One Powder


September 9, 2011, 08:00 AM
There are numerous threads here about what three, or two, or whatever, type of guns, one would have if there was some sort of limit. I want to try that here.

If you were somehow limited to only one rifle powder and one handgun powder, what would they be?

Looking at my current firearms here are my two choice.

For rifle, Varget. It wouldn't be the best choice for all my long guns, but it is one powder that I could use in all of them.

W231 would be my one pistol powder. Again, it would fit the bill for my handgun applications.

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September 9, 2011, 08:50 AM
IMR4350 and Tite Group or W231

September 9, 2011, 09:03 AM
Good morning
Unique... I would not feel real bad if that was all there ever was for any reloading.
But I would also add some 1680. As I primarily shoot my own cast I could happily finish off my years with just thos two.
Mike in peru

September 9, 2011, 09:51 AM
Without a doubt, H4895, as it's useable in small and magnum cases with different load densities, IE youth loads, at

Unique is an old powder, but it's extremely versatile, and works well from 32ACP through the large bore 44 and 45 caliber handgun loads. I even use it in some 20ga shotshell loads.


September 9, 2011, 09:53 AM
for Handgun, either Universal or W231,

For rifle, for what I shoot, RL15 or Varget

September 9, 2011, 09:54 AM
Clays - as shotguns come first and it will cover handguns
either IMR 4350 or 4831 - both give good results for my 7 mag

September 9, 2011, 10:32 AM
H4895 and Unique.

September 9, 2011, 12:08 PM
I would have to have 3 powders to make me happy. RL22 for my high powered rifle needs, Longshot for AL handguns, standard wheel guns, and shotguns, and then H110/296 for my magnum wheel guns. Without those 3 I would be concerned about performance being below my desired performance level, which is super charged!

September 9, 2011, 12:09 PM
Varget and Unique.

September 9, 2011, 12:35 PM
W231/HP-38 and H4895

September 9, 2011, 12:37 PM
Unique for pistol, maybe 4198 for rifle? Not sure for rifle...

September 9, 2011, 12:45 PM
for handguns Hp38
for rifles H4895

September 9, 2011, 02:18 PM
for handguns Hp38
for rifles H4895

because i like the 38 for 45acp, and the 4895 because one of the rifles i load for is an m1 garand.

September 9, 2011, 03:05 PM
My vote is for Unique and IMR4064.

September 9, 2011, 04:18 PM
My vote is Unique and H4895

September 9, 2011, 05:10 PM
Those wise gents who have already suggested Unique and 4895 have got it right. On the strength of 45 years' hand-loading, I can say that those two powders WORK.

Unique will suffice for everything from (9mm/.38 Special all the way up to light loads in .45-70 and many other rifle cartridges. It shines with cast bullets in rifles.

4895 (either "H" or "IMR") works VERY well from .222 up to .458 and .416 Rigby. It won't give absolute-maximum performance in ALL rifle cartridges, but it WILL deliver probably 90% or better in those in which it falls a bit short of "full power". The minor shortfall is unlikely to be noticeable in the field.

So....if these are so good, and if I've been trying earnestly to cut down on the number of different powders I have on hand......why do I STILL have 37 different powders on my shelves at last count????? I reckon I'm just another nutcase.

September 9, 2011, 07:19 PM
IMR4895 and Unique. My only firearm that I would not be able to load for, is my .30 Carbine.


September 9, 2011, 07:23 PM
W231 for pistol. I use it for .380, 9mm, .38 special, and .45ACP. I don't load rifle

September 9, 2011, 07:35 PM
H4895 and W231/HP-38

Hondo 60
September 9, 2011, 09:02 PM
Just one, huh?

Well I guess for rifle it'd be Varget.
(I only have one rifle - an Ar-15) so that's easy.

But I love my handguns, so that one's much tougher.
I like Tite Group, so I guess that would be my choice.

Or I could go with Accurate #5.
AA5 would work better in all my handguns

September 9, 2011, 10:13 PM
For my uses, the pistol powder would probably be 231. I haven't used Unique in enough different cartridges yet to decide if I would switch to it (but I have used enough to decide it's almost like shooting black powder smoke-wise! :eek: ).

In rifle it would be either Varget or Reloder 15. Anything you can do with one, you can effectively duplicate with the other in my experience, with perhaps a bit more velocity with RL-15. I've burned at least 16-lbs worth of Varget, mostly in heavy-bullet .223 loads, but also some in .45-70 and .30-06. I haven't tried it in .30-30 yet, but I suspect it will work well there when I do try it.

