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Old January 27, 2013, 08:05 PM   #1
FloridaGuy
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Questions about Powder's

I shoot only pistol ammo in the following Calibers .45 ACP, .38 Special, .44 Magnum/ Special, .357 Magnum, 9mm, .45 Colt. There are so many different powders available looking for suggestions? My local reloading shop suggested Cray's.
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Old January 27, 2013, 08:06 PM   #2
Jimro
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Universal Clays is a good choice for what you are reloading. Guess someone in your local shop knows what they are talking about.

I started off using Unique, which would also work, but most folks acknowledge that Universal Clays burns cleaner.

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Old January 27, 2013, 08:07 PM   #3
YARDDOG(1)
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I think you meant Clays,, Though I would use Unique ; ) JMO PS Jimro beat me to the draw

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Old January 27, 2013, 08:11 PM   #4
FloridaGuy
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Yes, It is just Clays not Universal Clays. The guy at the reloading shop has been doing this for 36 years and sells his reloaded ammunition to the public.
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Old January 27, 2013, 08:19 PM   #5
Jimro
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Clays is a little faster than Universal Clays, but both will work.

You would be able to squeeze a little more velocity out of your magnums using Universal Clays, but you would be able to load more rounds with Clays for the same rate of powder.

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Old January 27, 2013, 08:21 PM   #6
Sevens
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I love nearly everything about Hodgdon, but I'm still just a bit more than annoyed by the naming adventures with regard to "Clays."

There are three different powders in their lineup that have the name "clays" attached to them.

Clays
Universal Clays
International Clays
...are three entirely different powders. Accidentally substituting one for another with the wrong load data or charge weight has the potential to be catastrophic. In this forum and likely others, and certainly in many published load manuals and data sources...folks have taken to calling them:
Clays
Universal
International
...in an attempt to avoid too much confusion.

Please be sure you know which you are hoping to work with!
As to which powder you should choose to load all of the different calibers you listed? Well, I'm a long time fan of keeping a slew of different powders and using a variety, and tailoring powders not just to different calibers -- but to different loads within one caliber. For example...I legitimately and currently load .357 Magnum ammo with no less than 5 different powders. Admittedly, I have been experimenting with two new ones to my bench, but my point is valid... I do NOT pigeonhole myself by using one powder across a half-dozen chamberings.

But that's my comfort zone. Someone new to handloading obviously doesn't want or need the confusion of 15 different one-pound bottles of powder. In the case of the rounds you have listed, Hodgdon Universal will cover them pretty well, as long you as know right up front that you will never make full-bore, true, balls-to-the wall maximum performing loads in .357 and .44 Magnum without using a slower, more appropriate powder.

You can make safe, fun, enjoyable ammo with Universal in .357 & .44 Mag, but you cannot safely make full magnum rip-snort loads with it. Not within published maximums.
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Old January 27, 2013, 08:32 PM   #7
AL45
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I was given some powder that says Universal Clays technologies. I figured out it was Universal by using Lee dippers with their chart. I have only loaded the .45 Colt, and out of the powders I have tried, I had good luck with Universal, Unique, Trail Boss and H110 if you want a hot load
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Old January 27, 2013, 08:44 PM   #8
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If I had a choice of only one powder for the rounds listed, I would go with Unique.
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Old January 27, 2013, 08:55 PM   #9
Revolver1
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Bullseye!
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Old January 27, 2013, 09:23 PM   #10
BigD_in_FL
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Quote:
Yes, It is just Clays not Universal Clays. The guy at the reloading shop has been doing this for 36 years and sells his reloaded ammunition to the public.
They have changed the names, eliminating the word Clays from both Universal and International to avoid confusion.

Both will work,as will Bullseye, Red Dot, and other shotgun powders
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Old January 28, 2013, 08:21 AM   #11
Mike Irwin
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I use Universal in my .45 Long Colt. VERY happy with the results.

I use WW231 in .32-20, .32 Long, .38 Special, light to moderate .357 Mag., light to moderate .41 Mag., and .45 ACP.

For full bore magnum loads in .357 and .41 I use either AA 7 or WW 296.

Finally, I use Trail Boss in .32-20 (not entirely happy), .38 Special, and exclusively in .44 Special, where I find it to be utterly amazing.
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Old January 28, 2013, 08:38 AM   #12
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Clays works well for making wimpy loads(I've loaded many with this powder), but if you are looking for one powder to cover all those calibers, I'd look elsewhere. Same goes for Bullseye, too fast for 44 Mag, so you'll just be able to make wussy loads there.

They've been mentioned already, but good all around powders are Universal, Unique(although I use it less and less the more I play with newer powders), Win231(or Hodgedon HP-38, same stuff).
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Old January 28, 2013, 08:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Finally, I use Trail Boss in .32-20 (not entirely happy), .38 Special, and exclusively in .44 Special, where I find it to be utterly amazing.
Mike, what makes you such a fan of Trail Boss in .44 special? I'm upping my use of .44 special and am looking for good light bullet/powder combos for both my 6" 629 and an incoming 3" 24-3.
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Old January 28, 2013, 09:05 AM   #14
Mike Irwin
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I had been using 231 in my .44. A full charge of 231 in the .44 Special barely covers the bottom of the case. At best the loading density is 10, maybe 15%.

Out of my 6.5" Model 24-3 I was getting pretty wide velocity swings and correspondingly large groups. When I took time to make sure that the powder was tipped back to the primer, velocity and accuracy would even out.

Too much hassle.

When Trail Boss came out I decided to give it a try. A charge that will give factory spec. velocity, about 750 fps., has a loading density of probably 80 to 90%, and through my Lee Auto Disk Pro TB is flawless in how it measures.

Accuracy is also exceptional with Trail Boss.
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Old January 28, 2013, 09:50 AM   #15
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Thanks Mike, sounds like I need to give it a try.
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Old January 29, 2013, 02:16 AM   #16
BigTex308
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I shoot alot of all lead bullets in my pistols. I LOVE Trail Boss. It's cheap and low recoil. It's especially a favorite in the revolver rounds. I also use Auto Comp, TiteGroup, and HP-38/Winchester 231 (same powder) in most of my pistol loads. I like having different loads set up in case I can't find certain powders.



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