Posts Tagged ‘Reloading Powder’

RCBS Grand Shotshell Loader Part III: Preparing to Load

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

In this series covering the RCBS GRAND, we’ve performed an unboxing, covered mounting and press basics, and in this post will be getting ready for full-progressive shotshell reloading. The first step getting ready to load is to load is to decide on load specifics (data and components). Here’s the basic load that I decided to use:

  • Hull: Remington Gun Club 12 gauge, once-fired
  • Primer: Fiocchi 616 (209 type)
  • Wad: Claybuster 12S3 replacement (CB2118-12)
  • Shot: #8 lead
  • Powder: Alliant Red Dot
Components loaded in the RCBS GRAND - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Components loaded in the RCBS GRAND – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

From left, we have Fiocchi 616 (209 type) primers in the primer tray, Alliant Red Dot powder (note that it actually has red dots – handy to keep track of powders in measures!), and the #8 lead shot. The primer try is pretty neat on the RCBS grand, and very easy to load.

RCBS GRAND Primer Tray is easy to load - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

RCBS GRAND Primer Tray is easy to load – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Notice the black “linkage” which inserts primers into the drop tube and corresponding “shutoff” pin at the left side. This is a handy feature to have! Here’s a video showing specifics for getting this press ready to roll:

I really like with this press how you can remove/replace a hull from any station at any time – they just click in and out of position in the appropriate station. That’s a big time saver when setting up the press or fixing an issue while loading.

Stay tuned, because in the next RCBS GRAND post we’ll advance to full progressive shotshell loading!


Poll: Where are you finding reloading primers and powder?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

It appears that the reloading component shortages are not easing up any time soon. This makes it really hard on us shooters that reload ammunition. So my question for you is: where are you finding reloading components?


Where are you finding reloading primers and powder?

  • Local Stores (54%, 779 Votes)
  • Online Retailers (32%, 469 Votes)
  • Other (10%, 144 Votes)
  • Friends (4%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,455

Loading ... Loading ...

I’ve deployed a variety of tactics to keep my shelves stocked, primarily looking in obscure places online (for instance: buying pistol powder from a shotshell reloading website). Have a tip to share? Did you vote “Other”? Please leave a comment!


Powder and Primers in Stock: Ballistic Products

Monday, March 4th, 2013



It’s an understatement to say that it’s “really hard” to find reloading components right now! It takes extra work, searching, and creativity to find acceptable components for the reloading that you want to perform (in many cases favorite primers and powders are just not available). This week I had an unfortunate occurrence, a pink slip in my hazmat order that said “these were out of stock [shotshell primers] – your credit card will be credited with the difference”. WHAT? The primers I’ve been waiting on for over a month to start my shotshell reloading video series- GONE! Back to the drawing board. Fortunate for me, some shotshell hulls I had as a part of an order with Ballistic Products were on back order. They had shotshell primers in stock, and I was able to update the order with in-stock hulls and was also able to add some shotshell primers to the order! Huge relief…

So I thought I would share with you all the fact that they have quite a few components in stock:

Primers In Stock:

  • Winchester 209 Shothsell Reloading Primers
  • RIO 209 Shothsell Reloading Primers
  • Cheddite 209 Shothsell Reloading Primers
  • Remington STS 209 Shothsell Reloading Primers

Powders in Stock:

  • Hodgdon Clays
  • Hodgdon International Clays
  • Hodgdon Triple Se7en
  • Hodgdon Pyrodex RS
  • Hogdgon LEVERevolution Rifle Powder
  • Hodgdon US 869 Rifle Powder
  • Alliant Steel
  • Alliant Blue Dot
  • Alliant Green Dot
  • Alliant 410
  • Alliant Clay Dot
  • Alliant 20/28
  • Alliant H2400
  • Alliant Herco
  • Alliant Red Dot
  • Alliant e3
  • Accurate Nitro-100
  • IMR Hi-Skor 700-X
  • IMR PB
  • Winchester AA Lite
  • Winchester SuperTarget
  • Winchester Super-Handicap

No, this doesn’t  help you with pistol primers or rifle primers, but hopefully those looking for Alliant 2400 or other components listed above will be helped out by this. I’ll keep posting when I find components in stock.

Do you know of online retailers with components that are in stock? Please post a comment!


Versatile Powders: W231 Load Data

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Winchester W231 and Hodgdon HP-38 are examples of highly versatile powders - Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

Winchester W231 and Hodgdon HP-38 are examples of highly versatile powders – Image copyright 2013 Ultimate Reloader

Being able to use a single powder for multiple applications is a great benefit. This standardization can allow you to keep your powder measure loaded with the same powder, make bulk powder purchases more equitable, and generally make your life easier. One great example for pistol loaders is Winchester W231 and Hodgdon HP-38 (the same powder branded differently). I have used this powder for many different cartridges and load levels- it meters great, is super-versatile, and is a great bulk-buy in 8 lb canisters.

