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lts70
08-02-2011, 05:54 PM
I am going to be reloading a lot of 45acp and 9mm now that I am set up to cast full tilt. I will also be doing some 38 special from time to time.

I have been reloading for 6 months now and have been using h38 exclusively for my 45acp rounds. I now need to buy more powder and want to buy bulk this time. Should I stick with the H38 or is there a better powder to fit all three cartridges. All bullets will be Boolits as well if that makes any difference.

Any advice would be appreciated.

W.R.Buchanan
08-02-2011, 06:07 PM
You can also use Winchester 231 which is HP/38 in a different can. They are identical powders made by the same outfit.

W231 is a good clean burning powder that has many uses in pistol cartirdges like you are loading.

I use it in .45 ACP, .40S&W, .44 Spec and light .44 magnum loads. It will certainly work just fine in 9 MM and .38 spec. As well.

There are many other powders that will work for these applications, but you are already using one of the best for these particular cartridges.

don't fix if ain't broke.

Randy

GabbyM
08-02-2011, 07:12 PM
HP-38 is a good and economical 9mm powder. I don't quite achieve the velocities published. At the 4.4 grain max listed charge for 124 grain RN boolits I have in the past measured .0003" case head expansion. Note that's 3 tenths not 3 thousandths. Many max loads in a 9mm will open the primer pockets after a half dozen reloads and it looks like 4.4 grains HP-38 would be another although Iíve never tested that out. 4.1 grains HP-38 under a 122-tc or 124-rn is a good working load. I clocked some 4.4 grain loads last Sunday. Under a Saeco #377, CCI primer, fed case, COL of 1.050Ē with 4Ē barrel average velocity was 1133 fps. Same load under a 124gr round nose clocked 1063 fps. The round nose seats shallower thus taking up less case capacity and yields less pressure.
Power Pistol will give the same velocity as HP-38 but IME seams easier on the cases runing less pressure. AA#5 has been a good one for actually delivering published data velocity without high pressure. Charges are about 40% greater with the slow powder though so you need big cans of it. If you want speed you have to dig into the cash supply.

Iíve a new 147 grain FP load with VV 3N38 that shoots the big bullets 1143 fps. Takes 6.9 grains of powder and I had to order a $35.00 heavy weight recoil spring set in hopes of not destroying the gun. Havenít received the heavy springs yet. Hopefully the recoil will be reduced. Itís a lot of cash to get a little bit more velocity out of the big bullets.

Lighter laods of slower powders usually cause point of impact to shift up and right.

Skipper488
08-02-2011, 09:31 PM
I have found 800x to be a great powder for the .45acp I'm sure there are recipes for the 9mm and .38 using it.

01SVTvert
08-02-2011, 09:57 PM
You can also use Winchester 231 which is HP/38 in a different can. They are identical powders made by the same outfit.

W231 is a good clean burning powder that has many uses in pistol cartirdges like you are loading.

I use it in .45 ACP, .40S&W, .44 Spec and light .44 magnum loads. It will certainly work just fine in 9 MM and .38 spec. As well.

There are many other powders that will work for these applications, but you are already using one of the best for these particular cartridges.

don't fix if ain't broke.

Randy

Any idea how HP38 will handle full 44 Mag loads? I need to load for a 44 carbine that hates light loads and will not cycle.

I have 5 lbs of HP38 or so and have used it for .40 in plated and jacketed only as I did not have any lead and in 38spl using a lee RN tumble lube bullet. I want to continue to use the HP38 in RN lead 9mm and again in 44 (if appropriate).

dougader
08-02-2011, 10:59 PM
I think Power Pistol would be a great powder for all three cartridges if you plan on loading from medium to heavy.

Unique is a great powder for all 3 as well. WSF would be worth a look, too.

stubshaft
08-02-2011, 11:10 PM
FWIW - My vote would go to AA#5. Just my personal favorite for those cartridges.

Coffeecup
08-02-2011, 11:14 PM
I've shot up a barrel of WW231 in the 45 acp and 38 special, with a few thousand 9mms thrown in. It's been my go-to powder for plinking loads in all the pistol calibers for 20 years or so.

