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Old December 28, 2013, 07:55 PM   #1
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Is it possible to use one Powder for multiple calibers?

I currently reload the following calibers 9MM, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 45 Long Colt, .45 ACP. Currently I have probable 5 different powders to load these calibers. I would like to find one or 2 powders that I can use to load all of the above calibers. Is this possible ?
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Old December 28, 2013, 07:58 PM   #2
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What does the Lyman 49th say? Will Unique do it?
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Old December 28, 2013, 08:15 PM   #3
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WHY ASK HERE ? Your loading manuals will show you the EXACT and correct answer to this question.
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Old December 28, 2013, 08:20 PM   #4
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Unique will do all those well, but I'd add W296 or H110 of you want heavier high power magnum loads.
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Old December 28, 2013, 08:28 PM   #5
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Of course. As alluded to above, open your reloading manual and cross reference the powders listed for each caliber and note which powders are listed under multiple calibers. Viola.
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Old December 28, 2013, 08:41 PM   #6
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Any of the medium burn rate pistol powders (Universal, Unique, AA#5, 7625, N340) will run all of those cartridges well, although to get the most out of the magnums you'd want your second powder to be one of the slow pistol powders (H110/296, AA#9, 300-MP, 2400, N110.)
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Old December 28, 2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for everyone's response. I would have looked in my reloading manuals but I currently do not have access to them. And I have a chance to pickup 8lb's of Unique for a very good price and was hoping someone would responded to my post quickly.

Thanks Again..
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Old December 28, 2013, 10:51 PM   #8
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Open your heart to a third powder...

IMR Trail Boss.

I used to use 231 (my all time favorite powder) for loading my .44 Special, and it was less than spectacular.

The .44 is such a large case, and requires such a small load of 231, that I was getting very inconsistent results.

Trail Boss fixed that right up and made my 24-3 a REAL tack driver.
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Old December 28, 2013, 11:00 PM   #9
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It really depends on what you want to get out of handloading and out of the ammo you build. If the most important thing is a short shopping list and no more worrying about keeping a great selection of powders on hand, then yes... you can load a dizzying array of different chamberings with just one powder.

That will never be a goal of mine. I much prefer the flexibility of not only being able to load just about anything, but really being able to produce some of the best loads I can make in each chambering. That's very important to me, but I consider myself an enthusiast. Others may not agree and some simply want ammo that makes a "bang" and little else.
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Old December 28, 2013, 11:06 PM   #10
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I would agree with Mike, 3 powders would be ideal. A fast, bulky powder like Trailboss for light loads in larger cases; 38sp, 44sp, 45lc, and even 45acp. A medium burn rate powder like Universal/Unique/231 for full power versions of the previous rounds plus 9mm, then a slow powder like 110 or 2400 for the magnum loads.

If you're really set on one powder, you can make them all work with just Unique, but it's not ideal.
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Old December 28, 2013, 11:21 PM   #11
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I have loaded unique in .45 acp, .40sw, .38 spec, and .357 mag. It works well across the board.
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Old December 29, 2013, 06:07 AM   #12
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Recommending Unique, Universal, and W231 becomes academic, if you can't find them. An 8 pounder of Unique is a big commitment, if you have trouble metering it. It's certainly not the best in that regard. While in this process, look at some level two or three alternatives.

HS-6 is versatile, as is SR4756 or even Green Dot and Blue Dot. The last two have been promoted more as shotgun powders but have a history of wide use in handgun loads. The data is still out there.
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Old December 29, 2013, 06:43 AM   #13
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What about Bullseye ? no one has mentioned it here
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Old December 29, 2013, 07:48 AM   #14
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I know that with rifles, IMR 4350 gets used in every rifle I ever owned, .243 win, .270 win, 3006, 7mm rem mag , 2506...... so I'd have to say yes to that question..
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Old December 29, 2013, 09:13 AM   #15
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Unique or Win 231 then a slower powder for full magnum Win296 or 2400...but...unique will do all as will Win 231...they will just be a little slower velocities on the magnums.
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Old December 29, 2013, 09:28 AM   #16
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I reload 9mm, .380. and 45 ACP. I have created a spreadsheet of all the load data have been able to find for these calibers. The load data comes from reputable sources like powder sites, bullets sites and a couple of reloading manuals I own (Lyman and Lee). According to the data I have the most common powders are listed below. The number listed beside them are the number of loads for each powder I have been able to find.

Winchester 231 96
Ramshot ZIP 87
Ramshot TRUE BLUE 85
Accurate No. 5 84
IMR 700-X 84
Accurate No. 2 75
Alliant BULLSEYE 73
Alliant UNIQUE 69
Hodgdon TITEGROUP 65
Accurate No. 7 59
Hodgdon HP-38 58
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Old December 29, 2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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unique, and 2400. thats what i use, 2400 for the 357 and 44 mag heavier loads, sometimes win 296, but thats a kicker, i mostly use 296 in my 357 maximum.
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Old December 30, 2013, 02:27 PM   #18
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Unique is tough to beat...

provided, of course that you can get it.

Unique is "fast" enough to still be useful in as small a case as the 9mm, but "slow" enough to get you close to top end performance in the magnums.

