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While picking up range brass last weekend I found two unfired .40 S&W Fiocchi rounds of ammo. I took them home and pulled them apart with my puller. The hollow point bullets weighed in at 165.3 grains each. I was shocked at how little powder there was in the cases. The total powder weight from both cartridges was 2.3 grains. It was a very fine flake powder with a glossy look to it. That’s only 1.15 grains per cartridge! Seems like an awful small amount of powder.

I don’t have a .40 S&W so the brass will be saved for a later time.

Got me wondering what I would find if I started pulling apart other factory rounds.
 

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It's not just the grains, it's also the type of powder. But that does seem like a very light load.
 

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I was shocked when I dumped the contents of my puller into the pan. Got me thinking if the gun was pointing down would the primer still ignite the powder? I am going to look for a video showing a primer going off, it has me wondering now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Found this:

 

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It's not just the grains, it's also the type of powder. But that does seem like a very light load.
agreed!
don't know what type of powder that they might have used but thats an extremely light loading.
I have heard and read test about the position of powder in a cartridge and the effects that it has on them.
Actually i don't really download cartridges so have never had a problem with powder placement inside the cartridge, i never load below starting loads myself.
 

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Don't know what type of powder they use, could be a proprietary powder designed for low volume charges in low cost loads that shoot ok. I have shot the modestly priced Fiochii .40's, they were quite acceptable.

Biggest problem I've had with low powder volume handgun loads is inconsistent ignition that wouldn't be detectable in most semi autoloaders under most circumstances. That was with light doses of modern low volume smokelss powder in great big cases from the black powder era and their even more voluminous descendants.
 

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That powder could be something like Bullseye. Takes very little per cartridge. Popular at one time with the target shooters since the powder goes a long way when reloading. And scary too since it's easy to throw a double charge and blow up the pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That powder could be something like Bullseye. Takes very little per cartridge. Popular at one time with the target shooters since the powder goes a long way when reloading. And scary too since it's easy to throw a double charge and blow up the pistol.
Definitely not Bullseye, I use that in most of my reloads. This powder was finer and had a high gloss look to it. With that light of a load I would guess something faster then Bullseye.

At first I thought they were factory rounds, now I am beginning to wonder. They had black primers; don’t know if Fiocchi uses black primers. They also pulled very easy like they hardly had any crimp.

This unknown is one of the reasons I never fire cartridges I find in my range pick-up, not even .22lr.
 

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The Fiocchi ammo I have has silver primers. I use a sharpie to differentiate between different loads when testing my handloads, maybe someone else does too.
 

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Fishing - there is no load in any manual that I have even close to that small - like you said it is either proprietary powder to the industry or someone's idea of a super powder puff load. If that were the case I'd have to wonder about proper cycling. My 40 powder puff loads are usually just above the start load. I do the same thing with live loads - knock em apart for the brass and keep the bullet, though I seriously doubt that I'll ever use them.

Like jimb said I have Fiocchi (about 4 years old) and it too has silver primers - 9&40 jhp. They run on the hot side too - another question mark about that light load.

Jimb - I mark my reloads with Sharpie on the primer and keep a code sheet - put it on the box too. Many reloaders have similar systems. I have reserved 2 colors for rounds that I make a lot. I've gotten almost out of code colors once or twice when experimenting. Unmarked ( clear) can count - I know my components and could tell them from factory if there was a mixup!
 

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The Fiocchi ammo I have has silver primers. I use a sharpie to differentiate between different loads when testing my handloads, maybe someone else does too.
Yep all that i have seen has silver primers too!
this includes the 38 Super.
 

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At first I thought they were factory rounds, now I am beginning to wonder. They had black primers; don’t know if Fiocchi uses black primers. They also pulled very easy like they hardly had any crimp.
This unknown is one of the reasons I never fire cartridges I find in my range pick-up, not even .22lr.
I have shot quite a bit of Fiocchi, especially in 380, 9MM and 38 Super and never had a problem out of it, very, very consistent factory ammo for me.
Now to add to the uncertainty however!
all Fiocchi that i am familiar with has silver primers except for one!
the Fiocchi "Extrema" EMB ( expanding mono block) an all copper 92 grain thats only made in 9mm has a black primer.
I am thinking you found some reloads myself.
 

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