal m&p and found these bullets - Super Hard Cast Alloy Bullets. All Bullets are Sized and Lubed. Brinell Hardness 21.
    I have not yet loaded a single round yet just got my press and some other equipment so I am all new to this. My question is would these be an ok bullet to reload for target shooting, I cant find any other bullets around. would there be better options for me like jacketed bullets? these are 37$ for 500 and local so I could pick them up and not have to pay for shipping. will these foul up my barrel? any info or suggestions would be great thanks.

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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc0811 View Post
    I will be reloading soon for my .40cal m&p and found these bullets - Super Hard Cast Alloy Bullets. All Bullets are Sized and Lubed. Brinell Hardness 21.
    I have not yet loaded a single round yet just got my press and some other equipment so I am all new to this. My question is would these be an ok bullet to reload for target shooting, I cant find any other bullets around. would there be better options for me like jacketed bullets? these are 37$ for 500 and local so I could pick them up and not have to pay for shipping. will these foul up my barrel? any info or suggestions would be great thanks.
    I only load lead in .45LC, so I can't answer your hardness question. I would, however, address the freight issue. Many bullet suppliers will give free freight with a minimum purchase. I get my plated bullets from TJ Conavera's and/or Berry's Mfg., both offer free freight with a minimum purchase.
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    I do not remember what the Brinell hardness should be but if they are hard cast and you keep your loads in the 1000-1200fps range you should have no problem with leading.
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    The Lyman manual is particularly helpful with recommendations regarding cast lead bullets. But overall, there's no mystery to loading lead in .40 S&W. My shooting partner loads reduced-power .40 with 180 gr lead for our steel matches.
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    Lead will work, I prefer plated bullets for loading if possible. While excessive leading doesn't occur with lead bullets, some does and it takes more time to clean a barrel.
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    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    They shouldn't be any problem at all through a regular rifled barrel. However, since you are just starting down the reloading road, most tyros seem to have fewer problems seating (especially) and crimping using jacketed bullets and you won't have leading issues to worry about. For the time being, though, you'll find jacketed bullets pretty hard to come by (check out some small local shops and Montana Gold was taking orders a couple of days ago).
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    Senior Member Array jem102's Avatar
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    "If" they truly have a Brinell Hardness of 21, good lube (Blue Angel or similar) and your barrel is reasonably smooth you can shoot full power loads with no issues. I say this because a BHN of 21 is fairly hard to achieve unless he is heat treating or quenching them right out of the mold which he may well do.

    A good hard cast will run 15-17 BHN and should handle the medium loads listed in the books well. Just keep an eye on your barrel and clean it when necessary. FWIW I have found Gunzilla an excellent lead remover.

    Take your time and stay on top of what is going on with the gun. If you don't know how to read pressure signs from fired cases have someone teach you. Cast bullets can be deceiving, they can seem able to take more and more powder with no signs and then suddenly have a pressure spike or severe leading because you have exceeded the yield strength of the alloy used to make the bullet. You will see when consulting the load books that different types of powders are used for the cast bullets to change the pressure time curve to control this and still give top velocities.
    Last edited by jem102; April 11th, 2013 at 10:30 PM.
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    Member Array wiguy's Avatar
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    Is there a weight listed? My usual all around load for the 40 is a 165 grn plated FP with a mid charge of H Universal. The 40 can be a high pressure round, be careful around the top charge area.

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    That BHN sounds awfully hard to me. If a lead bullet is too hard, it can actual lead up the barrel as bad or worse as one too soft. 18 BHN sounds more reasonable to me.
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    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    According to Lee, if it really is 21 BHN, it should be good to somewhere around 26,700 PSI. With .40, too little pressure most likely won't be a problem, but to keep leading to a minimum, you gotta find the sweet spot. Too much pressure and it can lead, and too little, and the bullet won't obturate enough to seal, and it can lead. As long as the leading isn't really bad, it's not a problem at all. A Lewis lead remover makes it a piece of cake to clean a handgun barrel.

    You just have to find a "moderate" pressure load. Velocity has no relationship to leading, so don't try and build your loads based on that.

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