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Old April 14, 2013, 09:46 PM   #1
kgpcr
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Titegroup's bad rap

I have a question. In many of the post's I read about Titegroup often times I read where the poster urges caution as its a touchy powder when it comes to an overcharge. Couldn't that also be said of Bullseye or any other fast burning powder that takes up a small portion of the case? Its making me think about using TG. Your thoughts?
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Old April 14, 2013, 09:55 PM   #2
WESHOOT2
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I DON'T use it

Bullseye, and many other fast-burners, are still more forgiving ("offer a bigger window") than Titegroup.

I use Bullseye, AA2, AA2 Imp, 700X, Nitro 100, and W231.
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Old April 14, 2013, 10:00 PM   #3
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It tends to burn hotter than other powders and lead up some using cast bullets. If I shot jacketed bullets I wouldn't hesitate in using it, but I don't, so I don't.

Plus I've seen a number of pics where Titegroup has blown up a "few" 500 S&W Magnum revolvers using a listed max loading. Shooters swore they were not double charged?????? Who knows?
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Old April 14, 2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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Titegroup also has a reputation for running HOT, hotter than anything comparable. It's not that folks are measuring it's flame temp, it's that guns are getting HOTTER with fewer rounds through them.

On the other hand, Titegroup also has a reputation for being incredibly uncaring and insensitive to powder position, making it a good choice for light loads in HUGE cases, where the placement of the powder can make the round act erratically. Fine example is a light bullet load in .45 Colt where tipping the revolver down or skyward between shots can dramatically alter the performance of each round. In limited use -- I have found this reputation to be true.

There's no doubt that Titegroup has a very small window/range in published data. It meters well, so the hope is that you can drop charges that are consistent and in that window.

I have never worried about the possibility of a double charge (or more) when it comes to picking powders. In fact, I think if that is a genuine concern at someone's load bench, they need to address that concern properly rather than trying to pick a fluffy powder whose pouring over the edge of the case is their only clue to pending catastrophic failure.

Really. If you load full progressive, get a powder cop and illuminate the area and build a failsafe in to your routine. If you load single stage, get the whole tray of charged rounds under a light. Every single time. If you can't be bothered with that, you have earned your eventual failure.

If you've ever loaded a round of .38 Special...you'll see that with a low pressure round in a long case, there just aren't a lot of powders out there that would even overflow with a double charge in .38 Special. Picking a powder specifically to take up space because you don't have a method to ensure a proper charge in your routine? You've got problems that can't be corrected by powder choice.
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Old April 14, 2013, 10:33 PM   #5
WESHOOT2
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I know the answer

Wasn't Titegroup originally designed for Cowboy Action shooting (big case light charge)?
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Old April 14, 2013, 10:41 PM   #6
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Could be...
What I remember specifically was that Mike Venturino did some testing and wrote a few articles on it back when it was new. This is a guy who lives and breathes .44-40 -- a huge case that runs less pressure than I do after a dose of mexican food. I don't know if Hodgdon marketed Titegroup in that fashion, but Venturino wrote about exactly that characteristic.
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Old April 14, 2013, 10:53 PM   #7
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Developed for Cowboy, but marketed as a general performer. Maybe because in testing results moved from just Cowboy loads to all sorts of loads.....
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:38 AM   #8
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I view titegroup the same as any fast, high density powder. Why is it more dangerous than Bullseye or clays or 231? I have not read any good arguments for why it is more "dangerous" than other popular fast powders. The load range is small for all the fast powders, not just titegroup.


I have also read about how hot it burns and how it doesn't do well with lead. I guess I've just been lucky, but I've burned thru ~8lbs of it and 98% of it has been with 9mm and 45ACP lead loads. Has been a great powder for me, no more leading than any other powder. Proper size and speed seem to be a bigger factor.

Titegroup is good stuff, far as I can tell. Pay attention to what you're doing. You should be doing this during all reloading applications.
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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I love it in 12ga. 1235 fps shotshells loaded with 1 1/8 of 7 1/2. Makes a load that is very similar in performance to the Remington Nitro 27.

I have also used it in 9mm and it works very well there.

Part of the the issue is that Titegroup powder is very dense and it would be possible to load a double charge without making a noticible mess when loading a shotshell. I use a universal charge bar on my Mec Grabber. A 17 grain charge of Green Dot requires the powder opening of the bar to be configured at 5/15. With Titegroup to drop 17 grains the bar opening is closed down to 2/0. So less than half the volume of Green Dot for the same charge weight.

Put a double charge or 40 grains of Green Dot in a trap load and the crimp will never come close to closing, wad sticks out the top, shot all over the place. Obvious problem.

But a double shot of Titegroup or 35 grains takes up so little space under the wad it would be easy to not notice.

I don't feel Titegroup is more dangerous as a substance than any other smokeless powder. Just that the opportunity for a double charge due to the density of Titegroup makes it important to be careful.
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Old April 15, 2013, 09:42 AM   #10
Don P
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All I use now is Titegroup loading 380, 38, 357, 9 mm, 40 S&W, and 45 acp. Diligence in your loading practices is and should be a must for all who reload with regards to powder drop. Very consistent in weight per charge and ALL I shoot is lead. No leading issues to date. The only plated bullets I load are the 380's. I shoot Missouri Bullets with a BHN of 18
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Old April 15, 2013, 10:19 AM   #11
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I bought eight lbs years ago and shoot in .45 Colt, .45acp, .38spec, .44spec. 8 pounds lasts a long time and I probably have 1 or 2 lbs left. Don't think I'll throw it away because of this thread.
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Old April 15, 2013, 12:04 PM   #12
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I've shot a lot of TiteGroup ..in 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 acp, .38 spl, .357 mag and .44 mag..../ and with any powder....you have to know what the published Minimums and Maximum are....and if they're close together...you need to be careful !!

