Does Powder Make that Big a Difference?


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tkcomer
January 14, 2009, 03:06 PM
I see a lot of people ask for recommendations about what powder to use for certain bullets. Everyone throws in their favorite brand of what they're using. Does it really make that big of a difference? In my 357, I've tried Unique, 2400 and True Blue. Didn't really see that much difference in any of them. Bullets, on the other hand, are a different story. I've tried W748 and Tac in my guns and didn't see much of a difference there either. Once again, a good bullet seems to fly pretty straight no matter what's behind it. With the right load. So when it comes to accuracy, is the bullet the main source? That's of course if the gun is up to it.

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rcmodel
January 14, 2009, 03:23 PM
For the most part, a quality bullet is the biggest factor in making an accurate load.

But many of the questions I see here are folks wanting to use 2400 in light .38 Spl loads.
Or magnum rifle powder in a 30-30.

Bottom line is, yes powder selection makes a huge difference in accuracy, and Safety, if you are using a totally wrong powder for the application.

If you are using WW748 in a .223, switching to a very similar burn rate powder probably won't see a major change in accuracy. It might shrink your 1" groups to 7/8" groups, and for many folks, that is reward enough to try it.

Others, like myself, could go on happily with a couple of pistol powders and two or three rifles powders for the rest of our life.

Others like to experiment, and for them the reward of finding the "perfect powder" for each & every load is worth it.

rc

Walkalong
January 14, 2009, 03:24 PM
Quality of the barrel. Quality of the bullet. Quality of the action. Everything else. A good bullet will still shoot better than a bad bullet in most any barrel. :)

tkcomer
January 14, 2009, 04:00 PM
I understand the right powder for the bullet weight, but there are always several to chose from for that particular "load". Granted, I haven't tested that many different powders, especially in rifles. I shoot mainly 223 and 308. I used W748 in them for years, then tried Tac. Couldn't tell the difference on any of the guns. I do use different powders for different calibers like Unique for my reduced 30-30 loads and AA1680 for 7.62x39, stuff like that. But to swap powders using the same bullets in the same guns, just never noticed that much difference.

Dean Williams
January 14, 2009, 08:06 PM
I guess it just depends on what "a lot of difference" is to the individual person. If you are the type who carries a dial caliper to the range, then you are probably one who thinks different brands of powders of similar burning rates do make a big difference, because you actually measure it.

If you are more casual about it, figuring there isn't much to bother with if a group stays "somewhere around two inches" then any brand of powder with similar characteristics in a given cartridge will probably be fine.

There are some powders that just don't perform well in a given rifle/pistol/cartridge combo, all other things being equal.

SlamFire1
January 14, 2009, 08:28 PM
In my 357, I've tried Unique, 2400 and True Blue. Didn't really see that much difference in any of them.

As long as the powder does not cause leading, on target accuracy does not seem to be as effected by powder, as by bullets. That is in handguns.

I remember shooting Blue Dot in the 45LC. Horrible powder for 45LC, extreme spreads as much as 338 fps, massive amount of unburnt powder.

Still shot well at 25 yards.

Rifles, for the best accuracy, you need good bullets, good barrels, and good bedding, and then when all that is all correct, then you start seeing powder making a difference.

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