My P229 can accept an unusually long round. Made up a dummy round, and it would clear the lands at 1.152, spinning freely. I've been loading it with Berry's 180gr FT at 1.135. How long can I safely load this round? Don't have a chrono yet. Dummy round at 1.140 fits the mags, chambers & eject fine. Thanks.
As long as it feeds in the magazine, I wouldn’t worry about it. The longer length will give you less pressure, and therefore less velocity, but also less recoil and wear on the gun. I usually load my ammo, including 40S&W, slightly longer than factory specs, and have had no problems(assuming it feeds properly) in over 40 years of reloading.
My normal process is measure a factory load with a similar bullet,ie hollow point, FMJ, FP, etc. of the same weight that I am reloading, measure the OAL, and seat my bullet at least that long, if not a few thousandths longer- but never shorter(raises pressure!)
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Posts: 337 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: June 15, 2003
As a long time rifle shooter, I am used to loading long for better accuracy. I did this with .40 S&W for a while, until I found that what worked great in the 229s and 226s, wouldn't work at all in the 239-40. And of course, that batch was the only 40 I took to the range that day. Lesson learned. If you want less pressure, use a bit less powder.
Posts: 1577 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: June 16, 2004
As long as it feeds from the magazine ok, and passes the plunk test (remove the barrel from your gun and drop a loaded round in the chamber. It should drop completely into the chamber with a "plunk" sound, and you should be able to spin the round freely with your fingers, without feeling the bullet binding on the lands), you ought to be good to go.
A while back I acquired some SWC bullets in .40. The only .40 I own is a P229. I found that that bullet profile requires a pretty long OAL to feed properly in the gun. The problem I ran into is that my original loads, although they passed the plunk test and would single feed great from the mag, wouldn't fit inside the mag tube once you started pushing them more than one deep into the mag. I had to play with the OAL to find the sweet spot where they'd fit in the mag, but also feed. Ultimately I found an OAL that works...but I think you'll find that the mag will limit your OAL more than the chamber throat. Pressure shouldn't be a concern because you're seating the bullets shallower than spec, not deeper.
Posts: 4242 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006
Originally posted by Watergoat: As a long time rifle shooter, I am used to loading long for better accuracy. I did this with .40 S&W for a while, until I found that what worked great in the 229s and 226s, wouldn't work at all in the 239-40. And of course, that batch was the only 40 I took to the range that day. Lesson learned. If you want less pressure, use a bit less powder.
I agree with this 100%. Always load my 40's to 1.135 OAL length and the only issue with accuracy I have is that Age has pretty well eliminated the ability to shoot a 1 inch group at 30 feet with my p229. Oh well, 3 inches is still enough to do the job.
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Posts: 4732 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008