New shotgun powders
I've been harassed, pressured, ridiculed, and berated for long enough now that I've finally decided to shoot skeet again (thanks Bob ). In the 7 years since I last pulled the handle on a MEC Grabber, there appears to have been a lot of changes in powders, hulls, and (holy crap!) component prices.
When I last loaded shells, I was burning International Clays in the 20ga, Universal Clays in the 28ga and W296 in the 410 bore. Now I see Alliant has come out with two new powders designed specifically for the sub-gauge reloader: 20/28 and 410.
Economy-wise (powder per shell) it seems like a wash, but if I can get by with only buying one powder for the 20 and the 28 it'll make my life a little easier.
All the Clays series burned fairly clean for me, so that's a point to consider as well.
Now in the 410...well...anything I can do to get away from 296 would be great. Wonderful powder for big-bore pistol, but dirty as all heck at shotgun pressures. Unfortunately, I never had success with Lil' Gun, no matter how hard I tried, and there were really no other serious options at the time.
I guess the big question (before I spend the hours required to set up my presses for a new load) would be has anyone used these powders? If so, what were you using before, and how does the new stuff compare?
Appreciate the insight,
Diesel Nut, I have used these powders although only limitedly.
20/28 - This powder is quite dense and works exceptionaly well for 28 ga 3/4 oz target loads. For 20 ga it is a very good powder. It really shines in the 28 ga but works quite well for 20 ga.
410 - Another good powder but has a draw back. Using W296/H110 I get ten to fifteen loads from most of my Winchester AA-HS and Federal Premium hulls. Using 410 powder five loads is about maximum. It burns the ends off the hulls the same as Alliant 2400 powder does when loaded in the 410 bore. Remington hulls don't count as I can only get about five loads from them regardless which powder I use. Again, the 410 powder loads and functions well but it causes what in my mind is an early failure rate of my hulls. At about $14 per box of 25 shells I don't use 410.
I am usually partial to Alliant powders with my 410 loads being the exception. There have been a lot of new powders in the last few years but none that have me switching my target shooting loads. I use these:
12 ga - Red Dot and Green Dot
20 ga - Green Dot, Unique, and Herco
28 ga - Unique, Herco, and sometimes Hodgdon Longshot
410 - W296 or H110
I would probably use more 20/28 powder were I not using Unique and Herco for my center fire loads. Right now for the calibers that I load it doesn't make sense for me to stock another powder as the ones I'm using for 20 ga and 28 ga are working well for me.
I think I'll try the 20/28 as I'm out of Universal and International, so I don't have much to loose except for the setup time. If I really like it, I can always do the fine-tune setup later. I've still got 3+ lbs of 296, so I'll keep loading that in the 410 and try to remember to keep the tubes clean