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Unique vs Universal

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bluetopper, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    I went to Gander Mtn. to buy some Unique powder and they were out of it so I decided to try some Universal Clays. I've never tried either before. For those of you that have, which of the two powders do you like the best?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  2. lgbloader

    lgbloader Well-Known Member

    Hello parasite,

    What caliber are you using it for?

    Universal is great for light loads in 40 S&W, well, at least in my pistol.

    Unique is kinda is kinda like my do all powder - good for all hand gun but not spectacular for any particular. Even works in some rifle using lead cast bullets. So I keep a can of it in my stash just in case.

    I don't really have any pet loads for Unique in my pistols but I have a ladder made with Unique for my 40 S&W that I have yet to shoot so... who knows... Maybe I will finally fall in love with it.

    I will be very curious at what other posts you will get on this thread.

  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    They are both good powders that are used a lot by reloaders. I really like Universal in .40.
  4. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    "My" main intent on getting either Unique or Universal is developing a less than full house target load for 44 Magnum.

    But I'm sure I'll try out the Universal in 45acp, 9mm 147gr, and 38Spl too.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  5. XD-40 Shooter

    XD-40 Shooter Well-Known Member

    I haven't used Universal, but I have 8lbs of Unique and its great in the 40 S&W. Its great for Ranier target loads and I can even push the Gold Dot's pretty good with it. Its a little dirtier than some powders, but I clean my gun anyway. Another bonus, its bulky, so a double charge is almost impossible.
  6. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Well-Known Member

    I use Universal for .380, 9mm, 9mm Largo, .40 and .45 with good results. I haven't tried Unique so I can't comment on it. I use either Berry's or rainier plated bullets in all the calibers.
  7. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Well-Known Member

    Universal fits the bill perfectly for those midrange big bore handgun loads . I just recently started using it in my 41 Mag and you couldnt wipe the grin off my chin with a rasp file . 10 SPOT :D
  8. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    As I understand it, Universal Clays is the modern answer and alternative to Unique. Does about the same thing with WAY less mess. I use Universal in most every pistol caliber I have (10mm, .45 acp., 45 Colt, .44-40)

    IMO, the only guys that still like Unique most likely haven't tried anything else that's equivalent.
  9. ocharry

    ocharry Well-Known Member

    parisite,,i use universal in my 44's and my 45acp,,,and in my 41's for a plinkin load,,,,much much cleaner than unique

    in my 44's i use 44special cases and 6.4grs of universal under a 200gr lead bullet

    6.2 in my 45 acp under a 200gr rnfp lead bullet

    6 grs in my 41 with a 215gr lead bullet

    the revolver loads were worked up to shoot cowboy action,,,and the loads came straight from hodgdon

    and the 45 acp stuff came from the new hodgdon book

    also you will notice that when you start getting to light with this powder that you will not get complete combustion,,,,,you will start to see flakes of unburnt powder,,,,,seems like when this happens that just a tenth or two will cure it

    i think you will like the universal clays powder

    also you may want to try clays,,,it is made by hodgon also and you will use even less powder,,,,on the bottle it lists 38,44special and 45 acp,,,for my wifes 38 i use 3.2grs of clays under a 125gr bullet,,,,sweet little round

    hope this helps

  10. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    I've burned thru many-many pounds of both. Loaded my first shotgun shells with it in 1970. They're similar, but not interchangeble.

    I've gotten better accuracy overall with Unique. Also, it will take heavier loads a little further as it's slightly slower than the Universal. Conversely, Univeral is more prone to give high pressures sooner as it's a tad bit faster.

    So, in .357mag and .38spl, I MUCH prefer Unique. Likewise for cast bullet loads in rifles such as .30/30 and .30/06 due to slower burning and greater bulk.

    In 9mm, .40, .45acp I prefer Universal. However, straight "Clays" will give superior accuracy within it's pressure/velocity range. Likewise, I prefer Universal in 28ga and 20ga shotshells.
  11. harbinger_j

    harbinger_j Well-Known Member

    I agree and use both for .40 and .38/357
  12. KegCommando

    KegCommando Well-Known Member

    I know they aren't interchangeable, but I heard they are so similiar that you can take a Unique starting charge and back it down 10% and work up if no Universal charge is listed. Is that true or just misinformation?
  13. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Well-Known Member

    Sounds feasible, but you should make your own conclusion based on solid information.

    If Hodgdon's don't list for a particular load, try other sources.
    Maybe even the manufacturer ADI.



    http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/Hodgdon-Clays-Universal-International.pdf (3rd page inc. cover)

    hint: compare H-Universal to ADI-AP70N.
    H-International to ADI-AS50N.
    H-Clays to ADI-AS30N.

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