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Substituting Universal For Unique? #14447792 01/08/20
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Henryseale Offline OP
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My usual coated lead SWC loads for .44 Mag and .44 Spl, both used in a 4.25" S&W M-69, is 10 gr and 7.5 gr, respectively, of Alliant Unique. To duplicate these loads, can I directly substitute Hodgdon Universal for the Unique? I have seen this suggested and also have seen it suggested that a couple of tenths grains more of Universal are needed to equal the Unique load. I do not have a chronograph. I have seen burn rate charts that show Universal right next to Unique. Anyone have a definitive answer? I can make a guess myself, but I don't like guesses when it comes to loading ammo. Thanks!


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Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14448551 01/09/20
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Swifty52 Offline
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You don’t have a chronograph and trying to duplicate an unknown variable. Hodgdon has proven published data for your round. This is as definitive as you are going to get, start low and work up.
Just because they are close in burn rate doesn’t mean squat, just as a suggestion of a couple of tenths difference off the interweb from an unreliable source doesn’t mean squat. If that doesn’t trip your trigger or if you are afraid to experiment, just stick with Unique.



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Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14452848 01/10/20
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Henryseale Offline OP
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I was simply asking for what were the experiences of others in comparison of similar loads between Unique and Universal. I know how to look in a reloading manual. In fact, I have multiple ones in my reference library. I do not have one that specifically shows equivalent comparisons between using these powders such as with X barrel length using Y bullet seated at H O.A.L. with Z primer using W grains of R powder results in U F.P.S. with T P.S.I. in one of them vs. the same amount of the other powder. Ideally, this information would be graduated for increases in each of the powders at the same increments. This way, I could determine equivalent loads using Universal as opposed to Unique. I have pretty much settled on a couple of loads using Unique that I like and want to duplicate the results as close as I can, if safe, with Universal. I am not finding info for either that much closely duplicates the other. Either the load data is over or under what I am looking for. Sure, I find multiple loads using either powder that will successfully push the bullet out of the barrel safely, and I am not pushing the outer limits of hot loads (except for my "Skeeter" load in .44 SPL that I fire out of my .44 Mag), but I don't want mouse loads, either. What also complicates things for me is knowing that even similar powders have pressure spikes at different combinations of powder quantity, bullet weight, configuration, etc. I guess I will have to buy a chronograph and do comparison testing of graduated loads on my own in small graduated steps. Problem is, I don't shoot enough to justify the expense of doing that, so I was looking for someone else's experience/data.

Additionally, I am aware that there are some on the internet that will tell you anything just so they can say something, no matter if it is accurate or not. Also, for what it is worth, I have found on one occasion published data on a load by a respected die maker that I found impossible to put that much of the referenced powder into the case. After checking the quantity of powder on two different scales and verified the cartridge case for correct size, I called them. They just said that they do not try these loads themselves, but publish what data they are given. Hmmm....so I like to get similar info from multiple sources, if possible, to analyze to basically see if it looks right. I probably have a tendency to over analyze stuff. Also, yes, I think I am competent enough to look for and recognize signs of over pressure in handguns.


"...why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for,... because it is the only thing that lasts."
Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14458297 01/12/20
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Caveat Emptore first, last and always applies no matter where loading information is obtained. NEVER use loads suggested by others without first consulting several loading manuals, always work up to a load. Variations in components and firearms can yield surprising results.

Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14462705 01/13/20
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Swifty52 Offline
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I guess I will have to buy a chronograph and do comparison testing of graduated loads on my own in small graduated steps. Problem is, I don't shoot enough to justify the expense of doing that, so I was looking for someone else's experience/data.


While I didn’t expect my answer to thrill him, this isn’t what I said. No you don’t have to go buy a chronograph and No you don’t have to shoot a bunch of test loads. Back before I had a chronograph I used to just load up 5 @ start, 5 @ mid load and 5 at a couple tenths under max. Go to the range and see where poi on the target was for each compared to the usual load. 15 rounds wasn’t a lot of waste and not scientific but it worked. I have done that every time I went to a different powder.
How Universal will react in your weapon and bullet/case/primer combination compared to Unique is a question that only you can answer. What ever my data is it usually came from the powder manufacturers or load books. Then I ran the test as above. So my comment of sticking with Unique if you don’t want to commit 15 - 20 rounds to test was valid, even though you don’t like it.

Last edited by Swifty52; 01/13/20.


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Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Swifty52] #14465655 01/13/20
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Henryseale Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Swifty52

I guess I will have to buy a chronograph and do comparison testing of graduated loads on my own in small graduated steps. Problem is, I don't shoot enough to justify the expense of doing that, so I was looking for someone else's experience/data.


While I didn’t expect my answer to thrill him, this isn’t what I said. No you don’t have to go buy a chronograph and No you don’t have to shoot a bunch of test loads. Back before I had a chronograph I used to just load up 5 @ start, 5 @ mid load and 5 at a couple tenths under max. Go to the range and see where poi on the target was for each compared to the usual load. 15 rounds wasn’t a lot of waste and not scientific but it worked. I have done that every time I went to a different powder.
How Universal will react in your weapon and bullet/case/primer combination compared to Unique is a question that only you can answer. What ever my data is it usually came from the powder manufacturers or load books. Then I ran the test as above. So my comment of sticking with Unique if you don’t want to commit 15 - 20 rounds to test was valid, even though you don’t like it.

