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Unique vs. W231 and Other Questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jkf74, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. jkf74

    jkf74 New Member

    I have a few questions I figure some of you more experienced reloaders can help me with! And I appreciate all the help I get. I currently only reload .40sw but have the dies and brass to start 9mm. The guns that will be used are a CZ 75B and a Smith 5906. There is a local company that sells hard cast lead bullets at very reasonable price. The bullet I'm looking at is a 125gr conical nose. Anybody have any experience with this bullet? Between Unique and W231, what would you recommend for this application and also 165gr fmj .40sw? I have used Unique and have no problems with it, just wondering if W231 may provide any advantages. These are just range rounds. The main issue is I have no experience with lead. So all information I can get is extremely appreciated!
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Either will work fine.

    W-231 will meter better then Unique in a powder measure, but if you have no problems with that, gofer it.

    All I use in 9mm, .40, & .45 is Unique.

    Because it is so Unique it has worked well in everything for nearly 100 years.

    It probably will take a little more per charge, because Unique is slightly slower then W-231.

    But thats a small price to pay IMO.

  3. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    I know for my rifle rounds, the you need to expand the case a little bit because if not the lead will not go in nicely and probably shave off some of the bullet. Or smash the case opening. So i would prolly invenst in a universal expander die, they are like 15 bucks at my local bigger gun shops that has plenty of reloading stuff.

    Powders. Really the only thing i swear by or swear at is Unique or Pistol Power. Plus Unique is another one of those great all around powders.
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I use almost nothing other than W231 for my 9mm ammo. It's clean and accurate for me.
  5. ImjinScout

    ImjinScout Well-Known Member

    I also use HP-38(W231) in my 9mm, but for .40S&W I use HS-6 and really like that a lot.
  6. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    I have taken a break from Unique as it would not meter well in my Redding model 3 powder throw. For instead powders I use w-231, Accurate #5. I am still working on suitable alternatives for Unique, VV n-340 shows promise, Universal is on the to try list and Ramshot True Blue is nowhere to be found in my area :(
  7. jkf74

    jkf74 New Member

    Thanks for the responses. Which would you all recommend between a 115gr cast lead round nose and a 125gr cast lead conical nose?
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I like 124/125gr bullets in the 9mm but the 115gr bullets are usually cheaper so if you are looking mostly at costs, shoot the 115gr bullets.

    I like to practice with the same weight bullets as carry ammo for several reasons.
  9. jkf74

    jkf74 New Member

    The price difference from this company is so small its negligible. I also don't carry either gun or a 9mm. They are range guns. All I've ever shot is 115gr but I have seen that 124/125gr do seem more popular.
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Well, all I can tell you is, a 124gr lead bullet over 4.0gr W231 makes a really good shooting round for the range. You can go as high as 4.4gr W231 but I like the lighter shooting load for the range and plinling.
  11. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    I usually need to push the lighter 115 gr near max load data to reliably cycle the slides of my pistols. Depending on the groove diameter of your barrel, pushing 115 gr lead bullet at near max load data may result in leading. (BTW, 115 gr FMJ with 4.8 gr of W231/HP-38 is my reference 9mm load)

    With the heavier 124/125 gr bullet, I can use mid-to-high range load data and still reliably cycle the slides while not experience leading of my barrels.

    Here's Hodgdon load data for 125 gr LCN bullet:

    I use 165 gr Montana Gold FMJ/JHP with 5.0 gr of W231/HP-38 for target loads.

    Here's Hodgdon load data for 165 gr 40S&W bullets:
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    They are both very forgiving, very versatile, powders with excellent accuracy potential. The only significant difference is burn speed and charge weights. W-231 will meter a little better. Unique will fill the case a little better. Either one will be a fine choice.

    For a light plinker with lead in 9MM, I would probably lean towards W-231.
  13. sbrader

    sbrader Well-Known Member

    I loaded only Unique in my 9mm and .40 S&W for a while when I started to reload. Then I branched out and added 231. I had to run near max loads of Unique in my 9mm to get good accuracy and a clean burn. I have had great accuracy, clean burning and virtually no recoil using a very light load of 231 in my 9mm. I just loaded up some small batches of 231 for .40 yesterday but haven't had a chance to shoot them, yet. The 231 meters better than Unique in my Uniflow, but I like both powders a lot.

  14. oldreloader

    oldreloader Well-Known Member

    The 125 grain CN is my favorite 9MM cast bullet. I've had good luck with 231, Bullseye and AA#5. They all meter extremely well. With 231/HP38 I normally load 3.9-4.1 grains.

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