Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jeeptim, Mar 10, 2019.
I will add addiction!
HS-6 has always worked well for me, and I am starting to like BE86 in that role as well. Both powders meter well and give consistent results.
Perhaps we can help Hodgdon a bit here, and not refer to it as Universal Clays. They are trying to differentiate them better, as it’s Universal - “Clays technology” on the label. I wish they would have made that second line a lot smaller text!
When I jumped in to the progressive world, I read a lot of forum entries to find the one powder that would rule them all. I did quite a bit of work up across a lot of calibers with Universal and found it’s a decent powder at the higher end of it’s load data.
I wouldn't have recommended Titegroup for someone just starting this obsession in 9mm. I've had my tightest groups using Titegroup (hmmmm) across a number of calibers, and most of the competition surveys list Titegroup as one of the most used powders. So I was in, hook, line, and sinker. But it's got some undesirable characteristics like low case fill, very hot burning temps and can get dangerous very quickly if you're not careful.
For 9mm, I've settled on Target and N320 for the faster powders, ASP, 244, Universal and N330 for the midrange, and WSF, N340 and CFE for the slowest. Variety is the spice of life!
Since the OP asked about 9mm, "low case fill" isn't really a problem with any powder in 9mm. Quite easy to see in the case.
I tried to cut back so I wouldn't have so many powders (or calibers) but it didn't work.
Yes, but, I didn't say it was a problem, just an undesirable characteristic, and I should have added "for my reloading". I run a lock out die and have my eyes on powder in the case before seating the bullet, all good things however with TG you can have a dangerous overcharge and not catch it. I've been through 6+ pounds of it though various calibers so I do use it but there are others on my shelf that I've prioritized higher. For example, on a 145gr Bayou RN, for my guns and minor PF I'm in the 3gr range. I filled cases with TG, Target and N320, and I tried to take a picture showing how full but they didn't turn out too well. I then attempted to place a sharpie line on the outside of the case. The TG has the lowest case fill of the three.
I erred. Sorry. You are correct in that all fast powders are lower case fills. My lowest TG load is 4gr under a 115gr bullet, so easier to see.
Good visual. Maybe take the picture from a higher angle to show how they look from a reloading perspective.
No worries! No apologies necessary I'm just trying to pass on some information I've gleaned through a lot of testing and what I find works for me. I did try to take that 3D picture with all kinds of lighting looking into the cases, but I don't have @bds magic camera.
I have previously loaded 9mm with Titegroup and while performance was very good I ran into issues when I started loading for 147gr bullets. At the time I was using the Lee Pro Autodisc for my powder measure. These use discs with presized holes of different volumes. The smallest volume (hole) is 0.32cc which resulted (for me) in 3.9gr charges. With Titegroup this volume is unreliable. The hole is so small that occasionally the charge will be light... very light. Modifying my technique to tap the press handle on charge and on return to more consistently settle the powder didn't eliminate the problem. If I increase to the next larger size hole (0.34cc = 4.0gr) the problem went away but this was too hot for 147gr bullets in my pistols. I even tried modifying one of the larger holes and added a screw thru the side to take up volume to create a 0.32cc volume hole with a larger opening. This was better, but not ideal.
Eventually I switched to Power Pistol which nearly fills the case consistently. The downside is I now have some loads for lighter bullets that are compressed with Power Pistol, but the are not yet too hot to shoot.
Make sure you are using the spring at the bottom of the bead chain and fully cycling the ram handle to ensure the disk is returning fully for full fill of the hole - https://leeprecision.com/5-8-free-ht-spring.html
If you don't do these consistently, you will get inconsistent charges with Titegroup. If you are doing both of these yet still getting inconsistent charges, inspect the bottom of wiper for damage and replace as necessary (And be sure to lubricate the surface of wiper with fine graphite powder or finely shaved No. 2 pencil lead rubbed on paper) - https://leeprecision.com/wiper.html
When I did DIY $1 modification to Auto Disk to drop smaller charges, Titegroup metered consistently with .1 gr down to 2.6 grains - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/working-diy-micro-auto-disk.741988/page-2#post-9495037
That spring applies to progressive loaders. I am using the Lee Pro Disc on a Lee Classic turret press so it depends on a much larger spring mounted on the powder measure to return the disc into position under the hopper (the non-progressive lever arm+spring). It depends on the flaring die and operates based on the entire assembly being pushed up as the case is rammed into the die.
I think my problem was related to static electricity and the small charge opening.
I could probably use a new wiper. Thanks for the link.
I'm not sure if that article is the same one I used as the basis for my mod but it is nearly the same. I drilled and tapped the side of a spare disc and threaded a screw into one of the openings allowing charge volume adjustments. A little trial and error later and I was getting better results that the stock 0.32cc hole.
BTW, I also bought one of the eBay copies of the Lee Micro-Disc. This tended to leak more powder that the normal discs but delivered smaller charges.
I also bought the Lee Micro-adjustable Charge Bar hoping it would be better, but at the smallest charges it also saw inconsistent charges with Titegroup. It was no better than the 0.32cc disc.
I recently bought a Lee Deluxe Perfect Powder measure and have not yet tried small Titegroup charges to see it it offers more options. Unlike the disc system, the drum system doesn't actually have a minimum volume. 0.32cc or smaller should be no problem.
Just to be clear, I have no issue with Titegoup when loading 115gr and 124gr bullets because they don't use the smallest disc charge opening. But I have been working on subsonic 9mm loads for use with a suppressor so have been leaning towards more 147gr loads. Just to give you an idea... with 147gr bullets and Titegroup I have only two charges (two smallest charge volumes : 3.6gr~4.0gr) to work from using the Lee Pro Disc, but with Power Pistol I easily have four or more charges that work (3.5gr~5.0gr) because of the larger volume needed. Titegroup is only a problem for me because it is at the very lowest end of the disc systems capability.
"I think my problem was related to static electricity and the small charge opening."
Possibly. I've gotten away from using the plastic measures, and the problem has stopped for me. Even fairly small charges of Herco drop reliably.
YMMV, of course.
Some fast powders are "fluffier" Higher VMDs than others
Titegroup is fairly dense about .084 some other "fast" powders are less dense
for example Red Dot is about .14, N320 about .12 AA#2 about .10
Put another way
4gr of Red Dot takes up .56 cc
4gr of N320 takes up about .48cc
4gr of AA#2 takes up about .4cc
4gr of Titegroup takes up about .33cc
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