9mm powder question.


January 21, 2010, 07:56 AM
Im having a hard time getting w231 powder and am looking for alternative powders.These loads are primarilly used for plinking and IDPA shooting.I load both hard cast and fmj.115gr-147.Im thinking about giving Power pistol a try.
This powder may also be used in a 45 acp.As I shoot both in IDPA.
I would like your opinion on this powder good or bad.

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ole farmerbuck
January 21, 2010, 07:58 AM
I use Hs-6 quite often.

January 21, 2010, 08:19 AM
Power Pistol is one of my newer favorites. I use it for light lead, to very heavy full power jacketed loads in both calibers, and it remains accurate mild to wild. Meters very well, clean burning, and produces very good "power to charge weight" ratios in 9mm and .45 ACP, especially for cast lead bullets.

It works up easily w/o any spikiness, and I especially like the load density it produces in 9mm. Great stuff as per my experience, and I bet you will like it too if it meets your needs of economy relative to velocity produced for competition.

Marlin 45 carbine
January 21, 2010, 08:42 AM
a second for PP however I use R Dot for cast slugs.

January 21, 2010, 08:48 AM
I like Universal for most of my shooting needs.


January 21, 2010, 10:21 AM
I use Universal, but it is hard to meter out consistently. Might be my cheap Lee Powder Measure, but I am having issues with it.

January 21, 2010, 10:50 AM
Can you find Hodgdon HP-38? According to Hodgdon, it's the exact same powder as Win-231. They slap different labels on the same powder (they distribute IMR and Winchester powders in addition to their own brand).

The only pistol round I load is 9mm, so I can't give you specific advice for .45 ACP. Other popular pistol powders in 9mm are:
Alliant Power Pistol (supposed to be great, but flashy)
Hodgdon Universal (what I use)
Alliant Unique
Hodgdon Titegroup
Alliant Bullseye
Accurate #5
Ramshot Silhouette (supposed to be the same as the old Winchester WAP, which was highly regarded)

Steve C
January 21, 2010, 10:58 AM
Power Pistol is good for high pressure and velocity in the 9mm but I don't care much for it in the .45 ACP. If you want to push them hard PP is one of the best.

For cast target type loads in the 9mm and .45 any of the fast powders will work. I've used Red Dot, Green Dot, AA#2, Clays, and W231. For both 9 and 45 its hard to beat Unique for medium to heavy loads.

January 21, 2010, 11:03 AM
I use titegroup because it's the only one I could find and <1 cent per round in 9mm.

CSA 357
January 21, 2010, 11:08 AM
unique works pretty good, im loading 115 jhp around 1250fps

January 21, 2010, 11:18 AM
HS6, AA5, AA7 are the powders I use most for 9MM. Also most of my loads are with cast bullets.:)

January 21, 2010, 11:38 AM
+1 for Hodgdon HP38 - it is now the same powder formulation as W231 and HP38 is readily stocked by many vendors at a lower price than W231 too (typically just over $100 for the 8 lb container):

Just did a quick inventory check of 15 online vendors and most are out of HP38/W231 and many are on order.

Gamaliel has HP38 in 1 lb container for $18: http://www.gamaliel.com/cart/product.php?productid=3772&cat=1167&page=1

Local gun/reloading supply/gun show vendors may have some on hand to save you on HazMat/shipping cost.

Have you checked Gander Mountain? They have 13 stores in Minnesota and carry powder http://gander.distanthorizon.com/storelocator/allstores.asp_Q_state_E_mn

Does anyone who lives in Minnesota have contact numbers for gunshow powder vendors? Maybe iblong can make a gun show/delivery arrangement.

January 21, 2010, 12:51 PM
For full power 9mm loads, Power Pistol or VihtaVuori 3N37 are tough to beat. 3N37 gives just about all the velocity PP provides, but without all the flash. For moderate, practice loads, I suggest VV's N320 or N340. All three VV powders are currently available from Power Valley.

January 21, 2010, 12:55 PM
Ramshot Shilloette is the NATO powder for 9mm according to the label on the back of the jug. I really like Shillouette whether or not that is true for defense loads.

January 21, 2010, 01:15 PM
As many others suggested, you can use other powder in the similar burn rate range. I use W231/HP38 for my match loads because it meters very well (small smooth powder) for consistent charge-to-charge for accuracy.

For match shooting 9mm, there are plenty of accurate load data available. Do a search in competition shooting for 9mm load: http://www.thehighroad.org/search.php?searchid=6994806

FYI, below is a short listing of powder by burn rate (faster to slower):

Bullseye (Alliant)
Solo 1000 (Accurate)
Red Dot (Alliant)
Promo (Alliant)
Titegroup (Hodgdon)
No. 2 (Accurate)
American Select (Alliant)
AA Plus (Winchester)
Clays (Hodgdon)
N320 (Vihtavuori)
Competition (Ramshot)
WST (Winchester)
HP38 (Hodgdon)
231 (Winchester)
Zip (Ramshot)
700X (IMR)
Green Dot (Alliant)
International Clays (Hodgdon)
473AA (Winchester)
HS-5 (Hodgdon)
WSL (Winchester)
Unique (Alliant)
Universal Clays (Hodgdon)
N330 (Vihtavuori)
Power Pistol (Alliant)
No. 5 (Accurate)
HS-6 (Hodgdon)
Shilloette (Ramshot)
N340 (Vihtavuori)
Herco (Alliant)
WSF (Winchester)
3N37 (Vihtavuori)

January 21, 2010, 01:38 PM
Boy I hate that chart, especially where they place Clays relative to WW231/HP-38... Totally wrong in my experience.

Not saying one is better than another, but in my experience this one corresponds better.


Obviously all burn rate charts are a blunt tool with regard to working up good ammo. Lastly, Hercules/Alliant touts Power Pistol as having been developed for military 9mm, and is said to be called "Bullseye 84" in its non canister form.

January 21, 2010, 01:44 PM
Unique is great.

Jeff H
January 21, 2010, 03:41 PM
Bullseye here

January 21, 2010, 03:46 PM
I used AA #5 for years for full power & W-231 for medium loads, especially with lead.

Many powders work well. I like WSF a lot for 9MM. Silhouette, HS-6, Unique, True Blue, and probably others will work well.

January 21, 2010, 03:51 PM
I changed to Solo 1000. Clean, fast, single base propellant. Excellent sight track. Used in both my .40 S&W and 9mm USPSA guns.


January 21, 2010, 03:53 PM
Been using Bullseye for a long time in 9mm. I've used Unique, but found it to be pretty dirty stuff, although it did make for some accurate loads. Bullseye is pretty much the standard. In fact, when it comes to handgun loads (not just 9mm), pretty much all I use is Bullseye, Unique, and 2400...with some No. 7 occasionally.

January 21, 2010, 04:49 PM
Power Pistol is great stuff. Meters well. Makes very consistent velocities. It does not like being downloaded though.

January 22, 2010, 07:09 AM
Thanks guys,I found some HP38 so Im going to see if it really is the same as 231.Ill wait for warm weather and work up some good jacketed 9mm loads with PP when I can test them out back.I dont like to run back and forth to the range durring load developement if I dont have to.

Bass Ackwardz
January 22, 2010, 10:54 PM
I have put both 231 and HP-38 side by side in comparisons, and its its identical. Same powder, just different labels.


January 23, 2010, 09:49 AM
When Hodgdon says it's the same, that's good enough for me.

January 23, 2010, 10:14 AM
AA #2 is working for me for econo lead loads. Before that it was Universal and Unique, both good. AA is cheaper and meters perfect.

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