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Old May 4, 2019, 12:25 PM   #1
Onward Allusion
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Powder for 38/357

Looking for a powder that can be easily used with a dipper. I've been using Titegroup for the past 5 years (got a deal & that stuff goes a LONG way) but it's kind of a pain measuring it to plus/minus 0.1 grains.

What is a good power I can use with a dipper that is more forgiving, can be used for 110, 125, & 158 grain bullets, and allow me to load powder-puffs to full-house 357?
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Old May 4, 2019, 12:38 PM   #2
74A95
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Power or powder?
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Old May 4, 2019, 12:54 PM   #3
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I don't understand your question. What do you mean "it's kind of a pain measuring it to plus/minus 0.1 grains"? If you dip powder, you're going to get more variation than that. I dip all the time for my low volume rifle loads and you simply can't count on dipping being all that close. I use a scoop that comes up just short and then use a powder trickler to bring it to zero. Depending on powder used with my Redding measure, I rarely (and I mean rarely) ever have to do anything once the measure is adjusted correctly.....with just about any powder. Just how are you measuring powder now, and why are you having a problem keeping it within +/- .1 grain?
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Old May 4, 2019, 12:56 PM   #4
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Herco. It's pretty bulky, and just a little slower-burning than Unique. It works great for 158 grain cast bullet .357's. Should work good for the other weights too, or top-end .38 Special loads.

AA#7 is a good .357 Magnum powder, and you'll use enough at a time that dippers should work. I don't think it will work well in .38, tho'.
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Old May 4, 2019, 01:02 PM   #5
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I'd think if measuring by volume and what you're asking for . You'd want to use a bulky slow for cartridge powder that has a large amount between the minimum and maximum charges so you can dip in the middle charge area and +/- a couple tenths will not be an issue . Titegroup is none of those things . Unique comes to mind .
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Old May 4, 2019, 01:03 PM   #6
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No dipper is accurate enough to use to 1/10th of a grain. Which powder makes no difference either. Those daft Lee scoops(that are calibrated in CC's for some reason), for example, can vary the powder charge plus or minus a full grain.
There are powder throwers/measures that work well though. Lotta variations in prices for 'em.
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Old May 4, 2019, 01:05 PM   #7
Onward Allusion
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Quote:
Power or powder?
Heh, kinda both actually. But looking for a powder.
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Old May 4, 2019, 01:12 PM   #8
Onward Allusion
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Quote:
I don't understand your question. What do you mean "it's kind of a pain measuring it to plus/minus 0.1 grains"? If you dip powder, you're going to get more variation than that. I dip all the time for my low volume rifle loads and you simply can't count on dipping being all that close. I use a scoop that comes up just short and then use a powder trickler to bring it to zero. Depending on powder used with my Redding measure, I rarely (and I mean rarely) ever have to do anything once the measure is adjusted correctly.....with just about any powder. Just how are you measuring powder now, and why are you having a problem keeping it within +/- .1 grain?
I guess I should re-phrase my question. Titegroup's min/max range for 125gr 38 Special is 3.2 to 3.8 max. Is there a powder out there with something like 3.0 to 4.0 as a min/max? Looking for a wider range so I can use my .3cc dipper and just scoop and load w/o worrying about it being closer to the 3.8 max.
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Old May 4, 2019, 01:14 PM   #9
Onward Allusion
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I'd think if measuring by volume and what you're asking for . You'd want to use a bulky slow for cartridge powder that has a large amount between the minimum and maximum charges so you can dip in the middle charge area and +/- a couple tenths will not be an issue . Titegroup is none of those things . Unique comes to mind .
That's exactly what I'm looking for ...bulky w/wider min/max. Thank you!
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Old May 4, 2019, 02:56 PM   #10
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You'll have to ignore Mr. O'Heir on this topic. He doesn't seem to understand that a volume doesn't care what label you put on it, it is still that same volume, and volume may be used to measure gunpowder just the same as a measuring cup calibrated in fluid ounces can be used to measure flour and sugar and is not deterred from that task by being called a "liquid measure".

Many folks have learned to throw from dippers within a couple of tenths of a grain and a few will claim the ability to get 0.1 grains, but I have never been able to hold it that tight for very many throws. It is a matter of practicing to get your technique a uniform as you are able from one throw to the next. However, most cartridges don't require 0.1-grain precision. I've pulled down military ammunition and found a spread of 1.2 grains in charge weight, and that is with a spherical propellant. How anybody can throw spherical charges that inconsistently, I'll never figure out, but apparently the high-speed reloading equipment can. Federal's famous Gold Medal Match load for the .308 Winchester with the 168-grain Sierra MatchKing bullet is something I've pulled down a couple of times and in both instances found it was about ±0.4 grains in charge weight.

If you want to shoot long range benchrest rifle matches, you need 0.1-grain precision and volume precision combined. But at 100 yards my old Remington 600 in .222 Remington drilled consistent cloverleaves using a Lee scoop and IMR 4198 and would do it all day long and, as those were early years for my reloading, I would guess the charge varied at least half a grain.

As for powder, if you want to go from catsneeze loads all the way to full power, you will need at least two powders unless you are willing to waste a lot of powder on the squib loads and clean a lot of unburned powder out of your guns afterward. Slow powders are needed for the highest load levels, but they need high pressures to burn efficiently and reasonably completely. If you don't reach those high pressure levels with them, they can sometimes squib out and leave a bullet stuck in the barrel. A fast powder won't do that, but you also can't use enough of a fast powder to equal the gas volume a slow powder charge produces without making it burn so fast it drives the peak pressure above normal limits. This happens because it doesn't give the bullet time to move forward much before the peak is reached. A slow powder does give the bullet time to move a bit and therefore reaches the pressure peak in a higher volume, lowering the peak value.

So, there you have it. There are actual reasons for all those different powders you see on the shelf.
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Old May 4, 2019, 03:36 PM   #11
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Good reply Uncle Nick. I like the part about the variation in your .222 loads and the accuracy you get with it. What! You don't measure right down to the individual kernel for best results? Just kidding, I found out many years ago that doing that for practical applications was a waste of time.
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Old May 4, 2019, 06:47 PM   #12
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Unclenick as is in most cases , is correct about the slower powders . Which means I should have said "Slower" or mid range burn rate for cartridge ( which Unique is ) rather then SLOW for cartridge which would be more like 2400 or H-110 .

Depending on the powder you ultimately go with . You may actually need to make your own dipper that drops the right amount "you" want/need .
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