Good All Around .38/9mm/.40 Powder?


January 27, 2008, 10:06 PM
I have the press set up...lots of brass cleaned...and now I'm ready to purchase my first components.....

What would people recommend for a good, all-around powder that would accommodate these 3 calibers? and if I there isn't something that will work well for all 3...can we go 2-for-3? :D

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evan price
January 27, 2008, 10:13 PM
I load all 3 with Titegroup.

Win 231/HP38 is also a good choice.

XD-40 Shooter
January 27, 2008, 11:08 PM
Unique, pretty much the do all powder.:D

January 27, 2008, 11:11 PM
I load all 3, and more, with Titegroup.

January 27, 2008, 11:44 PM
There are several powders that will do all 3 Calibers but it's hard to do all 3 well. IMO HS-6 will do all 3 and do them well over most of the bullet weight ranges for all.

If you want to buy more than 1 powder IMO these are the best powders for each:

.38 Special = Winchester 231 or Clays.
9mm = W231 for light loads, Longshot or HS-6 for full power loads.
.40 S&W = Longshot or Power Pistol.

January 27, 2008, 11:56 PM
I have yet to load for 9mm but I've had good luck with W-231/ HP38 in 38, 357 mag, 40 S&W, 44 Mag, and 45 acp. Works best for target to moderate velocity loads. For full power loads I use slower burning powders like Blue Dot or H-110.

January 28, 2008, 12:10 AM
Ive been using Vihtavuori N320. Its great for those calibers you mentioned.
Its quite fast burning so it wont fill the 38 case too good but when using 158gr bullet or bigger it works just fine.

January 28, 2008, 03:56 AM
I like AA#7. Gets me where I want to go and it's bulky enough to avoid double charges. It is not the powder to use if your sole intent is to save money. For instance, I load 9mm with a 115gr bullet using 8.3 grains.

January 28, 2008, 06:37 AM
does it all for me, from light loads for 148 gr HBWC to defense loads in .40 and .357.
Second choice is Unique, which really is just as good.

January 28, 2008, 07:13 AM
I use Titegroup and Unique for both. I think the Unique is a slightly better choice for an all around powder, though. Good luck.

January 28, 2008, 07:41 AM
I'll throw WSF into the mix of previous good suggestions.

January 28, 2008, 08:28 AM
I have used HP-38 and Unique and find that I prefer Unique.

January 28, 2008, 10:29 AM
Only one? Universal, Titegroup, or Blue Dot.

Two? Blue Dot for .38 and .40 (low flash, better fps than Universal), and Power Pistol for 9mm (better fps, higher flash though).

Three? hmmm... Titegroup probably has better economy than Universal. Universal is very clean... very similar performance (fps).

Right now I have three pistol powders in my cabinet.

Bullseye... how can you not have Bullseye? Great economy and great for plinking loads, but somewhat dirty.

Universal... when this is gone I'll probably get Blue Dot to replace it instead (for .38, .357, .40, and 9mm).

2400... for .357 and .454

Next on my list is Titegroup for economy on .45 Colt, and light .454 loads.

January 28, 2008, 10:46 AM
Power pistol.

January 28, 2008, 10:51 AM
Universal or Unique. Toss-up.

January 28, 2008, 11:15 AM
HS-6 or Longshot

January 28, 2008, 12:43 PM
I dont load for 40. But for 38, 9, and 45, I use HP38, and have been quite happy.

January 28, 2008, 02:19 PM
231/HP-38 for 38, Ramshot Silhouette/True Blue for 9 and 40.

January 29, 2008, 02:31 PM
Ramshot True Blue will load all three very well. It will also meter as good or better than anything mentioned, provided your powder measure isn't prone to leaking dense powders like AA#5 or AA#7. For those that think that True Blue can't be loaded down, I ran across something interesting in the Lyman P&R III. The .38 S&W is a lower pressure round (load data is held below 13,000 CUP) with a shorter case vs the .38 Special. In the data, the three loads shown for .38 S&W are for cast bullets and True Blue gave the best accuracy in all three compared to the faster powders recommended and normally associated with low chargeweight/pressure cartridges.;)

For a 2 powder choice, I'd go with ZIP which is very much like 231 except that it's cleaner and loads at slightly lower pressure for the same chargeweight. Typically, that will allow you to load the same cartridges to slightly higher performance if needed, but without sacrificing accuracy in lighter loads. For 9mm and .40 S&W, I use Silhouette. If all I had was True Blue, it wouldn't bother me.;)

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