Choosing powder...
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Thread: Choosing powder...

  1. #1

    Choosing powder...

    I've been reloading for a few years, mainly rifle, but there's a question that keeps rolling around in my head. With all the different powders available, how do you narrow them down to the one that's right for your gun without buying them all? I know there's different powders for different types of guns but still, there's a lot to choose from. Any help or guidence is very much appriciated.

  3. #2


    Apparently nobody wants to put their two cents in on this???? Interesting....

  4. #3


    I prefer Hodgdon powders and Sierra bullets. No real reason, just what I like. has an excellent interactive website that gives you all developed loads for all their powders for nearly every caliber you can think of. And it's free.

  5. I'm cheap and lazy so I choose a powder that is versatile like 231/HP-38 or Unique for most of my smokeless pistol reloading because I use my reloads mostly for practice or matches. Unless I have a special circumstance, like I want to load up some heavier than normal bullet weights for hunting with a .44 Mag, I try to keep with only 1 or 2 powders and I usually buy them in 4 pound kegs. For special circumstances, I have no problem buying a pound of powder just for that one application.

  6. Can you be more specfic what cal. you want to reload?
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it."Frederic Bastia

  7. #6

    Thans for the info

    In the past I've reloaded 7mm Mag, 9mm and 32 ACP. I just got an H&K P30 in 40 S&W. I'd rather not buy a bunch of different powders to use. With my 7mm I kept trying different powders to try and find the most accurate loads possible because it's my primary hunting rifle. Should I find one or two that work well with all the calibers? Again, thanks for your time and insight... definately appriciated!

  8. #7
    I like 231 for my pistol shooting. It meters well and is great for 45 and good for most of the other calibers I load and works well enough for the other pistol calibers I load.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    NW Ohio

    How much can you afford?

    Like JTG452 I now try to find powders that can reload the more than one cartridge with acceptable results. As an example I am testing IMR8208 in my 17 Fireball, 223 and 308. I was using H4198 and Varget, both were great powders, but only having to store one instead of 2 will allow me to make larger buys and lower the cost as well as turn it faster keeping fresh powder on the shelf.

    Why do I choose Hodgdon and IMR, same reason as theugyamerican, no reason. I have found the Hodgdon & IMR powders tend to have a lot of available load data to work with.

    At $20 a pound on the average, powder isn't cheap. My belief is that is marketing strategy by the manufactures to try and force us into one powder and our having to 'make' it work. When I was working and had a little more cash I used to have 6 or 7 different powders in the box to 'play' with. Thankfully by the time I retired I had settled on just a couple, but there are many opened containers still in the box getting old.

    If you can afford it, load development is a blast. It requires a lot of trigger time and I love that the most. So your choice of powder becomes a question of ho much you can afford.
    If you are reading this, thank every veteran you meet for securing our freedom of speech, but most importantly pray for the families of those who gave all so that our families could be free from tyranny and oppression.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    TN, the patron state of shootin stuff
    Quote Originally Posted by cksh8me View Post
    I like 231 for my pistol shooting. It meters well and is great for 45 and good for most of the other calibers I load and works well enough for the other pistol calibers I load.
    +1 for WIN 231. HP-38 is the same powder. Works great for 9mm and .40 calibers too.
    Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress;
    but I repeat myself.
    Mark Twain

  11. If I was left with only one pistol powder it would be Unique.
    It's your basic "jack of all trades" pistol powder.
    When loaded to near it's max charge it's not too dirty and it fills the cases nicely preventing a double charge.
    If your shooting magnum revolvers get some H110 for max velocity but Unique can produce good medium power loads for these too.


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