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davesretired1
09-08-2011, 20:44
I'm planning on ordering powder this weekend from a club I belong to, and have a need to ask for your advice. I'm looking for one powder that will serve for both casual plinking, informal competition, and lastly for SD. This will be for .45ACP, and will be loaded on a 550B. The bullets are either 200 gr SWC ( for 1911, and a G30 w/ LW barrel ), and 200 gr JHP and 230 gr FMJ for a G30. Of the powders I've used so far, both WST, and WSF have worked well ( with the jacketed bullets, I haven't loaded any lead bullets yet ). The other powder I'm considering is Unique, especially after reading some of the posts on GT. I'll be ordering 8 lbs., so that's why I'm posing this question. TIA. Dave

GioaJack
09-08-2011, 21:01
Unique


If not Unique then go with Unique.


Jack

squirreld
09-08-2011, 21:09
I agree.
I ordered an 8LB keg of Unique.
I run 9, 40, and 45 with it.

davesretired1
09-08-2011, 21:38
Unique




If not Unique then go with Unique.


Jack

Gee Jack, you should just come out and say what you think!!!:rofl:

ColoCG
09-08-2011, 21:50
Unique




If not Unique then go with Unique.


Jack



I agree with Jack. Unique will cover all your loads in the .45 and many other calibers as well. If I could have only one powder for all pistol loads it would be Unique. There is a reason they gave it that name.

dougader
09-08-2011, 22:01
I just can't do one powder for everything from light plinking loads to full tilt SD loads. Unique is a great powder but it, like most other medium burning pistol calibers, doesn't burn well at lower pressures and you get more unburned powder, more soot...

I'd go with WST for the light stuff, and Unique or even Power Pistol for the heavier loads. Heck, get 2 kegs at once and save big by buying in bulk! WSF is a great powder, too...

cole
09-08-2011, 23:23
Unique. I use BE for .45acp lead for now, but have Unique for 9mm plated and on standby in .45acp. I tried some of the more trendy powders and came back to Unique and BE for 9mm and .45acp.

gary newport
09-09-2011, 00:34
I despise Unique! It has to be the worst-metering powder on the market. Those frisbie-sized flakes just don't throw consistent charges.

On the other hand, I like Bullseye. :cool:

fredj338
09-09-2011, 00:53
I despise Unique! It has to be the worst-metering powder on the market. Those frisbie-sized flakes just don't throw consistent charges.

On the other hand, I like Bullseye. :cool:
Gary, some day you & Jack have to step out of the stone age & try WST. IMo, best powder for light to std vel loads in the 45acp, any bullet type. I do love me some Unique though for anything that shoots a lead bullet. It can be made to meter sort of ok, but WSF is Uniques better metering cousin. Almost identical burn rate & charge wt for most applications.

Three-Five-Seven
09-09-2011, 08:23
I've been using WST in the .45 the past six months -- with lead bullets -- and am very happy with it. Just bought a second bottle.

Zombie Steve
09-09-2011, 09:04
Unique.

No, it isn't the best metering powder, but I had it running in Stevie's 550B and Jack's 1050 just fine. If your load is 5.8 grains, you'll occasionally catch one that is 5.9. Big deal. You will never in a million years be able to notice the difference on paper. Theoretically there's a point where it will push you over in terms of pressure, but it's next to impossible in .45 auto if you're at normal speeds (825 - 850 fps).

...and yes, if you want to try mouse fart loads with Unique, it's going to be dirty. It will likely cost you 2 or 3 more patches to clean your gun. :upeyes::supergrin:


ETA: with all the criticism, I forgot to talk about it's finer points. Unmatched accuracy with lead, very good with jacketed and very good performance across the board from 9mm to .45 Colt and even mid-range .44 mag. :thumbsup:

RRTX11
09-09-2011, 09:27
Unique meters just fine in my 550 and no matter how hard I try to like another powder, I like Unique the best.

WST would be second choice, Bullseye would be third.

DoctaGlockta
09-09-2011, 09:29
UNIQUE SMOKELESS POWDER - it's not just for Grandpa anymore

Heck you can even use it for shotshells or 223 plinking. Inexpensive, readily available, tons of load data. It is the only powder I've ever used and I've been reloading for a long, long time (well two years).

kjm1016
09-09-2011, 09:41
Unique is probably your best choice. However, if you want something that meters well, consider 231 or Bullseye, though you may lose a bit with more high velocity loads.

Two other points: Unique is not the worst metering powder ever, 700X is.

