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Old May 23, 2012, 04:26 PM   #1
jself24
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Join Date: May 11, 2011
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Going from lead and plated to FMJs - Help me pick a powder for 380, 9mm, 40, and 45

I've been loading .40 for over a year now, started loading .45 and .380 the last 3-4 months and I'm picking up a 9mm pistol next week so i'll start loading for that very soon. I've got several of my relaoding friends talked into a bulk order of powder and primers from powder valley. Here's what I've been loading:

.40 - 180g TC Lead with AA#2
.45 - 200g Rainer Plated HPs with Win231
.380 - 100g Berry's plated RN with Win 231

My initial thought was to just order those 2 powders in bulk; however, I'm also going to switch to Precision Delta FMJs as they are about the same price as plated. After looking at jacketed data in my Hornady manual I'm not sure what I want anymore.

These loads will be mostly for recreational traget shooting, loaded on Single Stage press. Here are the bullets I'll order in bulk:

.380 - stick with Berrys 100g plated RN
9mm - 124g or 115g Precision Delta FMJ (whichever is in stock)
.40 - 180g Precision Delta FMJ
.45 - 230g Precision Delta FMJ

I'd love to have just one powder that would do everything well, but that may not be practical. I'll end up shooting mostly 40 and 45, with a some 9mm (probably more until new wears off the gun )and very little 380 thrown in there, so if I have to make a comprimise I'd rather make it with .380 and 9mm. What 1 or 2 powders would you guys recommmend? I need something clean, and that measures well in powder measurer.

I'm leaning on staying with W231 or going with tightgroup
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Old May 23, 2012, 04:33 PM   #2
dwhite
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HP-38 / Win 231.

Works pretty good in all those rounds. Might make me a little nervous with the 180 grain bullets in .40 but I'd still run it. I'd watch my charge weight and overall length very closely.

All the Best,
D. White
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Old May 23, 2012, 04:45 PM   #3
Hammerhead
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Yeah, 231/HP-38 should cover it. I've never loaded .380, but HP-38 works very well in the other three.

231/HP-38 is a smidge slower than Titegroup, so it should be better for the .40 if you want to load closer to the .40's potential.

If you were willing to go with two powders you could use Titegroup in the .380 and .45acp and Universal in the 9mm and .40.
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Old May 23, 2012, 04:47 PM   #4
steve4102
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I could give you my favorite powders for the cartridges listed, but they may not be the best choice for you. I think if you are going to buy Bulk, then you should buy powders that you have already tested in your firearms. Nothing worst than buying a few 8lb jugs of a "recommended" powder only to find out it's not what you expected.

My choices.
45 ACP Target = WST. High Power = Silhouette
9MM Target = 3n37, High power= Silhouette
40 S&W Target = WST, High power #7 or Silhouette
380 = True Blue.
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Old May 23, 2012, 09:31 PM   #5
tkglazie
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HP-38 and N320 are my 2 go to powders for .380, .38 and 9mm. I cant imagine not having either of these powders on hand.

N320 is an excellent powder for making up TMJ or plated "cleanup" rounds to use a the end of a shooting session, or for when you want to get some quick shooting in without getting your gun dirty.

Also- dont sell Berry's bullets short in 9mm. My favorite load is 124gr Berry's HBFP over 3.9-4.0gr of N320 at 1.100". 980-1000fps with minimal recoil and excellent accuracy. And even better, this is the cleanest round I have ever shot. I like to start a shooting session with 147gr LFP over 3.3-3.4.gr of HP38 at 1.160" (900fps), then whatever else I am testing (if anything that day) and then switch to the Berry's N320 loads until I am done. It is amazing how clean the gun is even after all that lead.
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Old May 24, 2012, 10:09 AM   #6
bmjp
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HP-38 or AUTO-COMP. Both meter well and mid range loads work well. Just my .02 cents.
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Old May 24, 2012, 05:10 PM   #7
jself24
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I agree with you steve4102 about testing before buying in bulk so, I think I'm gonna stick with W231. I know it works in .45 and .380 and I'm gonna load up some .40 and 9mm to test this weekend before I place the order. Even if I don't get to test, I at least know for sure I can use it in .45 and .380.
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Old May 24, 2012, 05:45 PM   #8
tkglazie
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I dont load .40, but my notes show 4.1gr of HP38/W231 works well under 125gr 9mm LRN at 1.125". I get 1040fps out of my P89.

edit- sorry, I forgot you were looking to switch to FMJ. Got this confused with another thread.

You will do well with HP38/W231 I am sure.

Last edited by tkglazie; May 24, 2012 at 05:57 PM.
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Old May 24, 2012, 06:41 PM   #9
droptrd
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Location: Illinois
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I load 40, 45 and 38spl. Lately theyve all been on top of Power Pistol.

My favorite powder for 40. I Love it for 45 also. Shoots a little high in my 38spl snubbie. But im still gradually tweaking that load.
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Old May 24, 2012, 07:02 PM   #10
SHR970
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W231 works fine for all of the above. I personally have used it for 45 230 gr. plated and lead, 9mm 115 & 124 gr. plated, and 40 S&W 180 gr. plated. A close friend uses it for 380 and i have also used it sucessfully for various 32's. It may not give the best hot rod performance in all of the above but that's not what you stated you were after in the first place.
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