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New Powders: from a Luddite

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Spitpatch, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'll try to be brief, but fail regularly:

    Handloading for about 42 years (since a kid). In the early years, new powders were almost uneard of. Now it seems a weekly event.

    I have stalwart standbys and adhere to the regimen of "one load/one gun" most frequently. I have enough guns (and some in duplicated calibers) to be able to do this and still achieve load variety for field application. Example: with seven .250 Savages in the stable, some are applied to light bullet varmint loads (75g and such), the majority hover around the 85g Ballistic Tip, and a couple have their dedicated MTM boxes filled with 100g bullets for "the heavy stuff" (heavy for a .250).

    I experience fear on a regular basis with new powders being introduced. I have been burned more than once in former experiments: having developed a fine load with a brand new powder, only to see it fade into obscurity only a (for me) small number of years later. Even trusted companions desert: (Reloader 12 for my light .30-06 loads in a Winchester '95 carbine). I managed to tap a nervous hoarder companion for a supply of this good powder that might take me to the end of my existence and usage of the '95.

    I read articles about newly introduced powders with great reservation. I nearly always reject the exploration, believing (with good evidence) that they will not be available 5-10 years from now. On the other hand, I see some of these recruits become hard sergeants in the field, and regret my decisions of an earlier date to disregard their potential worth.

    I am curious toward others' strategy to this quandary. For me it is a very frequent puzzlement. I wonder if I am missing a boat, and on the other hand, do not want to firmly esconce myself on a boat that will sink in the relatively near future.
     
  2. ridnjon

    ridnjon vancouver wa Active Member

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    They have developed new powders, and some have come and gone. But there is powders that are very accurate and efficient. Try new powder safely and only you can determine if you like the accuracy and how it performs.
     
  3. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    It's called "Progress".

    200 years ago, rifles used the same powder and the same ball. Pistols used, again the same powder, and a smaller ball.

    Over the years this remained the same until someone decided that it would be great to have all those different calibers, bullet types/shapes, and along came smokeless powder.

    In the age of modern firearms we no longer have 38 caliber revolvers, .45 or 9mm pistols, 30-30 carbines, and 30-06 rifles.

    I doubt that we've seen the last "New Cartridge" and subsequently, the last "New Powder".

    One thing that IS nice is that we still use pretty much the same basic primers :cool:

    Today I wouldn't worry so much about the "life" of a new powder, but rather whether I HAVE powder. Maybe this lunacy will end soon.
     
  4. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    Powders, like fine cigars, only fade into obscurity if no one buys them...so I buy a lot of powders in 1lb quantities to try them out (I do the same for cigars...buy them in singles before buying a whole box).

    Assuming their marketing and engineering is sound, good powders will be around for a long time...even crappy powders (bullseye comes to mind) will be on the shelf long after vastly superior replacements have been introduced. There are as many reloaders who are ardent experimenters as die hards who have used the same recipe for 40 yrs...