Please explain this dislike for TiteGroup and Kaboms


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Rule3
March 29, 2013, 11:28 AM
On another forum there is a ongoing dislike for TiteGroup as it is a evil powder that blows up guns. Due to it's density and fast burning, in the event of a double charge it blows things up.:uhoh:

Now I admit I have not used the powder myself, just cause I neve have seen it around. I do not understand how it can be much different than say Bullseye which I use a lot of of.

Not looking for a debate of what is the best powder but more of why this powder is singled out?? Yes, it's dense and fast and not a lot in the case, but that can be Bullseye or any fast powder.

Any powder that is double charged would cause a problem, but what I do not understand about KABOOMS is wouldn't the pressure go to the point of least resistance? To me this would be the bullet and still force the bullet out. Why does the case bulge or burst before the bullet is released??

Is Titegroup just got a bad rep because so much of it is used and the odds are greater kinda like the whole Glock kaboom as there are so many 40sw in use??

It seems this event is mostly semi autos as I image a revolver cylinder is tougher to blow up?:confused:

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jerkface11
March 29, 2013, 11:32 AM
It's not that the bullet doesn't move. I just doesn't move fast enough. The pressure goes up higher than the chamber can handle and KABOOM.

rcmodel
March 29, 2013, 11:33 AM
Why does the case bulge or burst before the bullet is released??Because the pressure can't overcome bullet inertia slow enough, and the bullet can't get out of the way fast enough.

Try hitting a bowling ball with a doubled up fist as hard as you can and you will get the idea.

Right after you get back from the ER to have a cast put on your hand.

IMO: You are correct that a double charge of Tite Group is no worse or better then a double charge of Bullseye, or any other very fast powder.

rc

Hondo 60
March 29, 2013, 11:50 AM
I use Tite Group a lot.
It's very low charge weight can be an issue if you're not careful.

In a 38 spl case you could charge 4x or more before it overflows.

The upside is, it's economical, supposedly position insensitive, & has a low recoil.

Unfortunately, I've seen the evil side of it.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=692143&highlight=SP101
I'm ashamed that I let my guard down.

Please stay safe!

jmorris
March 29, 2013, 11:55 AM
I load a lot of TG mostly for SMG loads because it is cheaper than the (faster) VVN310 I normally use.

Rule3
March 29, 2013, 12:22 PM
Because the pressure can't overcome bullet inertia slow enough, and the bullet can't get out of the way fast enough.

Try hitting a bowling ball with a doubled up fist as hard as you can and you will get the idea.

Right after you get back from the ER to have a cast put on your hand.

IMO: You are correct that a double charge of Tite Group is no worse or better then a double charge of Bullseye, or any other very fast powder.

rc
I guess I am thinking like an analogy of say a water heater. The pressure build up and the relief valve pops before the tank does. Thats the part I can not grasp, seems the case wall would be stronger than the amount needed to just push the bullet out but apparently not. I guess water heaters build up slower.

So in a cartridge the pressure build up so fast that the case wall will blow first? It takes more pressure to blow the case wall than to push the bullet out enough to release it.?

In a 9mm for example, what is a guesstimate of how much to blow it up in terms of charges. A double charge?? I see from the Hodgdon data that there is not a big spread from low to high.

1KPerDay
March 29, 2013, 12:27 PM
I use Tite Group a lot.
It's very low charge weight can be an issue if you're not careful.

In a 38 spl case you could charge 4x or more before it overflows.
This is also true of HP-38/W231 and a bunch of commonly used powders in the .38 special. I'm trying to think of a powder that you can't at least triple charge. Maybe Trail Boss... but I bet you could fit a triple charge of the starting loads of TB in a case.

Rule3
March 29, 2013, 12:30 PM
I guess the only powder that is close to "idiot" proof:D is Trail Boss unless you compress it. I hate the stuff though, it floats away when you use it.;)

returningfire
March 29, 2013, 12:32 PM
TG is great, I use it in all handgun loads that I can, no problem. Sometimes it looks as though you don't have enough powder in the casing with tg, but you do. Just don't use over the max recommend load.

rcmodel
March 29, 2013, 12:33 PM
The pressure build up and the relief valve pops Good enough analogy.

Think of the brass case being the pressure relief valve for the steel barrel and chamber.

Better the case lets go then the chamber.

In an auto pistol, that most often just results in a wrecked mag and maybe an extractor blown off.

guesstimate of how much to blow it up in terms of charges. A double charge??Much less then that.
A 9mm is already running at 35,000 PSI or more in +P loads.

