why did you pick the powder you use?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 44stevenson, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. 44stevenson

    44stevenson New Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    As i'm getting more comfortable with reloading and leaning more everyday, i came across a question i wanted to ask several of you. When you are picking a powder to use for a round, what do you look at to decide which powder to use, most specifically on common rounds.

    I figure some people look at fps, but i'm curios as to what else?
  2. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    GOod question.

    Sometimes it is a matter of how many different rounds i can load with one powder. That is mostly for pistol plinking rounds. That is why i like 231. Works in alot of different cals. To me the price is right too.

    Rifles are a different story. With longer bbl rifles i like slower powders to generally get higher velocities.

    For plinking i like to use real common powders like 748. I also stay away from imr powders becuase i dont like they way it is shaped and charges thru the hopper. But that is me.

    Then there is the dirt factor. If i come across a dirty powder i generally learn my lesson and stay away from it.

    So your question is why do you pick the powder you use?

    1. common easy to find
    2. to achieve a velocity i may want
    3. to stay clean
    3. price

  3. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    For rifle cartridges I look for a Min of 90% Load Density first, preferably compressed and then Velocity. I never look for the "Most accurate Powder tested" in a manual as I'm not shooting the firearm that was used in the manual.
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    for pistols I look for a powder that delivers top velocity at lower pressures than its competitors. and then compare load versatility and see just how many different common rounds I can load with that same powder...

    for rifles, steve is spot on. load density is key. I usually select a powder for a given bullet that lists a compressed load as max, that indicates a high load density for that combination and makes finding an accurate charge almost guaranteed...

    Also, I have a small library of powders for rifle and pistol. So trying different things is a matter of plucking it off the shelf and loadn up...
  5. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    I read a bunch of web posting here and just about everywhere-lol- and opted or Win 231/HP-38 for the three calibers I reload. For my use I have not found any good reasons to require a change.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    you likely wont randy. W231/HP38 is a fantastic powder
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    For pistols I use mostly W231/HP38 except for the occasional magnums load levels where I will use H4227, AA9, or H296/W110.

    For rifles I normally start with a set of powders that I always stock. For my purposes it is either a ball powder or a short cut extruded powder. Hodgdon has such powders so I most often use them. I choose them because they feed well through my Dillon Powder measure.

    I decide which to use based on the their performance through my gun in range tests. The common choices are H335, H380, and H414. I try them all if there is load data for each. I try different bullet weights and styles, load levels from mild to max, and pick the one that gives the smallest groups. If the gun is a mundane gun like a 30-30 lever (not known for stellar accuracy) I may minimize the choices and be happy with the gun just going "bang".

    But I never use a load not in a published reloading manual. Most often it is the Hodgdon manual as that is the powder I use but I compare its data to Sierra's, Speer's, Lyman's and any other manual I might have. The push goes to Hodgdon's data, usually.

    The bottom line is I decide on the load based on accuracy performance in testing. I make no attempt at al to get maximum velocity. I no longer use my chronograph. I don't hunt so killing power is not part of my equation. The paper target or the gong cares little about how fast the bullet is traveling. Accuracy is IT for me for rifles, normally.

  8. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    Medina, Ohio
    For rifles:
    1. Barrel length to get it all burned
    2. High velocity
    3. Quietness for close-in shooting so I don't scare the critters away
    4. Pressure and velocity for the M1 and M1A
  9. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    For me I got into reloading to save money, so I chose a powder that would give me the most loads for the money. I chose Accurate Powder for that reason, and for the simple fact that most of it will load several different calibers. Also, I only reload handgun ammo.
  10. Duckboats

    Duckboats New Member

    Feb 2, 2007
  11. garydude

    garydude Member

    For pistol reloading lots of factors dictate which I use, but if I could prioritize them, then desired performance in that caliber is number one.

    As an example, I load lots of 45 ACP. I choose a powder based on how well it cycles the gun, felt recoil, desired velocity achievable with that particular powder, and then availability, cleanliness, then cost. My favorites are in order of preference- bullseye, titegroup, powder pistol and then HP 38/231. Titegroup for target practice, power pistol for higher power hunting rounds, and bullseye as a nice combo of those two.

    For rifle rounds, JLA and Steve's advice is top-notch!
  12. 44stevenson

    44stevenson New Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Thanks for all the info. I was just wondering, I first bought Hogdon Universal to load my .45 because it was what I could find at first. Then I bought some Hogdon Varget to reload .308 for the fps. Then when I bought my 9mm dies and couldn't wait to get started i found the recipe for 9mm using universal, and also noticed it what good for many different handgun loads.

    Then I also noticed that the Varget would be good for my .223 reloads. So this is while I was wondering, cuz I know a lot of people use many different kinds. I don't have time to test for accuracy, nor do I want to spent the money buying the different kinds of powders.
  13. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Varget is a very good choice in the 223/5.56, but it performs best if loaded with heavier bullets, 62gr being the lightest and 69gr and up being even better.
  14. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    West Virginia
    For me I am not worried about velocity as long as it's accurate. I also look for a powder that can be used in many calibers. I also want a clean burning powder. For me that's WST. Very accurate and clean in 45 auto and 9mm for me. I want to try it in 38 spcl but can't find load data.
  15. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Rusty I have a couple older PDF Win data files that have WST in the 38 Special. PM with an email address and I will send the files to you.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Picking a progressive press for a legally blind reloader May 4, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum LNL AP primer pickup tube ? Apr 5, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Opinions on once-fired and range pickup brass Mar 10, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Wolf Primers jamming Dillon primer pickup tube Jun 29, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Range pick up brass... Jan 9, 2013