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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I cast bullets for most of my shooting needs. Just picked up a XD40. Wondering if anyone has used the Lee 175gr FNSWC cast bullet in these pistols.

Concerns are ability to feed.

Thanks for any help.,

Jerry
 

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While I haven't used the Lee bullet, I have used a 175 SWC by the now-defunct Lane Bullet Company. I can tell you that any long-nosed SWC has to be loaded short to make them reliable in these guns. If you DO load short, be sure to adjust the powder charge down accordingly- you have a condition similar to "set-back" from the get-go.

Our XD-40's seem to prefer "truncated cone" type bullets; if this is the one you're talking about, it's pretty close to a TC already:



I'd be real tempted to try this one if I was into casting.

I have since gone to Magma Engineering's 40/180/FP bullet, loaded over 4.3 grains of W231, to an OAL of 1.125 inches.



This is a nice, low-pressure load that doesn't strain the brass (important if you are using range brass). It runs smooth as butter and shoots real well. I'll post a 50 yard target I shot offhand with this load the other day, when I get some time.

Only thing I don't like about the load is that it smokes to beat hell, but lead bullets & 231 always do- I just shoot 'em outside.

Hope this helps you some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, thanks for the info. The Lee bullet you posted is the bullet I plan on using. I really like the tumble lube design. Glad to know the design will feed.

Been loading a SWC 200gr for my 45ACP. A bit of Alox liquid lube and they shoot very well with no leading.

If you find that you are getting alot of smoke, consider the powder. I shoot HP38 and Win231 and have done so for years. These powders work very well but are smokey. The type of lube also adds to the smoke.

I am now trying Titegroup and the smoke level is way down. Hard cast bullets from wheel weights, a bit of alox lube, and Titegroup. Seems to work...

Will see how it works in this XD.

Jerry
 

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Let me know how it works, Jerry. I would taper crimp that Lee bullet as close to the front edge of the driving band as I could get away with, but I'll be interested to hear your results.

I almost bought a pound of HP38 the other day- but I use 231 for several other loads, including round-ball "pest loads" for the 7.62x39- so I just stick with that. I'm thinking Longshot wiill be the next Hodgdon powder I try- you can really scoot 180's from the .40 with that stuff.

Take care & have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, longshot looks very promising. However, with lead bullets I find I am already getting more velocity due to reduced friction.

In my 45ACP, a load that would normally go 825 to 850fps with a jacketed bullet is going over 900fps with my cast. Just easier to push those cast bullets down the bore.

So I get "+P" velocity with less powder and pressure. Cast bullets tend to like a sharp pressure rise too as it forces the bullet to 'bump up' for a better bore fit. Titegroup seems to work. Less powder, less smoke, less fouling, very good accuracy.

I have seen some amazing published results using Longshot in the 45LC and very heavy bullets. Reach factory 45-70 loads in a handgun!!!

Let me know how your Longshot tests go. Don't know if there will be much increased velocity in a 4 to 5" barrel but would certainly pay dividends in a carbine.

That same 45ACP load is going over 1100fps out of a Mech Tech 1911 upper carbine. Not bad, not bad at all. Moves steel plates well too :lol:

Jerry
 

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I was also going to buy the 175 grain mold but was hesitant. Instead I went with the 145 grain SWC. I set the depth's from anywhere between 1.115 - 1.135 inches. They feed very reliably, especialy with my Lee Carbide Factory Crimper. :D
 

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I found some Northwest Bullet Co. 170gr TC w/lube in a box of crap one of my friends had. He sold them to me for 5$(250). I tried some and they shot like a dream. Thank you Springfeild for using a regular rifled barrel. I would have to trash a Polygonal one if they used it instead. Lead shoots much nicer than copper jacketed.
 

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I have been casting the Lee 175g. LSWC tumble lube bullet since I've owned my XD-40, going on about 2 years now. Thousands of rounds fired, not one mis feed in the lot. I seat the bullet just below the first groove or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
have had a chance to make some of these Lee 175gr tumble lube bullets and shoot them. These come out of the mold very nicely. however, been having some serious leading problems. Have put just a light coat of alox lube on and will try a heavier coating.

I am using a wheel weight alloy that has worked very well in a variety of HG and rifles. Surprised to see it leading in this XD.