(Again, for what it's worth, it seems to me that many applications where Varget will work you could also use H4895. I just use Varget because it's what I tried first and have liked it ever since.)

September 9, 2011, 10:15 PM
H335 and WST.

September 9, 2011, 10:48 PM
I thought you said one. Sadly I can no longer get my true love which while it doesn't work perfectly in every thing it does still work well. When that jug is gone I'll have to start looking for another. I've already got Unique, 700X, & some WC Blank to try to heal the wombs of losing my first love.

I don't suggest using WC Blank for projectiles since the suplier is very adamant against it. It does show promise where I've used it.

September 9, 2011, 10:57 PM
231 and H335

September 9, 2011, 10:59 PM

I could keep myself busy with just 2400 and be content.



September 9, 2011, 10:59 PM
H4895 and W231

DC Plumber
September 9, 2011, 11:14 PM
Universal and H4895

Universal in my: 38special, 357mag, 44special, 44mag, 454 Casull, 45acp

H4895 in my: 458Winmag and 30-06

September 9, 2011, 11:23 PM
RL-15 or RL-22

Redneck with a 40
September 10, 2011, 12:00 AM
H4895 and Unique, since I don't have any magnum's, pistol or rifle, this combo would definitely fill the bill for me.

Cop Bob
September 10, 2011, 01:44 PM
For me... Not Possible... Too many Calibers, too many bullets weights, Target, or service? Just too many Variables..

what works for one, won't work for all... I could limit it to 4 or 5, but... WHY?

I reload for everything between .17 Rem to 45-110, belted mags, Mill Spec stuff, Lead Target pistol stuff to service/SD rounds..

If it won't print, why bother? I load for accuracy or because it is no longer commercially available... and Sorry, the same powders will not work in both my .223's and my 7X61 Sharp n Hart, nor will either one of those work in my 45-110. Pistols, No Way... While I can make 700-x work in most every caliber for mid-range match loads, It will NOT push my 135's at 1388 FPS out of my 40, or 125's at 1400 out of my 357,s nor will the same powders push my 90gr pills out of a 380 at 1200.... Just won't happen....

September 10, 2011, 06:45 PM
...and one powder to rule them all...

If there was a rational answer, there would be a LOT FEWER powders available.
However, there is one powder that has to be there--Unique. Shotgun, handgun, and low power rifle, it does them all. Even .22LR can be easily handled by Unique.
I don't do much rifle work, but I know that BL(C)-2 works great in my 7mm TCU, .223 Rem, .30-30, and .30-06.

September 11, 2011, 02:51 PM
I don't load for handguns but for my rifles IMR 4350.

September 11, 2011, 10:18 PM
IMHO, there are too many good pistol/revolver cartridges out there...and they operate at different speeds/pressures.

Finding a powder that works well for everything from .38 Spl to a 9mm to a .45 acp to a .41 Mag or 10mm is very difficult.

You can probably find a Unique load for all of the above, but none of them will be "top flight" loads.

If I had to go with one powder, I would trim down the number of cartridges I reload for. If I could forego Magnum and high-velocity cartridges, I guess 231, Bullseye or Green Dot would satisfy me. If all I owned was a single-stage press, I'd be fine with Unique.

As far as rifle goes, I'd start with 748, but I only shoot .223 and .308.

September 12, 2011, 02:47 AM
W231 for pistol (9mm and 45acp)
Varget for rifle (223rem and 308win)

September 12, 2011, 02:07 PM

September 13, 2011, 10:58 AM
Rifle: H4895
Handgun: WST

September 13, 2011, 11:00 AM
Varget for my rifles and 2400 and power pistol for my handguns.

Para Cassatt
September 15, 2011, 01:23 AM
Just so I could still use all my firearms, I'd have to AA2520 and Power Pistol off the top of my head. If I could only have one powder to use in the most firearms possible it would be a 4198.

35 Whelen
September 15, 2011, 01:25 AM
Rifle: H4895
Handgun/Rifle with cast bullets: Unique


evan price
September 15, 2011, 05:20 AM
Titegroup for pistol and shotgun, H335 for rifles.

September 15, 2011, 01:51 PM
Thirty years ago? H4895 and Unique.

Today? Varget and Universal.

September 15, 2011, 01:58 PM
FFFG. One powder for rifle and pistol.:)

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