With faster powders, pressure increase is not directly liner with an increase in powder charge.

When max pressure is reached, a pressure spike can result if you keep going tyhat is all out of porportion to the amount of power being added.

rc

Fishslayer
March 29, 2013, 12:59 PM
Titegroup just has a rep for being spikey. IE, a small overcharge can raise pressure out of proportion to the volume increase.

Couple that with already high pressures in the 10mm Kurz, a new or inattentive reloader and maybe add an unsupported chamber...:what:

Strickley anecdotal and totally unscientific but it just seems in a great number of spontaneously disassembled pistol stories Titegroup is somehow involved.

Not a hater, but I just won't touch the stuff & wouldn't recommend it for a new reloader. It supposedly isn't that great for cast bullets anyway and that's what I load the most.

thump_rrr
March 29, 2013, 12:59 PM
The problem with Titegroup or any other fast powder is a double charge or overcharge due to its inability to fill the cartridge case.
This means that a double charge will easily fit in the case unnoticed.
This same performance to volume ratio is what makes it economical.

If you properly develop your load and carefully reload so that you follow your charge weight and bullet seating depth it is no more dangerous than any other powder.

If you are loading on a single stage press you should charge 50 cases at a time in a loading block and look down into the 50 cases to ensure that each case has powder and that no case looks like it has more powder than the others.
It is quite easy to spot a double charge when looking down at the cases.

If you are loading on a progressive press then use a powder check or lockout die.
If I have a stoppage on the press I empty all 5 stations and put those casings to the side to be dealt with later. This prevents a squib or a double charge since this is the time it is most likely to happen.

Otto
March 29, 2013, 01:04 PM
I won't get into all the reasons why I dislike TG but I will say the powder has a nasty habit of bridging.
Powder bridging is when some to all of a powder charge getís stuck in the baffle/funnel of the powder measure. When the next charge is thrown, that powder charge knocks loose the last powder charge and you essentially end up with an over charge to a double charge.
Without a careful visual inspection of each charge thrown, bridging can bite you in a bad way.

sellersm
March 29, 2013, 01:19 PM
If you add up these two characteristics, you can see why caution is advised:
- powder bridging (as Otto described quite well)
- spikey. as FishSlayer said well "a small overcharge can raise pressure out of proportion to the volume increase."

It's not an evil powder, but there are many other powders to use and some folks just don't consider it worth the effort. I've used it, but only in smaller doses for some plinking loads. I never get even close to MAX with that powder and avoid it in higher-pressure calibers. Works great in my .45acp loads, though!

9w1911
March 29, 2013, 01:59 PM
Visually inspect the powder level in each case before you seat a bullet

kerreckt
March 29, 2013, 02:34 PM
I have used Titegroup almost exclusively for my straight wall handgun reloads for longer than I can remember with no problems ever. That is zero problems.....ever. It seems any time I recommend that someone use it I get blasted by all the internet experts. All I can go on and all I want to go on is my experience of almost 40 years of reloading. I have probably shot 100k rounds loaded with Titegroup over the years. Maybe more....no problems. This kaboom thing has almost turned into an urban myth....everyone has heard or read about it but no one has actually seen it happen. When it happens do they know beyond a doubt that it was the fault of a proper amount of Titegroup. I like Titegroup because it is clean,accurate and economical. Just for full disclosure. I do not own or shoot any plastic guns. All my handguns are steel or something similar and I am very careful reloading. I visually inspect the charge (powder level) of every cartridge I reload.

Jesse Heywood
March 29, 2013, 03:17 PM
I like it because of its accuracy. It is cleaner than Bullseye. And yes, it is easy to do multiple charges. On one cartridge I wanted to see how much TG the case would hold, which was around 6 charges. But any fast powder can do that. Another case of too many experts with no experience, they just read it somewhere.

As for position sensitive, the ads say it is not, but Walkalong didn't agree.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6228830&postcount=17


Neither powder seems to be position sensitive in the .45 case.
Test the 3.3 Grs TG in .45 Colt powder completely back and powder completely forward. Get the numbers and you'll be surprised.

GT1
March 29, 2013, 03:34 PM
On top of the bridging, and spikiness, a look in most loading manuals will show about the closest min-max spreads of any powder.
That means many case-activated powder measure systems will be pushed to their limitations if you try to load in the middle of the range.

