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Old April 4, 2006, 11:44 PM   #1
MISFIRE
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Unique

For years the only powder I used was Unique. I had some really accurate loads but didn't much like coming home from the range covered head to foot with black specks of unburned powder residue. About 15 or so years ago I stopped using it. I'm told it has been reformulated since then and burns "a lot" cleaner. True? False? Somewhere in between?
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Old April 5, 2006, 12:01 AM   #2
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what are you shooting, and what barrel lenght ?
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Old April 5, 2006, 01:27 AM   #3
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At that time a 5" P14 .45 , a Sig p220 .45., a 4 " gp100 357, and a superb six inch K-38 Masterpiece.
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Old April 5, 2006, 01:28 AM   #4
918v
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true!
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Old April 5, 2006, 02:12 AM   #5
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Yes, it's cleaner.

No, it's still not THAT clean.

I prefer Power Pistol for warm loads. Clays for light loads. 2400 for heavy pistol loads. I've found each of these powders to be cleaner than New Unique.
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Old April 5, 2006, 02:15 AM   #6
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Well I'd give Unique another try, I prefer it for heavier bullets in .38spl .44spl, and more so with lead. For the lighter bullets I like W-231. For the .45acp I load 185gr, and 200gr w/ Bulleye and W-231, but not always in that order
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Old April 5, 2006, 10:41 AM   #7
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The only time I've had black specks of unburned powder with Unique is when the charge was below the minimum in my manual right when I was starting out reloading (I'd misread the manual). I pulled the bullets, upped the charge, and it was *much* cleaner. My more recent experience has shown me that as I approach max loads with Unique, that it's even a bit cleaner still. Common sense when you really think about it, but as a new reloader it just never occurred to me.

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Old April 5, 2006, 11:50 AM   #8
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As it is with all other powders, the more pressure and heat, the cleaner burning it is, and faster powders burn with more heat and they pressure spike sooner.
Unique is very accurate over a wide range of calibers and bullet weights, but it's dirty at the lower pressures. If you don't like max loads and don't like cleaning your gun, stay away from unique. If you like unique and are near the starting load for your caliber/bullet weight, try upping the charge a bit at a time until you're close to a max charge. Odds are it will be a lot cleaner burning.
I never had black specks with unique.
But I have with blue dot in .45 colt. Extremely accurate load, but it turns out the pressure was way too low for a complete burn, esp. in my short barrel 3 1/2" vaquero. Blue dot burns great in magnum calibers where pressure is 3x or 4x higher.
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Old April 5, 2006, 12:19 PM   #9
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I've been using it since 1982. I call it "flammable dirt".
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Old April 5, 2006, 12:22 PM   #10
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It never even occurs to me to consider cleanliness in chosing a powder. That ain't what powder is spozed to do.
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Old April 5, 2006, 08:42 PM   #11
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I keep seeing Bullseye and Win 231 popping up on forums far and wide. Those ( and 2400 for 357) have been my go to powders for a long time. With all the fuss about little dabs of powder in big cases and their susceptibility to multiple charging and case position, I would have thought that the less "volume efficient" powders would have joined the dinosaurs by now. Any of you all ever noticed any effect from powder position? I never seem to think about it "til I've gone through my usual 500 or 600 rounds.
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