Unique Woes


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Hondo 60
April 9, 2013, 08:44 PM
For some reason I just cannot get Unique to measure consistently.

I have 3 measures.
1. Dillon attached to my 550.
2. Lee Pro Auto Disc
3. RCBS Uniflow

Today I was trying to measure 9.5 gr. (of said Unique powder)
On the Dillon it was everywhere from 7.8 to over 10.
On the Lee it was closer - 9.2 to about 9.9
On the Uniflow - I just gave up.

I even poured all the powder back into the bottle & wiped down everything with a new dryer sheet.

That seemed to help the Lee even more - 9.2-9.6, with most of them 9.4-9.6
(9.4-9.6 is acceptable to me)

Now these are the exact same powder measures that do PERFECTLY with powders like Tite Group, Accurate #5, Universal, Varget & Reloder 15.

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ReloaderFred
April 9, 2013, 09:02 PM
I have two Redding measures, two Hornady measures, a Belding & Mull measure and a Hollywood measure all mounted on my loading bench. None of them like Unique at all. Consequently, I don't like it either..........

Hope this helps.

Fred

PS: There will be all kinds of offers of advice on how to get Unique to measure, but I've tried them all, and none of them worked worth beans. Since we're lucky enough to have other powders that will work just as well, the keg of Unique sits in my powder cabinet, unused, as it will remain.............

silicosys4
April 9, 2013, 09:05 PM
Unique is not the easiest metering powder, in my experience. W231 meters much easier. That said, I don't have any metering problems with Unique. I use a Hornady powder throw on my LnL progressive, and WAS having problems with inconsistent and wildly irregular powder drops, but the culprit was my having the rifle insert in the throw, instead of the pistol insert. Once I started using the pistol insert to load pistol rounds, my problems went away.

45lcshooter
April 9, 2013, 09:29 PM
Lee scoops. Lol. Old school.

rchery59
April 9, 2013, 10:42 PM
Unique was the first pound of powder I bought when I started reloading. I still have almost all of it. I hate the way it meters. I use 231 or universal instead.

JerryND
April 9, 2013, 10:44 PM
Also Old School. Ideal 55 Measure, Redding scale and "little Dribbler" No Problems.

Only Progressive I have is a MEC 9000. Works great with 700X

I have upgraded to RCBS Chargemaster. Still no problems.

ngnrd
April 9, 2013, 10:49 PM
Scoop it.

BHarada
April 10, 2013, 12:01 AM
With Unique I've found that I have to tap the handle of my Lee PPM three times to settle the powder in the well. Three taps seems to give me maximum fill and meters pretty consistent.

johnandersonoutdoors
April 10, 2013, 12:14 AM
ReloaderFred,

That surprises me. I am new to reloading but using my Redding Model 3 with the handgun metering chamber and a home made brass powder baffle I am getting charge after charge that practically never varies loading Unique.

cfullgraf
April 10, 2013, 12:17 AM
For some reason I just cannot get Unique to measure consistently.

I have 3 measures.
1. Dillon attached to my 550.
2. Lee Pro Auto Disc
3. RCBS Uniflow

Today I was trying to measure 9.5 gr. (of said Unique powder)
On the Dillon it was everywhere from 7.8 to over 10.
On the Lee it was closer - 9.2 to about 9.9
On the Uniflow - I just gave up.



Yes, Unique and other flake powders can be difficult.

I use a Redding 10-X currently for all my handgun loads, even on my Hornady L-N-L. I get good consistency with it.

I also have had good success with an RCBS Little Dandy measure. Trouble with it is the step adjustments with the rotors.

I have good luck with the Dillon measure on my 45 ACP SDB with 700-X but I will admit, I have not had many loading sessions on it. I am getting ready to run another batch soon.

I do not remember why, but I stopped using my Uniflow for handgun cartridges. It maybe just due to the grade changes to run handgun cartridges. i find the Uniflow works great for 223 Remington size powder charges.

With the Redding and Uniflow measures, I do have a baffle in the measure and I minimize the amount of vibration that I put into the measure. My measures are mounted on a floor stand to prevent vibration from the press affecting the measure.

Others find vibration an aide to better consistency and that is fine. Find what works for you.

Bottom line, you can get good consistency with Unique, but you need to find the magic method.

Hope this helps.

P.S., I have had issues with the Hornady L-N-L powder measure when used on the progressive which is why I modified a Redding 10-X. I just have not found the hot set up for the Hornady measure yet.

Jesse Heywood
April 10, 2013, 12:38 AM
Uniflow with small meter and a baffle. Unique is tolerable, but not as bad as your experience. Sometimes I have to remove the cylinder and clean the lower end.

