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My first use of TiteGroup powder - gave consistent velocities, and it was SO CLEAN but also lower velocities and more sensitive to number of grains


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With my supply of rail Boss powder almost gone, and no more available, I was recently forced to look for alternatives, and the only one that simultaneously is recommended for CAS use AND was available turned out to be TiteGroup.

 

My first use of it was for a ladder testing session that overall went very badly due to "environmental occurrences" (range facility electric gate failed, temperature was about 5C = 42F, microbursts of wind that ripped targets off the target stand, Labradar that displayed fps but failed to record the data on its SD card, bird poop on ALL shooting tables, etc). But the TiteGroup powder was actually impressive.

 

First, it grouped well, giving me 1.5" to 2" groups at 25 yards, when I did MY part.

 

Second, it gave lower than expected but more consistent muzzle velocities than I got with the Trail Boss powder. I cannot give you statistics because my Labradar mysteriously, for the first time ever, displayed shot velocities in real time but failed to record them on either its built-in memory or the SD card which I normally upload to my computer for analysis. So, I RECALL being impressed with one load particularly, which delivered, to the best of my memory, both  5-shot groups, which were fired with it about an hour apart, with ALL shots being within an approximately 10 fps range from minimum to maximum.

 

Third, and most impressive of all, after 74 shots fired, it left the revolver SO clean that when I disassembled it to clean it, I thought I might have picked up the wrong revolver (the one that had not been used for that range session), because its barrel, frame, and cylinder exhibited almost NO dirty deposits. I actually pulled the other revolver out of the safe to compare them, and was amazed at how little difference there was between the fired one and the unfired one.

 

I noticed just two negatives:

 

When comparing Trail  Boss and Titegroup, each loaded over a broad grains range (3.2 to 4.2 grains), TiteGroup delivered notably lower velocities than the Trail Boss, by an average of maybe 50 fps at each loading level. This became important to me since the Hornady loading table I used for the TiteGroup maxed out at 4.1 grains (Yes, I went 0.1 grain over after seeing no adverse primer symptoms using the ladder test). AND the grouping at the 2 highest charge levels I used was notably worse than at lower charge levels. This means that I am forced to use a choice of lower muzzle velocities than I would ideally like (maxing out in the high 600s with my 158g swaged bullet).

 

Also, while the Trail Boss ladder test showed only relatively small differences in grouping ability as the amount of powder in the case changed, TiteGroup gave MUCH larger variances in group size when outside "the sweet range" for my test revolver. Therefor, it is evidently more sensitive to the exact amount of powder in the case. Fortunately, TiteGroup meters better than Trail Boss, so I get more exact charges with it from my Dillon XL750 progressive press than I did with the Trail Boss.

 

The sensitivity of TieGroup to exact number of grains of powder in the case makes sense, since its volumetric density is much higher than Trail Boss. A Trail Boss load typically fills much more of the case than a TiteGroup load does. Thus, Trail Boss normally can be expected to have less variability from shot to shot in a typically light CAS load - IF you can ensure a consistent number of grains from your powder drop system . This is in fact why Trail Boss existed at all (It no longer is offered unfortunately).

 

So, the noteworthy consistency in muzzle velocity I saw at one specific load level, in my specific revolver, but ONLY at that one load load, reflects the variability in using a powder with high density for a low-charge application like CAS, but also a sweetly consistent velocity if you find the RIGHT load, for your specific firearm, via ladder testing.

 

Overall, I am reasonably satisfied with TiteGroup, so far (only one 60 round ladder test fired with it so far). I'm glad that is the case, as in the current poder availability marketplace here in Canada, TiteGroup appears to be my ONLY choice of powder for my CAS, if I want to buy enough to keep me supplied for a while. And my best shooting buddy, who knows shooting and the Canadian shooting marketplace very well, tells me I was LUCKY to have found 4 lb of it (from 2 different local vendors which enabled avoiding the new very costly hazardous shipping charges).

 

I need to get back to the range to repeat the ladder test, this time making sure I COPY each displayed velocity on the Labradar to paper, in case it or a "dumb shooter error" results in no data on the SD card like this last time. But I need to wait until (a) the range electric gate gets repaired and (b) we get another unseasonably warm winter day locally. Hopefully, soon  . . .

 

Jim G

 

 

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I use 3.6 grs of TiteGroup with a 125 gr bullet, no problem.

 

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Interesting stuff.  What caliber are you shooting?  in the larger cases, low amounts of Titegroup will show some variation in MV, but for our purposes, it doesn't matter all that much.  I have used Titegroup for a number of years now and noticed only yesterday that it is showing up in the stores in much more quantity than in the last 2-3 years.  I go from the starting load to just below mid point for 45 and 44-40 cartridges and have had no problems with it.  Also, I have used, due to availability, HP 38,  which is similar to W 231 and it also is useful for CAS loads. 

