Powder for multiple pistol calibers?


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lions
September 8, 2009, 09:54 PM
I'm looking for one powder that will work well for several calibers, specifically 9mm, 40s&w, .380, and .357 mag. There are lots of answers for "best powder for specific caliber" but I really just want one for every pistol caliber I'll be reloading.

Is there something like what I'm looking for or would I be better off with different powders for everything? I'll be using it for target/range ammo if that is helpful. Thanks everyone.

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zxcvbob
September 8, 2009, 10:08 PM
In order of increasing performance: Bullseye, Unique, or WSF. (but good luck finding WSF load data.)

NCsmitty
September 8, 2009, 10:09 PM
I'm kind of old school because of my age, but IMO it's really hard to not choose Unique as an all around powder in the rounds that you mentioned. You can load light or near top loads with it.



NCsmitty

FROGO207
September 8, 2009, 10:10 PM
I use bluedot a majority of the time for my pistol loading as have 2 big jugs of it. It will burn clean if you keep the pressure on the medium to high side. Be sure to work up to it though. I am going to try some unique as a have a big jug of it also. If you use it watch out for double loads.

jr_roosa
September 8, 2009, 10:13 PM
Bullseye would do it, but be a little light for the .357 (alliant only lists it for 110 grain bullets).

Power Pistol would do it too, and you'd get a little more oomph for your trouble.

Those are the two I'm familiar with, but I think you'll get some posts on Unique and maybe some others.

I use Bullseye for most pistol and then a magnum powder (VV N-110) for my .357mag.

You will probably find that you will want to subspecialize a little when you see something your usual powder can't do or isn't optimal for.

-J.

Shoney
September 8, 2009, 10:15 PM
I'd have to go with Hodgdon Universal. Good accuracy, economical loads, pressures are usually lower at velocities comprable to other powders, burns fairly clean, and meters very well.

zxcvbob
September 8, 2009, 10:16 PM
Bullseye would do it, but be a little light for the .357 (alliant only lists it for 110 grain bullets).
Alliant used to list Bullseye data for all .357 Magnum bullets in their printed load book. It performs a lot better than you'd expect. Luckily, I downloaded a copy before they took it off their website:

http://www.thehighroad.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=81593&d=1216513445

bluetopper
September 8, 2009, 10:17 PM
Universal, Power Pistol, & Bullseye will do, but powders are the least expensive component in reloading. Why limit yourself to just one powder?

bluetopper
September 8, 2009, 10:20 PM
zxcvbob, you're absolutely right. Some people are wary of Bullseye in some calibers, but it performs very very well and consistently under high pressures.

FROGO207
September 8, 2009, 11:51 PM
I wonder if it was an issue with double charges or powder location in casings and detonation that caused them to stop publishing the data?
The bonus of having old data books is now showing up.

joneb
September 9, 2009, 12:35 AM
I use 6.1gr of Bullseye for short barrel .357 mag. with 158gr hard cast and standard primers :)
I switched form Unique to AA#5 for some loads in .45acp, .357 mag, .38spl and 9x18 Makarov. Not sure how well #5 does in .380acp ?

procomps
September 9, 2009, 02:44 AM
I use primarily Universal and Power Pistol for the full range of pistol calibers I reload.

Deflexor
September 9, 2009, 05:50 AM
I use Unique for 9mm, 38 sp (+p), 357, and 40 s&w

Joemyxplyx
September 9, 2009, 08:22 AM
I use Ramshot ZIP for .38, .357 and .45ACP. It will also work in .380 which I'm thinking about for a CCW gun.

Velocities for these cartridges from the Ramshot Load Guide are

.380 90gr 800-980fps
.38 158gr 756-840fps
.357 158gr 1105-1228fps
.45acp 230gr 814-904fps

These are pretty much in the Bullseye, W231 and Unique ballpark for velocities and bullet weights. Plus ZIP is a spherical powder and meters like sand in my LnLAP.

I also use 3.7gr ZIP in .38 for cowboy loads.

Walkalong
September 9, 2009, 08:51 AM
No one powder will work for full loads in all those, but as others have posted, Unique, Universal Clays, and AA #5 will work well in all of them. You won't be able to get max loads in .357, but can get some pretty stout usable loads for plinking.

The fellows are right about Bullseye, it does quite well at high pressures in things like .357, unlike many other fast powders. Lots of room for double charges though, so be carefull.

In time you will end up using more than one powder, unless, like some, you just want some moderate plinking loads in all those calibers. Many powders will work for that, such as Bullseye, N320, Zip, 700X, Red Dot, & AA #2.

bullseye308
September 9, 2009, 09:01 AM
I use Bullseye for all my pistol loading. Nothing hot, just medium plinking loads and no problems. I'm currently only loading for 9mm, 38, 357, & 45 and having great sucess.

kenkel98
September 9, 2009, 09:10 AM
Winchester 231 is my goto powder. Plenty of data available. I use it in all the loads you listed. Very clean at near max loads but start low and work up. I find it to be very accurate and easier to find than other powders. And it meters very well.

