Which powder?


January 3, 2008, 09:11 PM

So I am returning to reloading. Re-buying and re-reading all of my books again.

I am scoping out all of my purchases so I can order up everything at once and I really want to minimize how many powders I own. I would actually like it if somehow I could end up using just one powder to start with although I know that is a long shot.

I shoot for one reason, because I feel like it. I don't hunt or compete. I don't need SD or HD loads, just bullets that fly straight. I am still a bit of a new shooter so I don't need super accurate loads as I don't get much past 100 yards and thats on a good day. I don't mind it when they kick hard and I don't mind when they hardly kick at all. I just want some practice ammo that will make holes in paper. I will be able to buy small quantities of this powder and that powder to play around with later, but I would like to have a big keg of just one to get production going right away.

I want to reload for these calibers listed in the order that I most need-

.357 magnum
.44 magnum
45/70 govt
.38 special
.44 special

So I have been looking at different loads but I was hoping that you guys might have a suggestion for me as to what powders might do a good job with most of those calibers. Don't worry I am still doing my homework, just looking for a little direction is all.


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January 3, 2008, 09:41 PM
I'd suggest Unique (Alliant) would cover your handgun rounds very well, and IMR4895 for the rifle cartridges. Hard to find two more versatile powders IMO.

January 3, 2008, 09:44 PM
I have loaded all of the ones you mention but the 45/70 with Unique, and even it could be loaded lightly with Unique using cast bullets.

For reasonably stout 357, 44 spec/44 mag, and 38 special loads, Unique or Herco would do well. shooting 30/30 ammo made with inexpensive cast bullets and gallery charges of Unique is a blast, and 100 yard hits are no problem. Same for 45/70 as mentioned. As you asked, I tried to use one powder for what you mention, but for jacketed bullets and more "normal" powered loads in the 30/30, or 45/70, a slower propellant would be needed.

Good luck.

January 3, 2008, 09:52 PM
IMR4198 will work well for both the 30-30 and the 45-70 Government. There are better powders for the 30-30 but you will still be happy with the results and IMR4198 works very well for the 45-70 Govt.

I would suggest using W296/H110 for your .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum rounds. If you want to work up light Magnum rounds then I would use 2400 instead.

For the .38 Special and .44 Special, W231/HP-38 will do a great job. If in the future you decide to reload 9mm, .45 Auto and .45 Colt, W231 will work well with those too.

January 7, 2008, 09:14 AM
I sure like W231 for all my regular velocity pistol and revolver rounds. As for the 30-30 I use H4895 with cast bullets. Works like a champ.

January 7, 2008, 10:00 AM
You really need to check some reloading manuals or some commercial reloading web sights, such as Winchester/Hogdens.
Your trying to reload two low velocity pistol round 38spl, 44 spl. two high velocity rounds 357 mag, 44 rem mag. And a old black powder rifle case 45/70 that can be loaded with smokless. You didn't mention what type of firearm your going to load it for?
The 30/30 is a mid range power.
So your looking at a possible four differant types of powder to optimize each cartridge.
Figure out what you want the round to do. chose a bullet weight and type, cast lead, jacketed etc. Then start your home work on powder.

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