.40 S&W, TiteGroup, and 180 JHP loads


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MadOtis
July 10, 2013, 08:06 PM
All,

First off, I'm brand new here and I haven't been successful searching the posts, so far, so please be patient with me if this has been asked and answered before.

I've just started reloading (only about 500 rounds of 9mm so far), but have run into a snag when switching the setup for .40 S&W to get me to an even 1k of initial rounds. The bullets I bought (I know, I'll start casting my own when I find a decent source for lead) were labeled as 180 FMJ, but the box actually contains 180 JHP rounds. I only have a bottle of TiteGroup handy without having to wait a week or two for new powder to load with. I can't seem to find any load data on the combination of the 180 JHP and TiteGroup powder. Anyone have a recommended charge? Or, should I just proverbially "bite-the-bullet" and order a jug of powder that I CAN find charge charts for? Or, should I just toss these bullets and try to find some 180 FMJ rounds to load instead?

Being new at this, I don't want to risk anyone getting hurt with a under or over charged load (especially ME).

Thanks in advance for suggestions!

Cheers,
Mad

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rsrocket1
July 10, 2013, 08:21 PM
From the Hodgdon website: (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp)
Cartridge: 40 S&W
Load Type: Pistol
Starting Loads
Maximum Loads

Bullet Weight (Gr.) Manufacturer Powder Bullet Diam. C.O.L. Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure
180 GR. BERB FP Hodgdon Titegroup .400" 1.125" 4.2 901 27,400 PSI 4.7 988 31,900 PSI
180 GR. HDY XTP Hodgdon Titegroup .400" 1.125" 4.2 877 26,500 PSI 4.7 978 33,300 PSI

The Hornady (HDY) XTP's are JHP. Looks like 4.2-4.7 is your recommended load. As always, start low and don't exceed max loads.

Stay safe and welcome to THR

MadOtis
July 10, 2013, 08:32 PM
Perfect! Thank you!

Yes, I visited the load data on the Hodgdon site, but didn't realize the XTP was a JHP (now I do) :o

Thanks again for the assist!

Cheers!
Mad

gahunter12
July 10, 2013, 09:27 PM
I will ad this also. BE VERY, VERY careful!! A lot of guys load 40s&w with TG, but it's very spiky, and can cause major problems. I wouldn't even try to work up a load. Instead I would load 15-20 rounds with 4.2gr (exact), and see how they function with your hand gun. If you need to go up, I would only work up to about 4.3gr. It's very easy to double charge TG in a 40 case which make a very nice finger robbing bomb. I have seen 2 Kabooms this year in IDPA matches. Both cases I asked if they were loading TG, and the response was "Yes". I loaded about 1500 rounds 2 years ago with TG, but ended up settling for WST, which shoots just as nice, cleaner, not a spiky (dangerous), and not near as hot. TG runs very hot also.

That said a lot of competition shooters use TG. I can't recommend a new Loader use TG knowing the results of using TG in such a high pressure load if they make a mistake. I would choose a slower powder like W231/HP38, WSF, or if you want to load a faster, but safer powder, then load WST.

MadOtis
July 10, 2013, 09:36 PM
Hmmm... good to know, thank you!

Given what you've just posted, should I worry about the 500 rounds of 9mm I finished earlier today? They are 125 FMJ and I used 4.1grains of the same (TiteGroup) powder. That is the starting load listed for this bullet. Wifey shoots these, do I need to worry about sleeping on the couch for a few months?

Crashbox
July 10, 2013, 10:20 PM
What gahunter12 says is true with respect to TG and the fact it does run quite hot, and it will NOT forgive you one iota if you double-charge or even try to push it hard. Its therapeutic window is indeed quite narrow.

That said, I began my reloading hobby about four years ago loading .357 Magnums with Montana Gold 125-grain JHP's and 7.2 grains of TiteGroup, lit with Federal 200 magnum primers. And I'm still alive.

As for the 500 9mm's with the starting load of TG mentioned- personally, I would not sweat it and shoot them.

bds
July 10, 2013, 10:24 PM
should I worry about the 500 rounds of 9mm I finished earlier today? They are 125 FMJ and I used 4.1grains of the same (TiteGroup) powder. That is the starting load listed for this bullet. Wifey shoots these, do I need to worry about sleeping on the couch for a few months?
I will add this also. BE VERY, VERY careful!! ... it's very spiky, and can cause major problems.
Many reloaders will caution against Titegroup because of narrow start/max range. If you are planning to use Titegroup near max load data, you want to make sure your scale is "really" accurately reading to 0.1 grain.

For 9mm, Hodgdon lists 4.1-4.4 of Titegroup as start/max charges for 125 gr FMJ at 1.090" OAL (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp). If you are loading at more typical 1.125"-1.135" OAL, you should be fine at 4.1 gr. I use 4.0 gr of Titegroup with 124/125 gr jacketed/plated RN bullets at 1.135" OAL. Produces accurate loads that reliably cycle the slides in various pistols.

What I would recommend whether you are using Titegroup for 9mm, 40S&W or 45ACP etc. is to check neck tension for bullet setback. With fast burning powders like Titegroup, bullet setback can increase chamber pressures in a hurry (can you say KaBoom?). In many previous THR threads, we discussed work hardening and "spring back" of brass cases from multiple reloadings and varying thickness of case wall adding to the neck tension issue. So if you use mixed range pick up brass like we all do, exercise caution, especially with 40S&W and Titegroup. As gahunter suggested, with mixed range brass with unknown reload history and condition of brass, I would also suggest the use of start charge of Titegroup until you gain some more reloading knowledge and experience. Better to be safe ... ;)

My QC check for checking neck tension is to lock the slide back and measure the OALs of the cartridge before and after I load the round from the magazine. If you see significant reduction in OAL, you have neck tension issue that will seat the bullet base deeper in the case and increase chamber pressures. Even if you are at lower charge load data, you can exceed max chamber pressures with bullet setback.

I wouldn't even try to work up a load. Instead I would load 15-20 rounds with 4.2gr (exact), and see how they function with your hand gun. If you need to go up, I would only work up to about 4.3gr
Once again, how accurate is your powder charge/scale? Do you have check weights to verify the accuracy/consistency of your scale (http://www.wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=5714&dir=210|213|244)? For 40S&W, Hodgdon lists 4.2-4.7 gr of Titegroup as start/max for 180 gr Hornady XTP/HP bullet at 1.125" OAL (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp). With 40S&W bullets, OAL can be critical. Be sure to check the neck tension by measuring the OALs before and after loading the round from the magazine. With Truncated/HP nose bullets, I use 1.125"-1.130" OAL and 4.3 gr Titegroup but if you need to use shorter OAL to work in your pistol/barrel (like 1.120"), I would start at even lower charges like 4.0 gr.

Be safe. ;)

gahunter12
July 10, 2013, 10:25 PM
If you are at the starting charge, and you 100% sure about your powder throws, which you should be any way I wouldnt be too concerned. I have seen threads on fourms about 9mm KB's, but most of the KB's are with .40s&w, and a pretty large % of them are Gen1 or Gen2 Glocks. I can't remember seeing a 9mm KB at a match. Just pay close attention to your brass looking for Glock smiley faces, cracks or other potential signs of weak brass. Make sure you have a good light over your press, and look in every single case when dropping powder.

40s&w is such a high pressure load. With TG being a spiky powder that tends to have pressure spikes up front, you have to really watch it when getting close to the 4.7gr limit. Like I said TG is a great shooting powder, but we have so many other great powders to choose from. Just do a google on TG and .40s&w.

MadOtis
July 10, 2013, 11:16 PM
When I did the batch of 9mm, I checked powder charge with every round and once I got the correct disk set (using the Lee Pro Disk), it seemed to be right-on. I did use some advice that a friend gave me and used dryer-sheets to de-static the plastic hopper and guts to ensure the powder flowed as expected; once that was done, it seemed to be spot-on for each round according to my Dillon Eliminator scale (I threw the Lee one out). These 9mm were the first batch of bullets I've ever loaded, so I wanted to be sure. The dies seem to be very consistent at the 1.090 OAL (I measured every-other round with calipers) once dialed-in and loaded perfectly in her barrel.

If I can get the .40s as consistent and at 1.125 OAL, I think I should be ok with the starting 4.2 grains with them. I shoot an FN .40 that doesn't seem to have the older Glock un-standard chamber; plus, I invested in a Bulge Buster. So, it sounds like I should be ok as long as I'm still overly cautious.

However, I may need to go get a copy of the Lyman #49 just for the powder section (from what I've read)... sounds like I need to study that.

bds
July 10, 2013, 11:35 PM
Great. Good to see new reloader starting out with caution.

As to Lyman #49, unfortunately it doesn't list Titegroup for 40S&W. Now, some may say there are good reasons why Lyman chose not to test Titegroup for 40S&W. ;) :D

Titegroup can produce accurate target/match loads, but for 40S&W, many will recommend slower burn rate than W231/HP-38/Unique powders as more suitable powders. Personally, I prefer to use W231/HP-38 for 40S&W at mid-range load data for target loads and slower burn rate powders like Universal/WSF/AutoComp for full power loads.

gahunter12
July 11, 2013, 12:34 AM
However, I may need to go get a copy of the Lyman #49 just for the powder section (from what I've read)... sounds like I need to study that.