I also use Viht N-310, N-320, N-330, and N-340 in the calibers you listed. N-320 is about the most versitile. All the Viht powders are very clean at all pressures. They are a little more expensive than other powders but they meter well and are accurate.

I have some Bullseye but have only loaded .38's with it. There is plenty of data for it as well, and lots of people swear by it. It's easy to find, most of the time, and a little goes a long way. Be careful not to double charge. I also have Unique, 2400, Universal and a few others but rarely use them.

Just my 1 1/2 cents worth ( inflation you know ). But, like Parisite says, why limit yourself to one powder. You can experiment with different powders at different loads. It's fun to work up loads and find one that is accurate, clean and works well in your guns. I have load data from all over the place, but when I start working up loads for MY guns, I always have to change them a little. Especially when loading for the semi's.

Like Walkalong said, you will probably find you want if not need more than one powder. I use these powders in target and plinking loads. When I want to work up a truly accurate load, I use at least 3 different powders and 3 or 4 different charges in each. Not to mention OAL and other variables.

OOOPS, I got long winded again! Sorry guys, just love this reloading stuff and want to pass on what little I have learned.

Have fun,

Walkalong
September 9, 2009, 09:16 AM
Yep, forgot about W-231, excellent all around powder.

rbernie
September 9, 2009, 09:26 AM
Unique.

ny32182
September 9, 2009, 09:32 AM
I have over 10lb of HS-6 that I bought originally for 9mm, but I now see that it will work in all the other pistol cartridges I am going to add soon: .40, .357sig, and 10mm. It probably won't be ideal for top end loads in the latter two, but it should work. I will probably look to acquire some AA #9 for that. I will then be fairly happy with my pistol powder stash for a while.

zxcvbob
September 9, 2009, 10:08 AM
Just my 1 1/2 cents worth ( inflation you know ). But, like Parisite says, why limit yourself to one powder. You can experiment with different powders at different loads. It's fun to work up loads and find one that is accurate, clean and works well in your guns. I have load data from all over the place, but when I start working up loads for MY guns, I always have to change them a little. Especially when loading for the semi's.
Yeahbut, you can get carried away buying powders. I have 18 different powders; that's kind of ridiculous. (I'm trying to consolidate down to 3 or 4)

Ben Shepherd
September 9, 2009, 10:25 AM
Unique or clays universal would be my pick with your criterea. Universal will burn a touch cleaner IME.

ckgdrums
September 9, 2009, 02:47 PM
I have used Hodgdon Clays for the last year in 9mm and 45 acp with good success. No troubles at all.

lions
September 10, 2009, 07:17 PM
Why limit yourself to just one powder?

Good question... I'm just getting started and at times feel like my head may explode. I'm just looking to keep it as simple as possible for a little while. It may not be necessary but it will help me feel better.

I just want to get my feet wet, work up some light plinking loads, and get plenty of time pulling the lever before I start looking to maximize performance and accuracy.

Thanks everyone for all the sound advice. Now that I'm armed with a list of powders that will work for me I have to go see what I can find.:(

RichSenecal
September 10, 2009, 07:37 PM
I have been reloading for over 30 years and I wish we had the selection of powders we do now back when I was getting started. It is really remarkable what they have come up with.

However, to answer your question, if I were going to restrict myself to a single pistol powder it would be one of the following; 231, Unique or Universal Clays. They are all excellent and will work in any of the calibers you mentioned.

By the way, HP38 is the exact same powder as 231, just packed under the Hodgdon brand. It tends to be a bit cheaper than 231 in the stores.

zxcvbob
September 10, 2009, 07:44 PM
Good question... I'm just getting started and at times feel like my head may explode. I'm just looking to keep it as simple as possible for a little while. It may not be necessary but it will help me feel better.
Then go with Unique. It does very well in all of those cartridges and is a top performer in .380. You might even want to buy a 4 or 8 pound jug of it to start saving money early. (generally you'll want to buy a 1# can first, then when it runs out replace it with an 8# if you like the stuff) If it doesn't have enough juice for you in the .357, buy a can of 2400.

Gik-tal
September 10, 2009, 07:49 PM
I use IMR-700X for 380; 9mm luger; 38 special; 357 Mag; 40 S&W; 44 Mag; 45 ACP and 45 Long Colt as well as my 12 Gauge shot shells. Has always given clean and accurate loads.

billybob44
September 10, 2009, 07:57 PM
And HP-38 will equal WW-231 in weight and performance.

Steve H
September 10, 2009, 08:02 PM
I think I'd go with Unique or 231

soloban
September 12, 2009, 10:12 PM
I'm using 700x for .38/.357 and .45 ACP. I think I paid $20/lb at Gander Mt. FWIW...

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