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Pistol powder choices

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Charlie Martinez, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Longshot will definitely get you higher peak velocities, but it will also get you more recoil for the same velocity.

    [​IMG]

    I believe this graph is from a 9mm test, but the same tendencies are likely to show up in 40, which operates in similar pressure and velocity windows to 9mm. The green line is Longshot. The red line is 231. The horizontal axis is velocity, and the vertical axis is mechanically-measured recoil. LS's no bad, but eyeballing the graph, there's some difference. This may not matter to you in some or all applications.
     
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  2. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    I'm a collector. I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 pistol powders. I've probably loaded a couple dozen of them in the .45 ACP. However when it comes right down to it I use WST or Ramshot Competition for .45 ACP target loads and Blue Dot for defensive loads.

    I'm still looking for some Sport Pistol to try out. I haven't used any of the VV powders yet, I'm just too tight to pay the price. I'd also like to try some more Vectan powders and some of the Shooter's World powders.
     
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  3. glc24
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    glc24 Contributing Member

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    Looks like you won't go wrong with any of these powders. For me, if there is any difference I don't believe it will be all that much. I've shot +P out of my G23. So the increase with LS I believe, will still be very manageable with a nice boost.:)
     
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  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have played with some a little bit lately and it is worth a try.
     
  5. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    For me, holes on target comes first and how dirty powder burns distant second.

    Having said that, depending on lube used on lead bullet, W231/HP-38 could produce gummy deposit in the workings of my pistols after many rounds that required more effort to clean. With "cleaner" burning powders, there's light "dusting" of powder burn residue on workings of pistols that is easier to clean.
    You may not have to.

    Many match shooters who shoot match pistols with tighter tolerances (which are more sensitive to how "dirty" powders burn and deposit they leave behind) consider N320 to be "clean burning" but more shooters now consider Sport Pistol replacement for N320 that burns cleaner at lower cost.

    This pdf shows very low expelled residue in mg/round (clean burning) and Sport Pistol exhibiting very close ballistics to N320 along with low temperature sensitivity (14 fps spread from 0F to 125F) - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...-performance-info-for-shot-011017-pdf.235432/
     
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  6. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    I appreciate the responses from all. Thank you. I agree with everybody. I didn't know my powder was "dirty" until this guy (who is definitely more knowledgeable than me) mentioned it. I always (well. almost always) clean my guns after I shoot and as far I've never experienced a malfunction with my 1911's that could attributed to gunk accumulation from powder residue. Any malfunctions Ive had were corrected by changing the recoil spring to match the powder charge or changing a worn magazine. I think I'll go ahead and buy another batch of W231 or HP38 and keep on trucking as usual.
     
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  7. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    HP38/W231 is my go to powder for mild .45 loads.
    Never noticed it being "dirty" of course I clean my guns after every range trip.
    N320 is nice but pricy, AA#2 works good also.
    Just tried some Sport pistol and W244 and they show promise.
    If you want to let you .45 be all it can be CFE-P works well for the Full power stuff.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If you're a fan of W231 give W244 a try instead. I have a feeling you will be pleasantly surprised.
     
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  9. CrankyCraig

    CrankyCraig Member

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    love W231 In 38special behind a 158gr SWC it was the first powder I bought and used.

    I love it equally in 45 auto! Sometimes on the lower charges it can be a little dirty but in my personal limited experience Bullseye & Unique are much dirtier in 45auto

    I’ve been trying Alliants Sport Pistol in 45 auto with RMR 230grain FMJ @ 5.2 grains COL 1.260 and its Very promising.

    A friend I go to the range with has been using WST in 45 & 40. And it seemed to perform well. I’ve not tried win244.

    But at the end of the day if your load in your gun is driving tacks who cares what the other guy thinks ?

    When I go to the range I easily run 2-3 hundred rounds at a time & have yet to see anything to make me say wow look how clean my pistol is when I strip it. As long as I’m not having in burnt flakes landing on my arm I’m happy & if I’m slaying the bullseye I could live with that too

    Maybe if finances permit grab a pound of a few different powders and see how it goes. Not much help I guess lol.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    When Titegroup came out the advertises touted how much less residue was projected from the pistol vs other powders. They put out paper or something in front of the firing line and measured the "ejecta" I think they called it.

    That PDF shows Sport Pistol cleaner burning than Titegroup. I just did a couple of small tests with N320 vs Sport Pistol and they behave similarly. It's good stuff. We have had very positive feedback on W-244 here and I picked up a pound at the last gun show. I need to load some up and try it along with the N320 and Sport Pistol.

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/sport-pistol-and-9mm.840966/

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/sport-pistol-and-40-s-w.840875/

    Sometimes I try something new and it's...meh, and it gets put aside. Not so with Sport Pistol, it's a good one worth trying when you are looking for something to try or if a new powder might shoot better than whatever you use now.

    WST is another I like, have for some time, especially good for light loads in big cases, and light loads in general.
     
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  11. k4swb

    k4swb Member

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    I agree. I'm just starting to load with W244 and so far results are good.
    I was looking for something that would be satisfactory for .44mag, .45ACP and 9mm plinking and fun loads. So far W244 is passing my expectations on accuracy and cleanliness. I'm not going to chronograph it since I don't need that data.
     
  12. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    Thanks again everyone. Now that it was mentioned, I believe W244 sounds like the powder my range friend suggested. If the price is right I'll give it a try. As far as accuracy, W231 provides excellent results. But if its reasonably priced trying a new powder will be fun.
     