OK, makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.
Best Regards


"...why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for,... because it is the only thing that lasts."
Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14470240 01/15/20
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deflave Offline
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Originally Posted by Henryseale
My usual coated lead SWC loads for .44 Mag and .44 Spl, both used in a 4.25" S&W M-69, is 10 gr and 7.5 gr, respectively, of Alliant Unique. To duplicate these loads, can I directly substitute Hodgdon Universal for the Unique? I have seen this suggested and also have seen it suggested that a couple of tenths grains more of Universal are needed to equal the Unique load. I do not have a chronograph. I have seen burn rate charts that show Universal right next to Unique. Anyone have a definitive answer? I can make a guess myself, but I don't like guesses when it comes to loading ammo. Thanks!


No.


Originally Posted by Fireball2
For the record, you pissed my wife off and she found you in about 4 seconds with a simple Google search. Knew your family, your kids schools, your address and phone numbers, the works.
Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: deflave] #14471459 01/15/20
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Henryseale Offline OP
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Originally Posted by deflave
Originally Posted by Henryseale
My usual coated lead SWC loads for .44 Mag and .44 Spl, both used in a 4.25" S&W M-69, is 10 gr and 7.5 gr, respectively, of Alliant Unique. To duplicate these loads, can I directly substitute Hodgdon Universal for the Unique? I have seen this suggested and also have seen it suggested that a couple of tenths grains more of Universal are needed to equal the Unique load. I do not have a chronograph. I have seen burn rate charts that show Universal right next to Unique. Anyone have a definitive answer? I can make a guess myself, but I don't like guesses when it comes to loading ammo. Thanks!


No.

OK. I am not arguing with your answer. Do you have any Universal loads that you can recommend from experience that would closely duplicate these Unique loads for magnums and specials? Or, could you point me in the direction of a published information source? I have multiple reloading manuals, but not really finding what I am looking for. Hodgdon's website is not much help. Thanks for the reply.


"...why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for,... because it is the only thing that lasts."
Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14472146 01/16/20
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deflave Offline
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Sorry, all my load books are put away and I am a Unique or Power Pistol guy.

Until you have a chronograph you're going to be guessing regardless.


Originally Posted by Fireball2
For the record, you pissed my wife off and she found you in about 4 seconds with a simple Google search. Knew your family, your kids schools, your address and phone numbers, the works.
Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: deflave] #14472589 01/16/20
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Henryseale Offline OP
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Originally Posted by deflave
Sorry, all my load books are put away and I am a Unique or Power Pistol guy.

Until you have a chronograph you're going to be guessing regardless.

Yeah, that is pretty much what I have concluded. Just going to have to break down and buy a chronograph. Thanks.


"...why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for,... because it is the only thing that lasts."
Bravo

Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14481145 01/18/20
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LouisB Offline
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Chronograph is not as important as Loading Manual and target information for the Universal.
I am guessing that no matter what you are wanting equal speed, but equal or better precision downrange may still be most important.


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Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14481488 01/18/20
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The closest thing I could find to the information you are looking for is on pages 919 and 921 for 44 sp and pages 923 & 926 for 44 mag in Hornady #10.

Each of these four pages shows load data for Universal and Unique with 180 gr or 240 gr cast bullets. And no, the load data is not interchangeable.

Also on page 272 of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook is comparable data for Unique and Universal with the 240 gr cast. In this sample Universal actually uses less powder than Unique to reach the same velocity.

Universal is not recommended for 44 mag or 44 sp in any of my manuals for any jacketed bullets, and very seldom for cast.

Titegroup is recommended across many manuals for many bullet weights. I use a bit of Universal in the 41 and the 327 for reduced loads. I found during the time which Universal was unavailable, Titegroup works just as well. It burns just as cleanly in reduced loads as Universal, and load data is easily found for Titegroup.



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That each person may reap as he/she has sown.
Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14481835 01/19/20
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Swifty52 Offline
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Go here and correlate this data for universal in 44 special and mag against hodgdon. Good luck.
https://www.speer-ammo.com/reloading



Swifty
Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14490118 01/21/20
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Henryseale Offline OP
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Thanks to all for the replies.


"...why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for,... because it is the only thing that lasts."
Re: Substituting Universal For Unique? [Re: Henryseale] #14494270 01/22/20
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I'm a late-comer to this party, but I'll try and throw in some data.

Unique and Universal are not interchangeable, but I have used Universal in place of Unique in 240 grain jacketed and lead loads. What I was doing was using Unique and loading 44 SPL loads in 44 Mag cases. At that level, neither Universal or Unique are going to blow up the gun, but the velocities were different. The idea was to have nice soft practice loads and both powders could do that just fine.

I've since used Universal in 357 Mag in place of Unique. Same story: I was using a 38 SPL recipe in 357 Mag cases. It works. My EDC load uses Universal-- again, I started with a 38 SPL load for 125 grain Hornady XTPS and just worked up until I was about half-way between 38 SPL velocities and 357 Mag. The recoil is greatly reduced, but the velocity is much better than 38 SPL. Lead Lee 358-125-SWC fire nearly identically, so I have a cheap practice load.


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