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Thread: 10 Grs. Unique. The Universal Cast Boolit Rifle Load?

  1. #1
    Cast Boolits Owner / CEO


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    10 Grs. Unique. The Universal Cast Boolit Rifle Load?

    I have read a lot about Unique being the universial powder for cast loads. Could you share your experience with cast boolit loads using Unique. Do you consider 10 grs to be the universal load for mid-size cases using middle weight boolits?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Robert
    Robert

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    Collector of Ruger #1's & #3's

  2. #2
    Boolit Master NHlever's Avatar
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    I sure have had a lot of luck over many years using the 10.0 grain of Unique load in everything from the 30-30 through the 30-06, etc. Often though, it is a starting point. It won't seal .308 cases in most chambers so has to be moved up for that to around 12 grains, and I've found that 7-8 grains in the 30-30 is very accurate, and will do about the same thing with most bullets, especially the 311316. In the 35 Remington, 10.0 is a bit much for plain base pistol bullets, and I found 8.0 grains works better, and that 11.0 grains works better with gas checked bullets. Your mileage may well vary of course. I have used it with success in the 30-30, .257 Roberts, 30-06, 7x57, 8x57, .243 Win., 45-70, .308, etc. It is too much for cases as small as the .223.

  3. #3
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    I use Unique in my 44-40 Colt New Service (8-9 grains 220 grain Saeco) . In my Winny 1892 44-40 I use 8-10 grains with the same Saeco or a Rapine 260 grain. Burns clean and fills up the case well. But then 44-40 is a pistol cartridge.

  4. #4
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    I concur with NHlever. It is a good starting point. The mid size cartridges generally do better with 11-12 as he mentioned and the '06 with 12-14 depending on the "middle weight" bullet. With lighter weight cast bullets or PB bullets I most often use Bullseye because with Unique at the load you get consistant ignition you are above the velocity/accuracy level of the bullet. In larger bores like the 45-70 13 gr of Unique works fine for 300-400 gr bullets.

    Larry Gibson

  5. #5
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    A friend and I latched on to some of the 200 gr. Lee .30 cal single cavity mould when they were listed on their "discontinue" listing. My buddy "plain based" a couple of them and I've been using that boolit with 10 gr. of Unique in my Savage '06 with good success (2" groups at 100 yds) for awhile now. It's fun for target shooting at know distances but seems to have more of a "rainbow" trajectory this I like for general use. It's a very pleasant load to shoot and it seems to seal well for me.

  6. #6
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    I have tried using 10.0 grains of Unique in my Ruger 44 mag with little success and used the same load in my Marlin 1894 44 mag and it wasn't good at all. Maybe I'm just not using the right boolit or load though. I'm having a lot better luck with 296 as far as the 44 mag is concerned.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master kir_kenix's Avatar
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    Unique is one of my favorite powders in the whole world. I have found that 10 grains is usually not a great load, but a good place to start as well. I like 14-16 gr's over a 160-170 gr boolit in the '06 is usually very accurate and cleaner burning then lighter loads. 8 grs in the 30-30 is good range fodder as well.

    I think I have used Unique is just about every cartridge I've ever reloaded for, and it takes a bit of tweaking to get that sweet spot, but its usually a mild and accurate load.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack19512 View Post
    I have tried using 10.0 grains of Unique in my Ruger 44 mag with little success and used the same load in my Marlin 1894 44 mag and it wasn't good at all. Maybe I'm just not using the right boolit or load though. I'm having a lot better luck with 296 as far as the 44 mag is concerned.
    Don't know the bullet you are using but if your muzzle velocity is in the sub/trans/ sonic area at the muzzle my experience with Keith SWCs is that accuracy is not good. Either drop back to under the speed of sound or load up so you are sufficiently over it. I us 9 gr Unique (my most often load with 6-7.5" barrels) and it runs 1050 fps out of my 6.5" barrel Ruger FT. It is very accurate. Above that I switch to a slower powder also. If it shoots good with 296 at higher velocity i don't think it's the bullet. If it is a PB bullet I've found the same 1050 - 1100 fps in rifles gives the best accuracy. Above that accuracy can be good but not close to the speed of sound. Things vary with altitude and baromentric pressure so your velocity my be +/- mine. Trick is to stay out of that sub/trans/ sonic area. Each bullet has it's own range in that area also and some don't seem affected by it. SWCs and WCs seem to be the worst.

    Larry Gibson

  9. #9
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    I have found that 10gr Unique gives excellent accuracy in 7.5 Swiss, 30-30, 44 mag
    7.65Argie, and 30-06 with various cast boolits. My 45-70s do OK with it, but
    do better at about 14 gr or so.

