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  • Question on powder throws, titegroup, and 38 special

     Steven updated 10 months, 1 week ago 2 Members · 2 Posts
  • Steven

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Hi, I’ve been loading up some 148g hbwc loads in 38 special using my Hornady lnl ap. I’ve set my powder measure to 2.8 grains and the vast majority weigh between 2.8 to 2.6.

    My scale only displays to .2 grains.

    But I get the occasional 3.0 and last night I got one or two 3.2 but when I recalibrated my scale the same charge then showed 3.0.

    Two questions. Does this seem reasonable with a flake powder like TG? Second, Hornady shows a max charge at 3.0, hodgdon at 3.3, and Lyman at 3.5. Any concerns with the weight? This is for a Smith Airweight.


  • looking4ammodeals

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    For my 9mm loads using Titegroup my Hornady powder drop is EXTREMELY accurate. I have it set at 3.0 gr, and will rarely get a 2.9, but about ~90% of the charges I weight are right at 3.0, or what ever else I have it set for for different rounds.

    I would suggest looking at how you stroke the press. If you are not using a consistent stroke with the same motion, speed, and pressure you will get a wider variance of your charge weight. Being consistent in your stroke is a big part of getting consistent throws.

    I’m very happy with my Hornady powder measure and even carried it over to my Dillon when I switched presses. Actually was the only piece of equipment Iv been happy with from the Hornady LNL

  • Kentucky_Rifleman

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    1. Get a better scale. You can pick up a scale that is accurate and reliable to .1 grains for under 50 bucks. This is one of the areas where you really do want the best equipment you can afford.
    2. I’ve thrown tons of Titegroup charges with both a Hornady and an older RCBS powder throw. They were both good to within .1 grain. I like Titegroup a lot. For me, it’s just as accurate as Unique or Bullseye, but not nearly as dirty.
    3. given that published data from Lyman (a reliable industry leader) is at 3.5 grains, I wouldn’t be concerned at anything less.
    4. The Airweight – being a lighter, more compact handgun – is no less safe than the larger full-size heavier steel handguns in .38 special, BUT will not tolerate hot loads over the long haul with “loosening up.” If your loads generate excessive recoil, back them off a bit and it will take a bunch of the wear and tear off your revolver.

  • 357Magnum

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    I have similar issues with smallish charges of flake powder. I think it is hard for a small cavity in the powder measure to get properly filled up with each throw. One thing that helps me is to thoroughly tap the powder measure after filling with powder to ensure it all settles into a more uniform density. Also, I’m pretty aggressive with the handle. When I move the handle to the upward position (moving the empty cavity to the powder), I make sure it is a pretty solid “tap” to give the powder a shake in the hopper and ensure better downward flow.

    You may always have some inconsistency. I haven’t been able to defeat it completely short of weighing each charge individually, which would make loading up target loads a pain. But I also haven’t ever had a problem with my handloads, either. .38spl has a pretty big margin of error, especially if you’re not loading to +P levels but shooting a gun rated for +P.

  • FL123789

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    I would ask how are you weighing the powder? I’ll take a primed case, zero the scale, throw powder and weigh. I dump the powder back in hopper and repeat looking for consistency.

    I recently used titegroup for the first time and noticed the first powder throw was right on but each one after increased by .1 or .2. Looking in the case I saw granules of powder still in the case. After tapping them out I was able to get some consistency.

    I found titegroup to be “sticky”. I dont know if it was my bottle of powder, my cases or my environment. I live in FL. I keep powder and primers in the house but cases in the garage. I’ve used 5 or 6 other powder and never had this issue.

    Maybe this helps explain what you ran into.

  • gigantic-watermelon

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    What scale are you using? If it’s hornady beam scale toss it

    If it’s electronic. I hardly trust but I still use it because it’s way faster it just more effected by air currents.

    And then my favorite is a rcbs beam scale by far my favorite

  • kcdobe

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you everyone for the feedback! I don’t hear anyone saying to tear the loads down which is good news.

    Funny enough, the scale in this video is exactly what I have except mine has a Hornady logo. Same crappy instructions and everything. Looks like he got close to the exact same results with a 2.9g charge.

    Think the most likely scenario might be that I need a better scale..

    TESTED: Cheapest Precision Scale on Amazon

  • nattyiceatlanta

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    I actually suspect the press and not the scale. How is the press mounted, and to what?

    You need at least 20 samples before making any determination, have you sampled that many, one after another, to get a sense of what your variance is?

    TG meters very well.

  • 101stjetmech

    December 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Nope, that’s not a reasonable variation. Any reloading scale should be accurate to .1 grain.

    As an aside, for pistol target loads like that, I’ve found that the fastest, accurate way to charge cases is to make my own powder dipper. Just use any small pistol case like 9mm, trim it until it just holds your powder charge then glue it to a piece of wire. Stole the idea from the Lee dippers. One I use a lot holds 6 grains of W231, a good target load for a variety of big bore pistols.

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