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5 most useful handgun powders

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lone_Gunman, Jun 7, 2006.

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  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I am new to handloading, and am still in the process of reading/tooling up for it. When I start I will likely be loading 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 38 Special, 357 magnum, and mayb 10 mm.

    The process of powder selection seems daunting, there are so many choices. I would like to have a small supply of various good powders when I start.

    Given the cartridges listed above, what would be the 4 or 5 most useful powders I could pick? I will mainly want to load relatively mild target loads at first, but maybe stiffen things up a bit as I become more comfortable with reloading.
     
  2. LexDiamonds

    LexDiamonds Member

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    Power Pistol, Blue Dot, Unique, AA #7/9, and possibly Bullseye for the ACP.
     
  3. rnovi

    rnovi Member

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    Unique will do everything you want, from light target loads to "warm" loads.

    #1. Bullseye (for the really light target stuff)
    #2. Unique (medium loads)
    #3. 2400 (for the hot magnum loads)

    To be honest, I'd start with those three and leave it at that for a while. Five powders can get pretty confusing - especially when starting reloading.

    Another alternative:
    #1. Clays
    #2. Universal Clays
    #3. 2400 or H110

    Another thought:
    #1. Titegroup (for light loads, also works GREAT for light loads in large capacity cases)
    #2. Power Pistol (medium loads, similar burn rate to Unique)
    #3. 2400


    Five starting powders is really overkill.

    (PS: just opened up my cabinet and I have the following: clays for light loads in 9mm, .45 acp, .38 spec. Power Pistol for moderate power loads in .357 & warm 9mm loads. And finally, 2400 for any hot loads in my .357 or .45 winmag. So, three powders...)
     
  4. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Power Pistol will do it all. IMR 800-X is good all around too. Maybe Clays or Titegroup for light loads, if you're into those. Although light loads aren't a good choice if you're just starting. You should be doing loads which fill the case enough that if you double charge, you make a mess.
     
  5. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    What do you guys think of Winchester 231? Of the cartridges I listed, what is it NOT good for?

    What do you recommend for light cowboy action loads in 45 Colt?
     
  6. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    The four powders I use the most of in handgun is W231, Unique, Blue Dot, 2400. I also use Power Pistol and HS6 in the 9mm only. If you could only buy one powder it should be Unique as there's data to load every pistol cartridge you listed.

    W231 is great in the .38 spl, .45 acp and I also use it or Unique for target loads with cast bullets in the .41 mag. W231 is a little fast for anthing but modest target velocity in the .357 magnum and high velocity cartridges like the 10mm. It is not good for high velocity aplication in high pressure cartridges though.

    When you want to load the .357 mag to factory level velocity I use Blue dot or 2400. Unique is great for top velcoity loads in the .45 ACP and .38 spl. Its also very good with 158gr commercial hard cast bullets in the 1,000 to 1,100 fps range in the .357 mag.

    With the .45 Colt you can use W231 or Unique for standard pressure loads. If you want to load to Ruger Black Hawk only levels then 2400 or other slow powder like H110 or AA#9 is the way to go.
     
  7. griz

    griz Member

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    I haven't loaded for the 10mm, but 231 will work great for all the rest of them until you get up to full power loads in 357 and the 45 Colt. If you wanted just one powder for all those rounds, 231 would be a good one.

    Trail Boss is designed just for that purpose. It is very bulky so a double charged case is too obvious to miss.

    For the first question, I would say five powders is about three too many to start out. Trail Boss for the light loads in the revolver rounds, something like Power Pistol or Blue Dot for warmer revolver loads and the bottom feeders. If you want to go all the way to max for the revolver rounds, you could add Lil Gun or H110 for that, and maybe change the midrange powder to Universal, Unique, AA#5, or whatever best suited the 10mm.
     
