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Old 04-21-2011, 06:16 AM   #1
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Powders: Unique and Bullseye

I'm getting started in reloading, and plan to load .38Spl, 9x19, .44Spl and .45ACP.
According to the manual I have (Speer 12), there are loads for both powders. For simplicity's sake, I want to stick with one powder; what is recommended?
Also, there is one load for .45 in the manual that doesn't have a Bullseye loading though it has Unique. Could that have been a simple oversight, and could I interpolate a Bullseye loading based on comparisons to Unique?
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:44 AM   #2
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

you can't do that unless they're DIRECT equivilents- don't even TRY it- i do know i call unique "smokey joe:" for a reason- i've never used bullseye , being a 231 man myself- which is also hp38 , i believe- anyway, bullseye is somewHat FASTER than unique, and you can't interpolate the 2
as far as being a preferred powder goes, that's something you're going to have to find out for yourself- it depends on the pistol, and they're all different; my speer no 11 lists both
you tell me what bullet you're using and i'll give you the charge- the no 11 manual gives both- the 12 must have the oversight - each and every bullet has both unique and bullseye in it
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:06 PM   #3
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Pete, go with t-star! Guessing can bring on the 4th of July early, and I don't even wanna READ about that, much less have it happen.

Interpolating loads is probably done more than any of us wants to admit, and you seem to be a pretty sharp guy, so not much doubt you could "figger a load," but since most of us don't have testing and pressure equipment, we spend the money on those manuals.

Or we ask here. There's no shortage of wisdom and experience on this forum, and it's usually not hard to stir up the sages for a reply.

You may be a math whiz (or worse, an engineer!--just kiddin'..) but my humble exhortation is to get some time at the bench and some handloads downrange, successes AND failures, and then pull out the calculator.

Safe shootin', amigo...
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:23 PM   #4
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

we engineers haven't had to carry since trains have gotten faster- it's quite a trick now to pull up beside a moving train, get the door open and hop a flat, let alone work your way to the engine and get in there
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:49 PM   #5
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

I would not do that. There may have been a good reason that it was left out and I really don't like experimenting with unknown powder charges.

I shoot your calibers in local IDPA and PPC matches and I've found that Hodogones (sp) Clays works very well. Relatively clean burning and recoil is mild. Plus it works in all four of your loads depending on bullet weight.

Denny
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:45 PM   #6
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Thanks one and all; I hear and heed your collective counsel.
Wddodge, what manuals are you using, specifically for the Hodgdon powders?
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-star
...being a 231 man myself- which is also hp38...
Me too. I like it much better than either Bullseye or Unique for a number of reasons. Have never used it in .44 Special but have shot many, many thousands of rounds with 231 in 9mm, .38 Spec, and .45 ACP. Lovely stuff!
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:51 PM   #8
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Quote:
Originally Posted by shep854
Thanks one and all; I hear and heed your collective counsel.
Wddodge, what manuals are you using, specifically for the Hodgdon powders?
Hodgdon now publishes their "manual" annually in "magazine" form and it can be found in the magazine section of Borders, etc. I believe it's usually in the spring--not sure if I've seen it out yet this spring or not.
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:59 PM   #9
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Quote:
Originally Posted by wddodge
I would not do that. There may have been a good reason that it was left out and I really don't like experimenting with unknown powder charges.

I shoot your calibers in local IDPA and PPC matches and I've found that Hodogones (sp) Clays works very well. Relatively clean burning and recoil is mild. Plus it works in all four of your loads depending on bullet weight.

Denny
how about some dense nut FORGOT - otherwise it wouldn't be the previous edition-i've found over the years, that as the manuals progress, the powder charges get SMALLER , while the velocities remain the same; this is ILLOGICAL; ie in the 10th speer it lists the maximum powder charge using a 200 grain bullet as 6.3 of 231, the 11th lists as 6.0 , both for 949 fps- i don't know what it is for the 13th, but the velocity will be 949- somebody's moving the screens or using a longer barrel or something- again, if the op gives me what bullet, i'll give him the charge out of my 11th edition
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:00 PM   #10
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Quote:
Originally Posted by shep854
Thanks one and all; I hear and heed your collective counsel.
Wddodge, what manuals are you using, specifically for the Hodgdon powders?
I get most of my loading info from the powder company website,
http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

I use the powder website if I'm shooting cast projectiles. If I'm shooting jacketed projectiles, like Nosler in my .220 Swift, I'll compare loads from the Nosler website with the loads from the powder company.

One conclusion that I've come to is that absolutuly nobody agrees on their load data. I guess this is where common sense comes into play.

