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Reloading question, best forgiving powders?

2240 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  wolf_from_wv
I was reading the other thread where Primalseal successfully reloading some of his rounds with no problems but mentioned he was using h110 powder which .45acp said is a really sensitive powder that isn't forgiving at all.

So my question is this, I reload for 45acp, 45long colt, 40s&w, 38spl/357mag, 9mm, and something else that escapes me but i want to find a decent forgiving powder that can be used with all those calibers if possible.

Currently I use HS6 (40s&w), red dot (45acp-38spl/357mag) and unique (haven't really used that yet).

I don't want hot heavy loads, I want light plinking loads thats going to keep my brass intact for a while. I'm not a hunter but a plinker.

I will be loading these on my progressives.

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I like winchester 231 for all over loads, Hp 38 is good for 38 special target loads, and even tho it smells bad the shotgun powder (typical) red dot works well in the 45 accp.

H110 and win 296 are the only 2 powders "that i know of" that have cautions about experimenting. I use both of them in Magnum loads only and then for only special purpous hunting loads. I gotta say the FLAME from H110 out of the magnums is quite impressive. I really dont buy powder by economics i buy what is good for my application, Hunting , target , etc. I do pay attention to cost on projectiles tho they can be quite spendy by brand.
See, thats the thing, my application is just plinking, I go to the indoor range with a box of 50/100 and blast away at the target or I go to the outdoor range and have fun with the metal gongs or whatever.

So I don't need various powders for different applications since I only have one application really.

I try to buy projectiles by the 500/1000 to get the best bang for the buck.
I use the Win231 for all loads from 38 Special to .40S&W to .45ACP. It's a great general purpose powder. I've never had any problems with it when I stay within a reloading manuals load specs. 8)

I've found loads in a Lyman book for Unique and lead bullets in 22-250...
I am going to start on my 9mm and .45ACP loads using Unique as I have half a pound of it. I just want to try it out and see why alot of my friends that reload swear by it.
I used to load a bunch of unique, and I found it to have to much variation for my tast, not to mention how dirty it burns (red dot is worse). I am currently using accurate #7 for 45ACP with better results so far.
HS-6 should work well for what you are loading. Unique is listed 34 on the powder speed chart that I have. HS-6 is at 38. I have used Unique for 4" and longer semi-auto gun barrels and have had good results. Under four inches, I'd use a faster powder like your Red Dot (Listed 8 on the speed chart).
I use Bullseye (5 on the speed chart) for my 9mm, .40SW and .45ACP. For my .38/.357 MAG I used Unique for 20 years, but moved to Bullseye to make it easier on me.
Unique is one of those powders that works in just about any handgun cartridge and you will find a very wide assortment of load data for it in all the calibers you mentioned. It does burn a little of the dirty side, mainly a sooty residue, but works well for plinking and range loads.

The only problem I have noticed about Unique is it does not meter well in the Lee Auto Disk system due to the large flat flakes. I have been weighing each charge by hand until I can find a better way to meter Unique or another good all around powder for mild range loads.

Currently I am loading .44 Special and 9mm using Unique and HP-38, both powders are loaded in the starting to mid load range because I am using Berry plated bullets in both calibers. My C9 and Taurus M-Pro 9mm digested Unique and HP-38 just like factory loaded ammo. When using the Berry or Rainier plated bullets you can get some really mild shooting range loads with either powder using low/mid jacketed data for the Berry's or lead data for the Rainiers.

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what I use

I have reloaded 9 mm for hps with the following powders

Winchester super field.
works fine

accurate #5
works fine

Alliant Blue dot
A pretty bulky powder and loads good.

IMR Trail boss.

Trail boss is a very bulky powder and allows good case filling and reliable ignition. Worked good in hp and taurus but couldnt get enough in case for my ruger.

Alliant 2400
a bit slow but works, takes a lot of powder.

Hodgons 4227
Too slow for 9 mm in a semiauto.

Most of my loads are the WSF and accurate #5
General notes:
If you handload, be careful that you get your charges right 100% of the time.

Too much powder and you kaboom. Too little powder and the bullet can get stuck in the barrel. If it doesnt sound right unload the weapon and inspect before shooting another round. You don't want a squib to get stuck in the barrel and then send another round into it.

If you don't reload then save your brass. Sell or give it to someone who does.

Don't shoot someone elses reloads.

If you seem to have a dirty load I have found that manytimes it gets better when you increase the charge. You get better more complete combustion. Dont exceed the limits that are recommended.

Don't make full power loads untill you are certian you have worked up gradually and you know what you are seeing and you have a good scale and info.
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Unique sure works good....
Just my opinion but the best all around powder is Unique, good for alot of calibers and loads.

That being said, I prefer Bullseye for .45acp.
Just my opinion but the best all around powder is Unique, good for alot of calibers and loads.
It seems to be fairly "unique" in that way...

Do you know how to have rabbit for lunch? "Unique" up on it with a shotgun... Tame rabbit? Tame way... :roll:
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