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Old 04-05-2018, 06:09 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Default Low-density Powder for .38/.357

I have recently gotten back into reloading after an 18-year absence. I lived in Germany for 16 of those years and buying powder there was just too difficult. Back in late 2016, I picked up two cans of Power Pistol in case the election went south. PP has worked very well for 9mm and .380 and even pretty well for .38 Short Colt (yes, I'm that weird ... ).

I've started loading more .38 SPL and am worried about the volume density of PP - I just loaded some Speer 125 JSP's with 6.8-g of PP. As a test case, I double-charged a couple of cases with the PP load and it did not fill them; it left enough space that a bullet could prolly be seated.

OK, so to the point - I would like to get a can of clean burning mid-range powder - faster than 2400 (which I used alot many years ago). And, whatever powder I get needs to more fully fill a .38 SPL case. I've done some checking around and it looks like HS-6 might fit the bill, and not have as much flash and bang at the range.

Again, I'm not a complete newbie to reloading but a lot has changed in the last 20 years!! It looks like my old 2400/Unique loading days are long gone. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated...
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:24 PM
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I use a lot of Bullseye, 231 and HS-6. I found that HS-6 needs to be loaded to the mid upper end in my guns to be clean burning and accurate. I load a lot of really whimpy loads though and Bullseye works really well for them.
If however you are worried about double charging then Trail Boss is what you need.
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:32 PM
ridgewalker ridgewalker is offline
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I think you are going to get a lot of recommendations for Trail Boss powder.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:02 PM
ridgewalker ridgewalker is offline
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As a follow up to my previous post, I wanted to say I reload with many different powders which donít fill the cases. But I used to visually inspect the powder level during my reloading process. Now I have incorporated a powder check die into my Lee Classic Turret press.

Thankfully I never had any double charges, but I did have some squib loads due to my powder drop occasionally malfunctioning. This was what caused me to check every round. My point is you donít have to fill every case if you practice consistent quality control. You will miss out on a lot of great powders if youíre only going to use Trail Boss.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:06 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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Thanks, Gents, for your input and good info. I hadn't even thought of Trail Boss ... and I guess that's why I posted the question! I've never seen it for sale around here - but the only place with any amount of powder is Cabela's. The reviews on it are great on Midway but it looks like it's been out of stock for some time. Regarding technique - since I'm newly back into reloading - I actually triple-checked my PP loads today. Needless to say, I'm using a single-stage setup. Thanks again...
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:21 PM
ruggyh ruggyh is offline
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Tin Star is very similar to Trail Boss and burns very clean.

be safe
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:54 PM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is offline
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Try Natchez Shooters Supply. They carry a lot of different powders and Iíve found their inventory is great
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:58 PM
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If the only goal is find a powder that takes up all the space in a .38 Special case... it's basically Trail Boss or give up handloading.

The .38 case is cavernous for a low pressure round as the .38 is. Powder choice cannot make up for technique, checks and balances.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:02 PM
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Default You can Google.....

You can Google a chart that has powders in order of burn rate and gives their density.

They might not FILL the case, but hard to double charge. I try to always check the levels of powder in the cases with a flashlight as a last check before seating bullets. A couple of times I've seated a dozen bullets before I realize that I didn't do the final check.

700x, IMR SR 7625, Unique and Universal, Green Dot, Ramshot Competition, American Select Hodgdon Clays all have densities under 10 gr/cc and are probably worth looking at the charges you are going to use to see what volume they will take up.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:07 PM
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When you have filled a loading block a look into each case using a light keeps you safe.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:30 PM
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Tin Star and Trail Boss are your only viable options.

I understand your concern--it was quite an adjustment switching back .38 Spl after spending a lot of time loading 9mm and being able to see the case fill easily. All of a sudden, those big tall .38s seemed awful risky compared to the short little 9s. But I think that you're really limiting yourself in powder selection, and that it's just not worth it. Especially with a single-stage press. Even though you have the sort of "different" risk of double-charging, it's a lot easier to check each case before seating each bullet than it is on a turret or a progressive.

Perhaps instead of looking for volume, it might give you peace of mind to try a powder that's lighter in color? Winchester SuperTarget, for instance, is very light gray-green in color, and is very easy to see in a case.

