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W231 vs N320


Aggieddad02

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Now before anyone suggests using the Search feature I can assure you I have worn it out over the last 3 days. I am down to my last 3 lbs of N320 and the realization is that while all powders are scarce relying on a powder coming form across the pond is only going to delay it even more and I have read about the rumors of the plant closing and the powder being made elsewhere.

I am looking for a powder with similar characteristics - clean burning, low flash, not real temperature sensitive. Living in LA I have shot matches that start out in the mid 40's in the morning and by noon it is in the mid to upper 70's so the sensitivity property is really important.

I have a friend who suggested this powder to me as this is what he is going to use and has used and is pleased with it. Any help would be greatly appreciated, in the meantime I will be on Google reading through any related topics

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I use W231 exclusively and I consider it a good powder. Below 50 you have to watch temp sensitivity dropping velocity, but with 169+ factor you should be fine - even when it drops below 50. That being said, when it gets hot you will run fast. Texas Limited with temps over 105 I was at approx. 184 power factor off of a 172 base line for that year. At low charge weights it burns a little dirty with an occasional flake here, but at major charge weights it burns cleaner by comparison.. I clean my guns so its never been a problem. I also shoot cast lead - sometimes lots which is dirtier than any power safe and except - black powder, and again - never a problem with that powder. Also you can swap out HP-38 and W231 - I do depending on what is available, as I understand that they are in fact the same powder. Winchester shows identical load data between the two powders as well.

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I read that HP38 was developed to copy W231. Not that much of a stretch as Hodgdon makes HP38 and also makes the Winchester powders under license....

They are in fact the same identical powders as are W-W 296 and Hodgdons H- 110. SJ 40
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For me 231 is my 2nd after N320. In 9mm, Production I see very little difference honestly.

What are you doing in the .40 reloading section, Dave, you switching to limited next year?

Anyway, I think 231 would be a fine substitute. probably more dirty than the almighty n320 however.

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HP38/231 was OK for me, but I'd also consider Solo 1000 if you can find some. very similar recoil impulse to 231, but it runs cleaner.

Careful with Solo 1000 - it runs significantly slower at warmer temperatures. Kind of irritating, and does not allow you to load up a few thousand to have on hand, particularly if you have some major's coming up. I mean, I guess you could load such that you definitely make it when it is 90 degrees out, but if it goes down to 50, the PF would be somewhat high.

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  • 2 weeks later...

hopefully by January things will go back to normal in regards to powder and primers. I highly doubt it

In Ohio we have primers all around and some of the powder is coming back, albeit a little more expensive, no sale pricing.

I have been using 231 for 40 major and minor without issue. Burns pretty clean at major loads for me.

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