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Most Versatile Powder For .357 Mag

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Godsgunman, Apr 19, 2013.

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  1. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    I am interested in your opinions on which powder you can get the most "bang" for you buck for .357 loads. Basically which powder gives you the best range from low recoil to full house loads and which is the easiest to work with? Currently I am using Unique since I am newer to reloading and I got it for $10 a pound from a buddy. The loads I have worked up so far have performed well so far but Unique can't really give me the full power stuff. So which is the most versatile powder I should look into?
     
  2. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    My vote is for Accurate Arms AA#9 using Accurate Arms data.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Unique.

    A slower powder like 2400 or H-110 is necessary to get maximum velocity.

    But it won't work worth a darn for reduced loads.

    Just glancing at a Lyman #49 manual.
    With a 158 grain bullet & max loads.
    Unique = 1,185 FPS.
    2400 = 1,279 FPS.
    H-110 = 1,309 FPS.

    SO you can get 124 FPS more velocity with H-110. WooHoo!!
    But you can't use it for reduced loads.

    rc
     
  4. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    Most versatile for me with full power loads has been 2400, but I prefer light loads with unique. You can generally get a little more velocity with h110, but you'll lose versatility.
     
  5. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Don't limit yourself to one powder, Unique is good for light loads and 2400, Accurate #9 or H-110 are good for heavy loads. Get yourself a reloading manual, and see for yourself.
     
  6. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Agree with rc, Unique. Covers an awful lot of the middle ground for .357 Magnum loads.

    Don
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Since we all know every time you try to make 1 powder do everything in a cartridge all the loads suffer I use 2 different powders for my .357 Magnum ammo. For full house loads I use W296/H110 and for everything else in .357 Magnum I use W540/HS-6. I use HS-6 for several other applications too. (.38 Special +P, 45 Colt...)

    Sorry I can't answer your question directly but 1 powder can't do what you want.
     
  8. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Another vote for aa#9
     
  9. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I like Herco and AA#7.
    But when I want economical and accurate target loads (still "magnums", not .38 specials) I use Promo. 4.5 grains of Promo or Red Dot with a cast 148 grain wadcutter is a fun load and really cheap to shoot
     
  10. colonelhogan44

    colonelhogan44 Member

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    The more powders, the merrier! I use red dot, green dot, blue dot, 2400, h110 and lil' gun in my 38/357 loads, depending on what I want.

    Yesterday I loaded 150 rounds with 158 grain cast and 10.3 grains of Blue Dot, which is a great upper-mid-range load.
     
  11. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    Unique, works well from 38 special loads to nearly 85% max velocity Magnum loads. It is also relatively efficient too. Takes nearly twice as much 2400 powder to beat a 158gr Unique load.
    Haven't tried #9, but it requires more powder too.
     
  12. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    This is an oxymoron. If it's only versatile for full power loads, it's not versatile. It is LIMITED to full power loads.

    This. I don't shoot .357, but I do shoot A LOT of .45 Colt in a Ruger Blackhawk. I use Unique for standard stuff and 2400 for heavy loads. Don't limit yourself unnecessarily.
     
  13. colonelhogan44

    colonelhogan44 Member

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    Maybe he's saying 2400 is the most versatile for a large range of full power loads -- ie 110 grain to 180 grain bullet weights.

    Regardless, it's one of the best powders...especially for cast. It gives a slow push vs a faster pulse of the unique type powders, which is good for accuracy.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Really low recoil will take a fast powder.

    Medium to 85% or a bit more is Unique range.

    Versatility at the high end is 2400.

    Max loads only are H110/W296 territory.

    N340 will do much of what Unique will do.

    True Blue is very versatile here as well.

    Universal Clays is pretty good.

    W231 has a fairly wide range in .357.
     
  15. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    It's not feasible to attain all levels of performance wiht jsut one powder for .357 mag.. You'll need at least two different powders for that, Longshot, & HS6 will work well for your low end to average loads, while 2400, H110 / 296 are probably the most common ones used for full house loads.

    Wouldn't life be so much simpler if there were just one powder that would cover all our loading needs though.

    GS
     
  16. Clark

    Clark Member

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    Unique will give the widest or close to the widest range of accurate loads.

    H110/W296 will make the high velocity loads.
     
  17. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Add me as another vote for Unique as most versatile not just for the full range of 357 magnum but for handgun loading in general. There are very few handgun cartridges that Unique can't be successfully used in to produce some sort of functional load.
     
  18. Crashbox
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    Crashbox Member

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    I've always considered 2400 as being the most versatile powder for the .357 Magnum, as the min/max loads in Lyman's 49th have a pretty wide spread (13.0 to 17.7 grains for 125 JHP's). Unique, on the other hand, is without a doubt the most versatile handgun powder cartridge-wise. However, I myself prefer its slower brother, Herco.
     
  19. MikeS.

    MikeS. Member

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    I like BE for light .357 and 2400 for everything else.
     
  20. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    ^^^ This. A medium rate powder like Unique is "OK" for a wide range but if you're gonna run with the 158gr Big Dogs H-110 or 2400 is the way to go.

    I use Bullseye or Green Dot for my light target loads.
     
  21. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    I use W231 for very light to almost full power loads. And H110 for full power loads. You need more than one to run the full range.


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  22. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    Thanks everyone for the insight. Sounds like Unique is what I'll stick with since I am happy with the loads I've already worked up and it still gives me plenty of power.
     
  23. geo57

    geo57 Member

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    While Unique does make for a very versatile powder in .357 mag ( and I do use it for loads at about 1000 FPS with 158 JHP ) it isn't true that 2400 " won't work worth a darn " for somewhat reduced loads nor is it true that it's only good for full power loads. 13.5 grs. of 2400 works nicely under a bulk 158 gr. JHP and does so @ about 90 % of max. ( 14.8 per Alliant ). It burns cleanly and with little to no evidence of unburnt powder granules on my revolver or in spent cases, is accurate and very manageable in DA mode. This load clocks about 1150 FPS from my 4 " GP100 and while I have no equipment to test PSI I'd wager that the pressure would be substantailly higher to get a load using Unique to attain this velocity and that is if your newer manuals even publish that stout a load with Unique. ( Yes, I understand that Lyman does or used to ). Alliant tops out @ 7.7 @ 1040 FPS with Unique and 158 gr. jacketed and I believe Speer does too now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  24. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I like HS6 for a middle of the road powder for my magnums, about in between W231 and W296.
     
  25. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    For me its AA#2 for wadcutter loads on up to mid range. Then its time for 2400.
     
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