The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 24, 2012, 09:16 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: March 23, 2012
Location: Conway, Arkansas
Posts: 1,397
Newbie question about powder

I am just getting into reloading and was wondering something. Would it be best to start with just one powder or start with several powders and see which one I like the best?

My thoughts are several (3) different powders and try multiple loads of each to see which one I like the best, but I wanted to see what other people have done when starting out.

I will be loading your basic 9mm 115gr FMJ-RN. Was thinking about getting a 1# bottle of the following to try out: Win-Autocomp, Hodgdon-Titegroup, and Alliant-Unique.

jwrowland77 is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 10:51 AM   #2
serf 'rett
Senior Member
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart, AR
Posts: 1,569
In the Alliant line, I don't care for the way Unique meters and prefer Power Pistol instead. The Power Pistol meters well through my Uniflow. The PP powder is a tad slower burning than Unique, so you will use more powder per round and generally get higher velocities and pressure. I will mention that some folks don't care for the flash from this powder. I get good groups with Power Pistol and Berrys 115 gr. RN plated bullets.

For target loads, I like W-231, which is faster burning than AutoComp, with 124gr. Berrys bullets. I haven't tried AutoComp yet.
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 11:06 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: December 2, 2006
Posts: 122
Having had dismal performance and extreme dirtying of two guns to the point of failure to function after three magazines or cylinderfuls, I now avoid Unique like the plague. The flowers liked the nitrogen boost......

I would advise a new reloader to use ONE powder, and work on technique, and try different loads/bullets. Try another powder once you have more experience under your belt.

My initial pistol loading was Red Dot. Worked well for a couple years. Now my 'go to' powder is Bullseye.
Bigdog57 is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 11:33 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 1,826
My suggestion, start with Titegroup. You'll likely not buy anything else. But, one of the fun things about reloading is experimenting, so trying 3 or 4 different powders won’t be a total waste.
Mike38 is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 11:46 AM   #5
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,266
Newbie question about powder

Non of the powders you posted. I myself prefer Accurate No.7 for my 9mm applications. Clean burning, easy to measure, nearly full case powder loads. (<-less chance for a double charge.) Works great with 115-124gr. bullets. This powder I believe was used primarily in the Israeli 9mm UZI Sub-machine gun. Which ever brand of powder you choose in the market place jwrowland77 I'm sure you you'll have good results with. Over time as a "seasoned" reloader you'll come to a powder that meets every one of your aspirations in the 9mm. Enjoy your new hobby. SSMcG
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 12:26 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 2,363
I would suggest you start with one powder. There is much to reloading other than powder selection. Buy one, whichever one you choose, stick with that and develope a load using all the same components. 9mm isn't the easiest cartridge to reload, so limiting the variations will shorten the learning curve considerably...
My Anchor is holding fast!
I've learned how to stand on my own two knees...
mikld is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 04:20 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: September 22, 2011
Location: Middle America
Posts: 518
Suggest that you pick up 3 or 4 good loading manuals, watch the posts on several forums and pick a powder that catches your eye. Compare 'the one' with your books and evaluate it on paper. Maybe check two of three before you buy. Then take the plunge and get one can of 'it'. Try 'it' for a couple of hundred pistol rounds or 25 to 30 rifle rounds, then determine if you want to try another powder.

Every one has a favored powder, or two, and loads that work for them. Just because one person raves about one powder, doesn't make it good or bad, look for a concensus of several people and then, for safety, load within the brackets of safety in your book/s.

My 9MM load is 4grains of 231 under a 122grain lead coned flat base with a standard CCI Sp primer for 1032fps out of a SIG. It works for me.

All ways error on the side of safety,


oldpapps is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 05:34 PM   #8
Misssissippi Dave
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Posts: 1,411
The type of powder depends on several things.

One is how you are measuring it. If you weigh every load on a scale then put it into the case it really doesn't matter that much. If you are using a powder measure that uses volume then using a ball type powder probably will work better in the measure.

What are you using it for? Just punching paper you can use a fast powder like HG 38 or W231 which is the same thing. With that powder you can load up some light loads with 115 grain bullets. Going to mid range will give you cleaner burning loads. Stay away from the top end with a 9 mm round. It is a high pressure round and at the top end you can get into trouble quickly.

With 124 grain jacketed rounds I like using AA#5 powder. It measures well, burns clean and is easy to get an accurate load with a powder measure used on most any progressive press. If I want a faster round with this bullet I will use AA#7 powder. The paper doesn't care if I'm shooting a faster round or not at the distances I shot so I load up a lot with AA#5. A double load of AA#5 will fill the case but not over fill it. A double load of AA#7 will over fill the case.

WST will fill the case using 124 jacketed bullets and might even be a compressed load. It makes for an accurate round to shoot but I would suggest not using this powder in the beginning.

To start out I would suggest W231/HG38 or AA#5 powder. These are a little bit more forgiving. While 9 mm might not be the ideal round to start loading, it can be done as a first round to load you just need to pay close attention to what you are doing and not try to use loads at the top of the charts.
Misssissippi Dave is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 08:36 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: May 29, 2011
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 500
+1 on one powder. You are going to have enough trouble/fun zeroing in on a load with only one. You would really compound the problem with more.
Use about 3/4 of that first pound, then if you are not satisfied, try another.
Education teaches you the rules, experience teaches you the exceptions (Plagiarized from Claude Clay)
dickttx is offline  
Old March 24, 2012, 10:13 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: January 5, 2009
Location: Just off Route 66
Posts: 5,067
For what you want to load, Winchester 231 powder period. You will find load data for it the most. It is usable in all non-magnum handgun calibers and even those, but not the best.

Si vis pacem, para bellum
Jim243 is offline  
Old March 25, 2012, 09:16 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
not guessing

One choice for 9x19 to keep things simple = Alliant Power Pistol.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old March 25, 2012, 09:27 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: March 23, 2012
Location: Conway, Arkansas
Posts: 1,397
Thank you everyone! I really appreciate all the input. Definitely helps me out. Thanks again!
jwrowland77 is offline  
Old March 26, 2012, 12:51 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,922
I think trying different powders is smart....but you really need to stay organized if you're going to do that ! One powder at a time on the bench...etc...

I also like the idea of loading 10rd at min ....10 more at 0.1 grain more..etc ...until you get to max....but in a powder like TiteGroup the min and max on that only going to be 0.4 grain .../ so you need to be careful with it ...make sure your press is really tuned up properly.

115 gr FMJ RN is one thing ....but a plated bullet is something else...( like Berry's - which is ok up to 1200 fps and they recommend mid range jacketed bullet data ) but if you go with Rainier plated - they say use lead data... / but trying some plated bullets might be ok too ...along with some FMJ bullets...

and even try some different brands of primers....winchester, CCI ...but I'd stay away from Federal primers (they're awful soft ) and not recommended for most beginners.

but have some fun with it ...and decide what you like best...then invest in some inventory on components...
BigJimP is offline  
Old March 27, 2012, 02:55 PM   #14
Red Dog
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2010
Posts: 217
I suggest 1 powder. The last thing you want to do is get the data mixed up.
Also how many rounds do you think it's gonna take to develop a favorite? You will get around 1500+ rounds depending on the amount of grains. I don't like having half full powder containers with no plans of using it. I use W231, (HP 38) or Clays. (Reminds me I still have Trap100 that must be loaded and disposed of properly)
Red Dog is offline  

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 02:37 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09499 seconds with 7 queries