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148gr HBWC Powder Choice

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CJ8281, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. CJ8281

    CJ8281 Member

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    I just found some 148gr HBWC (Hornady) and thought I would try them out. I know that the stand by is 2.8-3.0gr of Bullseye but I have a lot of Titegroup on hand and thought I would give that a try. I looked it up on Hodgdon's website. There they list the starting load at 2.7gr and list it to 3.3gr. They list the pressure at 2.7gr at only 7,700 cup and at 3.3gr at 11,800 cup. To me that seemed a bit low so I added Winchester 231 to the mix and they (Hodgdon) list (start) 3.5gr @ 14,200 cup and 4.0gr @ 15,900 cup. So my question is with Titegroup at 2.7gr @7,700 cup, is that enough pressure for the brass to seal to the cylinder wall? I don't know what the pressure of Bullseye at 3.0gr is as Alliant does not list pressures on their website. I know that the 38 spl has a pretty thin case. Any thoughts?
     
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  2. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Haven't loaded 148s with Titegroup but I would say go ahead and load a few at 2.7, 2.9, 3.1, 3.2 and see how they shoot, they will either shoot well or they won't...
    Be careful, that small charge of Titegroup can hide in a .38 case and a double charge would be bad news....
     
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  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I had trouble getting Titegroup to get the HBWC bullet to exit a 4" barrel. I won't say the load as it was a bit high compared to the published data.

    With HBWC, pressure is not the issue because if you drive the bullet too fast it may shed the skirt and you will have a barrel obstruction. Not a good end to a happy day.

    I have not used Bullseye in a long time only because I would not use it for anything else and a pound would last me forever. Otherwise, it is a good choice.

    I use W231/HP38 with my HBWC loads.
     
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  4. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Try it and see what happens. I tried unique once for this bullet. Worked ok but kind of dirty.
     
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  5. CJ8281

    CJ8281 Member

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    @ilbob, yes, Unique burn dirty until you get it up to pressure.
    @cfullgraf I will watch for that but I don't plan on going over 3.3gr. My target velocity is about 800 fps accuracy depending though.
    @Dudedog That is pretty close to what I was planning. Just kind of worried about the case not sealing in the cylinder.
    Thank you for your replies.
     
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  6. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    You may set sooty cases, but they clean up. Soot on the cases bothers some people but if the ammo shoots and functions well I don't care is the cases have some soot on them.

    Not getting all of the bullet out the barrel would be bad.....
    HBWCs need a little TLC.
     
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  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    WST, AA #2, N-310, Bullseye.....
     
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  8. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Trail boss, believe it or not. Real accurate, very soft recoil.
     
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  9. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    I load Speer HBWC with 3gr of TiteGroup. They are accurate with mild recoil.
     
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  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I've yet to play with Accurate #2 in the 38 Special. I've had good luck with it in 45 ACP 200 grain SWC ammunition, I need to branch out.
     
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  11. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Bullseye has never disappointed me for this application.
     
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  12. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    AA#2 is good stuff, meters like a dream.
     
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  13. CJ8281

    CJ8281 Member

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    @Jonesy814 Did you ever load lower than 3gr and see signs of the case not sealing?
    @Walkalong I just picked up a pound of AA#2 to try out, local store had it in for $23 and I figured why not. Actually bought it for the 125gr rnfpbb cast bullets that I have.
    @joneb I was going to go with Bullseye but I have so much more of the Titegroup and I haven't seen Bullseye on the shelf for months now.
     
  14. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    The case not sealing on light .38 Special loads isn’t a big deal. It won’t hurt anything. Just clean the charge holes once your done if it bothers you.
     
  15. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    In my opinion you have the best "accuracy" bullet ever made for the .38Special/.357 Magnum.

    I personally do not care for Titegroup, though. In my experience it teases with promising results and then lets you down with some strange or negative result.

    For my money, Bullseye is the only game in town for this bullet. I have depended upon 2.7 grains of it (and won't argue with fellow who insists on 2.8) and have never had a bad result with the combination. I have gotten to the point where, if the load does not work in a particular gun, I assume there is something wrong with the gun.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
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  16. TfflHndn

    TfflHndn Member

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    As others have said, having the case seal is not something I would worry about. The Hornady HBWCs are a great bullet, but I do not use Titegroup under them. Titegroup burns hot and with lubed lead you'll likely get more smoke than with other powders. If you're just plinking, so problem, but with bullseye or other competition shooting where rapid fire is used the smoke can be a distraction. I use Red Dot or Bullseye or WST with those bullets with very good results. HP-38 is another, but I've nearly run out of that.
     
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  17. Jonesy814

    Jonesy814 Member

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    No, I have not. I used a Lee turret press with auto disc powder dispenser and don't have a disc that holds less TiteGroup. Never noticed them being real smoky, but I shoot outside. Recoil is soft enough to shoot 100 without a thought through a 15 ounce J frame
     
  18. slickracer

    slickracer Member

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    3.4 grains of HP-38 works well.
     
  19. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    I tried AA #2 many years ago. It's a good powder but I got better results with Bullseye and that is what I've used for decades. Also, the smallest Lee dipper gives me the 2.8 grs of Bulleye I want for HBWCs, which is convenient. I can use Bullseye for 45 acp as well.

    Jeff
     
  20. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Livelife has a mod here someplace (Maybe he will link it) where you drill a hole in the side of the disk and put in a machine screw.
    The screw lets you adjust the volume of the cavity.

    (Or consider picking up a Lee Auto Drum)
    Liked my disk measure but the drum is much more flexible.

    As a side note the adjustable charge bar for the autodisk does not really work well with small charges. (or at least for me it didn't)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  21. bummer7

    bummer7 Member

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    Besides the powders mention. Try 700x as it burns clean and works well in my revolvers and autos for 38 special.
     
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  22. sequins

    sequins Member

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    I like Titegroup, Bullseye, and Trailboss for LWC bullets, DEWC or HBWC designs.
     
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