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Kirk357
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 6:45am | IP Logged Quote Kirk357

I'm new to handloading and to the forum and I have a question about
reading the data charts correctly. I'm loading for 38 sp and 357
magnum and noted on the charts there are sometimes two different
load recipes for the same bullet, and powder.

For instance: For the 148 grain lwc with Unique there is a load that is
3.3 and another at 6.4. Are these simply two different options or am
I missing something? If they are two different options can anyone
explain why they are so different? The 3.3 load seems less than
most 38 special recipes.

03_064313_357_lwc_Unique_data.png">

Thanks Sincerely...

Edited by Kirk357 on May 03 2017 at 6:47am
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nhblaze
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 7:54am | IP Logged Quote nhblaze

Welcome
Are you using their online info from this
site ?

http://www.alliantpowder.com/

The low charge is for target shooting with
a "soup-can"lead wadcutter ( LWC ) this bullet cuts
a clean hole in a paper target. Mostly in 38 special
but 357 cases can be used.

My guess is that the 6.4gr load is for a 357 using
a 158 gr LSWC bullet, (Lead semi wad cutter) NOT a LWC
Alliant says this load is now too hot and 6.0 is max.

You will find load data that varies a LOT, use the
Alliant site to be safe.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 9:56am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Welcome aboard!

To be quite honest, the loading data presented here in that section is not maintained and hasn't been updated in a decade or more. By all means do go to the Alliant site as recommended. They're data is reliable and safe.

If you have any questions about stuff just holler out here and you'll get an answer. Lots of old loaders here with ages of loading time under their belt!

Have fun and be safe!

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Kirk357
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 11:41am | IP Logged Quote Kirk357

Thanks,

I have been to the Alliant site and have a Lee manual. But I was
looking at the loading data on this site.

Because I'm just getting started I was trying to avoid, at the outset at
least, buying lots of powders etc. I only have Unique right now and I
have 100, 148 grain DEWC polymer coated bullets from sns casting
and 100, 125 grain Sierra JSP. I was going to start off just loading up
some relatively light 38 special using up these materials.

I'll check again but I don't think there were any exact matches for
either at the Alliant site.
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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 12:24pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Start 10% less than the listed load on the Alliant loading tables. Unique is great powder.
Bullet weight and materials matter more than exact bullet by manufacturers. Match the weight of the bullet and materials (ie. Lead or jacketed) and have fun. If you have a bullet that's not listed by weight exact, load to the next heavier bullet. Like a 140gr lead RNFP but its not listed. So you go down the list fot the next heaviest bullet like for instance a 150gr SWC. By using that data for a lighter "unknown" by that of a heavier known load you're going to be safe as the same load with the lighter bullet will have less pressure.

Hope that explains some for ya. !

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Kirk357
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 1:31pm | IP Logged Quote Kirk357

Thanks Old Ranger - that is very helpful.

May you always have a horse!
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 3:32pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Some simple loading charts list only the starting load and the max load, letting the loader work up to an accurate load somewhere between the two.

Other than many complaining about Unique being hard to meter in powder measures because of it's shape, Unique is likely one of the best overall, all around powders for both of your cartridges. In fact, it is one powder that can be used for many cartridges. So if you are interested in playing it simple to start with, you have chosen a good powder for lead swagged, cast, plated, or jacketed bullets. My Lyman 55 measure meters it just fine or you can certainly just trickle it up to your chosen weight on a scale by hand.

By the way, there is lots of data out there in about any loading manual you can come up with for Unique. I like to get the manuals for the jacketed bullet manufacturer if possible and for cast I prefer Lyman's manual. The Lyman manual also includes many jacketed bullets as well. If I were to only have one manual, it would likely be a Lyman.

Plenty of free data available on line as well. Just be leery of data given on forums, including this one unless you can closely compare it to published data.

Let us know how things work out. Be safe and enjoy the hobby.

Edited by Ham Gunner on May 03 2017 at 3:39pm


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Kirk357
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 7:34pm | IP Logged Quote Kirk357

Thanks for all the help...

I loaded a batch of 125 grain JSP, 357 magnum based on the Alliant
info and the Sierra Manual. I'm loading on the light side to start @
7.6 grains of Unique. The Sierra manual gave that as a starting point
and 9.3 as max (using a federal small magnum pistol primer). The
Alliant site gave 9.6 as a maximum - interesting but I'm being safe to
start. Would the magnum primer be a factor in the lighter load?

I also got a bunch of 158 grain LSWC and loaded a third batch @ 4.5
grains of Unique based on the Lee manual and the Alliant data. This
seems like a good start because it's exactly in the boundaries of
what they both call for.

