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Anyone use Unique powder very often?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Capstick1, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Capstick1

    Capstick1 Member

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    I've been reloading for years with various pistol powders like AA7, AA5, H110, Bluedot, 231, hp38, powerpistol, and 2400. For some reason I've never used Unique powder for anything until recently. So far I've used it for some low velocity 240gr cast bullet loads in my s&w mod 29 44 magnum and shooting them today was actually a very pleasant experience. All the other times I've shot my 44 magnums I can't remember ever calling it a pleasant experience. The full power, heavy recoiling, fire breathing 44 magnum loads can be pretty intimidating and difficult to master. Using Unique powder at more sensible velocities makes this round more controllable and atleast in my case more accurate. I've also started using this powder in my 45acp reloads as well. I have a bunch of berry's plated 185gr hbrn bullets that have been sitting around for a long time because I could never find any load data for them. I finally took a chance and made up 10 experimental rds using 6.2gr of Unique. When I shot these rounds through my Glock 41 today they shot and cycled perfectly. I'm probably going to stick with this load. Unique also seems to work well with some other bullets in the 45acp as well as the 45 long colt. I'm amazed at how versatile this powder is and wish I'd used it a long time ago. I think sometime in the future I'm probably going to also use it for some low velocity cast bullet loads in my 416 rigby. I can't seem to find any cast bullet loading info about it. Has anyone here ever used Unique powder for some 416 rigby loads before?
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I use a lot of Unique. I could do all of my handgun loading with it and be happy.
     
  3. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I used Unique for years in 38 spl, 44 spl and 45 acp. I never cared for how sooty it burned and how it didn't meter well, but it did work.
    For the before mentioned cartridges I used more Bullseye and W-231, and less and less Unique.
    I began to miss the slower burning Unique and started looking for a alternative, so I tried Accurate #5 which worked very well and I still use it.
    VV n-340, WSF, BE-86 and HS-6 are some other good powders, I was not to impressed with HS-6 in some applications until I heard Archangel CD's recommendation of using a magnum primer with it.
     
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  4. RikSors

    RikSors Member

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    Because it’s the Varget of pistol rounds. Availability, versatility and Consistency.
     
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  5. Col. Harrumph

    Col. Harrumph Member

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    For anything from .32 to .45 that's not magnumized, Unique and Bullseye will, between them, answer anyone's needs.
     
  6. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I do (Unique) And love it! It’s so universal in its application!
    Of course I like Universal too. I still working my way through 8 pounds of that I bought during the last crunch and couldn’t find Unique.
    And RD, BE, HP38, WSF, AA5—— and a few more are all excellent powders on my shelf.
    But Unique is my favorite in my revolvers! It will push boolits in 38 spc at 600 or .44 mag at 1300.
     
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  7. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    8 grns under a 240 cast boolit in a 44 mag, is accurate and a load you can shoot all afternoon.
     
  8. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I've used Unique for standard to warm loads for 38, 357, 44 Spl, 44 Mag, and 45 ACP for about 40 years.
     
  9. drband

    drband Member

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    7.5gr and 240gr LSWC in .44magnum is a great shooting Unique load. I have not tried it in other calibers.
     
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  10. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Yep! Use a ton of it for 44 Special & 44 Mag. Even worked up some nice loads for my 40 S&W.
     
  11. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I just recently started using Unique, in 44 and 41 magnums. I like it. I'll be trying it in 357 and 45acp soon enough.

    I've been running it towards the upper end of the chart, which is still very mild for magnums, but much cleaner than similar velocities with 2400. "Clean" is relative, I suppose.
     
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  12. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Unique is the go to powder for almost any cartridge. About 10 grains behind a 170 grain cast bullet in 30-30
    makes for a fun shoot. In 45 Colt the standard load is 8 grains with a Lyman 45410
    cast bullet.
     
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  13. George P

    George P Member

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    It also works great for 20 gauge shotgun loads
     
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  14. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    Unique is the standard for medium loads in 41 mag under lead bullets. And a great selection for other revolver cartridges. And terrific in a variety of autoloader cartridges...

    Don't assume that others' mention of "bad metering" is real in your gear, nor that minor variations in charge weights lead to bad performance at the range. My Dillon powder feeders keep charge weights within +/- 0.15 grains of target, and even with these variations performance (variations in muzzle speed and in accuracy) isn't affected.

    Try it in lots of applications...I think you'll like it!
     
  15. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I do not..... Do not like the way it meters, switched to WSF.
     
  16. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    For many years Unique was the only can of handgun powder I had on the bench. Everything from .380 and 9mm, through .45ACP, to .41MAG and .45 Colt heavy loads. Many of my standard velocity recipes are with Unique.

    It does like to be loaded a bit heavy for cleaner burning, but that's with a lot of slower powders. I've never subscribed to the notion that it's a dirty powder... it's no more dirty than any other powder when NOT loaded within it's efficiency 'window.'

    In a seasoned powder measure it will measure well... well enough, anyway. Like any flake powder, it is not the hot setup in a powder drop with a lot of static.

    In my early days of reloading, I did a lot of load experiments with Unique in the .41 Magnum, up to and over (well over) the published maximums... in all that time, Unique never bit me. I consider Unique a very forgiving powder... it doesn't seem to ramp up in pressure like some others, particularly the fast burners.

