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Thread: Best powder for cast pistol bullets.

  1. #1
    Brass Trader JJ444's Avatar
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    Best powder for cast pistol bullets.

    I am getting back into casting for our handguns.
    So I was wondering what the best and most economical powder would be?
    On jacketed bullets I have always used W231.
    It meters good and performs well, but is a little more expensive down here.
    What do you guys think?

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    I just use Bullseye...because I have so much of it.

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    Brass Trader JJ444's Avatar
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    Thanks, appreciate it.

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    I use 231, I am near the end of 40 pounds of 231, in cast 45 but you know just about any powder will work. If I can get more I will but I also use Tite Group and Trail Boss with cast.
    Last edited by Happyguy; 02-21-2020 at 10:37 AM.

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    Brass Trader JJ444's Avatar
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    Do you reduce the load at all? I haven't in the past, but probably should have.
    Had some leading, but that was my lube that didn't work.

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    Ive been using HP-38, which I believe is identical to 231, in 40s&w and 45acp. It’s worked well for me. Lighter recoil, and a bit quieter. Plus I can use the same charge with the 401-175 in 40 that I use for the 452-230TC in 45, so I don’t have to swap drums when changing calibers.

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    Brass Trader JJ444's Avatar
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    That's what I am leaning towards, or Bullseye. Going to try some.
    Thanks again.

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    I use bullseye, 700x or titegroup if I want efficiency and I use longshot and power pistol if I want the most velocity. Those powders work in semi autos and revolvers, but if I want even more velocity for 38/357 or 44 mag in a rifle length barrel or even some semi auto rifle calibers like 300 aac blackout or 7.62x39 I'll use 2400 or lilgun powder. Unigue is also a powder I use, but it falls in between both of the fast and slower burning powders I mentioned. I've actually had some very good accuracy using 15 grains of unique behind some homemade powder coated 130 grain lead 30 cal bullets fired from a 308 win bolt action rifle. Using neck sized brass I was getting clover leaf groups at 100 yds.

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    Brass Trader JJ444's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your time and input.
    I have a lot to consider. Bullseye seems to come up frequently in discussion over and over.
    So it sounds like it is definitely worth trying as well.
    As far as a source for loading data, I will consult the Lee and Hornady load Manuel.
    I will post any significant results that is worth sharing.
    Regards JJ.

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    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    The lyman manuals highlight the most accurate loads for each bullet. They have 2 manuals. One is dedicated only for lead bullets and it's an excellent loading manual.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1010248522



    Quote Originally Posted by JJ444 View Post
    Thank you all for your time and input.
    I have a lot to consider. Bullseye seems to come up frequently in discussion over and over.
    So it sounds like it is definitely worth trying as well.
    As far as a source for loading data, I will consult the Lee and Hornady load Manuel.
    I will post any significant results that is worth sharing.
    Regards JJ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyJoe View Post
    The lyman manuals highlight the most accurate loads for each bullet. They have 2 manuals. One is dedicated only for lead bullets and it's an excellent loading manual.
    If you have this manual, does it have any data for 300aac subsonic? Specifically lighter weight subs? I’d like to work up something subsonic with the lee 312-160, with or without a gas check

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    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    Lyman hasn't update the cast lead manual and included 300blk yet, but their other manual was recently updated (50th edition) and it includes some 160 grain cast lead loads. The powders they list are Rx7, H4189, IMR-3031, H335 and 2230. They highlighted the H335 as being the most accurate near the top end of the loading range. They have the starting load at 15.5 grains and the max is 20 grain. The bullet they used was the lyman #311672 seated to 2.050"
    If you're using a different bullet or different seating depth you can send me a PM with the OAL of the actual projectile you want to use and the COAL you want to use and I can run the numbers in my quickload program to figure out the data.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbaker78 View Post
    If you have this manual, does it have any data for 300aac subsonic? Specifically lighter weight subs? I’d like to work up something subsonic with the lee 312-160, with or without a gas check

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    Brass Trader JJ444's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe, I will sure get one, I am a fan of real books anyway,lol
    I'd be interested in that 300AAC sub load as well.
    I know we are getting a little off the subject, but it's still cast bullets, right! Lol.

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    The Lyman AR Reloading Handbook does list 2 cast boolit loads, one a 160 gr. boolit, the other @ 180 gr. They aren't listed as sub-sonic as they can get up over 1400 fps if loaded toward the high end. The starting load for the 160 grain boolit is somewhere around 1250-1325 fps depending on the powder used. The 180 gr. boolits starts at 1100-1200 fps depending on powder used.

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    Brass Trader JJ444's Avatar
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    Looks like we will need a heavier boolit, not sure how accurate that light boolit will be on a sub load, might be unstable?

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check