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Old October 31, 2011, 12:14 PM   #1
praetorian97
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Might be making the switch - 231

I have always been an advocate for Unique with simple target loads. Ive loaded 1000s in my 40 S&W 165gr/180gr and my 45acp 230gr with zero complaints.

I loaded up 200 rounds of 40 S&W 165gr last night based on a recommendation from a friend with Winchester 231. I was amazed at how well it metered. Practically zero fluctuations in the output. An added bonus is it requires a slightly smaller charge than Unique too.

The switch is pending a range day to see how accurate I can be and how clean the powder burns but I think I might be making the switch. Sucks I just bought a 4lb jug of Unique.
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Old October 31, 2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Another benefit with 231, also called Hodgdon HP38, is how consistent it shoots.
Velocity spread, from round to round, is low, and temperature doesn't seem to bother it much.
While it leaves more residue than some other powders, it's a soft coating and cleans up easily.
It's good stuff.
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Old October 31, 2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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Good afternoon
Unique was the first powder I bought when I ETSĀ“d in 74. Dad & his reloading buddy loaded lots of Unique...
But 231 is a real winner in target applications. It will get to reasonable velocities and is about as clean a powder as I have used. I have to say I load much more ACC#5 in caliber .40 S&W but that is just what I fell into with a 180 grainer I cast. But you will not go wrong with it.
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Old October 31, 2011, 05:03 PM   #4
603Country
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Interesting that I've just done the same thing - switch from Unique to Win 231 - and it's all about the metering.
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Old October 31, 2011, 05:56 PM   #5
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I switched from Unique to 231 in 1978 and never looked back. I still have an old can of Unique that I do use some times.
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Old October 31, 2011, 05:59 PM   #6
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231?. Might have to try it. I use Unique and Titgroup with very accurate results in a 45 ACP. But this post has sparked my intrests.
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Old October 31, 2011, 06:03 PM   #7
black mamba
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I use HP-38 because it's cheaper than 231, but it's the same powder. Good stuff, meters well, burns clean, consistant velocities and accurate.
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Old October 31, 2011, 11:41 PM   #8
hoghunting
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Quote:
I switched from Unique to 231 in 1978 and never looked back.
I wasn't reloading then, but did the same thing around 1987.
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Old November 1, 2011, 12:19 AM   #9
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HP-38/231 is great.
SR 7625 is even better.
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Old November 1, 2011, 06:37 AM   #10
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I use the 231 for the same loads in a Glock 23 and a Kimber 5". Accurate, consistent metering, and easy to clean. For the .40's I use 4.3 gr. and for the .45's I use 4.6 gr. with cast lead bullets. I began using it on the advice of an experienced handloader and never have had reason to change.
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Old November 1, 2011, 06:57 AM   #11
excelerater
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Unique is OK at everything but great at nothing 231 harder to find but not a bad powder
Powerpistol is my fav handgun powder now and I dont even use
the others I have on the shelf,fantastic for 40,9,38s380 etc
I use it mainly in 40 and 9.......
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Old November 1, 2011, 08:44 AM   #12
Charlie_98
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I'm actually in the process of testing some W231 loads (vs Unique) in my .38 and .45 loads. So far I haven't found the accuracy as good as my Unique loads, but I'm still working loads up. I don't think you can load as heavy as you can with Unique (I use Unique in my .357 and .41 loads, too) but it may be serviceable as a low- to mid-range powder.

Just to throw a monkey into the wrench, try WST...

Quote:
Unique is OK at everything but great at nothing
I would disagree... it's greatness lies in it's versatility. I use it to load everything from .380 to heavy .41 and .45Colt loads and it does very well... not just 'OK.'
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Old November 1, 2011, 10:34 AM   #13
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Unique is undoubtedly the best handgun/shotgun powder if the subject is bridging in the powder measure...............................it clogs up easier and faster than any other powder I have tried in both the new (Alliant) and old (Hercules) formulations.
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Old November 1, 2011, 09:22 PM   #14
Red Dog
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Big fan of 231 as well. I do have some greendot that I want to try in 45acp because I 've heard alot of good things.
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Old November 2, 2011, 04:48 PM   #15
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Just tested several series of 9mm and 40S&W reloads using Unique, W-231, Power Pistol, some V-N320 and V-N340. The W-231 and Power Pistol produced the best results in my pistol. Four pounds of Power Pistol arrived a couple of weeks ago and I can see four pounds of W-231 in the near future (after allowing for proper wife cool down period.)

