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What are some good pistol powders for the 45, 38 and 357?

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Old 11-12-2010, 07:22 PM   #21
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I can proudly recommend Power Pistol for all of the rounds you list. It does exceptionally well for 45 ACP, makes a very nice mid-range .357 and stout 38 special loads.

It is clean, and meters well. Unlike unique and blue dot, it is not a flake powder. I swore off all flake powders 6 months ago, and haven't looked back since.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:00 PM   #22
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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!
Unique or AA#5. They are quite close to each other on the burn rate chart. Unique can be a PITA for metering through a measure. AA#5 meters much better but is very dense. Both work really well for me, I just find it easier to be consistant with AA#5.
For Higher velocity 357 loads, I'm using 2400 (14.8 with 158 Ranier.)
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:53 PM   #23
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Default Unique or 231/HP38

One powder for all? Unique/Universal. Unique has been a great general purpose powder for over 100 years, and it still is. Can't imagine not having at least 4# of Unique on hand for pistol, shotgun, and light rifle loads.
231/HP38 is also a great general purpose powder, but a little too fast for .357 Mag.
AA2 or 231/HP38 for light target loads.
AA5 or 231/HP38 for general purpose sub-max loads
AA7, AA9, Enforcer for max Magnum loads.
You can browse a couple of reloading manuals and see if any powders look interesting to you.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:30 PM   #24
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I use Reliant Herco in all my pistol stuff, which is .45 and .38 spcl.
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Old 11-13-2010, 02:20 AM   #25
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45 acp i use unique. havent had any issues metering on my xl650. typical charge is 6grn under 230 grn fmj plated bullet.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:30 PM   #26
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I typically use Unique and Bullseye for the 38, 357 and 45. Ball powder does not work well for me in my progressive loaders. It tends to build up in my charging bar. That said, I use 3.0 grns of bullseye with 158 gr lead SWC for 38, 5.5 grns of unique ,158 gr cast bullet for 357 and 3.8 grns of Bullseye, 200 gr lead SWC for my 45 auto. My 45 auto has a 12 lb spring. All of the cast bullets are cast between 12 and 14 BHN. My objective with these powder charges is to kill a piece of paper. I use a Lyman cast handbook and Ken Waters as a reference for these powder charges. I know they are light. Please consult your reloading handbook for powder charges.

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Old 11-14-2010, 03:33 AM   #27
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I understand you're interests are in only 38, 357, & 45acp. My personal preferences are:

38 - 158 gr. JHP, Bullseye
357 - 158 gr. JHP, Unique
45acp - 185 gr. JHP, Power Pistol

You can get very good loads for all three with only Unique. If you haven't already, invest in a good "pistol powder" thrower.
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:07 PM   #28
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I second everyone who mentioned Unique. I reload a lot of pistol calibers, and I agree that Unique is a good one for many pistol calibers (most often I'm doing .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .38 SPL, .44 Mag.). You can even use it for .44 Mag. (though I do recommend 2400 for that).

I was getting tired of having multiple powders lying around, so I order Unique 8 lbs. at a time and find it works very well for all my pistols!
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:45 PM   #29
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Stating .45 does not mean .45acp. I could be wrong.
Target loads, W231 for 9x19,.45acp, 10mm
Unique is great for .45lc, .38sp, and some .357mag, 9x19, .45acp, 10mm
W296 is great for serious .357, 10mm
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:04 PM   #30
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My 'go to' powder for the .38 Special and .45ACP is Bullseye. I have some twelve pounds of it - excellent stuff!
Tried Unique in both calibers and .357Mag - had problems. Very dirty stuff - easy to see why it's called "flammable dirt"....... Two magazines full gummed my Colt M1991A1 to the point of failure. Left so much residue inmy Ruger Security Six it got under the extractor star and caused failure. Lucky I only had a pound of it..... not so much loss when I dumped it on the GF's flowers.......
My favorite powder for the .357Magnum is Hodgdon's Lil Gun - all the velocity and power with some 70% the pressure and much lower felt recoil - makes it very managable. A young lady I trained a couple years back loved my full-power loads - she burned through two boxes of my 'hot stuff'! Asked for more, but I was out.
Great powder for .22 Hornet too, but that's another thread.....
I began reloading these calibers using Red Dot - still use it on occasion - it's still a good powder, though changed over the years a bit.
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