Primers and Powder


NIB Shooter
October 10, 2003, 01:37 PM
I am new both to shooting and reloading.
I will be reloading .38, .357, .44 mag, .44acp, and .45lc.

I have two questions. As I don't want to have too many components laying around:

1. What primer manufacturer would you recomend?

2. Is there one powder (or two) that I can use for these calibers.

Please keep in mind as a new shooter I will be using only light loads, particularly in the Magnums.

thanks for your help

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Mike Irwin
October 10, 2003, 01:44 PM
If you're using light to moderate loads in those calibers, Winchester's 231 is an EXCEPTIONAL choice.

I've been using 231 almost exclusively for the past 15 or more years. It really is a great powder.

As time goes by, you'll probably want a slightly slower powder so that you can take advantage of the power offered to you by the .357, .44 Mag., and .45 Long Colt.

For that you may want to try one of the Accurate Arms powders. I recently started using AA 7 (I think it's 7) for 10mm Auto and some .41 Mag. loads, and the results have been MOST gratifying.

As for primers, the only ones I really don't like are CCI.

Everything else is just fine.

October 10, 2003, 02:57 PM
I use Winchester primers for pistols since they have a reputation as being middle of the road sensitivity-wise, but just as many reloaders use Remington or Federal. CCI's are too hard,IMHO, but many reloaders use them,too.
To Mike's excellent powder recommendation I'll volunteer: Alliant Bullseye or Unique, Hodgdon Clays, Titegroup or Universal Clays, and Accurate Arms #2 and #5. Those are all good light or mid range powders. They'll provide top loads in the .38 and .45.

For top loads in .357,.44 and .45LC, you'll need something like Alliant 2400,Winchester 296, hodgdon h110 or Hodgdon Lil' Gun.

October 10, 2003, 07:18 PM
I've been reloading for 18 years and have settled on Winchester 231 powder and Winchester primers for reloading .380 ACP, .38 special,
.357 magnum (reduced power loads), and .45 ACP.

October 10, 2003, 07:31 PM
If I was looking for one powder for everything you name, it might be Unique which Alliant describes on their website as being the most versitile powder made.
For heavier loads, again, if I was trying to limit myself to only one powder, it would be Alliant 2400.

There are other products out there that will fulfill your needs very well, but IMO the these two powders are very versitile for the revolver loader.

I use Winchester primers for everything simply because that is what my local dealer sells. I buy them 5000 at a time. You will obviouly need both large and small pistol primers.

"I don't want to have too many components laying around:"
I try to have as many loading components laying around as I can afford. A many different powders and bullets as I can find and buy.

Mike Irwin
October 10, 2003, 10:20 PM
My biggest grips with Unique are that it doesn't meter worth crap through most volumetric meters (I was getting variations of nearly 15% by weight in .32 S&W Long loads I did years ago. Some were moderate, some were hot, some were just frighteningly smoking out of an 80 year old gun), and even in the new versions by Alliant it's still a very dirty powder.

It's versatility can't be matched, that's true, but I think given the nature of its "issues," I'd rather use two cleaner burning, better metering powders over one of dubious cleanliness and variable metering properties.

October 10, 2003, 10:32 PM
I don't know. I have never had any issues with Unique although I no longer use a whole lot of it. I used it exclusively for a year or so, but I was using a scoop and a Lee Loader. I have used it intermittently since then and didn't notice any problem. I have never paid any attention to one powder being dirtier than another.

The problem of course is trying to use one powder for five different calibers. It can certainly be done, but will be a trade off to some extent. Afterall, the reason there are so many different powders is because there is a need for so many different powders or at least quite a few of them. I certainly don't use the same powder even for different weight bullets in a given caliber. I don't even use the same powder for hot vs. mild loads in the same caliber with the same weight bullet. If you decide to try and make due with one, you are going to have to be willing to take the good with the bad.

October 11, 2003, 12:04 AM
I used ww231 for 20 years but have been migrating to Winchester Super Target the last few years. I load all you mentioned and more. With big cases and light loads, WST takes up more space than 231, and burns cleaner.

I have used CCI primers by the thousands since about 1960 and have never had a problem with ignition that was not the fault of a light hammer fall, which is a gun problem to be fixed, not a primer problem.

Mike Irwin
October 11, 2003, 02:14 AM
I never had a failure to fire with a CCI primer, but my experience with them showed that I was never able, no matter how much tinkering, to get the same consistency with velocity or accuracy that I could with other primers.

October 11, 2003, 11:25 AM
Universal Clays is a good choice for ALL the calibers you listed. It is much like Unique in burn rate but meters well and is clean with low flash.

231 would be another good choice as pointed out. Winchester Super Field is another superior powder for what you ask.

I like Winchester and Federal primers. I HATE CCI primers with a mad passion, they vary in size WAY too much for me. Remington are a 3rd choice for me but I have never had a bit of trouble from them.

Gary H
October 11, 2003, 01:17 PM
I like Universal, but it won't meter worth a darn in my progressive. I have been loading Titegroup for .38 Special/.357 Mag, .45 ACP and .45 Colt. I like the recoil with Titegroup. Unlike Universal, Titegroup doesn't seem to leave as much unburnt powder in lighter loads. With moderate loads Universal is cleaner..not as much soot. Titegroup isn't going to give you max. velocity in many calibers. I also like 231, but prefer the recoil with Titegroup. Maybe it is my imagination...

CCI primers are a tight fit and can be a problem. They are also relatively hard and can be a problem with a light hammer strikes. Winchester primers have worked for me and mostly eliminated the above problems.

October 12, 2003, 10:53 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but I ran across this thread just now on another board. I found it interesting.

October 12, 2003, 11:20 PM
444 has as often .. summed up well.

Unique sure would be the one if only the one powder but for sure .... if you want ''hotties'' eventually then a slower powder like 2400 would help a lot.

Primers? ..... I endorse comments about CCI ... they are thick enough IMO to be damned rifle primers and caused me trouble at times so ....... Federal for me every time.

NIB Shooter
October 12, 2003, 11:27 PM
Cast your vote!






October 12, 2003, 11:58 PM
Clays won't do it, UNIVERSAL CLAYS is the one you want.

It is the one I would recommend first.

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