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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Finished off the Universal so I just opened the new pound of Unique.

Surfing the interwebs seems most people are saying 6.0gr. to 6.5gr. max
with a 230gr. LRN or similar cast bullet.

Going to Alliant's site they're listing 7.3 max. with a 230gr. copper plated round nose.
0.7gr to 1.3gr. spread is a lot. I always read that when using plated bullets load to lead
or mid-range jacketed data.

Below came off M.D. Smith's reloadammo.com website.

Unique 5.5 gr. 795 (I got 738 fps in my gun)
Unique 5.5 gr. 913 (in Marlin auto carbine)
Unique 6.0 gr. 840* (I got 777 fps in my gun)
Unique 6.0 gr. 924* (in Marlin auto carbine)
* Alliant shows this a Maximum load

Was Alliant going light and have gotten their numbers more realistic?

What are people here running? I'm just wanting equal military ball ammo.

All the Best,
D. White
 

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Finished off the Universal so I just opened the new pound of Unique.

Surfing the interwebs seems most people are saying 6.0gr. to 6.5gr. max
with a 230gr. LRN or similar cast bullet.

Going to Alliant's site they're listing 7.3 max. with a 230gr. copper plated round nose.
0.7gr to 1.3gr. spread is a lot. I always read that when using plated bullets load to lead
or mid-range jacketed data.

Below came off M.D. Smith's reloadammo.com website.

Unique 5.5 gr. 795 (I got 738 fps in my gun)
Unique 5.5 gr. 913 (in Marlin auto carbine)
Unique 6.0 gr. 840* (I got 777 fps in my gun)
Unique 6.0 gr. 924* (in Marlin auto carbine)
* Alliant shows this a Maximum load

Was Alliant going light and have gotten their numbers more realistic?

What are people here running? I'm just wanting equal military ball ammo.

All the Best,
D. White

Look at the pressure rating. The longer the barrel is, obviously the higher velocity will be. Lyman tests loads in the CUP measurement system. The Maximum pressure rating for the .45 ACP is 19,900 CUP.;)
 

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Finished off the Universal so I just opened the new pound of Unique.

Surfing the interwebs seems most people are saying 6.0gr. to 6.5gr. max
with a 230gr. LRN or similar cast bullet.

Going to Alliant's site they're listing 7.3 max. with a 230gr. copper plated round nose.
0.7gr to 1.3gr. spread is a lot. I always read that when using plated bullets load to lead
or mid-range jacketed data.

Below came off M.D. Smith's reloadammo.com website.

Unique 5.5 gr. 795 (I got 738 fps in my gun)
Unique 5.5 gr. 913 (in Marlin auto carbine)
Unique 6.0 gr. 840* (I got 777 fps in my gun)
Unique 6.0 gr. 924* (in Marlin auto carbine)
* Alliant shows this a Maximum load

Was Alliant going light and have gotten their numbers more realistic?

What are people here running? I'm just wanting equal military ball ammo.

All the Best,
D. White
I have been loading 6.0 grains of Unique w/ Berry plated 230 gr.and Hornady FMJ 230 gr. with good results.
 

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I shoot 5.0gns with a Missouri Bullet flathead 225gn cast lead bullet, 750-780fps out of a 5" barrel and very accurate.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like it's going to be six grains.

Thanks for the replies.

All the Best,
D. White
 
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Sounds like it's going to be six grains.

Thanks for the replies.

All the Best,
D. White


Starting with a charge at least 10% below Max is always the best advice, and typically stated in reloading manuals or data that only shows a Max Charge. With a low pressure round like the .45 ACP it is not necessary to make a lot of loads to get to the targeted load. Make 5 - 10 rounds at .2 gr. intervals until you reach your desired charge. This is referred to as ladder loading, and sometimes you may even find a load you like better before reaching the targeted charge.

