Discussion in 'General Reloading' started by Slugfest, May 23, 2020.

  1. Slugfest

    Slugfest G&G Regular

    To my way of thinking, there are 4 kinds of guns: pistols; ar/ak; 308/7mm mag/300 win mag; and shotguns. I have discovered a variety of opinions online about buying powder for reloading. Some people would advocate buying 6 or more kinds of powder and mixing the exact "cocktail" for each round. On the other end, I have read of people suggesting the use of a powder that is usually used for shotgun shells for all rounds. Is there a happy medium? My home safety weapons will always keep store-bought in them when carried, but will use reload for practice. Any ideas on this?
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  2. BigEd63

    BigEd63 G&G Evangelist

    Well this is a bit of a complicated subject.

    If you have not already done so buy a real reloading manual. The Lyman one is a good one to start.
    If I had to I could get by with Unique for pistols, WW 748 for small to moderate sized cartridges and IMR 4350 for large to magnum cartridges.
    I list these as three examples that I have used in different cartridges.

    If you resort to one powder only such as Unique you'd be very very limited in what rifle cartridges you can load with it. And bullet types.
    Nothing wrong with it. It's very versatile but like any other reloading components it's got it's limitations on what it can be safely used for.

  3. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf G&G Evangelist

    You can use Bullseye for almost any pistol reload, and IMR 4895 works for rounds from. 223 to 30-06. Those two are my favorites.
    Red Dot does well in shotguns, and handgun loads too.
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  4. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    GET A RELOADING MANUAL! and read it before you do anything else. and DO NOT mix powders! reloaders do have several different powders on hand but that is because different powders are more efficient for different calibers or bullet weights. reloading isn't rocket science but you should stick to published data if you want your guns and yourself to stay in one piece. I don't know where you heard of reloaders "mixing the exact cocktail" of powder but that is not done by anyone that I know of. leave the blending or mixing to the powder manufactures who have the knowledge and test equipment to do it safely!
  5. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    Your gonna put your eye out. Take up golf.

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  6. Kellen

    Kellen G&G Evangelist

  7. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    My favorite handgun powders are Red Dot and Bullseye. I do like Lil Gun, a shotgun powder, for magnum handgun calibers.
    I use a variety of rifle powders. Some are better for light bullet loads, others for heavy bullet loads. So many great choices, it becomes a matter of personal preference tempered with availability.
  8. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter G&G Evangelist

    ^^^^^DO JUST WHAT HE SAID!^^^^^^^^
    I don't care if you just have a little left, DO NOT MIX POWDERS!
    I don't mix even the same powders from one container to the other. I use as much of the powder in one container as I can & dump the last few gr. Then open the new container.
    If you are working from one container keep that container on the reloading bench next to your reloading press. When you are done with that powder put it back in that container & put it away. NEVER fill your powder drop then put the container away, you may grab the wrong type of powder to empty the powder drop when you are done. That will create a very dangerous situation.
  9. aht_six

    aht_six G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I must have about 30 kinds powder. However, the 4 powders I use the most are; Unique for pistol and some shotgun loads. H110 for magnum pistol, Hornets and .410 shot shells. Clays for most of my 12 gauge shot shells and some pistol rounds. IMR-4350 for most of my rifles.

    I haven’t been loading many varmint rounds for awhile. When I do, I use 748 for .223 and 760 for .22-250.
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  10. OneShotKill

    OneShotKill G&G Evangelist

    Never ever mix powders. I know 2 guys who heard you could do that. Idiots read it somewhere and one was taught by his brother, another idiot. One guy lost 3 fingers on his right hand, the other had a piece of shrapnel cut from the thick part of the hand behind the thumb. He nearly lost an eye also. There is no such thing as two powders staying blended if they are not exactly alike in size, so the mix moves around or stratify and that destroys the burn rate anyway. If you ever hear about a factory blended powder, pull a bullet, all the flakes or balls or whatever are exactly the same, they do not mix powders, they mix formulas. Much of that idea came from muzzle loaders where a pinch of pistol powder(black powder) or maybe even 5-10 grains was dumped in first to aid ignition, then the coarse powder was added, totally unneeded in smokeless powder. It was also common to use a pinch of something like Unique in modern guns that were shooting black powder in cartridge cases,, but for that to work well, you really needed to compress the load, so it stayed in place directly in front of the primer. Extensive work has been done on that subject in labs but I am not aware of any factory ammo maker that even messes with the idea anymore. Nuff on that but, I do have more dumb stuff, they did, and maybe we div. Any of the guys who tell you they do it all the time are idiots and wasting time and money, whatever burn rate they want is out there, nearly 200 as I recall.