Last edited by Wise_A; 04-05-2018 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:35 PM
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If 6.6 grains of PP in a 38 special looks small try 5 grains of Bullseye in a 44 mag case.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:22 PM
GeoJelly GeoJelly is offline
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So many good responses and great info, Thanks again, Gents! And, especially Thanks for being kind and not pointing out that HS-6 is actually denser than Power Pistol. I just downloaded the Lee powder dipper chart, and although I don't use their dippers (have their dies, though), their chart looks to be a good reference for comparing the densities of the various powders. The only other powder that shows up in the Hornady manual (no data for Trail Boss or Tin Star in that manual) and is less dense than PP is 800X. For rwsmith - I won't tell how many rounds I've pulled in the last few months because of oversights ... . I don't think any of them were dangerous - I just wasn't absolutely certain they were safe, and better safe than sorry! One of the first things I bought was a bullet puller.

I'm going to check Cabela's this weekend to see what their pistol powder selection looks like. Initially, though, I like the sound of Trail Boss. All I am doing is indoor range shooting so I don't need much in the line of power factor - but retirement has forced me to pinch pennies and I just can't afford to shoot factory ammo + I have the time to handload and enjoy it alot.

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Old 04-05-2018, 11:10 PM
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You’ll find a load for Trail Boss here.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:34 PM
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Green Dot is about 1/3 more bulky than Bullseye. My go-to target load is 4.0 gr of Green Dot in a .357 Mag case.

Yes, a double charge will fit but the difference is readily spotted if you look in the case. I use a tall stool at my press with an LED spotlight focused on the round being loaded. I look down into every case.

I'm more concerned with a squib than a double charge, actually.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wise_A View Post
Perhaps instead of looking for volume, it might give you peace of mind to try a powder that's lighter in color? Winchester SuperTarget, for instance, is very light gray-green in color, and is very easy to see in a case.
This. It's so distinct I question why every powder can't be made as visible.

WST is an excellent target powder, running shoulder to shoulder with Bullseye, 231, HP38, AA2, N310....

I could certainly live with it as the only target powder for 38, 9mm & 45ACP. Matter of fact, I know some high master bullseye shooters use WST in their 50 yard loads.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:28 AM
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Try 700X I’ve had good results with this powder in both 45acp and 357 magnum. You hear a lot about how it doesn’t meter well through some powder measures but I never had problems using it both my old Lyman 55 or the new 55 that I use. Very accurate powder and clean burner.

Trail Boss is a good choice and very safe powder to use just don’t compress powder. I’ve even used it with 240 grain JHP bullets in my 44 magnum target loads with good results and it doesn’t beat you up after shooting 100 rounds.

Accurate No.2 and Accurate No. 5 are also good choices for light to mid range 38 special and 357 magnum loads, powder meters great and has some bulk to it , more with No. 5 . Also very easy to see inside charged case . I always double check powder change by shining small maglite flashlight into cases before I seat bullets , this step only takes a few seconds and has never failed me yet. I use a single stage press for all my reloading and I never get in a hurry or load more than 50 rounds at a time ,I take a break and load 50 more. It takes a lot of time but I enjoy reloading I don’t make it a chore.

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Old 04-06-2018, 07:18 AM
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A link to the lee powder dipper chart.

https://leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/Dippers.pdf

The lee dippers use volume (38spl case ='s volume) to measure the weight of different powders. Hecse same dipper ='s 1.2gr/1.4gr/2.4gr etc.

You need to look at some reloading manuals and cross reference that data with the lee data. Slower powders use more powder per load than fast burning pwders. But that doesn't mean much, example:
reddot uses 4.1gr for a max load p+/125gr/38spl
pp uses 6.6gr for a max load p+/125gr/38spl

Both will take up the same case volume in the 38spl case.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:30 AM
Rogeronimo Rogeronimo is offline
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There's a lot of VV data for 3N37, and it's single base! 😃Sounds perfect for your needs.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:01 AM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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Quote:
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A link to the lee powder dipper chart.
Not to detract/disagree, Forrest, but I will suggest that the Lee dipper and VMD information is not quite 100% reliable:

(1) They err heavily on the side of caution, to avoid people overdipping.

