Question about powder

This is a discussion on Question about powder within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Ok, I am getting into reloading and I need some advise on powders. There are 4 caliber that I am planning on loading for, 9mm ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Question about powder

    Ok, I am getting into reloading and I need some advise on powders. There are 4 caliber that I am planning on loading for, 9mm and .45 ACP for the pistols and .223 and .308 for the rifles.

    The “gotcha” is that I would like to have th same powder for both pistol calibers and the same powder for both rifle calibers. I was thinking about Alliant Power Pistol for both 9mm and .45 ACP. Unfortunately, I have no clue what powder to use for .223 and .308.

    I am starting out with a RCBS Rock Chucker ( I already have it along with a die set for 9mm) and I think I have everything I need except a case cleaner and the components. I will of course need additional die sets for .45 ACP, .223 and .308 and I will be picking them up as I go. However, even though I am not ready to start with .45 ACP yet, I do not want to start with one powder for the 9mm and then switch to another powder at a later date if I can start out with a powder that will work for both 9mm and 45 ACP.

    I am planning on:

    115gr Speer GDHP @ approx. 1225 fps for 9mm (4.7” bbl)
    230gr Speer GDHP @ approx 880 fps for .45 ACP (5” bbl)


    Any comments or suggestions? Is Power Pistol a good one to go with, or is there something else that you would recommend?

    All comments are welcome since I am new to this and would like to to get a broad a view as possibel of what I am “getting myself into”.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
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    Array Jeff F's Avatar
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    First thing that comes to mind is IMR 4320. Been using it for years and is a great powder that will tend to be very accurate.
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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Varget and CFE 223 are both good contenders for .223 & .308.
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    You really need to include a minimum of two reloading manuals as part of your "getting into reloading" preparations. Rest assured, there are a number of powders that will meet your requirements, but comparing manuals will give you the exact answer to your question.
    Smitty
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    Member Array AZ_Larz_NY's Avatar
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    I like Bullseye or Unique for the handgun. I have not reloaded rifle yet, can't get the bullets or shell plate. LOL!

    And Smitty gave you excellent advice!

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    Member Array pacman's Avatar
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    I use Power Pistol, Unique, 700-X, Accurate No. 5, and Blue Dot for 9, 40, 45. They all work differently in all of them and with different grain bullets. Power Pistol is my favorite.

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    I understand the desire to simplify, but consider that one of the greatest benefits of reloading is the ability to really customize a load for a given firearm. I don't like to have a ton of different powders, and I do definitely have my go-to powders for my main loads, but I wouldn't want to limit myself to just one powder without doing some amount of testing to see what worked best in any particular gun. No reason not to test on both calibers, but if you simply pick a powder based on book data and stop, you'll never know what you might be missing if you simply tried out some other loads.

    That said, have a look at Ramshot TAC for your rifle rounds; it may fit the bill for the 223/308 combination. Winchester 231 would probably be a good 9mm/45 powder to consider for your pistol rounds.
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    Member Array Exsimguy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    That said, have a look at Ramshot TAC for your rifle rounds; it may fit the bill for the 223/308 combination. Winchester 231 would probably be a good 9mm/45 powder to consider for your pistol rounds.
    A great big Plus + 1 on using TAC in both (.223 & .308). WW 231 works great in all pistols also. I have converted most of my 231 loads to Titegroup, but not because 231 doesn't perform. Hard to find any of it lately, so options are good.

    Terry

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    Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick feedback!

    Yes, I will be looking at a couple of reloading manuals. I already have the Speer Reloading Manual, but it is Number 11 and I would like to get a more current edition, as well as at least one current manual from somebody else. I have also been looking at some of the on-line loading data on the powder manufacturers web sites. I will take all of this into consideration before I settle on anything as a standard.

    I will also be chronographing and checking accuracy with the different powders to see what works best for me.

    However, since I do not shoot bullseye and the pistol loads will be primarily for practice/plinking, and I normally carry GDHP so I know they will run in my pistols, I am not too worried about eaking out the most accuracy I can (now, the rifle loads will be a different story, I will want the best accuracy I can get with them). But, for the pistols, if I can get a good 3 1/2“ group at 25 yards I will be more than happy (I know both of my pistols are capable of doing this if I do my part and use a rest).

    My desire for a single powder for pistols and a single powder for rifles is simply a matter of convenience and is not “set in stone”. If I need to go to four separate powders for what I want, I will.

    You have given me a few other powder options to look at already and I will check them out, assuming that I can find them available. Most everyplace I have looked on-line seems to be sold out of everything but primers. I will be checking local shops this week and am hoping to begin loading some test loads for 9mm (since that is the only die set I have so far) within the next couple of weeks.

    Anybody how has any additional comments, please post them. The more information I have up front the better my choice will be when I finally get going.

    Thanks.

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    FWIW, Titegroup is what I use for my .45 and .38 reloads with lead bullets, and the manuals show it for a host of other non-magnum handgun rounds. It's a fast powder, to be sure. I haven't hit the sweet spot yet with the .38, but 5 grains under a 200 gr SWC .45 makes major PF and it's more accurate than factory ball. It's pretty economical, too, actually one of the cheapest powders out there.
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    Unique for the pistols and Varget for the rifles. RCBS is a good choice.
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.
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    Member Array JEAM's Avatar
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    I like Unique for both the 9mm and the .45, and I like IMR 4895 in the .308 and it seems to work well for a few .223 rounds I've done up. I'm guessing there is a lot better choice for both rifle cartridges but the 4895 seems to work perfect in my DRBs.

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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    I do not load for rifle, but I have pretty much settled on HP-38 & W231 for my 9mm & .45ACP loads. I have also tried Accurate #5 and Vihta Vouri N320. Have never tried Unique or Bullseye.
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    I use HP-38 for 9mm, .45, .38, and some of my .44 loads. It is the same as W231. They both are very versatile handgun powders.
    Last edited by darkstar11; February 27th, 2013 at 09:00 AM. Reason: fat fingered something.
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    There are many powders "useable" in multiple calibers, but not many that are "optimum" in the same.

    I use HP-38 (WW231) in my .45 ACP, 9mm, and 9mm Mak mid-level target loads, and it's proven satisfactory in all three for my range purposes with LRN bullets.

    I don't feel powders are as critical in pistol rounds as they are in rifle rounds due to the differences in ranges, capacities, etc. My preferred powder for my .30-06 for instance (IMR4064) would never provide adequate performance in my .223. And don't think the first powder you try is an end-all answer. It's the experimentation that make reloading rewarding.

    Most powder manufacturers list load data on their sites. Do your homework and you'll find something that is a decent powder to begin with.
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