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Universal Clays?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by something vague, Feb 21, 2009.

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  1. something vague

    something vague Member

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    I am thinking about switching to a new pistol powder for my 9mm, 38spl. and light .357mag loads as my container of Unique is just about empty. Unique was ok and could create some very accurate loads in my guns but was not too impressed by the cleanliness of the powder. I also had trouble with the flakes metering through my powder measure with extreme consistancy. It was always + or - 0.2 grains it seem liked and I could actually feel the inconsistancy in my plinking rounds as I went through a clip.

    Anyways I have heard some pretty good things about Universal as far as being clean. Can anyone with experience with this powder tell me anything about it? I actually wanted to get some Power Pistol but my local shop doesn't carry it. Other suggestions are welcome as well.
     
  2. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    My shooting buddy, who I've just gotten hooked on reloading, has standardized on Universal Clays for all of his handgun rounds. He loads for .380 Auto, 9mm Luger, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .40 S&W. Universal Clays is not the "perfect powder" for any of them but works darn well in all, giving satisfying velocities and a clean burn. Plus it meters real well through the Lee Pro Auto Disk.
     
  3. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    I've been using Universal for .38 Special (mild 148 LWC to moderate 158 gr SWCs), 9mm, and .45ACP. Have not tried .357 Magnum - I've been using Titegroup for that lately. I like Universal. It shoots clean out of my 9mm, leaves some unconsumed powder in my .45 (I've been told I need to bump my load up a little and that should helo), and also in the ultra mile 148 .38s, but does better as I get into the 158s.

    FUnny...I was thinking of trying Unique next, or Win231.

    Q
     
  4. something vague

    something vague Member

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    Thanks for the fast responses. Quoheleth, if I was you I would def go with Win231 if you feel the need to change. My buddy uses this and I have used his setup to make some 9mm. I was very impressed with the metering capabilities of W231. It seems like it would also be a very economical powder as the burn rate seems to be a bit faster than that of Unique. But I can't hate on Unique completely, it gave me many very accurate loadings in all my guns but is just a little harder to work with. Maybe a nicer powder measure would meter it better but mine sucked at it. I'm still using a Lee cheap powder measure which works well with other powders, ball especially.
     
  5. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I use Universal for .380, 9mm, 9mm Largo, .40, and .45 with good results. I had unburned powder in 45 but was able to fix that by using a slightly heavier crimp (Lee factory crimp die). I double checked to make sure that I wasn't over crimping since I use Berry's or Rainier's bullets. Universal isn't the best for all the different calibers but works good for training/practice ammo. It meters +0.1 grain in my Lee Auto disk.
     
  6. deacon8

    deacon8 Member

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    I have never tryed Universal Clays. I have used Unique A LOT though. And while I find it to be incredibly accurate, I do agree that it is incredibly dirty. And to think that it used to be a lot worse before they "improved" it! I do really like it though.

    Just a side note--I have never found Unique to be too inconsistent in metering...maybe it's just my setup?
     
  7. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I've loaded some 135 gr Berry's in 40 S&W, with 6.4 grains of Universal. Its a great load, accurate, clean, they clock about 1150 fps. This is my first batch with Universal and I like it. I did 250 rounds.
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    I use Universal for 32 SWL, 9mm, 38, 357, 45, 20 gauge and 28 gauge - works well
     
  9. something vague

    something vague Member

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    deacon8,
    What do you have for powder metering equipment. I am actually contemplating on getting a new powder dispenser but there are so many options out there. I would like it to be reasonably priced but one that can accurately meter out 2 to 3 grains.
     
  10. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    Universal Clays is my one and only handgun powder. I load .45 acp, .44 mag .40 S&W, .357 mag, .38 special and will also use it on 9mm as soon as my dies come in.

    I find it a very good powder and it does flow very consistantly through the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure.
     
  11. dwave

    dwave Member

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    I like Universal for my handgun rounds except for my .45 Colt. My .45 Colt loves Unique.
     
  12. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Odd, because the .45LC is what made me hate Unique so much. Godawful mess.

    Universal Clays is the modern version of Unique. I use it or AA#5 in just about everything handgun. I suspect AA#5 and WW-231 are pretty similar.
     
  13. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

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    I've gotten some good loads using Universal in .32ACP, .38Spcl, .357Mag, & .45ACP. It seems to do better with lead bullets rather than jacketed ones - with 158gr LSWCs in .38 & .357 in my 4" Ruger Security Six it cuts some incredible groups.
    I can also give a thumbs up to AA#5 for all those calibers too in lead, plated, or jacketed bullets.
     