(2) Some of their data isn't up-to-date.

For instance, I have a pound of AA#2--lovely powder. But the Lee Auto-Disk, dipper, and VMD data is all way off. The first time I used it, I thought my scale had broken, until I looked in the bottle. The AA#2 was filled almost to the brim. Meanwhile, a pound of AA#5 I'd gotten at the same time was about half-full. I worked out "adjusted" VMD numbers, and found that according to what I was actually getting, a pound of my #2 (stop giggling, children) should occupy about twice as much volume as the #5, which was close to Lee's VDM numbers.

So I concluded my scale wasn't lying. Adjusted the volumes up, followed the weights, got great function out of it.

Coincidentally, that makes AA#2 my absolute favorite powder for .380 ACP. And, I think, the only one I have on hand bulky enough to charge the cartridge with my Lee Auto-Disks.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:29 AM
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Trail Boss 4.9g gives me 910fps in a .5" group at 25 yards with 6" 357 mag. benchrested.

You can not add any more than 4.9g into the case without compressing.
Trail Boss is never to be compressed !!!

Last edited by oddshooter; 04-06-2018 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:37 AM
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It is hard to pick a one powder does it all.

38 special and 380 do better with certain powders, that are not the best for 357 mag or 9mm.

Your PP is good in the 9mm and sort of OK in 357 mag,

38 special is more of low pressure round compared to a high pressure 9mm or 357 MAG.

Yes, Trail Boss can do them all to a degree,

HS6 is not the best choice for 38 special or 380. Yes there is data

Does it have to be just ONE powder for all and fill the cases and be "clean" burning?

Heck, go back to Unique or use HP38/Win 231

There are so MANY powders and so many options.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:48 AM
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I know it is labor intensive, but I weigh EACH charge before pouring it into a case. Laugh if you must. A slower method to be sure.....but safety takes priority.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainjohnsofd View Post
I know it is labor intensive, but I weigh EACH charge before pouring it into a case. Laugh if you must. A slower method to be sure.....but safety takes priority.
No laughing here; I do the same, plus using a flashlight to verify powder levels in the cases while they are in the loading blocks.

It's usually too nasty outside to shoot from early November to early May. By May 1st, I have very few empty cartridges cases in the gun room. You can only watch so much television.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:46 PM
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I certainly would not laugh at that procedure... especially if you good men will agree that some of us reach a point where that is not a viable method for us. My rock solid procedure is the tray of 50 rounds that each gets charged and inspected before capping each of the 50 with a slug... and then batch seating all 50.

2017 was my lowest production in 6 years due to life occurrences but it was still over 8,000 rounds, and that's metering each charge through my Lyman 55.

To weigh each of those (and more), I would need a staff to help.
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Old 04-06-2018, 01:40 PM
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FWIW; I've always tried to impress on new reloaders to be safe, learn safe methods right from the start. I do not rely on powder density to be safe as I look in every case I've charged before I seat a bullet. Just a habit with me.

I use a lot of Universal now for my 9mm, 38 Special, 357 Mag, 44 Specials and Mags, and 45 ACP. When loaded to mid or upper levels, as most powders, it burns clean (something that means nothing in my reloading world as I clean my guns after each range session)..
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganScott View Post
No laughing here; I do the same, plus using a flashlight to verify powder levels in the cases while they are in the loading blocks.

It's usually too nasty outside to shoot from early November to early May. By May 1st, I have very few empty cartridges cases in the gun room. You can only watch so much television.
You either do not shoot many hundreds of rounds frequently or have infinite time! I have used progressive loaders since the mid 1980s (dillons) and never looked back. I cannot imagine the tedium of loading thousands of rounds weighing each charge. But to each his own and you cannot argue that you are not being safe. I guess most of us can live with with a little risk which is very small with some precautions.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainjohnsofd View Post
I know it is labor intensive, but I weigh EACH charge before pouring it into a case. Laugh if you must. A slower method to be sure.....but safety takes priority.
I charge my cases then pull random ones from my load block and check weight. Then look at them all and compare visually.
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:20 PM
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At this point, I have to add a little more info here in the interest of full disclosure: I have not yet bought a scale ... ... I have been using the RCBS Lil Dandy with a few rotors and their powder chart which is based on VMD. After reading about some possible real issues with the VMD data – a scale is my next purchase. Off topic but most of my dies, rotors have come from A-zon versus Midway. Midway’s excessive shipping charges coupled with their use of UPS Sure Post has ticked me off for the last time. And, even more disclosure, I have swagged .38 Short Colt loads using .380 data. So far nary a problem with .38SC since I test fire the first rounds of each batch in one of my SP-101’s - and I’m pretty sure the case vol’s are close between.380 and .38SC. And, since I am shaming myself here, I again admit to being wrong about the VMD of HS-6. I may very well go back to using Unique since it is available ...