  8. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I have been loading for over 40 years and have narrowed my powder choices down to just four.
    1. 231
    2. Unique
    3.Blue Dot
    4. 296
    I also keep a can of Bullseye around only to load 148grwc 38 Special loads for my s&W Mdl 52 Master for old times sake.
     
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    W-231 for 9mm .38 Spec., .45ACP and a 2 1/2" Mod 19 S&W
    W-296 for .357 Ruger
    2400 for an old .357 mag Colt SAA
    W-748 for a .30-30 Winchester
    H4831SC for .30-06

    My five powders at the present time.
     
  10. 2400

    2400 Member

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    Bullseye, Unique and 2400
     
  11. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Red Dot, WW 231, 2400 and Unique.
     
  12. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    Bullseye, W231,

    Unique, Red Dot...................Keep is simple for what I load for. .......chris3
     
  13. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    For handguns only - -

    Unique, Win 231, 2400 or H110.

    No argument with the previous replies. These are simply what I use most.

    Best of luck
    Johnny
     
  14. Backfired

    Backfired Member

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    1. Unique
    2. Red Dot
    3. Blue Dot or 2400

    I avoid the Win and Hodgden stuff. It has been waaay too foul burning for me.
     
  15. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    In order of burning rate

    W231

    AA#5

    AA#7

    Blue Dot

    W296 (or H110)
     
  16. M40A1

    M40A1 Member

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    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Bullseye
    Clays
    Unique
    W231
    H110
     
  17. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Member

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    Location:
    missouri
    Bullseye
    Unique
    2400
    H-110
    231
     
  18. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    There's a handgun powder besides Unique?











    (serious handloaders with time to devote to optimum load development
    can ignore my last remark; less than serious devotees who handload
    know what I mean.)
     
  19. Vitamin G

    Vitamin G Member

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    I only have bullseye and bluedot for 40, 10mm, 45acp, and 44mag.
     
  20. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    i was a big fan of bullseye but lately i just feel i can do more with unique
     
  21. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    Wow, no votes for Tite-Group? If you haven't tried it, buy a pound and give it a whirl. I bet you'll love it as much as I do.

    Here are all the pistol powders I currently use:

    Tite-Group
    Blue Dot
    AA #7
    AA #9
    H110

    And really I could get by with just Tite-Group, AA #7 and H110.

    That covers: 7.62x25 Tok, 9mm, 38 spl, 357 Mag, 40 S&W, 10mm, 44 Special, 44 Magnum, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 454 Casull, and 50 AE.
     
  22. Falconeer

    Falconeer Member

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    I've been using Titegroup for 9mm, primarily because it makes reloading cheaper because it requires so little. As such, there's a greater responsibility to ensuring you don't get a double charge. 3.6grn of Titegroup with 125grn Precision Bullet coated lead makes for a pretty inexpensive round. Many people won't reload 9mm because it can be had so cheaply; I like reloading, and it's much easier to sneak the cost of components by the wife than big ammo purchases. :p

    For 357 Sig I use Power Pistol (8.3grn with 125grn Montana Gold FMJ). If I had to choose one powder, that would be it. Make a great 9mm load or 357 Sig load.

    And as a total aside, I use Varget for .308 Winchester and Red Dot for 12 gauge trap loads. My father would disown me if I used anything other than Red Dot. :p
     
  23. Hutch

    Hutch Member

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    In revolvers, you can do much w/ just Unique and H110. Unique is great in 45ACP as well, but to get really good results in 9mm, I'd choose something else. Like WW white box, or Blazers at Academy sports;). Have no experience in 10mm, .40, or .357 sig.
     
  24. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    Lil' Gun
    2400
    Unique
    231
    Bullseye
     
  25. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    My reloading has suffered because of things
    I would like to remind folks that
    - Winchester-Western
    - Winchester White Box
    - Winchester Wally World Bulk pack
    are three different grades of ammunition.
    Most of my reloading has been limited recently
    to Black Powder cartridge matches, so has any
    one listed Goex FFFg and PyrodexP?
     
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