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What powders

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by oklahoma caveman, Feb 10, 2012.

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  1. oklahoma caveman

    oklahoma caveman Member

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    I tried to search but didn't find what I wanted to know.

    I have been reloading and casting for a small number of calibers for a while. I am slowly expanding in to different calibers and am just bewildered at the sheer number of powders so,

    What would be the bare minimum powder to have on hand to load:
    38 special/357 mag
    45 acp
    45 colt

    30 carbine
    243/7mm-08/308
    30-30
    45-70
    25-06
    223

    With both cast and jacketed bullets

    Thanks guys
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Alliant Unique.

    Alliant 2400 or Hodgdon H-110.

    Depending on bullet weights, you could get passably by with IMR-4895, or Varget, or something like that.

    Not the best choice for all of them certainly, but it will work in all of them.

    rc
     
  3. oklahoma caveman

    oklahoma caveman Member

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    Thanks RC thats what I am looking for. Anybody else?
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Your best bet is a reloading manual and a paper & pencil.

    Go through it and write down what top three powders give the best performance in each caliber, with the bullet weights you plan to use.

    Then go through and scratch off ones that don't work in some of the calibers.

    When you get done, narrow it down to what is on all the lists and pick something.

    You really do need a slower rifle powder for best performance in the .243 & 25-06, and then a slightly faster one in all the others.

    rc
     
  5. oklahoma caveman

    oklahoma caveman Member

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    Thanks again RC. That would definately work, but it is mindboggling all the different powders listed for just one caliber, and without trying them all I wouldn't know how they performed. My hopes for this thread is that I get a few responses like yours and any that overlap I can go with first.

    My hope is to be able to have a good powder for my most used calibers, that is still usable in the rest if ammo prices continue to rise.

    FWIW I have already picked unique, bullseye and varget out for trying out. I am not trying to limit myself to 2 powders, but I would prefer to have 20 pounds of well rounded powder as opposed to 20 pounds of individually caliber specific powder for example
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Just about set, except for a slow burning pistol powder like 2400 etc. Then if you want to load some big overbore stuff, you'll need a slower rifle powder.
     
  7. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    My "good" is probably not going to be your "good" for 2 reasons: load recipes and powder availability. Follow your trusted load data (whether from a reloading manual or off the powder makers web sites), and then go to your local store and see what you can actually buy.

    XYZ powder might be the choice of world champion shooters, but if you can't obtain it, then it's all academic.

    ;)
     
  8. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Agree with rcmodel's advice.


    A good manual will often comment on what worked well in testing.


    Since you're try to achieve a compromise and not so much interested in top performance, find what is listed frequently across those calibers, pick up a pound, and test it.
     
  9. oklahoma caveman

    oklahoma caveman Member

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    Thanks for the replies yall
     
  10. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    For your rifles --

    If you like the IMR brand... 4895 is very versatile. It’s a good Goldilocks powder -- not to fast, and not to slow. Just right for plinking in just about anything. It and a jug of 4350 (a slower powder) would cover a lot of territory. Add some 3031 (ideal for the .30-30, good with a lot of others) and you got the fast end of the spectrum too.

    For the Accurate brand: A4350, A4064, & A2015 would be a good spread. (Going from slow, to medium, to fast).

    For Alliant: RL-17, RL-15, & 10x (or some RL-7).

    Hodgdon: H4350, H4895 (or Varget, speedwise they‘re in the same ballpark), and H322 (or maybe Benchmark).

    If you could have just one, get a medium speed powder. Add slower and faster powders as your budget permits.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  11. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    I would say the bare minimum for the pistols would be HS-6, Longshot, Unique or something with a similar speed. You could do well with only one pistol powder but you'll have to willing to accept less than full power from the 357.
     
  12. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    You aren't really getting into reloading seriously until you have about 10 cans of propellant laying around to choose from and try with your next experimental load. I have settled down to about 15 eight pound canisters of propellant for my needs but the manufacturers keep coming up with new offerings.:banghead: My latest was to get a large can of Trail Boss but looking seriously at adding the Superformance now.:eek: I tell ya it never ends.:cool:
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    You can get away with having three pistol powders and three rifle powders and do just about anything well.

