Magnum primers with Unique loads
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    Magnum primers with Unique loads

    I'm getting ready to load some softer .357 loads for the SP and I see in the Hornady manual they're using magnum primers with Unique, really? What say y'all!?
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    I don't use Unique, but I only buy Winchester primers, large and small, labeled for standard or magnum pistol loads. So it isn't a issue for me.
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    Personally, I don't think you'll be able to notice any differece.

    Unique, from one manufacturer or another, has been around for much more than a century. In fact, one of the powder companies keeps a sample of it from over a hundred years ago in their laboratry, (it is kept in a glass jar, under water - fancy that) to compare with current production from time-to-time.

    Though back to your question - Unique is a powder that is highly tolerant of all kinds of changes. It is a double-base powder, designed to accomodate a varety of loadings in a WIDE choice of calibers. Target loads in a 38SPL to pretty stiff near-magnum loadings in 45 ACP and other large bore pistols. There are a multitude of shotgun loadings, and it will do for cast bullets in many rifles as well. The object, when it was developed, was to be able to cover a lot of uses, for it might be the only powder available in any given time and place. There was also a time when it was the ONLY acceptable "kicker" for a triplex loading in 44MAG.

    Personally, since I started reloading nearly fifty-five years ago, have never been without a pound or two on my shelf.
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    I would use the magnum primers.
    Magnum primers, as I understand it, use a thicker cup to withstand the increased chamber/case pressure so they don't blowout as well as provide a longer hotter flame to ignite the powder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper1 View Post
    I would use the magnum primers.
    Magnum primers, as I understand it, use a thicker cup to withstand the increased chamber/case pressure so they don't blowout as well as provide a longer hotter flame to ignite the powder.
    Right on the primers, and if he is loading "softer" loads, esecially with Unique, the ignition would be about the same as regular primers. In the volume afforded by 357 cases, particularly so.

    Using the 158 gr Cast SWC (Keith design), anywhere from 4.5 grains to 5.5 should be considered "softer", with velocities from @750 fps to maybe 950fps. 4.5 grains is usually the midpoint for that bullet in 38SPL, which would certainly meet his description of "softer" Also an excellent, accurate bullet when I have cast it, and often quite inexpensive when purchased from commercial sources. I don't think Hornady makes that bullet, their data references SPEER SWC. (DISCLAIMER: Loader must realize I speak for myself only and in no wise am I suggesting he depart from published data in recognized manuals printed for the purose of reloading.)


    BTW - did you notice that Hornady has a smartphone app that gives their loading data for $19.95/year, or just one cartridge for 99 cents?
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    In Speer no 14 only 4 of the 15 use magnum primers for the 125 gr magnum. Low load for Unique is 8.6 gr for 125 gr bullet 357 magnum. 38 +p max is 6 gr. So considering case volume of the 357 case I'm gonna pour in 7 gr. And see how she shoots and chrony. I certainly dont recommend anyone else try it. Some powders will pressure spike if down load em however I am convinced Unique ain't one of em .
    Thanks for everyone's input.
    Last edited by MoKen; 12-07-2019 at 06:15 AM.
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    before accidentally just deleting my reload notes for unit in ever note -.- all my unique loads were using a Magnum primer. I remember shooting them and they shot very nice in 125gr berrys plated and 158gr swc powder coated from missouri bullet company. I remeber loading up to 9 grains on the 125 and up to 6 gr on the swc They shot very nice. my only gripe with unique is it burned very dirty and I had to scoop and trickle it because it was not metering good in my powder measure.

    I have a old article on skeeter skeleton and he was loading 158gr up to 8gr idk how safe that would be in todays standard but that sounds a little hot.

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    From 30 years ago until now loads have changed a bunch in 38/357. Some of the old loads were stout and certainly deserve caution.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Frankin-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokewagon View Post
    I don't use Unique, but I only buy Winchester primers, large and small, labeled for standard or magnum pistol loads. So it isn't a issue for me.
    I rarely use Unique anymore especially in light to medium loads because it burns so dirty. Ditto on those Winchester primers.
    MoKen likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoKen View Post
    I'm getting ready to load some softer .357 loads for the SP and I see in the Hornady manual they're using magnum primers with Unique, really? What say y'all!?
    I'm guessing the magnum primer is to help get a complete or better powder burn.

    When ever I use Unique if I am not on the hotter side of the load data I get a lot of unburnt powder. The hotter I go the less unburnt powder residue I have. I would imagine in .357 Mag using Unique for light loads would result in a lot of unburnt powder and a magnum primer may help burn more powder.
    MoKen, olfarhors and DA-Auto like this.
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