6.0 grs. of Unique should give you a comfortable shooting load. Hopefully, it or one of the ladder loads will give you the accuracy you want. One thing to be aware of here is that Unique, and some other powders as well, will have a pretty broad load range depending on the burn rate of the powder. We can see that with the higher or Max Charges with Unique, velocity runs fairly high as far as 230 gr. loads go, and if you're not setting out to make something like a Hog Hunting load, the milder recoil will make shooting them a good bit more comfortable. Some find that even factory loaded 230 gr. FMJ at around 825 - 850 FPS to be a challenge in terms of recoil. And if it's a case of loading for IDPA or USPSA competition you'll find that most loaders are trying to get to around 170 PF and a bit of a cushion above the 165 PF minimum. That is simply Velocity x Bullet Weight / 1000 and it's also a pretty useful guide for recoil as well. At 170 PF you would need a velocity of 739 FPS with a 230 gr. bullet and a 6.0 gr. charge of Unique should put you pretty close. Maybe a little +/- but adjustments will be easy to make from there, and the ladder loads will help, along with a chronograph.;)
 
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Good thread. I haven't loaded 45 ACP for years but recently acquired a Taurus 1911 an a High Point Carbine in 45. I already settled on Unique so this thread has been helpful!
 

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A lot of people want to beat up Unique but I always keep some in the cabinet. You can run it in about any Handgun.
Some very efficient suggestions!
 
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I for many years (until the powder shortage a few years ago) used only 3 different powders. H110 for 30 Carbine, Unique for all straight wall cases and W-W748 for all bottleneck cases.
They may not have been the best choices for some cartridges but it made it better for getting great prices buying them by the case or keg (8 lb).
Likewise buying primers in cases of 5,000 got me good discounts.
 

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A lot of people want to beat up Unique but I always keep some in the cabinet. You can run it in about any Handgun.
Some very efficient suggestions!
I do as well, I mean its named UNIQUE for a reason, the stuff can pretty much load anything from a cap pistol to the rocket hat pushes a spaceship into orbit.
It just usually not the most effective powder and certainly is a long way from clean burning, even the newly cleaner version.
I can usually make a fiber optic front sight disappear in about 20 shots using the stuff in a Government model 1911 in 45 acp.
 
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I do as well, I mean its named UNIQUE for a reason, the stuff can pretty much load anything from a cap pistol to the rocket hat pushes a spaceship into orbit.
It just usually not the most effective powder and certainly is a long way from clean burning, even the newly cleaner version.
I can usually make a fiber optic front sight disappear in about 20 shots using the stuff in a Government model 1911 in 45 acp.

I just came in from the lab. so maybe I can make some past recommendations a bit clearer. Unique has been a great powder for over 100 years. And while I started handloading with a double-based flake powder, Blue Dot, when lot issues were reported further back than I'd care to remember, I started looking harder at sphericals. But at the same time, if I needed a powder for the zombie apocalypse, and there was a place that still had several powders on the shelf rather than what can be a difficult Ramshot powder to find; I'd buy Unique for loading multiple handgun calibers.

I know that doesn't sound like much of an endorsement, but I think I can sum up why. Considering cartridges as low in pressure as the .38 Not Special, the .38 that preceded it, the .38 S&W. My Lyman data tops out at around 14,000 PSI, while they state that the best powder tested for all of their loads was True Blue. Now let's go to the other extreme, the .454 Casull where it's been loaded by Western in several load guides to over 50,000 PSI. You simply won't find anything close for Unique.

And then there a couple of pretty serious considerations. Physical size of the powder combined with Bulk density. True Blue may have almost twice the density of Unique, I don't know because Alliant, and Hercules before them, never give out such data. In fact, my info on the double-based flakes may actually come from LEE. Just remember how your powder measure operates. A denser powder is more likely to drop more accurate powder charges. Then include physical size of the granules, almost like hour-glass sand and you get beyond just the excellent pressure stability characteristics of the powder to the fact that there will be less powder charge variation.

