Alliant Unique in 9MM


April 18, 2007, 10:45 AM
Anyone notice that unique practically fills a 9mm case? is this compressing the chargewhen seating it at 1.160? it is a ranier 124 gn FP any input would be appreciated. 4.7 GRAINS

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April 18, 2007, 10:49 AM
Yes this is true. Unique is a very good powder for 9MM. It's rather dirty burning but there is no chance of putting a double change in the case. I also like Bullseye and Power Pistol. They tell me the new unique is cleaner burning. No this is not compressing the case and pressure levels will be just fine for this load.

Jim Watson
April 18, 2007, 10:56 AM
The Unique I loaded in 9mm definitely was a compressed charge.
So what? You think it wasn't compressed in the various labs' pressure guns when they came up with their published data?
As said, it will keep you from getting in a double charge.
And you do clean your gun, don't you?

April 18, 2007, 11:02 AM
Just double checking guys, never used it in 9mm before. Kinda shocked me when I saw how full it got. I use it in the 357 for non-magnum loads and in the 45, like them both there.

April 18, 2007, 11:28 AM
WSF, AA# 5, and N330 do VERY well in the 9MM for me. These meter very well, burn clean, fill the case up, but are not compressed. :)

I like WSF best by a slim margin.

Vitamin G
April 18, 2007, 02:35 PM
Blue dot for me. Yeah, i guess its supposely a little slow, but its interchangable with my 10mm loads, fills more than 75% of the case, and works great with the heavier bullets.

Bulk Jugs, for the win!

April 18, 2007, 05:12 PM
I've loaded about 1000rds of 9mm with 4.7gr of Unique with a 125gr Polymer coated FP. 4.5grs was not quite enough for my wifes H&K USP compact. She kept getting stove pipes so I increased the charge by 0.2gr. These are fine loads for the 9mm pistols we have.

April 18, 2007, 07:23 PM
If you're going to build high velocity loads for 9mm, good load density is the best way to go. Extruded flake powders are often compressed in 9mm loads. Some ball powder loads will be as well. The advantage of using a ball powder, other than they will have much lower flash in many cases, is that with 100% load density with a dense ball powder you lessen the potential for bullet setback issues. Even though flake powder loads are compressed, they compress even more if setback were to occur.

I've used Blue Dot, myself. A lot of it, actually. In fact, one of the most accurate High velocity 9mm loads I've ever put together was with Blue Dot and a 115 gr. Winchester JHP. OACL was 1.142" and the powder charge was compressed. Kind of depends on the intended application, but AA#7 is a better powder to accomplish the same thing with very little flash from the muzzle. For 124 and 147 gr. JHPs, I don't think you'll find a better hi-performance powder. Another good one, if you want to pay more $ is V-V 3N37. If you don't care about muzzleblast, there is nothing wrong with using extruded flake powders like Unique, Herco, Power Pistol or Blue Dot. Blue Dot will obtain the highest velocity among them if you have the data, but I promise you, it will flash. Power Pistol flashes as much, if not more. This is based on actual experience and firing these loads at night. For light loads, use whatever you like for accuracy. But, what some people might not tell you is that high velocity 9mm loads can be extremely accurate and as capable of accuracy as lighter loads. The difference is recoil and the shooters ability to deal with it. Another Flake powder that works well in 9mm, but is single based, rather than double based like the Alliant powders is SR-4756.

Walkalong mentioned a very good and very overlooked powder for hi-performance loads in 9mm: WSF. I'm currently using something similar, but because many of my loads are defense oriented and get tested at night, I'm really liking Ramshot Silhouette. Very similar to WSF, but with a flash retardant. Silhouette was formerly sold as Winchester WAP and was one of the new generation powders, at the time, with WSL, WST, and WSF. Winchester was content to have only two powders that were dedicated to handgun loads: 231 and 296. 231 is the best selling handgun propellant in the US and 296 isn't far behind. Winchester dropped WAP and Western Powder Co. obtained the rights from Primex to sell it as Ramshot Silhouette. It is a very good choice for 9mm. the low flash aspect, high performance capability and by ball powder standards, it is lower in bulk density than the finer denser ball powders. Bulk density is 800 grams per liter for those of you who follow such things. What that means is that it will have high load density at a lower powder charge by comparison to the very dense ball powders. As far as I know, Winchester still loads a number of their faster autoloader cartridges with the Primex powder now known as Ramshot Silhouette. I'm pretty sure it was the powder used in their original .40 S&W loads as well.;)

March 19, 2013, 01:53 AM
im using 115gr bullets federal no.100 primers and unique powder my data is telling me to use 5.5grs of powder is this correct. any info would be helpful please?

March 19, 2013, 02:40 AM
Jacketed bullets? Alliant lists 6.3 Unique as max. for a 115 gr GDHP, which is a softish bullet. More plated than jacketed, but still 5.5 seems pretty light for a jacketed bullet.
In addition, CZ57 above, said a mouthful. I thought I was an oddball for using B-Dot in the 9. Herco, too, seems made for the round as far as my loads have gone - mostly cast 115-124 gr. Dirty? Don't mean much to me in an auto. Swab the barrel, wipe the frame, done.

Steve C
March 19, 2013, 04:17 AM
im using 115gr bullets federal no.100 primers and unique powder my data is telling me to use 5.5grs of powder is this correct.

I've used as light as 5.2grs of Unique with 115gr jacketed bullets and the load was typical of what you get with practice ammo. Chrono'd velocity from a Glock 19 was 1,151 fps as was accurate with low 10 fps STDev.

Moving up to 5.7grs the velocity was 1,220 fps and at 6.0grs was 1, 257 fps.

Your load of 5.5grs should run close to 1,200 fps, maybe just under depending upon your guns barrel length and how fast it shoots.

March 19, 2013, 05:05 AM
Longshot also fills the case up real good, and it burns pretty clean. Compressed charges are a part of SAAMI approved loads with those powders indicated.

March 19, 2013, 01:16 PM
is this compressing the chargewhen seating it at 1.160? it is a ranier 124 gn FP
No, I don't think so. I load 5.7 gr under the same exact bullet, with a shorter OAL. That probably compresses, some, but not much. If you take the time to tap a charged case on the table for awhile, you'll see there's actually room in there. Unique is somewhat compressible before the flakes starts to break into dust.

Edit: oops, not the exact same bullet. I use a Berry's 124 gr FP. 5.7gr Unique might be a tad too hot with a Rainier's. In limited examples, I have found Rainier's to shoot faster (act more like cast bullets) with similar powder charges.

March 19, 2013, 02:07 PM
Universal Clays is very similar to Unique and a LOT cleaner. Load data, etc. is very close

March 19, 2013, 10:15 PM
I asked the same question. I use 5.0 gr under 115 gr Berry's plated lead.

March 19, 2013, 10:45 PM
Evidently I am what Red Forman would probably call a "dumbass" but I was for some reason under the impression that Aliant's data was minimum loads not max. I started with the 4.3 grains they show for 147 grain GDHP while using Rainier plated bullets. I guess I am a lucky dumbass as far as that goes though, as that is what I consider the perfect load for my LC9. It shoots almost perfect POI to POA.

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