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Postmaster General
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am working up a new batch of .40 and I have a strange thing happening with my brass. My load is 180Gr Meister LRNFP sitting on top of 5.9 Gr of Power Pistol and CCI 500 primers. 5.9 is the starting load for a lead cast bullet according to Lyman. Well, I took out 3 batches, 5.9Gr., 6.1Gr, and 6.3 gr. I loaded up the 10 5.9 Gr. and shot them, but really didn't feel comfortable moving up, and in fact am considering moving DOWN. They had a heavy recoil and were considerably loud. Loudness is the norm for power pistol, but it was the brass that concerned me. The brass was discolored in a strange way I had not seen before. It looks as if, well if I had to describe it: You know when the Nickel plating wears off of cases you see the brass underneath? Well this looks like the exact opposite. The brass cases have silver spots/streaks running up from the case mouth about 1/3 of the case. It looks like brass is wearing off, but the cases are solid brass. Almost like it got too hot. Does anyone have any idea what I am talking about? Could those marks be coming from the lead bullets? Could it be a heat issue? Any insight?
 

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Occupy NYF JBT Tank Operator
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It appears from data on brianenos forums that you are running about 975fps with the 5.9gr load. The consensus over there is that PP is not a very good 40sw powder and produces pretty snappy recoil. PP burns hot and there are several accounts of loads from about 6.0-6.5gr that have caused leading in the barrel, this may explain the silver on your spent cases. W/o pics its hard to diagnose.

If you are just making plinking ammo for the range and are going to continue to use PP I would decrease your loads. 5.0gr should still produce enough pressure to cycle your gun w/o problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With my other .40 load I had 155 Gr Hornady XTP over 7.0 Gr of PP and it was just fine. I have actually heard the opposite about PP. Lots of people like it. I had no problem with the Jacketed XTP bullets and in fact quite enjoyed the load, but this seem hot. Barrel doesn't appear to be leaded though.
 

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Snappy response with 180gr bullets is going to be there no matter what so you need to analyze the primers, spent cases and barrel.
Pressure signs come in twos. Flatten primers and extrusion marks are typical. The issue with lead is that if you are shooting out of a pistol with a polygonal cut rifling (typical in European made guns like Glock, Sig, H&K) that rifling "bites" hard on the cast bullets and therefore fooling might happen quickly and in some cases can lead to issues. That is why Glock for example provide warnings and they void the warranty if you use lead bullets. There are aftermaket barrels for modern pistols more suited for lead loads. I don't mean this is your issue because I don't know your pistol model and barrel but personally I don't see the benefit on shooting lead on modern pistols. Also lead is a health hazard in the air so make sure you shoot outside only. Many indoor ranges do not allow all lead bullets anymore for that reason.
It is hard to diagnose something like this w/o seeing it but like spydermonkey suggested it might not hurt to come down 1/2 grain. If something doesn't feel good it might not be good so better to take the safe route until the issue is carefully analyzed.
Look out fore leading in those barrels!!
 

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With my other .40 load I had 155 Gr Hornady XTP over 7.0 Gr of PP and it was just fine. I have actually heard the opposite about PP. Lots of people like it. I had no problem with the Jacketed XTP bullets and in fact quite enjoyed the load, but this seem hot. Barrel doesn't appear to be leaded though.
PP is a great powder. It outperforms many other powders in many calibers and loads. I would not try anything faster for 180gr cast. WST is one that works well with 40 caliber lighter loads too.
 

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Post some pictures of the case ( top, sides and bottom)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Snappy response with 180gr bullets is going to be there no matter what so you need to analyze the primers, spent cases and barrel.
Pressure signs come in twos. Flatten primers and extrusion marks are typical. The issue with lead is that if you are shooting out of a pistol with a polygonal cut rifling (typical in European made guns like Glock, Sig, H&K) that rifling "bites" hard on the cast bullets and therefore fooling might happen quickly and in some cases can lead to issues. That is why Glock for example provide warnings and they void the warranty if you use lead bullets. There are aftermaket barrels for modern pistols more suited for lead loads. I don't mean this is your issue because I don't know your pistol model and barrel but personally I don't see the benefit on shooting lead on modern pistols. Also lead is a health hazard in the air so make sure you shoot outside only. Many indoor ranges do not allow all lead bullets anymore for that reason.
It is hard to diagnose something like this w/o seeing it but like spydermonkey suggested it might not hurt to come down 1/2 grain. If something doesn't feel good it might not be good so better to take the safe route until the issue is carefully analyzed.
Look out fore leading in those barrels!!
It's my Walther P99 .40. 4" BBL, traditional lands and groves rifling. Primers aren't flattened. I see the cost benefit in loading lead. :) I loaded up 2 more batches @ 5.7 and 5.5 to see what happens. I would post pics, but the silver color and shiny brass don't contrast well enough in lighting I have found.
 

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Did the round fit in a go/no go gauge, I am wondering if your sizer die may be out of adjustment. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did the round fit in a go/no go gauge, I am wondering if your sizer die may be out of adjustment. Just a thought.
It fit. 1.125"
 

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I've got 5 empty cans of Power Pistol as a testament to how much of the stuff I loaded before switching. It was loud, had lots of muzzle flash, and spewed unburnt powder all over my stuff. I switched to Bullseye because it doesn't have the above issues, and also because I can use about a third less of it and it costs the same amount (free savings!). I suspect Power Pistol is really good in more competition-oriented loads where you need to make a certain power level to qualify, and are using full-size guns. Although even in my 4.5" .45ACP with the minimal starting load, I got the unburnt powder issue.

Anyway, when I used PP, it was not unusual for my cases to be very discolored after firing. I'm not sure I would describe them as silver, but definitely covered in a darker color that hid the brass. Polishing the brass in a tumbler always restored them back to shiny new brass. This happens with Bullseye as well to a lesser extent. I'm not sure if this is the problem you're seeing, but if it is, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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Just a thought on the problem.

If the cases are crimped too tightly and the case mouth is reduced too much could gases be blowing back around the cartridge before it expands enough to seal against the chamber. ??

Just a thought. Measure a few finished rounds to see how they compare to some factory rounds and your chamber size. ??

bosco
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just a thought on the problem.

If the cases are crimped too tightly and the case mouth is reduced too much could gases be blowing back around the cartridge before it expands enough to seal against the chamber. ??

Just a thought. Measure a few finished rounds to see how they compare to some factory rounds and your chamber size. ??

bosco
I would expect blackening then. This looks almost like annealing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Could the "silver" streaks be lead that has flowed back from the bullets?

OMO

bosco
That's what I was thinking. Is that normal? This is my first time loading lead in the .40. I load it in the .38/.357 and do not get that though.
 

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No it is not normal
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I wanted to give you guys an update on this. I backed the load off in 2 steps of .2 Gr. I loaded 5.7 and 5.5 Gr. of PP. Much better. The streaks were gone completely and it felt more like factory loads. I'm keeping it at 5.5 now.


I also shot some of my .357Mag reloads with 9.4Gr or PP under a 125Gr Meister LRNFP. I wasn't testing these, I had already worked them up. They shoot great, but redefine BARK. They rock the countryside. That is what I kind of want when shooting .357Mag though. :)
 

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I load PP for my .40 right around 4.7gr with 180gr copper plated RN bullets.

I can get down to about 4.3 and still get *mostly* reliable cycling - but it definitely plays nicer up near 4.7. When this batch is done I'm moving over to AA#5 (its what was available when I was restocking a few months back).
 
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