180 Grain Light load recommendations. [Archive] - Glock Talk


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09-23-2010, 09:07
180 Grain Light load recommendations.

After a 15 year break from reloading, I worked up a hundred new Winchester primed cases that had been sitting on the bench, gathering dust since March of 1994.

185 grain Colorado Cast Bullet
9.0 grains of AA#7
New Winchester case
CCI 300 primer.
1.250 COAL

I don’t have a chrono, but I’m guestimating the velocity around 950-1000 fps, maybe less with my 4.25” barrel.

We were shooting a few other guns and I only ran 30-40 rounds through my 1911 Dan Wesson CBOB at 7 yards, but the results appeared good, this load seems to shoot well and cycled the gun. The plan is to bench this load for accuracy at 25 yards in the near future.

I only have about 150 or so bullets left along with a small amount of AA#7, and some mixed 1 time fired brass, so I’ll probably finish off these bullets with the above load. The bullet is still available at my local gun shop after all these years, so if it gets good results I may stick with it.

But in the meantime I’m looking for suggestions for a good 180-200 grain target, plinking load. Low velocity is what I’m looking for as well as accuracy, I’m taking it easy on both me and the gun.

I’m open to suggestions, for powder and even a lighter bullet, if you’ve had good results with it.

I’ll probably load up both a hard cast and FMJ/TMJ, the FMJ/TMJ for indoor range use over the winter and would want to keep the bullet weight and load the same.

The main use of this pistol is a woods gun in Colorado, I’ve been carrying Double Tap 200 grain XTP’s and FMJ’s for this purpose. I’ve run probably 150 or so of these loads through the gun and so far so good, but being a 1911 I don’t want to run a steady diet of “hot loads” through it. I’m very pleased with the accuracy of both these Double Tap loads.

For self defense in the city and if I'm not carrying my .45acp, I keep some mags loaded up with 180 grain Gold Dots from Georgia Arms, my supply is dwindling so I'll probably work up something similar in the future for this purpose, although I see Gold Dots are in short supply.

I’m running a 22 pound recoil spring and it seemed to digest the above mild load so far without a hiccup.

09-25-2010, 13:20
Jitterbug sorry read your post a while back forgot to get back to you. Hope this info helps its from Handloads.com (http://www.handloads.org/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=10%20mm&Weight=All&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=)
Lots of different powders, and bullet weights, hot and light loads to choose from. Best of luck, glad your back from your break....Bru

09-26-2010, 23:30
If you have any left, could you save me five or so of those Colorado Cast 185gr bullets? I've been looking for some for my reference collection, because they're cited constantly in several of the older Accurate Arms manuals. I'd like to take measurements and get seating depth, etc., off of them for my 10mm load book. If you still have some, let me know, and I'll send you a message with my address.

You don't mention if you're a bullet caster, but Lee makes a nice 6-cavity mould that makes a 175gr Truncated Cone (very similar to your Colorado bullets) that loads and shoots very nicely with any mid-range powder. I use W231, but Unique, AA#5 or any medium-burn-rate pistol powder will work well in the 10mm for a practice load. If you want, I could send you a sample in return for those Colorado 185s...

For a hunting bullet, I like the 200gr XTPs. If you want penetration, a 200-220gr cast Flat Nose would give you all you need/want. For self-defense, it's hard to beat Gold Dots in this platform, especially since they don't NEED to be driven to max velocity to work well. I load them to around 1150fps and am happy with the penetration, expansion, and recoil... For full power loads, I've always liked AA#9. It's the slowest powder that is dense enough to fit max loads into the 10mm case, or very close to it. Others will give you more good suggestions, too, as there's more than one way to skin the 10mm full-power-load cat.

09-26-2010, 23:32
I forget what charge I used, but Unique works EXTREMELY well for light 180gr loads. Very accurate, and functioned my factory 17# spring and my Wolff 22# spring flawlessly. Compared to my heavy loads, it felt like shooting a G17.

09-27-2010, 08:34
Thanks guys, MakeMineA10mm, I'd be happy to send you a few, sent me your details and I'd be happy to pop some in the mail for you.

