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Old October 15, 1999, 08:25 AM   #1
Join Date: September 14, 1999
Posts: 39
hi folks,
I bought a dillion 550,two months ago,and have been loading 45acp.I am now ready to move on to 223 and 44mag.My question is,can i stick to one powder(Winchester 231 for example)and save a few bucks buying bulk,or sould I use differant powders for each cal.?My freebee Winchester manual list a load useing 231 for 44 mag,but recommends 296(?),hope this is not a dumb question,thanks for any advice or comments.
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Old October 15, 1999, 09:48 AM   #2
Jack Straw
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Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362

First of all, I think you'll like your Dillon. I went through a few other presses and finally got myself a 550; now I can't imagine using anything else!

Secondly, you must get yourself some other manuals. Not that there is anything wrong with the Winchester freebie, but you really are limiting the amount of information available to you. I've used Lyman's, Lee's, Speer's, and others; they're all good, so why not pick a few different ones (or borrow if you know someone that reloads).

The choice in powders depends on what your purposes are. In the 44, W231 would be good for light target or plinking, while the 296 is for full power hunting loads. I've never loaded for 45acp, but I can't possibly imagine using 296 in it.

As far as having one powder for rifle and pistol, there are a few possibilities. Alliant 2400 is a powder for small rifle cartridges (I'm not even sure that it would be appropriate for 223, I'm just kind of talking here), but it is also very good for magnum handguns such as the 44mag. My point is that you MUST GET A MANUAL!!! That is the only way to find different powder uses in different cartridges.

Again the main question is to decide what your purposes are and go from there. I can understand wanting to simplify and save money (especially after buying that Dillon), but sometimes that doesn't work with our intended purposes.

Hope this helps. Now go get those books!!!


[This message has been edited by Jack Straw (edited October 15, 1999).]
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Old October 15, 1999, 12:08 PM   #3
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 15,489
Matt, I gotta jump in here and reemphasize what Jack just said. You need one or more good manuals. Almost all bullet and powder manufacturer puts out one. Once you have one you'll want more. One of the main reasons to get a good manual is the safety tips and reloading advice you'll glean from it. To start you should get a more general manual that covers a wide range of bullets and powders, these are Lyman, Sierra, Hodgdon. Some other manuals specialize more on their particular products but they are still excellent manuals, these are Speer, Hornady, Accurate, and one of my favorites, Nosler (they have an interesting story on each caliber included). The Speer or Hornady manual would be an excellent first manual even though they only include their own bullets, the other info is invaluable (Hornady includes a second volume with ballistic tables which may or may not be of much use to you).

Now for your original question - the answer is an unqualified no. Can you select a single powder that will push a bullet out of the barrel of each gun? Of course, but it will be no where near ideal and could be dangerous in one or more of the guns. For example, the slowest powder you could use in the 44M would be much too fast for a .223.

So, the bottom line is, as Jack said, "Now go get those books" and stay safe.

[This message has been edited by Mal H (edited October 15, 1999).]
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Old October 15, 1999, 07:21 PM   #4
Jack Straw
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Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362

I thought about this some more today and then saw where Mal H had answered your question. He kinda completed some of my thoughts.

Taking in what Mal said, you will need a separate powder for the 223. If you are looking for paper punching loads in the 44, you might be able to get by with one powder for the pistols. If you want full power 44's you will need a third powder; it all depends on what you want to do. But again, the only way to find out is to check out the different manuals.

As far as buying in bulk is concerned, you might want to find out what powders your guns like first. You won't really save any money if you leave 3lbs of powder sitting on the shelf because you don't like how it shoots. Once you get going, you will probably find that experimenting with different components is a large part of the fun. In fact, I've been working on a 44 hunting load, and today I shot the best loads yet and the difference was heat treating my cast bullets. Ten shots in one ragged hole at 25 yards has kept me giddy all afternoon!

Let us know what powder you choose and what sort of results you get.

Good Shooting!!!

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