Unique Powder an the SP Snub

Unique Powder an the SP Snub

This is a discussion on Unique Powder an the SP Snub within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Just for everyones info, today at the range I had a second failure of my SP 101 2.4 snub. Would not rotate cyclinder. I had ...

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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Unique Powder an the SP Snub

    Just for everyones info, today at the range I had a second failure of my SP 101 2.4 snub. Would not rotate cyclinder. I had to eject rounds push spindle in an blow out unburnt flakes from under star. I have never had a problem with factory sd rounds just unique flake powder. Also nver had a problem with my smith revolvers just the SP very strange.


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    VIP Member Array Eric357's Avatar
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    That's odd. I use unique in my loads for my 3inch sp101. I usually load light loads though for just plinking, but I've never had a problem. I'm still pretty new only been reloading a few years. I'm interested to hear what others have to say. Being a newbie I keep it pretty simple and use Unique and 2400.

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Try tightgroup, also how are you unloading? It may be best if you tilt the gun upside down. If I remember right Unique is a pretty fast burning powder. Interesting that you are having this trouble.
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    agalindo
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    What was your load data? I've never had issues with unique in my wheel guns.

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    There was a thread not all that long ago (probably no more than 2 months ago), and in it it was mentioned that unique had changed its powder. If I get it right, they intended to the change to be seamless. That something about it would be "new", but that it would load exactly the same.

    Well, that aint what happened. Instead IIRC it loads hotter. I think glockmann10 was up on this.

    Having bought a number of bottles of unique last year, it got my attention. I have not touched my powder since reading that. I have others.

    I found the thread I was speaking of. Link below

    Calling all handloaders; your thoughts please.

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    It's suppose to be "cleaner burning" now. I've noticed velocities that are uniformly slightly higher with the newer batches of Unique I'm using in comparison with older lots. I've tested it with "favorite" charge weights in several cartridges: .32-20, 38 S&W, .38 Special, and .45 ACP and in every instance the batches loaded with "new lot" Unique returns higher velocities than batches loaded simultaneously with "old lot' Unique. Not much difference but always higher. Does it indicate higher pressure? Don't know.

    I never cared one whit for the fact that Unique was said to be "dirty" burning. I shot it and cleaned the guns afterward. One thing to remember with Unique in my view, is that it does best from about "mid-throttle" to max loadings. Starting weight powder charges of Unique burn inefficiently, smoke more, give greater extreme spreads, and just generally aren't satisfactory. Stoke up the load a bit and enjoy more efficiency.

    Even "old lot" Unique burns very cleanly in full charge weights and when jacketed bullets are used such as in the .45 ACP. No better powder can be used to build heavy .45 ACP handloads. Much of what folks have ascribed to Unique being "dirty" has more to do with lead bullet lube than the characteristics of the powder - unless they insist on loading Unique to minimum charge weights.
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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy8 View Post
    Just for everyones info, today at the range I had a second failure of my SP 101 2.4 snub. Would not rotate cyclinder. I had to eject rounds push spindle in an blow out unburnt flakes from under star. I have never had a problem with factory sd rounds just unique flake powder. Also nver had a problem with my smith revolvers just the SP very strange.
    Very odd. Sounds like you've got some moisture in the powder..
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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Thx for all the info, I was using 5 gr unique with 158 lrn but it also happened with 125 gr plated with 4.6 gr accuracy was great. Have some winchester autocomp going to try it this week also some bullseye on the way. It was just a large flake under the star once removed all was fine. Maybe just a fluke. Have shot around a thousand rds had not experienced this before.

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    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    There are 30 powders that are faster burning than Unique. Define "fast". Bullseye is 13 on the chart. Are you maybe confused a bit?

    Please tell me why to tilt a gun upside down, and what that accomplishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    Try tightgroup, also how are you unloading? It may be best if you tilt the gun upside down. If I remember right Unique is a pretty fast burning powder. Interesting that you are having this trouble.

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    I have loaded Unique in my .38 Special for years for my S&W 66 never had the problem the OP mentions
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    Being that they are reloads..... how many times have the cases been loaded? Might be time to aneal the case mouths. Or start with new cases. If they have hardened to the point that they are not sealing in the chambers you should see an "excess" of black carbon along the sides of the cases. Are you starting to notice a few split cases? that would be another sign. That would be just one more thing to think about. DR

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    Member Array BobR1's Avatar
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    Your load of 5.0 under a 158 lead is warm enough that it should be burning well.
    I am wondering if by changing from a S&W to the SP101 you are not elevating the muzzle when hitting the ejector rod.

    I have been doing some work with alternate powders lately. One showing real promise is Alliant e3. It is billed as the cleanest burning shotgun powder ever made. It seems to be very clean burning in handguns also.
    You might give it a try starting at 3.0 and working up to 3.5 under a 158 lead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock62 View Post
    There are 30 powders that are faster burning than Unique. Define "fast". Bullseye is 13 on the chart. Are you maybe confused a bit?

    Please tell me why to tilt a gun upside down, and what that accomplishes.
    I said If I remember right, apparently I did not, as it is not a powder I use.

    Tilting the revolver upside down allows gravity to help the casing and any unburnt powder to fall free. Some people also see the need to overly lube their guns which allows the unburnt powder to stick, this could cause a problem. In all my years running a revolver and many tens of thousands of rounds I never had one tie up from unburnt powder so I must be doing something right.
    bmcgilvray and flintlock62 like this.
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    I'm with you, Bob. Of course I clean under the extractor every time I clean the revolver and the revolver is cleaned every time it is shot. Your excess lubrication comment is spot on as well.
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    I had a chance to go to the range with some 38 loaded with autocomp was very pleased, clean burning very accurate. I believe I will load with autocomp for revolver an keep my autos going with unique. Living here in FL could be that
    I got some moisture in the unique being that I reload in the garage. I keep the powders an primers in the house till reloading. I use frog lube an try to wipe all excess off but might have missed some could be many things. The star on the SP is quite a bit bigger than on the smiths, bigger target to land on I guess oh well live an learn.

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