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Unique -vs- W231

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lennyjoe, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    Just want to say thanks to you all that suggested Unique over W231 for the
    .45 ACP.

    We took out some reloads with us last night to shoot out of my son's Springer Mil-Spec and to tell you the truth, the Unique was a tad less smokey and a bit more accurate than the W231 load.

    I put all 7 shots at 1.5" @15yds with 230gr lead and 5.7gr of Unique. Alot tighter than what I have been able to achieve with the W231 and a bit less smokey. Since we are pretty much out of W231 anyway I guess we'll keep using the Unique under the lead rounds.

    Thanks again all.
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I use Unique for hotter loads in .45 and Bullseye for the standard loads. Unique is quite efficient in the .45 but I use less powder with Bullseye (ever the penny pincher) and shoots well. My best groups come from Unique, though and do it with good power.
  3. birddog

    birddog Well-Known Member

    I've had great luck and use Unique for all of my .45 loads. I use it for my .357and .44 loads as well. It's easy to find, and pretty clean.
  4. countertop

    countertop Well-Known Member

    I was happy with Unique after tightening the crimp (I got a better burn).

    Also shot some rounds the guy on the next lane to me had that were loaded with Clays. They had a funny smell to them, but were quite accurate and has little recoil.
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Just got though pressing out a batch of +P+ 9mm carry loads with Unique and a 115 grain bullet. It's a bit of a compressed load and it SCREAMS out of a 3" barrel. The Kel Tec handles it fine, but I don't feed it a steady diet. I've only fed about 300 rounds through it in its life, in fact. Uses a 115 grain Hornady XTP. It's got superb accuracy, shoots to point of aim, and puts up over 400 ft lbs out of a 3" barrel gun. It's like having a little baby .357 magnum on your hip.

    The Ruger likes those loads, too, and is a beefier gun to burn 'em out of. They clock 1330 fps for over 440 ft lbs out of the Ruger. :eek:

    The old standard in .38 is 5.0 grains of unique behind a 158 grain SWC. It's a slightly +P load and it shoots very well out of all, but my Taurus 85 which seems to lead up a little with it. It's a good general purpose load.
  6. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    Unique seems to be the best at .45 caliber loads, esp. lead.
    I wanted to use power pistol for all my standard calibers, but I keep a pound of unique around just for .45 acp.
  7. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Lennyjoe...I didn't recommend Unique. I recommended W-231. Remember the recall on Unique. Be sure you check if you are getting 8 lb kegs. Or was it 1 lb canisters...???:D
  8. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    I've used Unique for years and have never had any complaints about its performance. However, I recently switched to 231 as it meters better through a rotary measure and it burns a lot cleaner. I don't load "near the edge" so I can't comment on "super" loads. My normal 200gr SWC load is 5.5gr of Unique or 5.1 gr of 231.

  9. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    1lb can to start out. Will check the numbers. I think it was HSMith that suggested the Unique.

    His quote
  10. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Deadin...I load .45 ACP with a WLP and as high as 6.6 grains of W-231 under a 185 grain JHP (Remington) bullet and gotten a very accurate round that travels at 995 fps. (This is a near maximum load according to the Winchester load manual... Work up to and load with caution). Or as low as 5.0 grains of W-231 and the same bullet as above and gotten another accurate round at 735 fps. Under the right conditions W-231 will give you a 1,000 fps round if need be using a 185 grain JHP. It is, in my opinion, a very versitile powder besides being clean burning if loaded and crimped properly. It is, however , not as clean burning or smoke free with lubed lead bullets...
  11. HSMITH

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Lenny, I KNEW you wouldn't be dissappointed with Unique. It just works too well. Probably the most versatile powder of all time, works well to great in just about all handguns and quite a few shotshells too.

    The recall was on 8 pounders, and was long enough ago that I wouldn't sweat it. If you have ever used Unique and can't tell it from Bullseye on sight:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  12. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    I shoot NMC and Bullseye so top loads are of no use to me. In the past I worked up some hot loads with Unique (7.1 +-) and found I had no need for them. Too hard on the gun (and me :p ) Never have bothered to work up anything hot with W231.

  13. timn

    timn Well-Known Member

    I load all my .45s with 221. Yesterday, at the range, I think I discovered my favorite load. It's 5.5 grains of 221 with a Sierra 200 grain TMJ. I use the Fereal Gold Medal primers. This round is very comfortable and was "same hole" accurate through my Colt 70 series, my Kimber Pro Carry, my son's Kimber Classic, and his Springer Champion. We both were amazed at the results. Even my little PT145 liked it.
    Anyone else have a story on round accuracy? I'd really like to find several recipes.
  14. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    Power Pistol under Speer 200gr Gold Dots are uber accurate out of my 4" Kimber. 8.2 gr's gives me +P performance.

    Haven't tried them out of the Mil-Spec. Plan on sticking with 230's since it's a 5" barrel.
  15. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Well-Known Member

    I use 231 in many handgun rounds but find Unique the TIP for .45 Colt as it is a bit bulkier than other powders and fills the case better.

    One word of caution when using Unique.....watch to make sure your powder measure dropped the proper charge. Years ago I had a couple of 'poofers' in 10mm when the powder must have bridged in the measure and a light charge was thrown.

    It will never throw heavier than you want but MAY be light. Just be aware and watch for it.

    Might not be the best powder for a progressive press, though. That is where 231 shines in accurate and consistant metering.
  16. donkee

    donkee Well-Known Member

    Unique rocks! My handguns know no other powder!
  17. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    Go buy a lyman book it has unique data for EVERYTHING. It's great in rifles for plinking loads.
  18. rborensr

    rborensr Well-Known Member

    Unique for the 45, I use to use all of the time, worked great except I didn't like how dirty it left my gun. Even after I tried the new cleaner formula version of it. I switched to Ramshot's line of powders with much better results. True Blue and Enforcer are what I use for the 45 and my 44 mag.
  19. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    I'm sure Unique is quite versatile and performs well. I just know from personal experience that it's exceptionally dirty compared to others I've tried. It seems the "old line" powders like Red Dot, and Unique are dirtier than modern equivalents. In fairness, it also seems that the closer to maximim you can push them and the closer the case it to full, the cleaner they burn. I use max (and I mean max) loads of Blue Dot in my 10mm's and they work great for full power loads (though it's still harder to meter).

    I've used Universal Clays (the modern non-dirty equivalent of Unique) and Accurate 5. They both burn clean. AA 5 meters exceptionally well. Universal meters fairly well but not nearly as good as the Accurate powders

    If I was given the option of taking for free either 1# of 231 or 8# of Unique, I'd take the 231 in a heartbeat YMMV

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