Centaur 1
April 10, 2013, 12:39 AM
Unique is not the easiest metering powder, in my experience. W231 meters much easier. That said, I don't have any metering problems with Unique. I use a Hornady powder throw on my LnL progressive, and WAS having problems with inconsistent and wildly irregular powder drops, but the culprit was my having the rifle insert in the throw, instead of the pistol insert. Once I started using the pistol insert to load pistol rounds, my problems went away.


I also have a Hornady powder measure, I'll have to try the pistol insert and see if it is any more consistent. I'm with ngnrd and 45lcshooter, even though it's hard to measure with any consistency while using a powder dump, you can achieve incredible accuracy when using a scoop. When listening to others about the proper way to scoop powder, you're supposed to lower the scoop slowly into powder, allowing the powder to gently flow over the rim of the scoop. Then you're supposed to use a straight edge to scrape the excess powder off the top of the scoop. Well, Unique is not like other powders. The traits that make it difficult to use in a powder measure, are the same traits that make powder scoops extremely easy to use. I'm not very gentle when I scoop Unique. My technique is the same one I use when scooping coffee into the coffee filter. I run my scoop through the powder and lift it up so there's a nice mound of powder on the scoop. Now this is where things get technical :D, instead of scraping the excess powder from the scoop, I shake the scoop back and forth until the powder looks even with the top edge of the scoop. Then just dump the powder in a case funnel and move to the next cartridge. I use this method with both Unique and Trail Boss, both are bulky, hard to measure powders. Just try this technique and you'll see how consistent it is; scoop, shake, then dump.

FROGO207
April 10, 2013, 12:54 AM
I use both custom sized scoops and my Ideal 55 measure and am happy with the results using any of the "flake" style propellants. You just have to set up the 55 to the correct width slot for that particular width/grain propellant.

gamestalker
April 10, 2013, 01:14 AM
Years ago when I first started loading I used the Lee scoops and had .1-.2 gr. consistency, even with Unique. I still pull those old scoops out now and then, I can get them to settle fairly accurately using a match book cover to skim the top off. It's strange how one method that works for myself or someone else, won't work the another?
GS

Steve C
April 10, 2013, 07:51 AM
I burn a lot of Unique in .45acp, 9mm and .38 spl. As 2 others have said, use the pistol meter tube in your powder measures for under 10 grs of powder. I have 2 Hornady measures, one on the the LNL and one on a stand for use with the single stage, and with the pistol meter the charge to charge variation in under 1/10 grain with Unique. I usually throw 4 or 5 charges after adding powder in the hopper to settle it and find no need for a baffle.

Constrictor
April 10, 2013, 07:56 AM
i love me some unique, i just got 16 pounds delivered.

Blue68f100
April 10, 2013, 09:24 AM
The only way I have found to get a consistent load with Unique is the "Tap Dance with the powder dispenser handle". This shakes things down so you don't get the bridging.

I NO longer will use it for this reason along and it's dirtier than most other powders I use. W231 is about the same speed and meters like water. Since I run on a progressive free flowing powders are a must. There a better alternatives to Unique so don't limit your self.

Bud0505
April 10, 2013, 09:40 AM
Been using Unique in my Dillon 550B for 25 years or so and have not experienced any difficulty with load consistency. Or if I have I'm not smart enough to recognize it.

USSR
April 10, 2013, 09:45 AM
..using my Redding Model 3 with the handgun metering chamber and a home made brass powder baffle I am getting charge after charge that practically never varies loading Unique.

+1.

Don

rsrocket1
April 10, 2013, 10:23 AM
When the measure is in the filled state: tap tap
When the measure is in the dropped state: tap

KansasSasquatch
April 10, 2013, 10:24 AM
If you can notice the difference .2gr of Unique makes on the target, you must be firing your gun from a vise, with no wind.

Godsgunman
April 10, 2013, 10:47 AM
I'm newer to reloading so take what I say with a grain of salt but I haven't had any issues with Unique so far. I use the Lee Autodisc and get pretty consistant throws everytime. I have noticed it will give a different throw if you leave the top off the hopper compared to the top on. It is pretty consistant with the top on and I try to keep it at least half full at all times so theres a consistant weight pushing the powder through.

mtrmn
April 10, 2013, 02:17 PM
I saw a post on some forum showing a "personal vibrator" duct taped to the cylinder of a powder measure while loading on a Dillon 550. I assume it was used in place of tapping on the measure to settle the powder. This was a few years ago and I seem to remember the poster stating that it worked quite well.

