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Hi, I am an older,stuck in his ways handloader and am looking for a cleaner burning powder to replace Unique. Need the same,or better performance> I will appreciate your opinions. Thank-you!
 

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What calibers are you reloading?
 

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Take a look at Titegroup.

Jim
 

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Power Pistol is excellent for your applications.
 

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I'll second Iowegan's recommendation for Power Pistol. I loaded up and fired off 44 Specials today with 180 gn XTP and 9 gn Power Pistol. Very clean burning compared to Unique and this load was accurate out to 80 yds which is the furthest I can shoot here at home. Sorry, no chronograph data yet as this was a test run only and there's a foot of snow to contend with right now, but the load felt spirited even from a 7 1/2" Redhawk. Enough energy to swing the 12" gong at 80 yds.
 

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Good call.
It hasn't been readily available for some time but I scored a pound yesterday at my LGS.
Looking forward to try it out.
 

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I keep a 4lb jug of Power Pistol on hand at all times. I've used it in both light and heavy 44M loads, .357/.38, .45acp, 10mm, 9mm and .380. While it's not "The Powder" in each caliber it's economical, extremely versatile and easy to source. Most of the data in Speer's #13 has been virtually identical to my chrono testing results. When some of my friends want some of their brass reloaded that's usually what they get, none have complained yet. If I was limited to only having ONE powder, this would be it.
 

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It's difficult to find any powder on a regular basis around my neck of the woods. I too am looking to try some substitutes for Unique. I trying AA#5 right now and it seems pretty close to the same burning rate. Good luck.
 

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BE-86 has started showing up on store shelves recently. I haven't tried any yet, but it might be worth a look if you stumble across some. Supposed to be useful in a wide range of pistol calibers similar to Unique and Power Pistol.
 

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I just shifted to heavier for caliber bullets and unique burs much cleaner. 300 grain in 45 colt and 270 in 44 mag or special.
 

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Also if looking to load just like Unique, there is Universal or 20 /28 which are 1:1 replacements. For example, in .44 Special, Skeeter load is 7.5g of Unique or Universal or 20/28. Some say Universal is cleaner... It definitely meters better. Have no problem with Unique though as its been a very good powder through the years and still is. I don't find that much more or 'dirtier' than any other powder I've tried.
 

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I've recently been loading 9MM with Unique and It doesn't seem dirty at all. You may find you need a faster burning powder if you are loading light or medium loads. If you shoot cast bullets the lube dirtys things up no matter the powder.
 

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Just about anything will be cleaner than Unique. I recently switched to ClayDot for everything and I couldn't be happier. I have been using load data for Clays as a reference for my Claydot loads.
 

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I just heard that they changed the formula on unique and made it much cleaner, not sure if thats true or not?
No way for me to know that, since I haven't seen Unique on the shelves around here since 2010. I've tried Universal and found it to be a good substitute, but it's also kinda "dirty". Another substitute I've tried - and only because it was the only powder on the shelf at the time - was 800X. It's cleaner than Unique, but I haven't been able to "dial in" a good load with it, yet.


Jim
 

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475linebaugh, You're about 20 years behind times. Unique powder .... quite a history and yes, it really is unique. Some history .... back when John Moses Browning developed what later became the 1911 pistol, JMB redesigned his Mod 1905 and designed a cartridge for it. The parent cartridge was a 30-40 Craig rifle case that was cut down. Smokeless gun powder was pretty new at the time so JMB went to the Hercules Powder Company, well known for making dynamite. Hercules had formulated a powder for shotguns in 1900 that by coincidence, had the optimum burn rate for JMB's new cartridge. This powder became available to the private sector and because of its unique double base chemical composition (nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine), it was named "Unique".

Hercules Powder Co continued to make Unique gun powder for 94 years, when in 1994 Hercules sold out to Alliant. Alliant reformulated Unique powder slightly to make it burn cleaner, however it still maintains the same bulk and burn rate. Unique powder is probably the oldest powder on the market and after 114 years, it is still one of the most popular reloading powders for shotguns and handguns.

Unique often gets a bad rap for being a "dirty burner". This is because many people misuse it and don't load it hot enough. Like most double base powders, Unique burns much cleaner ... less soot and unburned flakes ... when chamber pressures are 15,000 psi or greater. One of the common "violators" is a 38 Special where max chamber pressure is only 17, 500 psi so if it is loaded for reduced velocity, you do indeed get a dirty burn. When used in a 45 ACP (about 20k psi) it burns pretty clean.
 

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I like Hodgdon Universal. Clean, consistent, meters very well.
 

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I like Hodgdon Universal. Clean, consistent, meters very well.
I agree, but I could not find it for 2 years & have switched to CFE Pistol as my main pistol powder, with TiteGroup filling in some gaps & I have Unique & Universal for an emergency backup powder supply.:cool:
 

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I recommend Power Pistol too. I started using it in my 9 mm and experimented with it in my 45 Colt (in 2 years I couldn't find any Unique). It performs well, it is clean and it runs through the powder measure consistently. Most reloading guides don't test Power Pistol with large caliber revolvers, but the 2015 Alliant guide has recipes for 44 Mag & 44 Spcl.
 
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