    You can get by with two each and do many things well, and make the others go bang.

    You can get by with one each, but really limit yourself.


    I've tried a couple of different pistol powders.
     

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  14. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Walkalong...you need a can of 800X to make it(photo) better....
     
  15. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Okla Cave you mentioned casting in your original post. If you are looking for powders to load with cast bullets as well, the recommended pistol powders would stand, but the powders for use in your rifles would be a little different.
    You mentioned overlapping use with you powders...Unique is just about as close as it gets with a pistol powder and works very well for cast loads in most rifle calibers as does 2400. Red Dot is another extremely versatile powder as it will work for standard loads in your pistols and is close to ideal for cast bullets in rifles. In fact if I had to have only one powder for cast bullets in rifles, it'd be Red Dot. I use it religiously with .30 caliber cast loads and a buddy of mine uses it in his .223 with cast bullets.
    A word of caution: be very careful using H110/W296 (same powder). Most data does NOT have a starting load because this powder for some reason is very dangerous in less than maximum charges. I've loaded gobs of the stuff in .410 shells, but for heavy loads in my .357, I steer clear of it as 2400 serves the purpose well.

    35W
     
  16. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Walkalong Where did you get a picture of my pistol powder stash??:neener: Really mine looks about the same but is a bit more of a heap style of storage.:D
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I like things a little neater than that. Here is what the pistol powders look like today, minus the 15 in the lower left cubby of my load bench. The rifle powders, and the 4 pound pistol powder jugs, are somewhere else.
     

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  18. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    If I had only one it would be WC Blank. It is going to be a sad day when the 10B101 is gone but is is a bit slow for some of the stuff I load. WC Blank will load everything from .380 ACP to 30-06 Springfield well enough to keep me happy.
     
  19. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    Walkalong, I like the second pic better. I thought by looking at the first you skipped AA #7..LOL.
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    So far I have. See an eye doc lately? :D
     
  21. oklahoma caveman

    oklahoma caveman Member

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    Thanks for all the replies yall. I will be picking up some 2400 to try out pretty soon. Another question I have is, from looking in my manual and seeing them together with most calibers, is there any need to try both 4895 and varget? or are they about the same powder and just redundant to have both?
     
  22. gunlaw

    gunlaw Member

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    All good sugestions. I wolud add AA#5 to the list for 38,45,and 45colt.
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    To address that, most powders are duplicated by all the powder companies. For the most part IMO you can pick a powder company that had powders available in your area and be well served.

    As for what to use, that has been covered quite well already but I have to put my 2 cents in too! LOL Like said above, you can load most calibers fairly well with 3 powders for both handguns and rifles.

    I do most of my handgun ammo with W231 (HP-38), HS-6 (W540) and W296 (H110). I have and do use other powders for "specialty work" but 3 will do it... Rifle loads are a little different for me. I have bought a powder specifically for 1 caliber and sometimes 2 powders for only 1 caliber. (like H4198 and AA5744 for the 47-70 and nothing else)

    In any case this is what I would use: (but I'm no expert, just a reloader)

    38 Special - W231
    45 ACP - W231
    45 Colt - W231 or HS-6

    .357 Magnum - W296 or HS-6
    30 Carbine - W296/H110

    7mm-08 (sorry, don't load for this one)
    30-30 - IMR3031 or Leverevolution
    45-70 H4198 or AA5744
    .243 & 25-06 - H4831
    .308 4895, Varget or BL-C(2)
    223 - H335, Varget or BL-C(2)

    BUT, if you are trying to keep the powder count down and I think that's what you're looking for I would think:

    38 Special, 45 ACP and 45 Colt - W231
    .357 Magnum and 30 Carbine - W296/H110

    30-30, 45-70, 7mm-08, .308 and .223 - BL-C(2)
    .243 & 25-06 - IMR/H4831
    Getting it down to 2 powders for each isn't all that bad IMO. (although I worry a little about the 45-70)
     
  24. Kernel

    Kernel Member

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    Yes, redundant. No reason to have both if your primary goal is to limit the number of powders you have on-hand.
     
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