Matching Federal Classic .40 S&W 180 gr JHP [Archive] - Glock Talk

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F106 Fan
11-06-2012, 07:16
I'm just about ready to load some .40 180 gr JHP. In my case, I want to duplicate my wife's duty ammo which runs at 990 fps (according to the box, I'll chrono later). I don't have to match it exactly but I don't want to load a gamer round at 125 pf either. I need to be closer to 180 pf.


I have some WSF (and I could buy more) but I really want to use 700-X. And here's my problem: Hodgdon says the loads should range between 4.3 gr (904 fps) and 4.8 gr MAX (966 fps) while Speer STARTS at 5.0 gr (953 fps) and goes to 5.5 gr (1020 fps). Who to believe?


Why 700-X? Well, when I shot a lot of 12 gauge trap and skeet, it made sense to use 700-X for .45 ACP and that's exactly what I have done since the early '80s. So, I have 9# of the stuff on hand. I would kind of like to use it up over the next year between .45 and .40 and that's about 12,600 rounds (combined). As soon as I empty out some .45s, I have enough combined brass to just about finish off the powder.

So, I have two sources of data and they're not even close to agreeing on charge. I'm hoping that Speer knows what they are talking about because I am thinking about 5.3 gr and that's 0.5 gr heavier than Hodgdon recommends.

I'll work up from 4.3 gr, of course, but I would certainly like to have another source that confirms what Speer is stating. Anybody have such a source?

Richard

SDGlock23
11-06-2012, 07:38
Wish I could help you more, but I've never used 700x. I saw on handloads.com saying 4.6gr (180gr XTP @ 1.125") gave 970 fps, which is also what my IMR booklet says. Probably should stick with Hodgdon data, better to play it safe.

shotgunred
11-06-2012, 16:49
I have never used 700 x either. But there are so many good powders for the 180 gr 40SW.

I like SR 7625, WSF, WIN 231 and even Power Pistol for 180gr loads. Just finish that 700X in the 45 or you will have to find a new load for two calibers at the same time.

F106 Fan
11-06-2012, 17:03
I have never used 700 x either. But there are so many good powders for the 180 gr 40SW.

I like SR 7625, WSF, WIN 231 and even Power Pistol for 180gr loads. Just finish that 700X in the 45 or you will have to find a new load for two calibers at the same time.

Not to worry! If I run out of 700-X, I'll just order more...

But every round of .40 that is shot is a round of .45 that isn't. I could wind up with a LOT of excess 700-X if I start to like the Sig P229 or P229 E2. It turns out we will probably have one of each in the very near future.

I can try WSF for the few dozen rounds and, if it works well, I can order more. I'm not really trying to be cheap as much as limit the amount of powder on hand.

I'll probably try some of each. Kind of get the 'feel' for the loads.

Richard

unclebob
11-06-2012, 17:33
Not to worry! If I run out of 700-X, I'll just order more...

But every round of .40 that is shot is a round of .45 that isn't. I could wind up with a LOT of excess 700-X if I start to like the Sig P229 or P229 E2. It turns out we will probably have one of each in the very near future.

I can try WSF for the few dozen rounds and, if it works well, I can order more. I'm not really trying to be cheap as much as limit the amount of powder on hand.

I'll probably try some of each. Kind of get the 'feel' for the loads.

Richard

Something you may want to think about. When I was in the Air Force I got to do some gun testing. We were shooting 1000 rds. Of 45acp. And 1000rds of 9mm just about every day with any gun we wanted to shoot in the test. Doing so I learned a gun is going to break it is just a matter of when. I also develop a jerk that has stayed with me at times to this day.
Also if she ever has to use the firearm. In a gun battle the average is 3 rounds fired. At a distance of 0 to 21 feet. The first round is a miss.
With all of that being said. What is more import gun fundamentals or felt recoil that you will not even notice in a gun fight. Point of impact really has no bearing at those distances. So the more she shoots the better off she will be. So what is more important shooting 100 rds. or 25 because the recoil is too much?
Me I would rather back the rounds off to around the middle. And at the end maybe shoot some full power loads.
I would also have two of the same type of gun one for the range and one for carry. Put 500rds through the carry gun with the ammo being used. And then shoot it very seldom.
Just a thought

F106 Fan
11-06-2012, 18:03
We have had that discussion on several occasions. I am of the opinion that it doesn't matter what a person practices with as long as they practice often. Let adrenaline deal with the differences. It's not like you have time to get out your safety glasses and 'ears'.

I personally shoot light .45s - that is, they are around 165 pf rather than 180+.

