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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like I'm getting near the bottom on all my old powders. Since I last bought shotgun propellents, lots of things have changed: hulls, wads, and the names on some of the powder companies. I'm wondering if anyone would know of one or two powders that will serve gauges 28-12 in light hunting and skeet/sporting applications. I am presently set up to load 28, 20, and 12 gauge, with a Mec 600Jr on the way for 16 (that is, if I've been a good boy). I haven't loaded for waterfowl since the steel shot law and use Bismuth now for ducks (and let me tell you I pick my shots carefully!). What I'm looking for are light loads for small game. I saw in another post a good-looking load for a 7/8 oz in the 12 with e3. Trouble is, I couldn't find the loads in other gauges to fall within the parameters I'm looking for. I shoot mostly #6 shot for rabbits and squirrels and #71/2 for doves. I'm also thinking of trying the clay sports soon. Anyone getting good mileage across the gauge spectrum with any particular powder? Thanks. Good hunting and good luck.
 

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I went through the same decision making process a couple of years ago and decided on PB and Lonshot.

Actually you could get away with PB for everything.

I load 28 and 12, Lead and Bismuth in both gauges. 20ga will come on-line in the spring.
 

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I have standardized on H-Clays and Universal.

The Clays works good for 12 ga 3/4 oz/ 7/8 oz/ 1 oz and 1-1/8 oz loads for targets, doves, etc. The Universal works well for heavy 12 ga loads(which I don't use) and performs well in 20 and 28 ga, as well as many of the handgun calibers I use.

You can always find a powder to do a specific job in a particular gauge, but it is hard to beat Clays and Univeral for all-around powders.

They also work well in the 16 ga(if you were good!). Join the 16 ga low-pressure group at www.16ga.com for good reloading data. Cost was $15-20 and you get a lot of useful 16 ga data that has been pressure tested. The best $20 you will spend on reloading! Just post a question on how to join, and the right people will contact you.
 

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Hodgdon Universal or Alliant Unique will get you decent target and light field loads in all gauges. Of the two, I prefer the Hodgdon Universal. It seems to burn cleaner for me.

That said, either powder cannot load less than 1 1/8 oz loads in 12 ga. What I have done lately is to use Hodgdon International for 12ga, where I only shoot 1oz and 7/8 oz loads for skeet, and Universal for the 20 and 28 gauges. I only shoot a maximum of the standard load out of my guns, the 12ga being the exception. In 12 ga, if I need more than 1 1/8oz or I need steel, I'll buy a box of factory ammo.

Frank
 

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So, what's wrong with more than one or two numbers of powder???? I probably have over 75 different numbers of powder for a multitude of firearms I hand load for. Probably no more than a dozen different shotgun powders though!

BP
 

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Trying to use the same powder in 12ga target loads and the 28ga as well isn't the best route to take, you really need two powders for this task.
for 12ga target loads use one of these:
Alliant, Red Dot,E3,American Select, perhaps Green Dot,
or Hodgdon, Clays, Int'l clays

For the 28ga. Use:
Alliant Unique, Herco.
Or Hodgdon, HS-6,Universal,Longshot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies, opinions, etc. I guess I'm just trying to simplify with only two powders. When I first started reloading in about '82, I thought Unique was going to be the only powder I needed, though with some loads it looked as if a graduating class of mice had their prom in my barrel. I had all I needed except a killer waterfowl load--enter 571. Then I got a MEC 600Jr for 20 ga. to go with my Lee Loadall (oops, did I say Loadall--I'm out of the closet now) and along came 540. Then I got a MEC for 28 ga. and picked up IMR7625 and 473AA. I've reloaded metallic for a long time (25 Rem, 30 Rem, 6.5x55, 300 Sav, 30-06, and .22 Hornet), so the powders were stacking up. I've been away from shotshell reloading for about 5 years and I'm playing catchup with all the new hulls, wads, and powders. This forum has been a plethora of information. I'm trudging back through old posts to find "favored and tested" loads for various applications. I'm making progress, but it's a long haul. I admit that it's a pleasurable task though, and I'm enjoying it and this forum. Thanks again for all the suggestions. Good hunting and good luck.
 

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I've found Unique and Universal to be the most "universal" powders around. Longshot is in there but is too loud for me in the larger bores. With Unique and Universal, I can load heavy field loads in the 12, nice 1 oz. loads for the 16 and 3/4 oz. loads for the 28. Longshot produces higher velocity loads in all three of those gauges but I like to keep my velocities around 1200 fps. If I were to choose one powder right now for all my reloading it would Universal. It's cleaner than both Unique and Longshot and does exactly what I need.
 

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Heck I load light bullets in my Deuce and .223 with Blue Dot, it makes a fine heavy load in my .45 Colt and .357 Mag as well as normal loads in 20 ga and 28 ga. Granted, it 12, it is a heavy hitter. But... I have to agree, Unique IS the one and only "one and only" powder I'm aware of. I suspect that Universal can do about anything Unique can too, but I've been there, done that with Unique, I know it is Unique, er ah, universal actually!

BP
 
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