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  • Best overall powder

    I haven’t been on here in awhile, but I have a question that I’m sure has been asked several times. I am starting to get into reloading and was wondering what is the best overall powder? I will be reloading at first 45/70 and 45 acp. After I get those down, 6.5 Creedmoor and 300 win mag.

  • #2
    What are the "best" powders for that mix?

    45/70: 4198 or 3031
    45 ACP: Unique or w231 will cover a full range of bullet weights and power levels
    6.5 Creedmore, ? never had one, can't say
    300 Winchester Mag: Lighter bullets, I'd start with one of the 4350's, heavier bullets, the 4831's

    The solution isn't so much the best powder, as so many will work, but how many references can supply a recipe.
    Experience is what you get, when you don\'t get what you want ;-)

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    • #3
      What about brands? I’ve seen Hodgdons, Alliant, IMR

      Comment


      • #4
        Going to depend on what you and your gun want and like.

        I've fed my handguns Hodgdon, Hercules/Alliant, Winchester, Rex, Accurate, Nobelsport, VhitaVouri, I've fed my rifles Winchester, Hodgdon, IMR, fed my shotguns Hercules/Alliant, Hodgdon.
        Depends entirely on exactly what I want the load to do.
        Cheap, light Target load by the thousands, Maximum Effort self defense load by the hundred, heavy hunting load, maximum accuracy hunting load, excellent powder measure dispensing, absolute minimum case fill.
        1 powder will do a lot, passably, it will do very little very well.

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        • #5
          As indicated by what has already been stated, you just need to try stuff. A bunch of reloaders say H4350 is the best for Dasher but according to my barrel and bullet, RL15 is. Does not mean H4350 does not shoot as well, I just find RL15 to not have as much variation down range with elevation changes.

          Something to consider is, at least for bottleneck rifle, more case fill usually translates to a more accurate load. A powder that will allow you to fill the case without getting in the red pressure zone is a good place to start.
          Friends don't let friends shoot factory ammo.

          Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
          -Winston Churchill

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          • #6
            While there are several powder manufacturers that have all the powder choices you could ever want, there will never be one "do-all" powder for your reloading needs. Having many choices in load components is what makes this hobby so interesting.

            The following quote is from an Article here on HB, Handloading Bottle Necked Cartridges ( https://www.handloadersbench.com/art...d-cases-1-of-3 ). I strongly suggest you read that three-part Article as well as Reloading Hand Gun Cartridges ( https://www.handloadersbench.com/art...tridges-1-of-4 ) before shopping for your components.

            Selecting Propellant Powders Propellant powders are available in many different types. The burning speed of each and the ballistics obtained can vary tremendously. Powders are designed to suit specific applications such as: bullet weight, case size and shape, pressure level and other specific ballistic and firearm needs. As a result, only certain propellants are suitable for specific applications. When selecting a powder for your first reloading efforts, we suggest the use of the propellant listed in the data you are using for the accuracy load.

            CAUTION: Always start with the exact powder charge weight shown under the starting grains column. Heavier loads should not be used until the reloader has gained some experience and fully understands proper load development.
            In your rifle choices for instance, H4895 will "work" in 45-70, 300WinMag, and 6.5 Creedmore, but may not be the best choice for any of your firearms and certainly is not the best choice for 300WinMag IMO.

            Just as you certainly wouldn't use a tack hammer for driving 20D framing nails, you need a variety of tools at your disposal to get the job done correctly.
            It's not that Democrats are so damned ignorant. Their problem is that everything they know is wrong.

            Wimachtendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui

            He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, is a fool.
            He who knows not and knows he knows not, is wise.

