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Your Favorite Powder for Pistol/Rifle

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Dr.Zubrato, Aug 16, 2013.

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  1. Dr.Zubrato

    Dr.Zubrato Member

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    I know this is a pretty vague question, but I know everyone has a favorite powder out there with pet loads for your favorite caliber, and I'd like to know which powders you use the most, and for which reasons.

    Criteria are:
    Clean burning
    Meter well
    Bulky (prevents double charges)
    Accurate
    Caliber Compatibility

    So, I know plenty of you fine folks have many years of experience rolling your own, and for your own purposes have come to prefer one brand of powder over another. If you have the time, I'd love to read your responses, and pick your brains for some powders I'd try in the future! Thank you for your time

    If I've left anything out, let me know I can add it for something to look for myself when selecting a powder.

    For pistol:
    I don't have much experience, but I really like IMR800x for it's cleanliness, accuracy, and bulkiness when I load for 9mm, not to mention it has great caliber compatibility. When I use my fav load of 5.1gr it compresses the load, which I've read can add to the accuracy of the round. A bit unnerving when I shake them if I'm looking for squibs. And I must admit, it meters sort of poorly. I can get within 0.1 for 15 throws, but once in a while I will get a max deviation of 0.5 grains, so I weigh every load. This wouldnt be a very good choice for a progressive press.

    For rifle:
    I have to say pretty much the same for IMR3031. When I load for .223 it's super clean burning, very accurate, it's sort of bulky, so I can easily spot a double charge, and it's a do-it-all powder for rifles. This time I can shake them to safety check for squibs (even though I weigh every charge) Again, it doesn't meter very well and sometimes I can get a max deviation powder drop of .2-.3 in my Lee Perfect Powder Measure.
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I could do all of my handgun and some rifle loading with only Unique.
     
  3. Murphster

    Murphster Member

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    Ditto to what ColtPythonElite said.
     
  4. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I also could do that with Promo.
     
  5. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    There is not one powder that fills the bill.

    Out of all my handgun powders I have two that fill all but the bulk, red dot and W231.
    800-X is a great powder if you have an rcbs measure.
    4227 doesn't work on small cartriddges, but it meters like salt and is accurate as heck.
    Trail Boss works in any revolver, fills the case and burns clean, accuracy is good but not great.
     
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    In handguns, my main powders are Unique, True Blue, 700-X, and W296/H110. I also have some W231 and Accurate #5. It depends on what cartridge although I could get by with only Unique for many of them.

    For rifle, i currently use Accurate 1680 and 2230, CFE223, H4895, and Varget for most cartridges and it depends on the cartridge. I have some other powders in inventory that get occasional use.

    I base my powder choice on performance and "clean burning" is not one of the criteria.

    I get good metering performance from all of the powders I use whether flake, stick or ball. It is in the technique.
     
  7. nix4me

    nix4me Member

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    Bullseye for 38 Special and 9mm
    2400 for 357 Magnum
    RL7 for 30/30
    RL17 for 300 Win Mag
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I use multiple pistol powders and several rifle powders. Don't have a single favorite.
     
  9. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    For handgun Universal is a nice alternative to Unique.
    They have equal bulk but Universal meters better for me and leaves less soot on the outside of the gun, it's very clean.
     
  10. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Member

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    7mmWSM ,Pro-mag, high vol, low PSI, and meters great

    270win, H4831sc less temp senative than the IMR 4831 that I used for years,

    32Rem, RL7 matches factory loads

    7mm-08 H414 it just works :)

    25WSSM ?? seems every bullet I try likes its own powder , IMR4320 , Hunter, BigGame H414, , best load so far is IMR4320 with a 75gr V-Max

    308win H4895 great for reduced loads

    handguns... there is another 8 powders , powders for cast, powders autos , powders for wheel guns .....

    I can't see how anyone could have a Favorite powder, isn't that the guns job ? my guns all have there favorite and not always with the same bullet. However with over 40 guns I get by with only 19 powders , most used powders are the 4831's, H414, W296/H110, and Win Auto-Comp,
     
  11. joneb

    joneb Member

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  12. HighExpert

    HighExpert Member

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    Bullseye for handgun rounds, and yes you can double charge with it and it is not going to give hair on fire velocity but it burns clean, has great shelf life and is cheap.
     
  13. climbnjump

    climbnjump Member

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    MagPro??? Yeah, my go-to power for .270 WSM.
     
  14. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    My favorite rifle powder is Varget. It works very well in all of the rifle calibers I load with just about any bullet weight meant for those calibers. It doesn't meter well but it does good enough that I use it for .223 on my Hornady LNL.