I'm using some 1991 load data from the 4th Edition Accurate Arms and The Complete Reloading Manual for the 10mm/.40 S&W/.41 AE published back in 1991.

The latter has a Sierra 180 JHP load with a start of 8.5 grains of AA#7 for 850 fps and the 190 JHP at 8.6 grains. I found some other data in these old manuals and more or less extrapolated to get my 9.0 grain load.

I know one shouldn't load below published load data and this is my concern, not only that but I'm sure "more knowledge" has been added to the reloading database for the 10mm since 1991.

My objective is to develop the mildest 170-200 grain hard cast and FMJ loads I can come up with and hopefully from two sources of verifiable and published data. With the lighter load being the high volume low velocity plinker, essentially mimicking a light .45acp. Changing recoil springs is pretty much a non issue as long as everything else times right.

I'll look into more recent Unique, 231 and AA#5 data.

As far as bullets, I don't have enough recent data yet to determine if the Colorado Cast is going to be good, so far it seems so and I recall getting good results in my old 1006 from this load. I want to bench the load, (easier said then done) for accuracy and then of course determine if leading is going to be an issue. If its good, then I'll probably just settle into this load and call it good to go, especially since the same bullet is still available at the local gun shop.

I don't mold my own so any specific recommendations for good cast bullet sources. Weights from 170-200?

The 200 Hardcast is going to be a hot load developed for max penetration. It's basically a self defense load for braining a moose or bear if the occasion calls for it. I fish and hike in bear and moose country in the warmer months with the occasional Buffalo thrown in for added excitement.

I know a .41/.44/.45 revolver loaded to max. would be better, I just don't care to carry those all day and I shoot the 1911/Glock/ auto's much more accurately and quicker.

09-29-2010, 21:43
That much background info is really helpful to give you useful advice.

As far as the light load goes, I'd stick with a cast bullet. First, it will be cheaper and therefore allow the greater volume of shooting. Second, cast bullets create less bore resistence than jacketed, and therefore you can load them lower and not worry about sticking a bullet in the barrel. Now, with all that said, the question of whether you are still using the factory barrel comes up. There is a lot of controversy and argument about this subject (especially here on the interweb...), but basically shooting lead bullets in polygonal rifling is generally considered bad medicine and not recommended. The suggestion is to get an inexpensive replacement barrel with conventional rifling.

Now, also regarding the light load -- I think the problem you'll run into first is getting the slide to cycle reliably (before you run into the problem of sticking a bullet in the barrel). Properly designed and engineered 10mms (like the G-20 and S&W 3rd Gen. autos) have heavier slides and/or heavier springs. I have a comparison picture of a Glock 21 (45ACP) slide and a G-20 slide below. As you can see the 10mm slide has full-width walls all the way. This is for weight, which balances against the recoil in a Browning system to control how quickly the slide opens. The more powerful the cartridge the heavier the slide, in order to slow down the slide opening until the pressure has dropped sufficiently to allow cycling, but without blowing cases... This heavier slide REQUIRES/DEMANDS some more recoil than the thinner slide to get the gun to cycle reliably.
(OK, couldn't get the pic to load right. I'll try again in a new post below.)

I'll send you a private message with my mailing address. THANKS very much for the samples!

09-29-2010, 21:45
OK, this should have the pic attached

10-01-2010, 07:57

Not sure if you sent the information...I struggle a bit with the message system.

10-02-2010, 08:36

Awhile back I've tried 6.8gr of W231. It approached 1100 fps. You can always go down from there to suit your needs.

10-17-2010, 17:01
As a workaround to the polygonal barrel issue (I think you said you are running a 1911 so probably N/A), I like Berry's 180 gr FN DS (double-struck) plated bullets. They are only a bit more expensive than lead. The DS bullets are uniform. I have shot a lot of them with Blue Dot @ about 1050. They work great, and this what I shoot most in IDPA matches. I would choose a different powder if going too much slower than that.

I am currently working on migrating to A7. That looks promising. A7 is cleaner, quieter, and meters better than BD.