    I heartily recommend it as a great starting point in .44-40, 44 mag, 45 Colt
    and any of the 20th century military bottleneck cartridges with cast boolits.
    Best load in the world? Probably not, but pretty likely to shoot at least pretty
    good, and in numerous guns it is a great shoote for me.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master NHlever's Avatar
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    I recently bought some lead, and in the boxes were 300, or so .458 "Bear Creek Supply" swaged 300 gr. dry lubed bullets. This morning I loaded ten of them over 10.0 gr. of Unique, and shot them at 50 yards out of my 1895 45-70 with the fire sights. Here are the first five. They were so much fun to shoot that I just plinked with the other five.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
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    I should like to point out, just for the record, so to speak, that Unique....though it IS very useful and will give good results in most rifles..... it is NOT suitable for anything but light target or plinking loads. One could certainly assert that Unique is as "universal" a cast bullet powder as one can find - but, it's usefulness IS limited to very light loads. If one wishes to hunt anything larger than a rabbit....or do any target shooting much beyond 100 yards, then Unique is NOT a good choice.

    No desire to "split hairs", but I just thought it important to qualify the concept of the "universal" powder for cast shooting.

  12. #12
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    bcp, I mostly agree, but 10 grains or more of Unique and a light to moderate weight bullet approximates the 32-20 to 30 carbine and that will do for most game smaller than deer in size. That's a pretty wide range.

    16 grains Unique gives a 405 grain lead bullet 1260 fps in my Marlin 45-70 and with a hollowpointed or flatnosed bullet is certainly adequate for deer.

    So Unique does have some utility for game shooting depending upon how you load it. Bigger game than rabbits will fall cleanly to Unique loaded rounds.
    Last edited by 35remington; 11-22-2008 at 06:52 AM.

  13. #13
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    I have never had any luck getting decent groups with the 10 grains of Unique load with several different boolits ihn .44 caliber handguns. The best I can get seems to be 4 to 6 inches at 50 yards. When I bump up the powder charges and go with a slower powder, I can cut those groups in half or less. I haven't done any testing to confirm this, but I think you might need to use the lighter boolits for caliber if you want to shoot that load.
    Crabo

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack19512 View Post
    I have tried using 10.0 grains of Unique in my Ruger 44 mag with little success and used the same load in my Marlin 1894 44 mag and it wasn't good at all. Maybe I'm just not using the right boolit or load though. I'm having a lot better luck with 296 as far as the 44 mag is concerned.
    Unique works best for me in the "Skeeter Skelton" loading range ....... 8.5 gr. and if I want it cleaner .... I switch to a magnum primer ..... so long as that switch does not result in leading.

    For more beans ......... I use HS-6 and a magnum primer.

    The RCBS 250K, 11.8 gr. of HS-6 ..... a Federal 155 (magnum) primer and either a long barrel revolver ..... for just under 1200 fps OR my Smith MG (four inch tube) and 1066 fps ....... a VERY good combo!

    Three 44s

  15. #15
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    Talking

    this is a funny thread to me because a buddy and i have a running joke.
    whenever a load question comes up between us the answer is 10 of unique.
    and half the time it seems that is right!

  16. #16
    so...what charge would you use with a cast 280 gr bullet in a 9.3x57?I have 200 cast bullets[half with a gas check] and am trying to come up with some load data

  17. #17
    Boolit Master jimkim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclebill View Post
    this is a funny thread to me because a buddy and i have a running joke.
    whenever a load question comes up between us the answer is 10 of unique.
    and half the time it seems that is right!
    Now who would this buddy be? Hmm??? lol

    US Govt mantra. if it's moving tax it, if it's still moving regulate it, if it stops moving subsidize it

  18. #18
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    I have used 11grs Unique in my .303 British Enfield and 7.7. Jap and it is a real mild load in those rifles. Just wondering how much more can the Unique powder be loaded up in those calibers to increase the velocity a bit more to help reduce that rainbow effect? For example what would the velocity be at, lets say 15grs? And would that create too high of pressure?

    Has anyone loaded more then the 11-12 grs? Ray

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub RugerBob's Avatar
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    Fot those of you loading Unique for the 45-70, isn't there a lot of dead space between the powder and bullet? If so, isn't that a bad thing? I am just asking this as I just got a 45-70. Thanks, Bob

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    This may not win any matches, but with a 230 gr. bullet it is still a very powerful load. I would not be afraid to shoot a deer with this 8 X 57 mm load with 12 grs. of Unique.


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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