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Unique Woes

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hondo 60, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    For some reason I just cannot get Unique to measure consistently.

    I have 3 measures.
    1. Dillon attached to my 550.
    2. Lee Pro Auto Disc
    3. RCBS Uniflow

    Today I was trying to measure 9.5 gr. (of said Unique powder)
    On the Dillon it was everywhere from 7.8 to over 10.
    On the Lee it was closer - 9.2 to about 9.9
    On the Uniflow - I just gave up.

    I even poured all the powder back into the bottle & wiped down everything with a new dryer sheet.

    That seemed to help the Lee even more - 9.2-9.6, with most of them 9.4-9.6
    (9.4-9.6 is acceptable to me)

    Now these are the exact same powder measures that do PERFECTLY with powders like Tite Group, Accurate #5, Universal, Varget & Reloder 15.
  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    I have two Redding measures, two Hornady measures, a Belding & Mull measure and a Hollywood measure all mounted on my loading bench. None of them like Unique at all. Consequently, I don't like it either..........

    Hope this helps.


    PS: There will be all kinds of offers of advice on how to get Unique to measure, but I've tried them all, and none of them worked worth beans. Since we're lucky enough to have other powders that will work just as well, the keg of Unique sits in my powder cabinet, unused, as it will remain.............
  3. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Well-Known Member

    Unique is not the easiest metering powder, in my experience. W231 meters much easier. That said, I don't have any metering problems with Unique. I use a Hornady powder throw on my LnL progressive, and WAS having problems with inconsistent and wildly irregular powder drops, but the culprit was my having the rifle insert in the throw, instead of the pistol insert. Once I started using the pistol insert to load pistol rounds, my problems went away.
  4. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    Lee scoops. Lol. Old school.
  5. rchery59

    rchery59 Well-Known Member

    Unique was the first pound of powder I bought when I started reloading. I still have almost all of it. I hate the way it meters. I use 231 or universal instead.
  6. JerryND

    JerryND Well-Known Member

    Also Old School. Ideal 55 Measure, Redding scale and "little Dribbler" No Problems.

    Only Progressive I have is a MEC 9000. Works great with 700X

    I have upgraded to RCBS Chargemaster. Still no problems.
  7. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    Scoop it.
  8. BHarada

    BHarada Well-Known Member

    With Unique I've found that I have to tap the handle of my Lee PPM three times to settle the powder in the well. Three taps seems to give me maximum fill and meters pretty consistent.
  9. johnandersonoutdoors

    johnandersonoutdoors Well-Known Member


    That surprises me. I am new to reloading but using my Redding Model 3 with the handgun metering chamber and a home made brass powder baffle I am getting charge after charge that practically never varies loading Unique.
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Yes, Unique and other flake powders can be difficult.

    I use a Redding 10-X currently for all my handgun loads, even on my Hornady L-N-L. I get good consistency with it.

    I also have had good success with an RCBS Little Dandy measure. Trouble with it is the step adjustments with the rotors.

    I have good luck with the Dillon measure on my 45 ACP SDB with 700-X but I will admit, I have not had many loading sessions on it. I am getting ready to run another batch soon.

    I do not remember why, but I stopped using my Uniflow for handgun cartridges. It maybe just due to the grade changes to run handgun cartridges. i find the Uniflow works great for 223 Remington size powder charges.

    With the Redding and Uniflow measures, I do have a baffle in the measure and I minimize the amount of vibration that I put into the measure. My measures are mounted on a floor stand to prevent vibration from the press affecting the measure.

    Others find vibration an aide to better consistency and that is fine. Find what works for you.

    Bottom line, you can get good consistency with Unique, but you need to find the magic method.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S., I have had issues with the Hornady L-N-L powder measure when used on the progressive which is why I modified a Redding 10-X. I just have not found the hot set up for the Hornady measure yet.
  11. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    Uniflow with small meter and a baffle. Unique is tolerable, but not as bad as your experience. Sometimes I have to remove the cylinder and clean the lower end.
  12. Centaur 1

    Centaur 1 Well-Known Member

    I also have a Hornady powder measure, I'll have to try the pistol insert and see if it is any more consistent. I'm with ngnrd and 45lcshooter, even though it's hard to measure with any consistency while using a powder dump, you can achieve incredible accuracy when using a scoop. When listening to others about the proper way to scoop powder, you're supposed to lower the scoop slowly into powder, allowing the powder to gently flow over the rim of the scoop. Then you're supposed to use a straight edge to scrape the excess powder off the top of the scoop. Well, Unique is not like other powders. The traits that make it difficult to use in a powder measure, are the same traits that make powder scoops extremely easy to use. I'm not very gentle when I scoop Unique. My technique is the same one I use when scooping coffee into the coffee filter. I run my scoop through the powder and lift it up so there's a nice mound of powder on the scoop. Now this is where things get technical :D, instead of scraping the excess powder from the scoop, I shake the scoop back and forth until the powder looks even with the top edge of the scoop. Then just dump the powder in a case funnel and move to the next cartridge. I use this method with both Unique and Trail Boss, both are bulky, hard to measure powders. Just try this technique and you'll see how consistent it is; scoop, shake, then dump.
  13. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I use both custom sized scoops and my Ideal 55 measure and am happy with the results using any of the "flake" style propellants. You just have to set up the 55 to the correct width slot for that particular width/grain propellant.
  14. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Years ago when I first started loading I used the Lee scoops and had .1-.2 gr. consistency, even with Unique. I still pull those old scoops out now and then, I can get them to settle fairly accurately using a match book cover to skim the top off. It's strange how one method that works for myself or someone else, won't work the another?
  15. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    I burn a lot of Unique in .45acp, 9mm and .38 spl. As 2 others have said, use the pistol meter tube in your powder measures for under 10 grs of powder. I have 2 Hornady measures, one on the the LNL and one on a stand for use with the single stage, and with the pistol meter the charge to charge variation in under 1/10 grain with Unique. I usually throw 4 or 5 charges after adding powder in the hopper to settle it and find no need for a baffle.
  16. Constrictor

    Constrictor Well-Known Member

    i love me some unique, i just got 16 pounds delivered.

    Attached Files:

  17. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Well-Known Member

    The only way I have found to get a consistent load with Unique is the "Tap Dance with the powder dispenser handle". This shakes things down so you don't get the bridging.

    I NO longer will use it for this reason along and it's dirtier than most other powders I use. W231 is about the same speed and meters like water. Since I run on a progressive free flowing powders are a must. There a better alternatives to Unique so don't limit your self.
  18. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Well-Known Member

    Been using Unique in my Dillon 550B for 25 years or so and have not experienced any difficulty with load consistency. Or if I have I'm not smart enough to recognize it.
  19. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member


  20. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Well-Known Member

    When the measure is in the filled state: tap tap
    When the measure is in the dropped state: tap

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