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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
PJ, 35remington....anybody else?

I've used Unique some, but not enough to call myself familiar with it...I'm looking to load some CCW loads (yes, I carry reloads...loaded to match Hornady TAP +P ammo from a commander 1911)...If I can I'd like to get the 230 XTP to 830 fps from the G36.

I can do the grunt work, I'm just asking for advice here...most load manuals stop at around 6 grains of Unique, but I've heard and read about 6.5 grains.

If Unique can't do what I want it to...thats fine, I can still use it for range loads.
 

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Yes, it will do it. I'd work up to the level you need; it's my belief that 6.5 grains will get you there.

I presume you're loading to 1.220" or thereabouts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
35remington said:
Yes, it will do it. I'd work up to the level you need; it's my belief that 6.5 grains will get you there.

I presume you're loading to 1.220" or thereabouts?
Thank You :)

1.23" seems to be feeding good so far with the 230 XTP's (only 10 rounds though)


1.26" with RN bullets (mix of TMJ's and bulk Remington)...I fired 150 of these today just as fast as I could load mags and pull the trigger :D
 

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So..........you want your 45ACP loads to "be all they can be," eh? ;)

I won't ask you why. That burden and rationale is yours to deal with. Same with carrying handloads as self-defense loads. I think it's a horribly bad idea, but it's not my problem if you do.

That said, yes, Unique will work very well. My concern would be that in mixed lots of brass, several buckets of snakes are waiting in the wings to slither out and make things worrisome. Varying neck tension means you have to have a uniform, strong crimp in place to be sure your loads don't suffer bullet setback and other pressure-related problems.

With new or once-fired brass, you should be okay, but I'd be extra-careful about that. Getting some old military brass mixed in, or some old tired stuff could make pressures (and your resulting ballistics) less than consistent. A chonograph would tell you a lot about the consistency of your loads. I'd work up to your gun's maximum load carefully, then back it down a couple of tenths for an added margin of safety.

Feed reliability remains one of the primary concerns with any S-D load, and I hope you'd shoot enough of these loads to be absolutely sure your gun likes them. The second concern is how well you can shoot them at speed, and the heavier, blastier loads can be a bear to shoot well. Velocity will always be secondary to bullet placement, I'd much rather be able to place a slower bullet where I want, rather than rely on a peripheral hit to bring about rapid incapacitation.

And to repeat the age old mantra........say it with me now, boys and girls............Practice, Practice, Practice!

Good luck. I think your bullet choice is a very good one, and I've never seen an XTP bullet that didn't shoot well, out of nearly any good gun. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank You PJ,

You're right about bullet placement being #1...and I will be practicing a lot, I have years of muscle memory to undo (1911) but I am a stickler for ballistics, even though I know it is splitting hairs sometimes. (old enough to know better, still to young to care...LOL ;D)

About the reloads for CCW...thats why I load them to match the Hornady TAP ammo. It'd be hard for anybody to argue that I loaded them to be "super duper deadly" when they are identical to ammo such as Hornady TAP (a popular choice for CCW and LEO's alike)...and its the only way I can afford to practice with what I carry. I spend enough $$$ on shooting supplies (as I'm sure you do too), but I can't and wont pay $40 for 20 rounds.

I only use new brass for my carry loads....after that it is range brass. I don't have mixed brass either....just several 5 gallon buckets of Remington brass...and I don't crimp 45acp, none at all (.471")...I've had better luck at avoiding setback by relying on neck tension that way. When I was crimping to .469" one time through the Baer and the bullets were setback .010". At .471" they fed through there several times before the bullet moved...all that said, this is a different pistol (Glock 36) and I will be watching for setback and feed issues of any kind.

I was hoping that I could get the 830 fps and still be well below the 23,000 psi +P limit...based on some pressure data I've read on Unique, that should be possible...but I agree, work up and see.

I like the XTP...what it lacks in expansion, it makes up for with penetration.

