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Old September 21, 2006, 09:47 AM   #1
Jammer Six
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Powder for lead

I've started to like Precision Bullets.

Up to now, I've primarily used Titegroup with Barry's plated bullets.

I recently heard a theory that Titegroup burns too hot, thermally, for lead, and actually melts the base of the bullet.

What do you guys think about that theory?

Will VV 320 do the same thing?

What powders do you like with lead?

Details: .45 SA Milspec, Precision Bullets 200 SWC, Federal 150 Match primers, Armscor brass, powder to be decided.

Thanks, guys!
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Old September 21, 2006, 11:27 AM   #2
sleeping dog
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Melting bullets? It's a theory

I doubt the bullet is in contact with the hottest part of the flame long enough to melt.

Mostly I reload .38 & .357. When I load .45, I only have jacketed bullets. I bought some Win231, and someone gave me some Unique and Bullseye, so those are the powders I use. I haven't found a difference in accuracy (up to 25 yards), they all seem to work ok.

Regards.
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Old September 21, 2006, 11:35 AM   #3
mjrodney
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I have purposely compared Titegroup against regular Clays for leading in a .45acp, using 200g lead semi-wadcutters. Soft, target loads only.

Titegroup does lead the barrel more than Clays.

Not a whole lot, but readily discernable and it did add to my cleaning time.
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Old September 21, 2006, 08:19 PM   #4
dogfood
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Actually, when you consider temperatures only, all powders will burn at a temperature much hotter than necessary to melt lead.

But, as pointed out by sleeping dog, the flame contacts the bullet base for a very, very short time. If you recover fired lead bullets, you will note that the imperfections due to the sprue cut-off on the base are still very clear.

A candle flame is certainly hot enough to give your finger a wicked burn, yet you can wave it through the flame quickly with near-zero effect. You can do the same with a lead bullet and a propane torch (and if you must try this, please use pliers and not your fingers).

Leading is cause by friction ... and more pressure on the bullets base = more friction (all other things equal). If Titegroup were to provide a fast pressure spike, it may result in more leading. But I would expect all powders in its speed range to behave about the same.

I still believe that the major cause of leading when using target velocity loads is either an undersize or excessively hard bullet (or a combination).

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Old September 22, 2006, 12:36 AM   #5
glockopop
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The manufacturer recommended load for IDPA and practice for my Wilson Combat pistol is 5gr. of VV N320 with a 200gr. LSWC. I'll be buying powder, primers, and bullets tomorrow. I'll tell you how it works this weekend.
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Old September 22, 2006, 07:48 AM   #6
HSMITH
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Run a 15 or 20 round magazine of TiteGroup loads through your gun, back it way down to 2 or 3 rounds per second. Record the temp of the barrel and slide over one minute after firing.

Now do that with Clays, Unique, and whatever else you want to try.

If you can recover bullets you won't see the difference on the base, but around the edges of the base. This will be readily apparent with really hard bullets. Most commercial cast bullets are WAY too hard. A fast pressure rise to peak helps with overly hard bullets.

Jammer, for what you want I load Clays and deal with a little leading. It shoots great, soft and clean. N310 is just as nice at twice the price. If you want no leading at all try Unique, in my experience it will lead less than every other powder I have tried when used with the same bullets at the same speeds.

Most of the competitive shooters I see are using Clays. The rest use TiteGroup or 231. The 231 shooters seem to be guys that just won't change from the way things used to be, and the TG shooters seem to be guys that want just one powder for 9mm, 40, and 45. I don't recall talking to anyone that has loaded Clays in 45 that went back to their old powder that wasn't using a Lee loader either. The Lee powder measures don't really care for flake powders.
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Old September 22, 2006, 08:59 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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"The 231 shooters seem to be guys that just won't change from the way things used to be..."

I've tried Titegroup and Clays in quite a few of my guns -- .32 S&W Long, .38, .357, 9mm, .44 Spl., and .45 -- and I keep going back to 231 for most of those rounds. Most because I've quit reloading 9mm, and I've switched to Trail Boss for .44 Spl.

Why?

Because I've yet to identify any benefit or bonus of using Titegroup or Clays over 231.

My guns aren't appreciably cleaner, my groups aren't smaller...

In fact, I still have a half pound each of Titegroup and Clays in my reloading storage room. They're sitting next to the new 3lb jug of 231.