Lyman #49 is a great book, but word of caution. Lyman's #49th manual used a .40 s&w barrel with a bore size of .401" instead of .400". There for if you will reference other manuals, and Hodgdon's website, you will notice Lyman usually recommends slightly higher charges than other resources for 40s&w. Hence the reason to have more than one resource to pull from.

ljnowell
July 11, 2013, 02:27 AM
Given what you've just posted, should I worry about the 500 rounds of 9mm I finished earlier today? They are 125 FMJ and I used 4.1grains of the same (TiteGroup) powder. That is the starting load listed for this bullet. Wifey shoots these, do I need to worry about sleeping on the couch for a few months?

You did test those starting charge weight loads in 9mm before loading 500, right?

MadOtis
July 11, 2013, 11:57 PM
You did test those starting charge weight loads in 9mm before loading 500, right?
um... no, not yet. I was planning on heading to the range this weekend (after I get back from a local-ish gun-show).

ljnowell
July 12, 2013, 01:40 AM
um... no, not yet. I was planning on heading to the range this weekend (after I get back from a local-ish gun-show).

And what happens if they dont have enough ooomph to cycle the slide on your pistol? NEVER load that many rounds until you have tested it. I like to load up 10 or so of each charge weight while working up a load. Many times you will have minimum charge weights that wont cycle the action. Sometimes they will burn so dirty that its not funny. I hope you get lucky this time.

Lennyjoe
July 12, 2013, 02:08 AM
Thought about Titegroup but am using Longshot instead. Be careful with Titegroup as others have said. Welcome to the reloading world.

Rule3
July 12, 2013, 10:34 AM
A big concern with Titegroup and 40 SW using a 180 grain bullet is not only to be sure of your powder measure weight, but also your seating depth of the bullet. Just a slight increase in seating depth can raise the pressure a lot!

Did you say what brand of bullet? Also, what gun? Is it a Glock?
(not bashing Glock) Unsupported chambers, although the newer ones are better I think.

Walkalong
July 12, 2013, 10:59 AM
I would wait until I could find a powder that is of medium to medium/slow burn rate (WSF, AA #5, Longshot, Blue Dot, HS-6, Power Pistol, etc.) that fills the case better. Not that Titegroup could not be used, it just isn't a good choice IMHO. It takes up very little space in the case, it's very fast, and there are just many better options, even in the fast burn range.

MadOtis
July 12, 2013, 01:55 PM
TiteGroup at 4.1 grains is what is included in both the Lee manual and on the Hodgdon site for 9mm, so I hope I'm good. If not, I can make use of that shiny new bullet puller I bought.

Like I caveat'ed my OP with, I'm very new to reloading and have done a fair amount of research, but apparently not enough. I was eager to get started.

MadOtis
July 12, 2013, 02:00 PM
Yes, I'm going to play it safe and put the TiteGroup on the shelf for now and look for some Longshot (I can remember that name while I'm out and about). There's a gun show near by this weekend, so I'm going to head straight to tables with reloading supplies to see if I can find any.

The TG will sit on the shelf until I can see how the 9mm works with it.

Someone asked about weapons: the 9mm is an S&W M&P9, the .40 is an FN FNS40. From the research I've done, both have fully supported chambers.

A-FIXER
July 12, 2013, 02:11 PM
The collet type bullet puller is a bite on 9mm not so fun at all been there done that.

Rule3
July 12, 2013, 02:16 PM
Yes, the FN has a good barrel so that is one less concern. The data in LEE is compiled from other sources. LEE never tested anything so their data should be the same as the powder companies.

Bottom line. how are you measuring or weighing your powder? The whole issue is TG is such a fast powder and very dense so it is easy to overcharge with it and in the 40 SW that is not a good thing. Some even believe it is better to use the lighter 165 grain bullet as there is less of it in the case so seating depth does not cause a big pressure spike.

As mentioned, there are better powders for a new reloader to use especially with the 40SW.

Find some HP38 or Win 231 (same powder) works for just about anything.

tgford58
July 12, 2013, 03:49 PM
Well as an FYI. We run 4.0 Titegroup behind 180gr Precision Delta FMJFN. It Chronographs at around 935fps and I haven't seen too much problem with bullet seat depth. We run ours long though at 1.158 - 1.160. I have pushed the back as far as 1.140 and only recorded a 50fps jump.

MadOtis
July 14, 2013, 05:27 PM
Results are in (sans chronograph results) from the range.

I shot about 100 of the 9mm loaded with Titegroup and didn't have a single problem.

I also shot the 20 or so .40 cal loaded with Longshot and had one squib. I need to be more careful about checking my charge more frequently, because I seem to have had one more on the light-side of a charge, or a bad primer.

