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Old August 21, 2015, 07:55 PM   #1
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So choosing the right powder really does increase accuracy.

I have loaded for .308, .45 ACP, .223, and 7.35 mm, but most of my loading experience involves the .45 Colt and I really haven't noticed a great deal of difference in the accuracy of the various loads I have done. I have found just the opposite to be true in regards to my wife's Sig P238 .380 ACP. After trying three loads which looked more like a shotgun pattern, I finally found one that I was pleased with. The case, primer and bullet and OAL were the same on all four loads. Only the powder, and of course grains of powder, was different. I can understand that one powder might be somewhat more accurate than another, but is it common for some loads to be downright terrible, and if so, what causes it?
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Old August 22, 2015, 04:29 PM   #2
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Sometimes YES...sometimes NO ! Accuracy is a combination of all things being 'correct'. Propellents can make all the difference in the world. BUT THEN so can primers...the brass...and the quality of the projectiles.
And THEN there is that damned barrel !
And so it goes...
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Old August 22, 2015, 05:13 PM   #3
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The smaller the volume of powder involved, and the larger the grain size of the powder, the greater the potential for variation in charge from round to round. With the .380 ACP, you have a pretty tiny volume in which the powder may be placed. If you use a ball-type powder (say, W231, or AA#5), which typically meters very nicely due to the small granule size, I would expect the mass of powder from one round to the next to differ by very little, affecting velocity (thus accuracy) very little. If you use a flake-type powder, like Unique or Herco, which has the reputation to "meter like cornflakes" then there is more opportunity for variation in charge weight from round to round, with attendant variance in velocity, thus accuracy.

There are other factors at play, here, but this is the first consideration that occurs to me.

And sometimes, some powders are just not suited to use in certain cartridges. Alliant Unique seems to work in almost all pistol cartridges, while slower burning ones like Blue Dot or H110 (especially H110) are suited for use only in magnum-type cartridges.

There's a very good powder called IMR-PB, which works wonderfully in almost all low-pressure cartridges, but simply is not formulated to give top performance in the more modern calibers.
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Old August 22, 2015, 08:00 PM   #4
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Kosh75287, Blue Dot was actually the most accurate which surprised me. I found the data in a manual and tried it. I weighed every round to make sure it was consistent.
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Old August 22, 2015, 08:35 PM   #5
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I'm a rifle guy when it comes to different powders and charges making big differences . Barrel harmonics is a big deal . Getting the bullet to leave the barrel at the exact same time every time in the barrel whip is very important .

I don't see why that does not apply to hand guns as well and maybe more if you include the shooter in those harmonics as well . How you hold the hand gun effects POI . I'm interested if others shoot that load as well as you do .
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Old August 22, 2015, 09:16 PM   #6
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Agreed, I think it is more of a factor with rifles
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Old August 22, 2015, 09:22 PM   #7
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Interesting! Titegroup is shooting very well, in my 380 and it looks like corn flakes,
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Old August 23, 2015, 12:07 AM   #8
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Yep.... Even revolvers. That is why I shot a bunch of different powders and a bunch of loads for each powder to find an 'accurate' load(s). I found some revolvers like a certain velocity for example too. Get to 'x' velocity and groups tighten. Primers not so much... Although I recall where one time it almost doubled the ES.... So depends.... All part of the game when trying to find that 'perfect' load.... You known lobbing 'em to a .451" hole (5 shots .45 Colt) at 100yards ... Well exaggerating a bit ... But ya get the point.

Of course if your accuracy is judged at 7-10 yards ... Then any powder, bullet combo with do...
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Old August 25, 2015, 09:55 AM   #9
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Kosh75287, Blue Dot was actually the most accurate which surprised me. I found the data in a manual and tried it. I weighed every round to make sure it was consistent.
Doesn't surprise me at all. I've found several pistol loads where Blue Dot was noticeably more accurrate than Bullseye and Unique in published loads. I also once had some 44 mag JHP bullets that absolutely hated Unique but shot great with 296. It's a combination of components.
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Old August 25, 2015, 06:49 PM   #10
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It seams to me that if you want to test loads with a revolver for the most accurate load... A machine rest will take the human error out of the formula. Although if you don't have a machine rest use sand bags to rest your wrists on and a firm consistent grip along with a quality trigger and pull.

Of course consistency of In case prep... is important. Choose 1 quality primer to work with several powders that have been researched well.
Load at least 10 rounds and choose the tightest grouping of each load at the distance you plan to use the load at.

Then if you change any component you might find you loose accuracy.

Then the rest is up to you to pull of the shot in your hands with lots of practice.

That is the way I see it.
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Old August 28, 2015, 05:16 AM   #11
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Some combinations of primer, powder, bullet brand and weight, gun itself work and some don't depending on what your objective is. The real trick is to find what works for what you are doing. What works as a practice self defense round may not work as a bullseye pistol load. What works as a AR plinking load will probably not fare so well when you start getting out there distance wise.
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