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Old 02-26-2012, 09:57 PM
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Default universal smokeless powder (reloading)



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Is there a good universal smokeless powder out there?

I've been looking at unique.

supposedly you can use it for shotshells, pistol, and rifle rounds.

I just think it would make things a little bit simpler to have one type of powder.

what do yall think?
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:00 PM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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If you're content with very limited rifle performance, Unique will serve. I keep IMR 3031, Unique and Bullseye on my bench.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:11 PM
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Yup Unique would be limited to pretty much pop gun loads in a rifle. And be very very careful at that, because just a little error could spell disaster.

I like blue Dot, It would be a little slow for a lot of pistol loads, but would work good for magnum loads. It does a fairly credible job in rifles getting maybe 2/3 of optimum performance. There used to be a website about loading rifles with Blue Dot powder, but I haven't been able to find it lately. He probably got his pants sued off. Blue Dot is a magnum shotgun powder. Again be careful loading these fast powders in rifles.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:26 PM
LongInTheTooth LongInTheTooth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
Is there a good universal smokeless powder out there?

I've been looking at unique.

supposedly you can use it for shotshells, pistol, and rifle rounds.

I just think it would make things a little bit simpler to have one type of powder.

what do yall think?

Good question. I'm looking to reload just for 44mag/44spl...out of a Lever Gun and S&W Mod29, 6", and .357 out of a Lever and .38 out of a S&W Mod 15, 2". Here in New Jerseystan with all of the restrictions, its a matter of logistics, if you get my drift....and not just for "plinking"...but one or two powders to keep it simple.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:28 PM
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I've said before, you can use unique in a rifle load, but you're going to basically limit yourself to extremely light loads for the rifle. You'd probably be better off getting a good rifle powder for the rounds you plan on reloading and using unique for everything else, as well as an absolute last ditch rifle powder.

I've been using Varget as my stock rifle powder for a couple of years...does everything I need it to with .223 and .308, puts out excellent velocities and is unaffected by temperature. I've been looking at CFE223 as well, Hodgdon's new powder. Realistically, I'd keep as many primers on hand as I have powder to reload rifle rounds...more than that is wasteful in most instances. Sadly, I doubt there are going to be many bricks of primers or jugs of excess powder laying around to replace stockpiles.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:37 PM
bilmac bilmac is offline
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There is a thread, I think on this forum, about making your own black powder. So I keep more primers than I have powder for. I have a 357 rifle and several pistols that should do well with black powder. And a 45-70.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:22 AM
Savinkov Savinkov is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilmac View Post
Yup Unique would be limited to pretty much pop gun loads in a rifle. And be very very careful at that, because just a little error could spell disaster.

I like blue Dot, It would be a little slow for a lot of pistol loads, but would work good for magnum loads. It does a fairly credible job in rifles getting maybe 2/3 of optimum performance. There used to be a website about loading rifles with Blue Dot powder, but I haven't been able to find it lately. He probably got his pants sued off. Blue Dot is a magnum shotgun powder. Again be careful loading these fast powders in rifles.
This all raises a good question, actually. Is there a way to slow a fast powder
down (such as by mixing it with cornstarch or something), or speed up
a slow powder by adding an accelerant of some sort?

In a worst-case survival scenario, you could end up having to reload with
whatever you were able to beg, borrow, or steal... and you might have to
experiment to get a load going in nearly any caliber you own...
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:43 AM
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I agree that there is no one powder to do everything as there is no one gun to do everything. I thought I could load 38 spl with standard small pistol primers behind 2400 powder. What a mess.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:58 AM
Uncle Bob Uncle Bob is offline
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In a word, NO there is not a powder that will serve all.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:29 AM
LuniticFringeInc LuniticFringeInc is offline
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As many before me have said...No there aint one do it all powder. There are several powders that can cover a wide range of loads acceptably. Its kinda like that saying..."Jack of all trades master of none".

Personally I would find it difficult to make it without at least 3 different powders. As a previous poster eluded to, for me they would be Unique, Blue Dot and Varget, and I just might be replacing the Varget with CFE 223 too! These three will cover just about any pistol, shotgun or non magnum rifle cartridge of medium or small bore. It most cases it wont be the optimal powder for the load but they will usually give respectable performance a vast majority of the time.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:00 AM
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You have to think about what you would be shooting after your initial stockpile is gone.

Are you really going to load up and shoot shotgun shells? Are you really going to load up and shoot pistol rounds? Are you really going to load up and shoot rifle rounds?

Do you need to shoot all 3?

Keep in mind that in this scenario you have shot through all of your rounds on 1 or more of your main platforms.

Defensive/offensive rounds? Why did you go through all of them? If you are planning on a pitched battle happening enough times that you are going to go through your rounds, when will you have time to reload and how are you going to mobilize those supplies?