This can all be proven with your chronograph. In particular, standard deviation of the loads you chrono. Unique might be the best all-around handgun powder of the 20th century. But now we're past that, and the powder comes from Belgium rather than the US. So let's consider a problematic cartridge like the 5.7 x 28mm. From what I know, FN Herstal used the commercial version of True Blue for their ammo. In the worst terms of the zombie apocalypse, the last powder I want to have on hand is Ramshot True Blue. And while there's no data for reduced rifle or shotgun shell loads, it is in a similar burn rate with HS6 while we already know from handgun loads that it's capable of safely operating above 50,000 PSI, That would be a bit more than a reduced rifle load as far as generated pressure.;)
 
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thats exactly why I use Acurate #5 and HS-6 for almost all my pistol oads, easy to meter, usually very good ballistics, fairly clean (especailly if you do not powder puff load) its fairly verstile covering many calibers. drops through a metering device easy and stays constant in weight as it does so.
I load only certain 380 loads in unique and do keep it for the Zombie take over.
I could go to Accurate #2 for some calibers, or Accurate #7 for some caliber but would only gain very marginal improvements so I choose to just use Acc #5 to reduce the number of powders on hand and of course the HS-6.
 

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I just came in from the lab. so maybe I can make some past recommendations a bit clearer. Unique has been a great powder for over 100 years. And while I started handloading with a double-based flake powder, Blue Dot, when lot issues were reported further back than I'd care to remember, I started looking harder at sphericals. But at the same time, if I needed a powder for the zombie apocalypse, and there was a place that still had several powders on the shelf rather than what can be a difficult Ramshot powder to find; I'd buy Unique for loading multiple handgun calibers.

I know that doesn't sound like much of an endorsement, but I think I can sum up why. Considering cartridges as low in pressure as the .38 Not Special, the .38 that preceded it, the .38 S&W. My Lyman data tops out at around 14,000 PSI, while they state that the best powder tested for all of their loads was True Blue. Now let's go to the other extreme, the .454 Casull where it's been loaded by Western in several load guides to over 50,000 PSI. You simply won't find anything close for Unique.

And then there a couple of pretty serious considerations. Physical size of the powder combined with Bulk density. True Blue may have almost twice the density of Unique, I don't know because Alliant, and Hercules before them, never give out such data. In fact, my info on the double-based flakes may actually come from LEE. Just remember how your powder measure operates. A denser powder is more likely to drop more accurate powder charges. Then include physical size of the granules, almost like hour-glass sand and you get beyond just the excellent pressure stability characteristics of the powder to the fact that there will be less powder charge variation.

This can all be proven with your chronograph. In particular, standard deviation of the loads you chrono. Unique might be the best all-around handgun powder of the 20th century. But now we're past that, and the powder comes from Belgium rather than the US. So let's consider a problematic cartridge like the 5.7 x 28mm. From what I know, FN Herstal used the commercial version of True Blue for their ammo. In the worst terms of the zombie apocalypse, the last powder I want to have on hand is Ramshot True Blue. And while there's no data for reduced rifle or shotgun shell loads, it is in a similar burn rate with HS6 while we already know from handgun loads that it's capable of safely operating above 50,000 PSI, That would be a bit more than a reduced rifle load as far as generated pressure.;)
Again, a VERY good post 57K.
In a nutshell, proper tool for the job. Even being new loading the 44 magnum if I want a good powder puff load by magnum standards the Unique loads have proven very accurate. But it ain't 44 magnum. If you try to push Unique to high pressures you could be asking for trouble, again, proper tool for the job at hand.
In my opinion Unique and 45 AP go together like peanut butter and jelly. Are there better, faster powders? Sure but Unique will do what the 45 AP was designed for.
 
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My personal opinion, you made a good choice with Unique.


Outside of my Bullseye target loads (3.5 Bullseye/Lachmiller 205 SWC) I have not found a more satisfactory general-purpose, full power load than Unique 6.2 and my own hard cast Lyman 230RN. Consistent, not too dirty, economcal, comfortable, controllable and familiar. 1911's only of course. No revolvers.

Flash
 
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I load a lot of Unique and Winchester 231 unique in 20 and 28 ga skeet loads as well as 9mm 231 in 40 and 45
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've burned a little Unique in reduced loads using a 170gr. cast lead bullet in my
.30-06 with good results.

All the Best,
D. White
 
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