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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to start reloading. My current guns are chambered for 9mm Luger, .40 S & W, and .45 ACP. My question is this. Is there a powder that will work well for all three? Also, I'd like a powder that burns extremely clean. Cost is not a factor. I'd rather pay top dollar for the best and have it work great than try to save a nickel and have it work poorly. Thank you for your help.
Mark Shuell.
 

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I'm using Alliant Red Dot in .45 and 9mm. It is an exceptionally clean powder now that Alliant has taken over the old Hercules brand. It is a relatively fast powder, and therefore very economical as well.
 

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I would suggest getting a reloading manual. I would also look at it before buying if possible. I ordered Rockchucker kit that came with the Speer #13 manual I personally dislike it greatly. There are no pressure measurements listed on data. And the load data seems limited to me.

But going off that manual and the three loads you talked about Blue Dot and Unique would be decent loads. I will not even guess as to how clean the powders burn.

Unique and Red Dot make good shotgun powders too if you wish to reload those.
 

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Mark,

I'll take a slightly different approach and suggest another "Dot." I load for all the calibers you listed and have found Green Dot works really well. Although it's designed as a shotshell powder, it works great in these handgun cartridges too.

NW
 

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Another vote for Red Dot. I use it for everything from .38 Spec. HBWC target loads to .40 and .45 bowling pin loads.

Clean, versatile, economical, and available. And you can get loading data from the website.
 

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Like JiminCA, I use 231 for all three. 231 is probaly a tad fast for the .40, but like Jim, I load light to moderate target loads, and for that 231 is fine.
 

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I used W231 for all three as well but had a scary Kb with the forty(Kaboom!). I am also relatively new to the hobby, (about 2 1/2years) and really like the W231 for it's performance and economy, but have switched to a slower powder for the 40(presently working up loads with Wichester Super Field).I really need all of my body parts to make a living.
Good luck!
 

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For the one for all and all for one, probably WW231 or WW Superfield.

I like WW Super Target for the .45 with cast bullets – it also works well in the 12 Ga for skeet. When I loaded for the 9, I liked AA#5 and 147g WW or Star FMJs - this was for a BHP. A friend with a bad elbow shoots bunches of plated 9s through a Glock and likes the Super Field - this is with plated cast bullets.

Shooting cast bullets gets more gunk in the gun, regardless of the powder, than shooting jacketed. High quality hard cast lead such as the Meister (from Dillon Precision) helps a bunch. I get NO leading in the .45 (with Super Target) with the Meister 200g SWC. This combination is very accurate with both light and full power loads.

I've played with Super Field with good results/accuracy in the .40 with 180g & 200g jacketed when I needed a heavy power factor for SOF. It is most accurate when loaded fairly hot (175 Pf) IMO, but gives room for error as it is relatively slow burning. Super Field is somewhat temperature sensitive (hot weather/cold weather). This is only a concern if you are loading maximum loads or must make a specific power factor and the temperature is a lot lower that when you chronographed.

My absolute favorite for the .40 with Jacketed bullets (only) is a Vihta Vuori N320 load that is not listed in the manuals as it leaves enough room in the case for a double charge. An absolute no-no load if you are new to re-loading – so I won’t give details - and another good reason to invest in a really good loading manual. *Disclaimer* do not try this at home, I’m dumb, I should know better, etc. :grin:


IMHO the various Vihta Vuori powders are too hot for cast bullets [barrel leading], but are the cleanest burning powders for jacketed loads. They also fit your criteria for most expensive. :smile: The various Vihta Vuori powders are not temperature sensitive. The not too secret load alluded to above, is also the softest and most accurate I've found for the .40. [See disclaimer.]

One more piece of advice – when you are ready for progressive loading, get a Dillon Precision. I have one for small primer loads and one for large primer loads cause I’m too lazy to swap back and forth. Be Safe and *always* ware eye protection while re-loading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to everyone for the assistance. The new Dillon 550 is set up in the garage and is currently running setting 200 grain West Coast 200 grain copper jacketed round nose bullets over 4.9 grains of Vihta Vuori N320 over Winchester primers. I primarily shoot IDPA and this combination gets you about 850 feet per second and makes the IDPA power floor of 165,000 with just a bit to spare. Feeds great, shoots soft. So far, so good.

I also picked up a pound of Alliant American Select. I plan on trying this when the V.V. runs out. Alliant claims that it's a new formula that burns super clean. I'll supply a report after I try it.

Best Wishes, Mark Shuell.
 
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