Powders for .45acp, .40S&W, .38/357


January 4, 2008, 11:47 PM
Im back into loading for my HGs after about a ten year absence. I realy got into rifles and M-loaders and kinda put my HGs on the back burner. Well I desided to get back to my first loves in a big way and alot has changed since last i bought HG powder. The critria I am looking fon in my handgun powder is:

<>#1-consistant accuracy
<>#2-clean burning
<>#3-consistant easy metering

Bullets I intend to reload in .45acp:
<>230 grain TMJ/FMJ from Rainier Ballistics
<>230 grian JHP Remington G-Sabers
<>185 grain XTPs

Bullets for the .40S&W:
<>155 grian TMJ from Rainier balistics
<>165 grain remington G-sabers

Bullets for the .38/.357
<>158 grain TMJ from Rainier ballistics
<>158 grain Remington G-sabers
<>125 grain MJ/RN from Rainier Ballistics.

I already have N110 on hand and only want to invest in two more different powders if possable. I have been hearing awesome things about VV HG powders for all the calibers i am shooting so opinions and insite of VV powders would be helpfull, but I am concerned as there is only one store near me how sells VV powders.

Thanks to all who help me out on this i want to get up and loading ASAP.

I am not looking for max load light speeds as I will be shooting for fun to start.

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January 4, 2008, 11:55 PM
I would use AA#5 as it will work well for the calibers listed, I once had a fly/spin cast combo rod and it would do both poorly

January 5, 2008, 12:08 AM
Bullseye comes to mind.

January 5, 2008, 12:13 AM
Alliant's Promo or perhaps Herco...

XD-40 Shooter
January 5, 2008, 12:16 AM
Blue Dot for the .357 loads and Unique for the 40 S&W loads, both have worked out great for me. If you want top performance with premium 158 grain bullets, use 296, it rocks.:D

January 5, 2008, 12:20 AM
I usually use WW 231 or HP 38 for the .45, but I mainly use a 200 grain LSWC. Here is the load data page for Hodgdon they have Hodgdon, IMR, and WW. http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

Grandpa Shooter
January 5, 2008, 12:37 AM
Gotta go with Accurate. Look them up at AccuratePowders. Just pick the one that matches your desired specs and pick the one you can get the best results with and uses the least powder. That way you get results and economy to boot!

Mark whiz
January 5, 2008, 01:02 AM
I don't load for the .40S&W, but for the .45 and .38/.357 - I like AA#5, Win WST, and Win 231 as general pupose powders (in that order). These will give good consistent results in those calibers at sub-Maximum levels. I find that WST tends to be real good at lower levels and offers a "milder" recoil, while AA#5 has a bit more "bark" and typically gives me a tad better accuracy on target.

January 5, 2008, 03:58 AM
win 231 is my favorite.

clean burning
smells good
runs through the powder measure like water through a faucet

January 5, 2008, 04:48 AM
I have to add a fourth criteria to your list when I consider powder. Economy. VV is teriffic powder just pricey and sometimes hard to find.

.38, .40 and .45 I like 231, WST, or Titegroup.

.357 I like 2400.

lil ski
January 5, 2008, 05:59 AM
You can't really go wrong with 231 and Bullseye they work very well in the 45 and 357 I can't speek for the 40 I do not load for that one.

January 5, 2008, 08:12 AM
I like Bullseye but it is not clean which is one of your requirements. Plus depending on your powder measure it can be inconsistent. For all 3 of those I really like tightgroup from hodgdon. I think you will find that tightgroup will meet all of your requirements. Plus it is a ball spherical type powder which in just about every powder measure out there it meters very well, which is what you are looking for because that's what gets you consistency if your doing your job behind the trigger. I will say for medium power very accurrate clean burning 357 loads I like hs-6, but I have no problems grabbing tightgroup which I always have around when I am out of hs-6 for my 357 loads.

kart racer
January 5, 2008, 06:25 PM
Power pistol will also work for those calibers

January 5, 2008, 06:50 PM
for the cartridges you list Ramshot Trueblue is a good choice.


