Which all-purpose powder meters better? Universal or 231?


October 13, 2011, 01:28 PM
I'm looking for a powder to replace Unique for my target-strength 10mm loads. I like that I can also use Unique for 9pm and .45ACP, but it just doesn't meter. So I'm looking at Universal and 231 as alternatives for 10pm target loads. Which one meters better in a progressive powder measure? (I have a Hornady.) Or is there another powder I should consider?

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October 13, 2011, 03:18 PM
I've not heard of any metering issues with either one in any powder dispensing equipment. Between the 2 you mention, W231/HP38 would be more economical, and is known to work well in 9mm and 45ACP. While I'm still experimenting with other powders to get a feel for what works best for my purposes, it's becoming increasingly clear that W231 will become my powder of choice for 9mm and 45ACP in the near future.

October 13, 2011, 03:30 PM
For me W231 meters great. I can hold under .01 grain with my Lee measure and Hornady Pistol Powder Measure. Unique on the other hand is a bit "looser" to meter, meaning at best I can hold 1 grain on a good day with my two measures...

October 13, 2011, 03:41 PM
Yeah, +/- 1 grain sounds about right for Unique in my measure. And that's just not gonna cut it. :)

October 13, 2011, 04:06 PM
Win231. I don't believe Unique is a 'ball' powder....?

October 13, 2011, 08:56 PM
Universal meters better for me than Unique, although Unique meters well enough, and W-231 meters even better than Universal.

Going by how well Universal has worked for me in .40 over a wide pressure range, I would be inclined to try it first, but W-231 is a great powder and will probably work just fine as well for target strength 10MM loads.

October 13, 2011, 09:24 PM
A lot of powders will meter better if you give the hopper a little double tap in between dumps.Light knuckle raps will suffice.I do this with Unuqie and it settles right down and behaves its' self.Doubt it helps much with stick powders tho.

In answer to the question,my vote is 231

October 13, 2011, 10:32 PM
I switched to Win231 for my 45acp on my dilon 550b because Unique didn't meter well,which is to be expected being a flake powder vs ball.

October 13, 2011, 10:34 PM
For 10mm, Power Pistol and True Blue output in excellent target loads and both meter like a dream. I would choose either of them over Universal or 231 and you are only looking at a slight increase in charge weight for excellent performance and accuracy that is fitting for 10mm. 40S&W strong, 231.

October 13, 2011, 10:37 PM
My vote goes to W231/HP-38. I use it in both 9mm Luger & .45 ACP. Meters very well and 99% of the time it is spot on.

October 13, 2011, 10:39 PM
W231/HP-38, Universal and PowerPistol are all small flattened ball or flake powders that meter well. Unique is larger flake powder.





October 13, 2011, 10:40 PM
WSF is comparable in size to W231 and AutoComp is smaller with very smooth surface.



October 14, 2011, 12:57 AM
As a replacement for Unique using Universal is probably best because it's the practically the ballistic twin yo Unique. It was developed to directly compete with Unique. As for the best powder of the two for loading the 9mm and 45 Auto I would choose W231. I am currently using W231 for all my 9mm and 45 Auto ammo.

October 14, 2011, 07:43 AM
Universal is a little quicker, and a tad spiky at the top compared to unique. Good stuff though.

October 14, 2011, 10:28 AM
These are the 2 main powders I use for all my pistol. I Love them both, W231 meters just a little bit better in my Hornady LNL AP Powder measure. Its really close, but 231 just edges it out a little bit.

October 14, 2011, 11:33 AM
Sounds good, guys. Anyone think either 231 or Universal is better than the other for lighter 10mm loads?

October 14, 2011, 11:58 AM
I don't load for 10mm but found when loading lighter target 40S&W loads, faster burning powders like W231 produced more consistency over slower powders (HS-6, WSF, Universal).

For 180 gr bullet, I get very good accuracy and clean burn even at start-to-mid range load data with W231, but need to push the slower powders at high-to-max range to get similar consistency.

October 14, 2011, 12:11 PM
I think Universal is the better powder for mid range 10mm loads, that's what I use.

But with a progressive press, you don't get to do the 'double rap' that SASS#23149 described, so W231/HP38 will probably meter more consistently than Universal, but not by much.

I've used HP38 in 10mm light loads, and it works fine, but prefer Universal in 10mm and .40s&w. It's a smidge slower burning and is super clean. I use the 'double rap' method with my measure and Universal meters perfectly there. The double rap method even gets Unique to behave (+/- .2 grains)

Either one should be fine.

October 14, 2011, 12:42 PM
A lot of powders will meter better if you give the hopper a little double tap in between dumps.Light knuckle raps will suffice.I do this with Unuqie and it settles right down and behaves its' self.

I've found that this just makes Unique angry and increases the spread to +/- 2 grains. :)

Seriously, I gave Unique one last try this week: I attached an aquarium pump (purchased just for this test) to my powder drop as a source of constant vibration. Didn't help at all. That's when I gave up on Unique for good. I posted a WTGiveAway post on co-ar15.com to see if someone local will take it off my hands. Otherwise it's going in the flowers.

October 14, 2011, 12:48 PM
Are you manually operating your measure on your press?

October 14, 2011, 12:54 PM
I dont blame you. I ditched Unique and 700x for the same reasons. Too many better options out there. I have switched to using AA#2 for all of my pistol light target loads. Meters great.

October 14, 2011, 01:16 PM
Have you really looked at the net effect of the weight variations with Unique? I run a higher end load of Unique in .357 through my lever gun, metering through an LNL progressive, and see chrono standard deviation in single digits. Accuracy is very good. My experience tells me that the variations with Unique people are complaining about don't have much effect on pistol load velocities.

