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Finally got a chance to go out and chronograph some loads. I am currently using up a 4# jug of Unique, so a clocked a couple of loads under a hard cast 200 grain SWC. I recorded pretty inconsistent velocities (as measured by standard deviation computed by my CE Pro TNT). I am talking about extreme spreads in the 80-100 fps range. I know that Unique has a reputation for not metering well, but has anyone else recorded spreads this wide? Just for comparison, I measured some Winchester hardball that I had on hand and it was very consistent; extreme spread 8 fps over 5 rounds. Here is my data:

200 LSWC (0.452), OAL 1.250, taper crimp 0.468 (these numbers per instructions that come with Wilson Combat 47D magazines); loaded on a Dillon 1050;
Kimber 5" Classic Custom

5.8 gr Unique/810 fps/extreme spread 90 fps
6.4. gr Unique/870 fps/extreme spread 80 fps

I was surprised that the velocities I got were so high, given that I was well below the max listed load of 7.5 gr (Lyman manual).

Winchester Factory 230 gr FMJ
810 fps/extreme spread 8 fps

I was very impressed by the consistency of the WCC factory ammo. I suspected that my chrono was out of calibration until I shot the factory stuff. Has anyone else gotten similar results with Unique? I think that I will go back to WW231 after these results.
Bill Go

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bill Go on 2001-04-30 12:26 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bill Go on 2001-04-30 12:28 ]</font>
 

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I have not had particularily good results with Unique. As you mention, it does not meter well in the volumetric type powder measures. My results (can't remember specifically now...it was several years ago) also showed high SD. On top of all that, it burned very dirty. I switched to one of the Win powders (Super Target? Can't recall) and then to Vihtavouri N340.

I remember reading or hearing somewhere that Unique is a very old smokless powder?
 

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Of course if you are trying to meet a PF keeping your SD down is important. If you are just shooting and they shoot well for you I see no need to worry.

You could try sesating slightly deeper, making sure your dies are clean, and try a little tighter crimp.

By chance is this old powder?

What I do is slightly bang the handle on my press. This is for few reasons.
1. to try and make sure I have a more consistant drop of powder.
2. so I know I ran the brass all the way up the resizing die.
3. so I know my bullets are being seated to the same depth.
4. so I ensure my round is crimped.

Short stroking will cause all of those mentioned above. When I am working up a load I take more time making sure I don't short stroke which could cause a round not being seated as deep, brass not being resized fully, a pertial crimp to no crimp. Take your time loading a few more and if you still are not happy and you think the powder is not old and has been stored correctly switch. 231, wst, hp38 are good powders. I have not tried any VV powders. I do think HP38 is somewhat dirty, I use it for light 9x19 lead loads that make powder puff.

Hope something helps. Any one else with thoughts on the subject?

sb

BTW 1.125 is where I an a buddy load our 45s.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: shootingbuff on 2001-05-01 07:54 ]</font>
 
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I use Win 231 powder with great results. The load I use with a 200gr lswc bullet is 5.0 to 6.1(max) Win 231 with CCI primers. I am glad I read your article as I was ready to buy a pound of Unique to give it another try. I stopped using it due to metering problems and it is a dirty powder. Regards, Richard
 

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No experience with unique but I have used Hodgdon universal which is allmost identical. I have heard that Hodgdon doesn't make powder they buy and repackage it. Anyway back to your point. I experienced the exact same results chronographing .40 S&W loads I changed weights .2 grs at a time whent up and down the scale and ended up with about 80 fps deviation. A word of caution the only kaboom I have ever had in any caliber in 15 years of loading was with 5.2 grs universal behind a 180 gr jhp the charge was weighed and oal miked Hodgdon lists max charge as 5.4 grs. I also found velocity alot higher than it should have been. I'm now trying it in a .44mag cowboy loads 200 gr lrn at around 800fps.
 

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I've had similar results loading .45ACP with Unique. Got an E.S. of 84 with my first loading and hit 97 with the second. On the other hand, I loaded up some .45Colt and got an E.S. of 4! Go figure. Perhaps I'm getting more accurate drops as the volume of powder increases.
 

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On 2001-05-28 12:20, Joe Ford wrote:
No experience with unique but I have used Hodgdon universal which is allmost identical. I have heard that Hodgdon doesn't make powder they buy and repackage it. Anyway back to your point. I experienced the exact same results chronographing .40 S&W loads I changed weights .2 grs at a time whent up and down the scale and ended up with about 80 fps deviation. A word of caution the only kaboom I have ever had in any caliber in 15 years of loading was with 5.2 grs universal behind a 180 gr jhp the charge was weighed and oal miked Hodgdon lists max charge as 5.4 grs. I also found velocity alot higher than it should have been. I'm now trying it in a .44mag cowboy loads 200 gr lrn at around 800fps.
 

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Bummer, my message got erased after I returned to add my UserName and password to the Submit form.

I don't have time to type it all again. I'll do that tonite.

Sorry,
Vladimir.
 

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Be very careful with changing your seating depths as well as the other parameters. Seating a bullet deeper can significantly jump your pressures. I know everyone realizes this, just an extra caution before someone forgets to lower the powder charge BEFORE you change the seating depth and work back up to your safe max... :wink:
 

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Hello. I've had pretty good luck with Unique, but all of my powder is still "old" Unique. I have noted that some powders work better and more consistently in the "hotter" range of their load envelope. I've not check on Unique to see if that's generally true, but will note that the loads I use it in are warmer loads in 9mm and .45ACP.

Best.
 

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Believe it or not, Unique is one of the most accurate powders with lead bullets hands down, IMHO and a lot of old timers that know their business. The reason being is that it is a slower burning powder, doesnt burn the base of the bullet, and the slower time burn time allows the bullet to seal with the bore better, thus engaging the lands and grooves properly.
Yes, it is dirty. One thing I have found with Unique is that it is crimp sensitive with autoloading cartridges(.45, 9mm, etc.). A healthy crimp with a lead bullet takes care of a lot of standard deviation by getting the powder to burn more uniformly. The standard admonition about not too much crimp applies mainly to jacketed bullets. Obviously too much crimp with a lead bullet will deform the bullet and cause major accuracy problems, but with slower burning powders you need to crimp more than you do for jacketed bullets. I havent tried any of the new improved Unique yet, hopefully it will have all the good qualities and be cleaner. Be safe, DougC
 

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Well, Unique is 102 years old and as we all know older ain't always the best. Anyway, the new Handloader has a review of the NEW
powder.Here are a few of my results with the old: ( I did not select the best just what was at hand )

1) S&W M625 V-Comp.-200SWC,8.1 grains, Win
large primer.Av-1093 SD 8

Same gun & lead, 7.3 grains,Av-995 SD 15

2) S&W M24 4" -240 XTP, 8.3 Unique, 967
SD 16

AND YES, they did have a good crimp....Best....dewey
 
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