You're looking at using reloads for self defence? That's not a good idea, but as to why, that deserves it's own thread.

ustate
09-09-2011, 10:30
For .45acp I've mainly used hp38/231 and AA#5 with good success. I've loaded those powders with cast, plated and FMJ and both powders have worked very well.

Before buying an 8lbs jug though I'd try a one pounder and make sure it will be something you like so that you aren't left with a bunch of powder you won't use.

cowboy1964
09-09-2011, 10:36
Unique has worked very well for me. Meters ok for me and seems to be cleaner than most commercial ammo I occasionally use. I fired a box of PMC 45 ACP yesterday and couldn't believe how filthy the muzzle got. Never happens with my hand loads with Unique.

Colorado4Wheel
09-09-2011, 11:39
231/HP38 and WSF. Not Unique. Unique data is all over the place. It confuses the hell out of people all the time. Alliants on line data SUCKS. Hodgon has a great on line site with data for multiple bullet styles. So to me it's not just about the powder, you want to be able to send them to a website that will actually have data they can use. Hodgon Powders are the best for that. I would buy two 4lb kegs rather then try and make one powder do everything. It's not like 8 lbs is a lot of powder. Seriously.

unclebob
09-09-2011, 12:09
One of the tricks is when you buy 4 and 8 lbs. of powder also buy a one pound can. That way when you fill the hopper in the powder measure you are only dealing with a 1 lb. can instead of trying to wrangle a 4 or 8 lb. bottle. Also if you should screw up and happen to dump the wrong powder in the wrong can you only miss up about 1 lb. and not 4 or 8 lbs.

El_Ron1
09-09-2011, 12:33
I despise Unique! It has to be the worst-metering powder on the market. Those frisbie-sized flakes just don't throw consistent charges.

On the other hand, I like Bullseye. :cool:

You're a GAP lovin' freak, newport, but your CRB heart is in the right place. :patriot:

DoctaGlockta
09-09-2011, 12:57
231/HP38 and WSF. Not Unique. Unique data is all over the place. It confuses the hell out of people all the time. Alliants on line data SUCKS. Hodgon has a great on line site with data for multiple bullet styles. So to me it's not just about the powder, you want to be able to send them to a website that will actually have data they can use. Hodgon Powders are the best for that. I would buy two 4lb kegs rather then try and make one powder do everything. It's not like 8 lbs is a lot of powder. Seriously.

I'm easily confused at times but not by Unique. I can't say I've ever heard of anyone having a real problem with Unique. :dunno:

6 grains for a 230 grain FMJ - pretty easy if you ask me.

fredj338
09-09-2011, 13:01
I'm easily confused at times but not by Unique. I can't say I've ever heard of anyone having a real problem with Unique. :dunno:

6 grains for a 230 grain FMJ - pretty easy if you ask me.

I have to agree, sorry Steve. There is so much printed data out for Unique, just ignore the powder sites. IMO, they should only be used for cross ref anyway. Nothing replaces 2-3 current good manuals. I alos have little problem w/ Unique metering in either my Dillon or RCBS measures. Sometimes it will throw a light charge, but pretty much 0.1gr accuracy if your measure is setup & used correctly.

MakeMineA10mm
09-09-2011, 13:11
I recommended Unique on another site and got all sorts of grief about it's poor-metering, squib-load tendancy, and other detriments... I think Unique is better in some instances for a single-use powder, but for what you are trying to load, I have two better recommendations:

WST and W231

Unique IS a little worse-metering than them, but in a single-stage reloading operation, it's not a big deal. Now, when changing to a progressive, I like an EASY metering powder. It's not about what is acceptable in the metering dept., it's what about helps the press work at it's utmost smoothest. That, is going to require a ball powder.

I've used W231 as a universal-application powder for over 20 years, and used it when I was commercially reloading. It works GREAT. The only complaint about it is that it's a little dirty, but that is a factor WAY DOWN the list for me when it comes to powder characteristics/performance. WST is supposed to be better than W231 in this regard, but otherwise, equally broad in it's usable spectrum. I haven't used much WST, so I can't speak to it that much, but many respected posters here in the reloading section sign it's praises.

I wouldn't hesitate to order either WST or W231. (If you can get HP38 cheaper, get it, as it is the exact same powder as W231, but in a can with a different label, so shop price between these two powders.)

Bushflyr
09-09-2011, 13:11
I guess I'm unique in that I like Clays.

MakeMineA10mm
09-09-2011, 13:13
I guess I'm unique in that I like H110.

