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W-231 Vs HP-38. The Same or Not?


Chuck Would, SASS # 53289

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I'm coming to the end of my supply of W-231. Got about a half pound left. The good news is that I have a good supply on H-38.

 

Now I've heard stories that the two powders are exactly the same just have a different label slapped on the bottles.

 

I've been debating on what to do when I use up the last of the 231. Should I pour the HP-38 right on top?

 

Common sense tells me NO. That I should empty the hopper and go with 100% HP-38. In fact only load a few rounds at my normal charge and test them out in my Old Model Ruger's 1st, just because........

 

What is the collective wisdom on the wire?

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I would never pour one powder on top of another or mix them together in any manner.

 

Thats bad mo-jo, in my opinion.

 

As far as those powders being identical, I have no knowledge about that.

 

I would consult a good loading manual on all my powder choices and load data. And nowadays, most powder manufacturers have their loading data on line.

 

 

..........Widder

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According to the manufacturer's and Handloading mag since 2012, these are the same powder, made in the same factory. I have only used W-231.

They are the same in one sense that I knownfor sure: I cannot find either in my neck of the woods. I have had to work up new loads for .45 acp and .32-20 using Titegroup that is available.

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We've used both powders. Are they the same powder? I don't know. What I do know is that we use the same charge for both and both work well.

 

As far as mixing them. I don't think that would be a good idea.

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Why mix 'em? Surely you have enough room for both bottles.

 

BUT - They are the SAME powder, same materials, same loading data, sold under two different names originally by two different powder companies (now both Brands are owned by Hodgdons).

 

Use up the oldest first, toss the bottle.

 

Good luck, GJ

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They are the same. I've compared bottles of W231 and HP-38 purchased at the same time, they both had the exact same lot numbers.

 

But I still would not mix them. I'd just use up one then refill with the other because you will undoubtedly have different lot numbers on the old W231 and the new HP38.

 

When changing lot numbers, some safety minded folks would advise to do a new load work up...

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I have read a manufacturer advise against mixing powder, even the same powder, there might be subtle variations batch to batch.

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In the not to far past I was an ammunition remanufacturer.

Only reloaded for cas shooters.

 

Winchester contracted with Hodgdon to make some of their powders.

Hodgdon contracts with ADI Australia to make the powders.

WW231 is H-38.

 

As a manufacturer, I went through a lot of powder(s).

When running a specific powder, I would run it until it was gone or the last drop was not enough.

The short charge would be disposed of before opening another jub of the same powder.

 

I would not mix lots of the same powder and I certainly wouldn't mix two different powders even though they were suppose to be the same powder.

 

Reason is after a jug of powder is opened, the moisture content starts to change as it is opened and closed during use.

 

If you start mixing then the burn rate will change and velocity consistency becomes and issue.

 

Also think about it this way, if you run a powder until it does not meet the charge for the LAST case, you are disposing of about 6 grains of powder in a large caliber case.

No more than a single dropped case spilt on the floor.

 

Pouring two powders together contaminates a lot more than that one short case.

It's not worth it in my opinion.

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As was said, W-231 and HP-38 is the same powder! However, even if both cans were branded the same, and even with the same lot number, I would NOT mix them. And if the lot numbers are different, I would definitely NOT mix them. Years ago, when ATK was Hercules Powder, I talked with their technicians, and they said there could be as much as (IIRC) + or - 5% variation from lot-to-lot. Now, from what I hear lately from other manufactures, they run tighter variations lot-to-lot. But it is still enough that I would run a few test loads over a chronograph to see if they match up fairly closely.

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HP-38 and WW231 are contract manufactured by ADI, in Australia for Hodgdon/Winchester, USA.

 

Now don't everyone click on the link at once.

Every time I post this link, we crash the ADI server and they are not happy when we do this.

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Cliff Hanger,

 

You are TOTALLY WRONG on the manufacturer of 231 and HP-38. Their manufacturer, as are ALL Ball powders sold in the USA are made by St Marks Powder Co. of Crawfordville Florida, which is now owned by General Dynamics. These powders have ALWAYS been the exact same, and many times come from the same lots.

