Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What powder to start with?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by vito, Jan 1, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. vito

    vito Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    I am just entering the hobby of reloading, and will be ordering some basic equipment in the next few days. I plan to only be reloading pistol ammo, starting with the two calibers I shoot most often, 40S&W and 38 Special. To keep it simple, I am hoping for a recommendation for an easily found powder that will do the job. Ideally I would like something that is bulky so that if I accidentally overcharge a cartridge it will be obvious by how full the cartridge is. Any recommendations would be most welcome.
     
  2. James2

    James2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    878
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    Unique is a versatile powder and all time favorite. Usually to be found locally here which is more than I can say for many others. Some say it doesn't meter well. but I have not found that to be true.

    When dropping powder, use a loading board and drop powder in enough casings to fill the board, then take the board under the light so you can see into the casings and look at them all. You can easily see any that are too full or for some reason not enough or empty. Then seat bullets. You will never have a double charge nor squib if you will follow this recommendation.
     
  3. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    187
    Another vote for UNIQUE.
    It fits your wants about as good as any powder out there.
     
  4. jim8115

    jim8115 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    Messages:
    249
    W231 is good for those, and is easier to meter than unique,
     
  5. billybob44

    billybob44 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,016
    Location:
    Central Indiana
    +1 For W-W 231 (Hodgdon HP-38 is the SAME powder), for your loads listed. I also like Hodgdon's HS-6 for a clean/bulk load..Bill.

    PS: vito, you guys going to get a carry permit law this year?? Hope so+hope they recognize ours..HA HA..
     
  6. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,776
    Location:
    LV county KS
    Unique isn't the most consistent for me as far as dropping from a powder measure, but anything up to .3gr variance doesn't seem to matter much for me. I typically stay at or below 90% of max charge weight so a .3gr variance isn't likely to give me an overcharge.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    47,569
    Location:
    Alabama
    W-231 or Unique are hard to beat to start with. Many will work of course, but these are proven, versatile, generally easy to find an accurate load with, available most places, and more forgiving than some.
     
  8. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,164
    W231 is a good versatile powder and well suited for 40 S&W.
     
  9. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,541
    Location:
    Homestead, FL
    HP-38/Win231 is a great powder to start and stick with. Shoots great, meters well, accurate and generally low recoil.
     
  10. joecil

    joecil Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Location:
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Another good one for the 40 S&W and 38 Spl is Titegroup but I've used most of them and have them on hand.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    47,569
    Location:
    Alabama
    Rules out Tightgroup, which I would not recommend for beginners anyway.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Unique.

    Thats why it is so, Unique.

    rc
     
  13. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    483
    While not powder related....I would suggest using lead or plated bullets for the first 100 or so bullets. That way if you have a round with no powder ( ask me how I know ) , just the primer, it is WAY easier to get the bullet out that is lodged in the barrel.....

    I'm not saying it will happen to you, but.... the learning curve with "softer" bullets is easier IMHO.
     
  14. Delmar

    Delmar Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,057
    Location:
    Cedar Bluff, VA
    Accurate number 5 is also pretty good. Fills the case well enough to be easily seen and good velocity on both calibers
     
  15. Ex

    Ex Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    816
    Just started using Longshot here for pistol loads and it has now replaced my trusty old Unique. Similar characteristics in that it has good case fill making easy to spot something under or over filled.

    LongShot is now my "goto" powder with great versatility!
     
  16. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,941
    Unique definitely doesn't meter very accurately compared to many of the finer ball powders. But out of my average handgun, I hardly think I'll ever notice the difference.

    Melikes cuz it's cheap and it's bulky. If it were any bulkier, it wouldn't be useable in 9mm. I use it for some of my loads in all of my handguns and even one of my rifles. I especially like it for those tall 38/357 cases.
     
  17. 918v

    918v Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,931
    Titegroup, cuz the fear of overcharging is just plain silly. It's like fear of guns or red meat.
     
  18. Ex

    Ex Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    816
    Fear of overcharging silly for a new reloader? Ouch! Especially with a low fill powder like TG?
     
  19. SC_Dave

    SC_Dave Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    Hickory, NC
    I too have had good results with W231.
    David
     
  20. 918v

    918v Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,931
    Yes. It is silly. You are supposed to look inside the case before sticking a bullet in it. A double charge of TG is easy to spot if you take the time to look inside the case.
     
  21. bds
    • Contributing Member

    bds Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    14,339
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Let's be honest here. As we have all done it ourselves, someone just starting to reload is bound to make newbie mistakes, regardless of how careful they may be.

    I have helped set up several new reloaders over the years and had them make out a reloading checklist for their particular equipment (like a pre-flight checklist for pilots) so each reloading step can be checked off. I also had them add Quality Control (QC) steps to verify the accuracy of key steps (like powder charge weights and OAL).

    While Titegroup can produce very accurate loads, for many reasons (like narrower load range than most powders), I do not recommend new reloaders start out with Titegroup as IMO there are better suited powders for new reloaders like W231/HP-38.
    When I help set up a new reloader, I have them establish their own checklist for their equipment so their reloading practice and QC checks PREVENT overcharge/double-charge regardless of powder type used. After they develop the reloading checklist, I have them go over slowly to identify any areas where inconsistent practice/accidents could occur and have them add appropriate QC checks.

    For me, simply depending on a case overfill is not sound reloading practice as not all pistol loads can be made to overfill the case depending on the bullet type, weight and powder charge used. Instead, sound and safe reloading practice should be the focus so the most accurate and reliable reloads can be produced regardless of bullet/powder used.
     
  22. BigJimP

    BigJimP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    198
    TiteGroup is too dangerous for a rookie to use.../ the max and min on a lot of recipes for TiteGroup are only 0.3gr or maybe 0.4 grain apart....and by looking into a case its very difficult to see 0.3gr variation of TiteGroup...

    A powder I would recommend is Hogdon Universal...it has a little wider range than TiteGroup ...its readily available ...and its a higher volume powder so variations are easier to see in a case.

    Attention to Detail is still very important ...and a critical skill for any reloader.
     
  23. 777TRUTH

    777TRUTH Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    419
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Powders that are easy for new reloaders.

    W231, HP-38, AA#5, Ramshot True Blue.
     
  24. CountryUgly

    CountryUgly Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    The Dirty South
    I use Blue Dot for both as well as the rest of my pistol rounds. Sometimes I use Power Pistol when I run out of BD and am not heading to the LGS anytime soon.
     
  25. stompah

    stompah Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    173
    I recommend trailboss for 357/38, it is a very forgiving powder. It also has a very large range between minimum and maximum loads.

    I don't load 40, but I do load 10mm. I would try accurate #7, it has a wider spread between max and minimum loads over #5.


    Throw a double charge on purpose. Take a note of what it looks like if it doesn't overflow. I found that it helps me know when I peek in a case what's good and what isn't. Of course make sure you do not load that bullet up.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page