Cute, but did you read the OP's question? H110 is useless for him. Just saying... :wavey:

Colorado4Wheel
09-09-2011, 13:17
I have to agree, sorry Steve. There is so much printed data out for Unique, just ignore the powder sites. IMO, they should only be used for cross ref anyway. Nothing replaces 2-3 current good manuals. I alos have little problem w/ Unique metering in either my Dillon or RCBS measures. Sometimes it will throw a light charge, but pretty much 0.1gr accuracy if your measure is setup & used correctly.

People with two - three manuals are normally not letting someone else choose their powder. Especially acting like buying 8 lbs is a lot. I still think Unique data sucks. I am not going to take the time to find the threads. But I have seen some very confusing data for Unique posted on this forum. Hodgon online data is great. That's important.

Zombie Steve
09-09-2011, 13:21
H110 in .45 auto? Have fun with that...

Zombie Steve
09-09-2011, 13:21
...and get back to work, Steve.

davesretired1
09-09-2011, 15:45
Unique is probably your best choice. However, if you want something that meters well, consider 231 or Bullseye, though you may lose a bit with more high velocity loads.

Two other points: Unique is not the worst metering powder ever, 700X is.

You're looking at using reloads for self defence? That's not a good idea, but as to why, that deserves it's own thread.

No, I don't use my reloads for SD. I usually have Hornday Critical Defense loads in the gun. I do load 200gr XTP heads for SHTF SD. Never know, the Mayans might be right!

Thanks to all for the replies. It's now clear as mud! :wow: Think I'll hold off on an 8 lb buy and get 1 lb of Unique and give it a try first. Probably come down to Unique or WSF/WST.

Again, thanks. Dave

fredj338
09-09-2011, 16:33
I guess I'm unique in that I like Clays.
Clays is great if you only want bunnyfart laods. It gets weird & unpredictable as you get to the top end & vel wise, that isn't very high. It is on the Hogdon data site though.:upeyes:

fredj338
09-09-2011, 16:35
Hodgon online data is great. That's important.
Not to me, one source data is hohum, nice for cross ref but just not broad enough to hang my hat on a powder due to that. I do like their site though, at least their data is useful, unlike Alliant's. With any powder that has been around as long as Unique, data is going to vary. It's why we use multiple sources & average. Bullet variation alone mandates that.:winkie:

ursoboostd
09-09-2011, 16:40
I'm on the Unique wagon. I load 9mm, 38spl, 40sw and 45acp with it.

El_Ron1
09-09-2011, 17:04
Unique.

No, it isn't the best metering powder, but I had it running in Stevie's 550B and Jack's 1050 just fine. WTH are you loading on?



http://i40.tinypic.com/qsv3o3.gif

unclebob
09-09-2011, 17:06
I guess I'm unique in that I like Clays.

You’re not the only one. I still have 45 rounds that I loaded over 30 years ago with Unique. Never did care for it.

DoctaGlockta
09-09-2011, 17:59
WTH are you loading on?


http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/attachments/f24/31893d1298566160-reloading-press-handle-barrel-vise.jpg

Zombie Steve
09-09-2011, 19:15
WTH are you loading on?



http://i40.tinypic.com/qsv3o3.gif


Rock Chucker.

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x214/sbecht/ogq4n.jpg

El_Ron1
09-09-2011, 19:30
Shootin' 'em outta a Thompson Contender?

http://www.chuckhawks.com/plaid_hunting_cap.jpg

Zombie Steve
09-09-2011, 19:53
You found muh hat!

Colorado4Wheel
09-09-2011, 19:58
Not to me, one source data is hohum, nice for cross ref but just not broad enough to hang my hat on a powder due to that. I do like their site though, at least their data is useful, unlike Alliant's. With any powder that has been around as long as Unique, data is going to vary. It's why we use multiple sources & average. Bullet variation alone mandates that.:winkie:

Not about you, not about Wisky, not about anyone on this forum. It's about the type of person who would just "buy what they have". I am saying that the type of person who does this is not a serious reloader and good data handy via the internet is important. NOT YOU. That other guy.

I personally like powders with a good internet reloading data. I prefer it to the Lyman manual.

AZson
09-09-2011, 20:02
W231 or Tightgroup also

gary newport
09-09-2011, 21:18
Two other points: Unique is not the worst metering powder ever, 700X is.



