Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:20 am Post subject: best handgun powder
Ive been useing alliant red dot powder for my handgun loads. I load 38.special 357.mag. 9mm. and 45.acp all different grain bullets lead,jhps etc.I am interested in ballistics. Any advice on this topic is greatly welcome ,Thanks Teebone.
Joined: Aug 22, 2005 Posts: 1032 Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:31 am Post subject: Re: best handgun powder
There are some handgun powders that have versatility enough for multi-cartridge useage. 231, Unique, Red Dot, AA#2, etc come to mind. That said, the wring out the best and most balanced performance often dictates specific powders that may or may not interchange with another chambering.
If you are interested in ballistics, my advice is to get a good chronograph which is one of the prime tools needed to assess various loads. They not only give velocity, but, standard deviation and pressure information. And, they are not overly expensive.
I have several chronographs ranging from an Oehler 35 to a Shooting Chrony, but, the one that is the "go to" for load development is the current generation CED Millenium. It is easy to set up, gives reliable operation under a variety of conditions and has 4' spacing of the screens.
The eyes on it are super sensitive and allows readings with the sun in various positions from sunrise to sunset. Like other chronographs, infra red is available as an option for indoor readings or outdoor under any condition. The only downside, is that it is Chinese sourced. Oh well.
Joined: Dec 26, 2007 Posts: 885 Location: Illinois
Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:33 am Post subject: Re: best handgun powder
Because of the differences in working pressures, you probably won't find a single powder that is just right for all of the mentioned cartridges. I'm sure others will have their favorites and can also give good advice for the .38 and 9mm (never loaded for them myself) but I used to use a lot of Alliant 2400 for .357s and still can't find a better powder for my .45 ACPs than Bullseye. I used both cast and jacketed bullets in the .357 and only cast in my .45s. There are a lot of really good powders out there. You might have to try several before you settle on your own favorites.
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Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:58 am Post subject: Re: best handgun powder
I use Universal Clays as a "general use" powder but, as the gentlemen preceding me have said, no one powder will do it all. Univ. Clays will work in all of the cartridges I load for (.32 H&R Mag, 9mm Parabellum, .38 Special, .357 Mag, .40 S&W, .44 Mag, .45 Auto and .45 Colt) but isn't the "best" in all of them.
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Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:18 am Post subject: Re: best handgun powder
I think that any experienced re-loader will tell what has already been said!!!
And we all seem to have our own personal favorite when it comes to a fit all, mines Hodgdon’s Titegroup.
(9mm para, .38/.357, .40 cal, 44 mag, 45ACP)
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Joined: Jun 12, 2005 Posts: 9691 Location: Ava, Missouri
Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:49 am Post subject: Re: best handgun powder
I've been loading for the last 24 years for .38 Special (3), 9mmX19 (2), .357 magnum (3), .45 ACP (2), .30-30 (1) and .30-06 (1). The powders on the shelf in my reloading/gun Room are AA #7, 2400, W-231, W-296, W-748, WSF and H4831SC...
These work for me, but may not work for you...
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Joined: May 25, 2005 Posts: 11712 Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA
Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:15 am Post subject: Re: best handgun powder
WOW....now that is a "loaded" question...no pun intended.
When I was loading pistol I used HERCULES Bullseye for light target loads...until it was taken off the market. Not sure about the "new and improved" Bullseye though. When I could no longer get Bullseye I started "playing" with WST and a couple of aussie powders (AP30, AP50, AS50) for my target loads. These last three powders are made by ADI/Thales here in Australia. Hogdon market a number of the aussie powders in the US...Varget, known as AR2208 in Australia, being one of the better known powders.
For magnum loads in the .357 I started out using HERCULES 2400, then went over to using an aussie made powder, AR 2205. Not sure if Hogdon carry that particular one though.
A couple of the guys have already said it...while there are some pretty good, all round versatile powders out there, there isn't one that will be the "best" in all of the calibres you list. This is due mainly to the dynamics of each one of those calibres. To do each of them justice, and to get the best possible performance from each, you will need to have a variety of powders on your shelf. Might be only two or three, but a variety nonetheless.
Sounds like you have a lot of fun ahead of you TBone...finding suitable powders and developing loads. Good luck mate.
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Joined: Feb 18, 2006 Posts: 2897 Location: South-Eastern Washington - the State
Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:40 am Post subject: Re: best handgun powder
Titegroup would be a good fit in all the cases for target shooting but in the 357 Magnum for full power loads (longest range with accuracy) I would suggest H110 or Lil'gun. you will have a 1" point blank range to about 75 yards with 140 grain bullets and an easy 50 yard range with the 158 grain bullets. (providing you can hold the groups within the kill zone)
Speer, Lyman, Hodgdon, Sierra, and Hornady = reliable loading data
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Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:14 pm Post subject: Re: best handgun powder
You have a several powders that will work in all of the cartridges you reload. Three of those powders are Bulls Eye, 231 and Unique. But, because they will work does not mean they are the best, although for the 38spl and the 45ACP the three powders will come very close. In the 9mm you should try AA-7 it is a powder that will give you high velocity and accuracy with the 9mm. It is what I used in my 9mm major gun when IPSC allowed 9mm Major as a class, no longer a legal class. In the 38Spl I use 231 for about 10 years in Field Pistol with a 125 Remington bullet out of a BF. I used 231 and 700x for more years than I can count in the 45.
In the 357 mag there are two powders that are really just one powder and those powders are WW-296 and H-110. They can be loaded interchangably and will deliver the highest velocity and the best accuracy in the 357 mag, without any temprature considerations. The powders are great for jacketed bullets and cast bullets alike. I used H-110 for 25 years in silhouette competition in a 357 Revolver of many different makes, in the revolver ctagory.
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