W-540 powder question

JonB

Well-Known Member
#1
The Hodgdon website says "HS-6 is identical to Winchester's discontinued 540"

I wanna use some old 540 powder and work up a full power load for a NOE 128gr in 38 super (in a 1911 clone).
I am unable to find any 540 data, Is there anything special that isn't obvious to me? to begin with the starting loads for HS-6 from the many published data sources that I can find.

Thanks in advance.
 

RicinYakima

Well-Known Member
#2
JonB, went through all of my old WW powder handouts after 1965. When WW was making it, they never used it for any handgun data. Propellant Profiles does not list if for anything but shotguns. In fact I can not even find any reliable (published by a company) data for it except for shotgun. Sorry, Ric
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
#3
I found 473AA data for a few handgun calibers in Speer #11, I'll try to remember to check when I get home.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
#4
Winchester has put out a few shotgun or pistol 'only' powders over the years.
231 is listed for pistols only, AAP is/was listed for shot shells it used 17.5grs under a 1-1/8oz. load, but it only appeared in one manual before it was discontinued. [titewad appeared a couple of years later with the same data]
but so have other company's like hodgdon [Int'l clays is a green-dot close-nuff] it took them a few years to put out like 5-6 loads in a cowboy pamphlet.
titegroup showed load data for 2 loads in shot shells in like 1998 and nothing since, although it is still speculated by many that it is used in the gold Nitro factory loads. [and not denied by Remington when asked]

if I had some hs-6/power pistol/be-86 [or maybe even herco] I would start with their data on the very low end and match them grain for grain and put them both over a chronograph.
that will give you a baseline.
 

USSR

Active Member
#5
The Hodgdon website says "HS-6 is identical to Winchester's discontinued 540"

I wanna use some old 540 powder and work up a full power load for a NOE 128gr in 38 super (in a 1911 clone).
I am unable to find any 540 data, Is there anything special that isn't obvious to me? to begin with the starting loads for HS-6 from the many published data sources that I can find.

Thanks in advance.
Yep, HS-6 is W540 and W540 is HS-6. Also, HS-7 is W571, both of which are discontinued.

Don
 

USSR

Active Member
#7
Speer #11 only gives data for HS-6. In the powder descriptions, Olin 540 is listed separately.
Same situation as it was with HP-38 and W231 years ago. Took them years to accept that they were the same powder coming out of the St. Mark's powder factory, just with a different label on them.

Don
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
#8
I like HP38. When I can’t find data for it I use 231 data with full confidence.
I burned up a few pounds of 571 using HS7 data
 
#9
Starting Loads​
Maximum Loads​
Manufacturer​
Powder
Bullet Diam.​
C.O.L.
Grs.
Vel. (ft/s)
Pressure
Grs.
Vel. (ft/s)
Pressure
Hodgdon​
HS-6
.356"​
1.250"​
7.1​
1,160
26,100 CUP​
8.0​
1,280
32,500 CUP​
Bullet Weight
 

Eutectic

Active Member
#13
In 1987 Sunset Sports in Wyoming (where I was working) were closing their doors. They started with discount sales. I bought a 20 ga MEC 600 loader missing the priming cup for $15! The powders like IMR 4350, 2400, Unique went fast at 30% off. At 60% off I bought 8 (8oz) cans of PB...... Two Winchester powders stubbornly stayed on the shelf. At 75% off I bought 5 cans of 473AA for the 20ga. I still have a pound and a half and wish I had more! It is a super accurate powder in my Model 23 Savage .32-20 and is responsible for many Blue Grouse to bless our dinner table.
My buddy says at work.. "Pete, those ten cans of 540 at Sunset are marked 90% off!" We were in turnaround at the plant so it was 3 weeks or more before I walked into the quite empty Sunset store. A sign said they were closing the doors in a week. I went by the powder display. 10 1lb cans of 540 was all there was on the bare shelves. The manager walked over..... "You want that 540 powder?" He asks. "I don't know what for..." I curtly answered. The manager must have known he had a sucker. "Tell you what.... You give me $15 for those ten cans and they're yours!"
I've used HS-6 data for 540 before without any problems.

Now 31 years later I still have four pounds of that buck & a half powder..... But ball powder has a L O N G shelf life!

Pete
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
#14
HS-6 is exactly what W540 is. Use the HS-6 data with confidence. I used HS-7 and W-571 interchangably
in the .38 Super. I used a heavy ( but book listed) load under a 150 gr cast and got 1230 or so fps back in the
day in IPSC. Shot about 70K of those.

Bill
 

JonB

Well-Known Member
#15
The pistol I ordered arrived yesterday. Rock Island (Armscor-Philippines). I was really impressed with the fit and finish, while it's "plain", it's surely a well done "plain". I've handled many economy 1911 guns at the LGS and usually I'm not impressed, even the Ruger.
Dummy rounds cycle smoothly, but the slide-spring is quite strong, which I guess is to be expected with 38 Super? The throat looks promising for a economy 1911. The sights that Rock Island uses leave a lot to be desired, but we'll see how they work at the range.

I'm still waiting on Dies and Brass. I've owned many Ranch Dog molds, and sold most of them when I was thinning the herd, I forgot I had kept 135gr. 9mm (GC style)...that's was kind of lucky, it should be a good one for this gun/caliber.


RIA 1911 A1A2 38 super 640px.jpg
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
#17
You'll like that pistol more and more as you shoot it, Jon. I think you'll like the bullet, too. Mine does well enough with the Lee .38 RN that I never bothered with anything else. The barrel might like 100 rounds of jacketed with frequent cleanings of the copper (like every magazine full) to smooth it up first.
 

USSR

Active Member
#18
For you guys with .38 Specials, W540 (HS-6) is THE powder for duplicating the +P "FBI Load". In some cases you can reach 900fps with a 158gr lead hollowpoint bullet with a snubbie. Personally, I get 945fps with my 2.5" Model 19. Makes for an awesome SD load with the ability to recover fairly quickly for follow up shots.

Don
 

Cherokee

Well-Known Member
#19
Used 540 in Super 38 during 80-90 's with cast bullets of 122 to 155 gr in IPSC. Great powder with good performance. I mostly used it in 9mm more lately and had to finally buy HS6 a few years ago. After about 50k rounds, it seems the same to me and works great.