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  #1  
Old 04-14-2008, 03:29 PM
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Reloading for .40 cal Glocks...Dangerous?


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Hello,

I have been reloading for about two years, mainly .308, .38 and .223. I have decided that I want to get into reloading .40 caliber, however, there seems to be two schools of thought out there.

The first says that reloading .40 is dangerous (more dangerous than regular reloading) espesially for the glock. They say that the Glock will "kaboom" with reloads and that you shouldn't shoot cast bullets out of the factory barrel.

The second group says, that as long as you follow factory tolerances you will be fine and that cast bullets are ok.

I plan to reload once fired brass that I got from a local police range with cast bullets that I will be casting myself, probably 150 or 165 grn bullets.

Does anyone out there have any personal experience with this that can give me a definitive answer?

Thanks guys,

Duane
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2008, 05:14 PM
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Reload with copper jacketed or copper plated bullets, and you'll be OK.
Don't use cast lead.
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  #3  
Old 04-14-2008, 05:14 PM
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Well I can't help you with the lead bullets, if have choosen to not use those in my Glock 22 or 27. I have reloaded hundreds of .40s that I have shot through both of my Glocks. I usually use copper plated bullets from Berry's, I just ordered 1000. I have just made sure to use starting loads in all my .40 reloads and have yet to have a problem.

Another option would be to get an aftermarket barrel. You can get some for as little as $100, I haven't tried one, though I have been considering it. Most aftermarket barrels have conventional rifling and a more supported chamber, which makes lead less of an issue and should cause less wear to your brass.

Good luck, I am sure that you will get more opinions both ways. Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmd3006 View Post
Reload with copper jacketed or copper plated bullets, and you'll be OK.
Don't use cast lead.
+1
That's what I did. You can use cast bullets but getting an aftermarket barrel specifically designed for cast bullets is a good idea. Some guys do it with the factory barrel but admit they keep close track of any lead buildup in the barrel.

All things considered, I far prefer the jacketed/plated bullets in a semi... especially a Glock.
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  #5  
Old 04-14-2008, 07:25 PM
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Have personally witnessed several .40 cal Glocks come apart at our local gunrange (I'm a range officer) from folks reloading cast bullets in the original factory barrel.

Don't own any form of tupperware handgun, but if I did, only jacketed bullets would be used.
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  #6  
Old 04-14-2008, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
+1
That's what I did. You can use cast bullets but getting an aftermarket barrel specifically designed for cast bullets is a good idea. . .
+2
That's what my shooting pard did with his Glock, got an after market barrel that could shoot cast bullets. Glock recommends jacketed bullets for their factory barrels.
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2008, 03:55 AM
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I've reloaded a bunch of ammo for the 40's and even some lead for both the Smith 4013 I owned and a friends Taurus Millennium, but I certainly wouldn't load anything but jacketed bullets for the Glock given the reputation they have and I'd sure stay within the loading books recommendations.
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2008, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
+1
You can use cast bullets but getting an aftermarket barrel specifically designed for cast bullets is a good idea. Some guys do it with the factory barrel but admit they keep close track of any lead buildup in the barrel.
+3

Glock sez "don't do it" so I don't do it. Jacketeds and plated only for my Plastic Fantastics. so long as you use the correct bullet type and stick with reliable data there's no more problem reloading for Glocks than anything else. That's all I've shoot through my three for the last 20 years or so. No "kabooms" thus far.
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2008, 05:45 AM
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The above posts concentrated on the bullet type, but the unsupported chamber of the factory barrel is (in my estimation) an even bigger risk. Except with loads too weak to cycle the action, you WILL bulge the brass of every case you fire, including factory ammo you might shoot to get brass. The bulge is just above the web of the case, too far down to be reshaped by the size die (the bulge is right in the spot that the shellholder covers). Subsequent loads are almost sure to burst the case at that weakened bulge area.

Unless your barrel FULLY supports the chamber, do NOT reload the .40 S&W, period.

(BTW, that warning is posted in several loading manuals, it is not just my opinion.)
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2008, 05:50 AM
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We've hashed it out, you can search. Rocky is correct. Sometimes they (Glocks) come apart with factory loads. 40s seem to be the worst offenders. With the short fat cartridges Glock seemed to decide that really, really generous chamber dimensions were the key to reliable feeding.

