Powder advice please


September 20, 2008, 07:36 PM
Well, I'm gearing up to start reloading.

I've been gathering up equipment: Lee turret press, scales, dies, calipers, and all the rest of the basics. I've purchased and read The ABC's of Reloading and Metallic Cartridge Reloading. I've also perused this and other forums for good advice, and there has been plenty!

Initally I am going to load .45acp and .357 Mag. I may do other calibers later, but these are what I shoot the most of.

So far everything has been pretty straightforward with the exception of powder selection. I have read the powder chapters until my head hurts, and now I have information overload! It seems to me, by the comments here, and what I've read, that Unique is a pretty good all-around powder that will work well with both cartridges I want to reload.

So will it be a good powder for me to start with? Is there another one that I should be looking at? I'd like to start with one powder for the first few hundred or so rounds before I start experimenting.

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Ol` Joe
September 20, 2008, 08:43 PM
What type of loads?
For moderate/heavy jacketed bullet loads Unique will do fine. For target loads with lead bullets, I`d start with something like Bullseye or maybe Red Dot. Both cartridges will work fine with a large varity of powders and it is hard to make a bad choice.

September 20, 2008, 08:56 PM
before i even got to the second paragraph i was thinking unique.

Corner Pocket
September 20, 2008, 09:06 PM
I shoot a good bit of .45 ACP that I load. My gun really likes either 200 gr LSWC or 200 gr LRNFP loaded over 4.1 gr Bullseye. These are loaded at OAL of 1.210 and they are trouble free and accurate. I like 'em. :D

Corner Pocket

September 20, 2008, 09:10 PM
What type of loads?

Sorry, I should have included that.

Cast lead bullets. For the .357 I'll push 158 gr. swc down a 6" pipe, and for the .45acp it'll be a 200gr. swc or round nose out of a 41/2" Commander

September 20, 2008, 09:45 PM
Unique will work. It may not be optimum for either, but it is a very good powder with which to begin reloading for handgun. It is a very versatile propellant.

It behaves best at (or near) the MAX suggested powder charges.

Since you're going to shoot cast .358" bullets, it's limited potential for high velocity will help to prevent over-driving them.

September 20, 2008, 09:50 PM
Winchester 231

September 20, 2008, 10:01 PM
I'd go with Unique.. I bought a 8lb keg of it a while back and reload .38, .40, and .45 with it. It is alot harder to double charge with, so its safer in my opinion. If you plan on reloading a lot of different pistol cartridges you cannot beat it.

September 21, 2008, 01:19 AM

September 21, 2008, 01:46 AM

September 21, 2008, 08:18 AM
Thanks to all for the advice. My headache and the twitch have all but gone away now!

The Bushmaster
September 21, 2008, 09:44 AM
For the .45 ACP try W-231 for mid range loads and WSF or AA#7 for those hotter loads. For the .357 magnum try either Alliant 2400 or W-296. 2400 is the most versitile of the two.

September 21, 2008, 09:48 AM
231 ball powder.
It meters much better than a flake powder and it very clean burning. Unique is a good propellant but you will have more unburned powder Vs. 231.

September 21, 2008, 11:49 AM
Unique or bullseye will work very well for you. Unique fills the case better, and Bullseye can easily be double charged if you aren't looking at every case(which you definitely should be). I use lots of Bullseye loading 9mm, 38, & 357 in a Lee Loadmaster. If you use a progressive or turret, add a cheap led light to shine in the case to verify the powder charge.

September 21, 2008, 11:57 AM
W231 is a +1:)

September 21, 2008, 12:07 PM
I used Unique for years, but now I use AA#5 as it burns much cleaner and meters perfectly.

September 21, 2008, 10:04 PM
Unique (or W231 or PowerPistol, or any mid-range burning rate pistol powder) will work in 357mag and 45acp.

When you get serious with the 357mag you'll want a slower powder like 2400 or H110 for building boomer loads.

If you have need for softer loads in the 45acp, then pick up a faster burning powder like Bullseye.

Where you shoot there in Del Rio? Does Humphrys still have that gravel pit? Laughlin AFB used to let military connected folks onto the base pistol range one Saturday each month.

- shu

September 21, 2008, 10:15 PM
Unique is fine. I like AA5 a little better, a little cleaner.

September 21, 2008, 10:37 PM
The Hodgdon 2008 Reloading Annual, softbound, describes start and max loads for your calibers and bullet types. The authors also include a powder burn rate chart that ranks all from fast pistol to slow elephant rifle.

Powder densities are important from the aspect of filling the case, and additional margin of safety for avoiding double charges. For instance Trail Boss is molded in the shape of small cheerios to keep bulk density low for cowboy action shooters using smokeless powder.

September 21, 2008, 10:46 PM
Well, everyone seems bent on getting you to use Unique, but I'd give Titegroup a try in your .357mag. It is a great powder. And yes, regardless of what you use in your .45ACP, double-check your charges. It's one of (if not the) the easiest calibers to accidentally double charge. When in doubt, dump it out.

evan price
September 21, 2008, 11:03 PM
I load Titegroup for both calibers you mention. As a matter of fact I load it in everything except dedicated Magnums.
Win231 or Hodgdon HP38 (same thing) are great compromise powders for a beginner. Not too fast, not too fluffy, not as easy to doublecharge as Titegroup, and you can get it and data for it anywhere.

September 22, 2008, 07:53 AM
AA #5, & AA #9 or AA #2 & AA #9

WST & W-296 or W-231 & W-296 or

Clays & 2400 or Titegroup & 2400 or

Competiton & True Blue.

Lots of good choices these days.

One powder for both?

W-231, Titegroup, Unique, AA #5, Universal Clays, but you will be giving up performance in the .357. You really will end up getting 2 powders.

September 22, 2008, 07:55 AM
I like Bullseye in the .45ACP. I tried Bullseye in the .357 but didn't like it much. I suspect my results were more related to cleaning problems than the powder so I will repeat the loads with Bullseye. Unique performed well in the .357. Unique seems like it will work fine for both. Bullseye too.

September 22, 2008, 08:12 AM
Thanks again, everyone.

Looks like y'all have narrowed it down to about 3 really good choices. Now I just have to see what is available locally, as there is really only one place to buy here in Del Rio, and go from there. Until I get more involved with this new adventure, I wanted to avoid ordering online and paying the HazMat for what is going to be a small order. After all, I'm doing this so I can shoot more, not pay more!

Where you shoot there in Del Rio? Does Humphrys still have that gravel pit? Laughlin AFB used to let military connected folks onto the base pistol range one Saturday each month.

I live way out by the lake, Shu, so I shoot at home. My neighbor is a firearms instructor for the Border Patrol, so occaisionaly I'll go with him to the BP range.

Humphry's still exists, but he is never open. I've lived here for 3 years and I've only seen the store open twice in all that time. I guess now that he is a real estate baron, he doesn't need the store. I've heard that he opens during deer hunting season, but I have yet to see it.

The Bushmaster
September 22, 2008, 09:06 AM
Hey Walkalong...You wouldn't believe how well 9.7 grains of AA #7 works in my Colt 1911 .45 ACP with 185 grain Remington JHP...Even I was amazed...13 rounds in a four inch circle with two flyers (probably my fault) at 25 yards. 890 fps...

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