Load is using a near max amount of Titegroup. Accuracy at 25/30yds has been ok but goes south fast as the barrel clogs up. Clean barrel can put 5 rds into that 2.5" group. Find that XD likes the hotter loads.

Seeing bullets tumbling too at lower powder charges. Strange.

Will have to play with lube and load to get the performance I want. Feeding has been great though with not one hitch. I seat so that the top of the driving bands are just above the case mouth. A firm taper crimp from the Lee seating die and it runs just great.

I am going to put some calipers on the bullets. Maybe they are undersized????

A very nice bullet design if I can just make it shoot without leading.

Jerry
 

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Try using Oatey solder, 95% tin 5% antimony. You can get a 4oz. roll at Walmart for about 4 dollars or so. I have heard you can buy it at Home Depot in a 1lb. roll but I haven't found that at any of my stores. I add the whole 4oz. roll to my Lee 10lb. pot and the bullets are noticably different. They fill the mold better and are harder reducing leading extremely to none.

If you don't want to do that then go buy a 20lb. bag of chilled bird shot. That's about 20 dollars or so but you get way more for your money because you don't have to use it as much. The arsenic is what your're looking for. I add 1-1.5oz. to 5lbs. of wheel weights. Then stick all of the bullets in the oven right before melting temperature for 1-1.5 hours. Pull them out and dump them into a big bowl of ice water and let them sit for 15 minutes or so. Then take them out of the ice water and let them sit somewhere and air dry for 48 hours. That's when they reach there maximum hardness level.

The way I found the right temprature using a regular kitchen oven is I bought a oven thermometer at Walmart for $3.50, Pyrex is the name of it. Anyways I took two bullets at a time on the pan I was going to use and started out at 500*F and let them sit for 10 minutes or so. Then took them out and measured the diameter if I couldn't eyeball them starting to melt. Then just turn the temperature down some untill you can leave 2 bullets in there for atleast 20-30 minutes without changing diameter. My temperature was around 475*F or so. Make sure you leave them in long enough because you don't want to ruin your batch. I don't have a hardness tester yet but you will notice an extreme difference to the touch even.

You can PM me or IM me if you want more details on hardening and the percentages needed. There are some home made setups with around the house items you can use to test hardnesses etc. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, it looks like I may have solved my leading problem. I made up more bullets but dropped them into cold water. These are much harder then the air cooled bullets and after 20rds of rapid fire, no leading to speak off.

Will have to shoot more just to be sure.

I take a slightly different approach to handling the bullets. First, I drop them onto a towel. Let them sit for 10secs or so, then put them in water. They still sizzle when they hit the water.

I feel that letting them sit, gets them nice and hard. When they hit the water they do not have the chance to distort. Plus I remove any risk of water splashing everywhere. Slower but seems to work.

Will have to shoot more to test but this looks like the solution for me.

Jerry
 

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Here's a link to another thread where I posted about my experiences with this bullet:

http://www.hs2000talk.com/viewtopic.php?t=23354&highlight=

I like the bullet and enjoy casting but after my last 500 bullets have started questioning if it is a good use of my time. Casting, sizing and lubing takes a lot of time. I'm probably making $10-15/hour. Well, maybe that's not too bad since I'm retired :D

WyoBob
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wyobob, I hear you. I buy the largest molds I can for whatever I load for. The 6 cavity Lee molds really help up production. After I get things rolling, I can usually drop close to 1000 bullets in an hour. Considering the cost of wheel weights, I am saving a bunch.

If time didn't allow me, i would certainly buy cast. Problem is, many of the cast bullets I have tried leaded severly in small cal HG. I would have to look at copper plated or jacketed. That makes the cost too high for volume shooting.

Afterall, this is a hobby so I don't count my time.

Jerry
 

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The Knight Of Light said:
I found some Northwest Bullet Co. 170gr TC w/lube in a box of crap one of my friends had. He sold them to me for 5$(250). I tried some and they shot like a dream. Thank you Springfeild for using a regular rifled barrel. I would have to trash a Polygonal one if they used it instead. Lead shoots much nicer than copper jacketed.
I used to load their 185gr. SWC bullets for .45ACP bullseye shooting. I have been looking around, seems they are out of business? My boxes say
Northwest Bullet Co. Enumclaw, WA, can't find them now. Rats, those were a nice shooting bullet.
 
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