Powder Questions

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Tony Mig, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    The Sorprano State
    As mentioned in another thread, I'am seriously kicking around the idea of getting into reloading.

    To start, I'm going to be reloading .38 Spl, .357 Mag, and eventually .40S&W. I'm mainly intrested in the .38 Spl & .357 Mag.
    What brand of powder do you guys use for these loads, and which type.....?

    Can the same powder be used in both .38 Spl & .357 Mag....?
    or will I need to use two different types.....?

    While I'm at it.....do these two loads use the same type of primer.....(I'm assuming small pistol primers).....

    I'm mainly intrested in what brand, and type of smokeless powder is the best over all......
  2. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    I use Winchester 231 for all my pistol loads. It works for me.

  3. Smoky14

    Smoky14 Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Nowhere NM
    I also use WW231 in most of my loads. I use WW small pistol primers on 38sp and 357,unless I'm loading 357 for BIG loads, then I load with WW 296 powder and use magnum primers.

    I hope this helps

    Smoky the loader
  4. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    The Sorprano State
    Smoky, can I assume from what you said that there are different primers used for different powders....?

    If I load a .357 with WW231 and use a small pistol primer I won't get the same velocity as a factory loaded .357 mag.......?

    Does the WW296 powder need a magnum primer to correctly fire, or will it perform reasonably well with a standard small pistol primer.......?
  5. Smoky14

    Smoky14 Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Nowhere NM
    If you look at the Win loading chart it is very specific about the use of 296. It is hard to ignite thus the magnum primer, and is loaded at a very specific weight not to be fooled with. It meets or exceeds the performance of factory ammo.
    The chart on 231 wiil not get up to the speed of factory ammo because it is fast burning and and would exceed the allowable pressure to achieve that speed.

    The difference in primers is their ability to light the powder. Slow burning powder, 296, requires a bigger spark to get it burning properly. Faster burning powder, 231, requires less spark to get started. This is overly simplistic but you get the general idea.

    A lot of time and research goes into the making of a reloading book. There are many variables, all or which affect the pressure achieved within the case. It is best to read a lot of books, then re-read them and then think for days....it will come to you like a light turned on. All powder manfacturers make free load books which will be of great help, read them all, it will come together.

    I hope that shead some light.

    Smoky the dim bulb
  6. WyomingSwede

    WyomingSwede Guest

    I recommend Unique for both your .357 & your .38 special. Have used it for years...tried others...nothing else worked as well...meters easily.

  7. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    The Sorprano State
    Thanks Swede, but who makes Unique.....?
    or is that the brand name.....(never heard of it before)
  8. WyomingSwede

    WyomingSwede Guest

    Alliant makes unique...I believe they used be be called Hercules.

    Try www.alliantpowder.com

    hope this helps

    :D swede
  9. frosty

    frosty New Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    I have tried Power Pistol from Alliant its easy to meter and very clean burning.

    As you can see Tony there are many different powders to use for the .38 and .357. It just depends on what your pistol likes and what you judge to be excellent enough for you needs.

    You are on the right track by asking questions, I need to ask often and then some.

    Always follow the books and their stats. When you load your first rounds (2 or 3 to start with) be critical in what you observe.

    1. fire one at a time.

    2. Revolver, load one cartridge and try it. Open the cylinder and check the cartridge for bulges.

    3. Check the barrel (MAKE SURE THE WEAPON IS UNLOADED!!!)
    for obstructions.

    4. Check the condition of the primer for any suspicious problems

    5. Reload the pistol and try the next cartridge. Follow the steps above and you will become familiar with what to watch for and you will enjoy it..............I promise you.
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