I've reloaded for a .40 in the past (and yes with lead bulets) and didn't have a problem, but kept an eye on the chamber buildup and also the degree of 'pregnancy' that the brass exhibited.

If you're going to reload, keep them as mild as the gun will cycle, my advice.
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  #11  
Old 04-15-2008, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky Raab View Post
Unless your barrel FULLY supports the chamber, do NOT reload the .40 S&W, period.

(BTW, that warning is posted in several loading manuals, it is not just my opinion.)

Yep... I agree with Rocky, the unsupported chamber is too much of a risk. One of the action pistol guys I shoot with has had three blowups. If you want to reload for the glock, get a barrel that fully supports the case.
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  #12  
Old 04-15-2008, 06:30 AM
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Oh I hate to go down this path but can't help myself.

Yes, the Glock Kaboom reputation is almost totally born of the 40 S&W (where there is not a clear case of a double charge or something similar). It has happened with some factory loads. It has happened with some reloads. So, if there is a genuine problem with Glock's and kabooms, I think it's in the 40. Other brands have had the same thing happen but it is not as popular to write about.

But I still think it's a pretty weak case to make. IDPA shooters go through tens (or is it hundreds) of millions of reloaded 40's per year without unexplained kabooms (ie... good reloads with jacketed or plated bullets in factory barrels). A lot of them do it with Glock's. Many other shooters reload 40's in their Glock's without kabooms. Finally, I do not believe Glock is willing to sell police/military/citizens kaboom prone guns. If they did, it would not be long before they could not give them away. With good jacketed ammo, I cannot find a reasonable arguement against the 40 in a Glock. Kabooms have happened to about every brand of semi out there for one reason or another. Like I said, if there is a problem with Glock's and kabooms, I will conceed it's with the 40. Yet, I cannot find any clear substance to the claim that a Glock in 40 is worse than anything else. There is a lot of evidence to the contrary. There is an issue with lead bullets. There is an issue with hot rodded loads. Outside of that, nothing but talk.

But just for clairity, I'll offer this. I've been shooting Glock's for about 13 years now. With the 40's in the 27 and the 23, I did not reload for them. Except for exactly 2 FTF (failure to feed) due to bad Blazer ammo, I never had any failures of any sort. This was out of a couple thousand rounds of different factory ammo's. With my & others Glock 45's (21,30 and 36), and 90% reloads, I never had a failure of any sort under any condition. 100% perfect firing and function for 6 years and about 8000 rounds. Clean guns, dirty guns, left hand, right hand, super slow shooting and super fast shooting was all no difference. Oh yeah, no kabooms either. Nothing is perfect but my Glock experience says it's pretty close.
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  #13  
Old 04-15-2008, 06:48 AM
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10-4. So as long as I get a quality aftermarket barrel with standard rifling and a properly supported chamber and strickly stick to SAMMI specs I should be reasonably safe.
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  #14  
Old 04-15-2008, 06:58 AM
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Yup, that's correct, stu.
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2008, 09:04 AM
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Speaking of unsupported chambers, my Russian made Makarov .380 has the "guppy" bellies on fired cases. The feed ramp is cut too deeply into the chamber and causes this. I use only factory ammo and never try to reload the swollen stuff.
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  #16  
Old 04-15-2008, 12:17 PM
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I handload for my G27- .40 and G36- .45 auto, both range and hot loads. Out of thousands of plated and jacketed rounds through both stock barrels of OEM ammunition and my handloads, I have seen 2 cases, possibly 3 that were an obvious product of the unsuppported area. And I seem to recall these may have all been in .45.

All of my load development is performed with Glock barrels and I try and use aftermarket S/S barrels for normal range use, but forget to do the change often.

I think all Browning type feed mechanisms have an unsupported chamber area. Glocks may be the most so and are probably also the highest selling brand, which would bring more numbers to the mix for both sides of the argument. I have an EFK barrel for the G36 and had to do a bit of grinding to get it to feed reliably for range use but will not use it for carry since it has enough support that I can tell the rounds slow down as they are feeding, unlike the stock barrel.

