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Powders for 44mag / 357 / 45 acp / 38 spcl / 9 mm / 10 mm

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by area51, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. area51

    area51 sf bay area New Member

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    Want to start loading the above calibers and want to get no more than 2 - 3 different powders which will work best. Can you share your experiences and wisdom? I understand some will swear by HP-38 & W231 for almost the calibers I mentioned....I undersand that Unique and bullseye also work. Thanks
     
  2. SAR1846

    SAR1846 Oregon Member

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    A few questions...
    - are you loading cast lead bullets, or are you intending to load up some hunting rounds??
    - what powders are easily available in your neck of the woods?
    - what is your source for reloading data??

    I personally use Unique for my cast bullet/plinking/small game loads... it works for me, and I am happy with it. Its fairly universal, powder charges are large enough that I'll know if I accidentally double-charge, I have load data for it, and its easily available.

    What I suggest... explore your reloading manuals / online data sources for the calibers of interest, come up with a standard load with readily available components, and test it out (maybe a hundred or two) before buying a truckload of components!! By exploring your reloading manuals & online resources from the powder mfg's, several powders suitable for all of your calibers-of-interest should pop out at you!
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  3. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Unfortunately there isn't a lot of sharing between those calibers, I think the closest you might get is titegroup, which I know does the small cap auto pistol stuff (.45, 9mm well) if you have 231 that covers your .38/.357 and .45/9mm. However 10mm is going to want something hotter like HS-6 which does well in .45/9mm but doesn't translate well into .38/.357. What I might recommend if you're shooting .38/.357 in a rifle is lilgun which does great in .38/.357 and .44mag and using titegroup for .45/9mm/10mm.

    I really like titegroup and switched over to that for loading .45 and 9mm a while ago, great powder, burns clean, and can scale up to shooting cowboy loads in .38/.357 and even .44mag. Hodgdon also publishes 10mm data for it, so titegroup may be the one powder to go to.
     
  4. area51

    area51 sf bay area New Member

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    Mainly plinking, I use cast bullets. I have some Speer and Hornady manuals. I also use MD Smith reloading page Reloading Pages of M.D. Smith and Reloading Page
     
  5. area51

    area51 sf bay area New Member

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    My dealer recommended titegroup as well..... Glad to see that you like it.
     
  6. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on what your objectives are. If your main objective is to use the smallest number of powders, then Unique, Universal and Power Pistol are right there in the middle of the fry. But I prefer loading my 45ACP with Titegroup, my mild 38SPC with Win231, my hot 38SPC with Unique, all of my 357mag with 2400 for maximum performance and accuracy, but if I want to dial it down a bit, I may switch to H110. The latter two will work well with 44Mag, too. Just keep in mind H110 and other slower powders that work so well for magnum load will need magnum primers, whereas, 2400 won't.

    Titegroup has a pretty fast burn rate, meters well, and is quite position insensitive. I get relatively low velocity spreads considering I drop (not weight) very small charges with a Uniflow on an almost empty case. But the same can be said for other powders, I just have not worked them.

    I've also experimented a lot with Trail Boss, very bulky and slightly slower than Titegroup, but mostly with subsonic rifle cartridges.

    I have grown very fond of Accurate Arms powders, but the only place I can get them locally is at Wholesales Sports (former Sportsman's Warehouse). So, the only one I am using is AA5744 and for rifle reduced load with cast bullets. I've heard it works well too with large pistol magnum calibers, but I have yet to try it.

    I'd love to get my hands on Power Pistol. But haven't found it locally. And I refuse powder to buy online.

    I have collected a bunch of different powder jugs over time. To me, a big part of reloading is "the search" itself. I have yet to "save" money by reloading. I think it can be said about the most popular calibers that it takes a lot of reloading of the same recipe to break even. You break even quicker with the more "exotic" calibers, though.

    Since this is the route you want to take, I'd pick one/two fast (Titegroup, Win231), medium (Unique) and one slower (2400/H110) that can be had locally. And, check this chart:
    http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html
     
  7. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    I have had good luck with AA-9 in my 357 mag (rifle) and 40 (with 180gr bullets). I just got a 38/357 revolver so I picked up some unique which seems fine to me so far. I want to try hs-6 for the 40, I have heard good things. Check out the powder manufactures' sites they normally show what powder serves what cartridges.
    Post what you come up with. It will be helpful for a bunch of us and at less than 15gr a load pistol powder lasts a long time. Good luck and stay safe.
     