    My favorite pistol powder is True Blue for more or less the same reasons I like Varget in rifle calibers, and it meters very well.

    But if I could only have one powder for rifle and one powder for pistol, I'd go with H4895 for rifle. It's even more versatile than Varget and meters a little better. For pistol calibers it's really hard for me to narrow it down, Unique works well in the calibers I load but it would be very hard for me to completely give up Red Dot since I have a .38spl load I really enjoy using it for and it works well in a .45acp load I use too. But I think if I could only have one it'd be Unique.....luckily I have some of everything I've mentioned (plus plenty of others).

    I'll tell you one thing, I'll never buy 800-X (unless I take up shotshell reloading) or H4198 again (unless I get a .300blk). They're both worthless to me right now.
     
  15. Boxhead

    Boxhead Member

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    Though, as noted really not possible, I can get darn close with HS-6 and RE-15 and I load for a pretty wide range of rounds.
     
  16. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I have 3 favorite powders, 296 / H110, Longshot, and RL22. I haven't found a need for anything other than RL22 for the high powered rifle cartridges I load, with exception to those like 30-30, .223, 22-250, and some of those smaller ones.

    As for handgun cartridges, I load all out full performing jacketed stuff. So 296 for the magnum wheel guns, and Longshot for most of the other cartridges. I do also like HS6, but Longshot is my first choice powder for full tilt handgun loads with non magnum cartridges.

    GS
     
  17. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    If I could only have one pistol powder, it would be Unique (Universal is cleaner, but not as accurate.) If I could only have 2 pistol powders, they would be Bullseye and Power Pistol.

    The only rifle powder I've used much of is Varget, and it's a good one. H4895 is supposed to be even more versatile.

    But I don't have to make these decisions because I've got about 20 different powders in the magazine -- actually that's probably too many, but I like to tinker. :)
     
  18. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    You can't have just one for pistol. There is a magnum class that unless you use a magnum powder you won't get the performance. You will get close but not full bore loads. And personally I don't factor in bulk as a consideration. Performance is the only thing that matters.

    Non-magnum pistol: HP-38/W231(I've started to use it in rifle as well)
    Magnum Pistol - H110/W296
    Rifle - W748

    You really can't pick one. It's cartridge dependent for most applications. I have other powders for specific loads, like Universal for heavyweight 9mm. But the three I listed get used for 95% of my reloading.


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  19. slamfirev10

    slamfirev10 Member

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    i use universal for all pistol calibers (.380 thru .44 mag) all are accurate but not max power/vel/pressure which suits me fine

    rifle calibers vary
     
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Bulk in the case should not need to be a consideration.
    If you pay halfway attention to what you are doing, most of the time.

    Especially when charging cases, and looking in every one at the powder charge before seating a bullet on it!!

    rc
     
  21. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Member

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    OK, I will say it....my favorite is what I can find.

    Started last December never had a grain of either Varget or 4895. I guess 4064 is fav of what I have.
     
  22. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    9mm pistol (and some other calibers): VV n320 meets and exceeds your criteria.
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I use A LOT of different powders. I even have some powders that I use for only 1 cartridge. That said I do use certain powders much more than others.

    For handguns my 3 favorite powders are W231(HP-38), W540(HS-6) and W296(H110) but if I had to pick only one handgun powder it would be W231/HP-38.

    I use more rifle powders than handgun powders including 4198, AA5744, IMR3031, LVR, H335, Varget, IMR4064, 4895, 4350 and a few others. Again, even though I like using what I feel is the best for a cartridge if I had to pick only 1 it would probably be H4895.
     
  24. 5thSFGroup

    5thSFGroup Member

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    powders

    Have to agree with what has already been said...there is NO one size fits all. I also use many, many different powders...sometimes different powders for the same caliber but for different weapons.

    Some powders work fine in a weapon at one range but are horrible at a different distance. Point recently made...I used some Unigue in a Casull. Worked fine at 25 and 50 yards....was horrible at 100 yards. Ended up using Accurate 9 for 100 yards. The weight of the bullet will change the powder needed as well.

    .40 cal are notorious for needing a slower burning powder...they like the bullet pushed out rather than kicked out but there are many of those including but not limited to HS 6.

    Each weapon is different as well....even from the same mfg.
     
  25. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I guess I got most of the powder evaluation part of reloading out of the way years ago. So unless I'm going to load for a new cartridge, one that I've never loaded for, I start looking things over, and I'll start with one of the slow burner's. But that's my style of reloading, I always go with the slow burners, cause they produce the performance criteria I desire.

    GS
     
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