clean burning powder

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by DanH, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. DanH

    DanH New Member

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    Looking for a clean burning powder. I am reloading a 357 Mag currently using Unique and after firing 50 rounds in my GP100 the gun looks like it has been sitting in the exhaust stack of a freight train. All suggestions appreciated.

    Dan
  2. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    I use Winchester 296 for my .357 mag. reloads. It seems to burn clean while giving excellent performance. I've been using it for over 25 years after experimenting with both Red Dot and Blue Dot powders. Both of them were unacceptable performers. Red Dot was real dirty too.

    EDIT: I think H110 is the same powder as W296 as an alternate.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  3. DanH

    DanH New Member

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    thanks for the info Snake I'll give it a try

    Dan
  4. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    This sounds unlike unique entirely, it seems to be one of the cleanest burning pistol powders by popular vote. Before you sacrifice your supply of powder try adjusting your load and or crimping technique, or primers. something smells fishy here. Good luck!
  5. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Didn't get my vote, but overall, I find it to be a decent one, certainly one of the better performing powders.

    HP38, 296 and Titegroup all are what I would consider clean burners.


    "EDIT: I think H110 is the same powder as W296 as an alternate." - Yes i would agree, same as HP38 and 231.
  6. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    My experience with H110 and or W296 are they work good but ONLY with max or near max loads, a heavy crimp and magnum primers. Lighter loads will go bang but if you run them over a chronograph you will see they will not be uniform. As for Unique being dirty I suppose that is a matter of opinion and for me I like it in my 38 Spcl. jackrabbit loads and 45 auto. I also like 2400, I use it my 44 Spcl and 44 mag loads, even though it is a bit dirty, it is very uniform and very predictable. I really like Vihta Vuori N110 and 18.2 grains drives 125 grain jacketed bullet from my 6" 357 1800 FPS and about the same from a 32-20, 100 grain from a rifle, either of which turns a jackrabbit inside out. N110 burns very clean but is NOT interchangeable with W296 and H110.

    Ron
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  7. DanH

    DanH New Member

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    I might be expecting to much from this powder but, when I pull the trigger and see a cloud of smoke like I just shot my muzzle loader I'm thinking "dirty". I am loading light loads for my wife and I to play with, 5gr for her and 6gr for me behind a 158gr semi wad cutter, ignited by CCI 550 mag primer, I'm crimping at .003. The factory loads that I have shot don't blow smoke like a locomotive. I will add that my experience in loading for a handgun is about six months.
    I have been loading for 35 years and in the past several years loading for 6PPC and 30BR competition shooting with tight necks and custom action, stock, barrels etc., just a little background that I'm not a total rookie. That being said I'm am eager to learn from the more experienced hand gun loaders, which, probably most of you here are.

    Dan
  8. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    I have fired a lot of Blue Dot out of 357 mag and like the performance and the way it burns. If you are using cast bullets the lube creates a lot of soot but with jacketed bullets I have not had issues with either BD or the "new" Unique as they cleaned it up in the last few years. I also clean after every range session so the crud doesn't get a chance to build up.
  9. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    Dan, my experience with W296 is that it has no flash or smoke, but it it is too hot for cast lead bullets. It will melt the backend of the cast bullets and lead your barrel really bad. Use W231 / HP38 if you're going to use cast bullets.

    It is true that W296 is best when it is being used at near max. loads. My older loading manuals caution against trying to use reduced loads with it. Again W231 would be my choice if I was loading target loads for my .357 mag. W231 has the same good characteristics as W296 AND it's excellent in 9mm and .380 loads. :)

    The issues I had with Blue Dot was that it had a huge flash and a big boom that was unforgettable. The velocity and accuracy was good with it, but I found that I could get the same things from W296 without the big flash and boom.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  10. DanH

    DanH New Member

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    I too clean after every range session, that is not a problem for me, the problem is all the soot, maybe it is that I use cast bullets with the Unique, I'll try some of the jacketed bullets I have and see if there is a difference.

    Dan
  11. flintlock

    flintlock Well-Known Member

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    I like 2400. Use it in my .357, .41, and .44 magnums. Seems to burn well in all cases.
  12. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Dan, I never thought about the lube on cast bullets being the problem until Terry P mentioned it and I would bet that might be where all your soot is coming from.
  13. gazzmann

    gazzmann New Member

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    Don't forget about trace amounts of graphte in smokless powder.
    I use mostly Bullseye or Unique.
    Two powders many different loads and calibers. Very economical.
    A little smokey but I clean 'em after each trip to the range.
  14. DanH

    DanH New Member

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    I loaded a bunch of brass last night with jacketed bullets, I'll see if there is any difference in the amount of soot I get when shooting, once the rain stops.
    I guess I never gave it much thought about the lube ring on the cast bullets, might be the culprit, not the powder. I'll let y'all know the results.

    Dan
  15. DanH

    DanH New Member

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    Looks like the lub ring is the culprit, shooting jacketed bullets cleaned up the soot problem about 90%, still a little bit of smoke from the Unique but, what I see is acceptable. Thanks for all the input people, looks like case closed.

    Dan
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