  8. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't load 44 Mag, but I've loaded .41 Mag and .357 Mag for years. For me it's "hands down" H110. It's a good fit for the Mag pistols, including the 500 S&W I used to have. But, this is for Jacketed bullets. Using it with cast bullets will probably fill the bore with lead so bad it would take you a week to scrub the barrel clean. Also, this powder does not "load down" well and is for full power loads. For that it shines.
    I also use a fair amount of Unique in .45 ACP and in the past used it for .38 Special.
    No experience with 9mm or 10mm.
     
  9. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    HP-38 is my current pistol powder. It does cover 38/357, 40, 45. which is why i have it. so far it seems ok, but till i can chrono it, i can only say it goes bang every time.
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    The goal of every reloader is to be able to use only one or two powders for ALL calibers they load for. If only it were possible to do so and obtain the performance and accuracy you desire as well.

    Unfortunately that "great powder" for full magnum loads in .357/.44 mag might not be so good for "puff loads" or .38 loads. A powder designed for a straight walled, low pressure cartridge, might not be so great for a high pressure cartridge like the 9mm/10mm ones.

    Just remember that when you start using a "one size fits all" powder you are compromising. This is one of the reasons that more shops don't stock powder to any extent. Whatever they have on the shelf is NOT what the customer wants and there are so many different choices.

    I just get out the loading manual (Lee 2nd Edition is a good one that covers a wide range of powders) and start looking for the same name popping up under the calibers and bullet weights you plan on loading for. Check speeds and pressures to see if you will be pushing any limits.

    On that note, Hodgdon HS-6 shows up under every caliber you listed. Depending on bullet weight and speed you desire you could actually have ONE powder for all these calibers. Might not be the best for all but I can attest it's not a bad performer in 9mm.
     
  11. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Books are necessary but they are just books. They are a starting point and for max load, a safety reference. After that, your situation is completely unique in barrel machining tolerance, twist, barrel length, etc. Your cases will vary in inside volume from other brands and even other manufacturing runs which will affect pressure. Your barrel vibrates differently from mine and your chamber length is probably slightly different from mine. You will use different types and weights of bullets than the next guy.

    Reloading isn't for everyone. There is no one size fits all, and reloading is for the detail oriented person, even if you're just making up target practice or hunting loads. No one can answer your question because you have to experiment with your situation.

    You'll never be a good reloader without a chronograph. You'd be shocked to see the disappointment from guys who come to the range with their reloads and shoot them through my chrony. With pistol or rifle loads, it's not uncommon for the round to travel 200 or 300 fps slower than the book said it would, and that the guy expected it would. How can a book account for all of the variables? To me, a book is just a "do not exceed" reference for safety.

    The very concept of not trying several powders for your unique situation, many listed above, and getting them up to speed with a chrony while not exceeding max. charge, and then seeing if they are accurate in your unique combination of gun and bullet type etc. is just unacceptable.
     
  12. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Good point! I load 357Mag, too. I should clarify that the only reason in some instances I get a slower muzzle velocity with some bullets with some guns is because it is be a bit slower than 2400, thus, developing less velocity. I absolutely agree H110 works at its best when the case is full. IMO, works best with long barreled revolvers and lever action rifles chambered in handgun calibers. Both 2400 and H110 generate a huge muzzle blast and fireball in handguns.
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree that books are a starting point. Useful primarily to prevent a "FFoFP" (face full of firearm parts).

    As for a chronograph being required in order to be a good reloader??????? Funny, I know a lot of reloaders that are not just good but are excellent. They load ammo that shoots extremely accurate and they win lots of trophies yet rarely if ever use a chronograph. There are many other methods of testing ammo that doesn't require a chronograph among them the Audette Ladder Test or a relatively little known method the OCW development process. These both rely on what the gun does with the ammo, not what one's chronograph say.

    Chronographs have their place but all too often they trap people into looking for a particular speed, hoping for accuracy, rather than going for accuracy first and then just checking the speed so they can have something to put on a chart or a ballistic's table.
     
  14. FortRock

    FortRock Bend/Salem, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    After years of reloading the calibers you mentioned I have settled on W296 and Unique. AA-5 is useful. Red Dot is great for .44 Special loads that will run through your .44 Mag. but if you experiment around, and only want 2 powders, check your manuals, W296 and Unique will cover a wide spectrum.
     
  15. k7grc

    k7grc Banks, Or Active Member

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    I load light for cowboy action, loading 45 colt, 45 acp, and 38special. Running a Dillon 550B I found Ramshot's True Blue does a great job, meters great.
     
  16. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Another vote for W296 and unique.
     
  17. Mecanik

    Mecanik La Center Active Member

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    Unique and 2400
     
  18. area51

    area51 sf bay area New Member

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    Have any 2400 recipes you want to share ?
     
  19. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    W231, Universal or WAP, 2400 or AA#9

    AA#2 and #5 should not be over looked for fast and medium burn powders :confused: wow this is a really tough question :eek: