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Old February 4, 2014, 03:36 AM   #1
HAMMER1DOWN
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Unique in .45 ACP

Hey everyone. I have been loading my own for quite awhile now and am just getting back into loading for pistols. I shoot 9mm and .45 acp. What is the minimum and absolute max that I can load a .45 acp up with Unique powder for a 185 and 230 FMJ RN? Thanks in advance!
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Old February 4, 2014, 05:12 AM   #2
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http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...aspx&gtypeid=1
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Old February 4, 2014, 08:53 AM   #3
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You will like Unique in 45 ACP. It is one of my favorite powders for that caliber and meters very well. It also provides some excellent velocity.
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Old February 4, 2014, 09:55 AM   #4
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In May of 2000 I started working up from 45acp to 45acp +P to 45 Super to 460 Rowland loads in a 20 ounce Patriot pistol with once fired mixed brass and 185 gr bullets.

I started out with Unique, because the late Randy Ketchum had worked up to 45 Super in his Para Ordinance P14 using Unique.

I later that month switched to AA#5, but I could have continued experimenting with Unique.

I think almost any pistol powder will give the same general results in a 45acp work up. The limit will be case support or recoil.
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Old February 4, 2014, 10:57 AM   #5
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by HAMMER1DOWN: Hey everyone. I have been loading my own for quite awhile now and am just getting back into loading for pistols. I shoot 9mm and .45 acp. What is the minimum and absolute max that I can load a .45 acp up with Unique powder for a 185 and 230 FMJ RN? Thanks in advance!
Unique is one of my favorite powders for .45ACP. That said, if you have been " loading my own for quite awhile now " you should have at least one manual showing .45ACP recipes with Unique, plus having a computuer you have access to the Alliant site posted by Airman Basic. Both are much better references than "some guy on the internet". This is something else an experienced reloader knows. Asking what powder works for folks or asking if a load is safe can be prudent. Asking for Min and Max loads without some other form of reference is just foolish. It also displays a bit of laziness and lack of discipline, not good traits for a handloader.
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Old February 4, 2014, 11:08 AM   #6
serf 'rett
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An "absolute maximum" load is the load just below the load which disassembled your pistol.

What do your reloading manuals show?

I like Unique for loading 45 Auto cartridges. For my pistol with plated and cast bullets, the accurate loads were not maximum loads.
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Old February 4, 2014, 12:47 PM   #7
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My 1970s vintage Lyman manual shows 6.5gr Unique under the 230gr FMJ as their "factory duplication load". It also lists 5.9gr for the 185gr jacketed bullet, but that is for the swc target load.

I know its "old data" but I'm an old guy (now) and I've been using it since it was "current / new" data, and see no reason to change.

Min load would be whatever is just above sticking the bullet in the barrel, although most prefer something that will actually cycle their pistols, and that will take a bit more.

Max load? as others have said, just before your gun comes apart. Of course, finding that will cost you the gun, but there's no free lunch, right?

Max safe working load will depend on what gun you have, and how it is set up.
I've got a hot load for the Speer 200gr JHP (with Unique) that works fine in my SIg, but craters primers in 1911s.

Unique is not as clean burning as some powders, but in the .45ACP I've never found it to be the "flammable dirt" that I have seen some others claim it to be.

All in all, Unique is one of my favorite powders, had always given me everything I asked of it, and has been doing it for me for well over 40 years.
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Old February 5, 2014, 12:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
and (Unique) meters very well.
I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've read that phrase in TFL

Unique is not known for its metering. I have no problem with it, but it is kind of a large flake powder. I have read lots of complaints about its metering.

As far as max loads with it and 45 ACP. That's something we all as individual - and responsible - loaders have to determine on an individual basis.

