Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Oh, boy! New Toys! Or, well, new (to me) powders! I have heard so much about their virtues that I finally got around to getting a lb of each. And they are: Unique and Reloader 15!

Ok, so they are old news to a whole lot of you out there. But I have never used either one of them myself. I grew up in a IMR/Hercules (yeah, it goes back that far) environment, and the only Hercules powders we used were the "Dots" and then only for shotgun powders. So, even though the "Dots" were Hercules and the "new to me" powders are also of that family (Hercules morphed/got absorbed? to/by Alliant), I just never got around to using them. Until Now!

"New" Powders for the bench! Woo Hoo! Fun! Load Development! Breaking new (to me) ground! Off to the bench (been doing that already), and then off to the range! ;D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,295 Posts
I was shooting a lot of shotgun when the Hercules plant blew up in New Jersey. I ran to every gun shop in the area and bought all the Red Dot they had. Well you know how life goes... The shotgun bug died and I started shooting handguns. A keg or 4 of Red Dot lasts a L O N G time in .45 ACP. I still have a couple pounds on the shelf. :)

So... What are you thinking of trying the new stock in first?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
I enjoy unique although imo it seems very sooty
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,962 Posts
I hear that Unique has been cleaned up a bit, agree that the old Unique (which I've got plenty of) is sooty. I think it's only about one evolutionary step away from black powder to be honest. Still, it works good in several different handgun cartridges. I use it in .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .44 mag.

RL-15 works great in the .308 Win and my .375 H&H too. Capable of producing some fine accuracy from those two cartridges!

Regards, Guy
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,170 Posts
Unique, for all the bad press with being dirty, sooty, etc. it received, is probably the one powder that has always been on hand on my shlef. Like the name implies and like M700 said - it works in a broad range of cartridges. At some point, I have used it in all of the pistol cartridges and for just about every shotshell I load.

There may be some powders that will do more for a particular cartridge, with a particular load requirement, but I can't think of many that will be as diverse as Unique.

Haven't tried the Re-15 yet, but have my pet rifle loads pretty well narrowed down. At some point, I may be forced to try it, or want to try it, but developing new rifle loads with yet another powder is something I don't care to tackle right now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,479 Posts
Unique was the first powder I ever loaded with and continues to be my primary handgun powder. I never really cared for any of the other Herc powders, including BlueDot and 2400; and have only used RL7 and RL12 (I still don't know what I bought the RL7 for... ???) I have always used primarily Hodgdon or IMR powders for my rifle rounds (although I am phasing out the Hodgdon stuff.)

I don't think you can go wrong with Unique...! ;D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
Used to reload a lot years ago (15+) and life's events precluded it for a long period. I am just now getting back into it. Nearly all the calibers I load for are becasue I have to to get ammo or because it is so expensive. Unfortunately, I don't really shoot anything that can be picked up cheap at Walmart!

Having said that, I ditched all my old load data, as the max charges have dropped, and it is my understanding that powders (like Unique) have changed a bit.

One thing I am finding is that there a number of new powders and I am having some great results with Power Pistol in both 45 ACP and 44 SPC. Same thing with Varget in some of my rifles. Just starting with this one, but it looks promising in the 6.5x55.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,295 Posts
Charlie98 said:
Unique was the first powder I ever loaded with and continues to be my primary handgun powder. I never really cared for any of the other Herc powders, including BlueDot and 2400; and have only used RL7 and RL12 (I still don't know what I bought the RL7 for... ???) I have always used primarily Hodgdon or IMR powders for my rifle rounds (although I am phasing out the Hodgdon stuff.)

I don't think you can go wrong with Unique...! ;D
You don't like 2400? Blasphemer! It's about as versatile as Unique. One of the very best cast bullet powders.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,479 Posts
imashooter2 said:
You don't like 2400? Blasphemer! It's about as versatile as Unique. One of the very best cast bullet powders.
No, I tried it, believe me. I was all excited about it but never produced the accuracy I was looking for. My Magnum buddy is W296 now... ;D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,295 Posts
Charlie98 said:
No, I tried it, believe me. I was all excited about it but never produced the accuracy I was looking for. My Magnum buddy is W296 now... ;D
LOL! That's how I feel about Unique. I just didn't want to be branded a heretic. ;D
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,565 Posts
I have seen the comments that Unique is "sooty" "dirty" and all those other things and I honestly don't know where such commentary is obtained. I find it very adequately clean, and I don't expect to eat off my guns after shooting them.