Okay, make Unique the second-worst metering powder ever! :embarassed:

In my pre-Dillon days, I frequently got variations on the order of +- 0.2 grains with Unique. Occasionally, I found weighed charges varying by as much as 0.3 grains!

Unique might be appropriate for those using Lee scoops to measure their charges. :whistling:

As for me, I prefer a powder that meters accurately through my Dillon measure...and I define "accurately" as plus or minus a tenth of a grain.

gary newport
09-09-2011, 21:41
You're a GAP lovin' freak, newport, but your CRB heart is in the right place. :patriot:

Thanks for your support, Mullah! I did notice a couple of other folks mentioning The Venerable Bullseye in a positive way.

All this discussion leads me to a serious (sorry about that breach of GTR ethics! :embarassed:) question: exactly how and why is one powder superior to another, given similar calibers and applications?

There are various criteria which suggest themselves:

Accuracy: usually, for me, the most interesting question.

Ability to make a Power Factor Safely (with room to spare)

Consistent Metering (presumably related to accuracy)

Economy (after all, we are CRBs, aren't we?)

Cleanliness (maybe the least important--unless it impedes reliability).

Other factors, such as versatility across multiple bullet weights and calibers, low muzzle flash, etc., may be relevant in specific situations, but are probably lower in the pecking order than those I've cited above.

What say you? Are there criteria by which one powder may be judged to be objectively better than another?

cowboy1964
09-09-2011, 21:45
Okay, make Unique the second-worst metering powder ever! :embarassed:

In my pre-Dillon days, I frequently got variations on the order of +- 0.2 grains with Unique. Occasionally, I found weighed charges varying by as much as 0.3 grains!

Unique might be appropriate for those using Lee scoops to measure their charges. :whistling:

As for me, I prefer a powder that meters accurately through my Dillon measure...and I define "accurately" as plus or minus a tenth of a grain.

I get +/- .1 grains with Unique with the Lee Pro-Auto Disk. The fixed disks seem to be a bit more accurate than the adjustable charge bar.

I couldn't tell a few tenths of grains difference in a charge anyway unless I chronoed them. I'm making handgun plinking ammo, not match grade 1000 yard rifle ammo.

gary newport
09-09-2011, 21:51
I get +/- .1 grains with Unique with the Lee Pro-Auto Disk. The fixed disks seem to be a bit more accurate than the adjustable charge bar.

I couldn't tell a few tenths of grains difference in a charge anyway unless I chronoed them. I'm making handgun plinking ammo, not match grade 1000 yard rifle ammo.

I'm trying to make match-grade handgun ammo--and trying to make it such that it exceeds the required power factor, but not by much. The inconsistency of Unique just doesn't cut it for me.

ColoCG
09-09-2011, 22:30
No, I don't use my reloads for SD. I usually have Hornday Critical Defense loads in the gun. I do load 200gr XTP heads for SHTF SD. Never know, the Mayans might be right!

Thanks to all for the replies. It's now clear as mud! :wow: Think I'll hold off on an 8 lb buy and get 1 lb of Unique and give it a try first. Probably come down to Unique or WSF/WST.

Again, thanks. Dave


All of those powders are very accurate in the .45, but WSF and Unique are slower burning than WST.

WST is very accurate and great for light to medium loads. WSF and Unique are better for midrange to full power loads.

That doesn't mean you can't use them for lighter loads, but they may not perform as well as other powders for that.

I haven't used WSF in the .45 but do like both WST and Unique but if I was buying only one powder for .45 to cover all types of loads it would be Unique.

Unique doesn't measure as well as the other two but it has never been a problem for me.

Try them all and you choose.

fredj338
09-10-2011, 00:26
All of those powders are very accurate in the .45, but WSF and Unique are slower burning than WST.

WST is very accurate and great for light to medium loads. WSF and Unique are better for midrange to full power loads.

That doesn't mean you can't use them for lighter loads, but they may not perform as well as other powders for that.

I haven't used WSF in the .45 but do like both WST and Unique but if I was buying only one powder for .45 to cover all types of loads it would be Unique.

Unique doesn't measure as well as the other two but it has never been a problem for me.

Try them all and you choose.
Actually, WST does a great job throuhtout the 45acp std. pressure range. It is quite easy to get ball equiv using 230grLRN, you do have to stretch it just a bit to get there w/ 230grFMJ. With 200gr LSWC loads from 700fps-900gr, or 185grJHP @ 950fps, all easily done w/ terrific accuracy, clean burning, good case volumn & low recoil. If it were only $1/# cheaper, it would be perfect for the 45acp, but I'll accept that.:supergrin: The only time I look to Unique is for top end loads & into +P. Just more room to run w/ it & it meters within 0.1gr w/ a properly setup measure &/or technique.

