The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 4, 2010, 10:28 AM   #1
tall gunner
Junior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2010
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 1
9mm and Unique

I have reloaded 44 spl, 45 acp and 45 colt with no problem. Just starting to reload 9mm using Precision Delta 124 fmj, CCI 500 primer, and starting with 4.5 gr Unique on a Dillon 550B. OL is set at 1.10 shooting in a G19. My question is this....when I drop the Unique into the case it looks awfully full, about 3/4 approx. There's room for the bullet but only just. I can't imagine fitting 5gr or more in there. Does this seem right to those of you experienced with Unique? I can go to another powder but would like to keep things simple.
tall gunner is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 10:34 AM   #2
golfnutrlv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 5, 2008
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 1,347
That is normal for unique. I used it for 9mm for a while, but mostly with 115 gr bullets.

It tends to be a dirty firing powder, IMO. My other issue was the charge. I had serious trouble getting it to meter consistently for me. So much so that I switched to Hodgdon HS-6, and I have never looked back at unique.

It is a good powder, just not my preference anymore.
__________________
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
VIGILIA PRETIUM LIBERTATIS
"The price of liberty is vigilance"
America is at an awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.
golfnutrlv is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 11:44 AM   #3
gwalchmai
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2001
Location: outside the perimeter
Posts: 329
I loaded 300 124gr FMJs over 5.6gr of Unique last night at 1.13. Works fine.
gwalchmai is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 03:31 PM   #4
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,814
Unique is a lot bulkier than most pistol powders. It's ability to nullify position-sensitivity is far above average. I load 4.6 gr under 122-125gr LFPs. It's a 75-80% density load (depends on the bullet).

Load higher than minimum/starting, and it starts burning very clean, as well.

As far as metering...
I think it really depends on the equipment you're using, and personal technique. My RCBS Uniflow won't meter Unique worth a damn. But my Dillon 550B drops with better accuracy than +/-0.1 grain (I can run as many charges as I want, with no detectable deviation from the desired charge). Yet, my brother can't get even ball powders to meter better than +/-0.2 grains on the same Dillon. He's is rather "violent" in operating the press, though. Smooth and consistent is the way to go.
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 04:02 PM   #5
sonnycrockett
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 4, 2010
Location: Memphis TN
Posts: 240
I switched from Unique for my 9mms to Universal,also using PD124s
Universal just meters better for me,leaves less mess and leave
my SR9 a little cleaner
sonnycrockett is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 04:22 PM   #6
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,193
I'm switching from Unique to Rex-III powder in several calibers. The charge weights are just a little lighter (like Universal or Solo 1250) but it's almost as bulky. Haven't tried it in 9mm yet.

A little compression will not hurt anything with Unique, Herco, Promo, or Red/Green/Blue Dot.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old November 5, 2010, 09:41 AM   #7
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,798
The Lee web site states that Unique will NOT meter well. I am going on the premise that it must be true for Lee to state that on there web site. I have found that it does NOT meter worth a dam and have switched to Titegroup and Unique is a "dirty" powder.
Here is the link to Lee's web site that makes the statement about Unique powder, http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/faq/index.cgi

just click on powder handling
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old November 5, 2010, 09:53 AM   #8
Yoosta B. Blue
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2008
Location: Just a tad NE of the Alamo...
Posts: 252
I guess we're all seeking a better way of doing what we do, hoping to simplify it in the process. I load just about every caliber with Winchester 231 and really enjoy using it. But before I switched to 231, I used lots of Unique.

Unique is widely used in the reloading crowd and brings out various comments from its users. I've loaded a couple thousand 9mm, using 5.7 gr Unique under 115 gr JHP, seated to an OAL of 1.12. Works fine for me in my CZ 75B.

Yoosta B. Blue
Yoosta B. Blue is offline  
Old November 5, 2010, 01:46 PM   #9
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,814
Quote:
The Lee web site states that Unique will NOT meter well. I am going on the premise that it must be true for Lee to state that on there web site. I have found that it does NOT meter worth a dam and have switched to Titegroup and Unique is a "dirty" powder.
I see as many "dirty powder" comments for Titegroup, as I do for Unique. It's all a matter of opinion (and avoiding pip-squeak loads).

Also, Lee's statement about Unique not metering well, is only in reference to their own tools. Other reloading companies have figured out how to make tools that meter all types of powders, including flake powders. When Lee wakes up, and finds a way, they'll take the warning down.
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old November 6, 2010, 08:29 AM   #10
azphx55
Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2010
Posts: 85
Once again, this group has saved my sanity.

I stopped to read this thread before posting that I was going nuts trying to figure out why I suddenly can't seem to get a consistent powder drop from my Pro-Disk.

I had originally started loading only Unique and using the Perfect Powder measure, but by the time I got my Pro-Disk, other powders were available and I was using mostly Bullseye, Titegroup and HP38 (still deciding on a favorite for 9mm).

I had decided to use Unique only for larger cartridges, so when I switched turrets from 9mm to .40, I changed powders and the nightmare began, with the .66 disk dropping anywhere from zero up to 4.8 grains.

I guess I'll put it back on the shelf until I feel like using it up some afternoon loading .45 Colt, weighing each charge.
azphx55 is offline  
Old November 6, 2010, 08:36 AM   #11
ZeSpectre
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,276
DISCLAIMER: the following loads are for informational purposes only. Anyone using these loads does so at their own risk.