There are many other powders that work great with less things to worry about.

gamestalker
March 29, 2013, 05:06 PM
Introduce excessive pressures faster than can be vented by the bullet exiting, KB happens. I'm really at a loss of how it can be so difficult to understand? Too much of a certain powder, that was tested to produce a certain safe pressure threshold, in a certain amount of time.

GS

gamestalker
March 29, 2013, 05:11 PM
You can't double charge 296 / H110, Longshot, and a number of other slow burners. In fact with some powders you would only be wasting powder with tightly compressed charges. A .40 cal case with a maximum charge of Longshot, is just shy of filling the case to the top.

GS

Crashbox
March 29, 2013, 08:00 PM
TiteGroup was the very first powder I learned to reload with. I've since switched to cast bullets for my main .357 Magnum target practice rounds, so I don't use it so much any more. I avoid TG with cast because it burns HOT.

Never really had issues with it, but I've always used an RCBS Lock-out Die or Hornady Powder Cop on my progressive. I do try to peek into the case as well before installing the bullet.

Yo2slick
March 29, 2013, 08:18 PM
I use ALOT of Titegroup. Use it in 9mm, 45ACP, 38Spl and most of my 38 loads are cast bullets. They shoot great and I dont have any issues with leading. TiteGroup is a great powder, as long as you pay attention to your charges and inspect your brass you shouldnt have any issues.

tightgroup tiger
March 29, 2013, 08:32 PM
I been using Titegroup for years and have never had a single issue with it. It's one of the only powders I use in both of my progressives in multiple calibers.
I've never had any of the issues I've read about here.
I use it for my target loads in 9mm and it's clean and very accurate.

There is no foolproof gun powders.

zxcvbob
March 29, 2013, 08:40 PM
I dislike Titegroup because I mostly load cast bullets in revolver cartridges. Titegroup is a dark soot color, and it disappears in a deep case; you can't tell by looking whether the charge is more or less than it should be. It also seems to burn hotter than other powders (fast or otherwise) and it makes a lot of smoke from the bullet lube and can stain and scorch your brass -- it's very hard to clean.

If you load mostly plated or jacketed bullets in rimless cases, TG probably works just fine. For what I load, Green Dot is pretty much interchangeable with TG and is easier to live with.

gahunter12
March 29, 2013, 09:52 PM
I have used TG in .40s&w in the past, but have since settled on WST. Most of my TG loads were below the recommended min per load specs. I never had a problem with TG. It is a low recoil powder, but burns hot. Lots of guys I shoot IDPA with use TG. We had a guy in our squad last July melt his Fiber Optic on his front sight using TG on a stage where we had to dump 4 to the body, and 2 in the head on 3 targets at 7, 10, and 15 yards with reloads between each target. :what: That Glock35 was smoking hot.

rfwobbly
March 29, 2013, 09:53 PM
IMHO if you were to graph powder weight vs. chamber pressure you'd get a curve with any powder. It just so happens that the curve becomes more asymptotic with the pressure scale for faster powders. That is to say, if you plot Pressure on the vertical scale, then the faster the powder, the steeper the curve.

All this to say that since powder vs pressure is NOT a straight line, double the powder equals MORE than double the chamber pressure. And when you have a very fast powder, like TG, you may get nearly triple the chamber pressure with a double load.

When novice reloaders combine that "edgy" nature of Tight Group with the extremely narrow load window it invites trouble. Mature reloaders have most probably refined their personal reloading process to the point where this can be dealt with safely. However, it is supreme folly to think that a novice reloader can deal with learning reloading technique, his press, his cartridge, his powder measure, AND an extremely fast powder from the get go.

Crashbox
March 29, 2013, 10:05 PM
[SNIP]When novice reloaders combine that "edgy" nature of Tight Group with the extremely narrow load window it invites trouble. Mature reloaders have most probably refined their personal reloading process to the point where this can be dealt with safely. However, it is supreme folly to think that a novice reloader can deal with learning reloading technique, his press, his cartridge, his powder measure, AND an extremely fast powder from the get go.

As I mentioned earlier, I learned to reload beginning with TiteGroup (in .357 Magnum). And a progressive press to boot... but I was also determined to be extra-patient with myself and ever-so-cautious.

Then again, no one said I was normal- but that's another story entirely...

rfwobbly
March 29, 2013, 10:16 PM
....but then you and I went to school when they taught the Constitution. Not every novice reloader has our background, life experience, or common sense.