Catpop
April 10, 2013, 02:18 PM
I'm still using my 1975 Lyman #55 and love it -no problem with Unique. Imade up a bench conversion chart for each different powder I use to quickly change over.to a different one.

silicosys4
April 10, 2013, 02:29 PM
I saw a post on some forum showing a "personal vibrator" duct taped to the cylinder of a powder measure while loading on a Dillon 550. I assume it was used in place of tapping on the measure to settle the powder. This was a few years ago and I seem to remember the poster stating that it worked quite well.

lets call it an aquarium air pump instead :cool:

I can get one of those at walmart without needing to answer questions from my kids, lol

i've heard of people using those taped to their powder hopper

James2
April 10, 2013, 03:14 PM
I used Unique for many years with my Ideal 55 powder measure.

I had no idea it was hard to meter, until I got on the internet and looked at some of the forums.

Interesting it doesn't work with some of the other measures. Now, is that the powder's fault? Maybe the equipment?

oneounceload
April 10, 2013, 03:16 PM
Using RCBS equipment, I never had issues with Unique. For issues you might try adding the powder baffle and keeping the level fairly full/constant - doing that removes any short throws

orionengnr
April 14, 2013, 09:03 PM
Your experience mirrors mine, and I have read many, many others who have had a similar experience. These days, I use Unique as a curiosity...to hand-dip ten loads of whatever cartridge. I've tried it with .380, 10mm, .45acp, .41 Mag and .45LC. Yes, it is versatile--so what? If there were a powder shortage going on, and I had 4 lbs of Unique, I guess I'd make it until things got better. :)
Unique was the first pound of powder I bought when I started reloading. I still have almost all of it.
Exactly.
i love me some unique, i just got 16 pounds delivered.
I note that you do not state what type of powder measure or any other details.

I will say that 16 pounds of Unique would be at least eight lifetimes worth for me. Probably more like 16 lifetimes.
Way too many other viable powders out here.

06
April 14, 2013, 09:21 PM
Swore off Unique a couple yrs ago due to bridging problems. Got a real deal on a few pounds and bought them. This new batch have given me no problems and flows very well through the 55. Do not know what the problem was with the other batch but am satisfied with Unique now.

longshot7.62x51
April 15, 2013, 06:09 AM
Scale and a powder trickler the use a fired .223 and cut it down till you have a scoop then solder some copper wire to it and keep it with your dies marked. Or just buy some Lee scoops

chhodge69
April 15, 2013, 09:25 AM
I use a cheap-o Lee Perfect Powder Measure
raise the handle tap tap tap
drop the charge tap tap tap

This gives me a consistent +/-0.1 gr with unique and other flake powders and gives +/-0.0 gr with spherical powders.

tightgroup tiger
April 15, 2013, 07:15 PM
There are just too many other powders out there that work well for me to have to put up with Unique.

I won't use it any more.

oneounceload
April 15, 2013, 07:36 PM
It seems that most of the folks complaining are using cheap Lee equipment.....I have been using RCBS Uniflow for 35 years and a LOT of Unique was used for pistol loads from 32 ACP through 45 ACP without issues. Perhaps the powder dispenser was the culprit, because those of us who use/d the better stuff don't seem to have the same issues

Shimitup
April 15, 2013, 08:49 PM
I've been using Unique for nearly 30 yrs. off and on, not my favorite but for .45 ACP full power loads it fills the case nicely and gives very nearly optimum performance. I can get variations as much as a hair over .2 grs from my uniflow but it doesn't really seem to show up on the chronograph or the target. That said I'm going to run out of my Hercules variety soon and I'm going to look at other options.

oneounceload
April 15, 2013, 08:53 PM
Shim, look at Universal - similar and cleaner

tightgroup tiger
April 15, 2013, 09:22 PM
I was getting up to .5gr variance with my Uniflow, Pro Auto disc, and my Hornady LNL-AP measures.

As an experiment I set up to load .327 magnum shells with Unique powder and about every 20 rounds I would get a load at or around .5gr either over or under my target charge. I would double check it on my beam scales to verify it, I just can't blindly trust that no matter what is said about it in the positive. For me it's a no-go. I'm done with it.

Shimitup
April 15, 2013, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the tip Oneounce, Autocomp and WSF also seem to be kind of close to what I'm after for .45 acp 185jhp. Any thoughts on those?

Rodfac
April 16, 2013, 01:00 PM
I quit using Unique for that reason...inconsistency of the thrown charges without doing some kind of end zone touchdown pass shenanigans. Win 231, HP38 or WST work as well, and meter right on the mark. I've got measures made by Redding, RCBS and Dillon and none will throw consistent charges of Unique without the "dance". Rod

ScratchnDent
April 16, 2013, 03:49 PM
I use a cheap-o Lee Perfect Powder Measure
raise the handle tap tap tap
drop the charge tap tap tap

This gives me a consistent +/-0.1 gr with unique and other flake powders and gives +/-0.0 gr with spherical powders.

