1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What powder to start with?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by vito, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. vito

    vito Well-Known Member

    I am just entering the hobby of reloading, and will be ordering some basic equipment in the next few days. I plan to only be reloading pistol ammo, starting with the two calibers I shoot most often, 40S&W and 38 Special. To keep it simple, I am hoping for a recommendation for an easily found powder that will do the job. Ideally I would like something that is bulky so that if I accidentally overcharge a cartridge it will be obvious by how full the cartridge is. Any recommendations would be most welcome.
  2. James2

    James2 Well-Known Member

    Unique is a versatile powder and all time favorite. Usually to be found locally here which is more than I can say for many others. Some say it doesn't meter well. but I have not found that to be true.

    When dropping powder, use a loading board and drop powder in enough casings to fill the board, then take the board under the light so you can see into the casings and look at them all. You can easily see any that are too full or for some reason not enough or empty. Then seat bullets. You will never have a double charge nor squib if you will follow this recommendation.
  3. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Well-Known Member

    Another vote for UNIQUE.
    It fits your wants about as good as any powder out there.
  4. jim8115

    jim8115 Well-Known Member

    W231 is good for those, and is easier to meter than unique,
  5. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    +1 For W-W 231 (Hodgdon HP-38 is the SAME powder), for your loads listed. I also like Hodgdon's HS-6 for a clean/bulk load..Bill.

    PS: vito, you guys going to get a carry permit law this year?? Hope so+hope they recognize ours..HA HA..
  6. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Well-Known Member

    Unique isn't the most consistent for me as far as dropping from a powder measure, but anything up to .3gr variance doesn't seem to matter much for me. I typically stay at or below 90% of max charge weight so a .3gr variance isn't likely to give me an overcharge.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    W-231 or Unique are hard to beat to start with. Many will work of course, but these are proven, versatile, generally easy to find an accurate load with, available most places, and more forgiving than some.
  8. readyeddy

    readyeddy Well-Known Member

    W231 is a good versatile powder and well suited for 40 S&W.
  9. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member

    HP-38/Win231 is a great powder to start and stick with. Shoots great, meters well, accurate and generally low recoil.
  10. joecil

    joecil Well-Known Member

    Another good one for the 40 S&W and 38 Spl is Titegroup but I've used most of them and have them on hand.
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Rules out Tightgroup, which I would not recommend for beginners anyway.
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam


    Thats why it is so, Unique.

  13. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Well-Known Member

    While not powder related....I would suggest using lead or plated bullets for the first 100 or so bullets. That way if you have a round with no powder ( ask me how I know ) , just the primer, it is WAY easier to get the bullet out that is lodged in the barrel.....

    I'm not saying it will happen to you, but.... the learning curve with "softer" bullets is easier IMHO.
  14. Delmar

    Delmar Well-Known Member

    Accurate number 5 is also pretty good. Fills the case well enough to be easily seen and good velocity on both calibers
  15. Ex

    Ex Well-Known Member

    Just started using Longshot here for pistol loads and it has now replaced my trusty old Unique. Similar characteristics in that it has good case fill making easy to spot something under or over filled.

    LongShot is now my "goto" powder with great versatility!
  16. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    Unique definitely doesn't meter very accurately compared to many of the finer ball powders. But out of my average handgun, I hardly think I'll ever notice the difference.

    Melikes cuz it's cheap and it's bulky. If it were any bulkier, it wouldn't be useable in 9mm. I use it for some of my loads in all of my handguns and even one of my rifles. I especially like it for those tall 38/357 cases.
  17. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

    Titegroup, cuz the fear of overcharging is just plain silly. It's like fear of guns or red meat.
  18. Ex

    Ex Well-Known Member

    Fear of overcharging silly for a new reloader? Ouch! Especially with a low fill powder like TG?
  19. SC_Dave

    SC_Dave Well-Known Member

    I too have had good results with W231.
  20. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

    Yes. It is silly. You are supposed to look inside the case before sticking a bullet in it. A double charge of TG is easy to spot if you take the time to look inside the case.

Share This Page