    With the newer powders out there may be an argument on leaving Unique behind for one of them, but what I have found is there isn't any one new powder, including BE-86, that will completely replace Unique across the board... it takes two different powders. I have 11# of Unique on the bench, although I'm experimenting with some of the new powders, I'm not seeing anything that's going to make me want to fertilize the yard with my stash of Unique juuuuuust yet.
     
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  17. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I use it more than any other pistol powder.
    In fact, I could get by with just 2 powders, Unique and 2400.

    Unique is great for light magnum loads in the .44 mag. I load 10 grains with a 245 grain Lyman 429421 bullet. Recoil is manageable and it's a great plinking load. Heck, at over 1k fps, it would probably make a good whitetail load as well.
    I also use 8.5 grains and a 255 grain bullet in .45 Colt. It nearly duplicates the velocity of the original BP load.

    It will load the majority of pistol rounds adequately and most of them quite well.
    As you mentioned it's also good for cast bullet loads in rifles.
    And of course, it is a very popular powder with shotgun reloaders too.
     
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  18. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Like Arkansas Paul, I use more Unique than any other pistol powder. It sits between Trail Boss and 2400.
     
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  19. derek45

    derek45 Member

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    10gr unigue over a 240-255 keith in 44 mag is a classic

    recently, I been using 9gr universal instead

    it seems to work as well, chronys the same, but meters better and is much cleaner
     
  20. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    Been using Unique for 45 years. I have a Unique load for every pistol/revolver I own. If I were allowed to only have one powder it would be Unique.
     
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  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Unique is an outstanding powder. It has been that way since 1899, it is the third smokeless powder introduced by Laflin and Rand, Bullseye was the first, one year earlier. Unique has outlasted so many competitiors because it provides outstanding results in some many pistol calibers, at wide velocity spreads. I tried one competitor, that is Universal, in 44 Special and 45 ACP and was not impressed. My on target results were decidedly inferior in accuacy at the same velocity as Unique. There have been other competitors, such a AA#5, which work well in niches, but overall, Unique is better over more cartridges and wider velocity ranges.

    I use Unique primarily in 44 Special and 45 LC, but have tried it in 32 S&W Long, 9mm, 38 Special, 357 Mag, 44 Special, 44 Magnum, 45 ACP. It works well in all of them. I use more Bullseye in 32 S&W Long, 38 Special, and 45 ACP, but if I run out of Bullseye, I would not hesitate to use Unique.

    Some favorite 44 Special loads, 240 grain Lead 6.5 grains Unique. This is about 850 fps. With a 240 L and 7.5 grains Unique, I am just at 1000 fps. These are plenty powerful and are very accurate.

    When I can shoot groups like this, offhand, Bullseye style, at 50 yards, I will post them and brag about them

    okgU2U3.jpg

    But until then, this will have to suffice:

    yrNep9r.jpg

    I have shot tens of thousands of rounds of 45 LC with 250/255 and 8.5 grains Unique. The round goes about 850 to 900 fps and is a well rounded self defense load.

    A 240 grain lead with 8.5 grains Unique in a 44 Magnum case gave me just at 1000 fps in a 44 Magnum 5" barreled M629. It was accurate and powerful.

    It used to be a 230 LRN and 6.5 Unique was a staple in the 45 ACP. My tests gave 827 fps with 5.5 grains Unique in a 1911 and 926 fps with 6.5 grains Unique. Unique would be a great powder for those with sub machine guns because the longer pressure curve duration results in strong ejection. I think that would be a benefit for a blow back mechanism with a heavy breech bolt.

    It is not every day that I get to tear apart a full auto Thompson and see the Blish effect locking mechanism:

    zUH6HT3.jpg

    R4SNA3l.jpg

    ZOwaGPA.jpg

    CDSAALL.jpg


    Or in cold weather. The 6.5 grs Unique load resulted in 10 to 20 foot ejection distances in my 1911's, and I prefer loads that drop the cases at my feet. However, in the field, function reliability is more important than collecting your cases!
     
  22. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    And 28 gauge loads.
     
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  23. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Pretty much so.
     
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  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have used Unique continuously since I got into reloading in 1980. I have Unique loads developed for just about every handgun cartridge that I load from 380 ACP to 460 S&W Magnum. Currently, I use Unique in 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 45 Colt and light 460 Magnum loads. Unique is a back up powder for just about every other handgun cartridge that I load.

    When I was shooting alot of competitive skeet, I used Unique for my 20 and 28 gauge ammunition. I do not shoot much skeet these days but am still working on the target ammunition that I loaded with Unique.
     
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  25. 375supermag

    375supermag Member

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    Hi...
    I have been using Unique in handgun reloading for 35+ years. I have loaded thousands of rounds of big bore revolver cartridges with it.
    I use it in .41Mag, .44Spl, .44Mag and .45Colt with commercial cast LSWC and sometimes with Hornady HP/XTPs.
    I do not consider it terribly dirty nor difficult to meter. I use it with a Little Dandy powder measure and can usually find a rotor that will drop very close to exactly the charge I want. When I can't I just trickle in the last bit of powder.

    I may have tried it in .357Mag but can't remember. I settled on Blue Dot for my bulk general purpose/plinking loads in that caliber decades ago and am not inclined to change now.

    I have not yet tried it in my LnLs because I reload my big bore revolver cartridges on a RockChucker.
     
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