Reloading Custom Loads for .40 S&W special

Loads for .40 S&W special: ( .400 dia. bullet) (Note: These are near maximum loads, you should use 10% less to start.) 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.

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About the .223 Remington & 223 AI Cartridge

.223 Remington--Centerfire Favorite The .223 Remington is the most widely-used centerfire rifle cartridge in the developed world. In its 5.56x45 military form, it is the primary issue ammunition for the U.S. Military and NATO forces. It is a popular sporting cartridge, and probably the most commonly used centerfire varmint cartridge. In our Readers' Poll, the .223 Rem (both standard and improved) ranked first among preferred varmint rounds. The .223 Rem is efficient and versatile. It can sling 40-grainers past 3650 fps, and deliver 90gr VLDs accurately at 1000 yards. Its parent case, the .222 Remington, was once a mainstay of benchrest competition. Today, with custom match bullets, the .223 Remington can still deliver impressive accuracy, shooting well under quarter-MOA in a good rifle.

.223 Remington Cartridge History The .223 Rem traces its roots to the .222 Remington, a round popular with benchrest and varmint shooters in the 1950s. When the US military was looking for a new high-speed small-caliber round to replace the .308 Winchester (7.62x51), Remington started with the .222 Remington, and stretched it to increase powder capacity by about 20% in 1958 to make the .222 Remington Magnum. The cartridge was not accepted by the military, but it was introduced commercially. In 1964, the 5.56x45 mm, also based on a stretched .222 Rem case (and very similar to the .222 Rem Magnum), was adopted along with the new M-16 rifle. As with the .222 Rem Magnum, the new military case achieved enhanced velocity (over the .222 Rem) by increasing case capacity with a longer body section and shorter neck. This military modification of the .222 Rem was originally called the .222 Special but was later renamed the .223 Remington. In military metric nomenclature, the round is called the 5.56x45. For the full history of the 5.56x45 cartridge, read the 5.56x45 Timeline, by Daniel Watters.

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The 5.7x28 FN

This diminutive Belgian import delivers smallbore steam from a very small package.

Article By Bob Forker

The 5.7x28 was developed by FN in the 1990s, and there is some pretty good evidence that it was originally developed for some real or proposed military application. At one time (perhaps still) there were four loadings with bullet weights ranging from 28 grains to 55 grains that included a tracer and a subsonic loading.

These loadings aren't available for civilian retail sale. They do suggest that FN has certainly considered other uses, other than just a simple pistol cartridge. And indeed, it was originally developed for the P90 Personal Defense Weapon.

Don't let the "5.7" part of the name fool you. This isn't a .23 caliber. This cartridge uses standard .224-inch-diameter bullets, the same as almost all .22 centerfires. As the picture shows, the 5.7x28 is what could be called a rimless Hornet--actually, it looks more like a rimless K-Hornet. If I could accurately predict which new cartridges would sell and which wouldn't, I'd be rich. Still, I think the 5.7x28 has good potential as a modern light .22. I would also suspect that by the time you read this somebody will have necked this neat little number to both .17 and .20 calibers. (I've done enough of that sort of thing and will leave this one for someone else).


The 5.7 x 28 FN

The only factory handgun being offered in this caliber is FN's Semi-Auto Pistol. It's interesting that while the factory is only producing 27- and 40-grain loads for civilian sale, the barrel twist in the pistol is a very tight 1:91?2 inches. That's enough to stabilize bullets up to about 70 grains and further suggests that the factory is still thinking about other applications down the road.

Bo Clerke made us two barrels, one five inches long and one 22 inches. At this writing, no one is building production rifle barrels in this caliber, but that will probably change overnight. It would sure make a great single-shot pistol. I know several companies are just waiting for a little demand to develop before cranking up their own production.

Today's ammo situation is interesting. FN is building some ammo with 27-grain aluminum-core bullets in Belgium, and Fiocchi is making some with 40-grain Hornady V-Maxs in Missouri but only to be sold through FN. So that's the only source of cases for the present. (Contact FN at 703/288-1292 for information.) Both the FN- and Fiocchi-built ammo styles employ staked-in primers in the military tradition. They both use Boxer primers and are easy to deprime but require reaming the residue of the staking off the mouth of the primer pocket before they can be reloaded. That's a bit of a drag, but you only have to do it once.

There are plenty of bullets that can be used and plenty of suitable powders. Our dies came from RCBS, but other manufactures have told me that can and will produce this caliber when the demand is there.

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Lee Reloading Products

Some people like to do a lot of shooting. But most who do a lot of shooting cannot afford to buy pre-made bullets in the quantities that they use. The rest who do a lot of shooting are professional target shooters who are trying to get the best accuracy that they can get by making custom rounds.

So bullet components (gun powder, primers, bullets, and cartridges) are sold so people can put their own bullets together and customize their rounds (by adding more or less powder). But bullets don't just slide together, you have to have specialized tools.

You need dies that change the size of the cartridge (cartridges expand when shot), a die that takes the primer out (in Lee Reloading dies, the full casing re-sizer also has a de-primer), a die that seats the bullet, and (most people don't use this one) a crimp die that helps to keep the bullet from sliding. There are 2 different-sizing dies. One is a neck resizer and the other is full re-sizer. Both come in a 3 die set. A 4 die set has a crimp die in it. All of these are used in a press (more on this later).

Lee reloading dies come in every caliber that is made, except the 17HMR, which is a rim-fire round and are cheap enough that they don't ever get reloaded.

Lee dies cost an average of $30 per set + shipping. This takes into account everything from the very cheap .22 dies to the very expensive dies for rounds like the 50BMG-which can cost $130 + shipping. I recently bought a colt .45 die that cost me $40-which included shipping.

The Lee dies work very well. Every single die that I have used has done its job perfectly. I even measure the re-sizing with calipers!

The major downside is that startup costs are extremely high and you have to buy so many things to begin reloading. You have to buy-for use of all the dies-a press, a case trimmer, a powder scale, and a primer-seater.

Then, for each caliber, you have to buy the die set (Lee dies come with a shell holder for the press), a shell holder for the primer seater, a shell holder for the case trimmer, and the pilot for the case trimmer. The shell holders and the pilot have never cost more than $5 a piece.

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