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Pat Riot, SASS #13748

Universal Powder in .45 Colt Questions

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Howdy,

Do any of you Pards use Universal powder in your CAS loads, in particular, .45 Colt?

If so, what are your impressions of this powder and how it performs?

 

In the past I have almost always used Unique for all of my pistol caliber handloads for CAS. I haven't seen Unique powder available anywhere in my area for quite some time, and NO, I do not buy powder on line, nor do I want to. I have always used .38/357 pistol caliber loads for CAS. This is my first experience with .45 Colt loading but I have loaded many different calibers over the years, including .45 ACP but like I said I have never used Universal powder and this is my first time loading .45 Colt.

 

I am not looking for load data or recipes.

 

I plan to load 205 grain Bear Creek Supply moly-coated LRNFP bullets at around 850-900 fps.

 

Here are my questions about your experience with this powder:

 

Is this a fairly clean shooting powder?

Have you experienced a lot of "blowback" with moderate loads?

Is this a fairly consistent powder in regards to accuracy, velocity and performance in pistol caliber loadings?

 

Thank you.

 

 

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Are you asking about Universal Clays?

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Yes, that is the old name for it. There was "clays" and "universal clays". I don't know about "clays" but now universal clays is called "Universal".

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I've used universal clays in the past. I could not get a load that would work for me without having unburnt flakes. I like unique or red dot much better.

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I have used Universal for medium to stout loads in .45 ACP with good results.

I have tried Universal for .45 C but had better results with Reddot for CAS loads.

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Both Unique an Universal are "slower" powders compared to Red Dot, Bullseye, Trail Boss and Titegroup, which seem to be the powders that are frequently mentioned for CAS loads. According to Hodgdon's tables Universal at 900 fps is pretty close to the maximum load they recommend for 230 gr 45 Colt. At that level, there shouldn't be much unburned powder to worry about. If you start at the lower end of the scale there will be some unburned powder, but you can reduce that by using magnum primers, as they burn a little hotter than the standard ones.

Edited by Tex Jones, SASS 2263

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I've used Universal Clays (Universal) for pistol loads from 380 to 45 (ACP and LC). It is a slower burning powder than Unique but I've been able to find it regularly. I don't have any problems getting good results for any of the pistol rounds that I've used it for, as long as I keep my loads at least at the midway between the min and max loadings specified in the reloading manuals.

 

Kajun

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My experience with Universal was that with loads at the high end of the range were fine, but when lowered I was getting a lot of un burnt powder all over me and some funny sounding shots.

 

It was explained that in large volume cases like the 45 Colt light charges will level out below the primer giving inconsistent ignition. I have since switched to Trail Boss when I shoot smokeless.

 

Love that Universal for my 28 ga.

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I have used Clays in my 45LC cowboy loads with 205 and 165 gr Bear Creek bullets for 20 years with no problems even in 20 degree weather! I know you asked about Universal C. but just in case your looking for a new powder? Just make sure to heavy crimp coated bullets. V.D.

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Its just about the same powder and burn rate .

Universal is a tuch cleaner .

I use them both pretty much load for load .

Very slight difference between the two .

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Thank you all for your responses and especially regarding loading in the mid to high range of the scale. I had wondered about that and in looking at other forums for info I noticed lots of conflicting opinions on Universal in general but much of what I found was for smaller cased pistol rounds, like; .38, .357. 9mm, .45 ACP and such.

 

I plan to try a load just above mid range and go from there in the Hornady manual. The Lee, Speer, and Lyman manuals that I have do not list Universal for 200 or 205 grain bullets. I also have a load sheet from the Hodgdon website that somewhat matches the Hornady info - they have a lower min capacity but the mid range load in correlation to the FPS is very close. I like to have at least 2 comparable resources for loads if I haven't tried them before.

 

The only reason I bought a few pounds of the Universal was I couldn't get Unique but I may take the suggestions regarding Red Dot or the Trail Boss at a later time as those 2 powders seem to be easier to come by than Unique around here.

 

Again, thanks very much. I do appreciate it.

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It works in the mouse fart range as well just not as well as many, many others

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I will never know Twelve Mile. I like my ammo useful...but thanks for the info.

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