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Old December 27, 2012, 02:41 AM   #9
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 3,340
H110 (and its clone, W296) are powders designed for maximum power levels and do not take to being reduced in power level. The manufacturer's web site specifies not to reduce loads more than 3%. That is a fairly narrow operating window. It tells me that H110 is not very forgiving. But it is a fine propellant to wring maximum performance from a cartridge, especially for hunting or for knockingdown steel silhouettes at distance.

There are many other powders that, if you are interested in medium or light power levels, are much better than H110.

2400 is pretty good for medium to medium-heavy loads

Unique is very good for light to medium loads.

Bullseye is one of the most energy-dense powders I know of (makes it economical).

Trail Boss is my favorite for teaching a novice about reloading. If fills the case well so you can see the powder in the case easily. Great for plinking and for Cowboy Action Shooting Sports (CASS) for which it was designed. At first, Alliant said it was for cast lead only, but since its introduction, it has proved good for plated and for jacketed bullets, too.

Figure out what kind of velocity you want then go into your manuals and see what powders give high and low velocities that bracket that velocity. Make a list and then go and see what is on your dealer's shelves.

For shooting paper with 240 grain bullets, I favor lead or plated SemiWadcutter bullets at 900 to 1200 fps. They are a LOT less expensive than jacketed bullets and do just as well on targets.

If you want gentler-shooting ammunition, you can download into the 44 Special range with the faster powders ("quickness" is the technical term).

My favorites are Unique and Bullseye, but there are plenty others like HP38, HS6, WIN231 that I have heard recommended.

I hope that helps.

To summarize.

H110 has a narrow operating range, and it is at the top of the power levels. I would not start there.

Fast powders like Unique tolerate mid-range and plinking/practice power levels even down into the 44 Special power levels.

Trail Boss is good for moderate power levels and fills the case well.

Pick the velocity you want and find a powder that delivers that velocity.

Plated bullets are fine for paper targets and a lot cheaper than jacketed.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep
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