I'll either remove the auto-index and do future rounds as a single-stage to make sure all is good next time, or I'll start weighing known good rounds and make sure all the rest are within .03gr of the known good one from now on. Any sort of variance in the loaded round would indicate a heavy or light load. Hopefully this will help prevent it in the future.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the consistency of these; I've never shot groups that tight with factory loads.

Rule3
July 14, 2013, 08:45 PM
You will not determine anything by weighing loaded rounds. There is to0 much variance in case and bullet weight.

Get a loading block, charge all your cases with powder and look at all 50 with a flashlight and glasses (if you wear them) then put a bullet in each one and seat them.

greenlion
July 16, 2013, 10:22 AM
I know that Titegroup is economical, but I don't like it because it has a lot of static-cling, and it really heats up your gun. It is also a very compact powder and would be easy to double (or even triple) charge.

SDGlock23
July 16, 2013, 09:42 PM
I don't use it too much, but 3.5-3.8gr is very light and recoils less than a 9mm. 4.4gr is a good choice, it's still off of book max and delivers about 900 fps from a 4" bbl and is had single digit extreme spreads. Not the powder you want for warm loads, but it does well with the softer to medium level loads.

Hamish
July 16, 2013, 10:30 PM
In .40 S&W I regularly load with 4.2gr of Tite Group and 180gr Precision Delta FMJ Flat Nose bullets. I have used CCI and Winchester small pistol primers with this load. OAL is 1.125.

In my Gen 4 Glock 23 with a KKM Precision barrel I have an average of 854 FPS.
In my Sig P226 Elite I have an average of 844.9 FPS.

I have put a few thousand rounds of this load through these pistols. I had to run a hotter load through the Sig when I first got it - the 4.2 wouldn't reliably cycle the action - but now that it is broken in the 4.2 load works great.

Personally, I prefer Tite Group for my 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP loads. But I refuse to use it in .38 Special or .357 Magnum. Too little of a charge in those big cases makes me nervous.

MadOtis
July 16, 2013, 11:01 PM
I'm saving the rest of the TiteGroup until I get a little more comfortable with the whole process and want to start experimenting. Maybe 5 or 6k more rounds loaded to get comfortable :)

Worse case, I get some .38 SP. dies and make some a few hundred rounds for a buddy.

kerreckt
July 16, 2013, 11:46 PM
Titegroup is what I use for almost all of my .380, 9mm, .38spl., .40S&W .44spl.and .45acp loads. I have never had a problem with it. It is no different than any other powder i.e. if you are careless you will get hurt. If you double charge any powder you have put yourself into a risky situation. This "Titegroup discussion" happens every couple of months. All the fear mongering about this powder is ridiculous. Reloading ammo is an activity that one must exercise fastidious care 100% of the time. Titegoups' pluses (clean, accurate, economical and others) far outweigh its negatives. One will do well to have a healthy respect and total focus when using all powders. It shouldn't be reserved for just special cases. Get on with it. Be careful. Load your ammo and enjoy yourself .

RealGun
July 17, 2013, 10:52 AM
Titegroup is what I use for almost all of my .380, 9mm, .38spl., .40S&W .44spl.and .45acp loads. I have never had a problem with it. It is no different than any other powder i.e. if you are careless you will get hurt. If you double charge any powder you have put yourself into a risky situation. This "Titegroup discussion" happens every couple of months. All the fear mongering about this powder is ridiculous. Reloading ammo is an activity that one must exercise fastidious care 100% of the time. Titegoups' pluses (clean, accurate, economical and others) far outweigh its negatives. One will do well to have a healthy respect and total focus when using all powders. It shouldn't be reserved for just special cases. Get on with it. Be careful. Load your ammo and enjoy yourself .

I agree. While caution is good advice, some hand-wringing thoughts about Titegroup are overly dramatic. It would NOT be my choice for .40 S&W, but Titegroup did well for me in 9mm, 124gr FMJ, Kimber Aegis. I have since gone to Power Pistol, obtaining 8 pounds two years ago, but I also grab Titegroup when I find it, to relieve the drain on the versatile Power Pistol. I only use Titegroup in cases that are wide mouthed or shallow enough for me to easily observe the charge before inserting a bullet. I definitely would continue with the turret powder charge, but encourage you to try an LED flexlight to illuminate the inside of the case before bullet insertion. I like the bigger battery base, longer flexlight I got in the Lowe's plumbing department. I strapped it to the press with stretch bandage.

MadOtis
July 17, 2013, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the tip about the Flexlight! I'll pick one up next time I'm at the Borg. However, for the close forseeable future, I'll be removing the auto-index from the turret and using it as a single-stage at least through the powder charge until I get more comfortable with the whole process. My missed charge in a small batch of test rounds has me a bit spooked; I thought I was being careful, but apparently, not careful enough. As I get a little more experience doing this, I'm just going to play it ultra-safe for a while.

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