The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 14, 2019, 12:33 PM   #26
Bayou
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2016
Location: SE Louisiana
Posts: 230
On the issue of metering with flake powders like Unique, the OP did not specify the type of powder dispenser is being used.

In my experience, using the RCBS UniFlow powder dispenser, flake powders like Unique or 700-X actually meter quite consistently if the small volume cylinder is used rather than the large volume cylinder.

I use 700-X as my go to powder for 45ACP, 9mm, 38SPL, etc., etc. Have a lot of it. No issues with metering...

Bayou
__________________

Bayou
NRA Life Member
"Keep Calm and Reload"
Bayou is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 01:20 PM   #27
KEYBEAR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 11, 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 923
I have used Unique for years and use 12/16 lb. a year . It works fine in my dillion and it is all I use for cast bullets .
KEYBEAR is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 02:39 PM   #28
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 4,869
Quote:
the OP did not specify the type of powder dispenser is being used.
RCBS Uniflow with the small cylinder.
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 04:13 PM   #29
KEYBEAR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 11, 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 923
I have a RCBS Uniflow with the small cylinder it will stay very close 1/10 + or -
I load 10.2 with the Dillion or Uniflow all within a 1/10 gr . using Unique .
It does take time to set but it will work well .
KEYBEAR is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 04:23 PM   #30
eastbank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2008
Location: pa.
Posts: 2,135
I use a lot of unique in my older lever actions,32-20,38-40,44-40 with cast bullets and it works fine for me.
eastbank is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 09:50 PM   #31
rclark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2009
Location: Butte, MT
Posts: 2,179
I use in for my .44 cartridges (special and Magnum). Why? First because it works (accurate loads), second historical. I find it no dirtier than any other powder with 240g SWCs. For these cartridges it meters fine. So I'll continue to use it here as I still have lots of it. I've went to other powders for my other cartridges for something different. But if Unique was all there was ... no biggie.
__________________
A clinger and deplorable, MAGA, and NRA member. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes colloquially referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.

Last edited by rclark; January 14, 2019 at 10:05 PM.
rclark is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 09:59 PM   #32
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 11,755
My Uniflow won't throw Unique worth a crap. It's pretty ugly.

My Dillon measures, however - and ironically, since so many other people have problems - threw Unique so well that it was a surprise to see an average deviation over 300-500 rounds of even 0.1 gr. They were awesome with Unique.
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 10:50 PM   #33
Sunday Shooter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2016
Posts: 9
I have the RCBS Uniflow with the small rotor and micrometer adjuster. Yesterday I was loading for 45 colt. I needed 8.2 grains. I set the micrometer where I was getting 8.2 grains. I threw ten charges, weighed it and came up with 82.4 grains. made a slight adjustment to the micrometer adjustment and threw 10 more and came up with 82.0 grains. Threw 50 charges into a loading block of cases. Confirmed the volume with a pen light and stuffed the bullets into them. They may be off +/- 0.1 grain because of the nature of Unique, but I can't see where that would matter with 45 Colt.
Sunday Shooter is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 11:09 PM   #34
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,631
My Uniflow does fine with Unique, and I use the large cavity drum (I think I lost the other one, if I ever had it. Never used it.
If you think Unique doesn't meter well, go use an IMR stick powder, then tell me its not better than that.

Not as good as fine ball powder that measure like water, but I never had a problem, or heard of one before the Internet.

I have used Unique in smaller caliber cases but its not optimum even in .357. In .45 caliber, its great for me. 6.5gr 230gr .45 ACP is ball ammo duplicate, 8gr under a 250 for .45 Colt in a Colt, 10gr in my Ruger Blackhawk.

Been using Unique since the early 70s, see no reason to switch to any of the newer powders, as long as I can get Unique.

Best for "full power" medium to medium heavy loads, not at its best in light loads, and not suitable for the very heaviest loads, it performs well, for me. you may not like it, but that doesn't change my mind.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 11:17 PM   #35
CommandoX
Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2011
Location: The Land of Cheese n' Beer
Posts: 79
I like Unique and use it but I can understand Nick's reasoning.

Like many others here I put it to use through an RCBS Uniflow. Mine is pretty old and has the green metallic paint on it. I finally put a micro meter on it 6 months ago. It did improve consistency but there wasn't all that much to improve.

I have tried Unique in .38, 45acp, 44 mag and 45 Colt. I still use it in the last two calibers weekly. I'm not opposed to other powders and in fact do use other powders with essentially the same effect.
__________________
When in doubt, empty the mag.
CommandoX is offline  
Old January 14, 2019, 11:39 PM   #36
larryf1952
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 17, 2004
Location: KCMO
Posts: 559
In 43 years of reloading, I've never used Unique for any caliber. In the early days, I was using Herco and Blue Dot. Metering from my old Uniflow measure with those powders was enough to make me pull my hair out. I had to set the measure low, and then trickle every case up to weight. I certainly didn't want to add another flake powder to the mix.

