Most versatile powder?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Hyphenated, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Okay, this is one of those around the campfire questions, but instead of guns, it's about gun powder. What if you could only use one gun powder...what would it be and why? This question is fairly easy if you can pick one powder for pistols and one for rifles, but it's a lot harder decision when picking one powder for everything you shoot.

    I've thought about this quite a bit and plan on posing the same question at deer camp this year. I've got my choice, but I don't want to share it too soon in the thread to prejudice everyone's thinking. Okay let's hear what everyone thinks is the most versatile powder.
     
  2. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

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    i would choose IMR4350 for rifles and Alliant Power Pistol powder for my pistols. both seem to be very broad sprectrum powders that will cover many different calibers and loads. IMR4895 is another good versatile rifle powder also. i use both with a bunch of different calibers.
     

  3. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Alright axxe you're cheating. :D You can only pick one powder to load handguns and rifles, you don't get one for each category. Now let's see which powder you choose.
     
  4. Roan444

    Roan444 New Member

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    Hmm, I'm not going to cheat, but I have to decide between:

    1. IMR4227 (rifle/handgun) or
    2. Hodgdon Clays (Shotgun/handgun)

    Don't have a great deal of experience with both of these, but what I have done with them has worked well. Leaning toward the 4227.
     
  5. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    IMR4227 is a pretty good choice, but not my pick. I think 4227 works well in the larger pistol calibers like 44mag and 45colt. but not so much in the smaller rounds. The powder I am thinking of could even be used in a shotgun in a pinch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  6. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

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    sorry hyphen, i'm not familar with a powder that works for both rifle and pistol. but i am open to ideas for one. i do know some powders used for shotshell reloading can be used for some pistol calibers.
     
  7. Fomdiddle

    Fomdiddle Well-Known Member

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    Magic powder?????

    If I could only have one powder for all purposes it would definitely be Unique. Yes, it's a little dirty but you should clean your guns every now and then anyway. I have loaded Unique in 9mm, 38, 357, 44, 45LC in handguns and 30-30, 357, 35 Rem, 44mag, and 45-70 in rifles. In fact I killed my last hog with the 30-30 and 10.5 gr Unique behind 180 gr RNFP from WW. It'll do it all, but CAUTION. It is very easy with such small charges to double charge. Be very careful and double check powder levels. Fom
     
  8. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Fomdiddle...Unique is a pretty good choice too, but I think it burns a little to fast to get decent velocity in rifle cartridges. I think you guys have made some really good picks, but nobody has picked my favorite yet. So here you go....drum roll please...:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    IMHO 2400 is the most versatile powder for handguns, rifles and in a pinch shotguns. I have used it in 30carbine, 38spl, 357mag, 40S&W, 10mm, 41mag, 44mag and 45colt in handguns. The rifle calibers I've had good luck with include 25-20, 243win, 30-30, 308win, 32spl, 35rem, 35whelen, 38-55, 444marlin, and the 45-70. It would probably work well in some of my other calibers, but I just haven't gotten around to trying it.

    Thankfully, I don't have to live with just one gun powder, but it is interesting just how well a guy could do with just one powder.
     
  9. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    I don't have near the experience with reloading to enter this discussion with an informed choice. But I am interested in learning, and will say I have read that Blue Dot can go across the barrel length spectrum with some success. It's also the only powder I use that does things if not scary at least exciting as I work up a load. I also load with IMR4227, 7625, and Unique and all three seem to smoothly increase recoil and report as charge weight increases. Blue Dot on the other hand really seems to change character when approaching max loads. Recoil and report have increased radically with as little as 1/2gr increase, and accuracy seems to become erratic when this happens. I load almost exclusively lead and stick pretty close to book values, and therefore have never seen any obvious pressure issues, but Blue Dot has scared me a few times with 357 and 45acp.
     
  10. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Duster...you are absolutely right about Blue Dot it can get crazy real quick when using it at the top of it's range. However, I have had good results with it in my 10mm and 41mag pistols. I have not used it as much as some other powders, but it does seem to have a narrow application where it's at it's best. It seems to be at it's best with just four of the calibers I shoot, 357mag, 10mm, 41mag and 44mag. I would stick with Unique for your 45acp and maybe try 2400 in your 357mag. Good Luck.
     
  11. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Whoa slow down, I'm taking notes! :D
     
  12. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    I love to experiment and 2400 constantly is recommended. I'm pretty much through with Blue Dot when this pound is used up, because the other three make better loads for me. It's time to check out 2400, there are tons of loads for it, lots more than Blue Dot.
     
  13. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Hey Duster,
    I think you said you shot mostly lead bullets. Unique works great for that in a lot of calibers, but don't overlook Bullseye. I know a lot of guys are afraid of Bullseye, because of the small charges. You typically only need 3 to 5grs in cartridges like the 357 or 45acp. Some guys feel the risk for double charging your reloads when working with such small amounts of powder is a problem. You just need to develop a protocol that gives your cases plenty of space between the charged and uncharged brass. This really is a good plan no matter what powder you are using. You can get a lot of fun shooting out of a pound of Bullseye.
     
  14. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    I'll look into Bullseye, thanks.
     
  15. Riverrat47

    Riverrat47 Member

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    I have been out of the reloading area for several years, but am planning to re-enter. When I was reloading it was for handgun only and I leaned towards Bullseye. I don't even remember why any more.
     
  16. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

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    hyphen, i agree with your advice on the protocol when loading your powder and following that protocol, especially when dealing with cases that could easily be double charged. seems with what i have seen so far, this could be a potential problem with most pistol loads due to case size and the amount of powder used in them.

    RiverRat, i mainly reload for my centerfire rifles and am just recently started reloading for pistols. in pistols i use Power Pistol powder and so far have had excellent use out of it. seems so far to be a very versatile powder for pistol calibers.
     
  17. Leverdude

    Leverdude Member

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    Thats easy H2400. I already use it in 4 or 5 rifle calibers & several pistol calibers.
     
  18. FordTruck

    FordTruck Well-Known Member

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    GOEX FFFg will reload all of your rifles, shotguns and handguns. It's not good for gas operated autoloaders but some are using it in their 1911A1.
     
  19. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Black Powder for Centerfire loading .......... Not for me

    Cleanup is a big issue ..... In a wheel gun ...... A big mess
    Don't shoot cast which is a must

    BP is an Explosive, unlike Smokeless powder, so takes a little special handling reloading and storage. Guess you save time on dropping powder as it loaded by Volume and not weight. Just fill up the case and compress the bullet then crimp.

    Lyman has receipes for a number of guns with FFFG and Pyrodex
     
  20. oldbrass

    oldbrass Well-Known Member

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    I can load all my rifles with 3031 or 4064, a few others I spose..3031 easier to find round here so its my choice..