Three Old Reliables

Be Unique And Hit The Bullseye With 2400!

We are indeed fortunate today to not only have so many powders to choose from, but also have them easily accessible. We’ve always had lots of powders, but finding them was certainly not easy in the late 1950s. There were, however three standout powders which were seemingly always available and easy to find, Bullseye, Unique and #2400, all available from Hercules.

Bullseye goes all the way back to 1898 when it was developed by Laflin & Rand. In 1902 it was switched to the DuPont label and then in 1913 Hercules took over some of the DuPont powders, including Bullseye. Of course, today all former Hercules powders are produced under the Alliant label. Bullseye is double-based, with 40-percent nitroglycerin content. It takes up so little powder space care must be used to prevent double-charging the cartridge case. A loading block allowing you to look into each case before seating a bullet is good insurance, as well as a powder sensor on the loading press.

From day one Bullseye has been the powder for target shooters, at least when target shooting was king. Everyone who paid any attention at all knew the standard loads for target shooters were 2.7 grains of Bullseye under a 148-gr. wadcutter in the .38 Special, and 3.5 grains with a 200-gr. bullet in the .45 ACP. With charges such as these, 1 pound of powder resulted in just under 2,600 .38 Special rounds and 2,000 .45 ACP rounds. With 4.5 grains under a 246-gr. roundnose bullet, the standard factory .44 Special load can be duplicated. And 5.0 grains with a 250-gr. bullet in either the .44 Magnum or .45 Colt makes for an accurate and pleasant shooting midrange load.
By John Taffin

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4 thoughts on “Three Old Reliables

  1. LARRY

    I started reloading when I bought my first .44 mag super Blackhawk. I tried the Bullseye powder and after 30 minutes of cleaning the gun, I asked a old timer what he used and he told me to try Unique 2400. I havent changed my powder since 1975. Still use it, still love it and it is such a clean burning powder. Favorite load is 21gr of 2400, 240gr hollow point 300 CCI primer

    1. LARRY

      I agree, 2400 is my powder of choice for my 44 mag. I tried several loads, and settled on 21 gr, 240 gr hollow point and CCI primer. I dont recommend a 27gr of 2400 and a 240 gr bullet (an old Keith published load). It hurts your hand after 2 shots.

  2. borg

    21 grains of 2400 for a 240 grain JHP is the MAXIMUM load for the 44 magnum 27 grains would be a very unsafe load. The gun might stay together for a few shots but stress cracks would begin to occur.

    six full grains over maximum is a very bad idea. I can only hope that is a misprint.

    1. JD Juelson

      Dad loaded for his .44 mag Ruger from the ’50s on. Passed his reloading gear to me. His load for his PISTOL was 24 grains of 2400, pushing a 240 GC WC. It is just the “glut” of wannabe .44 mags out there,THEY can’t handle the same pressures as a Ruger, Smith or any other quality manufacturers. I still use that load, only in my rifle and tone it down a bit for the pistol (inherited when Dad passed away)

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