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Old September 6, 2012, 03:08 PM   #1
UncleLoodis
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Clays VS Unique

Hello.

I have used Clays and Unique powder (and many others now as well, but that's beside the point) for some time now. I have noticed that I get more variation in throws with Unique than with Clays. Any ideas why? They are both flake powders, but the throws with Clays are just dead on almost every time, while Unique can vary a couple of tenths of a grain.

Press is a Dillon 650.

Just curious if anyone else has experienced this.

Thanks.

U.L.
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Old September 6, 2012, 03:39 PM   #2
Hammerhead
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+/- .1 or .2 grains is not a safety issue, and you'll probably never notice the results on target, but poor metering is a very common problem with Unique, especially with the smaller powder measures.

Universal is a nice alternative to Unique - very similar, but Universal meters much better.

Clays always meters well for me too.
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Old September 6, 2012, 06:14 PM   #3
AlaskaMike
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I've noticed that the Clays flakes seem to be curved a bit, where my Unique flakes are perfectly flat. I think the curved flakes seem to drop more uniformly through my Uniflow.
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Old September 6, 2012, 06:59 PM   #4
buck460XVR
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Unique is a favorite powder of those that use dippers for loading because it shoots very consistent on volume as opposed to weight. As long as your powder measure throws consistent volume charges of Unique, the difference of + /- .1 or .2 gr will matter little.
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Old September 7, 2012, 12:23 AM   #5
UncleLoodis
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I agree. Even with variances in weight, accuracy doesn't seem to be affected much, if at all.

Flat, curved, interesting thought. I will keep thinking about it in the back of my mind. It's just one of those things that makes me wonder.

Thanks for the replies.

U.L.
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Old September 7, 2012, 08:29 AM   #6
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As pointed out, what matters is performance. Unique will provide better velocity at same pressure level and is consistent.
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Old September 7, 2012, 08:54 AM   #7
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The metering difference has to do with bridging, where the wider, flat Unique flakes interleave with one another so they can span short horizontal distances and support one another to resist falling down into the measure cavity. The Clays series of powders (Clays, International Clays, and Universal Clays) appear to have started as spheres that were rolled flat. They could theoretically interleave like taco shells if they all lined up correctly, but that doesn't usually happen as it requires them all to be either upright or upside down as well as lined up along one axis. Unique flakes can interleave on any axis with one another as long as they lie in the same plane.
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Old September 7, 2012, 10:42 AM   #8
UncleLoodis
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Thanks, from one uncle to another.
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Old September 7, 2012, 10:53 AM   #9
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I think you have your answer....but if you're using these powders in handgun loads.....0.2 difference is a lot ...in a caliber where the min and max may only be 0.4 to 0.6 gr apart...

I've moved all of my handgun loads to Hodgdon Universal for this very reason ...it drops even more consistently than Clays ...and I like its performace better than Clays in calibers from 9mm to .44 mag ( I also use a Dillon 650 ).
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Old September 7, 2012, 11:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
but if you're using these powders in handgun loads.....0.2 difference is a lot ...in a caliber where the min and max may only be 0.4 to 0.6 gr apart...
What caliber would that be? Just wondering. 0.2 is not a lot in all the calibers I load (.357 to .45 Colt) .
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Old September 7, 2012, 01:44 PM   #11
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A 0.1 grain difference is not unusual and sometimes I'll see as much as 0.2 grain variance with RCBS Uniflow using the small charge cylinder. It seems I remember more problems with the original larger cylinder.

However, in my limited testing, the Unique groups appeared to stay tighter over a wider "window" or broader range of charge weights in a ladder series. The groups were good enough to tempt me to order 4 to 8 pounds of the stuff, even though I really don't like the variations in powder drops. Unique seems to "fit the gap" between W-231 and Power Pistol very nicely for my pistols.
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Old September 7, 2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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rclark
Quote:
What caliber would that be? Just wondering. 0.2 is not a lot in all the calibers I load (.357 to .45 Colt) .
I think that would be those calibers with dinky little bullets, 9mm & 40S&W and such, loaded with "heavy" bullets seated over fast powders.
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Old September 8, 2012, 02:07 PM   #13
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Forget that. Try loading .32 ACP or .32 S&W. I've never tried .25 ACP myself, but it would have to be worse.
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Old September 8, 2012, 03:55 PM   #14
BigJimP
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0.2gr is a lot on many calibers....my reference is the online Hodgdon reloading chart....
-------------------------
As an example ....

.357 mag 158gr jacketed bullet - hodgdon Universal min is 5.8 max is 6.3

.40S&W ..180gr jacketed bullet Clays min 3.0 max is 3.5
Universal min is 5.0 and max is 5.8

.45 acp 230gr jacketed....Clays min is 3.7gr max is 4.0
using Universal min is 5.1 max is 5.6

9mm 115gr jacketed ...Universal is 4.5 min ...max is 5.0
using Clays min is 3.7 max is 3.9

all of these calibers are popular rounds to reload ...and picking a powder that can't give you a tighter tolerance than 0.2gr is too big a variation for me. .45 Colt is not a caliber I fool with ....but it does give you some higher tolerances, depending on which bullet you select.....and some bullets in .357 mag give you a little more range as well....but not in the traditional bullet I load in .357 mag 158gr jacketd Montana Gold.

Last edited by BigJimP; September 8, 2012 at 04:01 PM.
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