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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys, I am new around here and am getting ready to reload for my new 40c. I have purchased 3 different boxes of ammo to shoot until my reloading dies arrive. While sitting at my bench this morning with nothing to do I decided to measure some of these loads to see how consistent the OAL was. I am surprised by some of the findings.

Here are the loads:
20 rd box Speer Gold Dot 165 gr. GDHP
50 rd box Federal 180 gr FMJ FN
100 Rd Value Pack Winchester 165 gr. FMJ FN


The Gold Dot's measured out to be the most consistent, no surprise. I measured all 20 rds and the shortest was 1.113 and the longest was 1.116.

I took out 20 rds of the Federal and they were pretty decent. Shortest was 1.121 and the longest was 1.126.

The winchesters surprised me. I took 20 rds for measurement. The shortest was 1.110 and the longest was 1.127. But of the 20 rds, Five of them were very short in relation to the others. These five were 1.110 - 1.112. When I kick out those 5 rds my new shortest is 1.119. 1.119 - 1.127 is not too bad for "cheap" ammo. But the 5 shorts???

I'm not too impressed with these numbers. I understand that this is "cheap" ammo, but I think more consistency can be expected.

What do you think?
 

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When your criteria for buying something is only that it is the cheapest on the shelf, you can't expect much beyond it meeting minimal safety requirements.

If a .40 is loaded to max preassure, the OAL is critical. If Win drops the powder load a touch, they can afford more OAL variation without pushing the preassure to high on the short ones. It would be interesting to pull the bullets and see how much of the variation is from the bullet shape and how much from the loading process.

Also, bullets can set back further in the case if not crimped hard. When carrying a .40 it is advisable to avoid chambering any round more than twice without firing. If you load +1 it is tempting to unload your carry ammo when you go to the rang to practice with your reloads or cheap stuff, and then reload the carry ammo when done. After a few range sessions, the top two bullets get loaded into the chamber a few times and they will almost always start to get shorter and shorter. With full power carry ammo in .40, it does not take a lot of setback to exceed preassure specs. Anyway, it is possible that your Winchester ammo was not crimped well and those 5 short rounds got pushed into the case somewhere along the way to your bench.
 

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When reloading,I like to check a few different loading manuals for different and same powder and bullets. Then find a good shooting "load & bullet" and fine tune them.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When your criteria for buying something is only that it is the cheapest on the shelf, you can't expect much beyond it meeting minimal safety requirements.
I'm not sure where that came from? My criteria is certainly not to purchase the cheapest rd. I bought what was available in this ammo drought. The box of Gold Dot certainly doesn't represent cheap.

Anyways, I am entertaining your idea of pulling the bullets and looking further into this. I may also measure the rest of the rounds and see what the rest of them look like.
 

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This is what happens when a cartridge is repeatedly chambered, it starts pushing the bullet back in the cartridge, pressures can skyrocket, to the point of blowing the gun up. These cartridges were taken from Police Officers at a weapon inspection, some Officers will unload their weapon every night before locking it up, then rechamber the same round time after time.

 

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I was checking some Winchester 357 Sig rounds the other night and found one .018" too long, the spec was 1.140, this one was 1.158. it would probably load just fine, I just set it aside as one to compare my Reloads to.
 

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I wasn't referring to you specifically but to cheap ammo like Win white box value packs in general. They are going after the guy who goes into Walmart looking for the cheapest ammo he can find. If they are $2 more than another box they won't sell any so you can't expect them to spend time or money on making them more consistent.
 
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