Best Powder & Primers To Use When Reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by soundhd, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. soundhd

    soundhd New Member

    Going to be starting to do my own reloading after the first of the year. Just trying to find out all the do's & don'ts involved......When it comes to the powder & primers I suppose there are good, better & best grades or brands to use (like anything else these days I guess....)...I have seen references to "dirty" powder........Just want to have the least amount of problems when I start doing the reloading........Can anyone suggest which brands/models to use or maybe which ones to stay away from....(if that kind of information is allowed to be posted).... Will be reloading 45 Cal ACP for myself and probably 38 specials for my better half...... Thanks
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  2. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

    For pistols there is a myriad of powders and recipes that work just fine for most handguns. I try to use Winchester primers when at all possible, but if I can't find them, I'm kind of a whore and will use whatever is available.

    Loading for rifle is a little more challenging as I normally work-up a load for a specific barrel. It's all about putting the projectiles as close as possible on the target when shooting off a bench.

    Much satisfaction to be gained shooting of the bench. Sometimes I get the urge to have a smoke afterwards.

  3. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    It all depends on what your loading for and what your firearm likes.

    I love Hornady bullets.

    I like Hodgdon Powder.

    As far as primers goes. I used to only use CCI BR primers in my rifles. I found a good deal on Wolf primers and made teh switch with a purchase of 10k (5k small 5k large). In my AR they churned out 3 shot 100 yard groups in the .27 to .3" range. My remmy 700 VLS in 223 shot .411" with CCI and it shoots .411" with Wolf.

    I know plenty of guys that are shooting wolf primers in $3k bench guns at P Dogs at over 1k yards.
  4. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

    I like hodgdon powders and have been using Universal in my 45 and 38 loads for a while now. You're going to end up with a number of different powders to accomplish different goals but for me Universal was a good start and I've been happy with it. I like Rainier bullets for range fodder and for hot pistol loads or rifles it's a toss up between Hornady and Sierra. I've tried Nosler but they don't do anything the others won't and for the price difference I'll let someone else shoot them.
    I use CCI primers mainly but I have used Federal and didn't notice any difference.
  5. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    cci are my fav primers next after that are wolf. the only primers i seem to have issues with are winchester. the primer height usually varies a lot and jams my progressive loader a lot. winchester works just fine with basic hand held priming systems. due to their spotty qc i tend to avoid winchester and remington unless i REALLY need primers. they go bang just fine they just have height issues.

    buy a load manual sierra speer hornady lyman are good read it learn it love it. any of those will have nice details and very good realistic safety guildlines.
  6. hogrider

    hogrider New Member

    JonM....I never once thought about the primers themselves being the cause of my progressive loader jamming. I thought dirt or something got out of adjustment. I just happen to be using Winchester right now. I usually use CCI.
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    FWIW, and I have said this so MANY times, if you have already heard it, please excuse-

    Your FIRST purchase should be a copy of The ABCs of Reloading. Your second should be a good reloading manual. I happen to like Hornady. do some on line shopping, bet you can find both used.

    I use Bullseye and Unique because they are very versatile powders for a number of different caliber/ different bullet combinations. Yes, they are a trifle dirty. I also use 2400 for HEAVY .357 loads. Are there others? Oh, my goodness, YES. Prefer CCI primers, but when times is hard and there is a shortage of stuff, you get what is on the shelf.
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    yup. next time a winchester primer jams measure it with your calipers then go measure some of the other winchesters you will see a very large varience in height. cci is very uniform as are wolf. all of em will go bang and all work pretty good with handheld systems but the real diff is on progressives.
  9. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

    Unique is a great all around powder. I also use W231 for target loads, lead mostly. W296 is great stuff for full power .357!
    I agree again with buying as many reloading manuals as you can afford. Lee's has great info for the beginner. 231 or Unique will work in both calibers you mentioned.
  10. rifleman55

    rifleman55 New Member

    For the two guns mentioned, CCI primers are available and will work fine.
    Powder, Bullseye will give very accurate loads and you use less of it than most other powders.
    There is no one best powder or primer. You will find that every gun is different and shoots the most accurate with one brand of powder and primers.
    You have to experiment.
    Unique, Bullseye, AA# 5 are just a few that come to mind for the 45 auto and 38 special. There are some newer powders out there also that are good.
    I have used quite a few powders, but for those two calibers, get good accuracy with the Bullseye and it uses far less powder for the same FPS as other powders.