  14. Hatchet1961

    Hatchet1961 Member

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    Hodgdon: Clays, Universal Clay, HP-38

    Remember that there are several variations of Hodgdon's Clays Powder.

    Clays: Is the cleanest burning , most consistent. The superb burning characteristics of this powder produce soft, smooth recoil. These features transfer directly to handgun applications where target shooting is the main goal. 45 ACP and 38 Special are only two of the cartridges where CLAYS gunpowder provides "tack driving" target accuracy with flawless functioning.

    Universal Clays: Handles the broadest spectrum of cartridges for both pistol and shotgun. From the 25 ACP to the 44 magnum and 28 gauge to 12 gauge, UNIVERSAL CLAYS gunpowder provides outstanding performance. As with all the "CLAYS" gunpowder series powders, clean burning and uniformity are part of its attributes.

    HP-38 or WIN-231: are the same powder: HP38 is a spherical powder that is great for low velocity and mid-range target loads in the .38 Special, .44 Special, and 45 ACP. This high energy powder provides economy in loading.

    Myself I like Hodgdons Clays very clean and consistent on the chronograph.
    HP-38 is the new Win-231 a very good .45 ACP Powder.
    HS-6 Dirty period.
    Tightgroup while a very good all around powder, for me I still prefer
    Hodgdons Clays and or HP-38. For the clean burn if nothing else.
     
  15. ndh87

    ndh87 Member

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    I've been using HP-38 for 45 colt. seems to work really well.
     
  16. ComradeBurg

    ComradeBurg Member

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    I use Universal Clay's in my .45 ACP loads. It's similar to Unique (which I used to use) ballisticly but Clay's burns much cleaner. I really like it.
     
  17. isitdeadyet

    isitdeadyet Member

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    Universal is the only pistol powder I use for 9mm and .45. It is not as popular which keeps it in stock and always availible. I have not found any reason to switch it will do about everything I need, accuracy, clean burn, fast, slow, meter well. It's UNIVERSAL.
     
  18. dleong

    dleong Member

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    I don't think you'll be disappointed with Universal Clays. It's an extremely consistent and clean-burning powder. I use it to reload 380 ACP, 9mm, 38 Special, 40 S&W, 357 Sig and 45 ACP, and also for non-magnum loadings in 357 Mag, 44 Mag and 454 Casull.
     
  19. barbarian

    barbarian Member

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    I hate to be the spoiler here. While I have used Universal with good effect on 45ACP loads, my 38 special cowboy loads do not burn well. Lots of unburned powder. The gun is a real mess after shooting these. As others have suggested maybe the crimp needs work. Universal may work well for 38 special loads but it doesn't seem to burn clean for cowboy loads, in my experience.
     
  20. 1858rem

    1858rem Member

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    universal works great in my 45 colt but is loaded near max to burn clean....well sorta clean anyhow
     
  21. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    Barbarian, to what velocity are you loading your "cowboy loads"? I agree that Universal (like Unique and any other medium burning powder) doesn't do well at low pressure.

    I've read of some .38 Special cowboy shooters trying to get 550 fps with a 100gr bullet in order to minimize recoil and maximize their score. The pressure generated by such a load would be less than 5,000 psi, which IMHO is ridiculous. And I'm sure a real cowboy would agree with me...
     
  22. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    universal & unique are close in burn rate. i feel universal is alot cleaner at lower pressures though.

    GP100man
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  23. dwhite

    dwhite Member

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    I use Universal for 38/357 and 40 S&W. It meters great through my Lee Perfect Powder measure dropping charges easily within +/- 0.1 grain. It burns clean in the loads I use it in. It does seem to be a lot more readily available than other powders.

    Give it a try.

    All the Best,
    D. White
     
  24. 45ACPUSER

    45ACPUSER Member

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    I have come back to UC cause of shooting poly/moly coated lead bullets to help decrease the amount of smoke when shooting indoors....
     
  25. Mal H

    Mal H Administrator

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    I have pretty much standardized on UC for practice and plinking loads in several calibers. I guess I better like it 'cause I have about 10 lbs of it.

    As barbarian stated, however, it is not the powder of choice for lighter than normal loads such as Cowboy Action loads. It will leave unburned flakes in the cylinder and action. No matter how hard I tried to get a good light .45 Colt load with UC, it always left some unburned powder behind. No amount of crimping seemed to help. But it was clean unburned powder! :)
     
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