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Thread: Powders for the magnum handgun

  1. #1
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    Default Powders for the magnum handgun

    I have always used 296 in calibers ranging from the 44 mag up to and including the S&W 500 and the results have been pretty good as far as accuracy. Not worried about the temperature sensitivity as I never shoot or hunt below 10F or so. 296 doesnt appear to be the cleanest burning powder but it meters nicely and perfroms well.
    But lately been wondering if I am missing out by not trying any other types of powder in the heavies.

    What powders are you using with these heavy weights and how happy are you with it?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've used several pounds of both H-110 and Lil-gun out of my 480. Honestly H-110 works so well in a variety of calibers I have no reason to change. I've never been hung up on guns looking unfired after firing them, so the term dirty powder means nothing to me. I care about accuracy and velocity, and H-110 provides both with heavy bullets in magnum revolvers.
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    I've had great luck with LilGun, of course I don't shoot anything bigger than 44mag but it works great for that. I'm not getting as high of velocity as is possible with 110/296, but I'm close and the accuracy is outstanding. I also use alot of Unique and 700X when I'm not putting the pedal to the metal.

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    LilGun is great stuff, I donít do much 44mag but in 45 Colt on up it does all H110/W296 can and more with less residue all over my toys. I got lots of other good powders gathering dust here but LilGun never lasts very long at my bench.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    I also use alot of Unique and 700X when I'm not putting the pedal to the metal.
    Same boat here. Truth be known, I probably shoot more of those two than the slow burners, even though the charges are about 1/3 the size.

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    I use Accurate 4100 in 44 mag and 45 Colt heavy loads with 300+ grain bullets. It's practically a dream powder. My old powder measure throws them within .1 grains, velocity is excellent, it does not require magnum primers, it's super accurate, and it burns so clean you can hardly tell the weapon has been fired after 25-30 rounds go through. Ramshot Enforcer is the same powder as Accurate 4100, just as W296 and H110 are the same.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by drow View Post
    I use Accurate 4100 in 44 mag and 45 Colt heavy loads with 300+ grain bullets. It's practically a dream powder. My old powder measure throws them within .1 grains, velocity is excellent, it does not require magnum primers, it's super accurate, and it burns so clean you can hardly tell the weapon has been fired after 25-30 rounds go through. Ramshot Enforcer is the same powder as Accurate 4100, just as W296 and H110 are the same.
    +1 to that. 4100 has done great for me. I found a bunch cheap and tried it on a whim. Couldn't be more pleased.

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    I haven't found any of the AA4100 but I've used some of the Enforcer recently and it seems to do very well. SInce I'm shooting cast bullets I can't comment on the clean burning part.

    I've tried using Steel powder and it works well with a burning rate in the H110 range but as a flake powder it doesn't meter well. I haven't tried it at very cold temperatures but it should work well for that application.

    N110 appears to be another great clean burning powder but who can afford the stuff at $40 lb. or so.


    Quote Originally Posted by drow View Post
    I use Accurate 4100 in 44 mag and 45 Colt heavy loads with 300+ grain bullets. It's practically a dream powder. My old powder measure throws them within .1 grains, velocity is excellent, it does not require magnum primers, it's super accurate, and it burns so clean you can hardly tell the weapon has been fired after 25-30 rounds go through. Ramshot Enforcer is the same powder as Accurate 4100, just as W296 and H110 are the same.
    Last edited by tvfinak; 04-24-2012 at 07:34. Reason: typo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    I have always used 296 ... Not worried about the temperature sensitivity as I never shoot or hunt below 10F or so. 296 doesnt appear to be the cleanest burning powder ...What powders are you using with these heavy weights and how happy are you with it?

    I had two misfires with H-110 over the winter, once around zero F and once around 20 above.

    All in .500 SW, I burnt a pound of Lil Gun and didn't like it, without having read anything on the internet about it. I burnt one pound of Win296 and many many pounds of H-110.

    I agree 296/110 is not the cleanest burning powder out there, but it does clean up easily. I would rahter have a lot of easy to clean dirt than a little bit of hard to clean dirt, just my opinion.

    I also used some AA5744 in 500Smith, miserable. I used some VV N-110, for me with Fed 210M primers it only burnt cleanly with 400gr bullets loaded to near max. At max with 350gr bullets it left a lot of pointy crispy ashes all over my gun and shooting gloves.

    For summertime salmon fishing I'll load my 500 with H110 and not worry about the temp getting down below +30dF.

    For autumn interior moose in grizzly country I bought a new Redhawk in .45 Colt. I have only had the thing a couple weeks, but I can pick from a slew of shotgun powders to run a .452" 300grain bullet at 1100-1200 fps. Ought to be plenty for the interior, especially considering the interior grizzly old enough to be big are also old enough to be gun adverse. I think it is going to be plenty.

    So far I have been loading .38Special with powders that I can also use in .45Colt when I am ready to void the warranty on my Ruger. I find HS-6 to be position sensitive, but TiteGroup burns clean enough to run 200 cast rounds through my .38 without cleaning, and is not (empirically) sensitive to where it is in the case when it gets lit. Hope to have the chronograph out this weekend.