October 14, 2011, 01:24 PM
PO2Hammer, for pistol cartridges, I use a Hornady LnL progressive. So it's a case-activated powder drop.

The Hornady powder drop has no problem staying well within +/- 0.1 grains with Bullseye, Clays, and WST.

Ledhore, I haven't chronoed or even shot the Unique loads because the charges really are +/- >1 grain. In 10mm, that can get scary quick.

October 14, 2011, 01:38 PM
I don't load 10 mm but do load 9mm and 45acp. I have good luck with 231/HP38, AA#'s 2,5,&7, and Bullseye.

October 14, 2011, 01:57 PM
I have good luck with 231/HP38, AA#'s 2,5,&7, and Bullseye.

I love the AAs for the metering and cleanliness of the powder in my pistols. They do tend to have some varience from lot to lot but I only buy in bigger jugs anyway. The last time I bought AA#2 was two years ago. I just take all my loads and load them down a few % and work back up every few years when I buy more.

October 14, 2011, 02:02 PM
Question, not meant as a hi-jack... I keep reading that w231 is the same as HP-38. Is it really the same powder or are you just treating them the same and using them interchangeably?

Thanks, Mike

October 14, 2011, 02:25 PM
W231 and HP-38 are exact same powder and verified by Hodgdon customer service (you can call if you want to verify yourself).

Hodgon is licensed by Winchester and for quite some years, load data for both powders have been exactly the same.

I now use two powders interchangably and always post W231/HP-38.

October 14, 2011, 02:27 PM
OK, thanks...

October 14, 2011, 02:31 PM
If you're getting variations of a grain of powder of Unique using a LNL then you're doing something wrong. Either using the wrong rotor, meter insert, drop tube or short stroking it. I've loaded many, many pounds of Unique through my LNL AP and have never even come close to any variation that high. I consider .4 grain variation the high end for Unique through my machine.

October 14, 2011, 02:41 PM
Of the two powders in question the 231 meters better and the universal... well there is nothing "unique" about the foreign stuff. I'm back to using acc #5 in many applications where i once used these powders since it's now an American made product.

October 14, 2011, 03:04 PM
Interesting. Where are Hodgdon powders made?

October 14, 2011, 03:26 PM
Both W231 and HP-38 are made in USA.

Universal is made in Australia and packaged in USA.

October 14, 2011, 10:55 PM
I like Australia. :)

Anyway, I picked up a pound of HP-38 today. :)

October 15, 2011, 06:45 AM
w231/HP38 will make good target 10mm loads. These loads will run about the same 40S&W. I load a lot of 10mm every year and have experimented with AA9, Bluedot, and settle on HS6. AA9 for some reason seemed to produce more felt recoil, Bluedot had a lot of flash. If you want sammi spec 10mm that measures well in the hopper burns clean HS6 is the powder.

RCBS Powder Measure
LnL Powder measure
Lee Powder Measure

tie between HS-6 and Universal

I have tried all 3 powders in 3 different powder measures and thats how I rank them as far as consistency in measuring goes.

October 15, 2011, 08:52 PM
I consider .4 grain variation the high end for Unique through my machine.
I consider .4 (+/-.4) unacceptable, .2 irritating but OK and .1 or less good.

October 17, 2011, 10:17 AM
.4 grain variation would be plus or minus .2 grains. I'm getting single digit standard deviations with this and I find that entirely acceptable, which was my point.

October 17, 2011, 03:25 PM
I use a lot of 231 in 45 ACP and 9mm. Very uniform in my powder measures. 231 is my "universal" powder that works fine in more pistol or revolver cases. Have never used the new Universal.

October 17, 2011, 10:59 PM
I've used a lot of Universal in .40 in the past and found it to have a tendency to pressure up fast at higher end loads - definitely not as forgiving as Unique at the higher end.

October 17, 2011, 11:41 PM
Update: I got a pound of HP-38 and loaded up some test rounds. Took them to the range, and they were satisfyingly boring and boringly satisfying.

I'll use HP-38 for my low-end 10mm stuff, although I expect that to be about 20% of what I load in that caliber. There's a lot to be said for a whole bunch of Power Pistol. :)

Jim Watson
October 17, 2011, 11:48 PM
Yes. Load with Power Pistol so the blast and flash will let everybody know you are shooting a Manly pistol. I went through one can and got tired of everybody asking me "What have you got in that thing?"

October 19, 2011, 10:25 AM
C'mon, Jim. Power Pistol is a consistent, clean, easy-metering powder for high-velocity rounds.

Furthermore, shooting Power Pistol is a socially acceptable way for me to indicate that I have a giant wiener.

October 19, 2011, 03:29 PM
Shmackey, you just ain't right..:D...funny? yep, but still ain't right. :neener:

Thanks for the laugh.



October 19, 2011, 09:35 PM

Power Pistol, the best way to singe the hair off your fellow shooters.

Hondo 60
October 19, 2011, 10:16 PM
I haven't tried 231, but I didn't get very good results trying to meter Universal out of a Lee Pro Auto disc.

Now that I have a different measure I suppose I could try again.

Walkalong - I hope you don't mind, I stole your Power Pistol gif.
With my new Redhawk, I think that'll be me next week. :D

October 19, 2011, 10:36 PM
I stole your Power Pistol gif.I got it from a forum the other day when searching for info about a Mossberg .22 Mag. I have a boatload of different smileys.
With my new Redhawk, I think that'll be me next weekBlue Dot is impressive as well.

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