Originally Posted by Jammer Six
The differences I've noticed are two: older powders tend to be much dirtier, but have a huge following because back in the day, they were all there was. So 231, Unique and Bullseye have hordes of folks who swear by them.
But Titegroup is, for my jacketed stuff, cleaner, faster and more accurate.
Titegroup is not an "all around powder" for 45ACP. It is a "Specialty" powder. Just because many match shooters use it to make power factor they could not with other powders does not mean it's a good powder for a new reloader to start off with. Titegroup burns fast and hot with spikey pressure curve and narrow load range. Is it accurate? Oh heck yes for my 9mm/40S&W loads in my pistols/barrels but I spent a lot of time getting to those loads and I would not recommend to others due to pressure variations in different pistols/barrels.
You'll often see me recommend W231/HP-38 (same exact powder but HP-38 costs less) that is moderately fast burning but slower than Titegroup with broader load range that's more forgiving for a new reloader. Even at lower mid-to-high range load data, W231/HP-38 will produce accurate target loads and burn relatively clean (compared to other powders in the same mid-to-high load data range). It is cleaner burning than Bullseye with less recoil pulse but Bullseye loads are accurate. It is a flattened small ball powder and like other ball powders, meters very consistently (particularly in Lee Pro Auto Disk with less than .1 gr variance). Unlike flake powders (Bullseye/Unique), W231/HP-38 is coated which also help lubricate the Auto Disk operation surfaces.
For 200 gr Lead SWC bullet, 5.0-5.5 gr of W231/HP-38 produces very accurate loads and is like bread-and-butter, peanut butter-and-jelly, etc. I like clean burning and accurate WST for 45ACP also, but if you are loading other calibers like 9mm/40S&W, W231/HP-38 is hard to beat for producing accurate and moderately recoiling target loads.
For me accuracy is everything and holes on target speak volumes.
From Hodgdon load data - http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
155 gr Lead SWC W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.230" Start 6.0 gr (998 fps) 13,400 CUP - Max 6.7 gr (1112 fps) 17,100 CUP
155 gr SFIRE W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.220" Start 5.6 gr (944 fps) 13,800 CUP - Max 6.2 gr (1057 fps) 16,700 CUP
180 gr Lead FP W231/HP-38 .452" OAL 1.140" Start 5.0 gr (778 fps) 11,300 CUP - Max 6.0 gr (950 fps) 16,800 CUP
185 gr Hornady JSWC W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.135" Start 5.0 gr (762 fps) 12,000 CUP - Max 5.9 gr (906 fps) 15,800 CUP
200 gr Lead SWC W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.225" Start 4.4 gr (771 fps) 11,000 CUP - Max 5.6 gr (914 fps) 16,900 CUP
200 gr Speer JHP W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.155" Start 5.2 gr (794 fps) 12,700 CUP - Max 5.9 gr (906 fps) 16,700 CUP
230 gr Lead RN W231/HP-38 .452" OAL 1.200" Start 4.3 gr (699 fps) 12,200 CUP - Max 5.3 gr (834 fps) 16,900 CUP
230 gr Hornady FMJ FP W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.200" Start 4.2 gr (751 fps) 13,800 CUP - Max 5.3 gr (832 fps) 16,800 CUP
For economy, although Promo's larger than Unique flake size doesn't meter that well, 200 gr Lead SWC with about 4.0 gr of Promo
also produces very accurate and mild recoiling yet clean burning target loads (I said "about" 4.0 gr as my Pro Auto Disk will throw with .2-.3+ variance. As to load data, Alliant states to use Red Dot load data by weight
). For me, Promo is also becoming a good general purpose powder as it has produced very accurate 45ACP/9mm lead loads using 2004 Alliant Red Dot load data