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taltexan
Starting Member

6 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2016 :  19:36:39  Show Profile Send taltexan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
New to reloading and would like a list of common powder to keep on hand.
I will be loading everything from 22-250 to 375 H&H.
I know the longer I reload the powder inventory will grow but would like to see what y'all started with. Thanks

Kosh75287
Advanced Member



USA
687 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2016 :  20:52:52  Show Profile Send Kosh75287 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If Hodgdon H380 works in .375 H&H, you can kill two birds with one stone, right there. From what I'VE seen, Hodgdon 4895 is probably the most versatile. It seems to work no less than "acceptably well" in almost all rounds, and gives very good to excellent performance, in a great many cartridges. It is too slow-burning for the smallest .22 centerfire rounds, and won't deliver maximum performance in the very over-bore rounds like .25-06, .264 Win Mag, and the like. For almost any rounds that are between those extremes, it's a very good choice to start out with, and sometimes out performs other powders that are putatively better suited some calibers. For the same reason, I am also a major fan of IMR-4064. It is slower-burning, which means it can be used with better effect in the high-volume/small-bore cartridges than H4895. The trade-off is that it may not work as well in the .222 Remington family of cartridges.
I've said it on this forum enough times that it MAY become my epitaph, but if I could have only 2 propellants for all my reloading needs, I would want Alliant Unique (or Herco) for pistol & shotguns and H4895 or IMR-4064 for rifles. IF you have room for more powders,
Alliant Bullseye (or Red Dot), works for low velocity target loads in pistols, and lower-pressure (sometimes called "low-brass") shotshell loads for upland game in all gauges except the .410" bore.
I've discussed Unique and Herco already, and either can be used to reload pistol rounds from .32 ACP to .44 Magnum, to get no less than 85% of full performance from the larger rounds, and usually 100% from the smaller ones. They also work especially well in Magnum-level ("high-brass") shotshell loads for Pheasant, Duck & Goose, and buckshot or rifled-slugs when dispatching 4-legged food animals (or the odd 2-legged "varmint").
I was told more than once in my youth that Alliant (back then, Hercules) 2400 was so named because it was the propellant with which the .22 Hornet achieved 2400 f/s with a 46 gr. jacketed soft point projectile. It is also the propellant with which the late (and sorely missed) Elmer Keith hot-rodded the .44 Special cartridge in large frame double action revolvers (retiring many of them early, in the process) and bringing the .44 Magnum to the shooting public in the late 1950s. If memory serves, the powder did yeoman service in the development of the .357 Magnum, two decades before. It is still among the best propellants available for the magnum revolver cartridges, and has applications in loading the .45 Colt to similar levels in modern revolvers known to be strong enough for such things. It also has application in the loading of short-range lower-powered practice loads for medium capacity rifle rounds, and works well in the .410" bore shotgun.
As mentioned, H4895 works pretty well in rifle cartridges with case capacities equal to or greater than the .222 Remington family of cartridges up through and including the various very-large bore African Dangerous Game rounds, like the .375 H&H, .416 Rigby/Taylor/ Remington/whatevers, .458 Winchester, .458 Lott. IMR works slightly better in rounds with higher capacity and smaller bores, but there is considerable overlap in their applications.
For that class of rifles labelled by one of mentors as the "Super-High-Velocity-Critter-Homogenizers", usually a high capacity round of larger bore, that is necked down to a smaller diameter, very slow burning powders like Hodgdon H4831 and IMR-4350 work best. These include the .264 Win Mag, .25-06, .270 Winchester, ALL the Weatherby Magnums from .240" up to and including the .378 Weatherby, and some pretty ridiculous wildcats like the .22 Eargesschplitzenloudenboomer (I'm not kidding). There are slower-burning powders than the two I mention, but I suggest refraining from their purchase until very very certain that none of the other powders I've mentioned will work well.

The Bullseye/Unique/2400 pistol/shotgun triad is not unique to Alliant powders. Most major propellant manufacturers make an analogous one. AA#2, AA#5 (or AA#7) and AA#9, fill out the pistol/shotgun triad for Accurate powders. Ramshot has a trio of similar powders. Winchester has 231, WAP, and W296. Hodgdon has HP-38 (same powder as W231, different label), Universal Clays, and H110 (same powder as W296, different label). IMR has IMR-700X, IMR-800X, and IMR-4227.

Many will debate the virtues of the older flake powders vs. ball powders back and forth. There are virtues and hazards associated with each. Ball powders tend to be more dense, finer-grained, better flowing, cleaner burning, and often profoundly sensitive to temperature swings. Flake powders are older, less amenable to being run through progressive presses, burn less cleanly than ball powders (but seldom horribly dirty) and are bulky enough to often prevent double-charging a large case with 2 small volumes of powder (disaster in making), where only one is needed.

Okay, end of dissertation (REALLY).

God bless Jeff Cooper

Carpe SCOTCH!