Denny
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:33 PM   #11
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Quote:
One conclusion that I've come to is that absolutuly nobody agrees on their load data. I guess this is where common sense comes into play.
I don't think agreement is the right word... you really have to look at every part of the equation... every component is different so it would be a miracle if the agree at all. There are just too many variables.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:07 PM   #12
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

This is starting to look like alchemy. I have my Speer 12 open, and four of the five .45ACP bullets show both powders. Those bullets are 185 and 200 gr. The one that does not give a charge for Bullseye is a 230 LRN. OK, bullet weight and composition may be the issue. Check.

When I flip over to the Auto-Rim, though, there is a Bullseye charge listed! And the Unique load is nearly a grain more than for ACP 230gr LRN, for a lower velocity!
I'm confused...
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:20 PM   #13
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Quote:
Originally Posted by shep854
This is starting to look like alchemy. I have my Speer 12 open, and four of the five .45ACP bullets show both powders. Those bullets are 185 and 200 gr. The one that does not give a charge for Bullseye is a 230 LRN. OK, bullet weight and composition may be the issue. Check.

When I flip over to the Auto-Rim, though, there is a Bullseye charge listed! And the Unique load is nearly a grain more than for ACP 230gr LRN, for a lower velocity!
I'm confused...
like i said, the dummy that published the data left that one out- the 11 edition lists bullseye at a starting load of 4.7 for 778, and the top end is 5.1 for 844
there is a problem with the unique loading in the 45 auto-rim, in that i think it's a misprint or something- the 11 th edition has a similar "problem" but all the rest of the loadings are somewhat lighter - that would lead me to conclude to load somewhat "softer" for the revolver as the max pressure is 16.9 as opposed to 17-18 for the auto
i would disregard the heavier powder charge, or at least approch it with extreme caution; the difference in velocity can be explained by the cylinder/ forcing gap, which is non-existant in the automatic.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:55 PM   #14
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

I plan to stay firmly in the middle of the published charge weights. I have nothing to prove; I just want reliable, relatively inexpensive ammo.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:42 AM   #15
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Both Bullseye and Unique are formulations developed by Dupont in the late nineteenth century. Bullseye and Unique became part of Hercules after the Roosevelt administration (The one who hunted bears, not the one in a wheelchair) broke up the Dupont monopoly with antitrust laws. Hercules later became Alliant. Because of the ancient chemistry these powders tend to be dirty. The manufacturer tried to clean them up with some limited success but too much alteration to the chemistry altered their performance. I've tried both and gave what I didn't want away. Both are flake style powers that were like trying to throw charges of oatmeal. For every charge I threw I had to dump a few in a coffee cup to get the thrower to behave properly. Then lather rinse repeat.

Bullseye is among the fastest powers you'll find. It burns hot because of the high nitroglycerin content. The only comparably fast powders I know of are Norma R1 and Olin 231. When I need a fast powder I go with 231 although I don't care for the muzzle flash. When I need a medium powder I go with AA#5 from my ten year old hoard or HS6. All three are ball powders which meter smoothly and burn cleanly.
 
Old 04-25-2011, 08:38 AM   #16
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

I know Alliant worked on Unique and it does seem to be somewhat cleaner but I haven't heard the same about Bullseye

Actually Bullseye is #13 on the burning rate chart and 231 is #29. Norma R1 is, and has been, fastest for some time.

But like you I've gone away from BE and Unique and use Titegroup for nearly every light to moderate handgun load.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:25 PM   #17
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

I've never had a problem with Bullseye, but gave up on Unique because it was a dirty powder and the flakes were just the right size to bind up my Uniflow powder measure.

I eventually found that 700-X worked virtually the same as Bullseye and was a LOT cheaper, since I was buying it in 12-lb kegs to feed my trap & skeet habit. And I also found that SR4756 filled the same niche as Unique, but was a LOT cleaner burning.

Needless to say, do NOT interchange loading data for ANY of the powders mentioned above - the results might be bad.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:09 PM   #18
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

You're right about 700X although I don't use it since I stopped loading shotshells.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:10 PM   #19
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB
And I also found that SR4756 filled the same niche as Unique, but was a LOT cleaner burning.
Me too. I burned a lot of SR4756 in .45ACP. When we moved out of our old apartment, I think I threw out seven or eight empty 4756 cans. And then I found WW231, which was cheaper and shot even cleaner.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:16 PM   #20
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Re: Powders: Unique and Bullseye

Quote:
Originally Posted by shep854
This is starting to look like alchemy. I have my Speer 12 open, and four of the five .45ACP bullets show both powders. Those bullets are 185 and 200 gr. The one that does not give a charge for Bullseye is a 230 LRN. OK, bullet weight and composition may be the issue. Check.

When I flip over to the Auto-Rim, though, there is a Bullseye charge listed! And the Unique load is nearly a grain more than for ACP 230gr LRN, for a lower velocity!
I'm confused...

I have used 4 and 5 grains of Bullseye with 230gr LRN on occasion in the past. However, I prefer Unique for most of my pistol and revolver loads. FWIW.
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