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Hi all, I'm new to reloading, starting to gather all the needed supplies, and I'm looking for some expert advice on powder. I plan on loading 38spl, 357mag, and 45acp. Plan on using lead bullets. I'm hoping to start out fairly simple, so I'm looking for recommendations on a good powder to use for both calibers. If its makes a difference, they will be fired from a 4" Ruger security six and a Colt 1911 Gold Cup Match. I'm looking for good/fairly accurate plinking rounds, doesn't need to be super hot. Thanks in advance guys, really appreciate the advise.
 

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I would look at some load data for each and see which powders are used for both. Then I would see what powders are easiest to come by locally. Just my 2cents, but thats how I picked titegroup as my general plinking powder.
 

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Unique, WW231, Tightgroup.

leroy
 

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Most any shotgun powders are fine to make target loads. I like and use Hodgkins Clays, because it is consistant and burns clean. In my 230 gr lrn .45acp loads, I use 4 grains of Clays.......Robin
 

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You can load anything with Unique. That's where I would start. Some say W231 meters better in a progressive press, and Bullseye is nevr a bad choice, but it falls short in the .357 Mag.
 

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Hi all, I'm new to reloading, starting to gather all the needed supplies, and I'm looking for some expert advice on powder. I plan on loading 38spl, 357mag, and 45acp. Plan on using lead bullets. I'm hoping to start out fairly simple, so I'm looking for recommendations on a good powder to use for both calibers. If its makes a difference, they will be fired from a 4" Ruger security six and a Colt 1911 Gold Cup Match. I'm looking for good/fairly accurate plinking rounds, doesn't need to be super hot. Thanks in advance guys, really appreciate the advise.
I use HP38, and WSF. Both of these powders work fine for the pistol calibers you mention.
 

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I used to use unique a lot in the past, but have switched to W-231, which is the same as HP-38. I use 231 in my 45 acp practice and match loads. I also use it in 38 Spec., 44 spec., and 41 mag for standard everyday loads around 1000 fps. Accuracy is very good in all the loads I use it in.
 

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I use unique and bulseye. Go the the powder manufacturers website they will give you
The powder info min and max loads for different grain and types of bullets.

My experience is to try a medium load. The max loads are less accurate and the minimum
loads may give you jamming problems once and a while.

Thats my 2 cents worth of reloading experience
 

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I load 9mm, .38spl, .357mag and 45ACP with Titegroup. Meters well and you get more bullets per pound because you use less powder.
 

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Larry the Conservative
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Unique, WW231, Tightgroup.

leroy
+1 I keep a 8lb jug of 231 on the shelf to load all my pistol ammo with. Sooner or later everyone tries Unique and then leaves it because it's so dirty. IMO.

If you ever decide to load rifle ammo, your choice will not be as universal, but there are a couple common ones. Benchmark, Reloader 7, or 15, IMR4198 and Varget seem to be on every list for the rounds I load with Benchmark being my personal fav. Costs more but it's VERY consistent.
 

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For all handgun use, I'd recommend:Winchester 231 or HP38 (they're the same powder, just different labels) for all target level or medium loads in: .32 H&R .38 Spl, .357 Magnum, 9mm, .41 Magnum, .44 Spl and Magnum, and both the .45 ACP and LC. It's truly a wonder powder..measures well through any powder measure I've tried....Lee, RCBS, and Dillon and is extremely uniform....

Unique, while a perennial favorite, has measuring problems for many of us when used in RCBS or Dillon measures...especially with loads under 5 to 6 grains....the flakes are the problem, they 'bridge' giving light loads. To some extent, Bullseye has the same problem, and also tends to clump together, tho not as severe. With Bullseye, the very light loads are subject to a doubled load if caution is not used. For my part, I used Unique and Bullsyes for almost 40 years, and put up with their fickle natures and measuring problems, and I found that both gave good accuracy with most calibers, but were a PITA to use.

For magnum handgung uses, I'd recommend 2400. It measures well and there is a multitude of data and a long history of use all the way from heavy .38 Special loads to reduced loads in the .30-06...In the rifle calibers, its use in 16 gr charges has been called "the Load" for several center fire calibers by a number of well known American Rifleman Dope Bag contributors. Modern 2400 seems a bit faster than that of two decades ago. For that reason, I'd recommend strict adherence to the "work up slowly to heavy loads" mantra when using the modern 2400. In that regard, I've reduced my maximum loadings with it by 10% in a number of calibers and found that the velocity obtained is similar to that with "old" 2400, through chronographed testing.

Best Regards, Rodfac
 

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There is a newer powder that can be loaded in just about any handgun caliber and that's Ramshot True Blue. It is a dense very fine grained ball powder that meters exceptionally, much better than Unique and will give you higher performance than W231/HP38. Definitely usable for the calibers you listed, as a matter of fact it can be used in .380 up to the .454 Casull. For loading multiple calibers it can't be beat and yes, I've used the others and still have W231 on the shelf. Ramshot for data. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Well that was fairly easy. Now that I basically have it narrowed down to two basic choices, Unique and W231/HP38, which is better, and why? I have noted several people mention that Unique is harder to meter, is this true? I am leaning towards W231, but Unique is available at the local Walmart, which would make it more convenient.
 
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