 

There are several such powders, originally manufactured for Olin Winchester, which were purchased and sold by Hodgdon under a different number. One notable powder, H-110 and W296 are in fact the very same powder. Others are BL-C(2) and W-748, H-414 and W-760, HS-6 and W540, to name a few.

 

St Marks Powder Co is the old Primex plant, at the same location, from back in the days of Olin Winchester. THat plant is the ONLY plant in the USA that produces Ball Powder. They today even produce powder for Alliant, (their ball powder numbers) including the new Power Pro MP-300.

 

AS far as ADI in Australia, they made the CLAYS family of powders and Trail Boss. That was all. Done. Finished.

 

RBK

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Rio Brazos Kid,

Thank you for the information on St Marks. Really.

 

During 16 years of FFL ammunition remanufacturing, I remember one of the powder vendor I bought from mentioning that he thought HP-38 ad WW-231 where ADI products.

I had no reason to doubt him and I had no reason to research it because I stopped using those powders in the later 1990s.

I closed my manufacturing business a couple of years back due to inability to get powder.

I had a placed an order for 400 pounds and 16 months later I received 8 pounds of my #3 of 5 choice.

I got by, buying powder when and where ever I could but I couldn't give my customers a guaranteed delivery date.

Rather than disappoint customers with unreliable deliveries, I decided to close up reloading.

CH

 

Below is a list of powders made by ADI/Thales, Australia for Hodgdon Brand.

Not sure how current the list is.

And HP-38/WW-231 are not on the list.

=========================

ADI Technical Centre

ADI / Hodgdon Propellants

ADI Powder/Hodgdon naming
AS30N.................Clays
Trail Boss............Trial Boss
AS50N.................International
AP70N.................Universal
AR2205...............H4227
AR2207...............H4198
AR2219...............H322
BM2.....................Benchmark
AR2206H.............H4895
AR2208...............Varget
AR2209...............H4350
AR2213SC..........H4831 / H4831SC
AR2217...............H1000
AR2225...............Retumbo
AR2218...............H50BMG

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I read on another forum that the manufacture of W-231 has been discontinued. Has anyone else read or heard the same thing?

Here's how I heard it; Hodgdon was contracted as the sole DISTRIBUTOR for powders under the Olin (Winchester) and IMR (Alliant) brands, A dealer that I've started using in the last year, recently told me the Hodgdon rep told him they were discontinuing several powders and would only be marketing one brand where there had been two or more. Makes sense to me.

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IMR (Alliant) <---- no, sorry

 

E.I. DuPont first made IMR powders, starting in 1930s (at Carney's Point, NJ), then they were made by IMR Powder Company (spun off from DuPont), and now Hodgdon (which bought up IMR) have been the owners of the IMR powder brands, and they still manufacture the IMR powders in mostly "their own" plants.

 

"One of the locations of the (powder) plants built (during WW II) was Valleyfield, in Canada. This plant continues to be the primary supplier of IMR Legendary Powders today."

 

http://www.imrpowder.com/history.html for more details.

 

Alliant has never been involved with IMR powder line.

 

(Amazing how often incorrect info comes out of the mouths of folks who make a living in the gun industry.)

 

Hodgdon was not contracted to, they bought the rights to, distribute Winchester and IMR powders. Many of those powders they have made by various powder manufacturers (St Marks, ADI, a Belgian company, etc) - Hodgdon only owns outright the Pyrodex, 777 and possibly the APP plants, from what I have found.

 

Good luck, GJ

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GJ, you're right... I was having a senior moment on the DuPont - IMR thing and Alliant popped in there. Shoulda fact checked. Thanks for the correction.

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So I read al these replies and decided to pick up the phone and call Hodgdon's and ask. The simple answer is yes they are the same exact powder, just rebranded differently.