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I do believe your LabRadar needs to be checked for accuracy.  Per Hodgdon's reloading data, using a 158 gr LSWC in 38 Special case, Tightgroup should give MVs in the 700 to 900 fps range. Trail Boss velocities should be in the 600 to 650 fps range.

 

image.thumb.png.b31f57a968879455e7d09ed5f55911d6.png

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2 hours ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Interesting stuff.  What caliber are you shooting?  in the larger cases, low amounts of Titegroup will show some variation in MV, but for our purposes, it doesn't matter all that much.  I have used Titegroup for a number of years now and noticed only yesterday that it is showing up in the stores in much more quantity than in the last 2-3 years.  I go from the starting load to just below mid point for 45 and 44-40 cartridges and have had no problems with it.  Also, I have used, due to availability, HP 38,  which is similar to W 231 and it also is useful for CAS loads. 

 

I am shooting 357 Magnum cases, 158g Hornady swaged SWC bullet, and Federal small primers.

 

Jim G

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In my experience,pretty much everything is way cleaner and cheaper than TB. Boy that stuff crudded up my  45 Marlin. Used Titegroup one fall/winter and found it not to be temp sensitive, but the recoil seemed sharper. Been using Clays or Clay -Dot for years now. Going to try Shooters World Cleanshot this year! Thank you Scarlett. :wub:

 

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17 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

I do believe your LabRadar needs to be checked for accuracy.  Per Hodgdon's reloading data, using a 158 gr LSWC in 38 Special case, Tightgroup should give MVs in the 700 to 900 fps range. Trail Boss velocities should be in the 600 to 650 fps range.

 

image.thumb.png.b31f57a968879455e7d09ed5f55911d6.png

 

I am using 357 MAGNUM CASES and also have 4.75" barrel length.

 

The Labradar has consistently been correct, even as recently as the range session before this one, where I got 770 fps average with 4.2g of TrailBoss. The Labradar cannot actually misread the speed. It either reads it , or gets and displays nothing.

 

Here is the Hornady load table for the Hornady bullet I am using, IN A 357 MAGNUM CASE like I am using, but Hornady used a TEN inch barrel:

 

1775984336_Hornady158gswagedSWCno.10408loadingdataver10loadingmanual-1.thumb.jpeg.fdf51975b8b40ae0eff9894832cf4b99.jpeg

 

It does show 900fps is attainable, but only with 4.1g of powder, AND with a 10" barrel length. My barrel length is only 4.75". And, when I fired the 4.0g and 4.2g loads, the grouping was notably inferior with them, although the muzzle velocity was in the 800s.

 

But at 3.6g, where the grouping was the best this session, and where the fps consistency was the best, the velosity was only in the 680 to690 fps range. I don't knwo why, BUT the consistency of grouping and fps tells me that for MY specific revolver, this appears to be the superior TiteGroup load. So far.

 

Jim G

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Howdy; I have found 4.1 of Titegroup and the DRG brand 158 RNFP in 357 brass will always be over 800 FPS and close to 850 FPS, in the heat of summer.

               3.6 usually run over low 700 FPS in 38 brass with 158s.

Rugers will be clean  enough for CAS work.

Check your crimp,my bullets have a big grove that I roll into.

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Just now, VICIOUS, SASS#8014 said:

Howdy; I have found 4.1 of Titegroup and the DRG brand 158 RNFP in 357 brass will always be over 800 FPS and close to 850 FPS, in the heat of summer.

               3.6 usually run over low 700 FPS in 38 brass with 158s.

Rugers will be clean  enough for CAS work. 

 

What barrel length did you get those velocities with?

 

Jim G

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2 minutes ago, VICIOUS, SASS#8014 said:

Ruger 4 5/8, 

 

Then those are reasonably similar to my results with my 4.75" barrel length. I got into the 800s with 4.2g, but my revolver did not like that load - group was large. I got into the 680 to 690 fps at 3.6g. This a just a bit lower than your low 700s using 38 brass versus my 357 Mag brass. The 38 brass would be expected to produce higher pressure and muzzle velocity since the volume of the case is notably smaller.

 

Jim G

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The swaged Hornady bullets are most likely very soft. DRGs are known to be the same as a ROCK, very hard.

Do you have access to other lead bullets? Or close to Ancaster, ONT.

 

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45 minutes ago, VICIOUS, SASS#8014 said:

The swaged Hornady bullets are most likely very soft. DRGs are known to be the same as a ROCK, very hard.

Do you have access to other lead bullets? Or close to Ancaster, ONT.