Unique will get .44s and .45s into the 1200fps range with 240/250gr bullets, if your gun is heavy enough to take it (Ruger Blackhawk, .45 Colt, for example)

Unique is a little dirtier than some powders, and some complain about its metering qualities (clearly people who have never metered IMR powders)

ITs a good choice, and if you get 8lbs of it, you will be set to make lots of good, mid to full power loads for all the calibers you named.

You won't get quite as high velocities from Unique as 2400 or H110 at peak pressures, but on the other hand, you can get full speed out of 9mm & .45acp where the slower 2400/h110/Win296 powders are ill suited.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old December 30, 2013, 04:27 PM   #19
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Well, the good o' standbys will do it for you. Unique will work across the board. Then 2400 for Magnum loads (when you want to go there that is). That said, I've got way more than 5 powders on my shelf ... but I am starting to use up the ones I rarely use (just finished off last can of Titegroup, now working on W-231). I've got the loads I like to shoot, so no reason to keep half empty bottles of other powders around taking up space.
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Old December 30, 2013, 04:45 PM   #20
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Originally posted by FloridaGuy:

I currently reload the following calibers 9MM, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 45 Long Colt, .45 ACP. Currently I have probable 5 different powders to load these calibers. I would like to find one or 2 powders that I can use to load all of the above calibers. Is this possible ?
While it IS possible, the question is why? I load all of the handgun calibers you listed plus .460 S&W. If I had to, I could get by reasonably well with just Unique and H110/W296. But I have some bullet weights and loads I feel more confident with or shoot more accurately when made with a powder other than those two. Truth be told, if I couldn't get any other powders for my handgun rounds other than Unique, W231/HP38, IMR 4227 and H110/W296, I would still die a happy man.
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Old December 30, 2013, 05:23 PM   #21
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It is possible, but I wouldn't want to.

Since I'm only sliding, not wheeling, my selection would be w231, Unique and Power Pistol.
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Old December 30, 2013, 06:46 PM   #22
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All your eggs in one basket

When I first started loading (1984), I tried all kinds of different powders and various recipes - pretty normal, I'm sure. (But didn't keep good records back then.)

As my shooting/loading matured, I narrowed it down to about 6 pet loads, using only 2 different powders (W231, & W296; loading 38/357; 44Sp/44Mag; 45ACP). This suited me well for years.

Then the shortages hit.

Ever since this last shortage, I got a hold of any powder that fit the speed range for pistol and my loading/shooting style.

As I compose this, I'm now looking at 9 different powders on my shelf; and countless different bullets. I am in the process of creating good recipes for all of them. The next time a shortage hits (still waiting for this existing one to clear), I'll have many different bullet/powder recipes ready to go, so I can load just about anything without guesswork. (Not to mention the years' supply of components I'm keeping on hand).

I have learned that putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea.
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Old December 30, 2013, 08:33 PM   #23
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Just do it, buy the Unique at a good price and you will find as did I that Unique will work for all those needs. I will say I have some H6 and Win 231 too that I later located. I was looking for a versatile powder and I was in the right place at the right time and got a smoking deal on Unique. In my experience Unique is a bit dirty at the lower range of loads but hey I at least had powder and could shoot. It sure beat the h*ll out of just waiting for that perfect powder to show up on the shelf, if there is such a thing. Just my thoughts from the Big Sky Country.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:59 PM   #24
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Unique would be fine as would Titegroup or a number of other fast powders for target loads. I would avoid H110/w296 in
.38 special, 9mm, .44 special and .45ACP.
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Old December 31, 2013, 10:45 AM   #25
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I have at least these 42 powders; Red Dot, Bullseye, Herter's 164, SR7625, Unique, AA#5, Power Pistol, HS-6, Blue Dot, 2400, 3N37, 800-X, AA#7, N105, Long Shot, STEEL, Enforcer, AA#9, N110, H110, W296, LIL'GUN, XMP5744, AA2200, RL-7, V-133, IMR30-31, RL-10, W748, CFE223, H335, L-12, IMR4895, IMR4895bulk, RL-15, IMR4320, Varget, H414, IMR4350, 4831SC, Norma 205, and Retumbo.

I handload: 19 Badger, .222 .223, 22-250 6mmBR, .243, 25acp, 25/35, 250/3000, 257 Roberts AI, 260, 6.5x55, 270, 7x57mm, 7mm Rem mag, 32acp, 32sw, 32S&WLong, 32-20, 7.62x25mm, 30-30, 303Sav, 300Sav, 7.62x39mm, 308, 7.5Swiss, 30-06, 300WM, 303Brit, 7.62x54R, 8x57mm, 338WM, .380, 9x19mm, 9x23mm, 357 Sig, 38 sp, 357 mag, 38sw, 38-40, 40sw, 10mm, 10.4mm, 401 power mag, 44mag, 45acp, 45Colt, 455 Eley, 452/70, .410, 45/70, 50CB, and 12 ga.... more reamers and dies on the way.

I could get it all done with one powder, or two powders, or.. 3?

Lately I seem to get almost everything done with Power Pistol, H110, and H4350.
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