Has anyone tried the "New" Unique


December 30, 2002, 12:20 PM
While reading the “One Powder for...” thread someone mentioned the reformulated Unique.

Has anyone tried this new Unique?

I used to use a lot of Unique many, many, many, many, many years ago. Yes it was filthy, like burning tires, but it worked good for almost every handgun caliber.

How much cleaner is the new Unique?
Does it still have the same burning rate as the old Unique?

I’d sure like to hear people’s experiences with it.
If it has “Cleaned up it’s act” I’m gonna start using it again.

Your humble 14th century mercenary
Captal de Buch


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December 30, 2002, 12:26 PM
I was shocked when it went from the can to plastic. And then from Hercules to Alliant. Now there is a new formula? :eek:

Neal Bloom
December 30, 2002, 12:39 PM
Never tried the old Unique but it must have been some really dirty powder. Of all the powders I have tried the new formula is not the cleanest. The reason I switched to Universal Clays was not that Unique is dirty, all powders are, but that is doesn't meter well.

December 30, 2002, 01:02 PM
I have always used Unique, since it was made by Hercules.

The old stuff was definitely dirtier than the new stuff. The new stuff is about the same as other powder, its average dirty instead of really dirty. :p

Here are a few links.
GunBlast.com (http://www.gunblast.com/Unique.htm)
Skeet Shooting Review (http://www.nssa-nsca.com/ssr/0302/ceretto.htm)
American Handgunner (http://www.laser-cast.com/AHG1-2.98.html) - comparing the old Unique to the newer Universal Clays

December 30, 2002, 01:03 PM
Same here, new Unique is cleaner...but not above average... I haven't really paid much attention, but probably about the same as Bullseye.. (which is the other powder I used lots of).

December 30, 2002, 01:05 PM
you can scroll around on gunblast.com and find a comparision with the old unique. Agrees with what Ive seen in gun magazines and over my own chronograph. The new stuff seems a good bit cleaner than bullseye and the performance does not seem to have changed.

About 30 years ago, there was talk about a "new unique" with gun writers claiming that the formula had grown "hotter". This was on the heals of people blowing up some 38s with heavy charges and light bullets. I have no idea whether the formula really changed at that time or not. the current alliant product is supposed to be the same century-old formula with extra care taken to get the flakes more consistent and to eliminate elements that don't combust well.

December 30, 2002, 01:22 PM
One of my shooting buddys tried the new Unique and said there was a big difference between it and the old Unique. I tried it and truthfully, I guess it is some cleaner burning, but it still leaves a lot of residue.

December 30, 2002, 01:52 PM
I've tried it and now use it for .38, .357, 9mm, .40S&W, and .45acp. A little dirty, but better than it used to be. I like it enough to buy a 4 lb. container at the last show I was at earlier this month.

Bottom Gun
December 30, 2002, 03:46 PM
I've been using Unique for about 27 years now. It does everything I want it to do for all my handgun loads.
Granted, there are cleaner powders but since I clean my guns after I shoot, it has never been an issue.
It has metered OK for me too. I get very little variation with it in my Dillons and even less using my Saeco measure.

On the plus side, I get very little muzzle flash with Unique even with short barrelled revolvers. I've been very appreciative of that the few times I have had to shoot at night.

I haven't tried the new Unique but I plan to as soon as I use up the 8 or 10 lb of the old stuff I have on hand.

December 30, 2002, 08:08 PM
are ones that haven't tried something better......like almost anything else

Universal Clays...Titegroup....AA5

in my 45 LC, Unique is a good replacement for black powder. Makes all the smoke and mess, just not as corrosive. This is the "new & improved"

if I had some Unique, I wouldn't, 'cause I'd give it away free

...my results....YMMV

December 30, 2002, 08:14 PM
I was one of the people who mentioned it on the other thread. I use lots of Unique for 38 special loads and it meters well for me and burns relatively cleanly. However, I never used the "old" formula, so I really can't compare it to the old.

Gila Jorge
December 30, 2002, 08:41 PM
Had a friend that used Unique in his shotgun...now
talk about filthy....I use the old stuff in my 45
LC and 44mag for light loads and they are dirty but then I clean after each session so what....
I also like 2400 and its an old dirty powder also.
May try some Unicersal Clays at some point but I really want to keep things simple. Don't need too many powders...just confusion and mess.

December 30, 2002, 10:11 PM
Well I've also never used the old formula, But I use Unique for just about everything, 32 S&W, to 30-30 with a whole lot of 45 colt thrown in the middle, it doesn't seem to be excessively dirty,

now tite-group turns my nickle cylinder a pretty smokey grey in just a couple of cylinders, but it shoots well, and cheap.

First post over here, Thanks Oleg and Runt:D

December 31, 2002, 06:42 PM
New unique seems a little cleaner to me, Not that it matters much. I still clean my guns after every range session regardless of powder.

A big thanks to Oleg & all who worked to put this site together:)

& A safe & Happy New Years to all!

December 31, 2002, 08:43 PM
Alliant's "Clean" moniker is more relevant for those reloading shotguns. When using most older Hercules?Alliant powders in shotguns, shooters would find large numbers of unburnt flakes, particularly with unique and blue dot. The new formulations leave fewer flakes in shotgun bores, but still leave a lot of the ashy residue that handgunners despise. I shoot a bit of green and blue dot in both handguns and shotguns. The new green dot is much cleaner than the old, but Clays is still MUCH cleaner overall, in both shotguns and handguns.

Don Gwinn
January 1, 2003, 10:56 AM
I never used the old style. I use the new one, and it certainly is dirty. But I don't use a powder measure, and I wanted something I could use in different calibers if I wanted when I started out. Now I'm just going to keep using it until I use it up. We'll see after that.