Same here.

Peter M. Eick
April 16, 2013, 05:39 PM
What I have found is unique does not have to be that consistent to be consistent on the target.

Just for fun, take some of your more variable reloads and shoot some groups. You might be surprised.

tightgroup tiger
April 16, 2013, 07:03 PM
Just for fun, take some of your more variable reloads and shoot some groups. You might be surprised.

If I'm loading at max load with Unique and I take a variable load that may be between .2-.5gr over max and shoot it out of anything other than a pistol that is known to take a lot of pressure (like Ruger seams to have) I probably would get a surprise, but it may be one I'm not ready for.

I will work up to my at max or over max load with a more controlled method than blindly trusting it to not blow up my guns when it goes up to .5gr over my target charge of maximum load and I don't know it.

Peter, I understand that what you are saying would work with midrange loads, and that is what most people use it for,

I know Unique is much more forgiving for volume/weight/pressure discrepancies then probably any other pistol powder on the market but at or close to max loads, I'll stick to my dribbler/scale combination until my supply of Unique is gone, or I can find someone around here that wants it, (I'll give it to them) then no more it.

Walkalong
April 16, 2013, 08:13 PM
What I have found is unique does not have to be that consistent to be consistent on the target.
This.

rbernie
April 16, 2013, 08:19 PM
Which is what makes it, well, Unique. :)

mo_dingo
April 16, 2013, 11:14 PM
Unique works great in my Grandfathers RCBS chargemaster! But then again, what doesn't!

Sport45
April 16, 2013, 11:15 PM
It seems that most of the folks complaining are using cheap Lee equipment.....

You must have read a different thread than I just did. Seems to me the Lee measures had the best reviews with Unique.

My worst metering powder turned out to be Universal. Which was funny since I bought it for its better metering properties. Where almost all of my meters would do +/- 0.2gr with Unique I had to get a RCBS Uniflow with the small metering chamber to have any sucess with Universal. I'm sure a small chamber would have worked with my Redding 3, but I bought the RCBS quick change instead for added versatility.

I agree with those that say Unique doesn't have to be measured that exact to work well. +/- 0.2gr was working well for me. Didn't have metering problems until I bought the 8# jug of Universal. :(

Peter M. Eick
April 20, 2013, 11:34 AM
Titegroup Tiger,

Look at some older load manuals for Unique top loads and you will "likely" see that older data has much higher loads for Unique with most common calibers (38/357 are the ones I deal with the most). Thus a 0.5 grn over charge with today's manual might be perfectly acceptable to one only 15 years ago. Yes there have been a lot of changes in pressure measurement or other items, but again, I would suggest you at least consider trying some out.

As was pointed out above, Unique the powder is well, pretty unique in that it seems somewhat more accurate than the variations in powder measuring seem to indicate it should be. This is particularly true with lead bullets.

Suit yourself though. I would never advocate someone load up ammo that they are not personally comfortable with. I tend to judge powders by their performance on target first and over the chrono second. Performance on the scale while interesting has not shown to be a compelling issue.

clutch
April 20, 2013, 12:01 PM
Wow. I've been using Unique for 30 years. In the beginning using a Lyman #55 and most often lately with a Lee Autodisk in my loadmaster.

I periodically sample the charges as I load and I don't see wild variations.

I wonder if static electricity, humidity, poor mounting of press/measure, technique could be an issue? Are check weights being used to see if there is a scale issue?

I like Unique.

Eb1
April 20, 2013, 12:02 PM
I scoop Unique. I use Lee dippers or a fired case that was filled to length of a weighed charge.
Weighing it to me is a waste of time.

2@low8
April 20, 2013, 03:20 PM
Deleted

tightgroup tiger
April 20, 2013, 05:06 PM
Peter M Eick,

The amount of people that really like Unique tells me I probably have all the wrong powder measures.

I know Walkalong uses a 10X and it works for him and the people that use the Lyman 55 seam to be able to make it work but I just don't want to spend another $100.00 some dollars on another powder measure when I already have three now, apparently the wrong three according to a lot of people.

A lot of my load data does come from older manuals because there are loads in them with different weight bullets that just aren't in the new ones.

I've never been able to make it work with any of the three powders measures the way some of you have so I just quit using it. I do have 1 3/4lbs of it I would like to give away to any one around Winston Salem or if they are passing through, send me an email and I will arrange for them to get it for free but I won't try to mail or ship it.

Miata Mike
April 20, 2013, 11:55 PM
I think we need to meet over a beer. At that point you surrender your Unique to me so I can safely meter it out of my RCBS Chargemaster 1500.

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