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Powder Metering

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by CaptainXL, May 7, 2012.

  1. CaptainXL


    Nov 20, 2009
    Being somewhat new to reloading I have thus far used only Unique and Ramshot True Blue. True Blue meters extremely well and better than Unique in my opinion.

    My 2 questions for all of you that have used a long list of powders is this --- Which popular handgun powders meter the best in your opinion? Which powders in your opinion are the most versitile for 9mm, .40 and 10mm?

    I realize everyone is going to have varying opinions and that no single powder is necessarily good for all loads but educate me please.
  2. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Everything but Unique and some 800x stuff meters good. Unique is not horrible. It's just obviously worse then the norm.

  3. ColoCG


    Mar 18, 2011
    WSF or Power Pistol
  4. noylj


    Jul 20, 2010
    Metering is NOT the end-all and be-all of a good powder.
    Unique didn't become the most popular pistol powder and stay there for decades because it meters well. It got there because, despite metering and burning "indifferently," it is amazingly accurate in a wide range of cartridges.
    Even with its different metering, which is usually about +/- 0.2 gn and might occasionally be +0.2/-0.3gn, it still is very accurate. There is no single powder, other than Unique, that covers so many different cartridges so well.
    For me, the worth of a powder is the target. It is only recently that handloaders have begun to expect 0.1gn metering, and some of us old farts shake our heads over what is being missed.
    Take your powder measure and set it for the charge weight and simply load 10-30 rounds with Unique (particularly at 5.0 and 6.0gn--which seem to be "magic" load in .45ACP, 9x19, and .40S&W), fire at least two 5-shot groups (should fire five groups) at 25 or 50 yards, and see how it performs. You may just be surprised. Then do the same for other powders. A really good powder will perform well over a broad range of charge weight and do so consistently.
    If you want one powder to test, go with 231/HP38. It meters well, it is accurate, and it isn't "temperamental" like some of the powders du jour.
    Most versatile powders? True Blue is amazingly versatile from low pressure to high and may perform well in your guns. Sorry, but what works for me may not work for you, but I have been impressed with True Blue in .38 Special to 10mm Auto.
    Silhouette is my favorite powder for almost any handgun cartridge in the 9x19/.40S&W class and will work in all of yours.
    AA5, however, has tended to be a bit more accurate in my guns in light to mid-range loadings.
    For 10mm Auto, where you don't want to download to .40S&W levels (otherwise, just shoot your .40), you need to look to AA9, Longshot, and N105.
    I have a prejudice in favor of AA2, AA5, AA7, and AA9 for almost all pistol loads, with 231/HP38 being somewhat better than AA2 or AA5 in my .45ACPs and 2400 being better in my .45WinMags.
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  5. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    WSF & Unique are so close in performance, I would choose WSF if I wanted Unqiue w/ better metering. If you wanted one good metering powder for both calibers, that would be it, but it will not give you top performance in the 10mm. PP is good, but huge blast compared to WSF for only a slight performance gain IMO. If you want top 10mm loads, you want two powders IMO, one for the 40 & one just for the 10mm. If you want to run full pwoer loads for both, Longshot is my choice.
  6. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane NRA Life Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    New England
    I've always gotten consistent, reliable results with Unique. It's my go-to powder for mid range loads.
  7. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy Silver Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    I like Hodgdons Longshot for 9mm, 40 S&W and 10mm. It seems to meter well. :supergrin:
  8. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    I've gone through a lot of Unique, and am due for another 8 pound jug, but my go-to in .45 auto is now WSF. It does meter better, but for me the difference was shooting them side-by-side with Unique. The WSF load was noticeably smoother shooting. Same speed... the Unique load did shoot slightly better. For some reason, Unique just loves lead.
  9. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011
    Until I started loading for 10mm I had never used Longshot. After loading it for my 10's and liking it so much, I have tried it in 40S&W, 9mm and 45Super, I like it very much. Its density is good, meters well, great velocity potential.

    Another good one to use in the above calibers is Blue Dot. It is not as dense as Longshot, so you will be bumping up against it volume wise with hotter loads, but meters well in my Dillon, and a couple bucks a pound less than LS.
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  10. FLSlim


    Apr 12, 2010
    FL W Coast
    I haven't used it for a couple of years, but Accurate #5 always seemed to be the best metering powder I've used. As to powder for all of the 3 cals you mention, I agree with some of the above and would go with WSF.
  11. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Right now I am playing with
    • WSF
    • Universal
    • Power Pistol
    • SR 7625
    • WST
    • WIN 231
    • tightgroup
    They are all plenty accurate enough for glocks. Any of them will work for 9MM or 40. All of them flow well through a progressive press powder meter.

    WSF, Universal, Power Pistol, SR 7625 are all medium burners and therefore are a bit more versatile and have more loading range.

    WST and SR 7625 are the bulkiest. It would be almost impossible to double charge them in 9MM or 40.

    If I wanted to load 9mm, 40SW and 10mm and only wanted to buy one powder I would take a hard look at these three, listed im my order of preference.

    1. WSF
    2. SR 7625
    3. Power Pistol
  12. CaptainXL


    Nov 20, 2009
    So far I have tested only Unique, PP and True Blue in 9mm's. Very honestly True Blue is my favorite powder at this point in time but that may change as I try more powders.

    My most accurate loads are the True Blue loads in two different powder weights in both a G34 & G27.

    In my XDM the most accurate loads are two different powder weights of Unique with #3 & #4 being True Blue loads.
  13. Glockaholic2


    Feb 9, 2012
    Webster, TX
    I agree. I just started loading with Unique a few months ago in 9mm, .38 and 45ACP and all three calibers shoot well. I really don't have that big of an issue with metering. I'm rarely off more than .02 gr and haven't been able to tell any difference in accuracy.
  14. You probably mean 0.2 grains.
  15. Glockaholic2


    Feb 9, 2012
    Webster, TX
    You are so correct SARDG
  16. sig357fan


    Apr 8, 2008
    SW OH
    don't reload 10mm but use Longshot in 357 Sig.

    My one and only powder for almost everything handgun is Win 231. May not be as versital as Unique but covers a wide range of calibers and it seems to meter and burn cleaner than Unique.

    About the only other powder I use for handgun and light cast bullet loads in milsurp rifle is 2400.

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012