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When it comes to reloading your own ammo, what types of gun powder are you using?

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1/ When it comes to rifle ammo it's mainly VARGET. Sometimes i use 748 if i can't get a hold of VARGET.


2/ When it comes to pistol ammo it's BULLSEYE, UNIQUE, 231, 296, 700X, 800X, RED DOT & BLUE DOT. My favorates are BULLSEYE , UNIQUE & RED DOT for standard pistol loads. As for magnum loads BLUE DOT.


3/ When it comes to shotgun ammo it RED DOT & BLUE DOT only.

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I Usually go for ball type powders whenever possible. They must meter well. Must be accurate too. I dont really concern myself about how dirty the powder is.


For rifle loads, in 223 my fave is TAC. I have also used and liked H335. Currently using CFE223 and I like that too. 762x39 I like H335 and IMR4198 (its ok but doesnt meter as well as H335)


Shotshell loads I pretty much only use Red Dot


Pistol loads - Power Pistol is my allaround fav. I mostly reload 40 and its my fav for that. Does great for 9mm and 45 too. Also load 38spl with it. Does great. Ive used Bullseye and Unique and liked them too. Used many others that have performed well but metered like crap.

juzcallmesnake likes this

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well here goes and this is for those who are hard pressed to find money


Unique -----alone will reload pistol {rifle with cast bullets I would advise gas checks and a gas check designed bullet} and shotgun


is it perfect Hell No but hey it works well enough to get the job done.


look up cast bullet loads in Lyman's reloading manual they are not weak as some think.


A Gas Check is a thin wafer of copper or brass I have even seen them made from aluminum formed into a shallow cup that


crimps on to the base of a cast bullet your bullet mold must be of a Gas check design {some are not} Lee has a page


if you look carefully you will see the ones with a gas check as they are shown in their picture here is a couple of links


I am in agreement with the previous posts on the types of powders.


you need loading manuals these are filled with all kinds of important information that at first glance to the novice may not mean


much but it is also a diagnostic and forensic tool to reverse engineer a particular load from a factory one.


if company X has a pistol load that works well in your arm look up the stated velocity bullet weight {for the caliber}


go to the reloading manuals and research a load that is as close as possible to your factory information.


I personally look fro a powder that gives me maximum velocity for the cartridge but not maximum pressure pressure beats a


gun to death and many powders can give great accuracy without the punishing pressures.


And I stated that it gives me the ability for maximum velocity loads it does not mean go full throttle all out starting from the


bottom of the listed loads and working up I load 10 each and shoot 2 groups of 5 of a rest / sand bags and aim at the exact


same place this is not when to care of where they strike but if they all hit that same area and how close together.


if you over think and try to shift you point of aim at this point you will defeat the purpose of testing.


start with a clean firearm clean the bore and swab it dry and let cool between different loads it can make a difference.


25 yards for rifles is fine to shoot in as rifle projectiles are rising after that distance and come back down so at 100 yards


it strikes at the same point in a straight line the main reason is it is easy to see the target at 25 yards than 100 if there


are any problems at 25 yards they will be very obvious and if you use a multi bull pistol you don't have to wait for a range break


or buy numerous targets.


try not to reinvent the wheel most manuals show accuracy loads and factory loads that work well can be copied fairly close


the powders that the military and factories use are not the same as the ones you can get but close or are called different


name or number due to a coating shape type or size powder comes in flakes, dots, extruded rod and spherical {round beads}


they can have coatings that retard burn rate they can have anything attribute chemistry and engineering can invent.


who would have thought that black powder pellets were going to come about {I do not see the point but some do}


the 209 primer in black powder now that was an ingenuous idea.




I know it may be confusing but some brass cartridges are loaded with black powder for western shoots for the smoke factor.


DOUBLE BASE OR SMOKELESS POWDERS are much more powerful than black powder.


bullseye powder is one of my favorite pistol powders BUT it can be easily over charged in a case without notice if your not diligent


but you can load more shells per pound and have less muzzle flash out of a short barrel and that is why I reload to customize


or tailor my loads to my specifications magnum loads in a snub have horrendous muzzle flash {generally speaking}


although you cannot eliminate muzzle flash you can minimize it by changing powder brand or type.


some powders burn cleaner or give the results you want faster powders for lighter bullets and shorter barrels


slower powders for heavier bullets and longer barrels {generalizing here}.


