Best all around powder 45/380/9mm


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RNG
November 18, 2007, 09:07 AM
Hi all --
Currently using W231 for my .45, .380, and 9mm and have been very pleased. What is another good all around powder for the same calibers? I have no problem sticking with W231 and would prefer to not have a number of different powders on the bench. I'd like to know just in case I see a "good" deal on powder at my next gun show.

Many thanks
Richard

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db_tanker
November 18, 2007, 10:12 AM
I have had great luck with Red Dot filling a bunch of roles including two of those three you listed...don't have my burn rate chart so I don't know where EXACTLY it falls however.

Walkalong
November 18, 2007, 10:12 AM
AA #5, WSF, Universal Clays.

xsquidgator
November 18, 2007, 10:14 AM
I like W231 and use it for all pistol loads. Unique is very versatile too but I don't recommend it. I started out reloading using Unique and it works ok, but it never metered very consistently in any of the various Lee powder measures I have (my max deviation could vary as much as 0.4 grains either way)

I use Unique on loads where that kind of worst-case variation will be ok, like with 45ACP and 357 light-to-middle loads. I only use W231 for 380ACP because the charges are so light for those, one guy on one of these internet forums told me he thought he'd blown up his 380 by using Unique for his 380 reloads and he was having the same kinds of problems with metering Unique.

Other candidates for a versatile pistol powder (from what I think I recall of people saying): Bullseye and TiteGroup.

RNG
November 18, 2007, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the quick reply's folks.

xsquidgator, I'm glad you mentioned "metering" in your reply as I forgot to include that in my intial message.

I'm also using the Lee Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure. Does anyone know how these recommended powders meter through the Lee meausre?

AA #5, WSF, Universal Clays, Red Dot, Bullseye, and TiteGroup?

Thanks again,

Richard

RidgwayCO
November 18, 2007, 01:59 PM
In addition to the above, Power Pistol.

ATAShooter
November 18, 2007, 02:15 PM
Red dot, Bullseye,

Noxx
November 18, 2007, 02:20 PM
I'm a big fan of Titegroup. I've found it to meter more consistently in small loads than the Unique I started out with, and a little goes a long way.

I use it in 9mm, .45acp, 9Mak, and .38/357, and am pleased with the results.

*edit* I will say depending on your loading process, TG can require extra care, in a big .45acp case, it doesn't take up much room at all, easy to double charge.

zxcvbob
November 18, 2007, 04:43 PM
"Promo" is my favorite (and it's cheap too), although if you are loading 'em hot, WSF is better and it meters better.

Walkalong
November 18, 2007, 05:23 PM
Does anyone know how these recommended powders meter through the Lee meausre?

AA #5, WSF, Universal Clays, Red Dot, Bullseye, and TiteGroup?

Thanks again,
AA #5, WSF, and Titegroup will meter well through just about any measure. I would suggest Competition over Titegroup, which also meters very well.

Universal Clays does pretty well, except in small charge amounts.

Red Dot and Bullseye do not do quite as well because they are big flake powders. They do well enough though.

zxcvbob
November 18, 2007, 05:27 PM
BullsEye is very small flakes. I just used some last night to load a box of .357 Magnum DEWC's (5.7 grains.) It meters much better than Unique or Red Dot, but a full charge doesn't take up much room in the case.

ArchAngelCD
November 18, 2007, 05:31 PM
I would stick with W231 for your 45 ACP and 380 rounds but if you want something with a little more punch for your 9mm give Longshot or Powder Pistol a try.

RNG
November 18, 2007, 06:02 PM
Thanks again for all replies. I don't know how you keep up with all the different powders. I'm at that age where the less I have to keep up with the better off I am. Guess I'll stick with the W231 for now. It has served me well and I've already got my favorite loads worked up. Might give the Bullseye a try if I see a good deal at one of the shows. Paying just under $18 Lb for the W231 at a shop not too far from me.

Appreciate everyones input and willingness to help out.

Kindest Regards,
Richard

Walkalong
November 18, 2007, 07:51 PM
BullsEye is very small flakes
Hmmm... I just checked. It sure is. That is what I get for going from memory. I am not a big bullseye fan. I have not used it in a while.

GaryL
November 18, 2007, 09:32 PM
I'm having great luck with the HS-5 I've been using for 9mm. But when my supply is gone, I suspect I won't be using any more HS-5. Picked it up cheap, then found out it was obsolete. Really, really, obsolete.

12Bravo20
November 18, 2007, 11:48 PM
I use Hodgdon Universal for .380, 9x18, and .40 with good results. Universal meters good through the Lee Auto Disk. For .380,I use the 3.4cc for 3.1gr of universal and it only varies from 3.0gr to 3.2gr.

ArchAngelCD
November 19, 2007, 01:17 AM
I'm having great luck with the HS-5 I've been using for 9mm. But when my supply is gone, I suspect I won't be using any more HS-5. Picked it up cheap, then found out it was obsolete. Really, really, obsolete.
GaryL,
Don't worry too much, if you like HS-5 you can always use HS-6 instead. It's very close to HS-5 and will work well for the 9mm.

GaryL
November 19, 2007, 04:52 PM
ArchAngelCD, good to know about the HS-6. The HS-5 I'm using is surprisingly clean with the loads I've worked up and meters quite well (on a 550 anyway). How does HS-6 compare?

hapi
November 19, 2007, 05:59 PM
w231 works well for me. It meters well and isn't to dirty. I use red dot, too. however, red dot meters poorly.

ftierson
November 19, 2007, 06:09 PM
Unlike Walkalong, I am a big Bullseye fan...

It's very hard to beat for the three cartridges you mention.

It works well and is very cost effective (as much as any powder can be said to be cost effective these days).

Of course, I load with a single stage press and have that step included where all your cases with the thrown powder charge are sitting there staring you in the face. That certainly cuts down on the chance of double-loading a case (which would really suck, if you catch my drift).

Forrest

ArchAngelCD
November 19, 2007, 07:14 PM
GaryL,
I haven't used HS-5 before because it was already discontinued when I started reloading but I have looked at it and other older powders. When I compared loading data from older reloading books the charges were very close and so were the pressures and velocities. As for being clean, like most powders they are clean when loaded to the higher pressures but a little dirty when used on the low end.

If you look at older burn rate charts you will notice very few powders between HS-5 and HS-6. I'm guessing Hodgdon considered HS-5 somewhat of an overlap so they decided to omit it from their line. To a lesser extent HS-7 is also somewhat like HS-6 although it has more powders between it and HS-6 than HS-5 and HS-6 do. HS-7 is close to the burn rate of Hodgdon's Longshot so I'm guessing they decided HS-7 was no longer needed either.

I'm using HS-6 right now for 158gr LSWC/HP .38 Special +P rounds and it's working very well. I use Longshot for Jacketed .38 Special +P rounds because I can achieve the velocities usually associated with a +P round without exceeding Max pressure.

rg1
November 19, 2007, 10:59 PM
Unique or AA#5-45ACP
AA#2--.380
Unique-9mm (124gr bullets)
I never got the velocity advertised with 231 powder. Darn chronograph added complications to the reloading process. I even trusted advertised velocities before finding out that most manuals lie.

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