Ok, my goal this year is to learn to reload and then purchase my own equipment. I have two experienced friends willing to teach me and I have been doing some reading. I will be able to use their quipment until I am able to get my own. however they are primarily rifle reloaders though they have 9mm dies. I plan to reload starting with 45 ACP (since it cost me the most and i shoot it alot) and 9mm (I shoot this alot also and they have dies for it already). Then I would like to move to 357 magnum, 38 special, 380 acp and 32 acp.
What would you all recommend for powders? And which would overlap some calibers? From what I have learned so far the 357 mag may be a different powder?
.45 acp I use either Winchester 231, which right now I'm having a hell of a time finding, and Winchester WST. W231 is excellent powder that meters very well. There's not a lot of wiggle room on min and max loads with W231 (4.8 min and 5.0 max.) WST is 4.1 to 4.9 grs, so you have little more to work with. Both give great accuracy.
I need to mention that these loads are for 230 gr. fmj
The only pistol powders I ever really needed was HP38/WW231 (same powder) and Unique. You can load ALL pistol calibers you mentioned with these two.
Buy the manuals printed by the bullet manufactures that you plan to use and go with that data. I believe that (nothing to base this on) the bullet manufacturers publish data to best compliment the bullet performance and powder manufactures publish data for high velocity.
Alliant Powders Bullseye and (formerly Hercules. but now Alliant Powders) Unique is probably all the powder you would ever need. I've seen many matches won in .45 using Bullseye (touchy powder and economical-as you only use about 1/2 as much...so don't accidentally double the load-cause it would fit in the case!). You cannot shoot lead bullets out of a Glock because of hexagonal hammer forged rifling will clog & possibly blow the barrel, but if you're using a 1911 model variant or so....the preferred load is: 4.0 gr Bullseye, 200grn SWC lead bullet (hillbillies melt down tire-weights for these), Federal (cannot use Lee to load-they're too touchy & will explode) primers or Winchester, Good Brass and most importantly....a Taper-Crimp Die as the final
step. They will cut 1 hole if you can hold it that steady. I used to reload both. The Unique is what I used for 9mm and about 4.2 grs with a SWC bullet usually did the trick. Winchester is an overall decent powder too...but I personally don't know anyone around here that uses it for either of those calibers and haven't heard of anyone winning with it. Bullseye is probably the best and it is
really touchy, so start with the minimum load amount called for...load about 10 with each grain up until about 5.0 Probably wouldn't go over 5. Also, note that Federal primers are a little hotter, yet more reliable and add about 2,000 psi more cup psi to the load on the .45 Good Luck & happy shooting.
231 is a great all-around powder, with a bunch of applications in a bunch of calibers. My preference is AA2 or Clays because they are so clean burning.
Either way, get a Lyman's reloading manual or RCBS, etc and pay close attention to the data, and you should be OK......
i use aa#5 and titegroup at this time for 45, 40, and 9mm. both work well.
What you need to do is buy a reloading handbook. It will tell you all the powders you will need.
I recommend the Lyman pistol and revolver handbook.
As stated above...Unique is all you need to buy. It has been my personal favorite for more years than I care to thnk about. Good stuff for just about any caliber except for some of the hot magnums.
Also excellent for lead bullet applications in a lot of rifles and for field loads in 12ga shotguns.
I know of no other powder that is as versatile. YEP it is a bit "dirty", but I clean my firearms every now and then.
Either Unique or 231 will load most all bullet weights of the non-magnum pistol calibers. There is data for everything from .25 ACP to .45 Colt with these two powders. You don't even need BOTH; just get a can or two of which you can find.
231 meters better. It is fine grained and 'flows' very well. Unique is a flake powder, but in practice it meters close enough not to worry about it. I'll add the warning this is in my Dillon powder measures and the other rotary chamber type measures I have used. The Lee sliding block type might not do as well.
The only other powder you will need for handguns is a slower powder for the heavy loads in magnum cartridges. If you load heavy loads in magnum cartridges. Something on the order of 2400, H110 or the like.
Fast powders like Bullseye and Clays are good for target loads. There are other 'specialty' powders for specific applications. But for starting and economical standard, you'll be hard pressed to do better than 231 or Unique.
I'm curious ... what Dillon measure do you have that's a rotating drum measure? Every Dillon measure I have seen (and every one on their web site) is a sliding bar measure. Or did I misread what you posted? :confused:
Originally Posted by Archie
FWIW, Unique meters OK through the Lee AutoDisk measure, as long as you aren't trying for max loads. I use more Unique than all my other powders combined. I, too, think it's the best "beginners" powder and if I could have only one pistol powder, it would be Unique.
Consider Ramshot ZIP as well. Does everything Bullseye does, at a 25% savings...
I've been told that WSF is similar to Unique, but burns a little cleaner, and velocity may be just a little better. Does anyone have experiences with WSF in the 9mm, espcially in 3" barrels?
Bullseye...how does it compare to WSF and 231? Also, most don't show loads for it with 147gr pills...it would be nice to use the same powder if I want to load some 147.
Hard to find Ramshot around here.
Also, a question about all of these powders, how temp sensative are they in your experiences? I'm in Idaho and out with gun at 90+ temps and around zero at times too. Thanks again to all who can help.
On the burning rate scale, here are the ratings for the powders you mentioned
9 - Bullseye
10 - WST
23 - 231
26 - Unique
WST is virtually interchangeable with Bullseye and is considerably faster than Unique.
Bullseye is too fast-burning for 147gr in 9mm. That's why you don't see load recommendations for that combination.
High temperatures can increase pressures, but unless you are loading maximum loads and leaving them sit in direct sunlight, there's really not much of a problem.