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Old October 22, 2000, 12:04 AM   #1
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As a newbie I'm amazed at the brands and absolute numbers of loading Data that is out there. Should I buy small amounts of different powders and use the load data for each of the calibers I shoot until I find a favorite? That would mean getting the smallest amount 1lb and that will load a ton of .44spl 9mm and .45 ACP So How do you keep from getting several types of power while finding one or two you like? My friend gave me some 2400. This is a slower burning type whats best slow or fast like W231?
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Old October 22, 2000, 12:40 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Welcome to the wonderful world of reloading.

A LONG time ago I faced the same problem, so I made a command decision.

WW 231 for the majority of my handgun loading, and WW 296 for the magnum stuff.

I've dabbled with Unique, Bullseye, Red Dot (which I used for shotshell) and a couple of others, but I'm very happy with 231, and don't see much reason to try other powders.

One of the things you might do is to find other friends who reload, and who use different powders, and see if you can gloam a little off of them to test.

Other than that, there's not a lot you can do except buy a can and try it.

Were I to be starting today, though, I'd take a good look at Hodgdon Clays. I've heard VERY good things about this powder. It's in the 231 burning range, and overlaps with it nicely.

2400 is an old, and excellent powder, but is really suitable for magnum revolver cartridges. I don't think it's used too much, if at all, in semi-autos because of its burning rate.

Smith & Wesson is dead to me.

If you want a Smith & Wesson, buy USED!
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Old October 22, 2000, 01:08 AM   #3
Bill Adair
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Your absolutely right, there is such a terrific selection of powders out there, it just boggles the mind!

What to buy depends so much on your personal preference, gun calibers, and availability, that no one can recommend the perfect powders for Coolray.

What I look for primarily is metering ability, unless of course, you prefer to hand weigh each charge on your scale.

Mind you, I've used some old flake powders that don't meter worth a darn, but those were either on hand, or given to me.

The calibers you mention are all well served by Winchester 231, or an identical powder sold under a different name, HP 38. Meters well, ignites easily, burns clean, and seems to be consistant from batch to batch.

Ramshot also has an excellent line of new powders out, and a very nice loading manual that is free for the asking. I've used their True Blue in both .357 and 45 Colt, with excellent results. Easily the best powder I've ever tried.

That said, you will probably still want to try as many different powders as you can, to decide for yourself (personal preference again).

My suggestion for handgun reloading, is to start with very fine flake or ball powders that meter well.

Win 231 is excellent, and probably has the greatest variety of load data available.

Next you might want to try Accurate Arms #5, or #7 (slower), though I've found these to burn a little dirtier.

Third, the Ramshot line seems to be the rising star of powders, if they prove to be consistant.

Anyway, it's all great fun so whatever you chose, try various loads within the recommended range for your particular handguns, to determin the best accuracy and most comfortable recoil level.


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Old October 22, 2000, 04:32 AM   #4
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I got back into reloading after a many year hiatus. Hadn't reloaded since I was a teenager helping my dad. He kept 2 powders on hand, one for rifle and one for pistol.

I thought I would be able to do the same. WRONG! I have a shelf of one pound canisters that I dabble with for all the calibers I shoot.

In pistol, I use TiteGroup, Bullseye, and the AA powders.
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Old October 22, 2000, 08:50 AM   #5
Patrick Graham
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I've done the "WW231 for regular loads, WW296 for magnums" for years. They both work great. Now I've got a hankerin' for something different so lately I've been using Power Pistol for both magnum and regular loads. It works great also.
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Old October 22, 2000, 09:36 AM   #6
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Coolray, the 2400 that was given to you has a burn rate that is too slow to be useful for the calibers you mention. You are just starting to reload, so I would avoid the fast burning powders with a low load density like Bullseye and Clays; even though they give excellent results, a double charge can be hard to spot and will ruin your day. The previous recomendations of W231 are excellent, other good choices include Universal Clays and Unique (dirty).

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"-Neil Peart
Vote in November.
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Old October 22, 2000, 08:21 PM   #7
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I went a test fired my reloads today. started with 11grns up tp 13 grns I was using #350 CCI primers. I was not happy with the performance ot the 2400 powder it left residue that actually impeded me from loading another round (Taurus 431 SS .44 Spl.) I had to run a patch through the cylinders first. I have been shooting my unces reloads WW231 win primers with not problems. As the sun went down I found that It was getting harder for the revolver to hit the primers with enough force to fire. no problems with the winchester primers. I have installed wolf springs to lighten the trigger but with the CCi's I'll need to reinstall the orignals for outside shooting.
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Old October 22, 2000, 10:25 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Coolray:
I was not happy with the performance ot the 2400 powder it left residue that actually impeded me from loading another round (Taurus 431 SS .44 Spl.) [/quote]

2400 needs to be loaded in full power magnum loads to get anything close to a complete burn, and even then there is a lot of residue, Save it for 44 magnums. Stick with W231 and Winchester primers, and leave the lighter springs in.

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"-Neil Peart
Vote in November.
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Old October 22, 2000, 11:19 PM   #9
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I have been loading for my handguns for about 15 years and in those years I tried almost all the various powders available including most new powders. After all is said and done I went back to three traditional powders, Win231, Unique and H110. With these three powders I can load anything from 25ACP to 44mag.
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Old October 24, 2000, 11:54 AM   #10
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I use 231 for 38 special,for both lead(158 gr.) and jacketed (125 gr.) bullets; excellent.

Also used this powder for 45 colt, again, excellent...

Mike M.
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Old October 24, 2000, 02:42 PM   #11
Ala Dan
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Here's my favorite's:

1) Bullseye- very fast, cleaning burning
for use in light .38 Special & 9m/m loads

2) Unique- good choice for moderate loads
in .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .45ACP
class. Not as clean burning as Bulleye.

3) 2400- very dirty, uneven burn rate if
not used in magnum applications, ie:
.357, .41, .44, etc.

Footnote: I also have used W-W 630P in stout
.41 Magnum loads, with good success. I will
be trying Universal Clay's in the .44 Magnum
before long!!!

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

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Old October 24, 2000, 02:55 PM   #12
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For year I used Unique and Blue Dot, Unique is a dirty powder and Blue Dot burns a little cleaner both are very good powders, But now I use only VihtaVuori powders N340 for 38/357,40 and 45, And use 3N37 or N350 in 9x23 and 38 Supercomp, they very clean burning powder and consistent
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