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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For posterity's sake, I'll share. I dunno if there's much point, as little went as planned, and what did was undermined by me throwing my back out at the range doing nothing that justified it. There should be some sort of rule that you shouldn't be able to throw your back out unless you actually lift something, just sort of reaching thataway while positioned a little off-kilter should not be sufficient. GRR.

Anyway, I was trying to work up a major load, and titegroup just was not doing it with plated bullets while retaining accuracy.

So I tried universal clays. Based on readig various forums, I had seen claims to making major power factor using 4.8gr of universal under 180gr heads in a glock 22. Since in general, my M&P does not seem to have a fast barrel, and traditional cut rifling seems to be a tad slower than polygonal, I went with the recommended starting load of 5.0gr.

5.0gr under berrys 180gr round nose 1.33 nominal OAL:

avg of 10 was 917.45fps with and SD of 24.4. pf of 165.1 avg and a high pf of 173 and a low pf of 158.1 Compared to titegroup at similar PF, there were minimal pressure signs. Extreme spread was 82.9fps. I suspect the lowest was the result of chrono/technique error. avg of 8 (throwing out the highest and lowest) was 916.76 fps with a SD of 17.7 and an extreme spread of 52 fps.This is a pretty mellow load. Accuracy TBD.

4.5gr under 180 gr berrys round nose 1.33 nominal OAL:

avg of 9 was 815.61 with a SD of 27.4 and a PF of 149, extreme spread of 94fps. Despite making 149pf, this load feels exceptionally light. Pressure signs were minimal and similar to 146pf titegroup loads (4.0gr under 180gr). Accuracy TBD.

4.0gr under 180 gr berry's round nose 1.33 nominal OAL:

avg of 13 was 689.66 with and SD of 44 and a PF of 124. You could REALLY feel the variation load to load. Accuracy with this load was CRAP, but it was kind of like shooting a really loud semi auto paintball gun. Ejection was anemic, although I did not get any jams. It basically dribbled out at your feet.

Unfortunately, I damaged my primer system on my press while working this load up, so didn't have as many loaded as I would like, and the 5.0gr lot was short changed. Gotta order spare parts. The 4.5gr run decided to be a bit picky on getting the chrono to actuate due to me having nudged the chrono off angle and shooting to the target rather than visual over the sensors. So it didn't get accuracy tested properly due to lack of remaining ammo.

However, I shot enough that I can make some statements. Universal is very soft shooting compared to titegroup, and titegroup is not harsh. The powder looks like someone shrunk a bunch of nilla wafers down to about 2mm in diameter and left them to dry out and become hard as a rock. The powder really doesn't appear to be affected by static (cleaning it out of the powder measure is SUPER easy compared to titegroup), and flows well, but there was definitely the occasional crunching on the powder measure, but wasn't seeing sheared fragments. From reading up, I've seen people claim that UC is inconsistant at lower pressures. I don't think it is the pressure so much as the shape of the powder granules cuains the top layer in your charge bar/ charge cylinder to get scraped off and be left behind. The lighter your charge, the greater percentage gets scraped off if it fails to settle in a manner that doesn't mechanically interfere with the powder drop operating. Although pressure may be a contributing factor as I have found results for 9x18 mak UC loads that have a SD in the 26 range.

As to shooting characteristics, this stuff is mellow. POI also seems to be different than titegroup with this powder. I forgot my paster dots at home, and thus was shooting at naked USPSA targets. Which basically meant aim at the first shot and try to make a group. Titegroup would seem to hit POA if you covered the target. UC seems to hit to a 6 0'clock sight picture, but I didn't realize this until most of the way through the 4.5gr sample as I was chasing my shots vertically up the target. using a subtended sight picture, and wasted most of the batch.

I don't think the berrys plated 180s like being pushed to major PF much better with this powder. Which is unfortunate as I really like the way the powder handles from a recoil perspective.

From a functionality standpoint, it seems to burn relatively clean for the number of shots put through it. Unlike titegroup, it appears to create a better brass to chamber seal with no blowby, which has to be better for your barrel. It also doesn't get the gun nearly as hot, which also can't be bad.

So it might have potential. I really want it to work as I like the recoil impulse. I'm going to try som 5.2 gr loads under plated, jacketed, and moly coated lead and see what's what. I don't think a minor load is going to be worthwhile , but will try 4.3gr under a 180 jacketed round. Maybe even try some temperature tests.

64 Posts
45guy said:


I think he was talking about Universal Clays instead of just "Clays". How do the corporate lawyers let Hodgdon get away with the confusing naming of these powders?

My accuracy load in my 1911 5" is 3.8 gr. of Clays behind a 200 SWC lead bullet.


113 Posts

I think you may get good results with the moly coated lead bullets using UC. I think you will find using that bullet and powder combination it will fare well making both minor and major PF. A few friends load UC in 40 and seem to have good results. One uses Precision bullets and the other Master Blaster bullets (185 gr & 180 gr respectively). Both shoot L-10 & Production.

I've been doing some research as well. The powders that are leading the top of my research list that appear to work well as an alternative to the favored Titegroup with plated, jacketed & moly bullets are Ramshot Competition, Solo 1000 & Accurate #2. Solo is a very fast powder, Accurate #2 is in the TG burn rate range & the RC is in the mid-burn rate area.

Ramshot Competition is about as rare as hens teeth here in the Pittsburgh area. Sportsman's Warehouse is a dealer for Western Powders/Ramshot, perhaps the manager can see if he can get a few pounds to his store. I plan to pick up the other 2 in the near future.

I just did some load development for both major & minor PF using WST. I was reasonably pleased with the results. I developed loads for cast lead (165 & 180 gr Penn), plated, jacketed(180 gr) and moly coated bullets (185gr). All loads shot well, showed no signs of pressure distortion or case fouling & had a great degree of accuracy. My only concern about WST is temperature sensitivity. Loads were tested on an 80 degree day - not sure how they will react across a chrono if shooting on a cooler 40 to 50 degree day. WST seemed to work well for minor PF loads, and about average for major PF. By that I mean that it was about as comparable to any other major PF load - nothing outstanding.

I enjoy developing loads using several different brands of bullets and powders. I'm looking for that sweet spot load in both major and minor PF that my MP likes and offers me the best options as far as felt recoil and accuracy. Kinda my personal quest for that mythical "Holy Grail Load".
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