Added a .38SC photo - I really like how that short little round speed loads in the 442 and 101 ...


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Old 04-06-2018, 03:56 PM
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First let me say that I am not trying to start an argument or tell anyone that they're method is incorrect. But I do not see how charging several cases in a row on a single stage press is safer than going start to finish on each round on a turret press. As long as you are capable of raising and lowering the handle it is virtually impossible to do a double charge. After the 4th stroke you have a fully finished round which seems to me to be a LOT safer than charging a whole bunch of cases then going back and seating the bullets afterwards. With each stroke of the handle the dies rotate to the next station. You would have to intentionally and manually move the dies back by hand to get a second charge in there. Even if you prefer to weigh each charge, which I have found necessary with some powders, you are still only charging one case at a time then finishing off the round. Also, I have noticed that all of my reloading manuals list a maximum safe charge. It is simply a matter of following the plainly outlined directions for safe charges. None of these powders will trick you into double charging. Simply follow the rules and you'll be fine.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:06 PM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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1sailor--Again, not to argue, but many turret presses are capable of failing to advance. Although personally, I worry more about an under-charge than a double-charge.

On either press, placing a bullet immediately after charging is a good idea.

I usually weigh the first 10 or so, sometimes more, and then every 5th or 10th after that, depending on a few things--what the powder is, how often I've loaded that particular powder/charge combo, etc.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:20 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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I'm not familiar with all the turret presses out there but the only way I can imagine that a Lee press can fail to advance is if it's broken. Since each advance is performed manually by lowering the handle you are actually looking at the press as you perform the operation. If for some reason it were to stop advancing it would never complete the round anyway. Ball powders like w231, Universal, Titegroup and Longshot tend to be amazingly consistent never varying more than about a half a tenth either way. When using H110 though I find it is not consistent enough to not weigh each charge. But again, the very next steps finish that round. One issue I had years ago when using a single stage press was that it always seemed as though half way through filling up the loading block somebody would come to the door or dinner would be ready or some darn thing. An extra advantage to completely finishing one round at a time is that you can stop as soon as you finish that round (a couple of seconds) and walk away without having to worry later about where you left off. I suppose my original point was that it has to be a LOT SAFER to finish one round at a time completely.

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Old 04-06-2018, 04:32 PM
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At this point, I have to add a little more info here in the interest of full disclosure: I have not yet bought a scale ... ... I have been using the RCBS Lil Dandy with a few rotors and their powder chart which is based on VMD. After reading about some possible real issues with the VMD data Ė a scale is my next purchase. Off topic but most of my dies, rotors have come from A-zon versus Midway. Midwayís excessive shipping charges coupled with their use of UPS Sure Post has ticked me off for the last time. And, even more disclosure, I have swagged .38 Short Colt loads using .380 data. So far nary a problem with .38SC since I test fire the first rounds of each batch in one of my SP-101ís - and Iím pretty sure the case volís are close between.380 and .38SC. And, since I am shaming myself here, I again admit to being wrong about the VMD of HS-6. I may very well go back to using Unique since it is available ...

Added a .38SC photo - I really like how that short little round speed loads in the 442 and 101 ...



It looks like it would work in the 9mm LCR but I didn't have time, and I was hesitant, to test it ...