 

 

I love the way the Hornady 10408 bullets keep the bore so clean (their lubricant is dry, crosshatched, and covers the entire shank of the bullet). I also like their consistency in weight, length, and diameter. And yeah, they were the ONLY choice that offered more than "the odd box or two" availability, which is important in CAS because you use a LOT of bullets rather quickly.

 

Why would the softness be a problem? I realize swaged bullets cannot be driven at high velocities, but we don't need, or want, velocities high enough to make the softness an actual issue. I don't think anyone by choice shoots bullets in CAS at more than maybe 900 fps, right?

 

Jim G

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6 hours ago, Jim Gnitecki said:

With my supply of rail Boss powder almost gone, and no more available, I was recently forced to look for alternatives, and the only one that simultaneously is recommended for CAS use AND was available turned out to be TiteGroup.

 

My first use of it was for a ladder testing session that overall went very badly due to "environmental occurrences" (range facility electric gate failed, temperature was about 5C = 42F, microbursts of wind that ripped targets off the target stand, Labradar that displayed fps but failed to record the data on its SD card, bird poop on ALL shooting tables, etc). But the TiteGroup powder was actually impressive.

 

First, it grouped well, giving me 1.5" to 2" groups at 25 yards, when I did MY part.

 

Second, it gave lower than expected but more consistent muzzle velocities than I got with the Trail Boss powder. I cannot give you statistics because my Labradar mysteriously, for the first time ever, displayed shot velocities in real time but failed to record them on either its built-in memory or the SD card which I normally upload to my computer for analysis. So, I RECALL being impressed with one load particularly, which delivered, to the best of my memory, both  5-shot groups, which were fired with it about an hour apart, with ALL shots being within an approximately 10 fps range from minimum to maximum.

 

Third, and most impressive of all, after 74 shots fired, it left the revolver SO clean that when I disassembled it to clean it, I thought I might have picked up the wrong revolver (the one that had not been used for that range session), because its barrel, frame, and cylinder exhibited almost NO dirty deposits. I actually pulled the other revolver out of the safe to compare them, and was amazed at how little difference there was between the fired one and the unfired one.

 

I noticed just two negatives:

 

When comparing Trail  Boss and Titegroup, each loaded over a broad grains range (3.2 to 4.2 grains), TiteGroup delivered notably lower velocities than the Trail Boss, by an average of maybe 50 fps at each loading level. This became important to me since the Hornady loading table I used for the TiteGroup maxed out at 4.1 grains (Yes, I went 0.1 grain over after seeing no adverse primer symptoms using the ladder test). AND the grouping at the 2 highest charge levels I used was notably worse than at lower charge levels. This means that I am forced to use a choice of lower muzzle velocities than I would ideally like (maxing out in the high 600s with my 158g swaged bullet).

 

Also, while the Trail Boss ladder test showed only relatively small differences in grouping ability as the amount of powder in the case changed, TiteGroup gave MUCH larger variances in group size when outside "the sweet range" for my test revolver. Therefor, it is evidently more sensitive to the exact amount of powder in the case. Fortunately, TiteGroup meters better than Trail Boss, so I get more exact charges with it from my Dillon XL750 progressive press than I did with the Trail Boss.

 

The sensitivity of TieGroup to exact number of grains of powder in the case makes sense, since its volumetric density is much higher than Trail Boss. A Trail Boss load typically fills much more of the case than a TiteGroup load does. Thus, Trail Boss normally can be expected to have less variability from shot to shot in a typically light CAS load - IF you can ensure a consistent number of grains from your powder drop system . This is in fact why Trail Boss existed at all (It no longer is offered unfortunately).

 

So, the noteworthy consistency in muzzle velocity I saw at one specific load level, in my specific revolver, but ONLY at that one load load, reflects the variability in using a powder with high density for a low-charge application like CAS, but also a sweetly consistent velocity if you find the RIGHT load, for your specific firearm, via ladder testing.

 

Overall, I am reasonably satisfied with TiteGroup, so far (only one 60 round ladder test fired with it so far). I'm glad that is the case, as in the current poder availability marketplace here in Canada, TiteGroup appears to be my ONLY choice of powder for my CAS, if I want to buy enough to keep me supplied for a while. And my best shooting buddy, who knows shooting and the Canadian shooting marketplace very well, tells me I was LUCKY to have found 4 lb of it (from 2 different local vendors which enabled avoiding the new very costly hazardous shipping charges).

 

I need to get back to the range to repeat the ladder test, this time making sure I COPY each displayed velocity on the Labradar to paper, in case it or a "dumb shooter error" results in no data on the SD card like this last time. But I need to wait until (a) the range electric gate gets repaired and (b) we get another unseasonably warm winter day locally. Hopefully, soon  . . .

