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Old 02-16-2014, 10:57 AM
rbuzz rbuzz is offline
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Default 40 Shield Kaboom information to consider

Like many of you, the recent run of 40SW Shield Kabooms has me concerned even though I have had zero problems with my 40 Shield or 40c. I'm pretty sure that the owners of the Shields with the problems had no problems either until their gun blew up.
Although yet to be confirmed, the general consensus is that it is an ammo problem since the 40SW is known to be a hot load. In at least one case the ammo being used was said to be WWB 180 grain. While I have used WWB 180 grain with no problems, I have switched to WWB 165 grain.
The following article CALIBERS -- Why the 180gr Bullet is a Bad Choice for .40 S&W does a pretty good job of explaining why it might be better to stay away from using the 40SW 180 grain bullet. While this article may not be the definitive answer, it does present good, logical reasons why owners of 40SW handguns, especially polymer handguns, might want to consider another load.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:08 AM
pibulloncrack pibulloncrack is offline
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Interesting read, thanks for posting.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:14 PM
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I am another one with a flawless shield 40, well over 1000 rounds and one nosedive is all. the biggest thing ive learned in all the reading on the kabooms is I WILL NOT be sending it to smith without an independent report on the gun and ammo FIRST!!
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:04 PM
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I use a OAL Gauge on all my ammo for 40. Also check overall length with a caliber. Use care not to cycle the same round into the chamber several times as this can cause setback and raise pressure. I use Hornady 165 Critical Defense for carry. It has a visible cannelure on the bullet. I have total faith in my 40 Shield.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbuzz View Post
Like many of you, the recent run of 40SW Shield Kabooms has me concerned even though I have had zero problems with my 40 Shield or 40c... (snip)
Interesting, and a good linked article - thanks!

I've been using 180g since I switched to .40 in the early 90s, but I've recently started thinking about transitioning to 165g. This might be what it takes for me to get off my duff and do the research.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:44 PM
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rbuzz, thanks for posting. After reading that article I checked my stock, & most of it is 180 grain. I'm thinking I'll reserve it for the 3rd Gens & stock up on 165 grain for the M&Ps. Better safe than sorry!
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:57 PM
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great post...I won't be buying anymore 180g. S&W40
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:16 PM
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I don't own a 40 but that was really interesting
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:56 PM
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I have put thousands of 180gr PDX-1 through my .40 Shield. And i havent had a single problem with it since the day they came out.

Maybe these guys are holding their weapon wrong. =-)
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty357 View Post
Maybe these guys are holding their weapon wrong. =-)

Yea maybe it's a newly discovered problem connected to limp wristing. Lol


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Old 02-16-2014, 05:11 PM
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CALIBERS -- Why the 180gr Bullet is a Bad Choice for .40 S&W

"The 165gr is really the optimum choice for .40S&W shooters. It tends to be more accurate, have greater muzzle energy and momentum, and it significantly reduces the dangers associated with possible bullet setback (a bullet can, through normal handling, seat itself more deeply just by being loaded into the chamber of a gun, etc)."

And just how does using a shorter bullet prevent a pressure spike from bullet setback...? You almost always use more powder with a lighter bullet which with bullet setback would be just if not more pressure from a bullet being pushed back. Add to this the article is over a decade old and the 180gr .40SW ammo is still plenty available and in use. I don't know the author or his experience level but this article seems to draw conclusions with little backing and provide no info on the ammo choice being pushed. I won't raise the BS flag, but I am more than a little skeptical.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:24 PM
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I shoot mostly 185 grain in my .40 FS and Glock 23, never any issues.
I will stay the course and keep shooting 185.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:57 PM
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Another "opinionated " article...
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:04 PM
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I reloaded a lot of .40 S&W using a mongrel assortment of cases and mostly 180 grain plated bullets -- no problems in my M&P40. I recently sold the M&P40 and refocused my "collection" of pistols on 9mm -- for a lot of reasons.