            Comment


            • #7
              The best overall powder is the one that meets your needs and is readily available locally. For me it's Varget, AA 5, Clays, and Universal, but I also have AA 7, Benchmark, H4350, H322, CFE223, R17, R15, BLC-2, A2230, Trail Boss, IMR-4064, and H4831. I only load for 3 rifle calibers, 3 handgun calibers, and 12 and 20 gauge. There are a few relative mantras that can guide you in powder selection. For relatively light bullets for the given caliber usually faster burning powders work well. For relatively heavier bullets for the given caliber slower burning powders. For safety reasons a lot of us choose powders that will fill more than 50% of the case so an accidental double charge is easily spotted. That tends to be medium to slower burning powders as the fast burners usually don't fill much of a case, especially in handgun cartridges.
              If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

              "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ozark Ed View Post
                The best overall powder is the one that meets your needs and is readily available locally. For me it's Varget, AA 5, Clays, and Universal, but I also have AA 7, Benchmark, H4350, H322, CFE223, R17, R15, BLC-2, A2230, Trail Boss, IMR-4064, and H4831. I only load for 3 rifle calibers, 3 handgun calibers, and 12 and 20 gauge. .
                Yep.
                I load 9x17mm, 9x19mm, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .45 Auto, all in both plinking/target/competition loads and full-power Social Use loads, .223R, .308W, .270W, and 7.62x54R, mostly in full-power, best accuracy hunting loads, 10 gauge, 12 gauge, 16 gauge, and 20 gauge, a variety of light target loads all the way to Maximum Effort Heavy Hunting Loads (12-gauge runs from 7/8 ounce @ 1400fps to 1 5/8 ounce (2 3/4") @ 1250fps, plus buckshot and 1-oz slugs), the 10-gauge hurls 1 1/2 ounces of steel @ 1600fps, the 16 gauge a mere 3/4 @ 1100fps (2 1/2").

                A great many of my shotgun powders cross over to handgun uses, ALL my rifle uses require rifle-specific powders.
                I COULD conceivably get by on rifle with EITHER Ballc(2), 748, or 4831, BUT, 4831 is slow for the .223 and .308's case capacity, can't get full pressure, loose velocity, BallC and 748 don't fill the .270 or 7.62RR case very well, too fast.
                My shotshell loads require the full range from very fast powders (like Clays or Red Dot) to the extremely slow (Blue Dot and STEEL).
                Use of a single mid-range powder will eliminate my light loads from excessively LOW pressures, and eliminate my heavy loads from excessively HIGH pressures (or I get useless velocities (far too low or high) from trying to maintain correct pressures with the wrong/unsuitable powder).
                I COULD get by with just Power Pistol for my handgun loading, but that is my target load powder for .45, my S.D. load powder for 9x17mm, that would short my .45 SD loads almost 10% of velocity, even worse in the .357.

                I will be reloading at first 45/70 and 45 acp. After I get those down, 6.5 Creedmoor and 300 win mag.
                There are probably 8 or 10 powders that will be very happy in a BIG, DEEP .45-70 case, and shot at 45-70 pressure limitations, It is doubtful those will be at their best filling a 6.5 Creed, even worse in a .300WM, totally useless in .45 Auto.
                The only use for .45-suitable powders in those rifles would make hyper-weak Gallery Loads (like 19th-century Shooting Galleries). The Load, or The Unique Load.

                .45-70 introduces yet another variation, there are THREE accepted pressure limitations for the ancient Buffalo Whacker.
                The old 19th century Trapdoor rifle actions are NOT very strong, they are fine for 45-70 when filled with 70-gr of The Holy Black Powder, but smokeless loads need to be kept to those low pressure limitations.
                Then, people like Marlin and others, put .45-70 in much stronger lever actions and other types, this permits more pressure to be used to attain more performance (velocity and downrange energy), these loads DO NOT GO INTO TRAPDOORS!!!! (at least not ones you like)
                Then, people whipped out fully modern High-Strength turnbolt action rifles, rifles capable of modern 60,000psi+ cartridges, and bored them for the 45-70, and created a THIRD "Maximum Performance" pressure level.
                So......... loading 45-70 and what you do depends ENTIRELY on what you are loading it to do, and what equipment you are going to shoot it from.
                You can always of course shoot Trapdoor ammo from a modern Bolt, vise-versa is a serious No-No.

                Comment


                • #9
                  "What are the "best" powders for that mix?"