But it isn't the choice for max velocities or hot loads in the magnums. As GabbyM wrote, I didn't get published velocities.

chris in va
08-02-2011, 11:15 PM
I need to load for a 44 carbine that hates light loads and will not cycle.


I'm trying to figure out what semiauto carbine is chambered in 44 Magnum...

2wheelDuke
08-02-2011, 11:27 PM
I'm trying to figure out what semiauto carbine is chambered in 44 Magnum...

Ruger made a carbine that looks like a 10/22 that's chambered for 44 mag. I'd love to have one if I ever find one at a price I can afford while I've got the money.

Ickisrulz
08-02-2011, 11:39 PM
I'm trying to figure out what semiauto carbine is chambered in 44 Magnum...

Ruger had two carbines chambered for the 44 magnum. They have been both discontinued. The first model (called the 44 carbine) was made from 1961-1985. It pre-dated the 10/22 and the rimfire was actually made to look like the 44 carbine. The second model called the Deerfield was made from 2000 to 2006.

Mallard57
08-02-2011, 11:55 PM
I have found 800x to be a great powder for the .45acp I'm sure there are recipes for the 9mm and .38 using it.

I really like 800x for alot of things(shotguns and the three calibers listed above included). It's really useful and performs well. The only real downside and it's a big one, it meters about as well as gravel. This is inconvenient for high volume loading of pistol rounds. If you have found a better to measure 800x you'd be my hero.
Jeff

milprileb
08-03-2011, 12:16 AM
Oh yeah, if anyone has a way to meter 800X, they are heroes !! That is my issue with the powder, its a PITA to measure . Otherwise, it shoots exceptionally in my 9mm 1911 although it is kind of dirty compared to WW231 or Blue Dot.

I can't get 800x to meter remotely well in my Dillon progressive measure, Lee Pro measures, or my Ohaus Duo Measure. The only way I can get it to work is in a little Pacific bushing bar type measure. Tap bar twice with wood stick, then slap it to discharge powder. Only in this manner will almost identical charges be tossed. No wood tapping.... highs and lows abound.

800X: flakes are too large for most measure but it sure does well in my 9mm !

fredj338
08-03-2011, 01:04 AM
Any idea how HP38 will handle full 44 Mag loads? I need to load for a 44 carbine that hates light loads and will not cycle.

I have 5 lbs of HP38 or so and have used it for .40 in plated and jacketed only as I did not have any lead and in 38spl using a lee RN tumble lube bullet. I want to continue to use the HP38 in RN lead 9mm and again in 44 (if appropriate).

Not well. W231/HP38 is a fast powder, it hits the pressure wall long before you get acceptable magnum velocity. It & other fat powders suffer the same problem, they only work well in light to moderate loads in high pressure rounds. FIne for 38sp & 45acp, they are low pressure/low vel rounds. Unique, AA#5, PP or WSF or Universal will be great for mid to full power & +P loads for all three & useful in the magnums for upper midrange down to lighter loads.
I second 800X being a PITA to meter, not worth the effort except for +P loads in any of those IMO, has to be hand weighed.

Lizard333
08-03-2011, 06:27 AM
I have been using HP-38/Win 231 for 15 years on my pistol loads. Now, I'm not pushing the rounds to the limits by any means, and the vast majority of my rounds are classified as plinking. This powder is clean, and is available most everywhere powder is sold. Knowing that they are one in the same, you can usually find one or the other a buck cheaper at the store, couldn't tell you why. A couple of pounds will get you get you a few thousand rounds. This was the first powder I ever used.

MtGun44
08-03-2011, 09:13 AM
What Fred said is right. For .44 mag full power you need at least as slow as Unique, and
even it won't quite reach max velocity because it reaches max pressure before max vel.
H110/W296 is pretty much the velocity champ, but a number of other powders, notably
2400 are also excellent. For max .44 mag around 20 grains (use your loading manuals!)
of 2400 is good - adjusted for boolit wt, and using multiple loading manuals as reference,
and starting low. Unfortunately, H110/W296 does NOT work in reduced charges well, it
gets erratic, so do not use it in lower than minimum book loads. It works best for full max
loads. Power Pistol is another great one, but not as much loading data out there for
it, sad to say. A great medium hot .44 mag load is 10.0 gr Unique under any cast 240-250
gr boolit. It will run about 1050-1100 depending on the gun and is often one of THE most
accurate loads in a given pistol.

