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  #1  
Old 03-06-2007, 10:51 PM
ingeniero1 ingeniero1 is offline
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Hodgdon Clays v.s. Hodgdon Universal Clays




I have been using Hodgdon Tite Group for .45 ACP with 230-gr FMJ RN and other jacketed bullets. It has been fine, but I would like to try Hodgdon Clays.

Looking up reloading data from various sources in the internet, I find that 3.8 to 4.2 grains of Clays will be fine, so I will probably try 4.0.

But when I looked this up in my Hornady and Sierra handbooks, the Clays they list is Universal Clays, with a charge ranging from 5.4 to 6.0 grains. Neither of the handbooks mention just plain 'Clays'. This could pose a serious problem if misinterpreted...

My questions:
1. What is the difference in performance between Clays and Universal Clays?
2. Why would the handbooks not list just Clays?
3. Does anyone (here) use Universal Clays? (All I have found so far have been references to Clays and its appropriate charge of around 4 grains, and not the 5.4 to 6 grains as would be the case for the Universal Clays variety.)

Thanks!

Alex
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2007, 10:57 PM
bdavis385 bdavis385 is offline
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Yes, it would present a series problem. There are three versions of Clays. Clays, Universal Clays and International Clays. Each is different and has different applications. They burn at different rates. It not mentioned in the manual you are advised not to do it.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2007, 11:54 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Yes, a bunch of us have used Universal (for clarity we usually drop the Clays and just call it Universal). It burns slower than Clays, kinda closer to Winchester W231. Faster powders can be a little sensitive to variations in powder charge. Slower powders are a little more flexible in that regard. Both work well in 45acp.

Clays is very popular because it's cheaper to buy, you load more rounds per pound, and it tends to burn somewhat more cleanly. Both powders are worth trying. Start down at the bottom of the range and work up. You'll discover more about their performance that way. And some pistols really like the lighter charges better. Go ahead and try them.
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2007, 08:16 AM
benedict1 benedict1 is offline
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Why not just look at what Hodgdon recommends on their website? And also find out the difference between the powders you are interested in using. You will have the most up-to-date loads and not have to rely on outdated print material--

http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2007, 08:38 AM
TINCUP AL TINCUP AL is offline
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3.8 TO 4.0 grains of Clays with a 200 grain bullet is a very nice load for 45. I use it for all of my 1911's. If you have a Springfield XD though, you'll have to bump it up a bit to 4.3 grains to get the gun to function reliably. good luck
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2007, 08:47 AM
WichitaGreg WichitaGreg is offline
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<rant>
I've never understood why someone would answer a direct question with a recommendation to contact the manufacturer or to check the manufacturer publications. It doesn't answer the question. I guess all questions on this site could be answered by "Call S&W and ask them" or "Check their website."
</rant>

There is a nice thread on Clays loadings on this site at:
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=167325

Clays is faster than Universal Clays --don't use Universal data for Clays!

I have found that my Lee Auto Disk throws 3.9 grains of Clays pretty evenly all the time. I have used the same setting on my measure, 3.9, for 45ACP loads in 200, 230 and 250 grain bullets with good success. YMMV. Under a 230 RNFP from David Long's Precision Bullets, 3.9 grains aproaches 760FPS-775FPS, in mixed brass with WLP primers. This is a great IDPA/IPSC load, and economical as well.

I like Clays over Bullseye for example, because with Clays, the case expands to seal the chamber much better, which is one reason the gun stays cleaner longer. With Bullseye (or Winchester White Box) most of my cases have black soot on them indicating the mouth of the case never expanded to seal the chamber.

Go ahead, ask us old guys what our experiences have been, and most of us will answer. I will soon be able to tell you how much Power Pistol I use to duplicate Hornady TAP +P CQ in my guns, again, YMMV.


Greg
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http://www.kansas-idpa.org
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2007, 09:18 AM
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Tom Freeman Tom Freeman is offline
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I like plain old clays a lot. I have not bought a 1 pound jug of it in many years. In fact, I dont see the need to sell anything less than 8 pound jugs of it.

