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Bullseye Powder

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by mookmanjdj, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. mookmanjdj

    mookmanjdj Oregon Coast Member

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    I am fairly new to reloading, done about 1000 rounds total in .380, 9mm and .45acp. I am on my second pound of Bullseye because its all I have used. I have seen several comments about it burning dirty. I am wanting to experiment with something else. I would like to use one powder for all these calibers. I sure some of you on here know way more than I do. What would you suggest?
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    For the calibers you mentioned I would personally use Power Pistol. I buy it by the 4# jug for my 9mm loads. It's suitable for the .380 and .45acp as well. Another powder from the same company is Unique. Many call it the universal pistol powder but my previous experience has been that it too is a little dirty. The Power Pistol is very clean in my 9mm's which range from 3.5" to 4.25" for barrels.

    Both Unique and Power Pistol are usually stocked just about everywhere that is truly a "Reloading Supply Retailer".
     
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  3. jimherb

    jimherb Tacoma, WA New Member

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    You might like Hodgkins Titegroup. Others swear by Clays.
     
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  4. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I liked Titegroup when I used it. Now I am using Win 231 in .40 and .45 and really like it.
     
  5. SPU

    SPU Southwest Oregon Old Fart

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    A buddy who used to shoot competitively turned me on to Winchester 231. Pretty clean and shoots nice. I've used it in .45ACP, .38 Special and .357 Magnum. Haven't tried it in 9mm but my buddy has shot thousands and thousnds of them with this powder. No idea about .380.
     
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  6. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Unique is a better powder than Bullseye for a new reloader as it's more difficult to "double-charge"-the common blow up recipie for pistols.
    New lots of Unique burn much cleaner than the old stuff, too!
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    This is a big deal for me when teaching a new reloader. All too often people look for powders that they can use real small charges so they can get more rounds per pound. The price of a new firearm and getting the lacerations on a hand sewn up are far more expensive than what one will save by using loads that are easy to double without spilling.

    When one gains more experience and the process is less confusing, fine, but until then go with a powder that fills the case to at least 90%. That way you'll just have a "spill", not a "Ka-Boom".
     
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  8. mookmanjdj

    mookmanjdj Oregon Coast Member

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    Does Winchester 231 fill the case or is it a low level powder?
     
  9. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I've been using Titegroup and Unique, Unique fills 9mm pretty full with the minimum listed in Speer #14 for 124gr. It also seems to be dirtier than Titegroup. I'm loading 9mm, .38, and .45acp Both powders shoot fine as far as I can tell.

    I'm wanting to go to a ball powder due to the flake (Titegroup & Unique) binding the thrower. I'm needing to weigh more charges than I want to, some are light most are heavy when it binds. I was told W231 is a ball powder, so depending on further research AND input from the PROS here.............

    I found this an interesting site, http://www.reloadbench.com/burn.html. I wish they also listed what type, stick, ball, flake.



    Mike
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    W-231 is an OK powder. Yes, it's a "ball" powder and it flows like water through conventional powder measures which is key to uniform charges. I've found it to be a little slow as to the bullet speeds though. For that reason I prefer Power Pistol. It too meters well through all my powder measures and I can get speeds right at 1150 fps with a 124 gr Montana Gold JHP using 6.4 gr charges.

    As a side note, uniform powder charges, when using a standard Drum or slide type powder measure is dependent also on one using a uniform technique. Back when I loaded using my RCBS Uniflow, drum type powder measure, I found two things to be essential. One was the installation of a powder baffle to prevent the powder from packing down on the drum and the other was to give the handle a firm "Thump" against each stop. When dropping a charge I'd lift the handle firmly until it reached the stop, hitting the stop hard enough to rattle the powder in the reservoir. Then, when lowering the handle to drop the charge I'd do likewise. Between the baffle and the "firm hand" it kept the powder uniformly filling the cavity in the drum.
     
  11. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I am plenty aware of using the same "Stroke & Thump" when charging, that's for sure.

    I guess what I'm wanting is a powder that's clean burning, easy to measure, not too dense, ( small charges need to be more exact), and not to fluffy, (filling 9mm cases too full), and is listed for my three calibers, in MY ONE book!! Guess I may be asking for the moon on a silver platter, eh? Oh forgot, need that perfect powder to be available close by and not too expensive. Of course powder is one of the smaller expenses for reloading.

