Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Most versatile handgun powder?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by timac, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. timac

    timac Loading Magazines! Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    1,503
    I'm looking to simplify my handgun reloading. Which single handgun powder is the most versatile, for both pistol, revolver and many calibers?
     
  2. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

    Messages:
    949
    Likes Received:
    312
    I don't know about revolvers.

    I like Titegroup.
     
  3. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,775
    Likes Received:
    1,962
    Unique.
     
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    5,778
    Likes Received:
    4,970
    Look in your reloading books and see what powder is listed for the most cartridges and loads you reload for.

    if you shoot .380 9mm and .40SW your going to be looking at a different powder then I would shooting 30M1 38spl and 44spl
     
  5. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    Trying to use ONE powder for all tasks is like trying to buy a truck that will do a good job of hauling everything you want to. A mini-pickup will be great to haul a couple of bags of fertilizer but you'll need a 1-ton to tow your 5-th wheel. The 1-ton will break the bank on fuel and while the small one is great on fuel it won't handle the trailer.

    Same with powders. Choose one and you end up with a compromise that may not give you what you want or need. Powder is the second cheapest part of a reload. You won't save much, if at all, by trying to use one.

    I prefer to use a powder that gives me ideal performance for the caliber I'm loading.
     
    Blitzkrieg and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,674
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    It's like asking: Blonde, brunette or redhead?
     
  7. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    562
    Likes Received:
    338
    Deadshot is correct again (no surprise!). There are many calibers that can utilize the same powder....Unique comes to mind...but tailoring your components to achieve optimum results often requires different brands of powder than others...
     
  8. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    121
    I have found for my needs that W231 works real good. (9mm 40 s&w 45acp)
     
  9. gunfreak

    gunfreak Boise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,055
    Likes Received:
    592
    I like 700x. I use it to load .40 and 9mm, will do others as well. It doesn't require much and when on sale at bimart is a great deal.
     
  10. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

    Messages:
    949
    Likes Received:
    312
    I've always found that a half-ton pickup does 95% of the things I needed doing. I've always found that Titegroup does 95% of what I needed doing.

    When I need something other than those two, I look at the plans again to see if I'm off track.
     
  11. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    5,778
    Likes Received:
    4,970
    yes but as I said above it is dependant on WHAT you are reloading. For instance there is no data given for Titegroup on Hodgdons site for loading .30M1 for pistols. Nor .22 hornet. granted neither are popular pistol cartridges. But not knowing what the OP is loading its hard to suggest a good do everything powder.
     
  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    3,775
    Likes Received:
    1,962
    Mark W and Deadshot2 are correct when deciding on the "best" powder for a specific handgun cartridge. Each cartridge, bullet, primer gun combo will have it's favorite powder. But that wasn't the OP's question.
    The question was the most versatile powder for many pistol and revolver cartridges.
    I just took a quick look thru my Lyman manual. All but two straight wall cartridges (30 carbine being one) had a listing for Unique and most had Unique listed for most of the bullet weights. That's from 25 ACP up thru the mighty 44 Mag and 45 Colt. Also, some of the bottle neck "handgun" cartridges listed it.
    Unique may not provide the fastest load, or the most accurate, but it IS one of the most versatile powders for a handgun.

    I have many powders for my handguns. I reload for 38 Special, 357 and 41 Mags and 45 ACP. H110 is my favorite for my hot Magnum loads and is what I used exclusively for my 500 S&W when I had it. I've used my share of many other powders.
    But, if I had to live with one powder for my handgun loads for the rest of my life, Unique would be the one.
     
  13. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,674
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    If I had to just have two it would be Hercules/Alliant red dot and blue dot
     
  14. timac

    timac Loading Magazines! Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    1,503
    Thank you all for responding, I reload the following 32ACP, 9MM, 45ACP, 45LC, 357MAG, 38SPL & 44MAG. I find it a PITA to switch powders for these different calibers, I clean the hopper everytime I switch powders. I might spend a day reloading for my handguns. I would like to be able to just change the charge between calibers with one powder. I realize this might be just a dream, as powders perform differently for calibers and bullets weights.
     
  15. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,674
    Likes Received:
    4,849
    You can't possibly find one powder that can reach the potential in all those calibers. I use red dot cause it's cheap and effecient for low velocity pinking loads and smaller calibers like .38 special..but it also makes a good .45 ACP target load for lead bullets..and it makes a decent shotshell powder. But it's dirty. Blue dot is an excellent magnum powder that gets you some of the highest possible velocities. And it's pretty clean shooting. In between those two extremes there are all sorts of choices

    Reloading is simply not as simple as you are trying to make it. Gourmet chefs have a lot of different goodies in their cabinets because you can't make the best out of a few simple ingredients
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    537
    What powder measure do you use? I have three different types, Dillon, RCBS Uniflow, and RCBS Chargemaster. Non of them take more than a few minutes to empty, clean, and re-fill. What do you do, take it completely apart? All you need to do is make sure none of the old powder is left and a long handled artist type paint brush is great to brush any clinging flakes/granules out.

    If I'm only loading a few rounds, like 25 or less, I just use a stand alone electronic scale, a Lee Dipper, and a Trickler. I don't bother setting up a powder measure for that few rounds with a different powder. If you're using a powder measure where the measuring "cavity" can be removed without changing adjustment (Dillon Slides are a great example) just keep one or two extras around so you can minimize the time to set up for a new powder.

    Accept the fact that in Reloading there are many PITA's. Cleaning and prepping cases can be long, dirty, and tedious. Just working up a load can be frustrating.

    That's what makes it fun for many of us, the challenge and hunt for the "perfect load". If all you're interested in is using your pistol as a noisy hole punch or killing a few bottles and vegetables, just get cheap factory ammo. NO PITA there and just think of the money you save on not having to buy reloading equipment.


    PS, don't get upset, I'm just having some fun wit' ya' :wave::wiggle::poke::poke:
     
  17. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,171
    Likes Received:
    3,111
    Newbie here......It seems to me that loading the calibers you load, your going to want different powders for .44mag, than 9mm and .32.

    I tried the "One powder for all" with Unique. I started doing 9mm, .38spec, .45, and now .40. Titegroup was my first, and used very little. Unique was a pain in the thrower, as a flake it was always binding, and it seemed dirty. Once I got the .40 I got a recomedation to use HS-6 for that. The guy said due to it's slower burn rate it would be good in the longer barrel of the CZ. I feel he was right, it seems to burn clean and fully with a midrange load, and meters great. HS-6 didn't seem to do as well with .45acp, I got more smoke and confetti. I tried W231 with a burn rate between Titegroup and HS-6, and like it for my other loads. It meters very well, and seems to burn clean.

    So maybe you need to consider what TWO powders will meet your needs. Optimum burn rate for caliber, cleanliness, and most important>, availability.

    And I don't disassemble and clean my thrower after a powder change, I just open it wide, tap it and work it good untill there's no more grains falling out on white paper.

    The newbie.

    Mike
     
  18. taroman

    taroman Willamette Valley Active Member

    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    98
    Closest I have found is Hodgdon Universal - lives up to its name.
    Even use the same charge in 44 Spl, 357 mag and 45 Auto.
    Plus, it meters much better than the old "flaming dirt" - Unique.