As to the original question - Unique works great in all of them, but to save money a
faster powder like Bullseye or W231/HP38 are good. Just recognize that double charging is
very easy to do and can destroy the gun with these powders. I like and use powders that
can double charge, but I am very, very careful, as you should be. Lots of good choices, I
use a lot of Titegroup nowdays, too.

Bill

Shiloh
08-03-2011, 10:39 AM
Unique and AA#5

docone31
08-03-2011, 10:46 AM
I like Blue Dot.
Fast enough to cycle, fires POI with my .38s. Works with my .45ACP, 9mm., and .357 and .38.

FISH4BUGS
08-03-2011, 11:05 AM
I use 231 powder for my standard velocity handgun and submachinegun loads. For the magnum loads I use 296. Buy them in 8 lb jugs.
Period. End of discussion. That is from over 40 years of tinkering. Those are the ones I have settled on.
I visually see that there is a normal powder charge in station 3 in my Dillon 550 before I put the bullet on top to be seated, simply to make sure I don't double charge the load.
Don't ask me how I learned that lesson.

rond
08-03-2011, 11:12 AM
I like Titegroup in standard pistol calibers, H110 in the magnums.

lts70
08-03-2011, 11:14 AM
Well I was playing with the idea of switching powders but I got a good deal on 10lbs of winchester 231 (one 8lb jug and two 1lb cans) for $10 a pound. So that made up my mind pretty quick. Looks like I will useing 231 for quite awhile now. And the dude threw in two old beat up 1911 7rounder magazines in for free. the 8 pound jug is in the new plastic jug but the two 1lb cans are in metal cans. I opened one up to use and it still had the glued on plastic seal. He said that they have been in his dads basement at 67 degrees since new and never opened. If stored like that it shouldent have a shelf life right?

garym1a2
08-03-2011, 12:41 PM
Bullseye is hard to beat for me in the 38 and 45acp. I also got good results with the WSF in 9mm.

I think Bullseye is too fast for 9mm and not great in 38 high speed loads.

For and all around load Unique or a similia burn rate powder should be good. It just does not meter well for me.

MtGun44
08-03-2011, 02:41 PM
Stored cool in the original sealed cans powder lasts for many decades.

Bill

fredj338
08-03-2011, 03:08 PM
I like Titegroup in standard pistol calibers, H110 in the magnums.

Wow, you can't get more opp ends of the spectrum. Friends don't let friends load TG.:Bright idea:

Shooter6br
08-03-2011, 03:42 PM
Universal .Unique "flamming dirt" as second choice if Universal isnt available

Vinne
08-03-2011, 08:34 PM
You got one heck of a deal!!! The problem I have always ran into when loading for a wide range of cases is you find yourself loading for the powder instead of loading for the case. Some of the ammo, say 38s or 9s can't be loaded too light and others like 44s or45s can't be loaded hot enough. I get a large container for the rounds I reload a lot and smaller ones for the others.

pistolman44
08-03-2011, 11:15 PM
Have been reloading for about 30 yrs. I switched to Titegroup for all my non magnum calibers. It is very accurate in my 45 ACP's.

MtGun44
08-04-2011, 12:01 AM
TG is a fine powder in it's range. Great for .45 ACP for sure, and good for the other two.

I use Clays for .38 Spl and SP8 for 9mm only because I came into a large quantity for free in one
case and nearly free in the other case. And since I use 3.0 gr of Clays and 6.5 gr of SP8, it will
be quite a while before I work through the first 8 lbs of each. Sometimes economics chooses
the powder for you.

Bill

MakeMineA10mm
08-04-2011, 12:30 AM
Well, I'm primarily a pistol shooter and loader, and I've been loading for a quarter century now, including a few years with my manufacturer's license loading for several gunshops, so I've got some experience with various powders, plus I had the need to narrow down the range of powders I use for pistol loading. I got it down to two powders to cover everything.