Lastly...If I can't hit where I'm aiming with the load when I get it where I want it, at least a good "2 in the chest and 1 in the head" in a short period of time...I'll go back to the drawing board :)

I'll update this with some results tomorrow...
 

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A tactical issue with Unique in any possible self-defense load is the bright, white muzzle flash you'll get in semi-dark or dark. It'll play H*ll with your night vision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
biku324 said:
A tactical issue with Unique in any possible self-defense load is the bright, white muzzle flash you'll get in semi-dark or dark. It'll play H*ll with your night vision.
Its gotta be better than Power Pistol :D...which is what I have been using...I have fired PP loads at night (stray dogs) and it did flash, but it didn't blind me.

I'll shoot it tomorrow late in the evening...my camera will take long exposure pics...we'll compare PP and Unique (if I can get my wife to take the pics)
 

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I'm not sure which powders they are anymore, but there are a number that only make a dull red/orange flash even with max loads - PJ might know. . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
biku324 said:
I'm not sure which powders they are anymore, but there are a number that only make a dull red/orange flash even with max loads - PJ might know. . .
I'd be interested in knowing...
 

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Remington uses some non-canister powder in at least their 40 S&W 155 and 180 grain JHP rounds that makes very little flash as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
An old friend (very experienced reloader) from 1911forum recommends N350 for full power/low flash/accuracy...why does everything have to be so expensive :mad:

Oh well....I'll still see what I get with the Unique :D
 

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Unique ain't that bright. It's a dull orange at 45 ACP pressures of this type. And yeah, I've shot it under such conditions to know.

PJ, I was sort of getting after RR to use Unique to reduce the "blastier" tendency with the heavier loads in the first place. It's noticeably less than Power Pistol with the same velocities, and lower on flash as you well know. Save for those complaints, I like Power Pistol, but for defense load simulation or the real thing (whatever you're comfortable with) lower blast and flash for the same velocity is, to my way of thinking, a benefit.

Depending upon what type of powder measure is used, it should meter quite well enough. I do pretty well using the Lee discs and the Lyman 55, RCBS, etc. as the charge is large enough to avoid uneven flow given an adequately dimensioned hole in the measuring cavity. Not too small in diameter in relation to its length or vice versa, in other words.

If you're one of those who's comfortable with using handloads for defensive use, then I'd weigh the charges of Unique for the relatively small number of cartridges required to make the quality of the ammo as high as possible......we deserve no less. Such is no great burden in the 20 to fifty round "lots" of handloaded defensive ammo. Again, if you're comfortable with such a thing. If they're only for practice most measures should meter well enough to make weighing charges needless.

I do this with Herco, and have been loading some 230 JHP's that are the same bullet as found in Winchester's Personal Protection white box hollowpoints (which I rather like, and so do my pistols). I have this in bullet in bulk quantity for 10 bucks a hundred (good connections pay off sometimes). Since I find the factory ammo low on flash and blast I don't see any benefit to using a powder to reload its velocity equivalent that does.

Unique and Herco are my anal retentive handloader's idea of a perfect full power powder for standard velocity or higher performance loads for the 45 ACP. It has some drawbacks related to its grain size, but this is no great cross to bear when speaking of small quantities of handloaded ammunition or when using a compatible measure. Given its high bulk, and the fact that needed charges to get similar velocities or higher velocities are a little larger than such standards as Bullseye or W231, it gives maximum case filling qualities in a powder that is not particularly position sensitive anyway, a sort of double benefit.

When speaking of charge weight vs. bulk fill, Herco is just a little ahead of Unique, but has a little less flexibility on the low end. No matter......Red Dot is my choice for high volume shooting at low to standard velocities anyway as it gives good velocity at lower (and cheaper) charge weights. Unique and Herco could be standard velocity powders too, I guess, but optimized as I like I tend to employ them with jacketed hollowpoint ammo, or those loads that need somewhat more speed for whatever reason.

