Originally Posted by MattyT
I've been reloading 38 spl for a little while now. I've used 800x powder since it came recommended from a friend. I'm wanting to start loading .357 as well. Can I load 357's with 800x? What about with small pistol primers? I guess I'm looking for a powder that can be used in both 38 and 357 if its possible. Also, which kind of primer should be used? Thanks
At first glance (i've not tried it) 800X doesn't seem like an especially good powder for either. At least if one judges by the Hodgden guide.
If you wish to stay in the Hodgden/IMR/Winchester powder family, IMHO you will be better served with either HP38/Win231(same stuff different packaging) or HS6. I use HS-6 for warmish to hot 9mm & .45 acp loads.
You might also want to consider Accurate #5 or #7. I use #5 for .357 (mid to low power), & .40 S&W. I haven't had a need to try it in .38 special, but I suspect it would do nicely.
Alliant: I will second the Unique Recommendation as well. It works well in most pistol calibers. I use in in 9 mm, .38 special & .45 acp. For full strength .357 I prefer 2400, however. For mildish loads, Bullseye will do nicely, though it's bit peaky for my taste when you wish to turn up the heat. My Dad reloaded just about everything handgun for decades with just these three Alliant (Hercules back when) powders. They are a bit dirtier than newer formulas, but they work well. It's been my observation that they tend to be a bit cheaper than many competitors.
Primers: Depends on who you believe. I've been told and I've read that Magnum primers are only really necessary for Hard to ignite ball powders (Win 296 & H110 for example) I've not had any ignition issues with any of the powders I use when using standard SP primers.
Note: this is a deviation from published data. Use proper load development to determine what works well for you & yours.