Well, it’s getting close to time to actually start loading 40 S&W! I’ve been working on getting ready for a while now (See 40 S&W brass considerations post and Redding GRX Die setup/operation post). Following the cleaning of my 40 S&W brass, it was time to run all of the brass through the Redding GRX die. I started with about 500 pieces of mixed brass and nickel casings:
Initially, I had used Imperial Case Sizing Wax to run brass through the Redding GRX die, but for the bulk “de-bulging” operation I opted for the less messy and easier to apply Hornady One-Shot lube. This lube actually worked well, without excessive friction/force when running the brass through the GRX die. With the handy case holder cup and some practice, this process went pretty fast. I only had one hiccup, which was a case that I put in upside-down. It was pretty easy to get the case back out, and I was off and running again. The bottle/hopper accessory is a must-have in my opinion. It holds quite a few cases and works great, allowing you to load it to “full” capacity:
The entire de-bulging process was pretty quick, and mindless once you get into the rhythm. Once that task was complete, it was time to start thinking about what components to use. I always like to sort that out carefully before setting up the press. I started by reading up on reloading data. First steps were to open the Hornady load data manual, and the Speer reloading manual to check what would be suggested for 40 S&W at various bullet weights. I confirmed that I’d be using regular small pistol primers, and decided to use Winchester Small Pistol since they seem to work great with a variety of loads. I had a couple of different bullets on hand, including Hornady 155 grain XTPs, and Speer 180 grain TMJs. I decided to go with the 180′s this time. That left powder to decide on. I noticed that Alliant Blue Dot seemed to be a popular powder with this load, and I had a jug on hand that I wasn’t planning to use for anything else, so I opted to use Blue Dot for these loads.
With brass de-bulged and cleaned/sorted, and components selected, there was only one additional thing to decide: charge weight. After reading through both load manuals, and perusing some load data for 40 S&W on handloads.com, I decided on the charge weight. Here’s what I’ve decided to load for this batch:
Use load data at your own risk. Ultimate Reloader can not be held liable for errors in load data. Always cross-check load data with manufacturer’s published load data before loading.
- Brass: mixed 40S&W, de-bulged/sized
- Primer: Winchester Small Pistol (WSP)
- Powder: Alliant Blue Dot, 7.8 grains
- Bullet: Speer 180 grain TMJ
Next in this series: Setting up the progressive reloading press for this load. It’s going to be fun!