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:


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!