Unique is a fine powder to cover most needs.

I doubt most if any of us would choose to reload shotgun shells once the main supplies dwindle since they take quite a bit of supplies and the effectiveness is 'less' for a survival situation.

For pistols I doubt most of us would notice any real difference in performance (in application) if you used Unique instead of your favorite powder now. This is of course assuming that you are using the pistol for defensive needs.

For rifles Unique is fine *if* you are talking about a survival state. Mainly due to the fact that jacketed bullets will be gone fairly quickly and you would be left with casting lead rounds. Which, as everyone knows, can't be pushed too hard or fast. Unique is fine in this regard. Of course you would be shifting your mentality back to the old way of thinking, heavier slower bullets. If you do not own a .45-70 or similar platform you probably should start to think about it.

It is going to be easier to find lead that you can cast into bullets than just about any other resource. Wheel weights being a primary source. Cast lead operates very well with Unique.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:22 PM
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+ 1 What Jeda said, I can't see much use for a shotgun when the chips are down. I have a Marlin 357 rifle and a few pistols of the same caliber that would probably be my go to guns when almost everything else is expended. The 38 special 357 cartridges will do almost everything that needs doing under primitive circumstances.

So instead of one powder to load 3 classes of firearms I would use one powder to load one very versitile cartridge. Even then it is difficult to choose a single powder that would do a fair job loading pop gun 38s and 357s fast enough to take deer. I already have several cans of 2400 and Unique on the shelf that's the way I would solve the problem. Maybe Green Dot would fit your criteria?
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
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+ 1 What Jeda said, I can't see much use for a shotgun when the chips are down. I have a Marlin 357 rifle and a few pistols of the same caliber that would probably be my go to guns when almost everything else is expended. The 38 special 357 cartridges will do almost everything that needs doing under primitive circumstances.

So instead of one powder to load 3 classes of firearms I would use one powder to load one very versitile cartridge. Even then it is difficult to choose a single powder that would do a fair job loading pop gun 38s and 357s fast enough to take deer. I already have several cans of 2400 and Unique on the shelf that's the way I would solve the problem. Maybe Green Dot would fit your criteria?
never heard of green dot... I think I saw an ammosmith video where he loaded a 30-30 with red dot though
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:12 PM
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Interesting question.

Jida's answer is sound.

W748 will load just about any MBR round to mill spec
W231 will load about any common pistol round

Too many variables to pick just one for rifle/pistol and shotgun
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
Is there a good universal smokeless powder out there?

I've been looking at unique.

supposedly you can use it for shotshells, pistol, and rifle rounds.

I just think it would make things a little bit simpler to have one type of powder.

what do yall think?
The questions I have for you are:

What calibers are you planning to load?

Have you read you read your loading manuals?

Personally, I can get by with just Unique for handguns and BL-C2 for rifles. That is in a pinch of course.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
Is there a good universal smokeless powder out there?

I've been looking at unique.

supposedly you can use it for shotshells, pistol, and rifle rounds.

I just think it would make things a little bit simpler to have one type of powder.

what do yall think?
I keep Power Pistol, H110 and Varget stocked. I have no.5, 700x, 800x, 2320 and unique as well. The first three are my primary powders, they cover my 40, 9mm, 44mag and .308. The others were powders I bought just to try out and when I particular round called for it and not the others. I typically load hornady xtp's which I know call for the first three powders.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongInTheTooth View Post
Good question. I'm looking to reload just for 44mag/44spl...out of a Lever Gun and S&W Mod29, 6", and .357 out of a Lever and .38 out of a S&W Mod 15, 2". Here in New Jerseystan with all of the restrictions, its a matter of logistics, if you get my drift....and not just for "plinking"...but one or two powders to keep it simple.
Take a look in a good reloading manual keeping 5 grains of bullseye in mind.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:47 AM
bilmac bilmac is offline
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Most of us who have loaded for very long have a lot of powder sitting around that we don't use very much because we bought it to test like trigger happy said. If you decide you don't like it then it just sits there.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:00 AM
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Did you check the reloading manuals or cast bullet forum?

Red Dot? Cast boolit forum discusses Red Dot for rifles....FWIW

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/forumdisplay
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:47 PM
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Default I hope no one buys from Gander

I have been increasingly disouraged with Gander prices. $50 or more(usually more) than local gun shop gun prices. If they have reloading supplies, powder is $5-8 more per pound. Forget ammo...insane!!! They have a black, basic ACR for just under $2500. Bud's has the same gun for just over $1800. They had a used AR50 for $120 more than a new one from Bud's.

I would expect that most folks on here are aware of what prices on certain items should be and when the prices are way too high. For those who are new to it: DON'T SHOP AT GANDER!!! If you do, take the lube because they won't supply it.
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