ColoCG
09-10-2011, 09:14
Actually, WST does a great job throuhtout the 45acp std. pressure range. It is quite easy to get ball equiv using 230grLRN, you do have to stretch it just a bit to get there w/ 230grFMJ. With 200gr LSWC loads from 700fps-900gr, or 185grJHP @ 950fps, all easily done w/ terrific accuracy, clean burning, good case volumn & low recoil. If it were only $1/# cheaper, it would be perfect for the 45acp, but I'll accept that.:supergrin: The only time I look to Unique is for top end loads & into +P. Just more room to run w/ it & it meters within 0.1gr w/ a properly setup measure &/or technique.


I think were on the same page Fred, the only reason I would choose Unique or WSF was because the OP mentioned all ranges including SD loads. I realize you can push WST close but the other to powders would be better in that situation IMO. If SD loads were not involved I think WST would be a Great powder.

P.S. I also have no problem finding good safe loads for Unique for loading .380acp to light loads in .44mag and .454Casull and most everything in between but I do it without the internet. :whistling:

Wash-ar15
09-10-2011, 09:21
WST. its all I use in 9/40/45. Clean and meters well. whne I used Unique in my autodisk, thee was too much variation in drop.

fotog54
09-10-2011, 12:40
Unique


If not Unique then go with Unique.


Jack

What he said!:wavey:

oneofthose
09-10-2011, 19:55
231/HP38 and WSF. Not Unique. Unique data is all over the place. It confuses the hell out of people all the time. Alliants on line data SUCKS. Hodgon has a great on line site with data for multiple bullet styles. So to me it's not just about the powder, you want to be able to send them to a website that will actually have data they can use. Hodgon Powders are the best for that. I would buy two 4lb kegs rather then try and make one powder do everything. It's not like 8 lbs is a lot of powder. Seriously.

+1 for Hodgdon's load data on their website. I'll also cast a vote for Tite Group.

fredj338
09-10-2011, 20:11
+1 for Hodgdon's load data on their website. I'll also cast a vote for Tite Group.


It is my first choice for lawn fertilizer.:whistling:

gary newport
09-11-2011, 00:08
It is my first choice for lawn fertilizer.:whistling:

Fred, one major problem I have with trying WST is a lack of pressure-tested data for my favorite cartridge--.45 GAP. In fact, my two most-recent manuals (Lyman Pistol and Revolver Reloading, 3rd ed., Speer #14) don't even list WST loads for .45 ACP! I did find .45 ACP data on Hodgdon's website for this powder and .45 ACP, but nothing for the short-and-stout GAP.

In 9mm, with 147-bullets, WST seems a tad too fast--or that is what I conclude from the lack of pressure-tested data anywhere I've looked. (While Bullseye is fast, it seems to have a well-behaved pressure curve and does well with 147-grain loads at minor-power velocities.)

fredj338
09-11-2011, 10:43
Fred, one major problem I have with trying WST is a lack of pressure-tested data for my favorite cartridge--.45 GAP. In fact, my two most-recent manuals (Lyman Pistol and Revolver Reloading, 3rd ed., Speer #14) don't even list WST loads for .45 ACP! I did find .45 ACP data on Hodgdon's website for this powder and .45 ACP, but nothing for the short-and-stout GAP.

In 9mm, with 147-bullets, WST seems a tad too fast--or that is what I conclude from the lack of pressure-tested data anywhere I've looked. (While Bullseye is fast, it seems to have a well-behaved pressure curve and does well with 147-grain loads at minor-power velocities.)

I don't load for the GAP, but I would treat it just like the 45acp & use 45acp data as a starting point. Lack of pressure data is just not that big a deal TO ME. I load for several wildcat rounds & obsolete rounds, where pressur data is just not available, so playing w/ powders having little data is not a big deal. I understand noob reloaders shying form such powders, but any exp reloader can make great ammo using little to no data.
Since the GAP is a high pressure 45acp, using 45acp data should work fine, as a starting point. COmpare the load data in the Hogdon site or Lyman manual & you see a point for extrapolating data. IT appears that max loads in the GAP are starting loads in the larger 45acp. SO back that down 10% & work up.

Fwdftw
09-11-2011, 18:10
I'm with Steve ...win231, I tried unique as my 1st powder for 45acp and like all have said it didn't meter very well.