I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of my reloads will be on the lighter side. I was only planning to try to match the Federal as a benchmark.

The agency is buying new P229 E2s for all the Investigators. They are willing to sell them their existing P229s (rather than trade them in) and her's probably has less than 500 rounds through it. It's a replacement and was nearly NIB a few months ago. They are also facilitating the Investigator's personal purchase of new P229 E2s at a very favorable agency price. So, we wind up with two P229s.

I can't wait to put Hogue grips on the P229. They work so very well on my P220. The forestrap checkering on the P229 is almost useless.

One of the big changes with the E2 version is the very agressive grips and forestrap checkering as well as a somewhat smaller grip size. It's going to be fun to shoot!

I'm hoping we burn up a ton of .40 S&W! It's not like I don't have the machine to load the stuff.

Richard

shotgunred
11-06-2012, 18:56
You never have to worry about crimped primers in a 40. It is also easier and faster to seat the bullets than a 9mm.

F106 Fan
11-06-2012, 19:40
You never have to worry about crimped primers in a 40. It is also easier and faster to seat the bullets than a 9mm.

That's why I think I will just use the 650. I won't need the swage station on the 1050 and I really don't want to do a caliber conversion on that machine.

I bought 2000 Zero 180 gr JHP bullets from Roze Distributors and I should be receiving them in a day or so.

I won't start loading until I know the date when we will actually have the guns. I have no intention of shooting reloads through her duty weapon. That's kind of a rule around here...

Richard

dwhite53
11-07-2012, 14:43
I've loaded a LOT of 700-X in .40 with good results however, that Speer data, always scared me. I never went there. No one else has 700X loads that hot.

Hodgdon's IMR data shows 4.8 MAX for a 180gr bullet at 966fps.

Start low and use a chrono.

All the Best,
D. White

F106 Fan
11-07-2012, 15:48
I've loaded a LOT of 700-X in .40 with good results however, that Speer data, always scared me. I never went there. No one else has 700X loads that hot.

Hodgdon's IMR data shows 4.8 MAX for a 180gr bullet at 966fps.

Start low and use a chrono.

All the Best,
D. White

I thought I would skip the Speer data. I see many loads where Speer is completely beyond other MAX loads. I don't know what to do about that.

It seems like Speer #14 is referenced quite a bit on this forum and I know that I refer to it constantly. But I still wonder about their data when it is so far above other sources.

Richard

Kentguy
11-07-2012, 16:17
F106fan,

It seems that both Hodgdon's 2012 Annual Manual & Speer #14 manual list testing the 180g bullet through a 4" barrel and the progression is "fairly" close (meaning one following the other). Speer tested with a S&W M4006 and Hodgdon tested with a "Universal" barrel.

Hodgdon 4.3g @ 904 fps up to 4.8g @ 966 fps
Speer - 5.0g @ 953 fps up to 5.5g @ 1,020 fps

I would be inclined to agree with dwhite53 "Hodgdon's IMR data shows 4.8 MAX for a 180gr bullet at 966fps... Start low and use a chrono."

Good luck

F106 Fan
11-07-2012, 16:41
I agree and that's just what I plan to do: start low and work up.

But here's my problem: Speer is way over Hodgdon or Hornady. It isn't just for the 180 gr .40, the same thing occurs when looking at the 124 gr FMJ 9mm. I haven't gone looking for other loads but it wouldn't surprise me to find out that Speer is always high. So, is Speer letting it all hang out? Or have Hodgdon and Hornady 'lawyered up'?

As the user of the published data, I have no way whatsoever to evaluate chamber pressure. Nor do I get much pressure information from some of the sources.

The idea that primers give some indication is pretty much debunked starting on page 59 of Speer #14. Primers indicate nothing until far beyond max pressure. Well, unless they are Federal and those flatten in a windstorm.

What if the only book I had was Speer #14? Could I just use their load data? Why not? It's published! If we can't agree that the Speer data is reasonable, should we all just reject Speer as a source?

But that's what we're saying! "Just use Hodgdon or Hornady and ignore Speer". How can we do that? Are we really saying that Speer is wrong?

Richard

Kentguy
11-07-2012, 20:29
F106 Fan,

I hear what you are saying and the thought behind my comments where; when in doubt error on the side of caution. However looking back on my notes, just for example, with 9mm, I have used the numbers from the Speer manual often and have come up with some great target rounds. Other times another source seems to be more appropriate for the load.

I still rely on Speer for load data and see no reason to stop using them along with other sources.

You are correct that Speer does seem to have their "peddle to the metal" when it comes to their numbers.