Need some help with powder for my lead and steel 12 gauge loads.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by bluesea112, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

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    I have been reloading my rifle cartridges for about 1 year, and I have decided to try my hand at 12 gauge reloads. Can anybody tell me if there is a shotgun powder that I could use for my 1 1/8 ounce lead shot dove loads AND my 1 5/8 steel shot duck loads?

    I was considering "Unique", but I want to make sure that is the best powder for the job. Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your help,

    Bluesea112
  2. Shellback

    Shellback New Member

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    I have not tried Unique (yet) But I do use alot of Universal Clays, that is my favorite. I load 1 1/8 oz loads for most of my bird and trap cept turkeys, I don't Duck hunt so I don't load any steel. Univ. Clys is a good clean powder rather a fast powder leaves little or no residue.
    Tim
  3. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply Shellback. I appreciate the information.
    Does anybody know if "Universal Clays", "Unique", or any other brand powder can be used for 1 5/8 ounce of steel shot in 3" 12 gauge shells, as well as in 2 3/4" shells with 1 1/8 lead loads?
    I think it is strange that none of my 3 reloading manuals list any shotgun loads.
  4. Shellback

    Shellback New Member

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    You bet it can click here http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp you will find 1000's of different load data for different loads. Hulls to use and wads and powder gives fps all you will need. There are differnt sites you can Google as well just type in the different powders name.. Hope this helps.
    Tim
  5. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    For steel loads I use my MEC loader with steel charge bars. For powder I use Alliant "Steel" and have had good results. Loading steel is much different from lead in that pressure can quickly be an issue. What I do is follow the receipes exactly by weighing each powder charge and drop of shot so they are exact. I have never had issues and it may be time consuming but I'm retired and my time is cheap.

    For the dove or in my case 1 1/8 oz skeet loads I have had great results with Alliant Clay Dot powder as it is vey clean burning and available in 8# containers. I load all of these loads with the loader drops and have had no problems.

    Obviously Alliant powders are my choice for shotshell and handgun but I would not try one size fits all powder for both steel shot and lead light loads. Also don't try to component swap with the wads or primers as things can turn nasty in a hurry. Whatever brand of powders you choose stick to the receipes.
  6. GoodOl'12gauge

    GoodOl'12gauge New Member

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    I use unique for 12gauge and .45 long colt. Its great for the 12 gauge i use my loads for dove, pheasant turkey and other small game.
  7. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    Bluesea:

    How are you making out with the SS's?
  8. Shellback

    Shellback New Member

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    Ditto that??
    Tim
  9. NuJudge

    NuJudge New Member

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    I've loaded a lot of Lead and Steel shot, and my first instinct was to tell you that they require very different powders to get good performance. Twelve gauge Lead shot takes really fast powders, and Steel shot is usually thought to take really slow powders.

    I have used Unique with 12 gauge Lead shot, but it's really slow for the application. For Steel shot I have used IMR 800X and Alliant Steel, and they are much slower than 800X. I have no experience using Unique with Steel shot, so I looked at my Lyman 5th Edition manual, and using Unique, they give one load using 7/8 oz of Steel shot, Federal Gold Medal case, 20.5gr Unique, a Federal 209A primer, a complicated multi-part wad column, for 1348 fps.

    Unique does not do it anywhere near as well as my loads, which produce 1800 fps with 7/8 oz.

    Regarding relative burning speeds, see items 36 and 65 on the Burn rate chart:
    http://www.gswagner.com/bigreloading/components/powderburnrate.html
    See items 53, 79 and 96:
    http://home.hiwaay.net/~stargate/powder/powder.htm
  10. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

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    Buying to different powders was what I was trying to avoid, but it sounds like there is no way around it. I will let you know how it turns out.

    Thank you for the replies. I really appreciate your help.

    Bluesea
  11. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

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    ..

    ..
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  12. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

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    This is an older thread, but I thought I would add some information now that I have a little more information.
    I have learned that Alliant "Steel" is the only powder on the market for 12 gauge steel loads that will get you into the 1500fps - 1600fps velocity range at 10,000psi (plus or minus 500psi). Many other powders may be used for steel, but the velocity they produce at 10,000psi is down at the 1200fps - 1300fps range. Shooting steel loads in the 1200fps - 1300fps range at ducks is a recipe for frustration and a lot of "fly aways".
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