Best .40 S&W Powder

This is a discussion on Best .40 S&W Powder within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm new to reloading and will be buying a Dillon 550B sometime in very early November. I've been reloading some 9mm ammo on a friends ...

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Thread: Best .40 S&W Powder

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    Best .40 S&W Powder

    I'm new to reloading and will be buying a Dillon 550B sometime in very early November. I've been reloading some 9mm ammo on a friends Dillon over the last couple weeks (about 400-500 rounds - slow and steady way of learning - no reason to go for a speed record) using TiteGroup.

    My question: Is TiteGroup a good powder for .40 S&W, or is there a better powder? I'm looking for a good powder to shoot target practice with either lead or FMJ rounds. I'm going to start with a 9mm, but will be adding a .40 S&W die set soon after I start to cover that part of my gun collection.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9, and Glock G26, G19, G23C,
    and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I've used Titegroup for range ammo, and I have no complaints. I've used Blue Dot and it worked well for me also. That's the extent of my .40 S&W powder experience...nothing wrong with Titegroup though. A little goes a long way.

    Austin

  4. #3
    Member Array DarthMuffin's Avatar
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    I love titegroup and use it for both practice and USPSA matches. I'm considering loading up some self-defense loads with it too since I'm so comfortable and familiar with it's performance.

    It might not be the best choice for lead bullets though, it burns hot and you'll likely get a lot of smoke. I only shoot plated and FMJ, but I hear that Clays works for a lot of people with lead bullets.

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    Senior Member Array Freedomofchoice's Avatar
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    I've never used tightgroup, but I have loaded the 40s&w with both Bullseye and Unique. Both worked good, but got a slightly tighter group with the Bullseye. I use Unique now because pressures are low, and Unique fills the case more...I know I can't throw a double charge with it.

  6. #5
    Member Array BSMART's Avatar
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    I use Unique exclusively. It just works well for the loads I use and in the guns I shoot.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array HK Dan's Avatar
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    1) Don't forget the .40 Shellplate!

    2) I've loaded a lot of .40 S&W. Unique is a good powder. I was using 800X and replaced it with Unique due to problems with my dispenser (800X is a flake powder). They're both capable, but I seemed to get a lot of powder fouling with 800X and Unique, to include unburned powder on my arms. I would use either of them again if Bullseye wasn't available.

    3) I use Bullseye primarily. It is smoke free and snappy (which the GLOCKs like), but it is a dirty powder. I'll live with it, it makes good loads. It's easy to dispense accurately and burns fast.

    4) Titegroup is a great powder, but it seems to smoke more than most. It's not a big deal unless you're doing IDPA or USPSA on a calm day with the sun behind you. Barring that it's a great powder. I choose not to use it but 2 of my shooting buddies do.

    5) Vihtavouri seems to get the most votes from the match shooters in this neck of the woods. I don't like the cost, but I've heard that N340 shoots clean. The shooters have excellent results with it, but that is more talent and less powder, IMHO.

    6) AA No.5 is second on my load list. It's reported to have more gun detonations than any other powder--I suspect that's due to double charging. It's very dense and doesn't take up much room in the case. Anyway--I've never had a problem with it and use it when Bullseye isn't available.

    I hope that helped!
    HK Dan
    "What does Marcellus Wallace LOOK like?"

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    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Try AC No 5!

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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    The Dillon is a great press, but unless you plan on loading thousands of rounds per sitting I'd tell you to get a Lee Hand Press, you can load 100-200rds an hour while sitting on your couch watching TV and put the money you'd save towards a new gun and boat load of powder primers and bullets. not to mention you don't need a bench and all that jazz. If you were planning on loading for rifles too the benchpress would be the way to go, but if you just want to reload some practice ammo for pistol....A Lee handpress costs $21, add in your dies, a scale, calipers, a lee autoprime with shellholders and your gonna be spendin' $150 bucks for a package you can store in a dresser drawer.

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    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueyedevil View Post
    The Dillon is a great press, but unless you plan on loading thousands of rounds per sitting I'd tell you to get a Lee Hand Press, you can load 100-200rds an hour while sitting on your couch watching TV and put the money you'd save towards a new gun and boat load of powder primers and bullets. not to mention you don't need a bench and all that jazz. If you were planning on loading for rifles too the benchpress would be the way to go, but if you just want to reload some practice ammo for pistol....A Lee handpress costs $21, add in your dies, a scale, calipers, a lee autoprime with shellholders and your gonna be spendin' $150 bucks for a package you can store in a dresser drawer.
    In that case, I still take a Dillon, I have done all the rest at one time or another. Now 90% of my reloading is on a 550, rest is on C&H 4 station H press for match loads, very solid press, it's about 20years old, still going & 550 is about 12 years old, love them both.

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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    Well, I'm the opposite. I've got a 550, a rockchucker and the handpress. And I'd say 90% of my reloading is done with the single-stage or hand press. Well that's probably not exactly true, I probably only knock the dust off the progressive once or twice a year, but when I do, I'll load 1000 or so .223's or .45's. I end up doing all of my load development on the other presses, and If I just need to knock out a box or two I can do it just as fast or faster with the single stages (progressives eat alot of time in setup). So In my opinion, if you're not loading thousands of rounds every couple months, the progressive isn't really worth it.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueyedevil View Post
    Well, I'm the opposite. I've got a 550, a rockchucker and the handpress. And I'd say 90% of my reloading is done with the single-stage or hand press. Well that's probably not exactly true, I probably only knock the dust off the progressive once or twice a year, but when I do, I'll load 1000 or so .223's or .45's. I end up doing all of my load development on the other presses, and If I just need to knock out a box or two I can do it just as fast or faster with the single stages (progressives eat alot of time in setup). So In my opinion, if you're not loading thousands of rounds every couple months, the progressive isn't really worth it.
    Sorry, it's just hard for me to understand why! On the 550 I load 10mm, 45acp, 44mag, 357mag and 38spc, .223 and 45/70. Now each one has it's own tool head, very quick and consistent. Hell, I well run my 550 for 100 rounds.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    I use mostly Titegroup and Bullseye, I found a economical load that fits my 124gr cast and FMJ, so i don't have to change anything, the bullets are the same length.

  14. #13
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    I have tried titegroup and Unique so far. both seem to work well. My 550b seems to run well most of the time. It sure is faster than a single stage.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  15. #14
    Senior Member Array HK Dan's Avatar
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    Oh, man--if you're still messing with set up on your 550 you haven't explored the wonderful world of caliber conversion kits. I can swap from 9mm to .223 in literally 2 minutes. Going from 9mm to .40 takes a bit longer because I have to swap out the shell plate.

    Each caliber has it's own die plate/powder funnel, you pull two pins, release the powder feed arm, and put on the new die plate/powder funnel.

    It's a FAR bigger hassle to screw dies in my single stage press than it is to change caliber on the 550s.

    I would agree that a single stage press is the best option for rifle reloading, due to all the additional brass prep. For pistol, you will not beat a Dillon (IMHO).

    HK Dan
    "What does Marcellus Wallace LOOK like?"

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    WSF. Clean, easy, lead friendly.

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