    Do get the ABC's of reloading and stay away from max loads. They rarely shoot the best and wear your weapon faster.

    Try to find someone who you know that is a good reloader to show you the ropes, you'll be far ahead.

    I'm a retired gunsmith and have rebarreled or junked more than a few revolvers and pistols from people who did now know what they were doing, were not paying attention when reloading or wanted to see just how hot they could load a round.
    Go easy, read and ask questions if you don't know. Forums and reloading manufacturers are only too happy to give you answers. Be aware of the forums. Some give good info, some people don't.

    Enjoy, it's a fun passtime. I've been reloading for 35 years and still love it. I'm more into max accuracy in my rifle loads now.

    Get a single round press, not a progressive. I recommed the RCBS Rockchucker. It can be turned into a progressive if you want one later when you gain more experience. Stay away from Lee except for their crimp die. Buy quality equipment, it will last for years.
    Hornady makes a good single press also. Both presses are available with almost all the things you will need to get started at a discount if you buy all at once. Get the Graf & Sons catalog. There are some places that are a little cheaper, but if buying a reloading set up, Graf ships for just $4.95 handling charge. You'll save money on the heavier stuff. They are not all that more expensive than the cheaper places, especially when you consider most places charge $12-15 for most small shipments.
    Do price shop and compare prices with shipping if you buy mailorder. Natchez shooters supply has the better prices, but you'll pay more for shipping.
    Powder Valley is another place to get bullets, primers and powder. If possible, buy powder locally. There is a $24.00 haz mat shipping fee on primers and powder ordered mail order, no matter how much or how little you order and that's on top of the regular shipping.

    John K

    John K
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  11. NRS

    NRS New Member

    I think you've got a lot of the information that you need. If loading rifle know that there will be a difference between the amount of charge in different brands and it will throw your speed, and accuracy off slightly. Basically, make sure you check your load, pressure, etc. if you change the primer you use on the rifle loads you have. I'm careful about my rifle primers more than pistol. I had to go winchester when I couldn't get federal primers during the shortage and it changed my POI a little. It's not a big deal to me in pistol as I don't load for target/competition shooting in those. All of this is learned in the reading of a few good reloading manuals as mentioned above.
  12. soundhd

    soundhd New Member

    Will purchase and read the manuals/books...sound advice to me

    I am going take your advice and get copies of both books/ will be a couple months anyway before I can afford to get the equipment needed to start reloading........need to get aquainted with the new 45 auto I just bought and go through the 1100 rounds that I also just purchased to save the brass for reloading...will be posting more questions about cleaning brass and all the other questions going through my head right now but will wait till after I read the manuals/books first.....I am sure they will answer a lot of sense in bothering you folks with questions I can get answers for in the manuals.........but thanks again on the advice on the powder and primers.....I figured that Winchester would be a good name brand to stick with......always willing to spend a little more to save problems later.........

    thanks again

  13. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    Best? Talk about opening a can of worms. While not quite as animated as a political discussion, people get opinionated about the components they use. A lot will have to do with what the goal is for that particular load. So for .38spec & 45 ACP:
    El-Cheapo & Light but accurate loads, I recommend Bullseye with cast bullets for both calibers. My favorite .38 special load is 3.1 bullseye with a 158 gr Cast SWC. Right around 695 fps. I can't recall what I worked up for .45. A pound of Bullseye goes a long way.

    Unique is a good powder and I have some. My Lee Powder measure was a bit inconsistent with it. I have found AA#5 to be a good substitute. Similar burn rate, meters better for me. 8.1 AA#5 w/ 230gr Cast RN works well for me.
    I like CCI Primers. I hand prime and I find that they are harder to crush/disfigure. YMMV