Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Most consistent Pistol Powder

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by thekid75134, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. thekid75134


    Aug 27, 2013
    Which pistol powder is the most consistent and doesn't change FPS at different altitudes or at least not as bad?

  2. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    I can't say there is any one that is the most consistent, but I've found Power Pistol to be on the most consistent powders I've tried. It doesn't hold a monopoly on consistency, but it does do a good job. It depends on the load too, every powder I've used has had both good results and not so good too.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013

  3. jcountry


    Apr 10, 2012
    I am a total newbie, but I have gotten good results from unique.

    The last of my loads of 9mm with unique and federal brass had a standard deviation of only 10 and an extreme spread of 32 in velocity. Very nice-in my book!
  4. 8Ring


    Feb 24, 2004
    It is my understanding that gunpowder does not need oxygen from the air in order to burn. If so, the altitude should not effect initial velocities.

    I think the nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine in gunpowder contain oxygen that it released on ignition.

    Any amateur or professional chemists should step in and help us out.
  5. at_liberty


    Jun 19, 2010
    Upstate SC
    Don't they all run faster at higher altitudes? I would think you would need to measure at some serious distance from the muzzle to factor in enough air resistance to make a measurable difference. But then you risk shooting your chronograph.
  6. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    The air is less dense up here for sure. It's going to come into play more with rifle round trajectory. The farther the shot, the more it will impact the flight path. Pistol rounds shooting 25 yards shouldn't be a biggie at all.

    The things you should be asking about pistol powders is how temperature sensitive / reverse temp sensitive they are. Yes, some burn hotter in the cold. WSF comes to mind.

    Depending on what cartridge you're loading, position sensitivity comes into play too. .45 colt, for example, was made for black powder. With smokeless powder, it's sloshing around in the case. Held horizontally in a cylinder, the primer is firing more over the top of the powder rather than back to front of the case. Some powders handle this better than others.

    I'm really pushing for the broken record award these days, but i'm going to recommend Unique for normal full power service loads and 2400 for full power magnums. Unique also makes a great mid-range load for magnums if you don't want to go full throttle. Behaves well with lead and jacketed bullets, isn't overly temp or position sensitive, tons of data out there for the newbie, bulky so it's harder to miss a double charge and is really versatile. Maybe not the best choice for light loads / incomplete combustion / little sooty.

    The Kid never told us what he's loading for, but chances are, Unique can do it.
  7. sourdough44


    Jul 23, 2007
    As posted above, the cartridge you are loading for factors in heavily.

    When you peruse several manuals & see the same powders listed again & again for your desired bullet type & weight, that gives a clue on the direction to go.

    You can find uncommon loads with peripheral powders but it's easier to stick with the mainstream. Most manuals will mention powders that work best with a specific cartridge.
  8. I've tested N320 with cartridges from ~40 degrees to >100 degrees and there is no (zero, goose egg, none, zilch) measurable temperature sensitivity in my 9mil loads.

    I've wondered about position though, since I have very little N320 in a .45 case.
  9. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    VV makes some good stuff.
  10. I hope so... and that explains the cost!
  11. noylj


    Jul 20, 2010
    Exterior ballistics is not affected by powder used, just muzzle velocity and bullet properties.
    Cold/Hot temperatures affects powder performance, but I have NEVER seen a 'scientific' listing of the thermal effects.
    Everyone has their own pet powder that they think is great, and it generally depends on what cartridge is being talked about.
    If I had to pick a single pistol powder for non-magnum usage, it would be 231/HP38, but I have no idea about hot/cold effects.
    VV has established itself as a boutique powder and that has affected the way people look at it. Other than that, it is still nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine, with the same coatings as any other powder.
  12. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    I use Titegroup in .38 special precisely because of its consistency and absence of position sensitivity.

    I use WST in the .45 acp for these same reasons.

    I'm going to try some VV320 in an effort to find a powder that produces less smoke than Titegroup.

    And, so it goes.......
  13. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Are people too cheap to buy bullets allowed to use VV powders?
  14. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City