I may burn up the last of my Titegroup in my .32-20 S&W, though.


The big question is, why change for change's sake? If you have a long history of success with a particular powder, and it does everything that you ask of it, why run out and chase the next super duper whiz bang golly gee product that comes to the market?
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Old September 22, 2006, 09:37 AM   #8
Edward429451
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Quote:
switched to Trail Boss for .44 Spl.
How's that working out for you? I'm doing more with 44 special lately and haven't found anything better than Unique for it yet, for my Bulldog. 2400 shines in the longer barrels though.
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Old September 22, 2006, 10:11 AM   #9
AlaskaMike
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Mike Irwin wrote:
Quote:
I keep going back to 231 [...]

Why?

Because I've yet to identify any benefit or bonus of using Titegroup or Clays over 231.
This surprises me--while I get good accuracy out of my batch of 231 in .45 acp, it is incredibly dirty in both my Springfield Mil-Spec and Sig P220. With Lasercast and Meister 200 gr. SWC, reducing the OAL from 1.26" to 1.23" (in 5.8 gr and 5.2 gr. loads) in an effort to increase pressures a bit, has helped somewhat. However, anything from 3.7 to 4.0 gr. of Clays has proven to give me the same shot to shot consistency, but is *MUCH* cleaner in my guns.

Maybe my lot of 231 just burns a little more dirty than most? I dunno. After having my Mil-Spec start to jam after only about 50 rounds of 231 loads due to powder fouling, I got fed up and started using Clays. I have yet to have a jam after several hundred rounds of Clays loads, and that's without cleaning the gun. I pretty much only use 231 now for .38 special, and light loads in .357 mag and .44 mag. I do like it, just not in .45 acp anymore.

Mike
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Old September 22, 2006, 11:14 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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"How's that working out for you."

I'm shooting lead in my S&W 24-3 with a 6.5" barrel, so I'm more than happy to keep the loads fairly sedate. Trail Boss, so far, has been EXCELLENT in my gun. It shows better shot-to-shot consistency than any of the other powders I've tried in it, with correspondingly better accuracy.

My personal theory on that is that it's because Trail Boss fills so much more of the case so the powder is in a more consistent position every time. 231 and the others I've tried require charges that are so small that you can barely even see them.


"it is incredibly dirty in both my Springfield Mil-Spec and Sig P220."

I don't have a 220, but I do have a Mil Spec, and I don't find 231 to be any more or less dirty than either Clays or Titegroup.

I've fired as many as 300 rounds of 231 lead reloads through it in one day without any malfunctions. The only time I get malfunctions is when I let the slide rails get dry, and then I'll even have malfunctions with factory hardball.
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Old September 22, 2006, 03:09 PM   #11
Edward429451
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Thanks Mike, I think I'll try a pound of Trailboss.
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Old September 22, 2006, 04:10 PM   #12
HSMITH
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Mike, I have shot a good bit of 231, at least 3 pounds in 45 alone. It has always been really dirty for me, worse than Unique by a bit and we know how maligned Unique is....

I first used Clays in 45 over ten years ago, and I have burned over 100 pounds of it in shotguns and handguns. It has always been cleaner and just as consistent. I have guns that will see a couple thousand rounds between cleanings, I just could not get there with 231, not even close with lead bullets.

I don't have anything good to say about TiteGroup.....
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Old September 22, 2006, 09:12 PM   #13
skipjack
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I shoot 45acp with 200 grain lswc over red dot and have no leading at all.
It is not the cleanest powder in the world, but the gun needs cleaning after shooting anyway. I have also had good luck with bullseye. These are mild target loads, bullets cast from wheelweights with a small amount of tin solder added. Lube used is 50/50 beeswax alox. I have also shot some lubed with lee liquid alox. Personally, I think proper diameter and lube is more important than powder choice to prevent leading.
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Old September 23, 2006, 12:50 PM   #14
Mike Irwin
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I've used a lot of Red Dot over the years. It is, by far, my favorite powder for moderate 12 gauge loads for clay sports.

I did try it in a couple of pistol loads once -- 9mm and .38 Spl. It was unbelievably filthy.

I'm simply not finding the same results that you are, HSmith. Clays might have been a bit cleaner for me, but it wasn't anything that I could identify readily or that made a huge impression on me, so I switched back to the known entity that had provided, and which continues to provide, excellent service.

I'll dig it out again and give it another try, though, and see what I think.
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