Load Work-Up for Barnes Pistol Bullets

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Caneman, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    anyone have experience working up loads for Barnes all copper pistol bullets?

    the Barnes manual gives only 3 or 4 loads to use, but there has to be more than this (compare this to the Speer manual that usually lists 10 to 15 loads per bullet)

    working up these loads for .40 S&W, .357 Mag, and .44 Mag:

    .40 S&W 140 grain TAC-X
    .357 Mag 140 grain XPB
    .44 Mag 225 grain XPB

    these bullets are lighter than standard loads, but longer than jacketed lead bullets due to copper being less dense than lead, some say for the same caliber:

    -lighter bullet means more powder
    -longer bullet and more bearing surface means less powder

    some have had success multiplying the weight by 30% and using this as a guide for loads, like this:

    .40 S&W - 140 x 1.3 == 182, so use 180 grain bullet loads as a guide
    .357 Mag - same as the .40
    .44 Mag - 225 x 1.3 == 293, so use the 300 grain bullet loads as a guide

    anyone shed some light on this?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  2. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    Does anyone here own quickload?

    Quick load will give you safe loads for just about any caliber with just about any powder.

  3. JohnTheCalifornian

    JohnTheCalifornian Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    For over 150$, they can keep it.
  4. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    I have QL and like it, but it is useless for Barnes bullets and gives unrealistic results... imo QL is much better for rifle than for pistol...
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Caneman, safe powder charge range is dependent solely on case capacity. Use data listed for THAT bullet. you can get data directly from the Barnes site. They will list the MAX charge, you reduce by 5-10% and work up for your firearm.
  6. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    ^^^ Barnes is biased toward Ramshot powders, there are other powders that are likely to work better for my pistol and particular round under consideration... this was my experience with Barnes rifle powders... QL identified powders that grouped the best, and Barnes didn't even list them in their load manual... if someone has already done this for these rounds then it will save me some time and $$$
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Ive never loaded them. I personally would feel comfortable using data for a slightly heavier bullet for workup if it were my risk. but thats in your hands as it is your risk..
  8. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    thanks JLA, thats probably where i will start...

    Quick Load is awesome at identifying powders, but you can't just use the loads it calculates... you need to verify QL powders with loads books and a chrony, before trying out anything it suggests... takes time, but QL can help you dial in a good load for you particular gun and bullet, part of the fun...

    IMO, Quick Load is useless without a chrony
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Your heads on straight enough caneman, I think you got this. Proceed with caution and keep us posted on the results.
  10. Ace1911

    Ace1911 New Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    San Antonio
    I have loaded 10mm Barnes bullets with no issues. I got load data directly from Barnes as 10mm data was not readily available on their site, only .40SW. Someone here suggested (I think JLA) using some other powders not mentioned in Barnes data, like titegroup. I did that using hornaday data for the same bullet weight. I worked up a comfortable and accurrate load using titegroup, IMR800x, and AA#5. My pistol prefers the AA#5.
  11. Caneman

    Caneman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Here's a follow up on the Barnes bullets I asked about, finally got a chance to load and chrony them (3 shot groups, not enough statistically but good enough to evaluation purposes):

    S&W 629 4" .44 Magnum
    Barnes 225gr, 1250 fps target velocity
    powder, load, avg fps, std vps
    AA No. 9 18.7, 1264, 6
    Power Pistol 12.0, 1225, 16
    800-X 12.5, 1265, 14
    HS-6 13.0, 1214, 22
    Blue Dot 14.8, 1329, 16
    N105 14.2, 1256, 6

    Ruger GP 100 4" .357 Magnum
    Barnes 140gr, 1250 fps target velocity
    H110 15.0, 1128, 12
    Blue Dot 10.1, 1259, 30 (sticky case)
    Power Pistol 7.5, 1120, 34
    800-X 8.0, 1161, 31
    HS-6 8.5, 1092, 37
    N105 11.3, 1358, 13 (sticky case)

    Glock 23 4" 0.40 S&W
    Barnes 140gr, 1050 fps target velocity
    HS-6 7.5, 1093, 47
    Power Pistol 6.7, 1040, 9
    800X 7.0, 1042, 22
    Unique 5.2, 1009, 2 (only two shots)

    Glock 23 4" 0.40 S&W
    Barnes 155gr, 950 fps target velocity
    HS-6 6.0, 884, 1 (only two shots)
    Power Pistol 5.4, 872, 18
    800X 5.6, 802, 42
    Unique 4.2, 822, 21

    Glock 23 4" 0.357 SIG (drop in barrel)
    Barnes 125gr, 1300 fps target velocity
    HS-6 9.2, 1418, 26 (this load is too hot, one case failed to extract)
    Power Pistol 8.0, 1250, 17
    800X 7.7, 1245, 21
    Unique 5.4, 1101, 1 (only two shots)

    found some winners in there... hope this helps someone but use at your own risk and discretion, always check published loads first and not some idiot on the internet like me :D
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