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Thread: Best multi use powder?

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Best multi use powder?

    With all the worries of what obama is doing and not having alot of reloading experiece..... What would you say is the best all around useful powder to buy? What would last longer and would work well for rifle as well as pistol? Is there a one fits all?

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    Default Interesting question...

    I'm not sure there is one powder that fits all...I'll be interested to see what others say.

    For the calibers I load, I can't imagine being without RL-15, RL-22, IMR4350, H4350, W296, AA#5, W748, AA#7, RL-19, Varget....and I want all of them. In fact, the notion of having just one powder is so troubling that it reminds me that I have not yet written my representatives THIS month expressly voicing my preference for no further gun or ammunition restrictions of any kind...I'll do that again right now.

    Doc

  3. #3

    Default depends....

    It depends on what caliber your shooting. As almost any big critter I will ever shoot will be taken with a .338 Win Mag. or 30-06 I could live with RL 19 or H4350. As for pistol calibers, all I use is Unique for my .45 ACP and WW296 for my .44 Rem. Mag. Some day I may look at something else for the .45 ACP. I just happened to buy a bunch of both powders years ago. I use H322 for my 45-70. There may be one powder that will make all your guns go bang but I would hate to be stuck with one powder as performance will suffer somewhere.

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    Member nrc's Avatar
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    I hope this remains a purely academic debate... and that we don't have to ration our powder purchases anytime soon, but who knows.

    For rifles, I find that Varget has an amazing range of application. I don't always get the highest velocities per caliber, but I have developed accurate loads for 223 rem, 6mm Ackley, 260 rem, 7-30 Waters, 308 Win, 3006, 33806, 4570, and 375 HH with Varget at one time or another.

    H4895, RL15, or I4064 would also be contenders...

    Nate

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I used to be fine with just 2, Bulseye and H4895 or IMR4895. But now that I have a S&W 460mag I need a powder for it and thatís Lil-Gun for me. Much of the fun of reloading for me is working up loads in the hunt for the perfect load and that means I like to keep as wide a range of powder as I can.

    So I now can make due with 3.
    H4895 or IMR4895
    Bulseye
    Lil-Gun
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    With all the worries of what obama is doing and not having alot of reloading experiece..... What would you say is the best all around useful powder to buy? What would last longer and would work well for rifle as well as pistol? Is there a one fits all?
    They should all last the same.

    I don't know of a (Smokeless) powder that would work well in both rifle, and pistol, unless you are shooting a pistol cartridge in a rifle or vice versa.

    There are basicly 3 kinds of powder. Rifle, Handgun, and Shootgun. There is some overlap betwixt the Handgun and Shootgun powders.

    I guess you have SOME reloading experience, so adapt it for what you shoot. Pick a brand, like Hodgdon, then find a powder that will work with your rifles, then one for your pistols. Get the kinds you need most. That would allow you to shoot SOMETHING.

    I could GET BY with H4831-Rifle, H4227-Handgun, and something that would work in my 30-30, like H4895

    Oops, I forgot the Black Powder. (Gimme some 3 F.)

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  7. #7

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    I don't load rifle calibers at this time. I like w231 for most pistol rounds. I load 38 sp, 9mm, and 45 acp with it. Looking in my manual it also has uses in many other calibers. For magnum pistol rounds I'm partial to H110.

    I just bought an 8lb jug of the w231 and I am keeping an eye out for more H110.

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    I have to agree--there is no powder that will work well for both rifle and pistol. Under certain circumstances you can use slower pistol powders for certain rifle loads. I use about 20 grains of 4227 under a 180 grain cast lead bullet in .30-06, but that's only moving about 1500 fps so it's only good for punching paper. I definitely would never take that load hunting.

    In total, I have 15 different powders that I use. If I had to trim that down to the bare minimum, it would be:

    231 (plinking loads for handguns)
    Power Pistol (full power .45 acp and midrange magnum revolver)
    296 (full power revolver)
    Varget (M1 garand)
    H4350 (all other rifle)

    As an academic exercise, trying to think of how few powders you can get by with is interesting, but in practice isn't worth much. You give up a lot by limiting the number of powders you're willing to have on hand.

    Mike

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    Nothing wrong with the tried an proving H-4831... perfect for 06 size cases. Great for magnums and can get away with using it in 308 based cases as well. Probably run into problems for the 22 caliber base rounds ie 22-250, 223... If it really came to one powder I don't know what one would do... I guess if one had 3 powders to choose from then that might be better.