    As to powders, I load Unique in 9mm, 38, 38 super, 357, 40, 400 Corbon, 44 spec and mag, 45 acp, 45 colt, 454 Casull, 45-70, 30-30. The 30-30 load sends my 113 grain varmint bullet 2,500 fps. The 45-70 I load light a 340 grain bullet about 1,150 one load another 1,643. For heavy pistol it is W296 or H110, same powder. It also work great in 300 BLK. There is extensive data out there for Unique in most big calibers, I even have it for 243, 308 and 30-06. Have not tried it in my 300 Wby.

    For rifles you need maybe 3, I like H335 or CFE BLK for my 223, for rifle calibers 243, 308, 257 Wby, 30-06, 300 Wby, and hot 45-70. I can load all of them to factory levels with 3031 or IMR 4350. I probably have 20 powders on hand, but tailoring loads for targets or plinking any of the above can find a sweet spot for your gun. If you are going to shoot 1,000 yards or bench rest, then a search for powders with low deviation is appropriate, otherwise you are chasing a few fps and accuracy results that you cannot even notice at pistol ranges and under 200 yards with a rifle. Been loading since 1972 and for decades bought every new powder that came along. And I am now back with the ones I started with and shooting small groups tailored to each gun. I assume you know that you tailor the load to a single gun and maybe or maybe not shoot the same. Example, I bought two identical guns the same day, same production runs, Smith and Wesson model 637. Both have similar gaps. One shoots a factory loads at 930 fps, the other about 875 fps, same box of ammo. I could care less how they do shooting my reloads and just load one load because I am just shooting paper and seldom over 25 yards. You get the idea.

    Any reloading manual is fine, one more thought. Check and see what is available where you buy powder. I like 1680 for my 300 BLK, several of the dealers will not stock Accurate brand powders. Everybody has a preference and will swear by their choice., That said, you really want to pay extra for a powder the is low flash if you never plan to fire it an at night? Learn you guns, try one powder, document every session, determine how much accuracy you want, if it is better than you are getting buy a second powder. To do it right, always load a few with your original reload to compare on that day, temperature, barametric pressure and all that, again write it down and you may be done. If the first two do not meet your goals load a few more of each and try a third powder. Then take all three loads the third trip and compare. By this time you should have tried 3 different powders with 3 different amounts of power in each and among those 9 loads you should have documented the best. Then stop, unless you just want to play that game forever, some of us do. But a least you will have a pet load or two for each gun. Enjoy reloading.
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  11. Moroco Mole

    Moroco Mole G&G Evangelist

    My powder case now has 3 powders I use, A LOT. TWO I do not.
    I use RED DOT, UNIVERSAL, H 335, A LOT. These are verry easy to find load info for. They meter well and are very accurate powders.
    I have IMR 4064 that I use exclusively for the 30-06.
    I also have H110 but never use it to work up one 357 magnum load.Then discovered I could do just as effective a load with a little less kick and a little less noise using Universal.

    For practice Red Dot. Have good consistent, low node loads for .357-38,45 colt,30-06,.243. Basically any revolver pump or bolt action firearm. Pushing a pure lead, PC, or plated projectile. Red Dot.
    And we know Red dot is famous for shotguns.

    Now 45acp,380,excetra. Anything that is a pistol and has a slide, 45 or lower caliber. Universal (not Clays) . Or Universals sister powder, Unique. Their is also a verry good magnum hunting load for the .357 loaded with universal.

    For the AK or AR, always jacketed rounds, SO FAR It has always been H 335. Oh and my cousin uses it for his 45-70.

    Pretty shure if one bought 8 lb of H335, 8 pound of Red Dot, 8lb of Universal, or Unique ; One could keep oneself pretty busy. And also keep ones guns fed well for a couple years.
    Now if you wanted to work up a good 30-30 type hunting load for pretty much any 30 caliber rifle then get yourself a pound or 2 of IMR 4064.
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  12. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    I think we’ve given compelling reasons?

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  13. Don't mix powders unless you want your jaw bone driven through your brain pan

    Also you're better off only having one jug of powder on the bench at a time, and it should only be what you're using at the time. Also unless you're pouring the powder, the lid should be on the jug
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  14. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly G&G Evangelist

    Anyone that says they mix / blend their own powders are what I call members of the "Thin the herd" club. Their stupidity will get them thinned from the herd in a pretty fast action.
    Gun powder and Bullet makers spend a lot of time and money testing what powders work for each type of firearm. They then spend even more time and money publishing this data in Reloading manual's for people that reload to use.

