We now have some of the best handloading component powder ever available to the shooting market at our fingertips. Hopefully some of the “super secret” powders used in the new short magnum factory ammunition will be available to us for home use. The powder companies are always working to improve their products and the powder we buy today is worlds ahead of what I was using in the 1980’s.
ALLIANT Right up the road in Radford, Virginia the good folks at Alliant are still making powder. It has never been a secret that their #2400 powder is my favorite for the .357 Magnum and I’ve been using it for over 30 years. Clean burning with consistent velocity and a stable pressure curve, it is the powder of choice for the .44 and .357 magnum handgun handloader.
According to Alliant their new Extra-Lite shotgun powder allows a lower load charge for dropping from 1 1/8 ounce to 7/8 ounce loads while delivering clean, complete combustion and reduced recoil. The new Power Pro series of powders are a new series of spherical powders made to cover the entire spectrum of handgun and rifle calibers, designed for specific calibers and are as close to duplication of factory loads for pressure and velocity as we have been able to come.
HODGDON AND IMR powders have been around a long time and have given millions of shooters the performance and reliability we all demand. I started my handloading with IMR powders in the .308 and .22-250 in the early 1970’s and still today turn to IMR as a “first choice” in load development. Since I began shooting a .300 Winchester Magnum as my go-to long range rifle IMR 7828 has been my powder of choice with bullets of 165 grains and heavier. With the introduction of IMR 8208 XBR, which may be the most stable powder when talking about consistent velocity over a wide range of ambient temperatures, varmint hunters and bench rest shooters have a powder that has proven itself in the sands of the mid east as well as the fields of the US.