I havent had a reason to try new powders. Hodgdon Clays works great and burns clean. It would be interesting to see which powder is the most economical though.Going off on a tangent, lately I tried Hodgdon HS7 for some 2 3/4" 1 1/2oz. loads. Doesnt burn quite as clean as Clays, but not bad, like a factory shell. Its a nice heavy load. Heavy enough to cycle my dad's old Browning A-5 3" magnum, and really powders clay targets
I was using red dot, 'cause that was what I started out with years ago, however when the shop was out of it I tried Clays, and have been with it ever since. It is really clean, meters great, and has plenty of load recipes to work with.Solo 1000 is supposed to be a good one, and one of my friends uses it exclusively.
As far as the most economical powder for reloading the "typical" 12 ga loads...Solo seems to be the best buy as far as pricing goes. At most any major shoot there is always someone there selling it cheaper (in larger quantities) than anything else is going for. I have been using Clays exclusively for the last four years for both 1 oz and 1 1/8 12 ga loads. It is great for clays, small birds and even rabbit/squirrel loads. The entire Hodgdon line is great, and that family does a LOT to support our sport-great people! The cost is a little more than for the Solo, but not really enough to be a consideration unless you load more than about 10,000 rounds per year. All you new reloaders need to be aware that if you find a good buy but are going to have to order it that there will be a fairly substantial hazmat charge added to the shipping. Most times you can go to a local gun club that keeps supplies for its members and purchase it-another good reason to support your local businesses.
I happen to like the IMR Powder Company's SR 4756. It too is a versatile powder that will work from 1 1/4 oz field loads to magnums to heavy loads and to Buckshot...it even will work for the deer killing Lyman Sabot, Buckbuster, and other slugs. This is a clean powder that is also cheap.Oh....it's tested as the best powder and setup in several different load recipes When women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment.
I like greendot for my 12 GA reloads. It burns clean and produces less feld recoil than most other powders in my opinion. For all other guages except 410, I use hodgdon universal. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
Since most, if not all, of my shotshell loading now days is specialized long range stuff...I use Blue Dot in both 12 ga. 3" magnum and 20 ga. rolled crimp (3" load) in 2 3/4". Herco, although somewhat dirty, shows very good patterns in 12 ga. 2 3/4"
Excellent thread and great answers! Now let's add another factor.....what is your favorite for 12 gauge (2 3/4" and 3") for shot weights from 1 1/2 oz to 2 oz.? This is where the real specialized long range loads fall.Best Regards To All, James
Dont know about a favourite, but the one that I tinkered with was Longshot. It has worked well on some long clay shots, but that is as far as I went with it. There is a fine line between hobby and insanity.
I use whatever I get cheapest. Right now for 12 ga it is Win AA Plus but I have used Hodgdon Titewad, and will likely go back to Alliant Promo. I have also used Red Dot, Clays, Solo 1000, American Select, International Clays, 700X, Rex I and II and Green Dot with success. I still use Green Dot for long range target loads and light game loads. I have not seen any difference in scores with any powder so I use what I can find for cheap. I usually use Unique or Herco for 16, 20 and 28 ga but again have used and liked Universal and Inernational Clays, SR 4756, Win Super Field, Hodgdon HS-6, and HS-7. I also like these powders for field loads in all guages. I do not use Blue Dot much any more as I have gotten some Longshot. It works well for field loads and modest velocity target loads in the smaller guages. I really don't have a "favorite", they all work.
I use blue dot for heavy 12ga and 10 ga lead shot loads with good success, (don't reload much of this since the elimination of lead shot for waterfowl). I use IMR SR4756 for all my steel shot reloads. I have been using green dot for target shooting and light field loads. I changed my target powder from red dot to green dot several years ago as I can now shoot velocities from 1145 to 1285 with the same powder.
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