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    Member Medo's Avatar
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    Greetings all,
    At this point in time, I have loads in .38spl, .44mag, .45acp, .45LC, 38-55, and 45-70, all using Unique. They are all accurate, and reliable. I havent been able to do that kind of spread with any other powder. That of course means nothing, as there are more powders out there then Ill ever get too. But, with a large collection of reloading manuals dating back to the 20's, I have been able to put together all kinds of weird things.
    Anyways, FYI.......
    Those in Fairbanks Alaska today, enjoy the 70 degrees.....

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    I load .38 .357mag .44mag .454 casull .40 .45acp .223 30-06 .270 and .338win I could get by nicely on 4 powders. Titegroup, Lil-gun, rl19 and 4350. that will cover every thing i will ever need to load. Some may be better but if i had to choose 4 that would be it.

  12. #12

    Default Versatile

    My understanding is that UNIQUE was named that because it can be used to load most calibers( rifle, pistol, shotgun), therefor it's unique. These loads may not be the maximum burn up the chrony loads but do shoot safely. Many of the listed loads with UNIQUE are with cast lead or gas-checked bullets.
    Many of thse loads are listed in older loading manuals.
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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default one do all powder

    I agree about one powder not working for both rifle and pistol, but I could get by with one powder for each. W231 for handguns, and Varget for rifles. The only other powders I use now are H380 for my .338-06, and H110 for bear stopping .45 colt.


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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    There is no one powder that will do it all, well I guess black powder could be used for all, but at serious performance drop in most applications.

    For hanguns I could live with Unique for mild to mid loads, and H-110 for magnum pistol loads.

    For Rifles RL 15 or Varget covers most of my applications, and H-4350 seems to cover those that need a bit slower burn.

    You can also use unique for mild cast loads in the rifles. There are a few other powders I'd prefer not to be without, blue dot and H-335, but I could live without them if I had to.

  15. #15

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    4895 and Unique will work across a variety of rifle and pistol cartridges respectfully, and various weight projectiles

    Unique can be used for cast bullet rifle loads as well

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    Give me two powders, a fast pistol powder like 231 or red dot and a slow rifle powder like 4831 and I can load just about anything by using duplex loads. But one powder isn't going to make it from 32acp to 358Norma.

  17. #17

    Default Varget is close

    to being an all round rifle powder for velocity and safe pressures. I use it to reload almost every calibre from .223 to 375 H&H, even 45-70 maximum loads.Of course other powders may be better for certain calibres but they're not so flexible over all. Generally pistol powders are not much use in a rifle and vice-versa. As for shelf life the Winchester ball powders have an almost indefinate shelf life,supposed to be at least fifty years,and the extruded powders,like Varget, much less,ten years if you're lucky and stored it correctly at a low even temperature.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Col M View Post
    As for shelf life the Winchester ball powders have an almost indefinate shelf life,supposed to be at least fifty years,and the extruded powders,like Varget, much less,ten years if you're lucky and stored it correctly at a low even temperature.
    I've got WWII era surplus Hodgdon 4895 purchased in the 70's that is as good as it was 60+ years ago. I don't buy the theory that extruded powders have inferior shelf life. Also fired many rounds of surplus 1940's and 50's headstamped 30-06 over the years, most likely loaded with 4895 and not stored well without a hitch.


    As far as choices of powders I could live with either Varget or H4350 for rifles and H110 and Unique for pistols.

  19. #19

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    Jack49,if your 30-06 old ammo is US manufacture it is most likely loaded with ball powder.At the beginning of WW2 Fred Olsen,working for Winchester, invented it specifically for the 30-06 and it's been in use for a long time. It burns a bit cooler but also a bit dirtier so why would the military adopt it if it's the same as the existing powder in 1941.The answer is longer shelf life.
    Twice I have opened tins of 15 y.o. Hogden powder and have it emit nitric acid fumes . The factory said I must have stored it in a hot place and yes,
    I had done so.
    Varget is made by Australian Defence Industries the same as most of Hogdens extruded powders and apart from being very versatile it is not temperature sensitive so it can be used in a hot or cold climate without any danger of high or low pressure. All ADI powders are like that. If your powders lasted longer than mine,good luck. In my old ammo it's usually the primer that dies first.

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    for my use RL15 and Unique or H110 and yes along with some IMR4350

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