The calibers where Unique seemed to work, according to the manuals, were also the calibers where so many of the medium burn rate ball powders worked well. Plus, all I ever heard about Unique was how dirty it was. Didn't seem like there was anything there that would have been an advantage for me. For the 9mm and the .40, I'm using Power Pistol and WSF these days. I'm especially happy with the performance of WSF. What a great powder that is with jacketed bullets in the 9mm.

I gave up on Herco a long time ago. When I ran out of Blue Dot about 3 years ago, it went away. I use Longshot in its place. Life is much easier now.
larryf1952 is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 09:10 AM   #37
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 40,237
I've never really liked Unique, and quit using it in the early 1990s.

That said, Unique is very likely the single most versatile smokeless powder that there is.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 11:14 AM   #38
Real Gun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: SC
Posts: 2,656
I like moderate loads with Unique but quit using it on heavier loads because a) it caused leading, too fast burning I guess, and b) it gave harsh recoil, I guess due to pressure spike. Full loads of IMR4227 were far easier to shoot.
__________________
Not an expert, just a reporter.
Real Gun is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 12:08 PM   #39
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 2,806
Well folks, there you have it. Some praise Unique, some hate it. Some get good results with their powder measures, some don't...

In my old age, my shooting and reloading has slowed way down (bum knees, forest fires and rain) and I have my log books from '88 that I'll use to find a load. The powders that worked for me from '88 to '17 still work today...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
I've learned how to stand on my own two knees...
mikld is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 12:43 PM   #40
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 40,237
"Well folks, there you have it. Some praise Unique, some hate it. Some get good results with their powder measures, some don't..."

What? You mean people can have different opinions and experiences?

That not everyone achieves the same results as everyone else?

__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 01:06 PM   #41
Charlie_98
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 22, 2011
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 975
Quote:
I like moderate loads with Unique but quit using it on heavier loads because a) it caused leading, too fast burning I guess, and b) it gave harsh recoil, I guess due to pressure spike. Full loads of IMR4227 were far easier to shoot.
Interestingly enough, I found that out a few years ago. I never really liked the full-house loads with W296/H110 (I really don't have a use for them) but found IMR4227 to be that Happy Place in between max charges of Unique and W296. It is especially useful in my Marlin 1894 .41MAG carbine, but still is very good out of my pistols as well. I like it so much I recently bought 8# of it...

A lot of people complain about how Unique measures... when I first got my Hornady drop I had problems, too. But after I ran a bunch of IMR stick powder through it... seasoning it up... I didn't have too many problems thereafter. It still gets a little iffy with very light charges, but I rarely go there anymore with Unique.

I have several standardized loads with Unique... oddly enough, after all these years, and after Al Gore invented the internet, I found my loads were identical to many other's standard charges...

6.5grn/230grn .45ACP
9.0grn/215grn .41MAG
9.5grn/250grn .45 Colt
7.0grn/250grn .44SPC

Someone commented that is was jack of all, master of none... I would correct that as jack of all, master of some. It works in almost everything, but it excels at a few particular loads. JMHO.
__________________
Dennis

Wherever you go, there you are...
Charlie_98 is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 01:07 PM   #42
huntinaz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 21, 2010
Location: az
Posts: 1,291
Just starting to get into 40 cal. Loaded some up yesterday, 180gr Rainier HP's with Unique, Universal, HS-6 and Blue Dot... All worked fine. Blue dot gave best velocity but also highest recoil. Unique gave the best recoil vs velocity balance. More testing is needed but Unique is right in there with the better powders for my application. Which is moderate recoil and preferably 950fps or better. Can't say I'm surprised. Unique rocks.

Charges thrown were 5.2gr-5.5gr with 4 out of 5 being 5.4gr. I can live with 0.3gr deviation if performance is where I want it.

Even HS-6 throws a 0.3gr deviation once in awhile.

If I didn't have so much powder I'd just use a bunch of Unique and call it good. It's a great powder. But, I do. So I tested 4.
__________________
"When there’s lead in the air, there’s hope in the heart”- Hunter’s Proverb
"Feed me, or feed me to something. I just want to be part of the food chain." -Al Bundy
huntinaz is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 01:09 PM   #43
huntinaz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 21, 2010
Location: az
Posts: 1,291
Quote:
6.5grn/230grn .45ACP
9.0grn/215grn .41MAG
9.5grn/250grn .45 Colt
7.0grn/250grn .44SPC

Someone commented that is was jack of all, master of none... I would correct that as jack of all, master of some. It works in almost everything, but it excels at a few particular loads. JMHO.
Like that 45 Colt load. I would guess that 44 Spl load is about perfect as well.
__________________
"When there’s lead in the air, there’s hope in the heart”- Hunter’s Proverb
"Feed me, or feed me to something. I just want to be part of the food chain." -Al Bundy
huntinaz is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 02:32 PM   #44
mkl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2008
Location: DFW area, Texas
Posts: 445
To Nick:

Glad the "double tap" helped you.