Prior to my first post I had already loaded up a batch of 148 grain
DEWC based on the lighter recipe I found on this site's load data
base. Now that looks like a pretty light load @ 3.5 grains of Unique.
You guys are telling me that info may not be accurate and up to date
so I'm ordering more manuals - but since it is, if anything, too light
I'll try it out carefully and see how they do. These DEWC are seated
pretty deep compared to the other bullets I loaded so maybe it's not
as light as it seems - at least for punching paper targets... which is I
allI want at this time. I'll hope to try that out tomorrow.

I'll be trying these out in my Ruger Security Six, tomorrow if the
weather allow. Thanks again for all the help.


03_195232_bullets_for_forum.jpg">

Edited by Kirk357 on May 04 2017 at 4:28am
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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 03 2017 at 8:43pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

With full wadcutter loads they do seat deeper thus bringing up your pressure over that of the same amount of powder with a shorter bullet or less seating depth. You're doing well. The old Security Six is a solid piece and great for load testing up to near hot loads that would cause some other guns to beg for mercy.

The number one thing to remember is moderation. Go slow. Start at beginning loads and work up slowly.
Load 5 or 10 of a starting load. Write the load info on a slip of paper and put it and the load into a sandwich bag.

Test fire the load. Place your empties into the same bag so you can inspect em later. Looking for flattened primers, buldges in the cases, neck splits and such. Common indicators of excessive pressure. Starting loads will almost never be excessive. However, a double charge would be way hot! Always inspect powder charged cases side by side with each other to prevent this. A single double charge would be easy to spot with a far greater amount of powder in the case.

Go slow. Don't be worried about loading a full box until you have a nice load that's what you're looking for. Smooth, safe, and accurate. Just build test loads from starting loads and bag em up. Increase each time a couple tenths of a grain at a time. Always watching for pressure spikes and recoil, harsh muzzle blast, and that 6th sence you get when you have a feeling something just isn't right.

Need us, we're here....


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Ham Gunner
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Posted: May 04 2017 at 8:10am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Kirk357 wrote:
Thanks for all the help...
Would the magnum primer be a factor in the lighter load?


Unique powder does not need a magnum primer. The .357 Mag. case works just fine with regular small pistol primers unless you are using a hard to ignite ball type powder that requires the magnum primers.

A mag primer could possibly increase the pressure a slight bit over a regular small pistol primer, but with a light load there should be no problems. Approaching a maximum load and then using a mag primer instead of a listed regular small pistol primer would be another issue.

I seldom use mag primers in any of my 38 caliber loads unless I am using ball powders. The strength of the primer metal is the same so a blown or punctured primer will not be an issue due to the type of primer, but rather a pressure issue.

Some of the slower burning powders will not give a complete burn under lower pressures and some have used mag primers to help with that issue, but it is probably better to just increase the load till the pressure has reached the proper point to where the burn is more complete. And of course, one should not attempt to down load most of the slower ball powders below the listed starting point. Erratic ignition and hang fires, squib loads. etc. could be possible due to an improper undercharge with certain powders. Thus the use of mag primers in those powders is highly suggested.

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Kirk357
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Posted: May 04 2017 at 12:10pm | IP Logged Quote Kirk357

I just returned from the range and all the loads I mentioned above
worked well. Initial case inspections at the range showed no signs of
any excessive pressure - not surprising considering the loads. I had
pretty good groups at at 10 and 25 yards.

Two interesting things happened:

1. While firing the Ruger single action I came to one round and the
hammer would not retract - the cylinder wouldn't turn. I opened the
cylinder, which was harder to do than normal, and inspected the
cases and the unfired bullets. One unfired primer had not fully
seated, it was only slightly higher but it caused the cylinder to hang
up on the recoil plate. I had been using CCI but ran out and the local
store only had Winchester. I had noticed in loading that the
Winchesters were a little harder to seat. After I removed that one
cartridge everything was back to perfect. The thing is it looked like it
was a small thing but it wasn't...

2. Talking with the range master afterwards he said last week a man
shooting factory Hornady in a Ruger Blackhawk had a squib and
then blew his gun up on the next shot. He was uninjured but it was
factory ammo he said so they documented it and are contacting
Hornady.   I've never heard of anything like that - have you?

I guess I'm going to load up the rest of my supplies now... I'm very
appreciative of all the help, suggestions, and clarification I've
received here. It's pretty cool as a newcomer - not knowing any
reloaders - to get started and have this kind of support.

Edited by Kirk357 on May 04 2017 at 12:19pm
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nhblaze
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Posted: May 04 2017 at 2:38pm | IP Logged Quote nhblaze

That's why it's important to crimp
revolver rounds, heavy recoil can
make the bullets come out of a case
and lock up a revolver.

If you have a round that sounded weak
or not as loud, stop pull the cylinder and
look down the barrel. Could save your handgun
or you.