 

Jim G

 

 

If you are getting inconsistent velocities with the same weight charge check your brass. Light loads with nickel plated cases will vary with lighter loader, especially in colder weather. Also, some brass is thicker and doesn't expand at the same rate. A true test would use only one type/brand of brass. 

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1 hour ago, Assassin said:

If you are getting inconsistent velocities with the same weight charge check your brass. Light loads with nickel plated cases will vary with lighter loader, especially in colder weather. Also, some brass is thicker and doesn't expand at the same rate. A true test would use only one type/brand of brass. 

 

I HAVE ONLY used only one brand of brass for VCAS reloading to-date: Hornady. However, for going forward, I now have some Starline and some nickel  Winchester. I have measured all the key dimensions of all 3 brands that I actually have in hand (OAL, wall thickness,, OD at base, OD at mouth before flaring, etc), with Mitutoyo digital caliper and digital micrometer, and they are all within .0005" or so, which means ACTUALLY within .001" to .0015" given the limitations of even the best calipers (including Mitutoyo). I realize not all brass is that uniform, but I bought my Hornady and Starline barand new, and got the nickel Winchester cases from one shooter who kept them clean and un-abused.

 

Jim G

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1 hour ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

With the 3.6gn load, try a magnum primer.

With a very firm roll-crimp. 

 

No magnum primers available here. Of ANY type. Glad I got a supply last year.

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10 hours ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Interesting stuff.  What caliber are you shooting?  in the larger cases, low amounts of Titegroup will show some variation in MV, but for our purposes, it doesn't matter all that much.  I have used Titegroup for a number of years now and noticed only yesterday that it is showing up in the stores in much more quantity than in the last 2-3 years.  I go from the starting load to just below mid point for 45 and 44-40 cartridges and have had no problems with it.  Also, I have used, due to availability, HP 38,  which is similar to W 231 and it also is useful for CAS loads. 

I’m shooting .38’s 125gr bullet with 3.6 grs of TiteGroup. I’ve been using this load for 3-4 years

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Yes soft lead is fine for CAS work.

Hard bullets like jacketed bullet may offer more resistance to be shot down a barrel and therefore more time fore the powder to burn, that's my theory.

Hard bullets at low velocity will lead the barrel as mine do, BUT this be CANADA Sooo it is what I can get a steady supply of at a decent price as many local stores stock them.

48 dollars plus 13 % tax for 500 bullets

 

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WELL sorta of!  icollector auctions has listed some canadian auctions that have primers, some 20 to 50 years old.

   Large rifle can hit 500 dollars per 1000. most others in the 300 bucks range.

There is small primers in a few stores in the 160 per brick range in Ontario.

It is getting fewer and farther to find primers. The hard time from government and big money for old stock has some older dudes cashing out.

410 shotgun shells are unicorns, and 3 dollars for each shell if you find them.

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I’ve been using Winchester 231 for years behind a 250 gr 45 Colt when I switched to 44 Special I started using 5.0 gr of 231 behind 200 gr RNFP. Then I switched to TiteGroup due mostly to availability.  It shoots much clearer with less recoil plus it meters much better out of my Dillion 550.   Overall TiteGroup is my new go-to powder. 

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I have a Marlin carbine in .357 that cycles the .357 cases slick as a whistle, but sometimes chokes on .38 specials unless I load them long.  Anyway, I love Titegroup for this rifle!  However, I think there are better choices for the handguns as Titegroup has a very load report and about as sharp a recoil impulse as anything I've ever used.  I'm not saying that either isn't manageable, but it is noticeable and unless I don't have the time to load separate revolver rounds, I seldom use Titegroup for my handgun loads.  I much prefer Clays or recently Clay Dot (since that was all I could find).  I have also had good results in handgun loads with HP-38/Winchester 231 (basically the same powder), Unique, and Red Dot. 

 

Anyway, over my chronograph Titegroup does quite well and shows very little position sensitivity.  I can generally obtain single digit standard deviations in my .357 Marlin loads and 3.6 grains under a 140 grain pill produces just shy of 1000 fps in this carbine rife.  I have to agree as others have stated here that your velocity measurements seem to be a bit low and I am also surprised that they run lower than your Trailboss loads.  Not sure what's up there, but it is what it is.  The only thing I've used Trailboss in is my 45/70 loads and I've not been all that impressed with those results either with the possible exception that it does make a fairly light and manageable load.  It works okay in virtually all Cowboy action or light target loads and I have used it in my .44 Magnum and .44 Special loads with some success, but again I seem to get better results with other propellants.  Anyway, I think I only have one bottle of Trailboss left and when that's gone that will probably be the end of it for me.  If they do start producing it again, I might buy some more, but it's not really a high priority.  Good luck and good shooting to all.   

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