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Ball Powder Replacement for Unique?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by spencerhut, Jul 16, 2007.

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  1. spencerhut

    spencerhut Member

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    My current powder of choice for light lead loads in 9mm, .38 Super, 40S&W and .45ACP is Unique. Here again I'd like to know if there is an equivalent ball powder to make loading in my progressive powder measure more precise. Right now I'm getting up to a .3g variation with Unique. Power Pistol and HS6 are usually dead on whatever I set the measure to.

    I am using a RCBS Pro2000 if it matters.

    What BALL powder would you replace Unique with?

    The lead bullets I use with Unique:
    9mm 120g Lead
    .38 120g Lead
    .40 170g Lead
    .45 200g Lead
     
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    Zip, Silhouette, True Blue
     
  3. byf43

    byf43 Member

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    .38 and .40. . . I have NO idea!


    .45 200g LSWC, I use with GREAT results:


    5.7 gr. of Winchester 231.
    Incredible accuracy from my Gold Cup NM out to 50+ yds.

    908 fps. from my pistol.

    IHTH.
     
  4. specwar451

    specwar451 Member

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    Winchester 231, any of the Accurate pistol powders
     
  5. spencerhut

    spencerhut Member

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    Funny, this is the direction I was heading in.

    Okay, couple of votes for 231

    Which AA / Ramshot would be the closest equivalent to Unique?

    Is this just a preference thing or is one really better than the other?
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have loaded all manner of .38, 9mm, and .45 with Win 231 (and HP38 off the same production line.) I don't own a .40, but moderate loads with cast bullets should do as well.

    AA #5 has been promoted as the Ball process equivalent of Unique. It has also been said to have blown up more Glock .40s than any other powder.

    Were it me, I'd load .45 with 231 and get some WSF for the other, higher pressure, calibers. This one powder for all guns dodge sounds convenient but gives up some flexibility.
     
  7. jfh

    jfh Member

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    when I loaded .40 S&W some ten years ago,

    I was using 231 exactly as Jim Watson describes.

    I'll look for some of those .40 loads and see what the recipe was.

    Jim--if you look at the Handloads.com / handguns forums or the S&W reloading forum, you'll see I have a topic running on using 231 (and titegroup)in .38 / .357 loads with light bullets for a practice ammo in my 640 / 340 j-frames.

    Any observations you can add would be fine--I've found little data for cast bullets at 110gr in either cartridge, specifically with 231. (I have lots on hand from my 1911 production days.)

    Jim H.
     
  8. spencerhut

    spencerhut Member

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    AA#5 Blows up Glocks?

    Where does this statement come from? Is the powder really to blame? :confused: Why would AA#5 be any more or less likely to grenade a pistol?
     
  9. fecmech

    fecmech Member

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    WSF
     
  10. cherryriver

    cherryriver Member

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    WSF

    I like WSF a lot; it's given me the most consistent velocities I've ever had, used in 147gr 9mm loads. But Winchester's not giving any data for .38 and .357 that I can see, so I'm not sure it'd be good for that.
    Since I'm still searching for the perfect full-power 158gr .38 load powder, if WSF could be used, I'd sure try it.
    Meanwhile, VV320 has done great for .38 like that, high velocities and exceptionally clean in the gun. .357 doesn't care for it, though, with fast-rising pressures that are hard to keep track of.
    WSF seems to be more for small-capacity cases, just looking at the available data tables.
    Bill
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Hey, man, I got it off the internet. Doesn't that make it right?

    And if you read the AA and Laser Cast manuals they will scare you to death about "unsupported" .40 chambers which everybody knows means Glocks.
     
  12. rdhood

    rdhood Member

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    I've been using 4.3gr of W231 for my .40 S&W with Ranier/Berry plated 180gr RNFP bullets in a 5" barrel. With W231, I think the range is 4.2gr to 5.x? gr. You can also google "IPSC .40 S&W" to get various recipes that others have used. I believe that W231 (&HP38) will work for all of OP's calibers.
     
  13. spencerhut

    spencerhut Member

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    AA#5 Blows up Glocks?

    Where does this statement come from? Is the powder really to blame? :confused: Why would AA#5 be any more or less likely to grenade a pistol?
     
  14. strat81

    strat81 Member

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    Titegroup.
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I gave AA#5 a try in 45LC and it shot great. Should work equally as well in a 45 ACP. Accurate Arms use to recommend it for the 45 ACP. It is a ball powder. Unlike 231. I thought titegroup was a flake powder.

    You will find that .3 grain variation in throwing pistol loads to be inconsequential on target. Unless you are loading maximum loads, which a case, primer, or bullet change will blow a primer. And that is why I don't like maximum loads.
     
  16. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    W231/HP38

    Same powder under different labels, buy whichever is cheaper at your favorite toy store.
     
  17. the pistolero

    the pistolero Member

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    Those with more knowledge and experience please feel free to correct me if I am wrong here, but I would think Accurate No. 9 would produce pressures a bit too high for .45acp, no? No. 5 and No. 7 should be pretty good, from what I can tell.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It does shoot great in the .45

    #9 is to slow for the .45. Accurate does not even show loads with it.

    I just tried some WSF in the 9MM with 115 Gr. bullets and it is great stuff for that. As good or better than #5 that I was using. I have not tried it in the .45 yet, but it should do very well.
     
  19. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    AA#2 is the fastest, #9 is a LOT slower. This would be a good place to refer to a burn rate chart. Hodgden has a pretty good one at their site. There's also one at Benchrest Central or Centerfire Central.
     
  20. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    Gold Bond Medicated is an excellent ball powder.
     
  21. tbtrout

    tbtrout Member

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    Win 231
     
  22. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    AA5.jpg

    Titegroup.jpg

    You're correct on both counts! :)
     
  23. CMcDermott

    CMcDermott Member

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    Unique burns well in a wide range of pressures (8,000 psi shotgun loads to 35,000 psi loads for 9mm, 40 S&W and magnum cartridges), no ball powder has this capability. W231/HP38 comes closest and you will be able to find loads for all of the cartridge/bullets that you listed but you may give up some performance.
     
  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Actually not.
    Win 231 and Titegroup are Ball powders. They have just been rolled flat to change the geometry and get the burning rate wanted. But the manufacturing process is Olin-Winchester Ball Powder.
     
  25. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    Thank you for the correction, Jim.
     
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