Speer #14 shows their 185's from 7.3g - 8.2g
The 230 TMJ RN from 6.4g - 7.2g.
And the 230 Gold Dots from 5.4g - 6.0g
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Old February 5, 2014, 12:25 AM   #9
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I love Unique. Only powder I use for pistol rounds. Makes it so much easier.
I load 9mm,40s&w , 45, 45 LC ,.38spl and all of them with unique.
Meters reasonably well in my Lee Turret press and my Dillon SDB.
But I never really push the envelope. Mostly do plinking loads and whatever barely makes power factor.
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Old February 5, 2014, 12:35 AM   #10
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Mostly do plinking loads and whatever barely makes power factor.
If you're just loading for plinking and power floor rounds, you might get cleaner burns and more consistent velocities with something a little faster than Unique. Unique is a great medium speed powder. But faster powders would better serve the application.
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Old February 5, 2014, 01:32 AM   #11
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Airman nailed it. Just follow the manufacturer's recipe, or the ones in your books and work up slowly. Unique is a nice powder for 45 acp.
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Old February 5, 2014, 02:27 PM   #12
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Unique does meter well. Not as well as ball powders (which meter like water) but much better than IMR stick type powders. So, overall, I'm good with saying it meters well.

Not the best possible, but not the worst, by far, so "well" is ok by me.
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Old February 5, 2014, 03:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Unique does meter well. Not as well as ball powders (which meter like water) but much better than IMR stick type powders. So, overall, I'm good with saying it meters well.



Not the best possible, but not the worst, by far, so "well" is ok by me.

Metering is no longer an issue for me as I am not using a case activated powder drop. I measure with the Hornady Auto Charge. When I did use the powder drop, Unique metered well for me.
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Old February 5, 2014, 05:50 PM   #14
chris in va
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I tried using Unique but holy cow...it was like loading the cases with Corn Flakes. I much prefer Universal or PB.
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Old February 5, 2014, 08:28 PM   #15
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7. ??? in a Gggglock 36 and a MIHEC 200SWC

off topic
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Last edited by saltydog452; February 5, 2014 at 08:35 PM. Reason: of topic, my bad
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:12 PM   #16
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Unique is a great powder for the .45 acp. Great velocity for pressure and excellent metering thru my Dillon. I don't load either of those bullet weights but the 200 grainer gets a dose of Unique every time.
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Old February 6, 2014, 02:43 PM   #17
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I have a tin of Hercules Unique, so I am not sure if it changed going to alliant or not... but I loaded up a bunch of rounds with 5.5 grains under a 225 grain lead round nose for plinking.
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Old February 8, 2014, 05:43 PM   #18
Peter M. Eick
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One of the few loads I have by memory is 6.5 grns of Unique with a 230 grn FMJ. That and 5 grns of bullseye were my standards. Both give excellent accuracy. This is why I bought 8 lbs of bullseye and 16 lbs of Unique yesterday.
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Old February 8, 2014, 11:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesiss45 View Post
I have a tin of Hercules Unique, so I am not sure if it changed going to alliant or not... but I loaded up a bunch of rounds with 5.5 grains under a 225 grain lead round nose for plinking.

I came across a 15lb can last year and it seemed to perform identical to current unique.
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Old February 9, 2014, 10:50 AM   #20
Peter M. Eick
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SHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

You can't SAY THAT!

It is heresy to say that old Unique is the same as new Unique!

Don't you know that all newer powders must be faster than the older versions of the same thing so we have to downgrade all of our load data.

You are taking on absolute dogma of the industry with statements like that!

Did I hear someone say "burn the heretic!"






By the way.






I found absolutely the same thing. Within reasonable (10% lot to lot variations) old Unique seems no different than new Unique in my testing. I can take load data from the 1930's, make it up with modern components and shoot it in similar guns and get similar results. Now how can that be if the powders have changed a lot.

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Old February 9, 2014, 03:30 PM   #21
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I have load manuals but the one I use most as its been with me since i started is the Sierra 2007 edition. But I don't use it for any rifle loads as they are way short from Hodgdon website. I was just wondering if it was going to be the same for their handgun loads. And my .45 is a Kimber 1911, full size.
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Old February 9, 2014, 05:35 PM   #22
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If you get a few loading books you will find their is a fair amount of difference in most of them.
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Old February 11, 2014, 11:37 AM   #23
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I only shoot the 230gr bullets in my 1911's and when I was using Unique I liked 6.5gr. I use Accurate No.5 now and love it. Unique is a good powder but dirty. You should start with the minimum your book shows and work up your own load though.
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Old February 13, 2014, 09:05 PM   #24
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I've used 7.0 for many years under 200SWC. It's so accurate, I never tried another powder - for the past 40 years.
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