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Bullseye with lead bullets?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mgmorden, May 2, 2012.

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  1. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Hey guys - I got a quick question. I've always heard that Titegroup (a favorite of min with jacketed loads) burnt to hot to use with lead bullets. As a result when I started loading more of them I went with Unique instead which has served me well for a good while.

    Enter a problem: I'm pretty much out of Unique and need to load a few hundred rounds for matches this weekend. I do have about 1/2 lb of Bullseye left though.

    Problem is I'm not exactly sure of the relation (if any) between burn rate and burn speed. Given that they're close in burn rate, does Bullseye also burn too hot for lead bullets or is it good to go? I see it listed for some loads but I've learned that sometimes there's a difference between "safe" and actually being a good idea :).

    Also, since I pretty much just pulled Unique out of a hat (saw it listed for lots of lead loads), does anyone have any preferences on a powder that works particularly well for lead? Most lead that I shoot is 9mm, .38 Special, or .32 S&W Long.

    If it matters for this load specifically I'm loading for 9mm - 147gr Z-Cast bullets. I normally do 3.5gr of Unique at 1.078" OAL with these.

    THANKS! :D
     
  2. dwhite

    dwhite Member

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    The problem with titegroup and lead bullets seems to be the high nitroglycerin content of the powder. Makes it burn really hot melting some of the base of the bullet which sticks to the inside of your barrel. I've not used it but it's what I've found on the net.

    Bullseye is the old standard for lead bullet target loads however you can get some respectable velocities out of it too. Not as hot burning as titegroup. I think you'll be very happy with it.

    My experience is that Unique is the best all round powder for lead bullet loads. Every time I've used it the performance is awesome. I believe some of the "dirt" Unique leaves behind actually works like bullet lube.

    All the Best,
    D. White
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Bullseye was used by the factorys to load lead bullet handgun ammo for about 50 years before these other powders were invented yet.

    3.0 Bullseye should be pretty close to the 3.5 unique load.

    Lyman #49 shows a 149 cast bullet loaded to 1.058" OAL.
    Bullseye
    2.8 Start = 780 FPS @ 24,900 CUP.
    3.5 MAX = 942 @ 31,600.

    Unique
    3.2 Start = 810 / 25,600.
    3.8 MAX = 956 / 31,800.

    rc
     
  4. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    All the time.

    I used to use it all the time in my .357 Magnum. I only got leading when I went over 1,000 fps (estimated, I did not have a Chronograph at the time) or used very soft bullets.

    In 9mm, it would be my "go to" powder (lead, gas-checked, plated or jacketed) as it is more economical than Unique and in the 9mm case is easier to see the powder charge than in the .357. What made me switch was that Bullseye is so energy dense that it was hard to see the powder charge in those long, skinny cases to ensure the depth of powder in any one case was no deeper or shallower than its brother cartridges.

    Having said that, I just bought another 8 pounds for most of my target shooting.

    Safety always, all ways.

    Lost Sheep
     
  5. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Thanks guys, that's what I needed to hear! :)
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Sorry, I only used 125 LRN in my 9mm with Bullseye. Don't have data for a heavy 147 grain bullet.

    Bullseye is an outstanding powder in semi auto pistols precisely because it is fast. Bullseye gives a sharp, quick kick to the mechanism and the pressure drops quickly. An inappropriate powder, Blue Dot, a powder which gun writers used to recommend for 9mm, the pressure at unlock is still high, and that over accelerates the slide, either causing peening, or an unpleasant recoil.

    I was able to download Bullseye in my 9mm's and 45 ACP to very light levels, target loads, and still have consistent function. I like that.

    I do recommend you use a chronograph in developing your loads and be aware when you are at max with Bullseye, or any of these fast powders, pressures and velocities climb with little increases in charges.

    You will find that Bullseye works great in a number of pistol cartridges, when you get to the large case stuff, 44 Spl, 45 LC, I prefer Unique, but for short stubby cases, Bullseye is hard to beat.
     
  7. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    TiteGroup is a horrible powder to be used with lead rounds. At least in my experience. So much recoil out of my .45 230 Gr LRN out of a Mil Pro PT145. Never again!

    Unique is way better in terms of recoil and all but I have used Bullseye in 45 ACP and it does the job a bit better than TiteGroup for sure. I know your asking for 9mm, I have only got a chance to use Universal and Unique in them.
     
  8. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I can't help much with lead because I haven't used much. I tried 4gn of Bullseye with 115gn & got leading all the way through my barrel & my duty weapon but no leading in my wifes. The duty weapon is a Glock so that may be why with it.
     
  9. daboone

    daboone Member

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    I find I get more breech leading with Bullseye than Unique. I guess that the quicker peak pressure with Bullseye is the reason rather than the "softer push with Unique. This happens with bullets cast with WW.
     
  10. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    3.0 to 3.2 gr Bullseye works well for me with 147 gr lead bullets. I shoot all lead in 9MM and 45 ACP. Bullseye is one of my 3 favorite powders. HP 38 and AA #5 are the others.
     
  11. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    A tiny bit off-thread, but important.

