Interview with Chris Hodgdon Part 1

One of the things I like best about running this blog is the opportunity to make industry connections. It’s great to make new relationships and to learn more about how reloading components and equipment and developed and manufactured. Recently, I had the opportunity to have a couple different conversations with Chris Hodgdon of Hodgdon Powder Company, and I’ll be sharing these converstaions with you all in a two-part video series.

In this first installment, you’ll meet Chris Hodgdon, and learn about the history of the Hodgdon Powder Company. I learned a lot by talking with Chris, and I think you will too. It’s fascinating to learn about the people, families, personalities, and history related to many of the large and small companies that us reloaders are familiar with.

About Chris

Here’s a selfie taken by Chris Hodgdon, as you can see here he’s not a stuffy guy:

chris-hodgdon-selfie-flat

Here are some things I learned about Chris during our conversation:

  • Chris works in media and sales at Hodgdon
  • Chris’ favorite hunting rifle: Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in  270 Short Mag
  • Things that are important to Chris: family, hunting, church, volunteering

Here’s a picture of Chris’ family:

Chris Hodgdon's family, from left: Adele, Chris, Joel, and Pierce
Chris Hodgdon’s family, from left: Adele, Chris, Joel, and Pierce

About Hodgdon Powder Company

The history of Hodgdon Powder Company is an interesting one. Hodgdon as a company was started by Bruce Hodgdon in 1947. That year, Bruce negotiated with the US government to purchase some 50,000 pounds of 4895 surplus powder that was left over from WWII. Soon Bruce would sell this “Hodgdon” powder to reloaders to the tune of $30.00 + freight for 150lb of powder! I know we all wish those prices were still a reality today, but times have changed. Interestingly, H-4895 is still a very popular powder, and it’s formulation hasn’t changed much. Bruce didn’t start the business alone- he had help from his grade-school aged kids J.B. and Bob. I can relate as my occupational roots started by helping my Dad around the shop at our printing store (including running printing presses).  Here’s a recent picture of J.B. and Bob:

J.B. Hodgdon (left) with Robert Hodgdon (right)
J.B. Hodgdon (left) with Robert Hodgdon (right)

Bruce Hodgdon originally incorporated his business in 1952, and split off Hodgdon Powder Company in 1966. Since these early days, Hodgdon Powder Company has expanded it’s product portfolio to include many different pistol, rifle, and shotshell powders which remain some of the most popular choices with reloaders.

Hodgdon office front in Shanee, Kansas
Hodgdon office front in Shanee, Kansas

It’s pretty amazing to have a company remain true to its roots, and to stay within the family for nearly 70 years! If you want to hear more, you can listen to my conversation with Chris here (Part I):

Be sure to catch “Part II” to this story which will be posted here on Ultimate Reloader shortly!
Thanks,
Gavin

About the author

8 thoughts on “Interview with Chris Hodgdon Part 1”

  1. Well this is all very interesting I suppose to someone that
    has access to gunpowder for reloading. I have been forced
    to stop shooting due to a complete unavailability of powder
    for reloading. Oh there is some rifle powder here and there
    but powder for pistol has all but disappeared. What has
    happened to this country?

    Regards
    Rob Kessel

    1. Rob- that’s an unfortunate reality right now. 🙁 Have you tried hitting up all of the backwoods country stores for powder? That’s been the best place for shooters here in Washington to find powder… You may not find everything you want, but for the most part you’ll find what you need (here in WA that is).

      1. I have tried many sources over the last year without success.
        Are there that many new reloaders out there…is it due to hoarding
        just because they can….or is there something else at play here.

        Until this situation shakes out one way or another I am out of the
        reloading game. This means I am not purchasing ANY components
        at all. I simply have a small stock of ammo that I will not be shooting
        anytime soon.

        What has happened to the United States of America?

  2. Just like above comment: How about giving the community some information on the future for pistol powder. Should we all start shooting Archery?

    1. Chuck- we all feel your pain 🙁 In Part II of this interview I talk with Chris about shortages, hoarding, political climate- you’ll want to check it out!

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to Chris Hodgdon’s interview. He’s such a down-to-earth guy, true mid-west values. Guys like Chris and his family are a dying breed. I hope you can continue to do these interviews, influential business people in the firearms industry. This is a great opportunity for you and for us to hear these guys talk about their business. Another interview I’d like to hear is from a fairly local business, Hevi-Shot, right down in Sweet Home OR. I’ve talked to them, great folks and they make a wonderful product.

    1. Thanks Dave! Yes, Chis is a very down-to-earth family guy. I have a “Part II” coming soon, and plan to interview more people in the shooting/reloading industry this coming year. Stay tuned!

  4. I was at Camp Perry today there was powder and primers. FFF Fin Fur and Feathers had the most powder I ever seen period. Primers floor to ceiling along the wall. Bullseye was selling for $112.00 per 8#s. Primers CCI were $139.00 per 5,000. If you live in Ohio , Michigan ,or Pa. and like to drive bring your wallet. The National Matches run July 7th – August 6th. There was CCI standard velocity 500rds $37.00 – 5,000 rds $ 360.00. There was a about 3 tons or more of powder some fast burning favorite powders weren’t there. Like Titegroup HP- 38 HS-6 but there were other choices. This is one nice place to go in Port Clinton Ohio about 1 hour drive for me.

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