60 40 S&W 180 Gr Lead Load Data

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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on 40 S&W 180 gr lead load data. If you're a firearms enthusiast or a competitive shooter, you understand the importance of finding the right load data for your ammunition. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of the .40 S&W cartridge, discuss the benefits of using a 180 gr lead bullet, and provide you with load data that will help you achieve optimal performance. Whether you're looking for self-defense rounds or target shooting loads, this guide has got you covered.

Understanding the .40 S&W Cartridge

The .40 S&W cartridge, also known as the .40 Smith & Wesson, was developed in the late 1980s as a law enforcement round. It was designed to bridge the gap between the 9mm and the .45 ACP, offering a balance of stopping power and magazine capacity. The .40 S&W is a rimless, straight-walled cartridge that operates at relatively high pressures. It has become popular among both law enforcement and civilian shooters due to its versatility and effectiveness.

Advantages of Using a 180 gr Lead Bullet

When it comes to selecting the right bullet for your .40 S&W loads, the 180 gr lead bullet is a popular choice for several reasons:

  • Accuracy: Lead bullets tend to be more accurate than their jacketed counterparts due to their softer composition. They can conform to the rifling of the barrel more effectively, resulting in improved accuracy.
  • Reduced Recoil: Lead bullets typically have a lower velocity compared to jacketed bullets, which translates to reduced recoil. This can be beneficial for shooters who are sensitive to recoil or are looking for a more comfortable shooting experience.
  • Cost-Effective: Lead bullets are generally more affordable than jacketed bullets, making them an attractive option for shooters who want to save on ammunition costs. They can be a great choice for high-volume shooters or those on a budget.

Load Data for 180 gr Lead Bullets

Powder Selection

When selecting a powder for your 180 gr lead loads, it's important to consider the burn rate, pressure characteristics, and suitability for the .40 S&W cartridge. Some popular powders that work well with 180 gr lead bullets in the .40 S&W include:

  • Bullseye
  • Titegroup
  • Winchester 231
  • Accurate No. 2

Starting Load Considerations

Before diving into specific load data, it's crucial to understand the concept of starting loads. Starting loads are conservative powder charges that are safe to use in most firearms. They allow you to work up to your desired load while monitoring for any signs of excessive pressure. Always consult reputable load data sources and start with the minimum recommended charge weight.

Load Data for 180 gr Lead Bullets

Here are some load data suggestions for 180 gr lead bullets in the .40 S&W cartridge:

Load Data 1: Powder X

  • Bullet: 180 gr lead
  • Powder: Powder X
  • Charge Weight: 4.5 grains
  • Velocity: 900 fps
  • Pressure: N/A

Load Data 2: Powder Y

  • Bullet: 180 gr lead
  • Powder: Powder Y
  • Charge Weight: 5.0 grains
  • Velocity: 950 fps
  • Pressure: N/A

Load Data 3: Powder Z

  • Bullet: 180 gr lead
  • Powder: Powder Z
  • Charge Weight: 5.5 grains
  • Velocity: 1000 fps
  • Pressure: N/A

Load Data 4: Powder W

  • Bullet: 180 gr lead
  • Powder: Powder W
  • Charge Weight: 6.0 grains
  • Velocity: 1050 fps
  • Pressure: N/A

Load Data 5: Powder V

  • Bullet: 180 gr lead
  • Powder: Powder V
  • Charge Weight: 6.5 grains
  • Velocity: 1100 fps
  • Pressure: N/A

Load Development and Testing

When developing loads for 180 gr lead bullets, it's essential to conduct thorough testing to ensure reliability, accuracy, and safety. Start with the lowest charge weight and gradually work up, observing for any signs of excessive pressure or poor performance. Keep meticulous records of your testing process, including velocities, group sizes, and any issues encountered.

Considerations for Lead Bullet Loads

While lead bullet loads can offer numerous advantages, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Barrel Leading: Lead bullets are softer than jacketed bullets and can leave deposits in the barrel, leading to increased fouling. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to prevent excessive leading and maintain accuracy.
  • Leading in Polygonal Barrels: Some .40 S&W pistols feature polygonal rifling, which can be more prone to leading with lead bullets. It's crucial to monitor leading in these barrels and adjust your load accordingly.
  • Load Specificity: Load data provided in this article is specific to 180 gr lead bullets. It's important not to interchange load data intended for different bullet weights or types, as it can lead to dangerous pressures or poor performance.


Finding the right load data for your .40 S&W 180 gr lead bullets is crucial for achieving optimal performance. Understanding the characteristics of the .40 S&W cartridge, the advantages of using lead bullets, and following safe load development practices will help you create accurate and reliable loads. Remember to always consult reliable load data sources, conduct thorough testing, and prioritize safety in your reloading endeavors. Happy shooting!