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Clean pistol powders

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Charger, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Charger

    Charger Oregun City Area Member

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    I have been using Unique but it is so dirty and hard to clean the brass.


    I reload 9mm 45 ACP 38/357 380

    Is their a cleaner burning power I can use?
    I do have access to Hp-38 power.
    Is this a good one for the caliber I reload
     
  2. filsonhand

    filsonhand In the Silicon Forest Smooth as a Rhino 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Yes....and where are you hiding it, I've been looking for some :D
     
  3. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Still using a 35 year old can of Unique to load my .45ACP.
    5 grains per round, 7000 grains go a long way.
    New Unique is said to burn cleaner.
     
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  4. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Dyjital likes this.
  5. Charger

    Charger Oregun City Area Member

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    I have used old and new unique I see no difference
     
  6. Steve M

    Steve M Beaverton, OR Well-Known Member

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    Powders tend to burn cleaner with heavier loads. You might try adding more powder or switch to a powder that will give you the same velocity but closer to its maximum load.
     
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  7. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    The cleanest burning pistol powder I found was Titegroup in 9mm. Tried 231, Unique, Clays (which doesn't meter well either).
     
  8. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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  9. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Power Pistol and CFE both burn clean with the loads I use. 380ACP and 9mm.
     
  10. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    N320, N340
     
  11. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    HP-38/Win 231 and Titegroup for the .38 special and .45. I've found HS-6 runs pretty clean in 9mm and and .40. I imagine, as mentioned above, it's because the case is quite full compared to .38 and .45. HS-6 recipes also have a wider range than the fast(er) powders.
     
  12. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    I think it should be mentioned that modern powders tend to burn more efficiently than the old stuff. That being said, we should also remember that all powders reach peak efficiency at a certain pressure. It may be that adding powder to a load may cause that pressure to be reached and less carbon left in the weapon or on the brass, but that is not assured. Another way of getting the best out of a powder is to match bullet weight and powder charge to get best pressure.
    Loading data Ffrom websites and even manuals hardly ever even mention this. You can get a good idea of the best match of bullet and powder when using the QuickLoad program's % of powder burned data.
    The various coatings that powder makers use to affect burning rates and other characteristics will also make a difference; some powders leaving behind more or less reside than others. I have not used CFE pistol powder, but I have used the rifle version CFE223, which performs quire well and does greatly reduce copper fouling in my ARs. If the pistol powder operates on the same principle, many people may be dissatisfied with it since the CFE leaves quite a bit of soot behind in the rifle barrels. Undoubtedly this is also where the copper goes.

    Since the OP asked about powders for various cartridges it should also be mentioned that while a lot of people do use one powder for all--that powder will work better for some cartridges than with others. If the goal is to shorten the cleaning process or have prettier brass, the old "less is best" theory might be for you. Basically this works on the principle that less powder used equals less chance for residue left in the weapon or on the brass. This method is not optimum for accuracy necessarily, but it can work quite well in some barrels with certain bullets. Keeping in mind that this requires a fast burning powder, I've found that it works well in my .32HRM and .38 spcl target loads using either HP-38 or W231. The 9mm and I are not friends for some reason I have never owned one that shot very well for me. In my current and best of the bunch, 9mm, I have found that either Auto comp or N-340 work well and do not leave a lot of soot in target loads. I used to load for a .380 using the same powders. My .45acp target loads use Auto comp. .357 mag. takes N-340.

    Other pistol powders I have used and liked pretty well in order of preference-----> HS6, N-320, Lil'Gun, W296, Bullseye, Unique, as made under the Hercules and Alliant names. I never switched from any powder because I had to spend a couple more minutes cleaning or my brass was not pretty.
     
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  13. Classic

    Classic Federal Way WA Well-Known Member

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    Unique is a flake powder and doesn't meter well. I used to use this for .357 and 45LC but found it would vary +/- .3 grains so the booms were incredibly inconsistent. I now only use granular powders for consistency. 1/2 the battle when reloading is developing the optimal load. When you figure this out, the round will not only be more accurate it will burn cleaner!
    AA#7 is what I use for .357 and I love it! I used to hate wheel guns because they are a pain in the #$^%$ to clean (to many holes to scrub). Then I found that AA#7 with a magnum primer and a 158 gr Xtreme was accurate and incredibly clean! My revolver cleaning took only took 10 minutes after 200 rounds and ALL the gsr is gone.
    For 9mm I started with AA#2 but have better loads using Silhouette (I have 13 pounds stashed), for 45acp I still use AA#2 (down to 6 pounds) but will work up a load using Silhouette when the AA#2 runs low, and for 44 mag I use AA#9 (but I'm going to develop an AA#7 load when I run out of AA#9).
    For .223 I use H335 and TAC... Both of these meter great but both are equally dirty
     
  14. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    +1 on a thumbs down as concerns flakey flake powder. IMHO it has more problems than just lousy metering. Still, as the OP's original Q was about cleaner burning pistol powders I have to reiterate that Unique can be made to be cleaner burning than a lot of people think by adjusting the bullet weight to powder load ratio. Whether this is going to be clean enough for people who do not love ALL aspects of the shooting sports, especially cleaning, which allows you an opportunity for a special familiarity and bonding with your weapon, I cannot say.
     
  15. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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  16. JustShoot

    JustShoot Oregon . Hillsborito area Active Member

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    This well said ... it's can be Unique or Vihtavuori and they all burn filthy dirty if your loading and shooting soft velocity target loads .
    .
     
  17. fxdc

    fxdc Da Valley USPSA, SPEED STEEL, IDPA, 3 GUN

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    TG and Silloutte are at the fast and slow burn range.

    What charge are ya using with what bullet weight when you load the Silloutte? ??
     
  18. fxdc

    fxdc Da Valley USPSA, SPEED STEEL, IDPA, 3 GUN

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    Winchester 231 has the same load data as HP38.
     
  19. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I've used Red Dot for like forever in about anything that goes bang. Burns plenty clean for me and meters well (it's a flake powder just like Unique), yielding bughole size groups.
     
  20. Charger

    Charger Oregun City Area Member

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    So I am wanting to reload 38 special wad cutter 146 gr lead bullets with Unique.
    I will be shooting it out of a 357 mag.
    My Lyman manual shows 4.2 grs at 894 fps for unique.
    The manual is not showing a plus p load.
    Can I load this bullet into the plus p range to see how much cleaner it can be.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015