Newbie question on powders


ark steve
April 23, 2012, 02:32 AM
I'm really enjoying reloading, and have been firing a bunch of them. It seems to me that my gun is a little dirtier with my reloads, than the factory loads. I tried spreading a sheet on the ground to help collect the brass, it caught most of them, but it was speckled with unburned powder like I pepper my eggs when I fry them. That was with Unique powder. I also have HS-6 I've only fired a few with, and a unopened lb of HP-38. What are the cleanest powders? I'm using the Unique for 380, and the HS-6 for my 9mm.

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April 23, 2012, 02:52 AM
Power Pistol is very clean burning and meters better than Unique.

April 23, 2012, 02:55 AM
You also should bump up your charge some. That can help it burn cleaner

April 23, 2012, 03:38 AM
You need to experiment with Unique a little. I had the same problem when I started. Unique is what I load more often than anything now just cause I can load it in pretty much all pistol applications. I also own a lot of Win 231 and HP38 which are the same powder. Use what throws best in your measure. When you get used to your plinkin loads you can venture out to more specific needs. Like now I'm getting into rifle, and loading mag stuff with H110 and Alliant 2400. Its a never ending learning game. Have fun with it, and be safe

A Pause for the Coz
April 23, 2012, 07:32 AM
Yep you need to pay attention to a burn rate chart. that 380 will dirty up with unique. Its a slower pistol powder.
For light bullet and short barrel you need a faster powder to get the best results.
I use Bullseye for 380, Unique for 158 gr 38 and 357 loads, Bullseye for lighter bullets 125gr ect.
2400 for magnum loads.
April 23, 2012, 08:20 AM
Bullseye has been good to me in my 380. 2.8 grains with almost any bullet, lead or plated. I was given 4 pounds of bullseye so right now all my target/plinking loads are used with bullseye,. Just be careful not to double charge. The unburnt powder can be caused by too little pressure and IIRC unique likes higher pressure than what is generated from the 380. I have never tries HS-6, but I do use HP-38. I used some HP-38 to get a little more umph from some cast 45 lswc and it burned clean enough for me, but I also clean my guns and brass after shooting anyway.

April 23, 2012, 08:34 AM
Good advice above, but I'd also add don't worry about the dirt or a little unburned powder. They don't hurt anything. Unique is perfectly fine for .380 and 9mm, as is Bullseye. A bonus with Bullseye is its economy. You can use less and get the same result. In .380, for example, if you were driving 100 gr. bullets at about 900 fps, it would take about 3.5 grs. Unique. It would only take about 2.5 grs. Bullseye to do the same thing. With Unique you would get about 2000 rounds out of a pound of powder. Bullseye would yield about 2800. Quite a difference.(Loads for illustration only. Use your load manual for exact data.)

April 23, 2012, 05:43 PM
A little cartridge like that is very reactive to small (.010") variations in OAL. And since the slower burning powders are a bit more forgiving regarding pressure spikes, I would search out a powder that produces a good dense load. Doesn't have to be the slowest burner available for that cartridge, but certainly something easier to work with for that small cartridge. If Longshot or HS6 are among those slower burners, then I would go with one of those.

April 24, 2012, 02:01 AM
If you want cleaner target/range loads, go with the faster powders.
If you want to have clean burning with the slower powders, you have to load for faster speeds to get efficient combustion.

All powders require a certain amount of case pressure to get efficient/complete combustion. Slower powders loaded for light range loads, will burn dirty. Loaded hotter/increasing chamber pressures, they will burn more efficiently.

April 24, 2012, 07:33 AM
Pretty much.

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