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Recommend a new powder for 124 & 147 gr lead 9mm

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by KegCommando, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. KegCommando

    KegCommando Well-Known Member

    I need to pick up some more powder. I've been using W-231 which I'll still get more of and use for my FMJ loads, but I saw a few posts that stated that W-231 was not a very good match with a 147gr bullet.

    Unfortunately I don't load enough to justify buying large enough quanitities to offset the Hasmat fee so I have to stick to what's in stock at the local shops, which rules the ones I saw recommended in those threads.

    I almost have to stick to exclusively Hodgden powders, and looking at their online load data, the only one they list a 147gr lead is WSF which my Lyman manual doesn't seem to make much use of.

    Anyways, what is available to me are:

    1.) By the looks of it, anything distributed by Hodgden (IMR, Winchester, their own)
    2.) A select few of Alliant's like Unique, Bullseye, and "The Dots"

    I'd prefer something that meters well, that's probably my #1 requirement.
    Clean burning is a plus but not a requirement since I clean after my range trips anyways.

  2. Farnorthdan

    Farnorthdan Well-Known Member

    I prefer Titegroup for most of my pistol loads. I load 380acp, 9mm, 10mm, 40S&W and ,45acp with it exclusively.

  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I use HP38 (off the same production line as W231) for all bullet weights in 9mm, including 145 cast and 147 jacketed. No problems here. Don't believe everything you read on the internet. Unlike Farnorthdan, I prefer it to Titegroup.
  4. AgentAdam

    AgentAdam Well-Known Member

    I think someone mentioned PowerPistol for heavier loads or perhaps Unique or Herco.
  5. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    I've had good luck using HS6 with Berry 147gr RN plated bullets in the 9mm.
  6. Bboomer

    Bboomer Well-Known Member

    I have two pistol powders on my bench, Unique & Bullseye.

    I use Unique 99% of the time for 38 spl, 357, 44 mag and 45 acp. Bullseye for 9mm, 9mm Mak and 380.

    These powders can be found anywhere and are most econimical. I've never had issues in metering from 2.8 thru 10gr charges using the Lee Perfect, Lyman 55's and Dillons.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The new Lyman #49 says 4.6 grains Power Pistol is the most accurate load for 147 cast bullets.

    Of course, Unique works for everything, and HS-6 and AA#7 looks pretty good too.

  8. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    I'll put in a vote for Bullseye:D Just be sure to check every case for an overcharge, which can easily happen with Bullseye. For economy, it is hard to beat 3.8gr with a Zero 147gr FMJ at 950 FPS getting 1842 rounds per LB of powder. Only pistol powders I have on hand are Bullseye and 2400. I only load 38, 9mm, 357 right now and it works for me. Will start on 45's next week and might try W-231 for those and see which powder the pistol likes better.(I think it will be Bullseye but need an excuse to get another powder to play with).

    And Bullseye meters like water, another reason I like it. That and the name. :)
  9. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    My favorite for 147grainers is 3.2gr of Alliant American Select. Power Pistol is great too.
    If I had to pick one of Hodgdons it would be HS-6 for 9mm.
  10. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    I will personally recommend Titegroup first, and HS6 second, from personal experience in steel plate shoots.

    All the powders mentioned above (although I've never used American Select) will work, but Titegroup just meters so well at those sub-4.0g charges! It is very consistent, and due to that my ammo performs more consistently. If it is available, give it a try.

    Is this ammo for general use, KegC, or for a specific purpose?
  11. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Well-Known Member

    With what you indicate is available to you, my choices would be:

    1) Alliant Power Pistol
    2) Hodgdon HS-6

    Both meter well, and either is well-suited to 124gr and 147gr 9mm loads.
  12. CU74

    CU74 Well-Known Member

    Unique, Titegroup, Bullseye.........
  13. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Unique and Zip.
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I have to add my voice to using HS-6 especially with lead bullets. If W231 isn't doing it for you then HS-6 will. I use a lot of HS-6 and like it more every time I use it.
  15. KegCommando

    KegCommando Well-Known Member

    Just general plinking.

    Paid a visit to one of the stores since it is sorta on my way home.

    They did not have Power Pistol.

    They had:

    Win-231 (Which I picked up since I needed anyways)
    and finally Bullseye

    Looks like general consensus is Titegroup and HS-6.
  16. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    I use Titegroup. 3.5 grains with a 147-9mm worked great for me.
  17. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Keggy -
    Although the major factor in powder selection is the bullet weight, to get the "best" powder for your shooting other detailed factors count, such as barrel length. However to determine that, you'll simply have to shoot numerous powders and see for yourself.

    You are correct, W231 is not a great powder for 147gr. Generally speaking, the heavier the bullet, the slower you want your powder to burn. If you'll take a look at the VihtaVuori reloading manual you can see the comparable powder speeds on page 2. For a 147gr, you'll want to be in the general area between N340 and Unique. In this area you'll see many of the powders already discussed by your friends in this thread. (You should also note that TiteGroup is about the same speed as W231, and therefore not a good selection.)

    Of the easiest to find locally, WSF and Unique come to mind. Unique, being the oldest, will probably be the cheapest too.

    Hope this helps.
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Heavy bullets for caliber = slower powder.

    Think of a 147 grain 9mm & Bullseye (very fast powder) for instance, as being like trying to move a bowling ball by smacking it with your fist.

    You will have much better results moving it by shoving it with your open hand, (slower powder like Unique or Power Pistol).

  19. fecmech

    fecmech Well-Known Member

    You will find Hogdon Longshot hard to beat with the 2 bullet weights you mention and Hogdon lists data for it. You can duplicate factory jacketed velocities with excellent accuracy.
  20. dwave

    dwave Well-Known Member

    Longshot is an excellent powder, I have gotten great accuracy out of it in my .45 ACP

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