Try 5.0 grains of Unique behind a 146 SWC or similar in your .38 Special.

That load in my S&W model 10 is a tack driver.
mkl is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 02:40 PM   #45
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,631
I think some people are expecting too much from their powder measures, and not allowing for the inescapable fact that volumetric measuring of a granular solid will have variations, varying with the physical size and shape of the powder grains.

The measures strong point is rapidly dispensing charges of powder where slight variations of charge weight are not significant.

Where small variations are significant, every reloading book I've ever seen tells you to weigh the charge on a scale, and adjust as needed to the desired weight.

I like Unique, its like me, its old, its dirty, and it smokes.
Also does every thing I've ever asked it to do, and pretty well, if not very well.

If you don't like it, don't use it. Free market, you know...
And I'm fine with hearing chapter and verse about why you don't like it. Just don't tell me I shouldn't like it or use it, because you don't.

Free Country...for some things, still...
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 04:51 PM   #46
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 4,869
Quote:
To Nick:

Glad the "double tap" helped you.
Were you the guy who suggested that to me? Thanks! Yes, it does help. Makes Unique drop more heavy, but more consistent. It was a godsend.

Quote:
Try 5.0 grains of Unique behind a 146 SWC or similar in your .38 Special.
I can't. I'm out

Question though: Is this 146 SWC bullet lead, plated, or jacketed? Because I sure miss Speer's old 146 jacketed SWC. What an awesome bullet! Too bad their lawyers told them to stop making them. I miss jacketed SWC's.
__________________
Gun control laws benefit only criminals and politicians - but then, I repeat myself.
Life Member, National Rifle Association
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 05:09 PM   #47
Road_Clam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,300
It's not that I "hate" Unique, it's just the fact I was seeing about a .4 gr deviation throwing through my Dillon 650. If I were only loading say 100 rounds of general plinking ammo I wouldn't be overly concerned. When I run a batch of handgun I run 1000 rounds. I don't want a .4 gr deviation with a 1K round run because it will always be bugging me in head while shooting. Like I said I have over 7# and the more research I do the more applications I read about, in particular using Unique in antique military rifle downloaded applications , and also for 44 mag. So yes, i'll still use Unique but i'll just drop charges through my RCBS Chargemaster 1500 for low volume loading.
__________________
"To be old an wise you must have been young and stupid"
Road_Clam is offline  
Old January 15, 2019, 06:51 PM   #48
Crazy Carl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Location: Alamance Co., NC
Posts: 262
I like how my .41s shoot with it, but it doesn't meter that well (Lee Pro Auto Disk) & with 'heavy' loads, I prefer the feel of 2400.

I'll use up the couple pounds I have for 215gr plinker loads, but will probably try some Power Pistol when it's gone. May experiment with WSF as well, since I have 2lbs on hand that I bought for .45ACP & 9mm.
Crazy Carl is offline  
Old January 16, 2019, 11:44 AM   #49
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 2,806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin View Post
"Well folks, there you have it. Some praise Unique, some hate it. Some get good results with their powder measures, some don't..."

What? You mean people can have different opinions and experiences?

That not everyone achieves the same results as everyone else?

Yep, when I was using a lot of Unique, I read of how dirty it was. Also some complained about metering. I was wondering if I was doing something wrong or had a different Unique than they did...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
I've learned how to stand on my own two knees...
mikld is offline  
Old January 16, 2019, 11:59 AM   #50
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 40,237
"Yep, when I was using a lot of Unique, I read of how dirty it was. Also some complained about metering. I was wondering if I was doing something wrong or had a different Unique than they did..."


Alliant Unique is different in some ways from Hercules Unique.

Complaints about how dirty Unique can be have coming up since the 1920s.

Complaints about Unique's... unique... metering qualities have been coming up since around the same time.

Simple fact is, the dirty factor has a lot to do with the pressure that the load develops. The higher the pressure, the cleaner it tends to burn. That's true of a lot of the early flake powders like Bullseye, the Dots, etc.

Ball powders of the type developed in the 1930s and brought widely to market starting in the 1950s burn a lot more cleanly inherently. It's the nature of the beast.

The same is true of the metering issues. Unique's size and shape make it a lot more prone to variations. That's simple geometry.

I've metered Unique through an RCBS Uniflow, a Belding & Mull, and a Lee Pro Auto disk measure and, despite varying my loading procedures, Unique still gave me far more variation than I wanted or really had any reason to accept.

I simply switched back to Winchester and AA ball powers, which meter brilliantly through anything I've run them through.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11111 seconds with 8 queries