At the risk of spearing many sacred animals, here is my take on a general-use powder you are asking about:

Bullseye and Titegroup are two peas in the same pod. Titegroup was designed to compete directly with BE, and it does so quite well. Both of these powders are workable, but way too fast burning with spikey-pressures at the top end for an all-around powder. They were designed to be low-velocity, target-load powders, not all-around, general-purpose load powders, and it shows when they are pushed too far. (Sorry BE and TG fans...)

All the slow powders (slower than Unique) such as AA#5, 800x, Power Pistol, WSF, etc. are too slow to be all-around powders. They make reasonably-good medium-power loads in large-capacity cases like 44 Mag, 45 Colt, and 357 Mag, but none of them get to the top end in them... They make OK full-power loads in small cases, but generally leave a lot of unburnt powder, and they're not efficient from an internal ballistics point of view. Another important consideration is that these loads burn a lot of powder, so you get fewer loads per pound, vs. a more efficient powder. These powders really only shine (but do so very well) in the full-power loads for medium-calibers, like 40S&W, 10mm, 38 Spl., and 45ACP+P. Workable, but not ideal as all-around powders.

The ideal powders run from about Red Dot thru Unique. The powders in this range will give you reasonable velocity with reasonable pressure with reasonable charge-weights (to maximize your loads-per-pound). My traditional favorite is SMP231 (St. Marks Powder 231), which is sold by Winchester as W231 and Hodgdon as HP38. It is a medium- to large-grit ball powder, and so flows very well through powder measures. I've loaded over 150 lbs of this powder in pistol calibers from 380 through 45ACP. I have loaded it in 44 Mag, but not for full-power loads. I load 7.5 to 8.0grs max with a 240gr lead bullet, which is way below book max. At 8.3grs the bullets break the sound barrier, and simultaneously recoil and muzzle blast become sharp (as sharp as full-loads of powder that go up three more grains). I feel that something bad is going on in there, so I limit my 44 loads to 7.5-8.0grs tops. If I need more velocity, I go to a slower powder. My biggest criticism of W231 is that it is a little dirty (more so with lead bullets). Now, it's not as dirty as some powders, but I'd say it's as dirty as Unique, when Unique is fired in a balanced load, which is to say, it will leave a few unburnt granules or particles of powder behind. It's also VERY smokey with soft-lubed boolits and still somewhat smokey with hard-lubed boolits. Jacketed still smokes some, but not as much. Shooting a match in a humid environment may make the range look a little like a civil war battlefield... :groner:

Fredj didn't say anything about his favorite powder at this load level... ;) Kind of curious! WST is a ball powder that flows well, bulks well, shoots clean, and gives reasonable (but not top-end) velocities. It's not as spikey as BE/TG, but it can get there. Don't push it, and use it for target loads, and it has a wide application in these calibers. As soon as I go through my last 30 lbs of 231, I'll try some...

Unique is a great powder choice for what you're doing as well. It's not quite as efficient in terms of loads-per-pound as the others mentioned above, but it is very safe, with a broad range of load levels in every caliber. The only downsides to it are: It is a flake powder so doesn't flow quite as nice as the ball powders, and in an unbalanced load (where you're not loading it hot enough to get to good-combustion chamber pressures) it can be dirty.

There's a few others in there that are really good, but peruse any good burn-rate chart and you'll figure out the good ones. A couple especially nice (but too expensive for my tastes for burning this much ammo) are VV N325 and VVN330. When I was a commercial loader, their importer sent me samples, and this was the most amazingly clean powder I ever shot. My guns were actually cleaner after I shot a hundred rounds of these loads than before... (Which isn't saying much for my gun cleaning ethics. :groner: )


As far as a good warm-load powder for the 44 in the Ruger carbine - mine likes AA#9, but someone just mentioned H/IMR-4227, and that brought back memories of my loads with that powder. It is a fantastic 44 Mag powder - super accurate, top velocities (or nearly so), and low pressures. It can't be beat. I'd recommend you try some. One warning: I never shoot lead in my Ruger Carbine. It's gas system will get plugged up with lube and lead, and it's not something you want to get good at cleaning...

lts70
08-04-2011, 02:08 PM
A co-worker brought me in a full 1lb of plastic bottle of unique powder , a 1/4 of a bottle of H110, and a old square can of Hodgdon's 4831. Now that I can add those 3 powdwers to the line up with my 231, what would be there best use with the calibers in question?

winelover
08-04-2011, 02:35 PM
A co-worker brought me in a full 1lb of plastic bottle of unique powder , a 1/4 of a bottle of H110, and a old square can of Hodgdon's 4831. Now that I can add those 3 powdwers to the line up with my 231, what would be there best use with the calibers in question?

