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What powder to start with?

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

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  1. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    If your looking for a bulky and forgiving powder that won't let double charges slip by, it wouldn't be W-231, especially for a new reloader. It baffles me why so many would recomend a faster burning powder that has the propensity to spike with very small charge variations in comparison. I understand the popularity W-231 / HP38 has gained because it does produce some economical target loads, but the OP has specifically requested a powder that is bulky and not charge sensitive to small variations.

    With HS-6 your charge range with a 165 gr. jacketed bullet would be 7.4 grs. - 8.1 grs. And for a 38 spcl 125 gr. jackted 6.5 gr. - 7.2 . W231 would be 4.3 gr. - 4.9 gr.

    Longshot is another good choice for .40 cal. with a charge range of 6.9 grs. - 7.8 grs., W-231 would be 4.7 grs. - 5.4 grs. But in all honesty Longshot is published as a +P powder application for 38 special. And even though I use it regularly for such, and it does fit the bill as a bulky powder, but it also produces upper end velocities rated as +P.

    I have been loading with both Longshot and HS6 for a very long time, and being that I have often worked up significantly higher than published data with absolutely no indication of excessive pressures, I've concluded that published data for 38 spcl, .40 cal., and 9mm is rather conservative, and that those 2 powders are very forgiving.

    Just go to Hogdon's reloading pages and take a look for yourself. There are a good deal of powders that will suit your needs.

  2. mdi

    mdi Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    I don't load 40 but W231 is great for .38 Special. I've used it for 148 Wadcutter loads all the way to 160 gr. SWC mid + loads. W231 is easy to meter and fairly versitile for light loads in larger caliber handguns. BTW my house gun gets 150 gr. plain based wadcutters over a stiff load on W231. Fair to good short range accuracy and a large flat meplat to deliver a lot of shock and do a lot of tissue damage, without over penetration (room to room).

    Develope good safe reloading methods now, and you won't have to worry about using a small charge in a large (?) case. I have a mini-maglite that lives on my bench solely for looking into every case I've charged with powder. Simple, quick way to spot a double charge or squib.
  3. 918v

    918v Member

    Mar 16, 2006
    I just got done with some load development using 231 and jacketed bullets in my .40 Glock. It tends to print way off to the right with min-med power loads. If you got adjustable sights, then it's not a issue but my gun has the rear sight pushed over to the left already and it still won't shoot to POA. Also, the average group size is much larger than with Titegroup and the groups are not round. They are strings.
  4. Ex

    Ex Member

    Jan 15, 2011
    Throwing my two cents again for LongShot. Have bult/shot a third batch now and the .40 180 midrange performance is cleaner than Unique with better performance.
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