                  45/70: 4198 or 3031.............................................. .................................................. .................................................. ...............3031.
                  45 ACP: Unique or w231 will cover a full range of bullet weights and power levels....................Both work. To duplicate te original 230 gr. load use 5.0 gr. Bullseye. Uncle sam did in the original loads and may still be doing so. I've use 5.0 gr. of Unique with the 200 gr. H&G #68 mold and with a 230 gr. RN. I haven't use W231 yet but have an unopened 8 pound can that was given to me plus maybe a pound more.
                  6.5 Creedmore, ? never had one, can't say............................................... ..............................Can't help you one that one. I've heard good things about Varget though and Re15 might also be good.
                  300 Winchester Mag: Lighter bullets, I'd start with one of the 4350's, heavier bullets, the 4831's.........................Well I would not bother with bullets light that 180 gr. in a .300 Win. mag. My pet load uses WMR* (Winchester Magnum Rifle) and either the Nosler 200 gr. Partition or Speer Hot Core pushing very close to 2900 FPS. I did drop a cow elk at a lasered 530 yards with that load and the Speer bullet. One shot and down. Powders I would recommend for the .300 would be one of the 4350's for 180 gr. with the 4831's preferred. I'd also give IMR 7828 a look along with Re22. As I mentioned I'm more in like with a 200 gr. bullet for use in my .300 Win. Mags. Frankly, I probably could go with a higher charge of WMR but it works as is, is accurate and the load kills elk well.
                  Paul B.

                  Dunno if that was any help. Just what has worked for me.
                  * WMR has been discontinued for a bit over ten years now. I just happen to have a large supply.

                  The solution isn't so much the best powder, as so many will work, but how many references can supply a recipe.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Awesome advice, thank you all for that. I guess my question now would be, If there’s was, say 2-3 powders, for a total ‘wet behind the ears’ beginner to buy to start with, what would you guys buy to try? What I have locally? What I have locally (within 40 miles) is several small gun shops, (Oklahoma City) Cabela’s, Academy, Walmart, etc.. So I could basically get most any powder without ordering, it would just be prices for bulk after I get to the intermediate level, I would ever consider ordering for.
                    I am also beginning this with a good friend, who is much more advanced in firearms than myself, but is also not a reloader.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Like as has been said, use some manual's "Accuracy" load for your chosen cartridge and go with that. You'll most likely find a decent load with that powder, one way or another, and it will get you started down this addiction with the rest of us.

                      Just buy one pound at a time until you find what tickles your fancy. You will undoubtedly wind up with a different powder for each cartridge, but maybe your buddy can share in some of it for his loading as well.
                      It's not that Democrats are so damned ignorant. Their problem is that everything they know is wrong.

                      Wimachtendienk, Wingolauchsik, Witahemui

                      He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, is a fool.
                      He who knows not and knows he knows not, is wise.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        IMO the Accuracy Load idea is a fairly good idea, usually do that myself, and that will also usually put you in powders (rifle-wise) right around or just over 100% Load Density, which has always been good with me..

                        As a secondary, I prefer spherical powders for their great metering properties.

                        Combine them and you get my Initial Test Ammo Plan.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          CAUTION: This post discusses loads or load data that may or may not be appropriate for your gun or for the cartridge(s) and components mentioned. Due to typos, variations in guns and components, and the abilities and judgement of users of this data, neither the writer, Handloadersbench.com, nor the staff of Handloadersbench.com assume any liability for damage or injury resulting from using this information. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DUPLICATE THE DESCRIBED LOADS without first working them up from a published safe starting level charge while watching for pressure signs. If you don't know how to do that please don't try, for your own safety and the safety of others.
                          Salt&Light

                          WOODSMAN777

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by olyeller View Post
                            The following quote is from an Article here on HB, Handloading Bottle Necked Cartridges ( https://www.handloadersbench.com/art...d-cases-1-of-3 ). I strongly suggest you read that three-part Article as well as Reloading Hand Gun Cartridges ( https://www.handloadersbench.com/art...tridges-1-of-4 ) before shopping for your components.
                            Excellent articles, both! Thank you very much.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Asking about "the best" probably won't get much traction here. Mostly because there just isn't any such critter. Even asking a better question, "What is the best FOR..." will probably get not much better results. Handloaders live in the twilight zone where facts are relative and final solutions shimmer off on the horizon somewhere. We have to be comfortable with ambiguity and the need for empirical discovery. To make matters even worse, my rifle might love a load that your rifle will despise. That's just the way it is.
                              Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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