    Mike
     
  12. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    I rarely load .380, but when I do, I've used W231 because .380 is a small charge and it meters well. W231 is a good all-around powder, as is Unique as long as your powder measure performs well with flake powders (my LnL Powder Measure works fine). WSF is equivalent to unique, but is a ball powder and meters better. Someone else mentioned Power Pistol, which I've used in 9MM, .40S&W, and .357Sig and have been very happy with, but have not tried it in .45ACP (I use WST exclusively for .45ACP).

    If I was forced to pick only one powder, it would be a toss up between W231 and WSF. That being said, other than free range brass, powder is the cheapest component in reloading and unless you like Vihtivouri powders, the cost difference between different powders is negligible...so I like to keep a variety of 1 lb quantities available to experiment with until I find a load I really like, then I buy a 4 or 8 lb keg.
     
  13. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Good post.

    Unique is a great powder, was reformulated several years ago to burn clean but still carries its old rep of being dirty. It's very versatile for pistols and is even used in shotguns. It's used as reduced load in rifles with cast bullets. I find it to feed from a measure just fine. There's always Unique on my bench.

    Just my opinion, but I suspect that some of the lingering belief about Unique being dirty is that it's so often the choice for cast bullets in pistols and rifles. Cast bullets and lube are themselves dirty.

    With jacketed bullets, I find it to burn clean. It won't double charge. It's my pistol powder.

    $.02
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    What you are asking for is pretty much available in Power Pistol. It's certainly suitable for the three calibers you mentioned with loads shown on the Alliant Website.

    As for Winchester Powders, they aren't exactly "Winchester" anymore. Hodgdon's the "Owner" now of Winchester and IMR powder names. Unique is a "sister" powder to Power Pistol with Power pistol yielding higher velocities. I've found it to be fairly plentiful in the places I shop but I can't speak for the Portland area.
     
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  15. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Power Pistol sounds like a good one to consider. Just guessing, but it seems like the faster powders are what you want for hand gun ammo.

    Mike
     
  16. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily by class, Mike. They actually classify powders as fast, medium fast, medium, etc. IIRC Power Pistol and Unique are both classed as medium. With a "fast" powder you basically get an instant explosion. The slower the powder, the more it creates a pressure building curve as the bullet travels in the barrel.

    But yes, you usually want a faster powder for a pistol than for a rifle. I believe a lot of us use a medium powder in pistols, but medium is relative because powders burn fast!
     
  17. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Something else I'm not sure anyone has stressed. Every gun I've owned likes a different powder best. That's true for rifles too. If the differences in speed (up to a safe point) or accuracy are really significant, I would load with different powders for those guns. If I couldn't get a good load for my gun with a certain powder, I'd try another powder.

    However I'm at a point where I'm finding that all of my current pistols (they're all autos) do fine with just one powder and that makes my life easier. I do have a chronograph to prove that I'm getting sufficient speed to get the full advantage of the caliber. This allows me to shoot my .40 SW ammo from any gun chambered for that, for instance. I'm within factory specs.

    Again, if I wasn't getting the speed without exceeding the powder manufacturer's recommendations, or couldn't get the speed without losing accuracy, I'd try a different powder. It's nice to be able to load "factory" rounds for overall length and speed, even if I give up a touch of max perfect, because I give that up with factory ammo anyway.

    Autos and levers and pumps need to be full length resized in rifle, and I do it to all pistols. Bolt rifles can be neck sized because they have the cam force to chamber and eject when fire-formed. So, I make one exception. I make special loads for my main squeeze bolt rifle for speed and accuracy. I could in a pinch shoot my "factory loads" in it though.

    $.02
     
  18. mookmanjdj

    mookmanjdj Oregon Coast Member

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    Awesome information from everyone. I think I'll try Power Pistol next and go from there. Thanks to everyone, as usual the knowledge shared here is invaluable.
     
  19. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    HP38 and w231 are the same and so is h110 and w296. I e-mailed Hogdon and recieved confirmation.
     
  20. mookmanjdj

    mookmanjdj Oregon Coast Member

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