That said, all of my really high pressure load testing is done with new/slightly used Starline brass and I do not shoot lead.
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  #17  
Old 04-15-2008, 01:03 PM
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Yep, all Browning style semi auto handguns have "partially supported" chambers. It just happens that the Glock is a little less supported than many of the other brands to help with reliability in cycling all types of ammunition. That is one reason it has such a good reputation and holds close to 70% of the law enforcement market. As far as pregnant cases, I usually load starting loads for my practice ammo, but I have yet to be able to see the bulge in a case.

Just use some common sense when it comes to reloading, as you always should. As far as an aftermarket barrel, if you are unsure, just get one. Peace of mind for the shooter is much more important for the shooter than just relying on others experiences.
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  #18  
Old 04-15-2008, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
Oh I hate to go down this path but can't help myself.

Yes, the Glock Kaboom reputation is almost totally born of the 40 S&W (where there is not a clear case of a double charge or something similar). It has happened with some factory loads. It has happened with some reloads. So, if there is a genuine problem with Glock's and kabooms, I think it's in the 40. Other brands have had the same thing happen but it is not as popular to write about.

But I still think it's a pretty weak case to make. IDPA shooters go through tens (or is it hundreds) of millions of reloaded 40's per year without unexplained kabooms (ie... good reloads with jacketed or plated bullets in factory barrels). A lot of them do it with Glock's. Many other shooters reload 40's in their Glock's without kabooms. Finally, I do not believe Glock is willing to sell police/military/citizens kaboom prone guns. If they did, it would not be long before they could not give them away. With good jacketed ammo, I cannot find a reasonable arguement against the 40 in a Glock. Kabooms have happened to about every brand of semi out there for one reason or another. Like I said, if there is a problem with Glock's and kabooms, I will conceed it's with the 40. Yet, I cannot find any clear substance to the claim that a Glock in 40 is worse than anything else. There is a lot of evidence to the contrary. There is an issue with lead bullets. There is an issue with hot rodded loads. Outside of that, nothing but talk.

But just for clairity, I'll offer this. I've been shooting Glock's for about 13 years now. With the 40's in the 27 and the 23, I did not reload for them. Except for exactly 2 FTF (failure to feed) due to bad Blazer ammo, I never had any failures of any sort. This was out of a couple thousand rounds of different factory ammo's. With my & others Glock 45's (21,30 and 36), and 90% reloads, I never had a failure of any sort under any condition. 100% perfect firing and function for 6 years and about 8000 rounds. Clean guns, dirty guns, left hand, right hand, super slow shooting and super fast shooting was all no difference. Oh yeah, no kabooms either. Nothing is perfect but my Glock experience says it's pretty close.
Well stated, Bill.

And my experiences nearly mirror yours (over about 7 more years and a few more rounds) other than I run a 29 10mm besides the 27 and 23 in 40 S&W. No kabooms. No split or nearly kaboomed casings. No FTF or FTE ever with any of the three guns with factories or reloads (predominantly reloads).

I feel the Glock kaboom penomenon has become more or less just hay to be made by haters of plastic than a truly problematic flaw of the Blastin Gaston. Guns are machines. All machines can fail. I don't know that it's been statistically shown that the Glock percentage failure rate is any higher than the other machines.
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  #19  
Old 04-16-2008, 08:13 PM
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No, I'll disagree, I think it's more than prejudice. The chambers are cut really generous. And the plastic frame.... what do yout think will happen when a case head lets go with a high-pressure round? When a 1911 blows a case head, the gun usually survives. Steel frame plus much lower pressures, equals a less severe problem.

That Glocks do come apart with factory loads tells us that there is a clear issue.

Does that mean I think it's a bad product? No.... I have carried them. There are imperfections in the design (same as with anything else). When I carried one, I accepted that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages.

It's a good product, but Glock screwed up with the .40 chambering.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:55 PM
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In my G23 I switched my barrel out to a Barsto and have absolutely no issues with loading cast or jacketed and I follow the exact same loading procedure loading 40S&W as I do any other pistol cartridge.
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