I've read the recent threads on the Shield KaBoom issue. The truth is, with the barrel cracked or split, and the round gone, there is little chance of determining 1) was it a metallurgical flaw in that particular barrel? or 2) was that particular round overloaded? (whether with too much powder or too much set back of the bullet) or 3) did the gun fire out of battery? The evidence is destroyed, so to speak. S&W is unlikely to admit to a manufacturing flaw there is no compelling evidence, and would have to have a lot of close serial numbers to be able to infer they made some sort of batch error on the barrel assembly line (and, although they are an honest company from what I can tell, they wouldn't have to share that info).

The numbers of .40 Shield Kabooms is so small that it does not seem to be a design problem, per se -- or we'd be hearing a lot more about it. But it seems the number of .40 Kabooms is larger than the number of 9 Shield Kabooms, so there is something that can be learned here.

If you own a .40 Shield, you may have to just accept that there is some risk of a Kaboom, albeit a small one. (Those of us who reload accept that reloaded ammo leads to more problems, at least statistically, than factory ammo -- and we have to live with that -- and that is why I do not reload ammo for self-defense/carry purposes).
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:09 PM
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Anyone heard of 9mm Shields going kaboom?

What about M&P40 FS? Is that safer than a Shield 40?
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worm5932 View Post
I am another one with a flawless shield 40, well over 1000 rounds and one nosedive is all. the biggest thing ive learned in all the reading on the kabooms is I WILL NOT be sending it to smith without an independent report on the gun and ammo FIRST!!
Where exactly would you get an "independent report" and how much do you think such a thing by a properly equipped scientific laboratory would cost? Obviously, you can do that, I would just like to know where and the cost, "just in case."
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:37 PM
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If there really is a problem with the gun I would think they would do a recall before someone got hurt. The xds was recalled even though there were not too many reported issues. I am glad I traded all but one of my auto's for revolvers. Kept my sig.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximumbob54 View Post
And just how does using a shorter bullet prevent a pressure spike from bullet setback...?
An excellent question sir. I was wondering the same thing myself.

There is a factor here that many forget; volume of rounds fired. How many millions of 180gr rounds have been fired since the inception of the .40S&W cartridge? Out of all those rounds, how many caused catastrophic gun failure(kaboom)? Have all the KBs been with 180gr bullets?

What was written in that article seems sound, but it's incomplete.
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Old 08-19-2017, 02:23 PM
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Great information, I have been using Federal 180 grain HST and never had an issue with my .40, but I will switch to 165 grain.
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Old 08-19-2017, 03:54 PM
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I am staying with 180g HST

Kabooms MOSTLY occur because

1) Someone shoots the next round when they have a squib. My ONLY squib, shooting my whole life, came from an older
factory made hollow point. The primer shot the bullet into the barrel 1 inch. It didnt sound right. When I brought the gun home and examined it, the powder that was in the barrel was unburnt, but caked.

I believe the culprit was a very fine oil I was using on the gun that over time seeped into the bullet


2) Someone rechambers the same round again and again, and again
(A carry bullet is reloaded after every trip to the range with practice ammo) The 40 IS subject to bullet setback, and because it IS a higher pressure round, you have to be aware.

I have started to cycle through and shoot my HSTs in the mags, every few months


3) A double charge on a 40C COULD cause a Kaboom. When I load, I double check everything. (Scales, Meter) I then do a visual on every case before I put the projectile in

4) A Wrong powder charge. I have heard of reloaders putting a rifle powder in their pistol on mistake...... this could cause a kaboom


5) There are brass that have been shot out of unsupported chambers that I am cautious of. It has a projected bulge at the base. You can see it. It comes from some of the Glocks

