Old Grumpy

Jul 15, 2009
Central Illinois
For quite a few years I only used W296 sparingly. I must admit I was probably intimidated by the small charge range and all the dire warning regarding under charging or over charging cases. Now that I have a few more gray hairs, actually the percentage is way up due to the reduction of hair, I have begun to load more. Lately I've loaded some .44 Remington Magnums and some .357 Remington Magnums and believe me when I say, I'm impressed. First off I have started weighing each and every charge, the old UniFlow is used to throw a close base charge that is then trickled up to the desired weight. By doing that, loads with 2gr spreads are easy to do. The resulting velocities are very satisfying. The other day I loaded some .357s using 110gr XTPs, 125 Speer Unicore HP, and 158gr XTPs. Can't wait to try them out.


110gr XTP (01).jpg

110 XTPs

125gr Speer (01).jpg

125gr Unicore HP

158gr XTP (01).jpg

158gr XTPs

.357 Mag 9-28-2023 (00).jpg
I like W296/H110 for the full house stuff as already mentioned. Meters well.

@Kaldor - what scale are you using to verify the +/-.03grain variance?

W296 flows like water from a rotary drop as well. I have seen no issues holding +/- .03gr in a rotary drop with W296. Thats with a Hornady drop, but any decent drop that doesnt leak that fine stuff, will do the same.
I like W296/H110 for most of my magnum pistol loads as well as .410-2-1/2 shot shells.

I’ve loaded full power 357 Mag loads for decades with it. More recently, I’ve expanded into 44 Magnum and 460 S&W Magnum with W296/H110.

I’ve used some Hercules 2400 (yes Hercules) before the change to Aliant. It worked ok but I’d have lots of unburned powder kernels left in the chambers.

I’ve tried one pound of IMR4227 and it definitely did not meet my needs.

I’ve also tried Lil’Gun as well in .410 but also did not meet my needs.

Accurate #9 and some Vitivouri powders may work well but I have not tried them.
It’s close in accuracy to 4227 for me in 41 and 44 mag, higher velocity though if that matters. 454, 460, and 500 on the other hand, it makes the most accurate full power loads for me with 4227 being right on its heels. My 357’s like 2400 over anything else by far.

The monster magnums (454,460,500) seem to have more load range room than the original three magnums (357,41,44). Since you’re weighing every charge, correct move btw, underloads and especially overloads should not be an issue.
Thanks! Appreciate the info. That maybe a tad more $$ than I need to spend. Thanks again.
Its a spend, but I load mostly precision rifle stuff, so I consider it a necessary evil. I do know that the AutoTrickler and the CM1500 I had before, have saved me hours in front of the reloading bench loading rifle with chunky powders like Varget, H4350 and Retumbo.

I just brought it up because the fact is that with ball powders, a good drop can deliver some really consistent loads. Even short cut extruded like 8208BR will meter in at +/- .05 pretty easily too. I also have polished and waxed my drop, which does help keep things consistent.
296 has been my magnum pistol powder for 35 years. Always worked great when loaded as stated. Burns clean and gives good accuracy and consistent velocities. In my wife’s 357 Marlin , and my Ruger No.1 44 mag, nothing that I have tried matches it. Other powders can match the velocity, or accuracy, but nothing tried has done both. My brother has also had good luck with it in magnum pistol cartridges. Both rifle and pistol.
Full house 44mag loads of 110 is my go to. 296 is the same as 110. I tried 110 in my .357 mag loads but 2400 was the better option for me. Fixing to try some AA9 in the .357 since I started using it for my 10mm...

When I started, and even now, I keep AA# 9, Blue Dot, 2400, and W296 on hand. I can load accurate magnum pistol rounds using any of them. When I fine tune the load I will use the powder that easiest meets those requirements.

W296/H110 has been my full load mag powder for my 357mag since it first came out in the 70's. It's also became my main powder for my 458 SOCOM.

I will have to try some loads for my SOCOM using W296. L'il Gun and Reloader #7 have been my powders for the SOCOM so far.