Unique for will work for all three (45ACP, 9mm and 38 spl). H4831 is a rifle powder and H110 is for magnum pistol (357 ,44 mag, hot 45 LC).

Winelover

MtGun44
08-04-2011, 09:14 PM
Don't underload H110 below the starting loads in books, it is for hot magnum loads and
misbehaves at the lower pressure end. Unique is excellent for all three pistol calibers.
H4831 is for large rifles like .270, .30-06 or even the magnums, fairly slow.

You do have several reloading manuals, right? If not, put them on the IMMEDIATE,
CRITICAL purchase list.

Bill

KYCaster
08-05-2011, 12:07 AM
Any idea how HP38 will handle full 44 Mag loads? I need to load for a 44 carbine that hates light loads and will not cycle.

I have 5 lbs of HP38 or so and have used it for .40 in plated and jacketed only as I did not have any lead and in 38spl using a lee RN tumble lube bullet. I want to continue to use the HP38 in RN lead 9mm and again in 44 (if appropriate).



Hodgden's web site shows HP38/W231 loads in 44 Mag up to 38,700 CUP.

HP38 is a very versatile powder that will work in all the cartridges you mention.....but it's not the best choice for high speed loads in magnum cases.

Jerry

miestro_jerry
08-05-2011, 12:14 AM
I have been using 231 for very long time in my 45 ACP, 9mm, 38 Special. For my standard 357 Mag, 357 Max and 44 Mag, I use 2400. For hot mags, I use 296/H110. Never had any problems with that line up.

Powder for $10 a pound, that is a great buy, I haven't seen it that cheap in a long time.

Jerry

garym1a2
08-05-2011, 03:00 PM
great post.:coffee:

Well, I'm primarily a pistol shooter and loader, and I've been loading for a quarter century now, including a few years with my manufacturer's license loading for several gunshops, so I've got some experience with various powders, plus I had the need to narrow down the range of powders I use for pistol loading. I got it down to two powders to cover everything.

At the risk of spearing many sacred animals, here is my take on a general-use powder you are asking about:

Bullseye and Titegroup are two peas in the same pod. Titegroup was designed to compete directly with BE, and it does so quite well. Both of these powders are workable, but way too fast burning with spikey-pressures at the top end for an all-around powder. They were designed to be low-velocity, target-load powders, not all-around, general-purpose load powders, and it shows when they are pushed too far. (Sorry BE and TG fans...)

All the slow powders (slower than Unique) such as AA#5, 800x, Power Pistol, WSF, etc. are too slow to be all-around powders. They make reasonably-good medium-power loads in large-capacity cases like 44 Mag, 45 Colt, and 357 Mag, but none of them get to the top end in them... They make OK full-power loads in small cases, but generally leave a lot of unburnt powder, and they're not efficient from an internal ballistics point of view. Another important consideration is that these loads burn a lot of powder, so you get fewer loads per pound, vs. a more efficient powder. These powders really only shine (but do so very well) in the full-power loads for medium-calibers, like 40S&W, 10mm, 38 Spl., and 45ACP+P. Workable, but not ideal as all-around powders.