Unless you've shot Blackhorn 209, Pyrodex, black powder, or W571 in shotguns, such comments about "cleanliness" are to a matter of small degree, and not worth drawing distinctions for, IMO. I care about accuracy and ballistic consistency, and don't obsess over degrees of dirt that don't matter.

When pressures rise above shotgun levels, Unique is quite clean enough. As pressures rise above 15,000 psi, Unique is clean by any standard.

I have both old and new Unique. There is little difference between the two in velocity per charge weight.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
So... What are you thinking of trying the new stock in first?
I have 3 things I'm going to try, right off hand.

A> I am going to work up a medium-ish strength .357 Mag load using Unique, pushing a 158 gr LSWC. Revolver practice load. As it is now, I can load 'em light (might as well be shooting .38 Spl, which I do), or I can load 'em stout. But not in between.

B> I am going to do some work-ups with cast bullet light loads in .30-30 using Unique. Yeah, I've done this with other pistol powders but I haven't been blown away by the accuracy. I hear that Unique gives good results, so I'm going to give it a try.

C> I am going to try the RL-15 with the 160 gr FTX bullets in .30-30. I hear that people are getting very good results, both velocity and accuracy. I figure that it may or may not give me better results than I'm already getting using H335, but it is worth a try. And since I haven't been able to lay hands on any of the new LVR powder...


FWIW -- I'm not really worried about Unique's alleged sootiness. I don't mind cleaning my guns, I'd be doing it anyway.

And yeah, I've already got trial batches of all of the above made up. Just waiting on a good day to head to the range.

Unique was the first powder I ever loaded with and continues to be my primary handgun powder.
FWIW, my first was IMR 3031, and it still has its place on my powder shelf. My first handgun powder that I bought for use as such was Universal Clays. Which is somewhat similar to Unique, but I wasn't really all that wild about it when loading light to moderate loads in .38 Spl -- it just didn't burn completely, it left lots of unburnt powder behind. Good powder for .38 Spl +P, though.

My Magnum buddy is W296 now..
I'm using H110 for that, which according to the manufacturer is one and the same thing. Great powder for the top end, but that's it. And you've got to use magnum primers. Not that that's a big problem, I've got plenty of them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,670 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Another thing, in particular regarding trying RL-15 when I've already got good loads worked up with a couple of other powders.

It is something we've all seen to some extent or another this past couple of years. And that is availability, or lack of such. Let's say that I've got good loads worked up with IMR 3031, H335 and TAC. Fine and dandy. I'm low on powder, and I head on down to the local reloading supplies monger. Nope, they are out of all of the above. I check my usual spots online. Nope, they are backordered. So I go back to the local monger and see that they've got another powder that I've heard good things about but I haven't tried yet. Ok, it's worth a try, even the extra effort to work up new loads. And after the exercise, I may have a 4th powder to add to the lineup. And in this day and age of iffy availability, having multiple options isn't a bad thing at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
You have two good choices for powder.
I have used Unique in all of the pistols I load for.
7 or 8 grains of unique will work in just about all .30 caliber bottleneck cartridges with a cast bullet.
I have used R15 in both .30-30, and .308. According to Alliant it is used in military sniper rounds.

M.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,670 Posts
I use a lot of Unique for cast bullet loads in 357 Mag and 44-40.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,479 Posts
80hp said:
I have used R15 in both .30-30, and .308. According to Alliant it is used in military sniper rounds.

M.
There is a rotating discussion on RL15 in the .308 for the M1a on M14tfl... now I'm curious, too. RL15 is listed slower, even, than IMR4064. Probably not the hot setup for the 150grn bullets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Unique is slightly sooty I agree, but is that bad in a levergun?? Isn't the "soot" a mixture of the heavy graphite lube this powder is made with, and a little carbon residue? Thats like a good dry-lube coating inside your bore with every shot! Perhaps it's why Unique works so well with cast bullets?? The residue is very soft and it all wipes off with no grief so I rate it as a positive feature not a negative. For old-time gun designs born in the days of black powder it's about perfect.

I've hunted around all over for a better powder than Unique for pistol calibre lever guns but always come back to it. Gave up on Titegroup as it can't do the +P pressures so well and does burn a bit hot. All powders have a sweet-spot, and for me, Unique's sweet spot is right where I want to be, standard to +P pressures with standard weight cast bullets. Might not be as precise in metering as some due to the flake size, but it's always there for me when I need a reliable powder that I can count on.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top