If you are careful, 180 should be fine..... Watch for setback

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Old 08-19-2017, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
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...it IS a higher pressure round, you have to be aware.
Higher pressure than what? It is the same pressure as a 9mm.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:10 PM
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Higher pressure than what? It is the same pressure as a 9mm.
I should have probably said ,ore subject to pressure spikes.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:11 PM
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Ah, science. OK, I like to learn. Why is the .40S&W more subject to pressure spikes than any other round?
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:22 PM
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I stopped using the 180gr. last year after finding that qualification was becoming too painful. 165gr, or even lighter. But it has been difficult to find them in the stores. .40 Defensive rounds have been easier to locate in lighter loads.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:01 PM
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Thanks for posting that old opinion piece about the theoretical superiority of a 165 grain projectile vs.the time-tested 180 grain standard. It confirmed everything I always held as true about the 40 caliber 180 grain factory load as being one of the best all-around choices of handgun cartridges for offensive and defensive use for law enforcement and for self defense use by civilians.

Unsupported chambers, reloading tired brass, bullet setback from extensive re-chambering, pressure spikes, kabooms and all the other "worries" about the safety of 40 caliber guns and ammunition makes for great reading but, like most other fantasy side trips, has little to do with reality.

Unfortunately, in today's culture, fear-mongering tech articles like that one seem to stimulate something in the readers brain that craves more and more of these types of hypothetical pseudo-scientific discussions which then cause believers to make irrational decisions like dumping their 180 stash and running out to buy 165's!

After 30 years of the 40 caliber 180 grain proof of performance in dozens of brands and models of handguns and countless shooting tests and actual encounters, the 40/180 track record is everywhere. It's just about the most optimum handgun performer!

Not everybody can handle it and not everybody likes it but that doesn't change the fact that it's one of the few handgun cartridge choices the FBI has ever gotten right. Yup, the exalted FBI, the highly politicized and ethically corrupted FBI, the same FBI that supplied it's agents with 38 revolvers for more than 10 years after hundreds of local-yokel police departments had recognized the revolver's shortcomings and switched to semi-autos, the same FBI that had reluctantly switched to 9mm semis then abandoned them and adopted 10mm semis then abandoned them and adopted 40/180 semis then abandoned them and has now re-adopted the previously abandoned 9mm semis, all at great expense to us, the bill paying taxpayers! Oh, yeah! Sure! If the FBI does it then I want to do it, too! Uh-huh.

Come on, people, stop drinking the koolaid while cringing in the dark corners of your basements. There's nothing wrong with the 40/180 combination other than every once in awhile somebody that shouldn't have a gun or a reloading press gets their hands on one and another pseud-scientist fear-mongering publisher gets loose.
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonuthin View Post
There's nothing wrong with the 40/180 combination other than every once in awhile somebody that shouldn't have a gun or a reloading press gets their hands on one and another pseud-scientist fear-mongering publisher gets loose.
Indeed, properly loaded and crimped and it should be OK. I'm just not a fan of ANY max load which is what the 180gr .40S&W rounds are. Before you ask, no, I don't like or see the value of any +P loads and certainly not +P+ loads.

I'll shoot what I have, but I'm not buying any more 180gr loads. Why? Yeah, because every catastrophic failure I've seen has been with that load. I haven't seen a single one with 165gr. That's not to say it doesn't exist, I've just not seen it. Call me what you want, but I see no value in pushing the limits.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:20 AM
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As a few others have said here, bullet setback is most likely the cause of most, if not all kabooms. With inexperienced reloaders also to blame.
I doubt dropping a mere 15 grains in bullet weight is going to make you safe and worry free.
I tend to prefer 165 grain over 180 but do still shoot 180's on occasion.
Don't rechamber rounds repeatedly, and visually check each one that you are going to run through your pistol.
A round that has the bullet shoved in an extra 1/8" will be obvious, and would produce much higher pressures than one still seated to the correct length.
And for reloaders, double check the powder level before seating, a double charge would be no fun at all.

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Old 08-20-2017, 09:42 AM
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I am also a fan of the .40 S&W 180gr. combination. Have fired thousands of rds. in my SDve and MP handguns. Never an issue!
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:27 AM
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Does the M&P have a fully supported chamber? I have a couple of Glock 23 and those chambers are not fully supported. I shoot the 180g as a steady diet. I don't use reloaded or re-manufactured.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:52 AM
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The article makes a whioe lot of conclusions with out anything to support them. Not to mention some some flat out wrong statements.

