How far does "Power Pistol" stretch?

Discussion in 'Reloading Room' started by lklawson, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Looking to the future (probably late this year or early next), I'm developing a requisite gear and components spreadsheet. "Powder" is on that list.

    "Power Pistol" has been recommended to me from a few different sources as a nearly universal pistol caliber powder, capable of use in most pistol cartridges. Further, it has been stated that it is a lower volume powder than many other alternatives, meaning (in this case) that "a little goes farther than other powders." I understand that this attribute has its own challenges. However, it does seem to put Power Pistol in the top running for best value per unit measure (or per round output, whatever), which is a major factor for newbies starting up. The "universal" flexibility of the product is attractive to me because I currently have a 10 different handgun reloadable calibers, four of them are wonky.

    However, I'm unclear if "the bang is worth the buck." How far does a pound of Power Pistol powder stretch in loaded round count compared to competing products?

    Is it worth the additional headache or measuring smaller amounts, more susceptible to issues of over-charging, with Power Pistol? If the product will only net 10% more loaded cartridges, I probably wouldn't feel it's worth it. However, if it loads 100% more cartridges before running out, then that would be a clear "slam dunk."

    So how long does it last? Assume, for this exercise, common calibers such as .45ACP, 9mm, or .38SPL all of them using cast lead bullets and middle-of-the-road charge levels of powder (neither bottom of the spec, nor top).

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  2. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    9,090
    6,719
    I do not use Power Pistol, but it is supposed to be a good powder. I use Unigue for Mich the same reason that you are looking for. I load 25acp. 380acp, 38 spl, 9mm, 40s&w, 45acp, 20 gauge, 12 gauge, and 300 blk subsonic with Unique.

    I use Red Dot in 38spl, 45acp, and in my milsurp rifles. Google "the load" for info about using Red Dot in rifles.

    Not used it, but have heard that Universal is just as versatile as Unique.
     

  3. missiledefender

    missiledefender Supporting Member

    A pound of pistol powder is about, 1000 loaded pistol rounds
     
  4. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Hmm... Both Unique and Power Pistol are Aliant brand powders. Their online recipes only gives one powder weight per load, not a min and a max. However, their recipes typically use less Unique but also develop lower MV.

    Without the min/max range, I find it hard to judge. But now it appears that Unique has an even lower volume.

    In the notes that I took, I also see that Power Pistol is reported in at least one recommendation as being less vulnerable to "clumping" and "clogging."

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    Thanks. How does that compare to the competition, including other powders by Aliant such as Unique?

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  6. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    9,090
    6,719
    Unique gives me just about 1273 loads for my 45ar.
     
  7. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    Just a tip.... always keep some Red Dot on hand. ;)
    It is a fast powder and can be used in a wide variety of calibers. It is also a bulky powder and you will typically use much less of it to load a round and get good results.

    I use Red Dot in 45ACP, 38SPCL, 9mm, 7.62x51, 7,62x54, and 7.62x25 just to name a few. Red Dot also has a lighter recoil in those loads.

    .
     
  8. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    I use Titegroup for .380 to 45 acp a little goes a long way. Have to be careful not much lee way between min and max though
     
  9. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    What data source are you using for your recipes? Alliant's online recipe web page, for instance, does not have 7.62x25, nor does it list min/max for anything I've clicked through.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  10. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter

    I use Quick Load. :D I don't even look in my manuals anymore for load data.

    I worked up this nice practise load for 7.62x25 using Red Dot in Quick Load:

    Bullet: 110gr X-treme RNP
    Powder: Red Dot x.x gr
    Case: S&B
    Primer: CCI SPP
    COL: 1.355

    The beauty of Quick Load is that you can work up your loads with pretty much every combination of powders and bullets to see what will give you what you are looking to do.

    .
     
