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Old 03-18-2012, 11:39 AM
Rideandshoot Rideandshoot is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 141
40 S&W Ultra Carry success

I've always thought that a 40 S&W Ultra Carry would make a great carry gun for me. A few weeks ago I lost my pepper spray so I went to a local Gun Shop to get the replacement and what do you suppose was in the used pistol section? Yep... a 40 S&W Ultra Carry. So I got my pepper spray and got new pistol to go with it. As most of the experienced folks that follow this thread have probably already guessed the purchase was just the beginning of the project. It took 3 weeks. A few hours of reading suggestions on line (many in this forum), one very helpful conversation with Virgil Tripp (founder of Tripp Research) and 3 range sessions but it's up and running. It seems like the right thing to do is to share what worked in case someone has a safe queen out there that they have given up on. Here is what worked.

BTW 'worked' = 200 rounds mostly top 3 and last 2 testing with no FTF.

1. Throat the ramp and barrel. I was afraid to go too far with this but Virgil convinced me that the radius of the ramp is too small. He said that .600 is best. It just so happens that is the exact dia of a dremmel sanding barrel. The ramp is also too steep. I have a couple late model Glock 40s that do not wreck brass so I used one as a guide to make sure I did not leave the case too unsupported and went at it. It was actually not as difficult as I had feared. My results are not professional but it worked and I can't find any sign of bulges in my brass even at 5X magnification.

2. Magazines... First, none of them worked with the factory feed ramp. The Wilson 40 S&W Magazine is the only 40 S&W that worked. Unfortunately it's not available in officer’s length. What works I'm very happy to say is Wilson 45 magazines. which was another Tripp suggestion. Note the Wilson 45 magazines holds 8 rounds which is nice too.

3. Ammo... I will probably try others but the testing was done with reloads, 165g Rainier Plated HP and 155g Hornady XTP bullets. My carry choice is 155g TAP.

4. One minor lingering issue... About 25% of the time with the XTP bullets the last round will lock the slide back. What's happening is that the last round is sliding forward prematurely and hitting the stop. It only happens on the last round. When it happens amounts to a 'run dry reload' to clear but I was able to resolve it by using Hornady Critical Defense ammo for the last two rounds. The Critical Defense bullet is much more pointed which allows it clear the stop. I'm also ordered a couple extra slide stops to try modifying.

Here is a list of Magazines I tried. I should thank Dillon Precision here in Phoenix for allowing me to exchange the Check-mate magazines. Listed from worst to best.

Metalform .40 S&W... wouldn't lock slid back and follower skips over the slide stop
Kimber (OEM)... Sticks in the mag well, it's too wide. (I may still rescue this one)
Check-mate .40 S&W... FTF on the 23rd round
Check-mate .45 with Hybrid feed lips... Over feeds
Kimber .45 officer’s magazine...

I would bet that any quality 45 magazine with wad cutter feed lips and a strong spring would work. I'm going to try a Tripp magazine next.

Last edited by Rideandshoot; 03-18-2012 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:49 PM
Rideandshoot Rideandshoot is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 141

So too keep someone from seeing this thread and thinking all was rosy after the last post I figured I'd better update it.

It turns out that the slide stop problem is worse than I thought. I wish I could say for sure it was the 45 magazines but I had the same problem with the .40 magazines (A wilson and a plastic follower colt). Still I would say bullets hitting the slide stop when using a 45 magazine is definitely something that you might have to deal with. I think I have it resolved now but it took some trial and error to get the slide stop exactly right. I put another post up on my slide stop adventures. If you try going down this road it would be worth looking at the suggestions I received there.

One more note. I mentioned above that the Hornady Critical Defense ammo helped. Well they don't hit the slide stop but they do overfeed (round jams on the top of the barrel) in my Kimber.

Last edited by Rideandshoot; 03-31-2012 at 03:53 PM.
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