January 8, 2003, 03:49 AM
We have a bunch of 'old' Unique powder sitting around and I've used it in my 30-06 for a reduced plinking load. I found some recipes in an old Lyman book. Listed loads for cast and jacketed bullets. When I get a bunch of left over bullets in different weights I just load them all at 14g. of Uniqe, no matter what they are and go plinking!!! We have even more Red Dot though, 13# of the stuff. And a few pounds of 571. My latest light load for the 06 is 31g. IMR 4198 with "X" grain bullets. Shot a 1" group at 100 yards with Rem 125 PSP.

Steve in PA
January 8, 2003, 05:14 PM
I use Unique, old....now new in loads for my .45acp.....works fine for me.

January 8, 2003, 10:02 PM
Having reloaded with both the "original" and "new" Unique powder in 40S&W, 357Mag and 44Mag, I have to say the "new" version is only slightly cleaner-burning than the "original" formulation.

Then I switched to Universal Clays and found it several orders of magnitude cleaner than either Unique formulation. Cleaning my firearms was subsequently much more enjoyable.


August 28, 2012, 11:00 PM
I have used both the old and new Unique and have found the new does burn cleaner. One more thing, Unique burns cleaner at higher pressures. I have loaded 1000's of 9mm rounds and I have noticed that it burns much cleaner than my 38 special rounds.

Ky Larry
August 29, 2012, 12:25 AM
Old Unique ( AKA Flaming Dirt) is the nastiest powder I've ever used.

New,Improved, Cleaner Burning Unique is the second nastiest powder I've ever used.

It shoots okay, but there are several powders that shoot just as well, meter better, and are cleaner. I guess it's lke Monty Python. You either get it or you don't. I get Monty Python. I don't get Unique.

August 29, 2012, 12:35 AM
Good grief!

Talk about resurrecting a 10 year old Zombie thread!!

This one started in 2002 & ended in 2003!!

If you find "old" Unique, or "new" Unique excessively dirty, it is because you are trying to load mouse fart low pressure loads with it.

Lots of powders won't burn clean at very low pressure, and it has nothing at all to do with new or old powder formulas.


August 29, 2012, 12:59 AM
X2 on the pressure being the key. I have loaded plenty of stout .357 rounds with Unique and consider them very clean burning.

August 29, 2012, 01:22 AM
I use a ton of Unique and never understood why folks cry so much about it being dirty. Most of the smoke present is from cast bullet lube. The rest just wipes off. :confused:

August 29, 2012, 04:20 AM
+1 Unique never bothered me until I started reading on the internet that it was dirty. I don't have any problem with it metering either.

August 29, 2012, 08:29 AM
I really like Unique. As a fairly new reloader, it's easy to see if there is a charge in a 9mm case and there absolutely no way to double charge.

As far as whether it's dirty or not, it is but not that bad. In my 9mm I use 5.9 under a 115gr fmjrn and it seems just as dirty as all the others I've tried.

August 29, 2012, 09:48 AM
Monster necropost!!

August 29, 2012, 12:49 PM
Runs great. Is clean enough. Versatile.

hang fire
August 29, 2012, 02:28 PM
I have been casting boolits and using Unique since the 1960s, mostly for .45 acp, but also for other cast boolit applications. I keep several pounds on hand for if need arises, it will be my go to powder for handguns, rifles and shotguns, as it will get'er done in all of them

Arkansas Paul
August 29, 2012, 03:30 PM
Good grief!

Talk about resurrecting a 10 year old Zombie thread!!

Monster necropost!!

Ahhh, cut him a break. It's his first post. I did that a few times when I was starting off on the forums too.

August 29, 2012, 04:12 PM
I loved the old Unique. It was dirty, especially when used with cast bullets, but cleaning guns is part of the charm.

I love the new Unique. If it's any less dirty than the old Unique, you couldn't prove it by me. Mainly because 98% of my shooting is with my own cast bullets, but also because if it's any "cleaner" it's not enough to make any sort of practical difference. Still gotta clean'em.

August 29, 2012, 07:17 PM
I like clean burning powders as much as anybody, but Unique doesn't make enough mess for me to worry about. Some people hate it, and some people love it. I like it well enough to use it in a couple of applications.

Ahhh, cut him a break. It's his first post. I did that a few times when I was starting off on the forums too.
Yep, besides, we haven't debated the cleanliness, or lack thereof, of Unique lately, although I am pretty sure neither side ever converts anyone very often. :)

August 29, 2012, 07:59 PM
The new Unique is a little cleaner than the old version. I have used Unique for many years because it produces accurate loads for me. In fact, I use Unique and Bullseye for all my handgun loads.

August 29, 2012, 11:30 PM
I actually never used the "old" version of Unique - by the time it was on my bench it was all the new flavor.

It works for me. I currently use it behind cast lead and coated lead (a la Bayou bullets) for USPSA. Once this last bottle runs out I'm probably going to try something a bit faster burning though just to see if I can cut down on the felt recoil of my loads (probably Red Dot or HP38).

August 30, 2012, 11:03 AM
I am pretty sure neither side ever converts anyone very often.
That's probably true for most discussions/arguments. ;)

August 31, 2012, 11:58 AM
I use a ton of Unique and never understood why folks cry so much about it being dirty. Most of the smoke present is from cast bullet lube. The rest just wipes off. :confused:
What he said.

August 31, 2012, 12:36 PM
That's probably true for most discussions/arguments. ;)

That's correct. I'm still right, and the guy who doesn't agree with me is still wrong! :banghead::banghead:

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