:D

Crashbox
March 29, 2013, 10:18 PM
Yes, that is certainly true.

Hamish
March 30, 2013, 12:06 AM
I use Tite Group in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. I've probably loaded between 6k and 7k rounds with it without any problems. I visually check every case for powder and powder level before seating a bullet on a turret press. I always load below max, although I've created loads within .2 of max to chrono the rounds and to check for accuracy.

I tried it in .38 special -briefly. It was hard to visually check for powder in the case on my turret press because there was so little powder to see, and the viewing angle made it difficult to see all the way to the bottom of the case. I didn't like the fact that I could easily double charge a case and have it still pass a visual inspection, so I switched to IMR-800x for the .38 special, which fills the case nicely. I use H110 for the .357 magnum.

I just picked up another 8 lbs of Tite Group, so it looks like I'll be using it for awhile - that should load about 13k rounds for me between the three calibers I use it for. Now I just need to find more primers.

Peter M. Eick
March 30, 2013, 08:17 AM
I dislike Titegroup because it leaves a nasty stain on my revolvers. It is quite hard to get off and I have yet to figure out what it is. For this reason, I avoid it.

Crashbox
March 30, 2013, 09:31 AM
I dislike Titegroup because it leaves a nasty stain on my revolvers. It is quite hard to get off and I have yet to figure out what it is. For this reason, I avoid it.

I agree, TG does do that- it's almost like a thermoset polymer. I only have stainless steel revolvers and the cylinders show it worse than anywhere IMO; Flitz seems to work for me with some elbow grease and a prior cleaning using Ed's Red with acetone or MEK included. YMMV.

BigG
March 30, 2013, 10:34 AM
On another forum there is a ongoing dislike for TiteGroup as it is a evil powder that blows up guns. Due to it's density and fast burning, in the event of a double charge it blows things up.:uhoh:

Now I admit I have not used the powder myself, just cause I neve have seen it around. I do not understand how it can be much different than say Bullseye which I use a lot of of.

Not looking for a debate of what is the best powder but more of why this powder is singled out?? Yes, it's dense and fast and not a lot in the case, but that can be Bullseye or any fast powder.

Any powder that is double charged would cause a problem, but what I do not understand about KABOOMS is wouldn't the pressure go to the point of least resistance? To me this would be the bullet and still force the bullet out. Why does the case bulge or burst before the bullet is released??

Is Titegroup just got a bad rep because so much of it is used and the odds are greater kinda like the whole Glock kaboom as there are so many 40sw in use??

It seems this event is mostly semi autos as I image a revolver cylinder is tougher to blow up?:confused:
My guess it's not the powder to blame but progressive reloading devices with lack of attention from operators with too little experience to realize they are dealing with something dangerous. jmtc

thump_rrr
April 1, 2013, 03:41 AM
I won't get into all the reasons why I dislike TG but I will say the powder has a nasty habit of bridging.
Powder bridging is when some to all of a powder charge get’s stuck in the baffle/funnel of the powder measure. When the next charge is thrown, that powder charge knocks loose the last powder charge and you essentially end up with an over charge to a double charge.
Without a careful visual inspection of each charge thrown, bridging can bite you in a bad way.
No offense but trying to claim that bridging can lead to a double charge or over charge in a volumetric powder measure is purely BS.

If for arguments sake you have a volumetric powder measure such as the ones used by either Dillon, Hornady, or RCBS. Which is set to hold 1cc of powder how can you get 1.5 or 2 cc's into the rotor to create any kind of overcharge?

You may have the powder bridge causing the rotor not to fill causing an under charge but not an overcharge. This is a physical impossibility.

I have loaded over 20,000 rounds of 9mm and .45ACP on my Hornady LnL AP progressive without any bridging issues but I don't know what kind of environment you are reloading in.
My environment is temperature and humidity controlled.

918v
April 1, 2013, 03:54 AM
Don't double charge and you won't have KB's.

Inspect your brass prior to loading, throw away defective cases, and you won't have case failures.

Bell the case minimally, make sure the bullet is the right size, and you won't get bullet setback and KB's.

