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Thread: The “unique” thing with Unique - FBI duplicate loads

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2016

    The “unique” thing with Unique - FBI duplicate loads

    I have, like many, duplicated Win/Rem/Fed 38 Special +P LSWCHP loads using Unique (5.2 grs), Power Pistol (5.6 grs) and AA5 (6.2 grs).

    Their velocities are within 25-30 FPS of each other...no real statistical difference in my opinion.

    But Unique does not have the same blast and “bark” as Power Pistol or AA5 in comparable FBI loads. Unique’s recoil impulse with its FBI loading is markedly less than the other powders noted, and without any noticeable flash.

    Unique has stood the test of time.

    I also like Unique for 1,100 FPS 357 Magnum loadings with the 158 gr cast SWC in my Ruger B/H. Enough accuracy and power for me.

    Pls share your experiences with Unique in your 38/38+P/357 Mag loads.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    The Republic of Texas
    I'm a big Unique fan for .38, 9mm. & .45ACP.
    Until I recently fell into a sealed 5 pound can of Bullseye for $40, its all I've used since the mid-80s.

    There's a few loads for it in .357, but I always find myself drifting back to Blue Dot or something else.
    It's common for some light rifle loads, but I was never comfortable with that.
    I gravitate back to minimum rifle powder loads for rifles.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Walks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Favorite Powder for .357 Loads.
    Lyman #358429 168gr SWC - 6.0grs Unique for all .357 Revolvers. With one exception.
    The one Exception;
    Lyman #358477 150gr SWC - 6.5grs Unique for the S&W M27, M28
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    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Central Virginia
    My problem with Unique is two fold: It isn't very powder-measure friendly & it seems to perform better near the upper limits in terms of charge weights.
    Neither of those complaints are an issue if you're loading small numbers of cartridges (say fewer than 100) and you're loading them to near the upper pressure ranges (like say duplicating the FBI load). So Unique has its place on my bench.

    I keep Unique on hand for those times where it shines, like making the "Skeeter" load in 44. But I'm not a fan of Unique for high volume production.
    The other positive attribute of Unique is that it is nearly universal when it comes to handgun cartridges. You can almost always find at least one load for a handgun cartridge that can be assembled with Unique. During the powder shortage of the Obama years, Unique was one of my fall back powders used to conserve other powders held in my stockpile.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 10-05-2019 at 09:10 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Way up in the Cascades
    I can't think of any specific experiences to share about Unique in .357 Mag. as you requested, but it is my "go to" powder for most handgun cartridges, and has been for many years. Although it may not be the optimum powder for all cartridges it works in most cartridges, and usually quite well.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    New Market, Iowa
    I like Unique. I like how it dispenses from the powder measure, and I like how it fills the case. For .357s, I load 5.5 grains of Unique under a 158 grain lead bullet. Standard, small pistol primers work just fine, but I experimented with some magnum primers. Those magnum primers seemed to produce considerably more "bark" than the standard primers. The jury is still out.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Mid atlantic area
    I like unique also. I go through about #8 a year. I use 6.5gns in .357’s with a 150-160gn bullet. I use it in.32hrm with 4.0gns under a 100-119gn bullet. My favorite .45c load is 8.5 under a 282gn bullet. I also use it in 480 ruger with 10.0gns under a 386gn hollowpoint for a nice practice round. I almost forgot 9mm. I use 4.0gns under a 135gn hollowpoint. These are all specific loads that I developed for my revolvers. I can’t forget .41 mag. I use 8.0gns with a 226gn bullet for practice rounds.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Communism closing in!
    I like Unique, but I like HS6 more often.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    I haven't used Unique in 20 years, mainly due to its particle size which doesn't flow through progressive loading machines. I use AutoComp or WSF for the same applications I used to use Unique for, only for +P revolver loads. Unique does not burn uniformly in light loads for me. For standard pressure loads Bullseye or TiteGroup are much better suited and burn cleaner.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    NE Ohio
    You don't see a lot of testing with unique and lite bullets in the 38spl's on the website for some reason. It's nothing to get 950fps+ out of a snubnosed 38spl using unique with 125gr cast bullets. The bullet on the right is a 110gr cramer "gallery" bullet.

    I used that 110gr cramer bullet & 7.0gr of unique testing 38spl p+ loads in a 2" bbl'd revolver. That combo produced 1100+fps & recoil was low enough that double taps were extremely easy to do with that 16oz revolver.

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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