I use 5.0gr of Unique behind a 115gr Berry's plated for plinking loads.
I use 5.9gr of Unique behind115gr Hornady 35540 XTP for more "serious" loads

Both run well in all of my 9mm

Unique meters just fine out of my RCBS UniFlow measure unless I get below 4 grains and then it gets a little erratic so I don't use Unique in .380 anymore.
__________________
"The dogs may bark but the caravan moves on"
ZeSpectre is offline  
Old November 6, 2010, 09:16 AM   #12
TXGunNut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: If you have to ask...
Posts: 2,851
I used Unique in my earliest 9mm loads under 115gr Sierra JHP's, metered fine in my RCBS Uniflow and the Dillon. Load was given to my by another member in the early 80's and it was reasonably clean, possibly because it was a pretty warm load. Unique tends to burn cleaner as pressures get higher. I'm currently using Universal where I'd normally use Unique today. Generally takes less by weight and it's pretty clean.
__________________
Life Member NRA, TSRA
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call Lonesome Dove
My favorite recipes start out with a handful of used wheelweights.
TXGunNut is offline  
Old November 6, 2010, 06:25 PM   #13
Johnny Guest
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: North Texas
Posts: 4,116
I like Unique, too

I'm currently loading a little heavier charge of Unique with both 115 and 124 gr. fmj or plated in 9mm. It meters fine for me. I use a Dillon 550B for 9mm, Super .38, medium to heavy .38 Spl, light to medium .357 mag, medium .44 Spl, light .44 mag, medium .45 Colt, standard velocity .45 ACP and Auto Rim. Son and I have also loaded Unique in .380 ACP, .38 S&W, .357 SiG, .40 S&W, 10mm, and .455 Webley.

I agree with TXGunNut, that Unique gives more uniformity when the pressures are above minimums. People talk about how "dirty" Unique burns. What you see in your barrel after shooting Unique loads is almost all soot, rather than actual fouling.

Back in the old days, I cast .38, .357, .44, and .45 bullets from straight wheel weights. This fairly soft lead, when combined with the old, black Lyman-Ideal lubricant, left some bad LOOOKING residue in the barrels. Even that, though, cleaned right out with snug-fitting dry patches. Top velocity .357 ammo left a few streaks, but these came out with use of some Hoppes' #9 solvent and tight fitting patches. I seldom had to use a bronze brush.

With modern, Alox-lubed, bulk pack lead bullets and non-barn burning loads, I have no problem cleaning my handguns.

Best,
Johnny
__________________
MOLON LABE!
Amendment II ensures the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Blog: Expert Witness
Johnny Guest is offline  
Old November 6, 2010, 07:27 PM   #14
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,530
I will *not* go back to using Unique again. Universal is a lot easier to handle.
chris in va is offline  
Old November 8, 2010, 05:36 AM   #15
sonnycrockett
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 4, 2010
Location: Memphis TN
Posts: 240
I had a little Unique sitting around figured Id use it up
Not as dirty as I thought and shot really well

PD 124g FMJ,5.1g Unique 1.135 OAL shoots great
sonnycrockett is offline  
Old November 8, 2010, 10:52 PM   #16
Dave R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
Quote:
The Lee web site states that Unique will NOT meter well.
And yet, somehow it does for me. I use Unique for some loads, and TiteGroup for others, and for some reason the Unique meters remarkably accurately for me in my Autodisk.

I weigh a LOT of the drops because I don't see how its possible that a big flake powder could measure that well. But the drops I weigh are all the same.

I have shot probably 750 pistol rounds loaded with Unique in an Autodisk. No problems.
__________________
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old November 9, 2010, 10:17 AM   #17
DarkRayz
Member
 
Join Date: May 28, 2010
Location: Somewhere between Phoenix and Tucson
Posts: 67
I loaded about 2000 9mm rounds using berry's 115gr round nose plated bullets, and 5.0 gr of Unique, in an OAL of 1.155-1.160, and all shot fine in my CZ pistols. I did the 'plonk' test: making sure the round dropped into the removed barrel and made that happy 'plonk' sound: not touching the rifling of the barrel. Unique was very dirty, and b/c I wanted a bit cleaner, and was going with longer bullets (yes I was concerned about compressing the powder, since 5gr kinda filled that case) I switched to Titegroup.

But 5.0 gr of Unique with a 115 gr bullet worked. Can't say accuracy was super, but that's probably b/c my OAL was a tad long. The Titegroup at 1.150 OAL is better, and now i'm testing 1.125 OAL.

DR
__________________
"Kangaroos in my top paddock? I dunno....what's a paddock, by the way?"
DarkRayz is offline  
Old November 9, 2010, 11:37 AM   #18
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,280
Note that commenting on how dirty Unique is, that the formulation was changed a number of years ago to burn cleaner. Someone else may have the date, but the point is that what was experienced in the 80's, when I tried using it, may well be different today. My "old" Unique did not meter well in my RCBS Uniflow. I would experience jams where the measure tried to cut a random stack of the flakes. That affected the uniformity of the throws.

I recently got some "new" Unique and the flakes appear more uniform than I remember the old stuff looking. I wish I'd kept a little of the old to compare. I'll have to see how it meters. Anyone else notice a change in appearance from 30 years ago, or is this my imagination?
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member
Unclenick is offline  
Old November 9, 2010, 11:44 PM   #19
Dave R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
I've only used the new stuff. Its not "dirty", but it IS "sooty."
__________________
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old November 10, 2010, 12:35 AM   #20
hammie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2009
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 570
I use unique in my .25 ACP, .32 H& R, .32-20, .380, 9 mm luger, .38 super, .38 spl, .357 mid-range, .44 special, .45 colt, .45 ACP, 20 gauge shotshell and 28 gauge shotshell, and that's exactly my point. For that kind of versatility, I can put up with some minor measuring issues.
hammie is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11754 seconds with 9 queries