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  • Optimum Powder, short barrel big bore

    Best powder choices for Ruger Alaskan .480 (w/heavy hardcast bullets)?
    I've used H110 for my SRH44mag(9.5"), and I've read some positive things about Lil'gun. Advice appreciated. Also selection around here pretty much stinks, so mainstream (common) brand/models are what I'm also interested in.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Porterwagner View Post
    Best powder choices for Ruger Alaskan .480 (w/heavy hardcast bullets)?
    I've used H110 for my SRH44mag(9.5"), and I've read some positive things about Lil'gun. Advice appreciated. Also selection around here pretty much stinks, so mainstream (common) brand/models are what I'm also interested in.
    I haven't loaded for the 480 and I haven't checked whether loads are listed, but I'd look to see if there are specs for Unique. No, you won't get quite as much velocity as with the slower burning numbers, but you won't be flapping your pant legs and flattening your ears either. I'm plenty content to get 1000-1100 fps with heavy bullets in short barrels, and that's within the range of Unique in the calibers I load for. At about half the weight per charge compared to slower burners, you'll get twice as many shots per can of powder, which is a plus both for economy and for continued shooting when powder sources are limited in your area.

    Unique is speculative without further checking, but I'd only be moving on to other powders if it proved unsuitable.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    • #3
      Thanks for the advice BrownBear, Alliant lists Unique data for the 7.5" .480, but only their 2400series for the heavy loads. They have Unique for 325gr bullets, but the smallest I have is 355gr, and would prefer data for 425gr. Doesn't appear to be much data out there for snubbies specifically.

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      • #4
        Generally speaking, what works well in longer barrels also works well in short barrels, just with more flash and thunder. A good example of this is .357 snubbies--the powders that produce the best velocities are the slow burners like 2400, H110 and W296 just like in longer barreled revolvers.

        If it were me, I'd use W296 for my full power loads, and Alliant Power Pistol for my 800 - 1000 fps plinkers. I like PP better than Unique because it meters so much better through my Uniflow powder measure. PP also seems more stable at the upper end of its pressure range than Unique, and it's also much cleaner burning.

        Mike

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        • #5
          MikeT, PP looks to have data for the smaller bullet size (275gr) but not the bigger ones. I'd be concerned about excess pressures with big 420gr bullets, unless I could find some legit data. W296 does seem to be in good regard for .480, not certain if its any different than H110, but I'm going to give it a try if I can find some. Maybe some Lil'gun as well.

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          • #6
            You'd be safe using PP with data for Unique since Unique is just a touch faster, but I see that you mention they don't have data on Unique for your preferred bullet weight. You could probably use the Unique data for the 325 gain bullet, but drop it 30% for use with the 420 grain bullets. However, before loading anything up I'd give Alliant a call and talk to them about it. They're very responsive, even over email.

            Mike

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MikeT View Post
              You'd be safe using PP with data for Unique since Unique is just a touch faster, but I see that you mention they don't have data on Unique for your preferred bullet weight. You could probably use the Unique data for the 325 gain bullet, but drop it 30% for use with the 420 grain bullets. However, before loading anything up I'd give Alliant a call and talk to them about it. They're very responsive, even over email.

              Mike
              Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely shoot them an email. I expect them to reply something like: "we don't recommend non lab-tested loads..." but its worth a try.

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