    Be smart,Use the known information that is available to you wisely,and don't gamble with the well being of yourself and other's that might get injured or killed from stupid actions.
  15. Moroco Mole

    Moroco Mole G&G Evangelist

    I think the OP was actually using the Mixing an exact cocktail as an analogy for having many different powders for many different loads. To be mixing powders it not a good way to live long on this earth.
    That being said It is possible that if you are not chasing the ghost of perfection, to acquire a suitable practice round for each of your guns with just a few powders.
    As for chasing that ghost there are many other factors to get you closer to perfection then just powders. Seating depth, bullet weight, design, type of crimp, use of different lube or you could PC. Fitment is king when it comes to accuracy.
    So many options out there to make those 3 or so powder choices work for you.

    Ok hear I go on Red Dot again.
    If it is not, black powder or semi auto( And Yes, know some have loaded RD for semi with success) you can develope a Red Dot Practice Load for it. You can find published Red dot loads for just about everything non SA, with few exceptions. I have even developed a 50 yard red dot, lead bullet, plinking load for my AR15. :eek:For my wife to shoot, Yes you have to cycle it every time but that is the point of the load.For my wife does not care for auto loaders herself, she likes having full control. It gets about a 3 inch group at 50 yards which is good enough for her to have some good cheap fun that don't effect my brass that much
    I would recommend that If someone were starting out. Or trying to down size. Stick to non semi auto's and get a big jug of Red Dot. Then start working up loads for anything you got without a slide

    I guess I am a little prejudice as this is the only way I could afford to start loading at the time I did. As Red Dot is usually pretty inexpensive and I was not that well off.
    I started with a Taurus 66, a Lee budget 357 turret loading set, a handful of. 38 special range brass. A box of different type, and weight, cast bullets a friend sent me. Oh and the only powder I had for 6 months was you cussed it. Red Dot.
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  16. Kellen

    Kellen G&G Evangelist

    The more guns you own, and the more cartridges you load for, the more powders you'll need to buy. That means your attention to safety must go up exponentially, for all the reasons included above. If you have difficulty keeping your undivided concentration on a detailed activity over long periods of time, then do yourself a favor and just buy commercial ammunition.
    As an aside since the subject is powders, I've been quite impressed with Alliant's RL-26. Works wonderfully in 6.5 PRC cartridge.
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  17. Mindy up North

    Mindy up North G&G Evangelist

    Beware of anything you read online regarding load data. Trust but ALWAYS VERIFY! Once you have a grasp on properly working up loads from a valid source, preferably multiple sources (real reloading manuals) AND have experienced using those loads you will start to understand the excitement your question generated. I am glad you are asking questions. Be safe:)
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  18. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman G&G Evangelist

    I've only been reloading for maybe two years but I've been reading about it and studying anything and everything about it for a number of years before I put my bench together and got started. I'm definitely not a know-it-all nor do I want to be but I know a little about alot and just enough to be dangerous. I blame a lot of that on the bishop of the church who was also our science teacher and for teaching us the formula for making homemade black powder amongst other things. I guess that's what really kick-started things off but my bench is continually changing here and there probably like most everyone else and I probably have 15 different powders on hand and reload for maybe 25 or so cartridges give or take a few. I also have quite a few reloading manuals I keep on hand sort of like a reloading Library I guess you might call it & but for my purposes I find the older reloading manuals that aren't water down thanks to the Legal Eagles, however I also have a 2019 Edition Lyman reloading manual but my go-to is the CCI Speer 13th edition reloading manual and my most common powders are probably unique, IMR 3031, IMR 4895 and I've come to be a fan of green. Shotshell powder since I can use it to load practically any handgun cartridge or smaller intermediate rifle cartridge like the 7.62 x39 or the 30/30 Winchester. I started out with a single vintage Press from Pacific and cut my teeth on the 44 special 44 Mag straight wall shells. I added a second single stage crafts then swap them both out for a Lyman All-American 8 turret press recently. I also have pretty much everything to start casting my own projectables minus a newer style smelting pot but I haven't really got into that phase of things yet but I have a crap load of lead and stuff if the need arises or when I finally do. One thing you'll definitely find is you'll probably end up losing track of time and kill a lot more of it than you realize and there's been many times when I've went in and sit down at my bench with my morning coffee and the next thing I know it's like 8 to 10 hours later, but at least it's relaxing and a good way to De-Stress and save $ depending on how you look at things. another good resource I can recommend are some of the www.mewe.com are great (Southwest Idaho guns) is my group I started a few years ago and dozens of others and they're addictive but you'll find groups there for practically any subject. Just what I needed d more car, gun, motorcycle, off road and R/C vehicle groups
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  19. jerry

    jerry Since 03-15- 2002 Forum Contributor

    Think the OP had checked out? Last time I thought a bear ate him.

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