Ridge, the 1.220 to 1.230" overal length you and I specify is very good.....I have no qualms about using 6.5 Unique when the Hornady 230 HP is loaded to that length, and they do tend to penetrate well. Pressures should be on the upper end of the standard velocity range but quite manageable in any 45 ACP pistol. A bit more would be Plus P.
 

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Hadn't thought about standard pressure v magnum - the Unique glow that bothered me was 9.0 grains of Unique behind a 125 grain JHP out of 4" barreled revolvers during night qualifications over many years. You could count every ring on a B27 target from the 10 yard line ;D 8)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do weigh every charge on my carry and hunting loads, I load everything single stage anyway (2 stage rather...2 single stage presses)....and 1.23" with 230 XTP's has fed reliably in my Baer, 2 XD's, and a Bersa 45...it still early in the game to say they will do so in the G36, but it looks good so far :)

Thanks to all for the advice, I appreciate it :)
 

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For muzzle flash, pressure will get you every time. Lower pressure is good. High pressure = more chemical reaction from more potential energy. No doubt there's a noticeable difference in what you're doing, but you're running Unique a little more past its best "low flash" pressure range and revolvers are "flashier" than autos given similar powder choices. A lot of Unique and a light bullet at higher pressure is a big difference from what Ridge is contemplating.

Ridge is just having fun starting a good topic of conversation, I suspect.
 

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That certainly makes sense.

Have you tried Longshot in autos yet? Looks like the best velocity for pressure with the 40 S&W. . .if I wasn't cheap, I'd buy some and try it ;D!
 

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No, haven't got the faintest idea about it. Hear some are quite satisfied with it.

What are they selling it for? If it's designed for shotguns originally, and I think it is, it should burn pretty cleanly at ACP pressures. Most of Hodgdon's powders are getting some jacked up prices. Hopefully the Winchester label is avoiding the trend.
 

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I have been running 6.5grn Unique under either a 230grn FMJ or 230grn Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel for some time. I have had a bit of a running discussion with 35R and others about the pressure aspects of it, but at this point I feel confident with it.

I was getting around 830FPS out of my 4" Kimber. I use segregated brass, mostly Midway and RP but also load some miscellaneous brass, and use a light taper crimp. The work up load prior to this was 6.2grn Unique, 230grn FMJ, running around 700-720FPS. I find it hard to believe .3grn more gives me 820FPS, but I still have some of both and will be headed to the range with the chrono again, soon.

I was able to shoot it in failing light (shadow) in December and, as someone mentioned, it's just a dull orange lightbulb... nothing like the Speer +P factory loads :eek: They do not compare to the Speer factory 230grn Short Barrel Gold Dots... they have very little flash at all and are extraordinarily accurate... more accurate than the XTP's even, in my Kimber. YMMV. I would be perfectly content with either the XTP or Gold Dots, both feed as well as hardball in every .45 I've ever loaded for.

I still am experimenting with WST and W231 for the .45, my first loads were very light and only produced velocities in the 600-650FPS range. I don't really expect to get Unique velocities with 230grn jacketed bullets with either of those two, but it might work with cast bullets. I still have not demoted myself to cast in the .45ACP.
 

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35remington said:
No, haven't got the faintest idea about it. Hear some are quite satisfied with it.

What are they selling it for? If it's designed for shotguns originally, and I think it is, it should burn pretty cleanly at ACP pressures. Most of Hodgdon's powders are getting some jacked up prices. Hopefully the Winchester label is avoiding the trend.
Saw a 1 lb plastic bottle for $28.99 at a local gunshop and passed on by. Hodgdon shows it as getting 1159 fps out of the 40 S&W 180 grain JHP at 32,000 CUP - that beats anthing else by 100 fps and at lower pressure, hence my interest.
 

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28.99. Yikes. But I certainly understand the appeal, and they're selling us what we want.

Charlie, how do those 230's vary as to seating depth?
 
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