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Old January 15, 2001, 06:44 PM   #1
Poodleshooter
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I've decided that I need to simplify my range of handgun powders as much as possible. I'm looking for one versatile,clean burning powder to use for:
.45ACP-light to medium loads up to 850fps using lead bullets 185-230 grains
.357/.38 special- 158gr lead- light to moderate loads up to 950fps
.44 magnum- 200-240 gr lead light-medium loads (think .44 Special in a Magnum case, below 1000fps)
I'm looking for a powder that has a versatility across a wide variety of case sizes like Alliant's Unique, but isn't as dirty. I'm stocked to the gills with magnum powder (AA#9,Win296 and Blue Dot), now I just need a good "medium" to round things out.
Suggestions????
Thanks in advance,
Poodle

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Old January 15, 2001, 06:55 PM   #2
tonyz
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Hodgdon's Universal Clays Will Cover all those cal. very well

Tony Z

[Edited by tonyz on 01-15-2001 at 09:46 PM]
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Old January 15, 2001, 07:02 PM   #3
WESHOOT2
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You have described Hodgdon Universal Clays exactly. I use it for IPSC loads in my 45ACP, 44 Mag, 40S&W, 41AE, 38 Special, 38 Super, 357 Mag, and 9x19. Use it in 45 Colt and 41 Mag, too, for 'plinkers'.
Accurate, clean, and easy-metering.
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Old January 15, 2001, 07:44 PM   #4
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WW 231 would also be a candidate. I've found it clean burning, consistant metering and works well with jacketed and lead bullets. There are oodles of loads published for WW231 in the calibers you have listed.
Take Care
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Old January 15, 2001, 07:56 PM   #5
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VihtaVuori N340, N350 will cover them and a lot more and is very clean buring and is consistant from lot to lot.
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Old January 15, 2001, 08:43 PM   #6
renaissance7697
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For TonyZ and WeShoot2

The Hodgdon catalog lists under Powders:
Two types (among others).
One type is >> "CLAYS"
and
another is >> "Universal"
but
NO >> "Universal CLAYS"

Which do you mean?
"Hodgdon CLAYS"
or
"Hodgdon Universal"

all that aside. . . . . .

Would you be willing to share your load formulae for:

45 acp lead (200 or 230) SWC or RNFP
38/357 lead 158 grain RNFP
and 125 grain FMJ or lead > 9mm luger.

Use is:
IPSC/target/plinking
in a Kimber .45 / Sig 228 in 9mm / and 357 Mag Ruger Blackhawk

Your Post:
You have described Hodgdon Universal Clays exactly. I use it for IPSC loads in my 45ACP, 44 Mag, 40S&W, 41AE, 38 Special, 38 Super, 357 Mag, and 9x19. Use it in 45 Colt and 41 Mag, too, for 'plinkers'.
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Old January 15, 2001, 09:42 PM   #7
tonyz
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Hogdon has the clays Series.
Universal is part of that Series. There4 the name Universal Clays. Which is printed on the Powder canister. But most reloading manuals refer to it as H.universal or universal.

We are refering to Hodgdon Universal.

Hope this helps

Here is there reloading Data URL:

http://www.hodgdon.com/data/pistol/index.htm

Tony Z

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[Edited by tonyz on 01-18-2001 at 09:15 AM]
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Old January 15, 2001, 10:03 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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I've used several pounds of WW 231 in precisely the applications you're describing.
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Old January 16, 2001, 04:14 PM   #9
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Uh, that would be AA#5

AA#5 is another powder that will do that for you...
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Old January 17, 2001, 11:16 AM   #10
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I've been using IMR 700-X for 45, 44 (loaded as you described), 9mm, and 12ga. It has quite a bit of muzzle flash in the 9mm, but in the other calibers none is noticeable. It is also one of the cleanest powders I've used, much better than ww 231.

Mike
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Old January 17, 2001, 04:17 PM   #11
Poodleshooter
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I may try some AA#5. As I recall that was the cheapest alternative to a powder with a burn rate similar to Unique.
Thanks guys!
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Old January 17, 2001, 07:31 PM   #12
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UNIQUE IS THE KING OF PISTOL POWDERS!

It is without doubt the most versatile of them all, and is really quite accurate. Problem is, with lead bullets, it burns just a touch dirty.

It is my understanding that Hogdon's was striving for a grain-for-grain replacement for Unique when they introduced Universal. They very nearly did it. You CAN interchange load data IF and only IF you are nowhere near max loads. In .45 Colt, .44 Special and .40 S&W, lead bullets in each, Universal is noticibly cleaner-burning, which may be an issue if you shoot on indoor ranges at all.

But, as fond as I've become of Universal, I just haven't gotten around to trying it in .45 ACP. Reason is, a friend began buying W231 in huge quantities, and sells it to me very reasonably. Since I load many times more .45 ACP than any other cartridge, I've largely gone with 231. Try 5.4 gr. of W231 with a 230 lead round nose--runs about 820 from my five-inch guns, and at or slightly below 800 in my Commander.

I've also had excellent results with 231 in medium .38 Special 160 LSWC loads and fairly light .44 Mag loads, with 240 LSWC. And of course, it does well in 9x19 mm, with 124 gr JRN for practice loads.

You won't go wrong with either of Universal or 231, and, unless you just HATE cleaning guns, there's nothing wrong with Unique, either.

