.380 / 38 / 45 best powder


January 23, 2013, 08:48 AM
I am loading lead bullets for all three of these guns and have always used bullseye and unique. I am heading to gun show this weekend to look for some more powder. I would really like to switch and just use one powder for all three guns. The biggest problem I am having is the 380 using the lee pro auto disk powder on my classic turret press seems like powder is to flaky for such small loads. I have read were guys have used 231 does it meter out very good in the lee pro. If so maybe I will just use 231 for everything.
I also am going to just get started in loading 223 and I am going to probably start with h335 for it.

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January 23, 2013, 08:55 AM
Yes, W231 (flattened and coated ball powder) is the best metering powder I have used with the Pro Auto Disk and well suited for .380/.38/45 loads lead loads.

HP-38 is the same exact powder as the W231 and usually cheaper.

I use H335 for my AR loads and it is also a ball powder and meters well in the Pro Auto Disk.

January 23, 2013, 09:07 AM
I second everything that was said above. Excellent powder choices. I prefer Unique for 38 spl but Win 231/HP38 will work just fine. Now if I could just find some H335 right now...

January 23, 2013, 09:19 AM
Okay thanks for the quick replies. Sounds like I am going to go shopping for w231 or hp-38.

I figured h335 would be hard to find is there other great choices for just plinking.

January 23, 2013, 10:13 AM
I enjoy H4895 as well in my .223.

In my pistols, I like Titegroup, Unique and I know Universal will load all kinds of calibers in pistols.

January 23, 2013, 10:19 AM
I use and really like 231/hp38 for all three loads mentioned. 95&100gr Lrn 380's get 3.0 grains, 158gr lswc 38's get 3.4 and 230gr ltc 45's get 4.9 grains of hp38

Jesse Heywood
January 23, 2013, 11:29 AM
People are answering, but assuming. Assuming can lead to a ka-boom. So I will ask.

380 is generally understood to be 380 auto, not much choice in today's world.
38 is most always 38 spl, but can be 38 super.
45 is usually auto or colt, but can also be some other obscurities. Which one are you asking about?

January 23, 2013, 11:48 AM
380 auto
38 spl revolver
.45 acp auto

January 23, 2013, 11:54 AM
People are answering, but assuming. Assuming can lead to a ka-boom. So I will ask.

W231 will work for every cartridge mentioned in this thread, including the ones you randomly threw out there.

Other powders to consider if they are out of HP38/W231 are Ramshot Zip, Accurate #2 and Hodgdon Titegroup. Honestly I'd use Bullseye for all three too, just get hold of Alliants 2004 or 1996 manual where they have a ton more pistol loads than are currently publishe

January 23, 2013, 12:20 PM
I don't rember which one I bought last bullseye or unique because I am mainly having problems loading the .380 since it is such a light charge. I finally printed off load sheets so I can start to keep track of all this data better remembering is not working anymore.

January 23, 2013, 01:06 PM
AA #2, W-231/HP-38, Unique. Others will work, but those do well over a broad range.

January 23, 2013, 05:18 PM
Okay well I was going to try to order a micro disk so I can load .380 well I have found out lee no longer makes it mold got damaged. So what powder works with the smallest disk that come with pro powder.

January 23, 2013, 05:30 PM
My .30cc disk for my Lee Pro Auto Disk throws 3.0 - 3.1 gr of Bullseye. That works great for my 380 ACP with a 95 gr fmj or the 100 gr Plated Berry's bullet.

VERIFY your disk throws a safe charge by weight and give it a try.

Good Luck,


January 23, 2013, 11:00 PM
Pro Auto Disk and Unique dont get along in my world.

Get some Universal.

You'll never go back to that stuff that meters like corn flakes that they call flaming dirt.

Powder technology has come a long way on 100 years.

January 23, 2013, 11:02 PM
W231 for the 3 handgun calibers you listed.

January 23, 2013, 11:25 PM
HP-38 meters perfectly in standard pro discs for .380. I loaded 200 tonight.

January 23, 2013, 11:31 PM
Your choice powder isn't the problem.

Your choice of powder measure is your problem.

Get an adjustable powder measure and you can use whatever kind of powder you want to use.


January 24, 2013, 06:34 AM
I use power pistol for all 3. Meters well and fairly clean burning.

January 24, 2013, 06:40 AM
if you can't get H335, which is one of my personal favorites, Ramshot TAC, BLC-2 and H322 are all good choices and go through a powder measure like water.

January 24, 2013, 06:48 AM
titegroup and/or aa#5 works well for me in most pistol loads that i do. for 223 i like 4895 and/or smp846 and smp844 military pull down powder.

January 24, 2013, 07:24 AM
Another overlooked powder suitable for .223 is AA 2015. Very good stuff, and in stock at Powder Valley.

Marlin 45 carbine
January 24, 2013, 12:20 PM
Red Dot is the powder I use for cast slug loads and low-flash loads. it's bulky, cheap and clean but unfortunately does'nt meter too well. to get consistent weights I have to tap the bottle frequently to keep the powder 'settled' or the weight drops.

January 24, 2013, 01:46 PM
I use Green Dot but it meters essentially the same as Red Dot. It will meter 5.2gr through my auto disk everytime as long as I give a fast upstroke on my press and don't use it while my swamp cooler is running. It is a good powder but certainly not a do all powder like several others mentioned here.

January 24, 2013, 01:56 PM
I love Red Dot also, and had he not included .380 I'd have recommended it. But the pro-auto disc starts to get inconsistent once you drop below about 3.5 grains of red dot IME.

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