Edited by - Kosh75287 on Nov 18 2016 12:00:57
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WonderMan4
Advanced Member

USA
2761 Posts

Posted - Nov 17 2016 :  21:49:20  Show Profile Send WonderMan4 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
H4895, RL 15, RL 17, H or IMR 4350, H4831, RL 22, and maybe IMR 4064. Some of the Western Powders should be included too.

I didn't start with some of them, but over the years I can say those are the most versatile for me.

H4895 works in everything from 222 Rem to 460 Wby. It is not optimal for a lot of calibers, but it is for most of mine.

A lot of these powders were not available when I started handloading.

Of course, depending on what calibers you load, there would be others.

You need to get at least a couple of loading manuals and study the calibers that you load and the powders listed. That is the best way I now what to have on hand.

You can go broke buying powders that may not work worth a damn. You load 20 and go shoot shotgun patterns then the powder just sits and gathers dust as you try something else.

The Nosler book for one lists most accurate loads as does some others. There is a lot of information on line as to reloading data: Hodgdon, Nosler, Alliant, Western (aka Accurate), etc.

Hodgdon covers Winchester powders, IMR powders, and of course Hodgdon powders.
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Onondaga
Advanced Member



USA
3949 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2016 :  04:22:33  Show Profile Send Onondaga a Private Message  Reply with Quote
taltexan

I use H4895 .223 Rem to .458 Win Mag. I never shoot hotter than 5% below MAXIMUM and find H4895 has excellent consistency and low extreme spread of velocity. I don't shoot anything beyond 200 yards anymore but used to compete long range unlimited class.

It depends on your needs but I can basically get any center-fire rifle shooting well with H4895. Actually my 375 H&H loves the stuff.

Reduced loads for youth, handicapped or cast bullets are easy and safe with Hodgdon's 60% rule in any caliber that H4895 is recommended at all and that is a very significant reason for me to keep a lot of H4895 in the cabinet for everything.

H4895 was originally designed for 30-06 war ammo and it certainly is excellent for that caliber and much much more.

The best way to select the best powder for any caliber is to choose the one that is most efficient for your application. Accuracy coincides with efficiency in ballistics. Quickload software will easily do that for you but it ain't free. There is an older free trial version that has limited features but it will certainly select most efficient powders for an application:
http://quickload.software.informer.com/3.6/

Be sure and check the free tutorial on that page if you are interested.

Be careful and understand what you click on.



Gary

Fine rifles are never really owned.

Edited by - Onondaga on Nov 18 2016 04:24:47
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taltexan
Starting Member

6 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2016 :  08:18:57  Show Profile Send taltexan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I appreciate all the information and your time. Looking forward to start
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Kosh75287
Advanced Member



USA
687 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2016 :  11:46:21  Show Profile Send Kosh75287 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Reduced loads for youth, handicapped or cast bullets are easy and safe with Hodgdon's 60% rule in any caliber that H4895 is recommended at all and that is a very significant reason for me to keep a lot of H4895 in the cabinet for everything.


+1 Thank you for mentioning that. I'd intended to, but forgot about it. TallTexan, the 60% rule enables the reloder to make reduced velocity (and recoil) loads by finding full-power data using H4895 in that caliber, and multiplying the max charge by 0.6. Hodgdon says that H4895 is the slowest burning powder with which the 60% rule can be used. This is another advantage of H4895 over IMR-4064, with which the use of the 60% is NOT recommended.

One implication that I have not seen addressed is that faster-burning rifle powders may also be used with the 60% rule, but making this blanket assumption can lead to trouble. I could see someone trying this with IMR-3031 or Benchmark, but trying it with H110 or similar powders could be highly problematic.

God bless Jeff Cooper

Carpe SCOTCH!

Edited by - Kosh75287 on Nov 18 2016 11:59:10
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K22
Senior Member

438 Posts

Posted - Nov 21 2016 :  19:00:29  Show Profile Send K22 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I could survive with 2 powders, one for rifles and one for pistol although I have more.

Rifles: H 4895 / IMR 4895 - works great in my 223's and 308's. It work good in my 243's with bullets 85 grains and under.

Pistol: Winchester 231 - works great in just about everything for moderate loads.
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Kosh75287
Advanced Member



USA
687 Posts

Posted - Nov 21 2016 :  21:47:48  Show Profile Send Kosh75287 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like both of those rifle powders, and would CHEERFULLY put away an 8# jug of either, for days when such things are less obtainable. If I had a .243, I'd be inclined to use IMR-4064 because it's a little slower-burning, so I might be able to use slightly heavier projectiles. It is still at home in all of my gas-auto rifles.

I PROBABLY could get by with W231 for my 9x19, .38 Spl./.357 Mag, .40S&W, .45 ACP and .45 Colt. But I like heavier loads in .357, and my RedHawk .45 Colt is more than sturdy enough for "Elmer Keith"-type loads. W231 is not at its best in .357, and is really too short-legged to get much extra out of the .45 Colt without pressure problems. A medium-fast-burning powder, like Unique, or Herco will get max performance out of the auto-pistol cartridges, and max or 85% of max out of the revolver cartridges. The "bulkiness" of the flake powders also tends to make double-charges in large-capacity cases less likely. Sometimes, a powder that "meters like water" is not REALLY your friend.