Do load any more until you get a scale to verify charge. Very bad to rely only on volume as that can vary lot to lot. All charges based on weight. Even with Lee dipper I verify with a good scale. You can get one now for less than 50 buck that will work fine
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:44 PM
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Also there are usually a ton of powder scales on ebay. A good beam scale will last a lifetime with only the simplest of maintenance.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:44 PM
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'The op said he was having to pinch pennies . Trail boss is about the most expensive powder to use as a bottle is not a 1 lb , it's 9 ounces and almost the same price as most other powders that weigh a pound , Vectan weighs more than a pound . Red Dot is pretty bulky and not expensive . WST is another good choice . Regards , Paul
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:05 PM
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OP:for your goal of having a powder that will avoid double charging without you seeing it,Trail Boss is the King of the Hill.But if like me you don't like it,Red Dot and 700X are quite bulky for their weight but neither will overfill the case in case of said double charge;but the difference in volume will be obvious at just a quick glance.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:19 PM
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I believe the powder is the least expensive component in handloading. It is not worth it to use cost as the criteria for choice of powder.


There is 7,000 GRAINS to a pound. At 5GRAINS load , 7,2000/5 =1400 rounds in a pound. Titegroup sells for $17.50. $17.50/1400=.012
Brass is $.25 (or free), bullets are $.10 to $.25. Powder is $.012.

But, if penny pinching is the goal: I don't know any better than TiteGroup for low cost rounds. That same density also makes it easy and dangerous to make a double charge. I love TiteGroup, but it is also spiky at max levels. The pressure does not rise linearly. For that reason, there are a fair number of folks that don't like TiteGroup.

TiteGroup of 5GRAINS in 357mag gets 950fps and 1" groups at 25 yards benchrest.

Prescut

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Old 04-06-2018, 06:24 PM
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If you have NO SCALE then no SOUP FOR YOU!!

A scale is the MOST IMPORTANT tool in reloading.

You Need One before you do anything else.

I prefer Beam Balance scales but even a cheap digital is better than nothing and having both is the best.

You like Amazon then get this one.








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Old 04-06-2018, 06:59 PM
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I have recently gotten back into reloading after an 18-year absence. I lived in Germany for 16 of those years and buying powder there was just too difficult. Back in late 2016, I picked up two cans of Power Pistol in case the election went south. PP has worked very well for 9mm and .380 and even pretty well for .38 Short Colt (yes, I'm that weird ... ).

I've started loading more .38 SPL and am worried about the volume density of PP - I just loaded some Speer 125 JSP's with 6.8-g of PP. As a test case, I double-charged a couple of cases with the PP load and it did not fill them; it left enough space that a bullet could prolly be seated.

OK, so to the point - I would like to get a can of clean burning mid-range powder - faster than 2400 (which I used alot many years ago). And, whatever powder I get needs to more fully fill a .38 SPL case. I've done some checking around and it looks like HS-6 might fit the bill, and not have as much flash and bang at the range.

Again, I'm not a complete newbie to reloading but a lot has changed in the last 20 years!! It looks like my old 2400/Unique loading days are long gone. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated...
All this topic has done is make me realize how much I do not know about powder anymore. I have not reloaded in 20 years, and then it was shotgun. I used green dot for shotgun target loads and 2400 for all magnum pistol loadings. I did use some unique. I stayed away from bullseye. As I recall, it was quite dirty. Never heard of some of the powders being mentioned here. Have some research to do. I think there are green dot pistol loads
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:19 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Originally Posted by Narragansett View Post
All this topic has done is make me realize how much I do not know about powder anymore. I have not reloaded in 20 years, and then it was shotgun. I used green dot for shotgun target loads and 2400 for all magnum pistol loadings. I did use some unique. I stayed away from bullseye. As I recall, it was quite dirty. Never heard of some of the powders being mentioned here. Have some research to do. I think there are green dot pistol loads
Hey!don't feel bad about it!You can still go by with Green Dot,Unique and 2400 and do pretty well.
There are some very good new powders out there but these 3 were and still are very good ones.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:18 AM
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I'm not familiar with all the turret presses out there but the only way I can imagine that a Lee press can fail to advance is if it's broken. Since each advance is performed manually by lowering the handle you are actually looking at the press as you perform the operation. If for some reason it were to stop advancing it would never complete the round anyway.
On Lee auto-indexing turrets, there's a nylon or plastic wear ring that serves as the sacrificial link in between the lowering/raising ram and the index rod that rotates the turret head. It exists so that you don't break or wear something expensive, and it's an easily-replaced 25-cent part.