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joed
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Posted: May 04 2017 at 2:57pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I used Unique for years and liked it till it started giving problems in
my powder measure. As was said it does give problems.

I gave it up about 5 years ago and started using Universal. It is very
close to Unique but meters much better.

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Kirk357
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Posted: May 04 2017 at 3:21pm | IP Logged Quote Kirk357

Apart from not working well in a powder measure are there other
problems with Unique?

I choose Unique to begin because I'm only loading 38 sp and 357
mag to get started. I saw where so many who were loading 38 sp
and 357 mag were using it and like it and I figured load data would
be easy to find.

As I said I just started - trying to stay on a reasonable budget - so I
don't have a powder measure. I just bought Lee dies which came
with dippers and some load data. I'm using the dippers to get a start
on the right amount of powder by measure but then an RCBS scale
to get the weight correct and to test everything.

Every time I charge a case I seat the bullet before I go on.



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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 04 2017 at 5:57pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Odd. I have zero issues with Unique in the Ideal No.5 measure and it's 114 years old.

Selecting a powder measure I suppose is a personal choice. I am not fond of plastic or those that use discs and such. More of a metal guy here.

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joed
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Posted: May 04 2017 at 6:00pm | IP Logged Quote joed

Kirk357 wrote:
Apart from not working well in a powder measure
are there other
problems with Unique?

I choose Unique to begin because I'm only loading 38 sp and 357
mag to get started. I saw where so many who were loading 38 sp
and 357 mag were using it and like it and I figured load data would
be easy to find.

As I said I just started - trying to stay on a reasonable budget - so I
don't have a powder measure. I just bought Lee dies which came
with dippers and some load data. I'm using the dippers to get a start
on the right amount of powder by measure but then an RCBS scale
to get the weight correct and to test everything.

Every time I charge a case I seat the bullet before I go on.





I loaded Unique using dippers and never had a problem. Problems
started when I got a powder measure. What happens in a powder
measure is because Unique is a flake powder, it kind of clumps
together and doesn't drop every once in awhile.   It's called bridging
if I remember correctly. After the 3rd squib I switched to Universal.

Lots of people stick with it because it works in almost everything.
Universal is very close and won't throw squibs in a measure.   

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RT58
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Posted: May 05 2017 at 7:57am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I use Unique through an Ideal no. 55 and a RCBS Uniflow and have never had a problem.

Kirk, Unique is a great powder and got it's name because it is unique, meaning it has a wide variety of applications.

I'm not a big fan of Lee's stuff, but have used it many times just like you are. It'll work fine. The dippers don't throw exact measures, but they are close enough. The important thing to remember is to be consistent in how you use them to get the best results. Once you get your scale, go online to the powder manufacturers sites to get your data. Lee gets their data the same way, but they alter their start loads to suit their powder handling equipment.
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Kirk357
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Posted: May 05 2017 at 8:12am | IP Logged Quote Kirk357

RT58 - Just to clarify - I'm not using the Lee dippers by themselves.
I know some people do that but I'm not sure I would be comfortable
with that. I start with the dipper but I always use the RCBS scale to
confirm the weight - on every case I load.

The powder goes from the dipper to the scale and then to the case...

I will check out the Ideal no. 55 and the RCBS Uniflow though... and
maybe put that on my list of things to get.

Perhaps to clarify I should explain that I'm taking advantage of a
sabbatical in a cabin in the mountains to get started with reloading.
My equipment right now is pretty minimal and portable for this
reason and because I wanted to see if I was going to be likely to
stick with it before investing too much.

So I'm just using a Lee hand press with dippers and an RCBS scale
and a few other items of essential equipment, calipers, one manual,
dies only for 38 sp and 357 magnum. My goal was to play with this
and learn how to do the basics before I throw in for more stuff

I told my wife "This is going to save me a ton of money on ammo!"
Ha!



Edited by Kirk357 on May 05 2017 at 8:23am
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Posted: May 05 2017 at 2:33pm | IP Logged Quote nhblaze

Yes save a ton of money on ammo and
spend it on equipment.   

Most of us started out just like you are,
keep at it, add stuff when you can afford too.

Have fun and enjoy the hobby.

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RT58
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Posted: May 06 2017 at 6:23am | IP Logged Quote RT58

My mistake, I thought you were planning on getting the RCBS scale later. That actually works out better because you can use the scale to develop your dipping technique. The dippers work on the same principle as the high priced powder meters, with the exceptions of not being adjustable and requiring a smooth technique.

Starting out slow is a good idea. I've seen some new reloaders on forums asking what equipment to buy based on what others have. As you progress, keep your equipment purchases in-line with how much ammo you need and you will save money in the long run. Progressive presses are the "in" thing now, how bad you need one depends on how much of a chore reloading becomes to you, and how much spare time you have too.
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