Very clean burning. I used it in my revos.

Universal in the 45 sucks. Dirty and kicks a lot.

I have not tried International in anything but 12 gauge.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2007, 09:23 AM
ken_mays ken_mays is offline
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I use Universal for all my handgun loads, including 9mm, .38, .40, 10mm, and .45. It's a lot easier just to keep up with one powder, even though it may not be perfectly ideal for all calibers.

I'm on my second 8 lb keg of it, though I do have a 4 lb keg of W231 I'd like to try out.
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2007, 09:24 AM
robctwo robctwo is offline
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I have not used the Universal Clays, but have used regular Clays for .45 and 9mm. I too use the 3.8 to 4.2 range. Milder loads for weaker springs. I have one gun set up that will cycle with 3.8 and one gun that will choke on anything less than 4.1, not enough energy to fully recoil the slide, so cases stick in the ejection port. I buy it in 8lb jugs further reducing the price. My Hornady case activated powder drop on the LnL has no trouble holding the desired charge weight with the pistol micrometer insert. Cleanest and softest powder so far.

I have also recently used some WST in the .45 with good results. Other powders tried are 231, Titegroup, Unique. Have a new bottle of 700X that had to come home to try. I guess the common worry about Clays is that there is a chance for pressure spikes if you go over the max. I just do not load many rounds at or near the max. When i do, it is for a specific reason and I will weigh more of the rounds during the loading to ensure that there is no variation in charges. Having an auto-indexing press also reduces the chances for a double charge.
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2007, 10:28 AM
herd48 herd48 is offline
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I've used Universal Clays with good success in 9mm and 45acp. Although I guess I prefer it in 9mm. W231 is my first choice go to powder.**With UN Clays you have to find just the right load. Otherwise you will end up with a lot of unburned powder in your gun. Once you get it, it works fine.
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2007, 12:30 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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Clays and Universal Clays are not the same powder and are not even remotely interchangeable. Clays is a fast burning powder not far from Bullseye in pistol loads, and Universal Clays is pretty close to Unique. (I came up reading Elmer Keith and am accustomed to comparing other brands of powder to their nearest Hercules - now Alliant - grades.) This has led to a certain amount of confusion amongst reloaders; it is probably best to do as Nick says and just say "Universal".

Hodgdon apparently called three different powders Clays, International Clays (few if any pistol uses), and Universal Clays to emphasize that they were made by the same process at ADI in Australia. I guess they did not expect to cause confusion, being that Hercules-Alliant has been selling Red Dot, Green Dot, and Blue Dot for years without any problems of nomenclature with a lot of "dots". But now Alliant has brought out Clay Dot which will no doubt leave people wondering whose data to use.

Buy them under ADI label in Australia and they are numbered with no confusing "clays" terminology.

By the way, Robert, be careful with that 700X. I have loaded a lot of .45 ACP with it (as well as 12 gauge) but its flake size makes it hard to meter in lighter loads for smaller calibers or even powderpuff .45s.
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2007, 07:01 PM
brownie42 brownie42 is offline
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4.0gr of Clays is an excellent load for a 230gr FMJ. Very accurate, mild recoil, and clean. This is the maximum load for this bullet, by the way.

--Bill
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2007, 10:32 PM
iNuhBaD iNuhBaD is offline
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I'm a HUGE fan of Hodgdon's Universal!!!

Great powder, Great price.
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2007, 10:57 PM
m1match m1match is offline
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For those of you who do use Hodgdon Universal, what load have you found to work and burn cleanly. I loaded a bunch of 230 FMJs with 5.0 of Universal and ended up with unburned powder all over the place.
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  #15  
Old 03-08-2007, 08:33 AM
iNuhBaD iNuhBaD is offline
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M1Match, What kind of Primers are you using???

I use 6.0 Grains of H. Universal with 230 Grain Winchester FMJ bullets. I get a little unburnt powder, but not much. (5.8 Grains also works very well; but my gun likes hotter loads)

I don't care as much about unburnt powder as I do pressure, velocity, accuracy, and consistency in my ammo. If I have a little unburnt powder so be it. It's a much more consistent load.