If you're careful when you swap turrets, this part lasts for thousands of rounds. If you're not, well...1500-2000, depending on the number of swaps.

Anyways, when it wears, it gets rounded-off where it contacts the index rod, so when you lower the ram (which should advance the turret), you get either a partial advance, or no advance at all. The wear ring just slides down and up the twist in the index rod that, if the ring contacted it right, would have spun the turret.

It'd be real hard to miss this when it happens. The lever pull feels wrong, even if you didn't watch the press. And most of the time, you get a partial advance where the turret stops halfway between the spring-loaded detent points. But--and this is key--people are idiots.

So that, and some kind of failure with the powder measure, are what I worry about. And really, mostly the powder measure, because I watch the press pretty closely. Close enough that I can actually see the powder charge drop from the charge hole on the disk through the powder measure, so I don't even worry about that too much.
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddshooter View Post
I believe the powder is the least expensive component in handloading. It is not worth it to use cost as the criteria for choice of powder.


There is 7,000g to a pound. At 5g load , 7,2000/5 =1400 rounds in a pound. Titegroup sells for $17.50. $17.50/1400=.012
Brass is $.25 (or free), bullets are $.10 to $.25. Powder is $.012.

But, if penny pinching is the goal: I don't know any better than TiteGroup for low cost rounds. That same density also makes it easy and dangerous to make a double charge. I love TiteGroup, but it is also spiky at max levels. The pressure does not rise linearly. For that reason, there are a fair number of folks that don't like TiteGroup.

TiteGroup of 5g in 357mag gets 950fps and 1" groups at 25 yards benchrest.

Prescut
As a safety issue, I think it's pretty essential that we express mathematical values accurately. Most of us, of course recognize that the discussion here is of US-centered values of pounds and grains. But what you have stated in your post is actually "7000 grams to the pound", and later, "..a five-gram load". The abbreviation "g" is for Grams. The abbreviation "gr" is for Grains. When discussing powders, a significantly different result is likely from confused vs. correct. Sorry to stray.

Larry

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Old 04-07-2018, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
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As a safety issue, I think it's pretty essential that we express mathematical values accurately. Most of us, of course recognize that the discussion here is of US-centered values of pounds and grains. But what you have stated in your post is actually "7000 grams to the pound", and later, "..a five-gram load". The abbreviation "g" is for Grams. The abbreviation "gr" is for Grains. When discussing powders, a significantly different result is likely from confused vs. correct. Sorry to stray.

Larry
1 gram = 15.43 grains

Just thinking off the top of my head, it could be possible to get a load of some powders 15 times greater than specified into some cartridges.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:11 PM
1sailor 1sailor is offline
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Wise A, After several thousand rounds I did round that little square plastic link. And just as you mention I did it because I was in too big a hurry when changing turrets. As you say, it is pretty obvious if that happens because the handle will just flop up and down doing nothing more than raising or lowering the ram. Personally I think that the Lee Turret presses are an exceptional value and even a good choice for novice loaders. With the indexing rod lifted out it can be used as a single stage press if so desired and for those of us who shoot a lot it can easily load 3 rounds per minute even at a careful and casual pace. I imagine that my Lee press will outlive me as after several thousand rounds it shows no wear signs what so ever. For a little over 100 bucks it's an exceptional value. I worried about the powder dropper when I first got it (the Auto- Disc Pro) but have found that my favorite powders (ball powders) actually meter quite consistently. It sounds like you either have one now or had one in the past yourself.
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Old 04-07-2018, 01:24 PM
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I wonder why the 2400/Unique days have gone? I do understand 2400, but a charge of 5.5 gr. Unique in a .357 Magnum case is very visible. 4.5-5 gr. Unique would probably also be visible in a .38 case. I load pistol from my Pacific measure, with each bushing's load verified multiple times by weighing/averaging each load, making a reference chart, then proceeding , guided by my figures. I don't load maximum...hot .38-Mild Magnum are plenty good, and I look into each and every case with a flashlight after charging, before seating/crimping on my single-stage press. Belt....suspenders! A double load or squib would be very noticeable. Weighing each pistol charge would be Cruel and Unusual Punishment, imnho! I do weigh all of my rifle charges, though.
Universal has very similar fill characteristics, and I am looking at AA#5 and HS6 or Herco as alternative powders, although I haven't been able to find much info on case fill for them. Blue Dot is a good powder, and manuals still have loads with lighter bullets. It will probably come down to buy it...try it, although that is somewhat expen$ive, if I buy an unsuitable powder(s). Bon Chance!