Load on a single stage press, pay attention to detail, and you won't have problems.

evan price
April 1, 2013, 04:38 AM
I have loaded lots of titegroup, in everything from 32 auto up to 454 casull. It does not get you top velocity in magnum calibers but for target ammo it's great. Yes you have to be very careful..it has the most nitro content of about any powder. It burns hot and will scorch your brass. I find it likes to burn cleanest at the upper ranges. It's also good in big deep cases because it doesn't need to be on the primer to ignite. I'm sure there's people who try it and don't respect it. I can't see it being worse than other fast powders.

sourdough44
April 1, 2013, 06:36 AM
I'm a guy who doesn't have any problem with Titegroup, properly used & measured. I wonder also, how is it much or any different than Bullseye powder, very close in burn rate? Bullseye was more popular 30 yrs ago.

Experience along with reputable data trumps net ramblings, in my book anyway.

GLOOB
April 2, 2013, 12:35 AM
No offense but trying to claim that bridging can lead to a double charge or over charge in a volumetric powder measure is purely BS...

You may have the powder bridge causing the rotor not to fill causing an under charge but not an overcharge. This is a physical impossibility.

You're not thinking it through. A dipper can't bridge, either. But you can sure get bridging in the funnel, if you are doing it with your eyes closed. If you've never seen a powder bridge, then you have been lucky. Powder bridging occurs when the powder binds up in the DROP TUBE. The flakes fall in just such a way that the powder impacts and clogs when it hits the funnel/case mouth. That little rotor/meter/disc/hole or w/e will not overfill. But when it drops, it'll just keep on collecting in the drop tube. You can get even a triple charge if you're throwing a small pistol charge - but one little bump and it gets to flowing; then all the backed up powder drops... all over the bench, if you're lucky.

The worst powders for bridging, imo, are the rifle stick powders. But I've also had Unique bridge on me a couple of times.

A Pause for the Coz
April 2, 2013, 08:09 AM
This is what a double charge of Bullseye can do to a 45acp carbine chamber. From what I understand, it was caused by a missed short stroke on a progressive trying to seat a primmer. No one got hurt but underwear were in need of cleaning.
Be careful with those low density fast powders.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d66/Kelly2215/100_8756_zps220fe00b.jpg

MichigammeDave
April 2, 2013, 10:46 AM
I've used TiteGroup for years on .45ACP, .357 Mag, .38 Special and 9x18 Mak. I love it, and for pistol loads I much prefer it to slower powders like 296 and 2400, which I use with .357 and .44 Mag for the carbines.
I've never had a problem double-charging, but I load one round at a time and check each one before I seat the bullet.
There's no substitute for caution.

GooseGestapo
April 2, 2013, 11:08 AM
And the wheels on the bus go round and round.........;.........;..........

The same discussions were going on about Bullseye 50years ago...

It's a dense high-energy powder that is easily over-loaded with logical results.

30yrs ago, it was newby's putting 2-3x powder charges in .38spl cases because they couldn't fathom that the powder used up so little of the case space. Result was lifting the top strap off the gun and blowing chunks off the cylinder.

Today, it's Tite-group and Glocks. Too much powder, or too little case tension resulting in bullet set back in conjunction with the unsupported case head where the feed ramp on the barrel is rounded for proper/reliable feeding. Same results; ka-boom, "mama"!!!!!!

I've used TiteGroup but it didn't offer anything in the .38spl that Bullseye didn't do equally well or better.... (The "dirty" part of Bullseye is the graphite deterrant coating which is part of the accuracy equation... ).

However, with the 9mm .45acp,or .40s&w with plated or jacketed bullets it does have the advantage of no-smoke for the "speed-games". That and of course the economy....
I suppose 40yrs from now it'll be something "different" but still the same thing.....

SlamFire1
April 2, 2013, 11:45 AM
30yrs ago, it was newby's putting 2-3x powder charges in .38spl cases because they couldn't fathom that the powder used up so little of the case space. Result was lifting the top strap off the gun and blowing chunks off the cylinder.

I heard this story from a Pawn Shop owner, must have happened 60's or 70's. He sold a Colt revolver in 38 Special and the buyer wanted to know a good load. The Pawn shop owner wrote something like 3.0 grains Bullseye, probably a 158 lead bullet.

The pistol buyer, being a rifle reloader figured the decimal place was off. The first shot of his reloads burst the cylinder and the top strap blew clean off. I heard the topstrap lodged in the roof over the firing line.

The buyer thought the pistol was defective and brought it back for a refund.

He, and his Colt pistol, were tossed out of the pawn shop once the seller figured out what happened.

Pilot
April 2, 2013, 12:12 PM
Titegroup has become my go to powder for 9MM, .45ACP, and .45 Colt. I use a single stage press, so no double charges for me.

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