  11. SteveC

    SteveC Member

    1,782
    0
    WV
    A simple way to look at how far a powder will "stretch" is to compare more or less typical loads for a given bullet. For example, a common load for PP with a 124gr 9mm FMJ round nose is 5.3-5.5gr, while common loads with Titegroup (which I use) for that round are 4.0-4.1gr. There are 7000 grains per pound of powder, so clearly you would load more rounds with a pound of Titegroup than you would with a pound of PP. (At 5.3 and 4.0, it would be 1320 rounds versus 1750). Other characteristics of the powders may make one or another preferable for a given application. Going only on how many rounds you'd get per pound, PP is not going to get you the biggest bang for the buck (pun intended). That doesn't mean it isn't a good powder, of course.

    Google powder loads for 7.62x25 and I'm guessing you'll find a place to start.
     
  12. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    I've read good things about it, but it's pretty pricy for a newb who just wants to dip his toe into the water. Maybe if they offered a stripped down version at a significantly lower price, it'd be more enticing. As it is, my requisites table already is hitting at ~ $450. I can buy a lot of factory loaded 9 and 45 for $450.

    I'm also restricted by the fact that I don't want to use Windows. Heck, I've chucked it entirely for my own, personal, home OS in preference for PCLinuxOS. I can use WINE, of course.

    I'd like to see some sort of Android tablet version as well.

    Not too long ago, someone posted an Open Source alternative, Reloader's Reference, which I've been eying. It's also windows only, so back to WINE...

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  13. SteveC

    SteveC Member

    1,782
    0
    WV
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    It's not just 7.62x25.

    In reloadable handgun calibers alone, not counting rifle calibers, I have:
    1. .32ACP
    2. .25ACP
    3. 9mm Luger
    4. 9mm Makarov
    5. .380ACP
    6. .38Spl
    7. .357Mag
    8. .45 Long Colt
    9. .45ACP

    and the ones that are wonky or can sometimes be challenging to get factory loaded ammunition for are:
    1. 7.62x38R (Nagant pistol)
    2. 9mm Largo
    3. .38 S&W
    4. 7.62x25 "Tokarev"

    Then throw 2-3 rifle calibers on top of that (I've trimmed out 2-3 over the years) and you can guess why I'm looking at powders and components which have the highest degree of versatility and flexibility. :)

    I want the min/max because, frankly, for a lot of these, I'll want to down-load a bit. I'll seldom if ever use max loads or even close. Mostly, it'd be at median or average between median and minimum.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Member

    1,782
    0
    WV
    Yeah, you're going to be doing some research :eek: I've been finding that googling for specific powders/bullets/loads brings up an assortment of forums and boards where people talk about what they are and have been using. After looking at a few of them, the data starts to converge toward something I feel okay about as a starting point. I generally down-load as well, especially for pistol.
     
  16. Branth

    Branth Member

    6,275
    4
    I might look into Bullseye. It's pretty versatile and uses low charge weights. I'm using it for 9mm right now. It's also pretty cheap.

    Power Pistol uses significantly more than Bullseye, I believe, but also develops a lot more power. I'm planning using Power Pistol for my "working" reloads and Bullseye for the practice loads.
     
  17. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

    35,300
    12,138
    NE Utah
    I'm with SteveC, PowerPistol usually requires more power per load (in the calibers and other powders I looked at) thus not stretching as far as many other powders.

    Some say PP is a bit loud and produces more flash than some other powders.
    I never noticed, but I didn't load very hot.:confused:
     
  18. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    Kirk you should write a Linux program for us ;-)
     
  19. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    It's beginning to sound like Unique or Universal are a better "universal" powder for my purposes. The prices per pound are within a few dollars of each other.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  20. I use a lot of Bullseye and Unique,they are both pretty versatile powders.I don't know what kind of powder measuring device your using,but Unique doesn't drop very well from powder measures until you get a feel for it,like tapping the hopper a couple times etc.Bullseye on the other hand measures out beautifully consistent every time.Red Dot is also a good fast burning powder that many reloaders like.Some say the fast burning powders are to much of a danger to use because of the chance of a double charge,I say good reloading practices and attention to what you are doing will eliminate that possibility from happening! morayman.............