The W-231 had better groups and lower felt recoil in the lower to mid range loads, while the Power Pistol grouped better in my lower and upper range loads, but had more felt recoil.
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Old November 2, 2011, 05:08 PM   #16
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W231 is lousy for 357 mag hot loads.
The cases stick at lower velocities than other powders.
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Old November 3, 2011, 06:54 PM   #17
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Hot .357 loads want a slower powder than 231. Try W296 or comparable powder if you want to stoke her up. 231 makes nice mid to mild loads in 357. Trail Boss is nice for plinkers. I don't know if it performs any better but it is harder to double charge. I never have done that and I don't want to.
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Old November 3, 2011, 08:32 PM   #18
shootniron
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W231 is hands down my favorite powder. Loads well and shoots even better.
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Old November 4, 2011, 07:25 AM   #19
Don P
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Quote:
Sucks I just bought a 4lb jug of Unique
If its unopened see if your dealer will exchange it.
Personally I was using Unique on a friends recomendation when I first started reloading and I'm glad its gone and never again. Dirty, dirty, dirty burning powder. I am now using Titegroup and it burns much, much cleaner and a little goes a long way. maybe in the future Win-231
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Old November 4, 2011, 09:25 AM   #20
Mike Irwin
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If you search on my name you'll see I've been pounding the 231 drum for as long as I've been here, especially when discussion turns to how well it meters.

I started using it probably 1980-1981 when my Dad and I started loading for handguns.

For many years it was the only handgun powder that I loaded.

Since I've added some large capacity cases (.44 Special, .45 Colt), wanted more flexibility out of my .357s, and added a .41 Magnum, I've expanded to several other slower powders more suitable for those applications.

But, for .38 special and other similar cartridges, and even moderate loads in .41 Mag. and .357 Mag., 231 is still my go to powder.

I tried Unique for awhile when I started loading .32 S&W Long, simply because there was no loading information available for that cartridge with 231.

Let's just say I wasn't impressed with how it metered, and I have no intention of ever going back to it.
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Old November 4, 2011, 09:36 AM   #21
BDS-THR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin
I tried Unique for awhile when I started loading .32 S&W Long, simply because there was no loading information available for that cartridge with 231.
Hodgdon website has load data for 32 S&W Long and HP-38 which is same exact powder as W231.

Quote:
83 GR. BERB HBWC Hodgdon HP-38 .314" OAL .920" Start 2.1 gr (679 fps) 7,600 CUP - Max 2.4 gr (800 fps) 10,800 CUP

85 GR. HDY JHP Hodgdon HP-38 .312" OAL 1.160" Start 2.4 gr (707 fps) 8,500 CUP - Max 2.7 gr (810 fps) 11,500 CUP

90 GR. HDY LSWC Hodgdon HP-38 .314" OAL 1.185" Start 2.1 gr (744 fps) 9,100 CUP - Max 2.4 gr (831 fps) 11,300 CUP

90 GR. SIE JHC Hodgdon HP-38 .312" OAL 1.170" Start 2.3 gr (678 fps) 8,400 CUP - Max 2.6 gr (766 fps) 10,500 CUP

98 GR. SPR LHBWC Hodgdon HP-38 .314" OAL .920" Start 1.9 gr (718 fps) 9,200 CUP - Max 2.3 gr (861 fps) 11,600 CUP
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Old November 4, 2011, 11:25 AM   #22
Jim243
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Can't tell you what to do. I started with Win 231 7 years ago for 45 ACP and am still using it for all pistol loads, 380, 9mm, 38 spl, 40 S&W & 45 ACP. It is good powder and has served me well.

Jim
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Old November 4, 2011, 12:14 PM   #23
Mike Irwin
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"Hodgdon website has load data for 32 S&W Long and HP-38 which is same exact powder as W231."


Where were you 25 years ago when I started loading for the .32 S&W Long?
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Old November 4, 2011, 01:12 PM   #24
black mamba
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25 years ago they weren't the same powder!
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Old November 4, 2011, 04:59 PM   #25
Mike Irwin
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No they weren't the same, but they were similar.

Winchester was making HP-38 with different deterrent coatings to match what Hodgdon wanted.

Even back then people said that you could, with caution, interchange them if you started out at the very lowest book recipe.
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