Universal Clays powder problem.

phatcyclist

Active Member
Feb 22, 2008
882
36
Austin, TX
I need your help reloaders!

I purchased a 1lb container of Hodgdon Universal Clays powder to do .45 ACP and .45 Colt. A friend and I reloaded two different bullet weights and two different powder charges each in .45 Colt and went to the range. They were all very inconsistent one of them was about as light as a .22 in my Uberti 1873. There was also lots of powder "flakes" in the casings and on my gun. I've only ever reloaded with Varget, but I can't imagine this is common for pistol powder. Any insight into this would be helpful. I already emailed Hodgdon about it, I'll see if I get a response.
 

LHB1

Active Member
Mar 4, 2008
311
16
Houston
What scale or powder measure did you use to measure your charges? Were the charges on the very light end of recommended range? Were the loose flakes burned at all? If not burned, your powder measure might be letting flakes slip thru without going into your cases. If burned, possibly the charges were so light that they didn't burn properly when fired. Low pressure loads don't usually have full combustion and leave charred granules of powder around. Higher pressure (safe!) loads will burn cleaner. Lack of sufficient roll crimp on .45 Colt loads can also cause incomplete combusion, especially with lighter loads.

Did you use proper loads for your powder? There are several Clays powders and their load ranges differ. Using the wrong load data could cause incomplete combustion OR extra high pressure depending on which data is used for which powder. Hope some of these rambling thoughts help solve your problem.
 

gfmun

New Member
Apr 9, 2008
5
1
I switched

I had that problem with Universal Clays and switched to Hodgdon Clays. No more problems.

thanks, George
 

txpete

Member
Mar 17, 2008
136
16
ft hood
I have tried just about every powder in the 45 colt.it is funny I keep coming back to unique and W231.these are the best powders imho.
I had the same problems with trail boss in my 45 colt bisley ruger:confused:.

pete
 

comanche

New Member
Mar 20, 2008
18
1
Austin
What bullet weight? Which primers? I like HS-6 and H-110 both w/ WLP primers for my 45colt loads.
Don't think I'd use H-110 or WW296 in a Uberti, though.
 

phatcyclist

Active Member
Feb 22, 2008
882
36
Austin, TX
I talked to a gentleman from Hodgdon, and he said I need to try crimping them harder. I've gotten that from a few people, so I am going to go with that first.

I'm using a 230 grain Sierra JHP, 7.1 grains of Universal Clays and CCI primers.
 

Peter M. Eick

Member
Mar 9, 2008
124
16
Houston
In 38 special, I found that universal did not like different vintages of brass and I finally tracked it back to a lack of uniform crimp.

I hate to say it this way, but I gave up on Universal Clays (UC) and went back to Unique. Unique burns easier, is more "uniform" in terms of SD and velocity on my rounds and is easier to work with to get to perform then UC. I would have to check, but I doubt that I even have a pound of UC while I have 8 of unique.

Unique's downside is it leaves a lot of stuff to clean up on the gun and you.

Try the crimp then consider something else like 231, unique or trailboss for the 45LC.
 

ForneyRider

Member
Jul 10, 2008
58
6
Forney, TX
Varget is rifle powder.

W231 is good for target loads, and H110/W296 is good for +P heavy loads.

Unique is another favorite.

Clays and other flake powders don't work very well in powder measures. Try a ball powder.

I like the IMR rifle powders, but go with Varget and RL powders because they are easy to measure in my Lee Perfect Powder and Lee Auto Disk.
 

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