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hp 38/w231

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by HOWARD J, Mar 19, 2013.


    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

    Does Hp38 meter (RCBS uniflo) as well as W231 ?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It should.

    It's the same exact powder sold under two different names.

  3. edfardos

    edfardos Well-Known Member

    I just switched from hp38 to w231. I didn't have to adjust the powder drop.

    same stuff.


    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info
  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    HP-38 normally runs a couple of dollars per pound cheaper than Win. 231, probably due to the licensing agreement, but it is the same powder. It's made in St. Marks, FL.

    Hope this helps.

  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I buy the one that costs less at the time. No difference and that came directly from Hodgdon.
  7. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    How long have they been the same? Did HP-38 become 231 or the other way round?
    Could be some old stuff out there from before the unification :eek:
  8. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    I believe around 2006 as up until 2005, Winchester load data for W231 differed from Hodgdon HP-38 load data but since 2006, both have been the same - http://www.hodgdon.com/history.html

    When I see published load data that shows different powder charges/velocities/pressures for W231 vs HP-38, I consider load testing may have been done with older than 2005 W231/HP-38 powders. ;)
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Old W-231 was made by the Winchester owned St. Marks powder facility in St. Marks Florida from 1969-2006.

    Hodgdon HP-38 was made by St. Marks also, but in different lots made expressly for Hodgdon.

    Burn rates and data for each were not the same.

    In 1998, Winchester got out of the powder manufacturing business all together, and St. Marks Powder, Inc. became a separate company.

    In 2006 Winchester divested itself of powder packaging & distribution.
    And Hodgdon took over the packaging & distribution.

    From that point foreword, it all comes out of the same shipping containers and is packaged and sold by Hodgdon.

    The powder magazine, packaging, and manufacturing facilities are located in Herrington, Kansas. Additional magazine space is located at a closed military air base, (Forbes Field) leased from the City of Topeka, Kansas.

    So, if you have older W-231, or HP-38 powder, or older data, they were not the same prior to 2006.

  10. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Well-Known Member


    I know since Hodgons bought the rights to Winchester.The present day W 231 is the as HP 38 AND W 296 and H 110 are the same. I know that todays W 760 and H 414 are the same.What about a can of H 414 that is close to 25 or more years old? I have a can of H 414 thatvI paid $7.95 for. I would bet that it is different than a pound of W760 that is over 10 years old that I also have.You can't just say that they are the same when one is a lot older than the other.I checked some of the old data on the 2 and although close-they are different in most cases. My point is with a lot of new people handloading for the 1st time there is a chance for someone to get in trouble.:)
  11. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Hence the virtues of powder work up and using mid-to-high range load data target loads. If you use mixed range brass (and most of us do) with unknown reload history, I would not recommend new reloaders jump to loading max charge loads. Using mid-to-high range load data, even with slight variations of older W231/HP-38, powder work up from start charge and watching accuracy trends towards mid-to-high range load data should allow reloaders to identify accurate target loads.

    When I help set up new reloaders, I usually suggest they start with W231/HP-38 as it is quite flexible for various calibers and even at mid-range load data, it produces accurate target loads and burns relatively clean.

    An example is 200 gr SWC with 5.0 gr of W231/HP-38. Current Hodgdon load data lists the following for this popular lead SWC bullet:
    5.0 gr charge is mid-range load data and most 200 gr SWC bullets will be loaded longer at 1.240" - 1.260" OAL, which will lower the chamber pressure even more. Even if there were some variations in older W231 vs HP-38 powders, I don't think you'll run into much issues (Depending on the pistol, barrel and recoil spring rate, you may end up using slightly more than 5.0 gr.).

    Another example is the higher pressure 40S&W. Current Hodgdon load data lists the following for Berry's/Hornady 180 gr bullets:
    Berry's 180 gr TCFP bullet with 4.0-4.5 gr will produce light to mild recoil (like 9mm) but accurate target loads. At 26,400 PSI, cases won't bulge enough to cause resizing issues, even out of generous chambers.

    Same for 165 gr Berry's plated and Jacketed bullets:
    I use 5.0 gr charge for 165 gr 40S&W Montana Gold FMJ/JHP bullets.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013

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