Testimony from a high-quality ammunition loader from February 18, 2016:
WC231 vs OBP242 (Titegroup) and the $2.00/lb more cost justification
“Hello Ron, as requested, I always try to get back to you promptly, and here’s why we have established WC231 as our benchmark powder for most (but not all ) loads.
Read below pictures (Screen Shots) of pressure and internal ballistics of the two powders, similar velocity, near identical internal pressures at ideal range, BUT more importantly, look at the Powder volume % of the casing,
OBP242 (Titegroup) is at 63% of case capacity, and the WC231 is at 78% of casing capacity, or at the bottom of the bullet, and not a loose fill where extra powder can be packed in, and worse yet, the powder gets beat around or shooting downhill with a cold primer, and you get a hang detonation as the power sits forward, much less reliable.
WC231 is the RAVE in shooting sports of Production class guns as the most accurate powder for this caliber, as it’s a perfect match for this caliber and BOTH show 100% OF POWDER burned to complete the cycle.
So, on 4.8 grains, gives you 1,458 cartridges, if you don’t have spillage, of WC231, at 4.2 grains, gives you 1666 rounds, so you get extra 11 % more cartridges per pound, but you get more risk, and less performance,
Translates at say, $13.00 for WC231, is $8.90/1000 rounds of powder cost,
Translates at say $11.00 for OBP242 is $6.60/1000 rounds of powder costs,
So, $2.30 US/1000 rounds cost difference.
I personally will gladly pay this to have a more accurate load, a more stable load, and the smaller the charge the harder it is to get an accurate throw in automatic machines, as they are lucky to be +- 2/10ths if things are good and not running to fast, sometimes more, so the lighter you are, the larger your velocity spread is, and this changes the MUZZLE jump greatly on a gun, and increases the group size, or even less accurate.
HOWEVER, saying all this, OBP242 is my first choice for a 9mm 147 grain bullet, but that’s the only load, as the powder comes to the bottom of the bullet.
I CHECK the powder height to the internal seat height of a bullet, and try and get it very close to touching but not compressing on the bullet, thus you have superb accuracy this way, very consistent ignition, when shooting in all directions, up down, etc. and less air pressure movement when going from hot to cold environments, (air expands and contracts, drawing in moisture to unsealed casings, and over time, humidity can effect cartridge some. WC231 is very stable, and for 40 years when commercial reloading started up, it was the standard for all to use.
So, for $2.30 cents for a premium load, over a cheap economy load, yea, I give my customers this and they swear by our products, I get messages of feedback daily from people saying our remanufactured ammo outshoots all the factory stuff for accuracy and consistency, and reliability. AND best of all, we’ve never blown up a gun with 22 million rounds made, I know of dozens of guns blown up by hand loaders and commercial loaders using OBP242.
ALSO, if you use any shaking equipment in the same building, it will pack the OBP242, Also OBP242 packs tight when transported in truck, and can get lumpy, so needs to be sifted, and if left in loading machine over night or even sometimes for a few hours with no activity, it can bridge and not do a full charge, making a dangerous load.
And for safety, WC231 is impossible to double charge, 1), it spills over, (OBP242 doesn’t), and if you seat a bullet on it, it bulges the heck out of the casing, and impossible to make chamber check, so again, liability wise if you have hired people loading, so I use this as much as possible, as I sleep better at night with hired helpers running the machinery, less chances of a Law firm coming along with a notice of claim document.
So, better product, and much less liability, and it’s safer overall.
It’s also very good in .45 ACP and .40 cal as well, a very good powder for mid to high range of performance, but not always best powder for +P loads, as that’s specialty stuffs. ALSO, most important of all, is you can down load this powder for say a training load for Police .40, but OBP242 shouldn’t be downloaded, or reduced loads, IN fact, the Speer manual says DNR on some of the 9mm loads with OBP242, as in Do Not Reduce load from max load, so you’re often very limited in getting the right charge amount powder bushing to match what you want, We’ve spent days to get the Titegroup bushing right for the job from lot to lot, not fun.
I will give OBP242 the benefit of being an easier powder to ignite with cold primers as in Lead-free priming, but again, lead free need sealing and store at room temperature of the humidity in and out effects how hot they burn, and this is a drawback to consider.
This is a lot of considerations, but if I had a truckload of one or the other, I would pick WC231, most accurate, most popular, and very VERY versatile, loads for almost all handgun calibers, and less liability for the above reasons noted. The $2.30 cent saving is negligible, if you can stay out of having a swack of customer service problems, (I hear about them all the time about my competition sets up, and I get worried about having less sales, 2 months later, our customers come back 2 fold realizing just how good our choices of powders and loads are, as bad product by others helps sell yours if you make Consistently good product day in and day out.) Bad news travels fast with the internet, a Good reputation can be undone over night with a few bad rounds/load problems bridged powder, etc., or a sudden increase in spread of group, and you get a reputation of not being accurate product, tough to get that back, takes lots of sponsorship of shooters and promotion to convince someone after a bad experience.
This is a GRAND OVERVIEW.”