10-21-2010, 05:52
For high-performance loads, I sure wish there was an AA#8... :whistling:

MSgt Dotson
11-01-2010, 09:16
Back when the Ten was allowed in CDP, I used 5.7 gr of Unique with 180 gr FMJ rounds for 940 fps....; very pleasant...

11-15-2010, 19:49
Sea Level, 65* F
6" LWD Barrel
Wolff 24# Spring
1.26 OAL
Winchester 231
CCI300 Primers
Starline Brass

Ave: 948
ES: 17

11-23-2010, 17:15
does any of this change if i'm using a g21/20L(conversion barrel)?

i was using aa#2, working up, when i saw an entry stating the dangers of 22#2 so i dumped the 30 rounds i'd loaded and reloaded w/PP(8.3) as i'm looking for a light load as well.

11-23-2010, 17:34
also shooting these loads through a stock g20 as well.

11-24-2010, 07:07
Hi Mikey

Can you copy and paste the article about the dangers of AA#2?

11-24-2010, 08:15
Back when the Ten was allowed in CDP, I used 5.7 gr of Unique with 180 gr FMJ rounds for 940 fps....; very pleasant...
Yup, +1. In my G20SF, For 180 grain TMJ, I use 6.1 Grains of Unique. Very accurate and less kick than a 180 grain bullet out of my G21 in .45 ACP.

11-24-2010, 09:08
any other applications for unique as i will be buying a new can? just off the top of your head. not recipes, just uses please. also, can i sub berrys plated for tmj by lowering the load? feel free to opt out on this question(legal standpoint).

i'll look for it. i think it was in this section but maybe general reloading. it wasn't danger as much as watch it! do not exceed max load.
it caught my eye when it said harsh recoil(an issue i'm trying to work around)although my buddy jody(350#s)says i'm a ***** 'cause i shoot w/2 hands!
i have to work today but i'll look for it before i leave.

11-24-2010, 09:30
i can't find it now but i was concerned enough to unload 30 rounds i loaded w/it.
check around-nobody uses it. i bought it because you load so little of it. if you haven't bought any, don't-if you have, use it in 9mm. the thread said it's good for that!
i had great luck w/9mm, 40 & 45. easy shooting & accurate!
got to go to work.
maybe it was on arf; i'll continue to look for it.

11-24-2010, 11:06
180gr FMJ, Starline brass, Fed 150primers
8.6grs AA#5
AVG out of Glock 20: 1031 fps.

11-24-2010, 13:14
any other applications for unique as i will be buying a new can? just off the top of your head. not recipes, just uses please.
I use Unique in my 9mm and .45 Auto for my accuracy loads. I don't recall using it in my revolvers, but since I recently bought four pounds of it, I'm pretty sure that will change.
The only thing with Unique is that it sometimes does not meter well and you need to keep an eye on it. I sample frequently and I don't fill the powder hopper very high. It seems like when I load the powder hopper up all the way and then load a couple of thousand rounds, it gets compressed or something. So, I keep the powder fairly low and add powder when I add primers to my dillon (about a hundred rounds).

also, can i sub berrys plated for tmj by lowering the load? feel free to opt out on this question(legal standpoint).
Here is what Berrys says
Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.

Velocities depend on the caliber, but as a rule of thumb, we recommend you don't shoot our plated bullets over 1200 feet-per-second. Our 44's actually shoot best around 1150 fps. 45's are generally good at 850-900 fps. Our bullets are not recommended for magnum velocities.

Yes. We have a large contingent of loyal Glock shooters using our bullets. The plating is thick enough that you will not get lead fouling in your bore, which is the nemesis of polygonal barrels.

Here is what Ranier Ballistics says about their plated bullets.
What if I can't find load data for your bullets?
A. If you have a load for a cast lead bullet, that will transfer across the board as far as our bullets go. We recommend that you reduce
a load for a jacketed bullet by 10%.

11-24-2010, 15:56
thanks Minerva'

11-24-2010, 19:52
it's the first post in the Alliant Arms sticky'd thread.
i knew i'd find it when i quit looking!