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Let’s talk powders

3634 Views 29 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  slowshooter
Good morning. I’m sure this question will get a lot of varying answers but I’m gonna ask it anyway.
I’m just getting into shotshell reloading. I do however, reload pistol rounds. 45 and 38. I’ve been using Clays powder for both of those rounds. I shoot skeet and sporting clays on occasion so I’m looking to reload in the 1oz, 1200fps range. Any specific powder recommendations? I was thinking of just sticking with Clays since I can use it for both the pistol reloads along with shotshells.
Thank you, Todd
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Learn to develop different loads with different powders. I used to be a one powder guy until the ”great powder shoratge” years ago, which has come back again. Research loading manuals of Hodgdon, Alliant, and others and get Lyman’s 5th Edition Shot Shell Reloading Manual. Lyman’s has pages and chapter about powders, primers,hulls, and is a great educational source.

Look for reloads which cover the availability to you of components in local and produce desired velocity with least pressure. Buy one pound bottles for trial and you won’t be stuck with 4-8 pounds of powder you don’t like. Buy a pound from someone who loads what has your interest if you cannot find small quantities to buy. Once you find 3 or more powders you like, you can buy in bulk, a couple of each.

All powders go boom, some might seem messier than others, but with alternatives, you won’t have to sit out shortages like we currently have.
 

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No need to get anal about shotgun powders IMHO. I used Clays for a long time as I was shooting CAS and Clays made a nice light load for .38's and 12 ga. You will be fine with it. Better than "fine" IMHO.

I switched to Promo for 12 ga when I got serious about Trap as it is cheap. It is a freaking shot shell...it just does not matter. Do not listen the experts that spout one powder shoots "softer" than another. Placebos "work" too.

I buy whatever goes on sale and buy a lot of it so I do not worry about it. I have over100 lbs of powder that works in shotshells and pistol calibers. Last powder purchase was 30 lbs of CleanShot and I had never used it. Got a great deal and free shipping and HazMat. Got if for pistol loads, and if I am not happy with it in the pistols will burn it up in 12 ga loads.

Now, some powders meter better than others but the charge to charge variation in shotshells is immaterial. More of an issue loading pistols and at maximum pistol loads.

Right now, powder choices may be limited and/or higher priced. Make a list of powders that will work and go shopping.
 

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I like Clays/Claydot for 12 gauge 1 oz and 38 wadcutters. Nice to have one powder for both.
Used to load 40 S&W with it, but that’s not a good idea since it really does get “spiky” near top pressure.
 

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You're not working with the higher pressures that pistol or rifle generate when loading shotgun. Keep your loads at 17grs of Clays and it doesn't really matter what primer or wad you use, and I say that AFTER looking in the Hodgdons reloading manual. Your Clays is just fine. Primers are hard to find today, so don't worry about them at the load grains I just gave. Matter of fact, it's pretty hard to get in trouble with any powder load of 17 grs. Might not be the fastest or best, but it's plenty safe. JMHO
 

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Clays is just fine for the purpose you describe. With all powders, there are two characteristics to keep in mind: (1) burn rate and (2) density. Typically, the faster a powder burns, the lighter the powder charge and the higher the pressure. With a relatively heavy shot charge, you will wind up with slower velocity because you have to lower the powder charge to keep the pressure down. Slower burning powders typically require a heavier powder charge but the pressure are lower.

Density is a factor that effects the stack height of the components in the hull. You can have the same weight of two powders with one bulky and the other dense and if you use the same wad you might wind up with one producing tented crimps or crushed hulls and the other producing dished crimps. You can fix either problem by using a different wad with a shorter or taller crush section. The way you judge density is by looking at the bushing charts. Pick a charge weight and the the powders with larger bushings are bulkier and the powders with smaller bushings are denser.

And this brings up the subject of hulls. If you plan to use Clays, it is a one of the bulkier powders and produces stack height problems when using Winchester AAHS hulls. There are 2 types of AA hulls, the AACF (long out of production but still lots of them around) and the current AAHS. While the data lumps the two hull types together, the two hulls are not the same internally. When using Clays in the AAHS, you need to be careful with wad selection to get the stack height correct. The conventional wisdom is to use either the DRA12 wads from Downrange or to use a wad of the same type called for in the data only made to hold 1/8 more shot than you are dropping. Both solutions will give you a wad with a bit shorter crush section giving you a proper stack height and good crimps.
 

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Good morning. I’m sure this question will get a lot of varying answers but I’m gonna ask it anyway.
I’m just getting into shotshell reloading. I do however, reload pistol rounds. 45 and 38. I’ve been using Clays powder for both of those rounds. I shoot skeet and sporting clays on occasion so I’m looking to reload in the 1oz, 1200fps range. Any specific powder recommendations? I was thinking of just sticking with Clays since I can use it for both the pistol reloads along with shotshells.
Thank you, Todd
Just use your Clay's since your evidentially happy with it in your pistol loads.

I do not like it myself nor do I like Clay Dot either for anything.
 

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I used to be of the " any powder is fine as long as it's Green Dot" camp. Now, I'm in the middle of a jug of WSH, have a jug of GD on the shelf along with varying amounts of Clays, IMR Green, E3, and about 2# of PB (it may be rotten by now, but I can't bring myself to throw it out.). Also some way old canisters of Bullseye, Unique and IMR 4320. My assortment of wads will let me load the fast stuff in one ounce loads and the Greens into the 1.125 loads. Fun 'n' games.
 

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No need to get anal about shotgun powders IMHO. I used Clays for a long time as I was shooting CAS and Clays made a nice light load for .38's and 12 ga. You will be fine with it. Better than "fine" IMHO.

I switched to Promo for 12 ga when I got serious about Trap as it is cheap. It is a freaking shot shell...it just does not matter. Do not listen the experts that spout one powder shoots "softer" than another. Placebos "work" too.

I buy whatever goes on sale and buy a lot of it so I do not worry about it. I have over100 lbs of powder that works in shotshells and pistol calibers. Last powder purchase was 30 lbs of CleanShot and I had never used it. Got a great deal and free shipping and HazMat. Got if for pistol loads, and if I am not happy with it in the pistols will burn it up in 12 ga loads.

Now, some powders meter better than others but the charge to charge variation in shotshells is immaterial. More of an issue loading pistols and at maximum pistol loads.

Right now, powder choices may be limited and/or higher priced. Make a list of powders that will work and go shopping.
I take it you don't live in MD????

State law (Fire Code) places a total limit of five pounds of gunpowder in a single family residence.

Sent from my LG-G710 using Tapatalk
 

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Although it's nice to use only one powder for a number of applications I agree with others who think that having a few different powders that you can load with is a good idea. The proverbial putting all your eggs in one basket applies. Having at least two or three other options is just smart IMHO. Also remember when changing lots you need to start over again when it comes to rifle and pistol.

Good luck and all the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the great feedback. I truly appreciate it. As much as I want to stick with Clays, I can’t find it ANYWHERE!! I may have to go with another powder. I can find Promo pretty easily. That may be my best option at this time. Todd
 
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