Reloading The .40 S&W

Posted on: Tuesday January 5, 2021
The .40 S&W
MD Smith

MD Smith


(WC= WadCutter, SWC= Semi-WadCutter, HP= Hollow Point, RN= Round Nose), (JHP= Jacketed Hollow Point and if GC indicated, means Gas Check at bottom of lead bullet)

Loads for .40 S&W special: ( .400 dia. bullet)(case length .850″) Shorter version of the 10mm and they are NOT interchangable.
(Note: These are near maximum loads, you should use 10% less to start.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Due to different barrel lengths, type of bullet, seating depth, primer type and other factors, you may not get near the FPS charted. It is just a guide and the reason you should start under these charges and work up.

135 grain JHP or JSP (Jacketed Hollow or Soft Point)
Bullseye7.6 gr.1,350 FPS
Unique8.5 gr.1,290
Trail Boss 2.6 gr.1,324
Clays2.4 gr.1,071
No. 23.4 gr.1,247
No. 59.3 gr.1,266
150 grain JHP
Bullseye6.7 gr.1,225 FPS
Unique8.0 gr.1,245
Universal6.6 gr.1,186
Clays4.0 gr.937
HP386.0 gr.1,105
No. 27.0 gr.1,155
No. 58.3 gr.1,170
WST6.3 gr.1,050
WSF7.7 gr.1,200
IMR 422710.0 gr.~ ~ (user Frank contributed)
180 grain Lead (Redline Truncated Cone, Cast)
Bullseye5.1 gr.970 FPS
AA No. 56.3 gr.—– (Load of Marshall Tresaugue)
(CCI 500 Small Pistol Primer)
180 grain JHP
Bulleye5.5 gr.1,015 FPS
Trail Boss 2.6 gr.1,065
HP-38 & W-231 2.4 gr.1,046
HP-38 & W-231 3.4 gr.847
Titegroup 2.0 gr.950
Titegroup 3.0 gr.967
Clays 2.5 gr.965
ZIP 3.3 gr.900
WSF6.2 gr.1,040
200 grain FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) (this bullet may not seat properly or function properly in the case. Use caution and care)
Bullseye4.6 gr.945 FPS
Unique5.3 gr.955
24008.5 gr.925
Universal4.7 gr.903
HP384.7 gr.850
HS66.9 gr.902
No. 24.7 gr.815
No. 55.5 gr.828
WST4.5 gr.810
WSF5.7 gr.930
200 grain LEAD RN
WST3.5 gr.760
WSF5.0 gr.920

Discussion: Bullseye and Unique are from Alliant (also 2400). Universal and Clays are from Hodgdon and similar to Bullseye and Unique. Respectively are No.2 and No.5 from Accurate.

All these are pretty strong loads and all use a jacketed bullet. There are some loads for lead bullets, but I don’t find many people interested in them. Since most of these loads are pretty hot, I don’t recommend lead in any of them. I don’t personally shoot a gun with the 40 S&W and all of the loads are right out of the manuals.

*
Bullseye, Unique and 2400 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.
Clays, Universal, HP38, HS6 and H4895 are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR 3031 and IMR 4895 are products of IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company.
No. 2, No. 5, #2230, and #2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company
WMR, WSF, WST, WSL, 760, 748, 231 and 540 are products of Winchester, Components Div.

References: Accurate Arms Co. 1996 Reloading booklet – – Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders’ Guide (1995) – – Hodgdon’s Basic Reloaders Manual (1996) – – Speer Reloading Manual, #12 – – Winchester Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition – – Lyman Piston & Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. – – VihtaVuori Oy Company, reloading booklet (1995) – – Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where noted.