    So I first mentioned TiteGroup on April 24th ;-)

    I will also try some Unique and 2400 over the summer, and I am also going to run Pyrodex both hot and cold to see how temperature sensitive it is. Pyrodex of course is very hard to clean, but with the Ruger I can take out the hammer and trigger group to get at the nooks and crannies, not a chore I would want to undertake with a side plate on a SW.

    HTH,
    S

  10. #10

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    They say Alliant's new MP-300 ball powder yields the highest velocities of ANY powder in magnum pistol calibers. I'd always used 296 and H-110 in my 44-mag, but just bought a can of the MP-300 I saw sitting on the shelf at SW. Google it and you'll find all sorts of discussion and comment on the forums. Haven't had a chance to try it yet...

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/product...r_pro_300.aspx

    I'm using Unique for my plinking loads, but only because I have a lot of it. It burns dirty...leaves "sooty" residue on cases.
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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Like many here, it would seem, I have burned a lot of W296/H110 in the .357 mag, .44 mag, and .454 Casull. Blue Dot and 800x are a couple more good ones for velocity, but they are flake powders and don't meter as well. They don't burn any cleaner, either, and Blue Dot puts out quite a bit of muzzle flash. On an indoor range it's impressive, to say the least!

    I'm not a big fan of 2400 or H4227. They are both pretty dirty, compared to W296/H110.

    AA #9 is a cleaner burning magnum pistol powder, but doesn't give quite the velocities in the big revolver cartridges that W296/H110 does. Number-9 does an amazing job in the .357Sig and 10mm, though, and it burns VERY clean. My fired 10mm cases still look new & shiney after a couple firings. Randy, I have at least one partial can of #9 if you want to give it a try.

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    I like Lil'gun, and wouldn't use H110.
    I like Universal Clays over Unique.
    But based on recent experience loading the .45 Colt, I would advise against trying the Vihtavuori powders, unless you're prepared to become addicted, as it's performance seems otherworldly compared to any other powder I've tried.

    (Anybody want to buy 3.75 pounds of Universal?)
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    I like H110 in my full house J bullet 357 loads but I hardly ever shoot those anymore. I'm a big fan of Alliant 2400 with my cast bullet load in both plain base and gas check HP's I cast,IMR-4227 is a excellent powder as well. The thing I like about 2400 is I can use it with all my cast bullet rifle loads as well and I don't have to stock up on SPM primer anymore.

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    Default Mp-300

    I've shot up a pound or so of it in my .44 & .500 and didn't see anything special about it - but I haven't shot it across my chronograph yet.

    I read in a few places it is just H100/296 with a bit more flash suppressor added. I should have shot some loads back when it was still dark and compared I guess.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall/Ak View Post
    They say Alliant's new MP-300 ball powder yields the highest velocities of ANY powder in magnum pistol calibers. I'd always used 296 and H-110 in my 44-mag, but just bought a can of the MP-300 I saw sitting on the shelf at SW. Google it and you'll find all sorts of discussion and comment on the forums. Haven't had a chance to try it yet...

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/product...r_pro_300.aspx

    I'm using Unique for my plinking loads, but only because I have a lot of it. It burns dirty...leaves "sooty" residue on cases.
    Last edited by tvfinak; 04-24-2012 at 17:49. Reason: won't let me capitalize the p in MP title
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    Is it true that Ramshot Enforcer and Accurate Arms 4100 are the same powder? I just looked at the back of the Enorcer powder canister and it said it was made in Belgium.

    I'm gonna give the Enforcer and the MP 300 a go in the future(44 magnum). I plan to do a comparison between the two powders over a chronograph.

    I seriously doubt that MP 300 is the same as H 110 powder. The biggest indicator is that Alliant recommends standard pistol primers with their powder, whereas every single reloading manual using 110 or 296 powder recommends a magnum pistol primer.

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    I just recently learned this myself, but confirmed from a reliable source. yes they are the same.

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    I been usin H or IMR 4227

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    Like you chaps I have several cans of 110/296 on the shelves, since the daughter and wife and I have a renewed interest in 38/357 loads any input on some of the newer powders out there for those calibers?
    Will be loading mostly JSP bullets... 158gn
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Like you chaps I have several cans of 110/296 on the shelves, since the daughter and wife and I have a renewed interest in 38/357 loads any input on some of the newer powders out there for those calibers?
    Will be loading mostly JSP bullets... 158gn
    I been playing with Blue Dot in 357 and its a real good top end powder in 357/10mm/40S&W/9mm, doesnít dispense great but it's workable and sure delivers on the speed. H110/W296 and LilGun work well with 158+ bullets in 357 they are a tad slow on burn rate but work. I like the ole standbys Unique or Bullseye best if Iím not hunting the top 357 and always use them in my 38s, I never try to push a 38, I got 357s all over the place so no reason to.
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    Thanks Andy,
    I hand weigh every charge at this time ( sold my Dillion 1000 some yrs back ) as I got away from handguns for many years. If we start going thru many more rounds I may buy a Lee Turret press, they look pretty solid and inexpensive for a moderate number of rounds to be loaded...?
    Randy
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