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Powder Choice for .40S&W

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Crazy4nitro, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Crazy4nitro

    Crazy4nitro Well-Known Member

    What Powder do YOU use in .40S&W?
    Why did you choose that powder?

    I have like 200 rounds of Bullseye left and I might consider another (slower) powder. But as one person said before "if it ain't Broke,dont fix it"...I'm just looking to see what others use,.....and Don't use.:)

    Thanks in Advance,
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    AA# 5, Universal Clays, WSF. I am not a big fan of Bullseye, but it is very versatile and they sell it by the ton. :)
  3. Shoney

    Shoney Well-Known Member

    In addition to those listed below, I also have done accuracy/chronograph tests with Titegroup, Longshot, 700x, 800x, AA7, Red Dot, Unique.

    For a powder suited well for all bullet weights, Hodgdon Universal.

    For 150-180 gr bullets, Power Pistol, AA5, Vihtavuori N320, WW231, WSF

    My preference for a 200 gr XTP is Vihtavuori N105 powder, with a velocity over 1100 fps (not a max load).
  4. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Well-Known Member

    I use both universal clays and bullseye....bullseye is a little cheaper, but universal burns a little cleaner....either one will work fine. Use whatever you have/like.
  5. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Well-Known Member

    I've been loading my 40 with Unique, 165 grain, 155 grain, 180 grain, lead and plated. Unique has worked great will all of these loads. I like it because its in the ideal burn rate zone of 58-62% and it fills the case so a double charge is highly unlikely. Also, I bought an 8lb keg of Unique at Sportsmans Warehouse on sale for $85.:D
  6. Idano

    Idano Well-Known Member


    I hear you and all your point about Unique are dead on, but at reduced loads that is some dirty crap. I have use Unique and still do but I am looking for a cleaner powder so I am thinking about switching to Power Pistol since I hear it is cleaner. However, I still have 2 lbs of Unique and I may waffle before that is used up.
  7. Crazy4nitro

    Crazy4nitro Well-Known Member

    The Bullseye still seems very clean at 3.7gr. with a 180 bullet..might wanna try that for a reduced load..
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I believe Universal Clays is your answer.

    Bulky like Unique. Light colored so it is easy to see in the case. "Universal" in it's use. Burns clean and only gets even cleaner as the pressures go up. Accurate in many apps. try it, you'll like it. :)
  9. Idano

    Idano Well-Known Member


    I wondered about that one how clean is it on light loads and for 9mm is it cleaner then Unique?
  10. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Well-Known Member

    I will admit that on my 180 grain lead loads with 5.1 grains of Unique, its on the dirty side. This is a minimum charge for this bullet. However, on my 160 grain plated TMJ's with 7 grains of Unique, its very clean. You are right, light loads with low charges = dirty. Hot loads with higher pressures = clean.:D
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Universal Clays was much cleaner for me in the same apps as Unique was. I much prefer Universal, but Unique is a good powder and many like it. :)

    I prefer WSF or AA# 5 in the 9MM. I would go with WST or WSF for light loads in the 9MM. Universal Clays works well in the 9MM, but really shines in the .40 in my opinion. I bought a 4 lb. jug to load .40 with.
  12. mscott

    mscott Well-Known Member

  13. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    Ramshot True Blue, chosen because of ballistic uniformity (single digit Standard Deviations) and burn rate appropriate for the .40 S&W. Ramshot Silhouette, because of energy,burn rate and very low flash. I've never used any powder faster than AA#5 for this cartridge because of the natural fast occuring pressure peak it has. True Blue is giving the most accurate loads I have ever achieved in .40 with jacketed and cast bullets. Silhouette will do as well with jacketed, but I'd give the edge to True Blue with cast. Silhouette and WSF are fairly similar, so if I couldn't get Silhouette, I'd opt for WSF.

    Others I've tried: AA#5, Power Pistol, HS-6, VV 3N37, Vectan SP-2, and Alliant Blue Dot for kicks. Two others I've considered because I can get them locally are Universal and SR 4756.;)
  14. Crazy4nitro

    Crazy4nitro Well-Known Member

    I'm not questioning your statement on ideal Burn rate %.
    But what determines this %,and where can I find more info about it?

  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    "Burn Rate" of a powder changes depending on many factors. Yes, some powders burn rate in a specific case with a specific bullet weight can be ideal.

    Alliant rates their powders by % of relative quickness compared to Bullseye to which they give a standard of 100%.(their fastest powder)

    They rate Unique as 61.6% as quick as Bullseye. This is not a "Burn Rate" compared to all powders, just a comparison to Bullseye's burn speed.

    Alliant's comparisons can be handy if you are using one of their powders to compare with to see what other ALLIANT powder might be usefull.

    Burn rate charts can be quite usefull, but remember, depending on the application, a powders place on the chart could move up or down several spaces. :)
  16. bob40caliber

    bob40caliber Well-Known Member

    I use Unique for all my pistol reloading.....I have about 20 lbs of it....
  17. ball3006

    ball3006 Well-Known Member

    I use Red Dot..........

    Just happens it was the most accurate for my application....155 gr practice ammo .chris3
  18. Crazy4nitro

    Crazy4nitro Well-Known Member

    I understand how the percentage is rated. I'm wondering how a person arrives at an Ideal burn rate of for instance Mid 50 to Mid 60% burn rate for their application. This would aid me in choosing my next powder,which is looking like Power Pistol.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  19. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    i use several different loads. some are for practice and some are for being accurate as possible. the most accurate load that i have is using a 165gr rainier bullet and 5 grains of power pistol, and secondly a titegroup load. i use unique and bullseye loads for training, and practice.
  20. gandog56

    gandog56 Well-Known Member

    Unique or W231, whicheve I have some left of.

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