38/357 Powder Preference

Discussion in 'General Reloading' started by thaddy1978, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. thaddy1978

    thaddy1978 G&G Addict

    I am not really asking about load specifics...I would like to know what what type of powder you have found to produce accurate results. I can't afford to test the many powders out there and each company touts their own as the best. I want to know what you all feel is best.
  2. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist

    Well, I use 2 different powders for .38 special and .357 Mag. I use Unique for the .38 special, because Unique is about the closest thing to a universal pistol powder. You can use Unique for .357 mag, but I prefer a slower powder, like 2400.

  3. Tracer

    Tracer G&G Aussie Dad

    well for 38 i use trail boss in the progesive press. for top accuracy i use vihtori n 340. 357 i like 2400 for 125 gr and w296 or h110 for heavier.hope that helps out
  4. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    To make powder choice simple I find that green dot,red dot and or unique work well in both chamberings.That way you only have one powder.Unique is supposed to be cleaner than it was.I used reddot for years in both.
  5. Unique in the 38 Special, though lately I've been playing with Trail Boss. W296 or 2400 in the 357.
  6. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    I mostly shoot 158 gr cast bullets and use Unique in both .38 & .357
  7. kansascoyote

    kansascoyote G&G Newbie

    I have switched from unique which is a good powder but I have found that power pistol is both cleaner and faster . And it's accuracy is second to none .

  8. +! yeah Unique for .38 Special is hard to beat, it's great for light target all the way to max loads.
    It's not bad for mid-range .357 either, and does pretty good for max loads in 4" barrels or less.

    I used to reload 9mm/38/357/45 Colt/45 ACP, and Unique was all I ever used for simplicity. It did a goooood job for most applications.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  9. Just a question...why doesn't anyone list hp38 or 231 as a powder for the 38 especially and also medium loads for the 357? Just curious..thanks
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  10. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    It's a good powder just as you say OPOS.Designed for the .38spl.The only fault is powder up,powder down.But that is true with most medium to fast burn powders.
  11. chesterwin

    chesterwin G&G Evangelist

    I've always preferred winchester 231 for .38 and .357 loads.
  12. Tigercat200

    Tigercat200 G&G Evangelist

    I use Unique a lot because of the consistency and quality of the loads but, very importantly to me, a double charge is VERY apparent.
  13. thaddy1978

    thaddy1978 G&G Addict

    Here is what people have more or less voted for so far...
    Unique: 5
    2400: 2
    Trail Boss: 2
    Vihtori n 340: 1
    W296: 2
    H110: 1
    Green Dot: 1
    Red Dot: 1
    Power Pistol: 1
    W231: 1
    Now as I recall, for best results, don't we want a powder that fill the case as full as possible...still providing safe loads? I'll have to go back to my book for that one. Don't remember. I have personally used Green Dot, 700X. Solo1000, Long Shot, and Unique. I did not like 700X as it was on the low end or power, but it sure beat the hell out of me when used in my 12 ga. Long Shot isn't bad, but if not careful, one can throw a double charge and not know it--doesn't fill the case and has a bit too much pressure. Solo was okay in 38 sp. Unique and Green Dot seem to be okay for me, but I was simply wondering if folks had something they'd swear by.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  14. Talking about the small charge of powder laying down in the cartridge when it's in the horizontal positont (being fired)? When I shoot at the range I am aware of this and try to rock the gun back a bit before aimimg...never had any sort of mis fire....I simply do not use hand loads in anything for self defense...hand loads in Moskowfornia label the shooter as some gun crazed fanatic that can't get enought killing power with factory loads....I shoot Winchester Ranger +P+ Hollowpoints (the old Talons) in my 9mm, Speer Gold Dot 38 +P 135's in my 357's ( they are +p) and Hornady Critical Defense in my "Garage Makarovs"...all very nasty loads but all factory loads....If I shoot the BG with an 800' wadcutter in my 357 and it's a hand load I'm in a heap of trouble right off.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  15. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist


    Yup. I use Win 231 for the .38 Spl. and TiteGroup for the .357Magnum.
  16. thaddy1978

    thaddy1978 G&G Addict

    Thanks for all your replies so far everyone. As I am reading different ratings on projectiles, I suppose I should have also asked what your most accurate projectile is (Brand). Accurate powder mean squat if you're using crappy leads.
  17. I used 231, Red Dot, Green Dot, and Unique for 38 special for years. I quit using 231 when I ran out, and needed something, more user friendly, for both shotgun, pistol and cast rifle loading.

    For 357 Mag I like Unique, Red Dot, or AA#7, of those three I prefer the AA#7. It's probably because it works really good with my 158gr SWC's.
  18. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    For pistol in general, I try to typically use a powder that I am using for shotgun shell reloading, WST, WSF. Clays, 700X etc.
    For actual magnum pistol loads, I need to step out of that box, I use W296 or H110 which are essentially the same. I do use the brand data just to keep detail oriented.

    Other than one being a bit cleaner than the other at times, After 20+ years of loading, Honestly powder is powder is powder. I know some will swear by some brand or another, but as long as it goes boom. I used to love unique. That was before other interesting stuff was out to try. I tried alot of it.

    These days I split the difference between logistics and cost. I still get a hankeri'n to try a new jug of the latest product though.
  19. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist

    I'm not sure a powder that almost fills the case is inherently safer. I mean I use loading blocks and check the powder levels with a maglite before I seat the bullets. It's not that hard to see a level being different when they are all lined up in rows. But yeah, I do prefer a powder that at least fills up the case more than 1/2 way.

    Heck, that's one of the reasons I used H4895 for my .223. It almost fills the case to capacity.
  20. kansascoyote

    kansascoyote G&G Newbie

    Projectiles = Noseler or set on the couch and wish you were .