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Discussion Starter #1
1. Does it meter well through a powder measure?  
2. Does it burn cleanly?
3. Does it vary much from lot to lot?
4. How does it do with cast bullets?  
5. Is it friendly when working up loads (i.e no surprise pressure spikes)?

7. Finally, is it worth trying in the 38 Special, 357 Mag, 45 ACP, or 45 Colt for light to medium (i.e 650 to 900 fps) loads?

I really appreciate any experiences you can relate.

God Bless,
Mark in GA
 

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Hi there Mark,

Yes, I have shot many pounds of AA-2.  So far the majority has been for 44 mag with some for 44 Special and some for 38/357.   It meters very very well through my RCBS powder measure.  Yes, it burns very cleanly.  Maybe not as clean as some of the newest powders but clean is still the operative word.  There is a bit of soot left over (I have only shot it with lead bullets so far) but nothing like an unburnt powder.

Some years ago I developed a max load in 44 mag with AA-2 and the LSWC bullets I was using at the time.  Pressure rose predicatably and there were no surprises as long as you remember not to increase too much at one time.  All in all I have found it to be an easy and forgiving powder and also very accurate (look in loadswap for my AA-2 load in 44 mag).  The powder I can most compare it to is WW 231 only cleaner and less soot/smoke.  

There may well be superior powders to AA-2 out there but I have been too content to change without a lot of reasons.  

I have no experience with AA-2 yet in either 45 acp or 45 Colt.  My next project is to try AA-2 in 45 acp.  In 45 Colt it may be a bit too slow burning if you want a real light load in that cavernous case.  I would call Accurate Arms for advice if you want a real light load in 45 Colt.  It should be a winner in 45 acp though.  

Good luck and let us know how it goes for you.


God bless..................  Bill M
 

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Mark,

All my experience using AA No. 2 is with the .38, reduced .357's, and .45 ACPs in the velocity range you asked about. I used it when there was a shortage of Bullseye a few years back when the Hercules factory blew-up.

It metered well in a Lee Auto Disk, as it did in a Hornady measure. I agree with Bill M. that cleanliness is about the same as Bullseye, a bit better than 231. If you use published data there will be no nasty surprises with pressure. If you can use Bullseye, you can use No. 2 with equal confidence.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I've used #2 in both the .44 mag and .45 Colt.  No problems.  My loads are in the 1,000 fps range, because I wanted to regulate the point of impact at 25 yards with some hunting loads, and that's the velocity that I needed.  Below that velocity level, I did not get real consistent ignition.  Didn't chronograph the loads but I could sometimes tell a noticeable difference in recoil.  Once I got over 7 grains it seemed pretty consistent.

In the .44 I use a 240gr. SWC, and in the .45 Colt I use a 255gr. SWC.  In both cases the powder charge is about the same, between 7.5 and 8.0 grains, I forget exactly what the measure is set on.  Note - this powder charge doesn't appear in the AA manual for the .45 Colt.  It is surely over pressure for Colt SAA's and the like.  But in my Blackhawks it is just fine.  6 shots generally go into 2 inches or a little better at 25 yards.  I don't claim to be any great shot, though.

I also seat the bullet so that the case crimps on the shoulder to cut down on the airspace.  Again - something that you won't find recommeded in the manuals, as it raises pressures.  But I am staying well away from any sort of max loading.  The cases come out of the chamber really, really clean this way.  Standard primers by the way - Rem. 2 1/2's if memory serves.

This load is fun in the .44 especially for shooting gallon jugs filled with water - at 100 yards.  If sighted in about 3 inches high at 25 yards, it hits right on top of the front sight at 100.  I've also used it to shoot big rocks at double and triple this distance.  Of course you need some elevation for that.  But the long-range accuracy is pretty good, and the recoil doesn't beat you up.

You can sometimes find that powder sold as surplus at www.gibrass.com - that's where I got mine.  It's listed as #102.  Apparently this was a cannister lot of #2 improved.  I got 6 lbs for &#3648, plus a few bucks for shipping.  A friend was buying several large cans of surplus powder for his .50 BMG so we split up the shipping costs.  

Give it a try... I think you'll find it very useful.
 
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