 

Rowdy

Think that's what we all said. :lol:

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

They are the SAME powder, same materials, same loading data, sold under two different names originally by two different powder companies
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PLEASE bookmark & print a copy for your reloading room wall, the Powders Equivalent Chart that has been on the ADI website ... for a long time

http://www.adi-powders.com.au/handloaders/equivalents.asp

Hopefully, this will reduce the 24 replies and the 533 views to determine whether or not different powders are or are not equivalent. Yes W231 & HP38 are "equivalent powders" per the ADI chart.

Thanks for being Knowledgeable Reloaders! Okie Dokie?

And also read the disclaimer on the ADI Chart ...

NOTE: These tables are only approximate, showing equivalent values within about 5%.

Actual burning rates can vary depending on the calibre, weapon, loading components and practices, as well as from powder lot to powder lot. As a consequence it must be understood that Australian Munitions cannot accept any responsibility for the use of this information in any way.

 

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JB -

 

The question the OP posted was "are these powders the same."

 

What the rather badly labeled ADI chart you cited really is, is "roughly the same burn rate" data. It is not a "these powders are the same" chart.

 

For example, 700X and WST are claimed to be "equivalent powders" on that chart from ADI. While it is true that they are often used for the same application (they do have close to the same burn rate), they are not what I (or most folks) would think of as equivalent, and they certainly are not interchangeable at the same powder weights.

 

For example some loads in .38 spl in Hodgdon's online loading data call out both the 700X and WST weights needed to generate 16,000 PSI for a particular slug. But the charge weights for WST are 12% higher to get 16K psi than are the charge weights for 700X.

 

Those may be essentially the same burn rate, but they are not "equivalent" (direct substitution) powders. I would get the same level of information from Hodgdon's burn rate chart here:

https://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/Burn%20Rates%20-%202014-2015.pdf

as you get from the ADI chart, and at least know that the data was not going to make novice loaders think that charge weights can be "equivalent".

 

In other words, that ADI chart is kinda dangerous to hand out to novice loaders, IMHO, because of a really bad title.

 

Good luck, GJ

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All the "EQUIVALENCY" charts mean is that the powders listed have very close burning rates, and have relatively the same applications for use. Nothing there indicates they are the same powders, or are even of the same manufacture, or have like charge weights in any particular application.

 

Any such assumption is purely that of the individual reader, and the charts were never intended to convey any sort of claim that the listed powders were the same. Just like SASS rules. People read into them, whatever suits their need. That's why so much of the Bull S**t interpretations exist. First you have to know what the meaning of IS is.

 

RBK

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All the "EQUIVALENCY" charts mean is that the powders listed have very close burning rates, and have relatively the same applications for use. Nothing there indicates they are the same powders, or are even of the same manufacture, or have like charge weights in any particular application.

 

Any such assumption is purely that of the individual reader, and the charts were never intended to convey any sort of claim that the listed powders were the same. Just like SASS rules. People read into them, whatever suits their need. That's why so much of the Bull S**t interpretations exist. First you have to know what the meaning of IS is.

 

RBK

 

 

 

Well, yep, I know that the ADI chart is showing similar burn rates. To toss it out as the answer to any part of the OP's original question, is "playing loose with the facts"

 

Here's the meaning of "equivalent" from several respected dictionaries:

 

 

equal in value, amount, function, meaning, etc

 

Not just similar to, but EQUAL.

 

 

I much rather prefer the labeling that Hodgdon's provides on their burn rate chart than the labeling that ADI puts on there chart, and that is ALL I was suggesting. Cite Hodgdon's or lots of other loading data company's charts: they are are clear that the chart is not comparing anything but the general burn rates.

 

Sheesh.

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Posted by Garrison Joe ...BUT - They are the SAME powder, same materials, same loading data, sold under two different names originally by two different powder companies (now both Brands are owned by Hodgdons).
Posted by Garrison Joe ...In other words, that ADI chart is kinda dangerous to hand out to novice loaders, IMHO, because of a really bad title.

Joe, ADI's chart is dangerous because of a really bad title? Yet, you post they are the same powder

ADI is very explicit with the wording in their Powder equivalents table NOTE!

