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Thread: Best all around smokeless powder

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Best all around smokeless powder

    For 38Special, 40S&W and 10MM. I'm looking for medium to upper medium loads for jacketed bullets in all weights that's clean burning and consistent metering. Looking for 1 powder that does it all.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Ole Joe Clarke's Avatar
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    The best one is the one you like. There are endless arguments and posts about this very subject. Just read your reloading manual and make your own choice.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    Kevin Rohrer's Avatar
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    What Joe said.

    There is no "best" of anything; there is only what you use and like. If you are going to stick w/ one powder for all three, cross-reference those three cartridges in your manual and pick the common powder.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    HangFireW8's Avatar
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    The problem with your question is 38 Special does so well with faster handgun powders, and the rest with medium.

    But the usual answer is Alliant Unique.

    -HF

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    As much as I like Unique, and it works well in both rifle and handgun loads, it's not anywhere near being consistent in metering. The OP included that in his post. As others have stated, it's what works best in your gun. There definitely isn't a one size fits all here.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    It's all been said, there's no one "best" powder. If you wanted one powder that could be used in all of those applications; I would say ww231 [AKA, HP-38].

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Before I decided to get as cheap as possible with my loading for handguns, I shot AA-No.5. Very clean when used in it's operating range and meters very well in Dillon's measures and pretty good in rotary measures. With the calibers you mentioned, you'll get about 1000 rounds out of a lb.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    IMO 800x could be a candidate, as long as the .38Spl projectiles are on the heavy side. But why a person wouldn't want BE or Red Dot for .38's, I dunno.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know about those calibers, but I really like Power Pistol for my 9s and 380s.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Best across that spectrum would need to "give" something someplace. And probably won't be "best" possible choice in all three. What you are willing to give up is what makes it an individual choice. Very individual.

    I like titegroup for clean burn but tends to have a narrow safe/good range of load weights for any caliber. Very thrifty as one doesn't use much. Which leads to a bad rap for being hard to confirm visually. Double charge is harder to see when it's only 3 - 5 grains. Don't know anyone that loads 10mm but the 40 S&W the folks I know don't use anything I feed revolver cartridges like .38 special. There is however load data for 40 and 10mm using titegroup.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Those cartridges need different burn rates for top performance. W231 will work in both but will leave a lot to be desired in 10mm. You want a slower burner in the 10mm for top performance. That's why 800-X and Longshot are the preferred powders. You won't find people suggesting those powders for 38 Special.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    My best powder is Red Dot: use it from .32 all the way up to lightly loaded 45-70 as well as shotgun.

    now I'm 71 and am not looking to shoot "things faster than a speeding bullet" any more.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Trail Boss!

    Not.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    StratsMan's Avatar
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    As others have indicated, there's no GREAT powder to fit for all 3 of those rounds... 38 Special is a low pressure round, but the 40S&W and 10mm run at higher pressures... Any powder you select is likely to be a compromise for all... Now, if you were willing to have 2 powders (1 for 38's, one for the other two), you could get much better performance for all 3 calibers...

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    No such thing
    NRA Endowment Member
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    Conceado Nulli

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    I guess I should have stated that as being one individual powder for each of those three calibers not one for all three together.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Shotgun powders like Red or Green Dot, Unique, American Select; those are as close to universal as anything.

    If they don't meter like ball powder, it's pistol ammo; shooting at 25 yards and off hand doesn't really need or benefit from charges that are within a tenth of a grain of each other. You can't shoot that accurately offhand.

    A rifle with a scope off a bench, that's where you need the accuracy.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    BR-5 Recently acquired. Brand new, current production. This is a double-based ball
    type powder, originally intended for 9x19mm ammo. Meters very consistently.
    Burning rate is similar to Hercules Unique, which data can be used. Additional
    data available on request. Clean burning with consistent results.
    This is new powder, not pulldown.
    $100/6# jug

    At Bartlett Reloaders.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jules View Post
    I guess I should have stated that as being one individual powder for each of those three calibers not one for all three together.
    It's going to be personal preference. Everyone has their favorites. For 38 Special I prefer W231/HP-38. It's the only pistol powder I used for many years. Any of the fast burners will work.

    For 10mm, I don't load 40 S&W as I prefer the real deal, I like 800-X. You can forget easy metering. Meters like gravel. But it gives you top performance. Longshot is a better option if you want consistent metering.

    Clean burning is in the eye of the beholder. I clean my guns routinely so it's the last thing I worry about. Keep the pressure up w/ whatever powder you're using and it's going to burn "cleaner" w/ less unburnt powder. None of them are dirty compared to black.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master




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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    It's all been said, there's no one "best" powder. If you wanted one powder that could be used in all of those applications; I would say ww231 [AKA, HP-38].
    This would be my recommendation too
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check