Best of luck - - -
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Old January 18, 2001, 03:21 AM   #13
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You may like TiteGroup, very much like 231.
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Old January 18, 2001, 03:33 AM   #14
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I experimented along the same lines as you are and came up with my own set of powders for 45 ACP. I load 230 grain projectiles only, since all lesser bullet weights demonstrated less accuracy despite many, many vain attempts. Here is what I tested:

231 - Probably the best powder for all-around use. Low charge weights mean less cost. It is a fairly fast burning powder, and velocities above 800 become a concern due to the pressure curve. It has the lowest flash of all the powders I tested. Burns reasonably clean and has become a staple in my limited powder array.

Universal Clays - Don't use it anymore. The accompanying puff of smoke with each discharge may be great if you plan on laying smoke as you shoot and move, but I'd rather rely on my expertise in a crisis rather than concealment. I liked the smell of it for some odd reason, but if I wanted smoke with each firing indicating my position, I'd also invest in a good vest to accomodate the incoming.

A.A. #5 - I like this powder, except for the 'flakes' it leaves behind. It burns damned clean except for them. I tired it to get a bit more velocity than 231 could safely provide, but after a thousand rounds or so, decided to continue my quest.

WST - This powder came to my attention as recommended by Tim at Dillon Precision for a good all around plinking powder. Even lower charge weights than 231, it is a poor mans powder. If you shoot a lot, you deserve to try WST. Clean, economical, meters well and does most of what 231 will do at a slightly lower cost.

Power Pistol - I love this stuff. Higher velocities, clean, and really tightens up groups. Drawback is muzzle flash. I use this in all of my heavy loads and personal carry ammunition for 'day' use. Plan on shooting at night using any of these mentioned powders? Go 231 and suffer the 25-50 fps loss or go blind with Power Pistol. I have separate 231 propelled ammo for low light use. Be CONSERVATIVE with this powder and start LOW. It is a great product, but some of the published data is a bit liberal for my tastes. I started low and got a good scare anyway. Power Pistol will help you get the described velocities with room to spare. Also doubles as a flamethrower at lesser ranges.

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Old January 18, 2001, 10:18 AM   #15
Intel6
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I am a big fan of the AA powders. I can get them in large quanities alot cheaper than most other powders. I have narrowed most of my regular handgun loads down to AA#2 (.25 ACP, .32 ACP, .32 S&WL, .380, 9mm, .38 spl, .44 SPL, .45 ACP/AR) and AA#5(.32 MAG, .357 Mag, 40 S&W, 10mm, .41AE, .41 MAG, .44 MAG, .45 ACP/AR, .45 Colt).
I also discoverd Win WST when I bought some to load shotshells. I saw the burn rate and data and gave it a try. Good clean stuff but the published data limits it's uses and proabably knocks it out of the running for an "all around" powder.
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Old January 18, 2001, 05:03 PM   #16
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Ived tried them all at one time or another. The one I like best is AA 5. It is a very versatile powder and it appears to be the cleanest burning there is. I use it for everything.

It also meters better than some others. One powder will do it all. I get mine in the 8lb. jugs.

I use it with cast lead bullets most of the time , but it does well with jacketed also.

Like you, I once had about a dozen various powders. I got smart and narrowed it down to just one medium...AA#5.

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Old January 18, 2001, 08:45 PM   #17
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Something else about WST, a buddy and I shooting IPSC in Sacramento loaded our 200gr cast SWC .45's with 231 to Major Power Factor. We were a bit surprised when we attended an IPSC shoot near Reno, in the cooler and higher altitudes, and our ammo wasn't making the floor anymore! On advice, we switched to WST, and I've stayed with it since. I now use it for .38 Spl 148gr HBWC, .38 Spl 158gr SWC, 9mm Luger, and 9mm Steyr. It seems to burn just a smidgen cleaner than 231, also. The other nice thing is, the local shop tends to run out of 231 before WST, so I am reasonably assured of a can or two if I need it.
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Old January 18, 2001, 09:26 PM   #18
Johnny Guest
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Itty Bitty Cartridges

Intel6--

Your post above concerning loading for .25 and .32 ACP is of interest to me. I thought I was about the only one who loaded for the mouse guns. I haven't in a lot of years, though, and have lost my load notes. I feel the state of the art MUST have advanced in the meanwhile. I have dies and a limited selection of bullets on hand.

I would appreciate your sharing load information, including velocities obtained, on these two cartridges with me. If you're loading way over published data, please respond by e-mail. (jpg43@aol.com) If you're not going over the edge, you might want to start a new topic area in this forum.

Thanks and best regards,
Johnny
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Old January 18, 2001, 09:52 PM   #19
RiverRider
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Looks like a poll here...W231 gets my vote! Unique is just too danged dirty, and 231 burns pretty cleanly. It's tried and TRUE, too.
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Old January 19, 2001, 05:27 PM   #20
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For .45 ACP I've used 231 and AA #5 with good success. As someone mentioned, though, the heavier charge with #5 will cost more. The main reason I'm using 231 is that I bought 16 pounds of it when there was a rumor about a ban on comonents. Only have to shoot another 14,000 or so rounds before it's all used up.

Dick
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Old January 19, 2001, 07:46 PM   #21
M1A1John
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My vote goes for 231, for all the above reasons.
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