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Odd results with 158gr LWSC .38 and Titegroup powder

WanMan99

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Getting ready for a production run of .38 special and I have a decent amount of Titegroup available. Load data from Hodgdon shows 3.2gr - 3.8gr with a COL of 1.475. This is with LWSC 158gr bullets. These bullets (Falcon brand) have a ridge which is similar to a cannelure but stops the bullet from seating any deeper than the thick ridge that goes around the circumference of the upper bullet.
I loaded up 25x rounds with 3.6gr and seated them to the ridge mark (1.425 so it is close enough). I did have some shaving occurring so I had to increase the case flare. I also increased the crimp a touch to get a good seal.
My issue is when I went to the range to test them I noticed unburnt powder, a good size flame flash, blackish clouds of smoke from the barrel and extreme grime on the cylinder and barrel.
To me these are indications that the charge is under weight but I am just under max load for that formula. the rounds did hit paper just fine and had good grouping.
Gun was a S&W 686 with a 5" barrel.
Anyone have issues like this with Titegroup and lead semi wad cutters?
 

Uzi2

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How did the primers look, any sings of excess pressure?

If not, try crimping a little tighter and see if that clears things up a bit.
 

mac1911

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Getting ready for a production run of .38 special and I have a decent amount of Titegroup available. Load data from Hodgdon shows 3.2gr - 3.8gr with a COL of 1.475. This is with LWSC 158gr bullets. These bullets (Falcon brand) have a ridge which is similar to a cannelure but stops the bullet from seating any deeper than the thick ridge that goes around the circumference of the upper bullet.
I loaded up 25x rounds with 3.6gr and seated them to the ridge mark (1.425 so it is close enough). I did have some shaving occurring so I had to increase the case flare. I also increased the crimp a touch to get a good seal.
My issue is when I went to the range to test them I noticed unburnt powder, a good size flame flash, blackish clouds of smoke from the barrel and extreme grime on the cylinder and barrel.
To me these are indications that the charge is under weight but I am just under max load for that formula. the rounds did hit paper just fine and had good grouping.
Gun was a S&W 686 with a 5" barrel.
Anyone have issues like this with Titegroup and lead semi wad cutters?
Geez thats everything titegroup is not supposed to do. I got a pound to try but never got around to it.
Your bullet size a good match to your throat? If your throat is tight compared to bore you can be swaging the bullets on the way to the bore.
 

allen-1

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Titegroups' a dirty girl,.. esp w/lead.View attachment 515720
I shot Walls a couple of weeks ago with my revolver and my hands barely needed washing when I was done. That's six stages with 24-26 targets on each, so call it 150 rounds without any misses - and I missed a couple. I'm loading .38spcl 158gr with Titegroup. I'm not home right now, so I can't give the number of grains of powder. I'm somewhere in the middle of starting and max, not approaching max. Difference is that I'm using 158grain PLATED from extreme rather than lead.

FWIW, I use TiteGroup for 9mm, .38spcl, .357Sig and .357Mag and have never seen anything like that kind of mess from any of my loads.

Friend of mine noted that I'm basically taper crimping my .38's, and recommended that I increase the crimp. That's factory on the left, mine on the right.
IMG_0288.jpg
 

WanMan99

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Titegroups' a dirty girl,.. esp w/lead.View attachment 515720

edit: This is a bottom end pcc load
That is exactly what my loads were doing. I believe the crimp needs to be increased to prevent the powder being blown past the bullet during ignition. Unfortunately, with the model bullet I have, the crimp is fairly limited due to the ridge running around the upper portion. I'll post some pics.
Primers seem fine, no flattening.IMG_0372.JPGIMG_0370.JPGIMG_0371.JPG
IMG_0369.JPG
 
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mac1911

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That is exactly what my loads were doing. I believe the crimp needs to be increased to prevent the powder being blown past the bullet during ignition. Unfortunately, with the model bullet I have, the crimp is fairly limited due to the ridge running around the upper portion. I'll post some pics.
Primers seem fine, no flattening.View attachment 515739View attachment 515740View attachment 515741
View attachment 515738
Theres no reason you cant get that roll crimp tighter. Those bullets are great for a nice roll crimp. If your cases are all over the place in over all length you might have some to long/short
 
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