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Favorite Powders and loads for 9mm, 38sp, 357mag, 45 colt (ruger only)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TennJed, Jul 9, 2011.

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  1. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    Curious to know what everyone's favorite powder and load is for each of these calibers (not one powder for all). What powder, primer, and bullet do you use and what load data.

    my style of shooting is: when I want to shoot my:
    autos = 9mm
    Mild recoil = 38sp
    medium recoil = 357mag
    heavy recoil = 45 colt (out of ruger blackhawk)

    For example if I have my son, wife, or new shooter i will pull out some 38sp for low power. If I want something with a lot of "bang and kick" I go for the 45 colt Ruger Blackhawk. If I want something in the middle I will shoot my 357s. So I tend to load all of each caliber the same way (all 38sp mild, 357 medium, 45 colt heavy).

    Of course accuracy is important in all of them. I am up for any suggestions as far as bullet weight and styles go although I much prefer lead cast for cost savings. 9mm 38 and 357 I have no preference in bullet weight. In 45 colt I am looking for heavy recoil so I guess a 250 or 300 gr lead SWC may be my best bet, but If someone has some suggestions in lower weights that would be great.

    And I know if I want recoil i should just get a 454 casull or 500, but I am not in a position to buy another gun right now.

    So any suggestions? thanks!
     
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Unique and Universal have always worked well for me in everything from 32 acp to 357.

    Load data can be found at Hodgdon and Alliant web sites
     
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    +1 for Unique.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Get some W231 and some Unique and you can do everything you want to do. There are many other options of course, but those are two proven powders that are easy to find good loads with, since you don't seem to want to try some things out for your self. Those two could keep you shooting in those calibers as long as you live.
     
  5. 918v

    918v Member

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    +1

    or Bullseye. I like it too.
     
  6. duck911

    duck911 Member

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    2400 for the .357. Start in the low side of the range and move up a bit till you've found what you're looking for. I shoot it under 158gr XTP's and love the load. My stepdaughter does, too!
     
  7. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    For .38 Special, Tite Group gives a VERY MILD recoil.
    3.5 grains with a 158 gr LRN from MBC almost feels like a .22 lr. in my S&W Model 10 with a 4" barrel.

    18 grains of Lil Gun in a .357 is more of a "Holy Dad Gum It!" load 158 gr LSW (again from MBC)

    And my 45 Colt load is pretty mild - 10.5 gr of AA5 with a 200 gr LRNFP (of course from MBC)
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    These are the powders I use for what you're asking about:

    9mm - Practice loads W231, working loads Longshot

    .38 Special mostly W231 (148gr DEWC 3.4gr W231 - 158gr LSWC 4.0gr W231)

    .357 Magnum medium recoil - HS-6

    .45 Colt heavy recoil - HS-6 or AA#5 (extra hot AA#7 or AA#9)
     
  9. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    For your mild to moderate W-231 should make a good powder.

    For the 357 and 45 I have had excellent results with IMR-4227. I bought a can a year and a half back, it was one of the few powders on the shelf. After throwing a lot of test loads down range, it became my powder of choice for heavy loads. I even bought a second can earlier this year. I have loaded 4227 in 32-20, 38 spl, 357 mag and 45 Colt.

    Red Dot and 800-X are also good for moderate to heavy loads. 800-X isn't the best for metering. My current house load is 9.0 gr. 800-X over a 255 Keith-style bullet.

    If you want one powder for all, consider Unique. I had good results in revolvers from .32-20 to .45 Colt. Never tried it in 9mm, and got decent results in 380 ACP.

    John Taffin's sixguns.com has some good info for heavy loads.
     
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Accurate Arms #7 for 9mm, AA#2 for 38 special. Curious, "Ruger only"?
     
  11. huntincowboy

    huntincowboy Member

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    For 45 Colt I have started using H110 in the Ruger only rounds and I love it. Burns clean and gives a lot of velocity to my 250 gr XTP's.
     
  12. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    9mm........Red Dot. Don't reload 9mm that much.

    .38sup.....Blue Dot, Unique, Red Dot.

    .357mag..2400, Blue Dot.

    .45Colt....2400, Red Dot.
     
  13. psyshack

    psyshack Member

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    I've been running alot of TiteGroup for 9mm using 124/147gr XTP's. Will only use 2400 or H-110's with the .357, Full house mags of course. .38spl TiteGroup or Herco. I've also been using Herco some for .45acp. Might want to check and see if there are any Herco loads that look good to you for the .45 Colt.
     
  14. S$W66

    S$W66 Member

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    Unique and W231 have worked well for me in 38spl. loads for years. 2400 makes for good shooting in 357. Plus 2400 works so good in my 44 mag.
     
  15. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Unique will do it all for the rounds you listed, but, what reloader only wants one powder? I've been using a lot of W231 lately in my .38 wad cutters, and 45 ACP.. Unique in my .357 and .44 Magnums, and True Blue and WC820 for my "boomers" in .44 mag. Availability is my major problem for powders (small town) and I HATE Hazmat fees!
     
  16. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    For 9mm I've been using a lot of Titegroup. I made a few hundred rounds of .38 Special 125Gr ammo with it too that shot REALLY well. After I ran out of those bullets though my manual didn't have any Titegroup load data for the 158gr SWC's I bought for that gun so I've been using Bullseye for those with pretty good results too. Running low on the Titegroup so I think I'm going to workup some Bullseye 9mm loads too, as it just seems to be a pretty good "go to" handgun powder.
     
  17. Overkilll0084

    Overkilll0084 Member

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    autos = 9mm= Bullseye &/or Unique
    Mild recoil = 38sp = Bullseye or Unique
    medium recoil = 357mag = Unique & possibly lower end 2400 loads.
    heavy recoil = 45 colt (out of ruger Blackhawk) Unique or 2400
    If Unique doesn't float your boat, check AA#5 or HS-6.
     
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