  13. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    My father, grandfather, uncles, shooting coaches, and most especially, a big master sergeant with size 12 boots taught me to thoroughly clean my gun every time it's fired. Clean or dirty powder is irrelavent to me.
    "Take care of your weapon and your weapon will take care of you."
     
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  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I can't count the number of times I hear that "I clean my guns" argument. I reject that argument because when you are shooting a match and the soot or dirt buggers up the gun to the point it fails, cleaning your gun will come sooner than later since you will have no chance of a competitive time because of the failure. Dirty ammo is anything but irrelevant. Part of taking care of your weapon so it can take care of you is feeding it ammo that won't cause a failure.
     
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  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have loaded mostly W231/HP38 for non-magnums ever since CH recommended it for their Autochamp progressive in 1978.
    I have occasionally used others based on price, availability, and curiosity.
    The first two are obvious, the third has not paid off very often.
    I no longer have the use of a Ransom Rest and I lack the sensitivity to tell a difference in recoil by the brand of powder.* So if it makes power factor consistently, I am content.

    I did change to Bullseye for .45 Minor, it is less erratic than HP38 or others in the 600 fps range. And as my FLG said, while it is said to be "dirty" the residue is light and sooty, not gritty like underloaded Ball powder.

    The only thing I have ever had to coke up a gun to the point of malfunction was HS6 in below maximum 9mm loads. It was very effective in heavy loads for NATO or near +P performance, though.

    *I can tell a difference in FELT recoil of different weight bullets, especially in 9mm.
     
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  16. entropy

    entropy Member

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    When that is possible, I agree. But I still choose my powders on the factors of proven performance, intended application, and yes, price. If a dirty powder is the best option, I use it. YMMV.

    As cheygriz alluded to, sometimes you don't get to choose the ammo. The powders used in M193 and M855 ammo for instance, are very dirty, and issue rifles collect it in places that cause malfunctions if it isn't attended to. Relying on 'clean powder' (They are all dirty, just some more than others) to alleviate you of your obligation to the weapon is fine if you are shooting a match, service or civilian. Worst case scenario, you lose the match. I usually at least pulled the carrier, wiped it and the bolt down, and inspected and scraped the bolt if needed between legs of a match, and also after firing in the field. Cheap insurance in my book. There may be sometime where doing so may mean the difference between life and death. Ask anyone who was issued an early M16 (before the A1). They became quick believers in a quick field strip cleaning.
     
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  17. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    OP posted "pistol" powders.
    And OP is running lighter target loads such as this
    While W231 was "great" for OP, when an experienced bullseye shooter commented it was a dirty powder, OP asked for recommendations of other powders to try
    I consider faster burning than W231/HP-38/Sport Pistol to be fast pistol powders. For lighter target loads operating at lower pressures and velocities, fast powders will burn more efficiently than slow powders to reduce soot and produce greater accuracy.

    Since OP liked W231 but wanted cleaner powder, I suggested Sport Pistol which has comparable burn rate but is cleaner burning.

    Shooting Times did a Bullseye Match Load article and recommended VihtaVuori N310/N320, Alliant Bullseye, Hodgdon 700-X/Clays/Titegroup and Winchester Super Target (WST)/W231(same as HP-38) - https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/loads-for-the-bullseye-shooter/99418

    As I already posted, I am in the camp of "Holes on Target" matter more than how dirty a powder burns but it is nice to have powder that could produce accurate target loads and burn cleaner at the same time.
     
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  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Which is why I suggested W244 in post #33. Both are good alternatives.
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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  20. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    And I reject that argument. Every time I hear it, it's used as an excuse for refusing to properly maintain your weapons.
     
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  21. k4swb

    k4swb Member

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    I love the cleaner burning powders, not so I don't have to clean them as often but so when I do clean them they are a lot easier to clean. Cleaning supplies aren't really cheap and the less of them I need to use, the better.

    Not less often for me but less supplies used after each shooting.

    Powder A shoots as well as powder B and costs the same but powder A is cleaner burning, it just makes sense to me to use powder A.

    I was using WSL before there was any data for handguns. Yes, WSL (Winchester Super Lite) used to be right there from Winchester along with WST and WSF and in my opinion it was a better handgun powder than either.
    I used a lot of it because it worked and shot extremely clean, just like WST.

    I'm hoping W244 is as clean burning as the WS? powders and so far it has proven to be so for me.
     
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  22. 10

    10 Member

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    I like WSF in .40 and WST in 45 auto. They both work great with lead. BE86 for 9mm.
    I haven't opened up the Sport Pistol or W244 I have yet. They look very promising sitting in the middle of things. CFE P is great in target 10mm loads. I still have W231 but mainly use it in 45 Auto full power so it burns cleaner. I can stop the soot but not the grit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Where did you ever see me say anyone should not properly maintain their guns??? I also clean my guns completely every single time I use them. I was making the case for cleaner powders being a good idea for when you are competing, not after the match is over. Wake up and open your mind a bit instead of accusing me of saying something I did not say!
     
  24. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    Not directed at you in particular.

    I guess that in my lifetime I have heard this, and every imaginable argument used to justify not maintaining weapons that I get hyper-sensitive about it.

    I apologize if my wording made you think it was directed at you, or any other individual.

    It was intended as a "general case" comment.
     
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  25. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    for .38 .357. .45acp.. and .44Mag, I like Bullseye or Win 231, for light cast bullet loads, BuleDot for median loads and Win 296 for magnum loads, works for me. hdbker
     
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