165 grain bullets would be just as likely to "set back" as a 180 grain bullet. The brass is the exact same. The unsupported chambers are the same. Max pressure is the same, etc.

If you prefer 165 over 180, that's great, but it's not magical.

Of course more guns blow up using 180 grain bullets - more 180 grain bullets are shot...
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
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Does the M&P have a fully supported chamber? I have a couple of Glock 23 and those chambers are not fully supported.
Do you know what it means to be fully supported? Lots complain about chambers not being fully supported, but it turns out that most handguns have chambers that aren't fully supported.

Tell me, which of these are fully supported and which are not?
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by joonbis View Post
If there really is a problem with the gun I would think they would do a recall before someone got hurt. The xds was recalled even though there were not too many reported issues. I am glad I traded all but one of my auto's for revolvers. Kept my sig.
Love my wheels not ready to get rid of all semi. The xds 45 acp was a nightmare first 500
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
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Higher pressure than what? It is the same pressure as a 9mm.
If you compare it the 40 to the other popular pistol rounds, it is a high pressure round. Not the highest.
The 40 is higher than 38 special, Higher than 45, higher than 380.

You are correct 9mm is the same pressure, since I dont reload for 9mm anymore, its been awhile since I looked at my reloading manual on that round for pressure

But I never have seen or heard about bullet setback issues on a 9mm, which causes a high pressure spike. (Though Im sure it could and does happen) There is no "science" that I could find, but it seems the number of "kabooms" are higher in 40s (But...... I believe the bulk of these numbers and any other rounds pistol or rifle kabooms are squibs)

I also have never have personally seen case blowouts on a 9mm, 380, or a 45. As a reloader I do grab brass. Its very rare, but I have seen them on 40. (Not my reloads)

Either way, I am going to continue to reload and shoot my 180g 40s. I load some lower power 40s for my wife and others sensitive to recoil. I load my practice rounds to close to full power. I load my JHPs to right at Max (I still mostly carry factory HSTs though) I have moved to 40 pistols only at this point, I will continue to gage setback, and rotate my carry ammo

I am a careful reloader, but I watch the 40 a little bit closer

Last edited by DBasye1; 08-21-2017 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBasye1 View Post
But I never have seen or heard about bullet setback issues on a 9mm, which causes a high pressure spike.
I have seen my fair share of 9mm cartridges with set back bullets. Obviously none of those were fired. I've also seen at least one blown up 9mm. Of course the evidence was inconclusive, but in that case I believe it was an over pressure round. There wasn't a bulge indicating an obstruction.

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Originally Posted by DBasye1 View Post
I also have never have personally seen case blowouts on a 9mm, 380, or a 45. As a reloader I do grab brass. Its very rare, but I have seen them on 40. (Not my reloads)
I have seen case blow outs on .223Rem, 9mm, .45GAP, .40S&W. I didn't see the event, but have found all these in brass at the range.

I'm not suggesting that anyone else should drop the 180gr bullets, just that I have. I still have some factory 180gr loads and will probably fire them one day. I'm simply not going to buy any more. I just don't see the value because when I have seen or heard about a catastrophic failure in a .40S&W, it is always a 180gr round. Call me paranoid, but it is what it is.
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  #35  
Old 08-22-2017, 01:03 PM
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I've shot thousands of rounds thru my various .40 cal pistols. Only one is a Glock and those were not cast. My 170gr mold throws my alloy at 176gr+/-. I guess until I see more science based conclusions I'll continue to shoot this bullet in my wife's Shield and my 40 compact.
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  #36  
Old 09-10-2017, 11:56 AM
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Default sounds painful

never seen an actual kaboom occur..but I shoot almost exclusively 180 grains
because I find it shoots softer than the 165 grain
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Last edited by mrmike7189; 09-16-2017 at 12:56 PM.
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