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Discussion Starter #1
Who’s loading Hodgdon Universal? Before scooping up 16 lbs on an unannounced $10/lb sale at Gander Outdoors I read a lot of posts (elsewhere) from Universal fans. It got such glowing reviews that when I received a $15 off $75 coupon I decided to grab an 8 lb jug. Discovering the price at checkout was $68 and change I ran back and made another purchase, sans coupon, paying $83 out the door for another 8 lbs.

So what’s the problem? Worst metering powder I’ve ever tried. Feels like I’m loading PlayDoh. My Hornady Lock N Load powder measure has never felt anything like this, even when loading extruded powders. On those, I crunch a few grains as they get cut, but it’s not physically tiring. Loading Universal was. I normally load for 2-3 hours, but in this instance I stopped after 100 rounds.

I reported this on other sites, and specifically asked the question of someone reported it as a great metering powder. It may be...but not with the Hornady powder drop. Anyone else using a different powder measure with Universal? At this point I’ll happily return to using the Lee Powder dippers...even if I have to buy them (only have one from my Lee 9mm die kit).
 

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I've used a lot of Universal. I switched to it from Unique precisely because it meters better. I don't know what's going on in your case but to my knowledge Universal does not have a reputation for being hard to meter. At the moment I use a Lee Auto Disk but in the past have also used Universal in a Lil' Dandy and Dillon measures. Never had an issue.

Curious. I assume you went back and tried a different powder to be sure it worked fine? Don't know what to tell you.
 

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I don't use that powder but would ask??
is it possible that the powder is contaminated with something, or got wet is is somewhat clumpy?
was the seal in place when you opened the powder?
other than that I got nuttin!
 

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That's what I was wondering, if maybe it was stored in high humidity and started clumping for some strange reason. Shouldn't matter, if the lids were screwed on even snug. I've used Universal quite a few times and have about 3 pounds, it was all I could find at one point during the scare during Barry's reign. Can't say I remember it not metering well.
 

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Never had a problem in any measure, use several. A few friends use it almost exclusively for several loads. I would pour a pound or so in a bowl and look at it. What you describe does not sound normal for that powder.
 

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I like that powder a lot and just bought two more pounds. I looked again hoping that you were in IN or IL...WI or IA....I would take it off your hands for what you paid!! I use Lee powder tools...Auto Disc and Auto Drum and it flows great and measures accurately.
 

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I use Universal almost exclusively with the exception of a few Tight Group loads.

Have not really had any issues with it measuring in my Dillon Square Deal. That
being said I do pull a round out of the loader every 50 or 60 and weigh it. I rarely
have to make adjustments.
 

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Try your powder measure with something else - something with a reputation for poor metering (like one of your extruded powders) and see if it works normally.
I'm betting there is something up with you powder measure.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry to have disappeared. Since I empty my powder measure after ever loading session, or even if I plan to break for a few hours, I’ve never had powder sit out. Since dropping the initial Universal rounds, I went back and loaded some Silhouette, HP-38, VV N-320, VV N120, and IMR 4227.

No issues with anything. I then loaded some more Universal...same issues as before, but I just got more aggressive on the charge handle. I’m prepared for it to fight me, so I just muscle through it. It just takes more time and I wear out sooner.

Recalling when I initially opened it, the lid was looser than any powder I’ve opened new, and the inner seal came off easy...more like it fell off when I lifted it up. So it’s possible it was affected. Sadly, when I went out on the range there were too many things going on, and I ended up shooting 1/3 of what I’d planned, and never got to the Universal loads. Then this weekend my range owner went out of state...so I can’t move forward until next weekend, unless I get to the indoor range.

If this powder is bad I guess I’ll be testing the return policy of Gander Outdoors. Since they’ve cleared out all their 8lb jugs...at least I believe so, I’ll have to try and get a refund...but not before shooting what I’ve loaded. If it shoots well, and appears accurate, I’ll keep it and just hand dip my charges. I did that for a while before I set up my powder drop, so it won’t hurt to practice that skill some more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Okay guys...now I need some input. I finally shot some Universal loads. Hodgdon Reloading lists only 1 load...Hornady 147gr XTP. I only had 147 gr Berry’s CPRN, so I used that. Trying to extrapolate data between 147 gr Copper Plated RN vs 147 gr XTPs in the Lee Book 2nd ed. for same powders it seemed that the XTP used the same, or 0.2 grain higher charge. But the C.O.L. for the CPRN is 1.160” vs 1.100” for XTPs.

I made up 4 loads at 3.0gr, 3.1gr, 3.2gr., and max 3.3gr feeling that I may be too close for comfort at the highest charge. All rounds were loaded to 1.150” C.O.L.

Shooting indoors, no chrono, 6 handguns...S&W Shield 2.0, Taurus G2C, Kimber Micro 9, Beretta 92FS, Bersa Thunder 9, and something called a block or glock or some such nonsense.

As luck would have it...my son pulled the box with 3.2gr and 3.3gr. We loaded 3 rounds of 3.2 into magazines for all 6 pistols.

Glock, S&W Shield, and Beretta wouldn’t cycle. No ejection or a stovepipe on extraction. The Kimber and Taurus cycled just fine, and the Bersa cycled through all 3 rounds, but didn’t lock back on empty mag.

Next we ran the same test with 3.3gr loads. All 6 pistols functioned flawlessly...but this didn’t feel in anyway like max loads. Not even from the short barreled Kimber Micro 9.

Proceeding to the 3.0gr and 3.1gr loads, we tried 1 round from each of the pistols, saving the majority for the Kimber and Bersa.

The only pistol that ran the 3.0gr loads was my Kimber m9. Then, the Kimber and the Bersa Thunder 9 ran the 3.1gr loads, but the Bersa didn’t lock back on empty.

So, does anyone have experience with 147gr Berry’s CPRN and Universal? Do you agree with the 3.3gr max listed by Hodgdon? What C.O.L. are you comfortable using? I’m pretty sure that 1.150” is the longest I’ve ever loaded 9mm.
 

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I know nothing without a chronograph.

What firearm did Hodgdon use? What was the barrel length? Do you have one of those and how did it work? What FPS were they getting? What FPS did you get?

I’m sorry, I have more questions than answers.
 

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I found data on Hodgdons for a 145gn Acme lead bullet with a range of 3.2-3.8gns. I would be looking for more sources of data. Lyman has a lot of lead bullet data.
 
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