Winchester W231 and Hodgdon HP-38 are examples of highly versatile powders – Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader
Being able to use a single powder for multiple applications is a great benefit. This standardization can allow you to keep your powder measure loaded with the same powder, make bulk powder purchases more equitable, and generally make your life easier. One great example for pistol loaders is Winchester W231 and Hodgdon HP-38 (the same powder branded differently). I have used this powder for many different cartridges and load levels- it meters great, is super-versatile, and is a great bulk-buy in 8 lb canisters.
To show you just how versatile this powder is, I wanted to share some load data with you all for some of my “standard loads” (non-magnum).
Note: This load data is for reference only. Always cross-reference with manufacturer’s load data. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors or possible issues you may have when using this load data. Use at your own risk.
Did you notice something about this load data? All of these loads use the same exact charge weight! So I can actually change over cartridges and not even have to mess with the powder measure! This brings a whole new meaning to “standard loads”. This kind of “Sweet setup” may or may not work out for you- you’ll have to make sure your autoloaders are “happy” with the bullet weights and charge weights used, but in my experience these loads work really well.
One powder, 4 different cartridges, and one charge weight. That’s handy! I just hope I don’t run out of W231/HP-38.
Have you guys found good powders other than W231 and HP-38 that you can use in multiple applications? Please share!