The ideal powders run from about Red Dot thru Unique. The powders in this range will give you reasonable velocity with reasonable pressure with reasonable charge-weights (to maximize your loads-per-pound). My traditional favorite is SMP231 (St. Marks Powder 231), which is sold by Winchester as W231 and Hodgdon as HP38. It is a medium- to large-grit ball powder, and so flows very well through powder measures. I've loaded over 150 lbs of this powder in pistol calibers from 380 through 45ACP. I have loaded it in 44 Mag, but not for full-power loads. I load 7.5 to 8.0grs max with a 240gr lead bullet, which is way below book max. At 8.3grs the bullets break the sound barrier, and simultaneously recoil and muzzle blast become sharp (as sharp as full-loads of powder that go up three more grains). I feel that something bad is going on in there, so I limit my 44 loads to 7.5-8.0grs tops. If I need more velocity, I go to a slower powder. My biggest criticism of W231 is that it is a little dirty (more so with lead bullets). Now, it's not as dirty as some powders, but I'd say it's as dirty as Unique, when Unique is fired in a balanced load, which is to say, it will leave a few unburnt granules or particles of powder behind. It's also VERY smokey with soft-lubed boolits and still somewhat smokey with hard-lubed boolits. Jacketed still smokes some, but not as much. Shooting a match in a humid environment may make the range look a little like a civil war battlefield... :groner:

Fredj didn't say anything about his favorite powder at this load level... ;) Kind of curious! WST is a ball powder that flows well, bulks well, shoots clean, and gives reasonable (but not top-end) velocities. It's not as spikey as BE/TG, but it can get there. Don't push it, and use it for target loads, and it has a wide application in these calibers. As soon as I go through my last 30 lbs of 231, I'll try some...

Unique is a great powder choice for what you're doing as well. It's not quite as efficient in terms of loads-per-pound as the others mentioned above, but it is very safe, with a broad range of load levels in every caliber. The only downsides to it are: It is a flake powder so doesn't flow quite as nice as the ball powders, and in an unbalanced load (where you're not loading it hot enough to get to good-combustion chamber pressures) it can be dirty.

There's a few others in there that are really good, but peruse any good burn-rate chart and you'll figure out the good ones. A couple especially nice (but too expensive for my tastes for burning this much ammo) are VV N325 and VVN330. When I was a commercial loader, their importer sent me samples, and this was the most amazingly clean powder I ever shot. My guns were actually cleaner after I shot a hundred rounds of these loads than before... (Which isn't saying much for my gun cleaning ethics. :groner: )


As far as a good warm-load powder for the 44 in the Ruger carbine - mine likes AA#9, but someone just mentioned H/IMR-4227, and that brought back memories of my loads with that powder. It is a fantastic 44 Mag powder - super accurate, top velocities (or nearly so), and low pressures. It can't be beat. I'd recommend you try some. One warning: I never shoot lead in my Ruger Carbine. It's gas system will get plugged up with lube and lead, and it's not something you want to get good at cleaning...

Irascible
08-09-2011, 09:40 AM
Another vote for #5. I consider it Unique that works properly in a powder measure. My burning rate chart shows it slightly slower than Unique and so far it acts like it.
I use it in the 32 H&R (rifle), the 38 Spcl., 44 Spcl., and the 44 Mag. All with cast bullets and all about 1000 fps. I also use it in the 38 Spcl with Jacketed bullets at about the same velocity.

Ugluk
08-09-2011, 09:56 AM
Vihtavouri N340 works very well in 9mm and 38spl, meters well och burns real clean and consistent.
I don't load 45acp, but according to the charts it should do well in that too.

VV is the most common handgun powder here, I guess we're a bit spoiled.

Irascible
08-09-2011, 10:04 AM
V V is hard to come by around here. i have to mail order mine from Harts in Nescopek, PA

UNIQUEDOT
08-09-2011, 04:47 PM
Acc #5 will do everything you want and will run like water through a powder measure.

goodsteel
08-09-2011, 07:23 PM
I am not too concerned with accuracy in those calibers, as much as I am in getting cheap ammo that will keep me shooting. Therefore, I wanted the fastest, cleanest burning powder I could use. I have gotten all that out of hodgdon clays, as well as fairly good accuracy, especially in .45ACP.

David2011
08-09-2011, 07:30 PM
+1 for Win231 burning cleanly. I fire a single round of .44 Special charged with 231 through my .44 Mag Contender at the end of a shooting session. My full load charge is with 2400 which leaves residue in the barrel. The one shot of 231 leaves is as clean as if I had swabbed it.

David