Hercules Unique


April 7, 2006, 03:52 PM
I bought a reloading outfit about 3 years ago off a lady whos husband passed away. I finaly got it set up and started reloading in january. I have been loading for some of my rifles and been haveing lots of fun. Now I want to get into reloading for some handguns ( 357 mag, 357 sig and 454 casull). Everything in the outfit came in a big blue plastic container. I keep things in there I figure I wont use but might need. I was organizing my bench and was putting some things in the box when I noticed some powder he had that I forgot was in there 1 pound of hercules unique never opened and a 1 pound can of W231 never opened. I was wondering what they are good for and if I can use the same data for Unique since its now accurate arms. Thanks for the help.

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April 7, 2006, 04:21 PM
You can use Unique and 231 in .357 mag - and maybe other calibers.

Try http://www.reloadammo.com/ - one of many reloading sites on the internet. You can also find reloading data on the powder companies' web sites.

The Alliant and Hercules data "should" interchange but there is nothing wrong with starting out on the light side of the recommended loads.

I use a lot of Unique in 9mm, .45ACP, and light .357 mag Cowboy Action loads.

I hope this helps.


April 7, 2006, 04:32 PM
Are you sure it's Unique?:uhoh:

kart racer
April 7, 2006, 05:53 PM

April 7, 2006, 06:25 PM
The "Unique" labeled Bullseye powder was recent, our original poster bought existing stocks three years ago.

One reputable reloading column I read a few years ago had a side-bye-side comparison of "new" cleaner Unique (Alliant production) with some older (10 yrs???) Unique from the Hercules days.

It really did reload the same, weight for weight. The velocity variations were within the expected random errors of the chronograph itself, IIRC.

The new stuff also was noticeably cleaner, especially regarding unburned granules.

I like the stuff. Always have.

April 7, 2006, 06:34 PM
Unique's got the best smell. Kinda like brimstone.

April 7, 2006, 06:39 PM
It's my favorite all-purpose handgun powder. Be careful with it, though. That stuff's the closest thing to an explosive among smokeless powder. VERY fast burning. If you drop in a double load you may create a pipe bomb.

April 7, 2006, 06:47 PM
Definitely watch out when reloading with Unique, but really, be alert to double charging.

Unique can certainly be double charged, along with other powders out there. Unique is not as fast burning as Bullseye though, and you can definitely double or triple charge with Bullseye.

When I pick a powder, versatility is one of the things to look for, but it also makes sense to pick a powder that comes close to filling the case as well.

April 7, 2006, 07:09 PM
I looked on the bottom of the can and cant read the date. Guessing from all the other stuff like the dies, manuals other powder that its form 1992 to 1995. It says unique and is in a tall round cardboard container with a pull up spout. I want to start with the 357 mag since the dies came with outfit. I was going to go and get some powder today and was going to get AA9 as per my other post on AA9. But if this is good stuff for 357 mag I am going to wait awhile to get dies and stuff for 357 sig and 454 casull. Right now I have a Rockchucker and I might get to the range 2 times a month, so I am not into production loading(yet). I figured I would start with the 357 mag on a single stage to get acustomed to relaoding for a handgun. I have to get bullets and primers yet, any recomendations (I have a Ruger Security Six). Thanks to all for the feed back.

April 8, 2006, 04:37 AM
That description of the powder can is correct for Unique from the 1990s. In a 357 Unique is best for less than max loads, especially good for lead bullets.

April 8, 2006, 05:59 AM
I have good luck with hornady XTP bullets, they're accurate but kinda pricey.
For light to middle weight bullets at middle velocities, unique is a great powder. It's good in many calibers, very versatile.

For heavy bullets, higher velocities, and more boom at lower pressures, I'd recommend alliant (New hercules brand.) 2400 powder. I recommend magnum primers for 2400, check your load data to make sure you have the right primers. Make sure you stick to book loads with 2400, Inconsistant ignition on loads lighter than listed book loads. It's more pricey than unique to use, but it gives better velocities with heavy bullets. It costs about the same per pound, but you use more powder in each load, so it functionally costs you more.
2400 is also very good for .454 casull, but is too slow burning for 357SIG. Unique works ok for 357SIG.

April 8, 2006, 06:32 AM
Since this has gotten to favorite loads, mine for your .357 is 10.2 grains of alliant Blue dot and a 158 grain hornady XTP. DO NOT USE MAGNUM PRIMERS WITH BLUE DOT. For general range days, the 158 grain Remington SJHP is a good economy bullet with this load.
This reloading is addictive, its only a matter of time until progressive presses will be the norm for all handgun ammo.:D

April 8, 2006, 06:40 AM
That's not entirely true.
From your perspective maybe it is.
I stuck a bullet in a glock 20's barrel (Squib load.) from using a compressed load of blue dot with a standard primer in very cold weather. I adjusted my load and used a magnum primer, and my problems were gone.
I think the words we're both looking for would be to only use a magnum primer when one is called for.

April 14, 2006, 11:36 AM
I loaded up 20 rounds of 357 mag last night with Unique and 140grn Honady XTPs. My sierra manual calls for 8.0 to 9.1 grs of unique I used 8.5 grns. Someone said be carfull of a double charges. When I put the powder in the case I noticed it looked mor then half full. So I intentionaly tried to double charge and powder ran out all over. Does this sound right? I looked on Allianrs page but they dont have data for 140 grn but the 158s are close to what my manual says. I was thinking that from what people said that It should be no problem to double charge.

April 14, 2006, 02:02 PM
No, unique won't double on you, in most cases.
That's one of the reasons I use it. Now, bullseye will prolly double (or triple!!!) with ease.

April 14, 2006, 03:18 PM
caz223: thanks for the help.

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