January 5, 2008, 06:55 PM
AA#2 or #5 for .38 Special. Good stuff.

January 5, 2008, 07:00 PM
AA#5 will work well.

January 5, 2008, 07:15 PM
AA #2, AA #5, WST, W231, WSF, N310, N320, Competition, Universal Clays

AA #2, WST, Competition, & N310 are great for light/medium loads with 185, 200, and 230 grain bullets in the .45

WSF, AA #5, & N320 are great for medium/full power loads in the .45 ACP

AA #5, WSF & Universal Clays are great for .40 S&W

AA #2, WST, Competition, N310 & N320 are great for .38 loads.

N310 & N320 are the cleanest with the others close behind.

January 5, 2008, 07:23 PM
I've settled on it for .40, .45, .38. .357. Works very well.

January 5, 2008, 08:32 PM
AA #5 falls in the middle of the burn-rate spectrum for pistols and will work well for all the calibers you mention, and it is ideal for full-power .45 ACP losds.

I will use a faster powder (AA #2, HP-38, 231) for general plinking and reduced-velocity loads.

January 7, 2008, 08:43 AM
I use 231 for all of my handgun reloading. Except for the heavy loads in the 454. For that I use H110. But for all around handgun powder my vote goes to W231

January 7, 2008, 09:01 AM
I would go with VV,I use it for years and works fine for me

January 7, 2008, 03:57 PM
Another vote for W231 for my preference.

January 7, 2008, 03:58 PM
Another vote for W231 as my preference.

January 7, 2008, 03:59 PM
Another vote for W231 as my preference.

January 7, 2008, 04:00 PM
Another vote for W231 for my preference.

evan price
January 7, 2008, 04:30 PM
I use Titegroup for all of those calibers with great satisfaction.

If you plan on WIN 231, check out HP38, they are the same thing.

January 8, 2008, 02:15 AM
W231/HP-38 for .38 Special and .45 ACP
Powder Pistol for .40 S&W and 9mm
H110/W296 for .357 Magnum (Lil'Gun for 170gr bullets and heavier)

If you like VihtaVuori powders and would like to stick with that company N105 will work well for your .357 Magnum rounds and N310 will work well for your .38 Special and .45 ACP rounds. N330 is probably better for the .40 S&W but if you want only 2 more powders give N330 a try in both .38 Special/.45 Auto and .40 S&W and N105 for your Magnum rounds but I think you will be happier with all three.

N310 has a burn rate similar to HP-38/W231 and Bullseye
N330 has a burn rate similar to AA #5, HS-6 and W540
N105 has a burn rate similar to Blue Dot, AA #7, and 2400

January 8, 2008, 09:11 AM
I have never loaded it for 38/357 but I have used Universal w/ Clays Technology for .40 S&W and .45 ACP and really like it. It meters well, is extremely clean burning and fairly cheap compared to some powders. Hodgdon's load data website lists charege for all of the calibers you specified. If I didn't have 8lbs of W231 that I bought for .45 ACP I would use Universal exclusivly.

January 8, 2008, 09:28 AM
I am in the same boat. There are alot of great powders out there. And I have heard good things about many, but I bought an 8 pound can of W231 and am only half way through it. Besides it shoots great. I have had good results and am happy with 231.

January 8, 2008, 07:46 PM
Dirtypacman likes W231:D

January 9, 2008, 02:55 AM
American Select gives me good velocity, accuracy, and the best standard deviation in .45 ACP and .38 Special. Alliant 2400 is an old standby for .357 Magnum.

January 9, 2008, 08:54 PM
Easy one: Ramshot True Blue! There, I've said it again! It will load all of your calibers with excellent results and with .40 S&W, I don't think you will do better. 935 grams/liter and very fine grained. There are a few that will meter as well, like AA#5 and #7, but nothing meters better.;)

January 14, 2008, 03:26 PM
JDGray Dirtypacman likes W231

I was wondering why I was quoted on that one then I see I posted 4x in a row.. must have had a bit too much coffee that morning... sorry about the dups :)

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