Reading one of the other posters' comments...Titegroup for $17.50.! On what planet? I would go there right now!

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Old 04-07-2018, 01:30 PM
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I guess, bottom line, if you trust your machine and powder measure, and the reloading gods, reloading on a progressive could be considered 100% safe (?), but if I couldn't verify the presence of a powder charge or a double charge, I'd suffer from the "tedium" and "too much work" of looking in each case. Maybe because in over 30 years of reloading I had only one squib, and no Kabooms...
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:05 PM
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Titegroup for $17.50 a pound? Easily done if you buy your powder 4 or 8 pounds at a time. At this point, I (almost) have myself convinced that I just don't ever need to experiment with a new-to-me powder anymore (I've used sooooo many...) so when I want to buy any powder that I like & use, I won't even look at one pound cans. It's fiscally stupid for me to do so.
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Narragansett View Post
Have some research to do. I think there are green dot pistol loads
Indeed there are. I started using Green Dot in '09 when Bullseye was impossible to find locally. Data is usually very close to Bullseye. It is just a tad slower.

Bullseye is readily available now but I usually just use Green Dot.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:22 AM
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Wise A, After several thousand rounds I did round that little square plastic link. And just as you mention I did it because I was in too big a hurry when changing turrets. As you say, it is pretty obvious if that happens because the handle will just flop up and down doing nothing more than raising or lowering the ram. Personally I think that the Lee Turret presses are an exceptional value and even a good choice for novice loaders. With the indexing rod lifted out it can be used as a single stage press if so desired and for those of us who shoot a lot it can easily load 3 rounds per minute even at a careful and casual pace. I imagine that my Lee press will outlive me as after several thousand rounds it shows no wear signs what so ever. For a little over 100 bucks it's an exceptional value. I worried about the powder dropper when I first got it (the Auto- Disc Pro) but have found that my favorite powders (ball powders) actually meter quite consistently. It sounds like you either have one now or had one in the past yourself.
Oh, yes. I actually think the Lee auto-indexing turrets are great presses--I'm certainly not knocking the thing! For the amount that I shoot, and the amount of time that I have to do it in, it's just about perfect. It's not as fast as a manual-index progressive, but operating the Lee auto just feels so much less busy.

I simply brought up that one point because it's the turret I'm most familiar with.

I stuck with the Auto-Disk Pro as well. I haven't encountered any powders that I thought metered especially badly, but I haven't used any extruded stick powders. All it needs is a little "warm-up" time in the beginning--dropping and dumping 8-14 charges back into the hopper, advancing the turret around each time, and the thing is great. I even use the Adjustable Charge Bar.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:17 AM
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This continues to be a great read - Thanks Gents! I made it out to Cabela's in Gainesville yesterday. They had a surprisingly large selection of powders - although some cans were empty and marked 'Display'. Trail Boss was the cheapest at $17, 800x, Universal and HS-6 were around $22. None of the Dots or 2400. I almost bought the Trail Boss ... until I saw that I could get a hundred SIG .38 cases for the same price. And, I found Berry's plated 125-g's there for the same price as Midway without paying prolly $6 or $7 for shipping. I still had to pay just shy of $60 to get out of there so the powder will have to wait until next month ... . Unsolicited advice for anyone thinking about retiring - don't! I'm poor as a church mouse ... lotsa time on my hands to reload but the components are killing me. Last but not leasty, I've had a (used) 3-in .38 GP-100 for a couple of years that I've never fired. I'm going to run the 6.9-g PP loads thru it this week. The 686P is much easier to clean, since I can pull the cylinder, but there's no sense in letting the Ruger sit unfired all by itself.

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