What are some good pistol powders for the 45, 38 and 357?
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:46 AM   #1
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Default What are some good pistol powders for the 45, 38 and 357?

Title pretty much sums it up. I'm looking for input on powder to load my pistols with. Currently I'm using Universal for both my 45 and 38 with acceptable results but I think I could find something better. For my 45 I'm loading 200 and 230gr Rainiers. For the 38 I'm shoot 125gr Rainiers and I've got a couple hundred 158s around here too.

I'm just getting into reloading for the 357 so I'll be working up a new load using mainly the 125s named above but will probably use some 158s too.

Thanks for the help guys!

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Old 10-20-2009, 01:48 PM   #2
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Look at Tite Group that powder works great in my 45acp... I use 5gr in my 45acp it burns very clean and produces low recoil with Rainer 200gr TC bullets or RN. 1400 rounds per pound can't beat that with a bag full of sticks.

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Old 10-20-2009, 02:46 PM   #3
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I use 5.5 gr of Unique for my 230 gr .45acp loads. I highly recommend you try H110 for .357 full house magnum loads.

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Old 10-20-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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I used Winchester 231 for all three rounds. Works fine.

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Old 10-20-2009, 04:31 PM   #5
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I use Unique for all my .38, .357 mag, 9mm, and 45 ACP loads.

I use 2400 for the 44 mag.

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Old 10-20-2009, 05:54 PM   #6
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My .45's, 230 gr, JHP Speer are loaded with 5.5 grains of Unique. Although I didn't do it, my reloader buddy uses the same powder for his .38 and .357!!

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Old 10-20-2009, 06:01 PM   #7
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Default Powders

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Originally Posted by spittinfire View Post
Title pretty much sums it up. I'm looking for input on powder to load my pistols with. Currently I'm using Universal for both my 45 and 38 with acceptable results but I think I could find something better. For my 45 I'm loading 200 and 230gr Rainiers. For the 38 I'm shoot 125gr Rainiers and I've got a couple hundred 158s around here too.

I'm just getting into reloading for the 357 so I'll be working up a new load using mainly the 125s named above but will probably use some 158s too.

Thanks for the help guys!
If you're looking for one powder that will perform well with all the cartridges and bullet weights you list, hands down I would choose Alliant(former Hercules) Unique. One of the oldest, and without doubt the most versatile handgun powder on the market. Although Unique will give you near max. velocities in your 357/125 gr loads, if you're looking for the highest combination of MV and accuracy, I would suggest 18.5-21 grains of Hodgdon H-110. This powder will also give the highest MVs in almost all magnum loads with nearly all jacketed bullet weights. However, this powder should NOT be used for reduced loads.

But if I had to chose only 1 pistol powder that will provide excellent results in almost all calibers and bullet weights, reduced or maximum loads, it would be an easy choice. Alliant Unique.

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Old 10-20-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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+1 on the 231. Lately I have been using Red Dot because it is the preferred powder for 12ga 1 1/8 oz loads and I have been loading the heck out of them.

For hot Mag loads I swear by W-296.

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Old 10-20-2009, 07:50 PM   #9
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+1 on the 231. Lately I have been using Red Dot because it is the preferred powder for 12ga 1 1/8 oz loads and I have been loading the heck out of them.

For hot Mag loads I swear by W-296.
I don't know if Hodgdon has taken over the manufacturing of all Winchester ball powders, but in the case of W-296 it comes out of the same Hodgdon "lot" as H-110 and I will at last be getting some 110 later in the week after waiting over a month! But if it turns out to be 296, that's fine with me. If you check Hodgdon's online reloading guide, the data of all cartridges and bullets are identical for W-296 and H-110. But by either name, muzzle blast be damned, hands down the best for powder for hunting/ personal defense in the .357 up through the S&W .500 magnum.

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Old 10-20-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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IMR Hodgdon and Winchester powders are all made by Hodgdon now.

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