I also shoot 230 grain Lead Round Nose bullets using 5.4 or 5.6 grains depending on the desired load (5.4 for practice, 5.6 for competition) and the 5.6 load had very good tested accuracy, pressure, velocity, and consistency.
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  #16  
Old 03-08-2007, 10:35 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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iNu -- How do the velocities compare between 5.6/230lead and 6.0/230fmj?
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  #17  
Old 03-08-2007, 04:21 PM
iNuhBaD iNuhBaD is offline
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6.0 Grains of H Universal with 230grain FMJ put my loads up in the 850-875 range

5.6 Grains of H Universal with 230 grain Lead Round Nose puts my bullets around 810 to 845 IIRC. Moving that fast I get a little more 'lead' deposits in the barrel than when firing 5.4 grains with the same bullet...

YMMV.
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  #18  
Old 03-08-2007, 05:18 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Thanks, bud. That's pretty good performance for 230g. I'm putting it on my list of things to try.
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2007, 05:33 PM
m1match m1match is offline
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I was using Winchester large pistol primers. Thanks for the info. Next time I load a batch I'll work up to 6.0 grains and see if the unburnt powder goes away.
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  #20  
Old 03-08-2007, 10:29 PM
ingeniero1 ingeniero1 is offline
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I ordered 8# of Clays from Powder Valley together with other supplies (already shipped and scheduled for delivery on Monday) and I am looking forward to trying it.

Thanks for your inputs - much appreciated.

Alex
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  #21  
Old 03-09-2007, 06:59 AM
iNuhBaD iNuhBaD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick A
Thanks, bud. That's pretty good performance for 230g. I'm putting it on my list of things to try.
Sorry Nick,

I just checked my info from home now.

My 5.6 Grains of H Univ. with 230 Grain Lead Round Nose got about 850 to 874 FPS, and I forgot to mention it's a higher pressure loading. 5.5 grains is the max for this bullet according to my manuals. Try 5.2 and work your way up to a decent load. Mostly I use the 5.4 grains though (because most of the ammo I make is practice loads).
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  #22  
Old 03-13-2007, 12:32 AM
SpyderMan2k4 SpyderMan2k4 is offline
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A quick question for you all. I just started reloading with Clays a couple days ago, but I'm having a really really hard time getting any kind of consistency. One charge will be 4.0, the next will be 3.8. I realize it's a flake powder and not the BEST for consistent charges, but it shouldn't vary THAT much, should it? Have have you guys solved this problem? I really don't want to sit there with a trickler for ever round. Thanks!
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  #23  
Old 03-13-2007, 07:54 AM
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epj epj is offline
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I meter Clays through a Dillon 550 and find very little variation from load to load. Less than .1 gr. I don't have a problem in my area with static due to the usual high humidity, but some folks have reported success with using various anti static devices and also polishing the insides of their powder measures. Look for other problems. It isn't inherent with the Clays.
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  #24  
Old 03-13-2007, 08:46 AM
benedict1 benedict1 is offline
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I use the Lee Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure and have no trouble dropping 3.1 gr consistently. I do use a RCBS powder baffle in the hopper. I use the .46 cc cavity.

I would guess you are having some static problems.

What powder meaure are you using?
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  #25  
Old 03-13-2007, 12:41 PM
SpyderMan2k4 SpyderMan2k4 is offline
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ah ha, I had not thought of that (static problems). Without looking I cannot tell you exactly what measure it is (my dad bought the equipment, otherwise I'd know every detail), but it's an RCBS powder measure, used with a single stage press.

The reason I've thought it might be the powder is because I have difficulty lifting the arm of the measure. Sometimes it's smooth, but most of the time I have to work it a little to get it to go, sometimes I have to force it (basically, I guess the flakes are not flush, thus causing the holdup.) I'll research the static thing and try to eliminate that variable, any other ideas? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!
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