    Were you using the Glock barrel with the polygonal rifling? Not a good idea. Reportedly, they lead up and then, the next time you fire a jacketed bullet, it tends to stick in the barrel. People who shoot a lot of lead barrels with the polygonal rifling (Glock, H&K and such) usually use aftermarket barrels with cut rifling for their lead bullets.

    Do a search for "Glock Leading" and "Glock KaBoom" to find some threads.

    Lost Sheep
     
  12. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I beg your pardon.

    Your advice is incomplete without telling us the charge weight.

    Lost Sheep
     
  13. CD8226

    CD8226 Member

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    To give you another answer. I have loaded literally thousands of 44 Spl. rounds using 4.2 grains of titegroup. It can be a little dirty, but not as much so as Unique. These loads were used in Cowboy Action Shooting as well as in my Model 624 4 inch. The recoil is mild, the report is sharp. I have never experienced any problems with this powder or load. I iike it better than other powders I have tried. It is not position sensitive and very tolerant of temperature differences also.
     
  14. GilaMonster

    GilaMonster Member

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    I have to agree with CD8226. I have used TiteGroup in both .40s and .38s, using WW-cast bullets. I find it shoots cleaner than Unique, and I have seen no leading at all with Titegroup, in either my Security Six or Ruger SR40.

    I find it to be soft on recoil, and accurate, for the rounds I load for our IPSC matches.
     
  15. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Bullseye powder will be 100 years old next year, and for about 3/4 of that time it was used almost exclusively with lead bullets, with the exception of the .45 acp, where it was used with 230 gr. ball. The load was even printed on the boxes of the military ammunition for a period of time in the early 1900's.

    I can't count the number of pounds of Bullseye powder I've used over the last 49 years of reloading, but it's a bunch, and I still load a bunch of it today. In fact, I was loading .380's with it last night, with both cast and jacketed bullets.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  16. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I loaded with Bullseye 25yrs ago, and I just loaded up some 148gr button nose cast WCs in 38spl two nights ago.
    I don't think I will ever get away from this powder, any attempt to replace it has been disappointing.
     
  17. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Titegroup has pretty much become my go-to powder for anything pistol. I've never had much leading with it even compared to W231. It's cleaner than Unique for sure.
    It will scorch your brass and you need to use a lube that won't make smoke clouds. I cast all my pistol boolits from mixed range scrap alloy (BHN 12 water cooled) and tumble lube with Lee liquid ALOX, and size a thousandth or two over my groove size.
    I *did* get leading (but not horribly) with very hard commercially cast boolits (BHN 18-20 or so) and once I realized that "harder" does not automatically mean "less leading" things got a lot better and I started casting more.

    2.5 grains with 93-gr LRN in 32 S&W Long.
    3.5 grains with 158-gr SWC in 38 Special.
    4.2 grains with 125-gr LRN in 9MM.
    4.5 grains with 180-gr TC in 40 S&W.
    4.7 grains with 230-gr LRN in 45 ACP.
    5.0 grains with 158-gr SWC in 357 Mag.
    6.0 grains with 250-gr SWC in 45 Colt.
    9.0 grains with 240-gr SWC in 44 Mag.
    9.5 grains with 250-gr SWC in 454 Casull.
     
  18. j1

    j1 Member

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    I switched from Bullseye to Unique as it may be harder to get a double charge in the case. I really must try to double charge if I can ever remember to do it while reloading.
     
  19. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    a bit off topic of the OP's que but I switched to Red Dot for cast slugs. burns cleaner (for me anyway) and has more bulk since it's flake but more difficult to meter.
     
  20. NATE40

    NATE40 Member

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    Years ago I bought 50 lbs. of Bullseye and I have shot lead bullets almost exclusively lead projectiles Most were for our local bowling pin shoots I used up 6000 185gr LSWC and ran out of them this year and need to resupply after I run out of Berrys 185 gr plated hollow base round nose. I never had any problems with Bullseye and lead or any other bullets with it in my Para P 14 45.
     
  21. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Back in my commercial loading days I went through many KEGS of Bullseye, all of it under 148 grain hbwcs. Never a problem, never a leading issue, never a detonation. 2.7 grains was our load.....and it was Hercules then. I still load it for myself for plinking and bullseye shooting.
     
  22. joneb

    joneb Member

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    This is from Alliant's 2004 reloaders' guide.
    reloading 001.jpg
    Regarding Bullseye, Look at the 357mag data with the 158gr LSWC. Do you notice anything unexpected ?
     

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  23. A Pause for the Coz

    A Pause for the Coz Member

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    My rule of thumb has been light bullets + Short barrel = Bullseye, Up to 125 gr
    Heavier bullets longer barrel = Unique 158 gr+
     
  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    While Bullseye has it's fans and with good reason I favor W231/HP-38. I get good results with W231 in most handgun calibers with both lead and jacketed bullets but i load mostly lead bullets.
     
  25. coalman

    coalman Member

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    Tons of load data for BE available. I've run it with lead in 9mm and .45acp. Unique, too. Good stuff. TG and lead in 9mm not so much, but better in .45acp. All plated/fmj now for 9mm, but still run BE and LRN/LSWC in .45ACP.
     
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