Nowhere are the words "the same or equal" as many Wire posters have stated - including yourself!. And to not use as a comparable equivalent powder reference from a large knowledgeable explosives manufacturer? I think not.

 

ADI NOTE: These tables are only approximate, showing equivalent values within about 5%.

Actual burning rates can vary depending on the calibre, weapon, loading components and practices, as well as from powder lot to powder lot.

Let me pose this ... should the Wire require no postings of equivalent or are they the same powders as is the rule for powder charges?

 

Why, because there are many post requests for 'inexperenced reloaders' that frequently come to the Wire for powder & loading answers because they lack reference manuals - don't know how to read a published Relative Quickness Table and then don't do comparative load look up's from the distributor's loading data, either online or their published paper reference manuals!

 

 

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I posted (and many other folks posted, and Hodgdon confirmed) that HP-38 and Win 231 are the same powder, labeled by the company which made or relabeled by the company that contracted to have it made. When first developed, it was a Winchester made ball powder. Made in the St Marks, Florida plant. Winchester sold it as Win 231. Hodgdon saw it as a good thing, and contracted to sell it as HP-38.

 

So, we have established that Win 231 and HP-38 are the SAME powder by composition. The charge weights are the same. They have EXACTLY the same burn rates.

 

Now, the ADI chart I've been trying to downplay is called "Powder Equivalency" chart. It should be called a Burn Rate Similarity chart. For the chart to show, for example, 700-X and WST on the same line appears to mean to ADI that the burn rates are similar. All the rest of the industry shows burn rates in a list, not in a "cross-reference table." When someone uses the term equivalent or equivalency, that is by dictionary definition, the same as saying equal or same. Powder Equivalency then, breaking down the title, would mean the Powders are the Same. Which 700X and WST certainly are not.

 

Win 231 powder and HP-38 powders would be equivalent, the same, would have the exact same charge weights to give the same pressures, etc.

 

WST and 700-X have SIMILAR burn rates. Not EQUIVALENT burn rates.

 

Thus, the title ADI uses, "Powder Equivalency" is wrong for both terms. They are comparing burn rates, a single property of the powder. Not the usage or ballistics performance or composition of the powder. And, as other companies' burn rate charts show, there is some difference (perhaps the 5-10% variation mentioned in the note) between the burn rates of the powders that all are shown on one line of the ADI chart.

 

For a powder to be equivalent (equal) to another powder, it had better be the exact same powder. HP-38 and Win 231 are equivalent.

 

For a powder to have a similar burn rate as another, the burn rates should be close together. WST and 700-X have similar burn rates. But they are not Equivalent Powders.

 

So, to get to a better title, correct both terms that ADI used for the chart. If they had called it a Similar Burn Rate chart or a Burn Rate Comparison chart, they would be correct. But they didn't.

 

Words really do mean something! And especially if one sticks the to definitions agreed upon in standard dictionaries.

 

Good luck, GJ

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So I was bad and dumped HP 38 to top up win 231. All this information makes my head hurt, I need to go shooting my HP 231 reloads now.

 

Well, so just go have a ball. Powder, that is.

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Joe, if one knows how to read the Relative Quickness tables, and the one I have bookmarked from CastBoolits with 261 powders is all inclusive... they usually put me in safe haven in addition to a chronograph and staring out with low charges - caliber specific.

 

I shoot many calibers in many different firearms and in addition to the burn rate tables, Propellent Profiles are tools plus loading data I find in other references like Complete Guide to Handloading by Phil Sharpe ... are mandatory tools for safe and comparable powder charges - caliber specific.

 

For CAS reloads, the distributors have done an excellent job with loading data except for small bullet weights that folks want to use for 'light recoil'

I have yet needed to come to the Wire for an answer and firmly believe that experienced and inexperinced CAS members should have references instead of just being 'shooters' needing to get their answers off the Wire ...such as Hodgdon's Burn Rate Table for HP-38 and Win-231, plus ADI's Equivalent powders table

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