Best metering shotgun/pistol powder?


May 31, 2003, 09:56 PM
I'm currently using Hodgdon "Clays", but it doesn't seem to meter very well on my SDB. I'de like something on the same burn rate. What can you recommend? Thanks!

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May 31, 2003, 10:06 PM
Win 231 is quite close to Clays in burn rate, and meters exceptionally well in my SDB--very accurate and consistent.

June 1, 2003, 09:38 AM
I have not had even a slight problem with consistent throws from my 550B using pistol powders.....

In the speed range of Clays try 231, Red Dot, 700X, Bullseye and 231.

Mal H
June 1, 2003, 09:56 AM
A very good powder that meters well in almost all systems and that is close to "Clays" Clays is Accurate Arms #2.

Since burn rate is stated to be important, W231 isn't that close to Clays in burn rate (it's slower), it is close to "International" Clays though. But, W231 is still a very good choice for most handgun loading.

Bullseye is quite a bit faster than Clays. 700X and Red Dot are close enough for a try.

Editorial note: "Damn Hodgdon's Clays naming scheme!"

June 1, 2003, 10:56 AM

June 1, 2003, 11:45 AM
VV N310 or N320. VV powders measure very, very well in my experience.

Jim Watson
June 1, 2003, 12:23 PM
Titegroup or Win Super Target, just to add a couple.

700X does NOT meter as close as Clays. I have shot some Clays but a lot of 700X, and Clays surprised me by metering with less variation.

None of them vary enough to matter if you are running the machine uniformly. It is annoying, though, and I am now loading one or another ball powder in pistol calibers, too. I'll keep 700X on hand for shotshells, though.

It would be interesting to pull the bullets on a box of factory loads and see how close they hold powder charges. Maybe next winter.

June 1, 2003, 02:17 PM
Woops. I was going by Lyman's Pistol & Revolver Reloading Handbook, which shows 'Clays' at number 4 and 231 at number 6 in their list of 42 powders for pistol loaders ordered according to burn rate (p. 62, 2nd ed). Sorry if that was misleading.

June 1, 2003, 10:50 PM
Thanks to all! Upon wieghing your input and carefull research ;),...I'll try titegroup since its cheaper or at the same price range as Clays (burn rate be damn :)). It maybe slower, but its finer (will meter well?) and has a wider range of caliber application. I'm currently substituting Vit. 3n37. So far I'm impressed, its pricey though :(. Once again thanks to all of you!

Jim Watson
June 2, 2003, 12:24 AM
What caliber/bullet weight/velocity are you loading for that you find 3N37 a reasonable substitute for Clays? I had always considered them too far apart in burn rate to work well in the same application.

June 2, 2003, 06:23 AM
Funny, in my SDB, Clays meters very well. I can't really say, though, if other powders meter better--Clays is all I've ever used in my SDB.

June 2, 2003, 08:37 AM
I've done extensive testing (for me anyway) and kept a little spreadsheet of the different powders I use for pistols. Clays with its large flakes (like red-dot) has some problems when the charge weight is low - below 3.0 grains. I don't like this because I find 2.5 grains under a 148 WC more accurate than 2.7 of bullseye for my 38s. In a .45 where you usually throw 4 to 5 grains there dosen't seem to be a problem.

The most accurate measuring pistol powders that I found are AA-2 and HP-38 in that order.

When my supply of Clays and HP-38 goes, I'm switching to VV-310 and VV-320


June 2, 2003, 10:28 AM
I'm using 3n37 not because of its burn rate, but because of it having a more uniform charge throw on my SDB. I agree, their burn rate is far apart, but I find that accuracy is better (maybe due to less variance in charge throw?). I'm loading 8.0 of 3n37 under a 115gr bullet. Its hot! but very accurate. I can't wait to try titegroup. :)
An aquintance said AA7 is a fine grain powder also, so I might try that too.

Mal H
June 2, 2003, 10:52 AM
"It's hot!"

I guess so! Assuming 9mm going only on the 115 grain bullet clue since you still haven't said what caliber you're loading, 8 gr of 3N37 is too hot for a 9mm. Where did the 8.0 gr recommendation come from?

If you're loading .357 then nevermind.

The AA powders (2, 5, 7, 9) are all fine grained and meter very well as several of us have stated.

Mike Irwin
June 2, 2003, 11:39 AM

Are you looking for a powder that can be used in BOTH shotgun and handgun rounds?

If so, WW 231 is not a viable choice, as far as I know.

June 2, 2003, 11:39 AM
I have found that ball powders meter well both in shotgun and pistol reloaders, at least the ones I have.
WST seems to do very well. Slower burning then Clays though!

June 2, 2003, 12:42 PM
Have you noticed that some ball powders (Win 231) have a tendency to bounce quite a few pieces out of the pan when dispensed from the powder measure (very lively stuff), where the flake powders (Bullseye) fall more dead in the pan?

June 2, 2003, 11:14 PM
Yes, I'm looking for a somewhat universal powder for most handgun and shotgun application. Wishful thinking? :)

Mal H,
I got it form another forum. I want a near highest limit for 9mm, I guess this is it for 3n37. I'm not going any higher, though.

Yeah, I've observed what you've describe about ball powders. But never really put so much thought on it. Maybe ' got somethin' to do with static? :confused:

I'm using a 9mm 1911 w/ ramped barell. I do have a .45 ACP, .357 mag, .44 mag and a .40 cal that also needs feeding :). I want a powder that would work on all these calibers. My main use for these is IPSC type of shooting. For awhile I thought Clays would suffies, but I found out that it doesn't meter that well on my SDB. Its does meter very well on the 550, though.
I apologize to all for not being too clear about my questions. :(
Thanks again!

June 7, 2003, 01:00 AM
If you want to load many different handgun cartridges, then Unique may be a good choice. I have found it to work well through my Lyman measure. It will try to bind occasionally, so you have to be careful. I adjusted the measure using the top two slides to that the space for the powder is "wider" than it is "high". That seems to help minimize binding, but it is a small matter. I can still throw the same charge even when the measure binds. I should mention that I only load for plinking and general shooting. I don't load super precision loads. My loads are pretty consistent for the sake of safety, but they are not bulls-eye shooting loads.
I actually have no idea how well my carry gun groups from a rest, because I have never shot it from a rest.

June 7, 2003, 09:10 AM
Take a look at Universal Clays, Winchester Super Field and Hodgdon Longshot. They will handle everything you are loading and get you into the upper ranges of capability for all but the 44 mag. Unique is another good choice if milder loads are what you are after.

June 28, 2003, 12:21 AM
Thanks to everyone for all your info! I settled on Titegroup. My local Gander Mountain will get me an 8# keg for <$100. :)

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