You may ask yourself, "self why should I care" well your wasting a valuable resource indoor ranges can be swept and the residue


burns it is unburnt powder from loads not tailored for your firearm we all know one size does not fit all that applies to cartridges




I have used every powder BUT Vitihoury {however you spell it} I will not bad mouth it I have never had a point to do so


or a need I have shot and reloaded may calibers from 25 ACP & 22 hornet to 458 Winchester along with 50 BMG


and some bizarre ones I was of the first group who loaded 7.5 french and offered a conversion kit and information to do so.


one last thought listed in reloading information is cartridge length for your bullet weight USE IT!


one important reason is a longer heavier bullet seated deeper or jammed into a case by the act of loading your arm


will increase pressure even up and to dangerous levels, I use a factory crimp die and crimp ALL my ammo.


Know your firearm some older and a few recent are not capable of handling higher pressure loads of new firearms


case in point a antique trapdoor 45-70 will not handle certain loads BE CAREFUL the converted Spanish Mauser was Ok


with commercial ammo but military was to hi powered so before buying a firearm do some extensive research before


buying it learn enough to know if you can get parts find or make ammo easily or if it has some dangerous flaws


or anomalies one I found when the 40 S&W Glock came out it expanded the mouth of the brass and caused it to be


hard to start into the sizer die so companies started roll sizing them this process works the web of the brass


and shortens reloading life now it is common to roll size straight walled auto cases you do not get 100% feeding


without some cost and that is to the brass makers do not make firearms for reloaders they build them to function


cases are spent / scrap people whine about dented brass out of an AK or SKS but you can fix this.


the reason I bring it up is reloading a cut or very damaged case is not a good idea full loads to reform it is a bad idea.


if it is rare caliber or you have no choice a special load to fire forming to salvage the case can be used but not if it is cut


creased is ok.


Annealing and fire forming information can be found on the net and many loading manuals.

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Joking aside, I have 35 different powders on hand. I enjoy load development.  If I had to, I could make do with 3 with out any problem:  Greendot, 4064 and either unique or 2400 (preference toward 2400 but not by much).



Drew_Forge and juzcallmesnake like this

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I posted on it before about the Cat sneeze here CAT SNEEZE

and C.E. Harris "THE LOAD" here is a link cut and paste

C.E. Harris "THE LOAD"

unless you know or have the loading information it is hard to find on the net.

If I had to or knew I needed to get ready I would stock up on red dot as it alone can load everything rifle shotgun and pistol "with the load data and knowledge. Having a hand die set for your caliber powder and a proper cast bullet mold and powder you can have tons of hunting and protection loads.



Butler Ford likes this

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On 3/19/2017 at 3:58 AM, Butler Ford said:

Joking aside, I have 35 different powders on hand. I enjoy load development.  If I had to, I could make do with 3 with out any problem:  Greendot, 4064 and either unique or 2400 (preference toward 2400 but not by much).



I'm right here with you. I haven't counted my powder types, but I bet it's close to 20. I don't really stray too far from what works. I like IMR 4198 for its versatility in small cases like .222 and .223, and it works well in large straight-walled cartridges like .45-70. IMR-4064 for .30-'06, .308, .270. Bullseye for 9mm and .45, with a tip of the hat to 231 or Titegroup for the same. Unique for .38, .357, .44 Mag, .45 Colt.

wally and Butler Ford like this

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Drew, I keep an inventory sheet for powder and primer, it helps reduce the "OH CRAP! I've got 20,000 Large pistol primers but NO LP magnum!" days. So counting takes about 10 seconds.



wally and Drew_Forge like this

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I have about 6 powders as I only load 8 calibers I like bulk 4 to 8 pound as it is the best bang for the buck (pun intended) CCI is the only primers I use LR SR LP SP and 209's for grins as it is cheaper to buy primed hulls than components and there is no hazmat fee. I also roll crimp on a drill press screw that separate press IMHO. I also use gas seals not wads may kick a bit more but I want shot not a built in shock absorber taking up space. I do use shot buffer.

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21 minutes ago, juzcallmesnake said:

I also use gas seals not wads may kick a bit more but I want shot not a built in shock absorber taking up space.

Snake, wad columns and over shot cards have been my nemesis for decades.  I'll buy the coffee sometime if you'd teach me how to build a proper column.



wally likes this

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fairly easy but complicated LOL sometimes if you want a lower weight load you add a seal and if you need more add different thicknesses of cork, card or filler wads one or more overshot cards and overshot cards are different thicknesses  2 seals or less even trim your hull but thats a bit of a bother one or the other to get your wad column to the right height sometimes the powder takes up more space and you got to play musical seals and filler wads all the data is a bit more flexible but you can pick up free load information from  ballistic products   and you can even ask questions to them and they are professionals 

Butler Ford and wally like this

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