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Just completed my first reloads!

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16 rounds of .40 S&W, 165gr Ranier RNFP plated on 9.1gr of Blue Dot.

These are going to be used as low recoil target loads meant for my wife and I to work on our accuracy. I'll be upping the charge as we both become more proficient in both shooting and loading.

I'm told I should have gone with Unique but I was looking for a powder with published info in both calibres I'm going to be loading and BD was the one. Plus the store was out of Unique!

Edit; 16 rounds because our pistol mags are 8 round cap.
 
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I think you will find your loads to be just a bit warm for what you are wanting at this point. The important part for lite loads is that they cycle the slide. How your case is ejected will tell you a lot. Let someone fire several rounds and watch the guns performance and how the cases eject and where they land. Use that data to adjust your loads.
That's one man's opinion.
 
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Off the top of my head 9.1 grains of B.D. with that bullet weight is pretty hot

a super hot 110 grain .357 magnum I would make would only be into the 13 + grains ( I never post exact loads) level of BD and that would be a S & W or Ruger load only

Always start low and work your way up.. I move up by 1 or 2 tenths of a grain in 5 rd lots. Invest in a good kinetic bullet puller so if you are too hot you can pull the bullets and salvage everything

I'm using Herco for .40 S & W, for both lead 175 target loads (I cast my own) and Gold Dot 155 grain JHPs
 
OP
darkminstrel
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From what I was reading 9.1 is my middle of the road. Many people advised against too hot of a charge with the Ranier bullets due to reports of the plating just peeling off at speeds over 1100ish FPS, which is consistent with what the company advises.

I'll be working up loads from 7gr to 10gr on the top end. I think I'll be investing in a chrono soon as well.
 
OP
darkminstrel
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Off the top of my head 9.1 grains of B.D. with that bullet weight is pretty hot
Hmm...I'll work on the lower end of the spectrum then. I couldn't find much in the way of specific data regarding my bullets and calibre combo, Ranier recommends using cast info but even that is a bit of a hunt to dredge up. I'll be slow-firing from a supported position on my first groupings from each lot. I'm in no rush to empty my mags.
 
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Max in the Lyman Reloading Handbook is 9.2gr. Check more handload manuals in the stores. (ya' don't always have to buy it unless it's what ya' need).
The Lyman is a good Ref.; esp. for Cast bullets.
There we are. I did not want to go down to my library and dig out a manual, but that says it all. I would go with 8.0 grains as a starter load, myself. Milder for initial training and it will save powder

Don't get me wrong, eventually you will want safe but hotter loads to duplicate your carry loads, but that is afar off
 
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Blue Dot powder is just fine for what you are doing. I currently use Titegroup and Hi Skor 800X but have used tons of BD for nearly identical loads as you have and they work great. 9.1 grains is NOT a hot load for that set up. The use of Unique should be a suggestion not a demand. It's good powder but it definately isn't the king of powders for the 40. Titegroup is only $15.97 at Bi-Mart and so far is the most accurate powder with the bullets I use. So, just do some experimenting and see what works best for you.
 

turq

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The Lyman manual is conservative for sure, but 9.2 is a good stop/max load. 40S&W pressure limit is one to approach slowly. Make several shoot several/do it again. Slowly done is good...
 
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Ive found that 165 gr and blue dot is one STIFF load, i cant remember the charge but it wasn't anywhere max, but they had more snap then walmart federal champion 180s, Ive been using unique and 180gr lead round nose and its a much softer load, But for both 40 and 10mm i really prefer 135gr with both unique and blue dot really accurate and no snap, great for shooting plates, Id recommend giving them a try Ive been using the noslers, but rainier makes them as well
 
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I am down to loading for only one pistol caliber, 9mm, but over the years I never worried about whether a powder was "useful" for more than one caliber. I was more concerned with "case fill". I tried to work with a powder that filled the case at least 80% of the available space. I did this for a couple of reasons. One was safety. If a case is filled well over half with a single powder drop, it overflows with a double charge. A dead giveaway that you've messed up. The second is for consistency of powder burn. All of my loads tended to perform better when the case had more powder in it. Chronograph tests showed more consistent speeds.

Currently I load 6.4 gr of Power Pistol under 124gr JHP's.

It's my view that it's better to use a powder that matches best the bullet weight and case capacity rather than find one that covers a broader range of loads. Some will be good and others just OK.
 
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I use cast data or the low end of jacketed for plated bullets. I've pushed them pretty hard a couple of times and they didn't peel. As suggested, Lyman is a good source for cast bullet loads.

The problem with reloading manuals is you can't have just one. They vary a lot, and, you can see the changes in powders and legal liability if you look at them over time. I have several older versions and they were less "conservative".
 
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Blue Dot is a pretty versatile powder - serves a variety of calibers over a fairly good range of charge weights. But I agree your load does seem to be a bit on the high end. There is (theoretically) a safety factor built into published loading data but as pointed out above, there are also variations in published data. I prefer data that lists pressures as well as charge ranges and velocities. Middle of the road works fine for me - no sense diminishing gun life. Those things are expensive.
 

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