God bless Jeff Cooper

Carpe SCOTCH!

Edited by - Kosh75287 on Nov 21 2016 21:50:58
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Zero333
Advanced Member



Canada
714 Posts

Posted - Nov 22 2016 :  11:00:38  Show Profile Send Zero333 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Best thing to do is google and read what people are using for specific cartridges for certain bullet weight.

Just to give you a idea...
for the 243win, shooting 55gr bullets I can use IMR-3031 and for heavier 105gr bullets in the 243win I can use RETUMBO. BUT... I can not use 3031 for the 105gr nor Retumbo for 55grainers. Is there a powder that will work for both those bullet weights in the 243win ? yes, H-414/win760 will work but might not be the most optimal powder for either, but it will work just fine.

Reloading manuals are your friend. You can never have too many.

http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/ is a good one. there are more online manuals like Nosler, Alliant, Western, and others. If you search google enough you will find just about everything.

You can never have too many.

Treat that trigger like it’s your first date, not like you’ve been married to it for 20 years.
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Kosh75287
Advanced Member



USA
687 Posts

Posted - Nov 22 2016 :  11:42:26  Show Profile Send Kosh75287 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Reloading manuals are your friend. You can never have too many.


+1!

God bless Jeff Cooper

Carpe SCOTCH!

Edited by - Kosh75287 on Nov 22 2016 11:43:02
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K22
Senior Member

438 Posts

Posted - Nov 22 2016 :  18:46:53  Show Profile Send K22 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kosh75287

I like both of those rifle powders, and would CHEERFULLY put away an 8# jug of either, for days when such things are less obtainable. If I had a .243, I'd be inclined to use IMR-4064 because it's a little slower-burning, so I might be able to use slightly heavier projectiles. It is still at home in all of my gas-auto rifles.

I PROBABLY could get by with W231 for my 9x19, .38 Spl./.357 Mag, .40S&W, .45 ACP and .45 Colt. But I like heavier loads in .357, and my RedHawk .45 Colt is more than sturdy enough for "Elmer Keith"-type loads. W231 is not at its best in .357, and is really too short-legged to get much extra out of the .45 Colt without pressure problems. A medium-fast-burning powder, like Unique, or Herco will get max performance out of the auto-pistol cartridges, and max or 85% of max out of the revolver cartridges. The "bulkiness" of the flake powders also tends to make double-charges in large-capacity cases less likely. Sometimes, a powder that "meters like water" is not REALLY your friend.



For sure 231 is not for maximum velocity/ energy in the 357 magnum. 2400 works much better for that purpose especially with 140 and heavier bullets. When I hunted with the 357 magnum (varmints and deer) I used heavy charges of 2400 with 140 JHP's for varmints and 158 grain jacket soft points for deer.

However these days I really like 231 in both the 357 magnum and 38 special with 125 grain jacketed bullets. The accuracy is outstanding and the velocity is decent. I also like that fact that I get a lot of reloads out a pound of powder.
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Bobo7mmmag
Advanced Member

3008 Posts

Posted - Dec 31 2016 :  17:22:03  Show Profile Send Bobo7mmmag a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Can barely remember that far back???

IMR-3031
IMR-4064
IMR-4350
MR-3100

These were all Long Stick, Bulky powders that lost 50 to 100 fps in cold weather. I used to load a few with one grain heavier powder charge and put a black dot on the primer with a magic marker. Would put that round in the chamber for the first shot. The ones out of the magazine would get a warm chamber and barrel for help.

Nowdays powders are much denser and more temperature stable. The above list is replaced with the following:

Lever
H-4350
H-4831SC
Retumbo
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MR 8x57js
Junior Member



USA
46 Posts

Posted - Mar 18 2017 :  18:54:02  Show Profile Send MR 8x57js a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IMR-3031 IMR-4831
IMR-4064
IMR-4895
IMR-8028XBR, 7828 SSC
H-335
W760,748
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Paul B
Advanced Member

3947 Posts

Posted - Mar 19 2017 :  16:02:49  Show Profile Send Paul B a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would look at three powders.
Unique, H4895 and H4350SC.

Actually I believe all H4350 is now the SC version so the canisters may not be marked as such.

Why Unique. It's usable in most, if not all handgun loading and is very useful for very light gallery loads in rifles.

H4895 works quite well in many rifle cartridges for lighter loads and up to full power in some.

H4350 is excellent for full power loads in 30-06 level (.270, .280 Rem. 30-06) cartridges and works well even in the .375 H&H. I use it as my go to powder in a .375 Magnum wildcat that does everything the H&H does in a 30-06 length action.
Why H4350 and not the IMR version. Because H4350 is not temperature sensitive while the IMR version does give variance in velocity under temperature changes. Higher velocity in hot weather and lower speeds in cold weather.

Granted, none of them will be 100 percent perfect in some instances but they'll work and work well all the time.
Paul B.
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