HP38 vs. WIN231

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LesterPTelestrat, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. LesterPTelestrat

    LesterPTelestrat New Member

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    I've read on this forum that these two powders are identical, just different labels on the containers. I just bought a pound of WIN231 as I'm running low on HP38 and the store I was in didn't have HP38. So, I bought the 231 and found that it is a ball powder. HP38 is a flake powder. It appears that there is a greater difference than just the labeling!

    That being the case is it safe to use HP38 load data for this powder?

    LPT
  2. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    Per the good folks at Hodgdon that I have personally contacted, HP-38 and Win 231 are the exact same powder that is simply poured into different containers. I have not found any good reason to disagree with them.

    Perhaps one of your powders is mis-labelled?

    I dunno....anything is possible I reckon. But on their webiste they call HP-38 a spherical powder :

    http://www.hodgdon.com/shotpist.html

    Same as they call Win 231 a ball powder:

    http://www.wwpowder.com/pistol.html

    Again, I am not trying to discount your personal experience in this instance, just relating mine, I have not found them to be different.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    they are one and the same, 231 is labeled a ball propellant but the powder granules are somewhat flattened and look identical to hp38
  4. LesterPTelestrat

    LesterPTelestrat New Member

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    Thanks guys, I haven't actually opened the powder yet to visually inspect. My guess is that it is just the description on the labeling that is different.
  5. noylj

    noylj Member

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    The term "ball powder" is owned by Winchester, same as the term "Kleenex" is owned by Kimberly-Clark. The other suppliers have to use the term "spherical powder." The spheres are flattened to control burning rate (along with size distribution of the powder "grains").
  6. LesterPTelestrat

    LesterPTelestrat New Member

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    One of my load manuals; "The Complete Reloading Manual for the .45 A.C.P." gives a max load of 5.7 grains of WIN231 for 230 grn FMJ, whereas the same book gives a max load of 5.3 for HP38, Hmmmmm....
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    within the same data? or is that for 2 different data sources? i know the 'load book' you refer to, i have 1 for every cartridge I load for. The reason data differs among sources is because they use different components, source A lists 5.7 as a max load and the data was developed in winchester cases with CCI primers and hornady 230 gr XTPs, whereas source B may list a max of 5.3 and have developed their data with a hornady case, WLP primers and sierra 230 gr Bullets. It all makes a difference in pressures...
  8. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    To the OP, I'm still confused about the 'flake' HP-38 powder you have been using. Is it possible that it's really just the 'flattened' spherical stuff?

    Per the folks at Hodgdon, you can safely use any Win 231 data when using HP-38 and vice versa. Individual load tables use different test equipment and components to arrive at their results. Over the decades changes happen too. I try to use the most current tables I can find.
  9. LesterPTelestrat

    LesterPTelestrat New Member

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    RandyP, the flake or disc powder (HP38) is similar in shape to Unique except smaller discs. I still haven't broken open the container of
    WIN231 but I"m guessing it will be identical to the HP38. It appears it's just the label terminology that is different and not the powder. If I find that the WIN231 is different than the HP38 when I open it, I'll post to let everyone know. But I doubt it will be any different.
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I did ya one better LPT, I took a medicine cup of 231 and a medicine cup of HP38 and mixed them together and put 5.4 grains of the mix under my 228 gr cast bullets in my .45 and guess what, velocity was the same when compared to loads with 5.4 gr 231 and 5.4 gr HP38. I did 10 of each, and the velocities were all averaged within 10 fps of each other, right around 850 fps... It wouldnt happen that way with 2 powders that werent the same...
  11. LesterPTelestrat

    LesterPTelestrat New Member

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    Very nice JLA. Nice to know I can use recipes for either one and feel safe with them.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    it is one of the only 5 pairs you can do it with in the reloading world and they all pertain to hodgdon and winchester powders...

    HP38 = W231
    H110 = W296
    H414 = W760
    HS6 = W540(discontinued)
    HS7 = W571(discontinued)
  13. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Ramshot Silhouette = WAP(discontinued)
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    thats one I didnt know about. Thanks steve, I have updated my notebook;)
  15. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    If you talk to Johan at Western powders he will tell you that Ramshot Silhouette and Win Action Pistol are indeed the same powder, cept Silhouette has a some new coatings added to reduce flash. I never used WAP, but it's my understanding it had quite a bit of flash. Silhouette is my favorite pistol powder. I use it in 9mm, 40, 10mm and 45 acp.

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