If you look at some of the Hodgdon marketing literature....it says it was developed for accuracy / flawless ignition with all kinds of primers / and in large volume cases like .45 Colt, .357 Mag, .44 Mag...the position of the powder in the case ( because there is so much room for it to move around ) has no affect on velocity or performance. Low charge weight, clean burning, mild muzzle report and superb uniform ballistics....

....kind of exactly what we all want ...in our reloads....
----------
I did move away from TiteGroup because I couldn't get it locally in 2011 and 2012 ....and moved to Hodgdon Universal, which I've also been happy with...but its a little dirtier.

I'd go back to TiteGroup if it was readily available in 8 lb kegs in my area again.....( I go thru abut 16 - 20 lbs of handgun powder a year )...and I use Universal in 20ga and 28ga shotshells too...and my club stocks it / so its easy to pick up an 8 lb keg when I need it. Last time I ordered an 8 lb keg of TiteGroup ---after 6 months, they still couldn't fill my order thru our local distributor)....and that was in 2011 - prior to the shortages these days.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:42 PM   #13
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After a few years of exclusively loading bottleneck rifle cases, I branched out and started loading for a few of my handguns. My first caliber selected was .40 S&W, and I selected titegroup as the first powder simply because it was economical (more rounds per pound). I loaded and shot a few hundred with very positive results, and then read on this very board a member who stated "I wouldn't load titegroup in .40 cal on a bet". That got my attention!

I load single stage, and carefully check all charged cases under a strong light to verify that I haven't double charged...and I do not approach maximums with this cartridge. But I will admit, after reading this gentleman's statement, and having seen other similar sentiments regarding this powder and the high-pressure .40 cal, that can has remained unopened and I switched to Winchester 231.

Call me overcautious, but the jury was just too convincing to continue the practice... I'll try it later in some lower-pressure rounds.
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Old April 15, 2013, 01:53 PM   #14
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As mentioned above, the "window" for Titegroup is pretty narrow in some cartridges. For 200 gr. LSWC in .45 ACP the min-max is .6 grains and the min-max for 9mm 115 gr. JHP is only .3 grain. Pretty narrow especially for sloppy reloaders...

Data from Hodgon site.
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:03 PM   #15
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If you're going to use TiteGroup....its another pretty good reason to consider a press with a "powder check die" or a "powder cop die" ...or something that will double check the powder drop within 0.1 grain..../ that are available on presses like the Dillon 650 or Hornaday LNL.

I have a bright light ...and a mirror ...double checking the powder drop as well....but in a large volume case..like .357 mag ...there is no way I can see a variation of even 0.2 grain..
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:10 PM   #16
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I used to use Clays, and W231/HP-39 for .45 ACP. I still use them but find myself using Titegroup more and more for .45 ACP, 9MM, and even .45 Colt. It is a versatile, efficient powder that gives me good performance, and accuracy. I am careful loading it, and typically use lower to mid range loads.
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
the min-max for 9mm 115 gr. JHP is only .3 grain. Pretty narrow especially for sloppy reloaders...
For the same bullet, the range for W231 is 0.4gr, and clays is 0.2gr... they all have tiny ranges. People always pick on Titegroup as having small windows, but so do most of the fast powders in most applications. Alliant only lists max charges, most people recommend starting at 10% below max... for 45 and 9mm, we're talking about ~0.5gr reduction (Bullseye). Same thing. Not specific to Titegroup.
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Old April 15, 2013, 03:26 PM   #18
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Sevens had good info on TiteGroup, my experience follows his thinkin. It's not a powder for working up uber hot hunting loads and yes, if you're PUSHING lead with it you can and most likely will have problems with it. But I use it in a lot of range ammo including lead loads.

IME (not to be confused with "written in stone") I find TiteGroup to be very forgiving using light loads and lead bullets. Think .38sp level loads in .357 brass and things along those lines. It's consistent and accurate and stayin away from loads even moderately hot keeps leading down to nil.
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Old April 15, 2013, 04:18 PM   #19
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+1 on Bullseye
Bought a pound of Titegroup. I did not get any tight groups in several pistol calibers; 380, 9mm, 38spl and even 357 & 44Mag. Gave the rest away.

I am to a point especially after over 40 years of reloading, of trying some new fenangled type of powder lauded by some gunwriter as being vastly superior to time proven winners such a Bullseye, Unique, 296, 2400.
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Old April 15, 2013, 05:02 PM   #20
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I started reloading with Titegroup. Being a newbie reloader I was very careful any how and I still am. I made myself some weight checks using 3 different scales and check my digital often. I drop the charge with my PPM and check them on a digital every 3rd time or so. I use single stage so I can keep an eye on everything and I'm in no hurry to load faster. I always look over my loading block before I start seating bullets. I guess I'll keep using this single stage until I wear it out and then buy another one just like it. I have no yearning for any thing faster.
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Old April 16, 2013, 04:44 AM   #21
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I use a lot of Titegroup with cast bullets and have found the myths and legends to be unfounded.
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Old April 16, 2013, 01:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
For the same bullet, the range for W231 is 0.4gr, and clays is 0.2gr... they all have tiny ranges. People always pick on Titegroup as having small windows, but so do most of the fast powders in most applications. Alliant only lists max charges, most people recommend starting at 10% below max... for 45 and 9mm, we're talking about ~0.5gr reduction (Bullseye). Same thing. Not specific to Titegroup.
I only have 2 lbs. of Titegroup left, and I was only answereing the question. I'm a very careful reloader and even if the min-max was .01 grain, I would not fear the powder/loads. W296/H110 also has a narrow "window" but a lot of reloaders use that too.
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