To show you just how versatile this powder is, I wanted to share some load data with you all for some of my “standard loads” (non-magnum).

Note: This load data is for reference only. Always cross-reference with manufacturer’s load data. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors or possible issues you may have when using this load data. Use at your own risk.

W231 standard loads

Did you notice something about this load data? All of these loads use the same exact charge weight! So I can actually change over cartridges and not even have to mess with the powder measure! This brings a whole new meaning to “standard loads”. This kind of “Sweet setup” may or may not work out for you- you’ll have to make sure your autoloaders are “happy” with the bullet weights and charge weights used, but in my experience these loads work really well.

One powder, 4 different cartridges, and one charge weight. That’s handy! I just hope I don’t run out of W231/HP-38. :)

Have you guys found good powders other than W231 and HP-38 that you can use in multiple applications? Please share!


Dealing With Reloading Component Shortages

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

We’re all feeling the squeeze: a volatile political climate related to guns leads to a surge in gun-related purchases, which inevitably leads to reloading component shortages. It can be really disheartening to see bare shelves at the local gun store and “out of stock no backorder” when shopping online. I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts on how to deal with these issues.

Bare Shelf

An unfortunate but common site: a bare dusty shelf where reloading components should be available for purchase

Take a deep breath- shortages are usually temporary.

Yes it’s unfortunate, but these shortages are typically temporary historically speaking. When there’s a run on components, it can seem near impossible to find what you need. When the extreme shortages pass, stock up on what you need, ideally keeping 1-2 years worth of the hardest to find components on hand. Keep other shooter’s interests in mind and don’t hoard. If we all keep our heads on straight, it will be best for everyone.

Shop online and shop locally.

Many of the popular online retailers will be out of stock on reloading primers, reloading powder, bullets, and so on and so forth. This just makes sense- online shopping is where the masses typically go first. You may be surprised to find that your local small-town sporting shop or gun store may have reloading components in stock. If you’re shopping online, take advantage of the “email me when in stock” feature that many popular sites offer. For many online gun businesses, there’s currently an all time high volume of sales and customer service queries, so expect up to 15 day delays on shipping. Later is better than never! Do beware of “ships from manufacturer” arrangements on reloading components. I’ve been burned by this recently. “We’re sorry to inform you that XXX can’t fulfill your powder order”. Really? Whey did your website list the powder as “in stock” then? Extremely frustrating! Like everyone, I’m trying to stay level-headed. :)


Variety is the spice of life, right? Well, now may be the time for you to try different brand of reloading primers or different types of powders. You may use Hodgdon Varget for most loading from .223 Remington to .308 Winchester – but you may now want to try less popular powders that are easier to find in-stock. Benchrest primers may be more expensive and you may not need them, but if you can buy them- it may be worth the extra cost. Experimenting is half the fun of reloading, so get your white lab coat on and prepare to create some great new recipies!

Word of caution: don’t be tempted to mix and match reloading components that aren’t known to be compatible! It’s better not to shoot for a while than to damage your gun (or worse yet- yourself!).

Check with your friends and family, be a picker.

I’ve purchased reloading components from garage sales, friends, and from pawn shops. I’ve used old primers and powder, and have had few issues doing so. It may be time to throw on your “American Pickers” hat and go on a reloading component search (ideally in an old barn – at least that would make for a great story). It would be a shame for reloading components to just sit and collect dust… This can be a great way to obtain brass too. Make sure that your friends aren’t throwing away these valuable resources. Tell them you’ll pay them for their old brass! This is a great time to do some “open air market” bartering with people in your shooting club, at work, etc.

Garage sale find! You can bet this old-school powder won't go to waste! A part of my "backup" supply

Garage sale find! You can bet this old-school powder won’t go to waste! A part of my “backup” supply

Prefer “sipping” over “gulping”.

I don’t know about you, but if the government were to put a temporary tax on alcohol based on volume- I’d tend towards sipping scotch rather than gulping beer. This may the perfect time to change from “Glock blasting” to “bullseye shooting” for a time. You may want to let the combat AR-15 sit for a time, and instead pickup your bench-rest AR or bolt-action rifle. When I’m shooting my AR-10 off the bench, I don’t go through much ammo, but I get a lot of satisfaction. This approach may not work for everyone, but it’s a viable option for most shooters. When you get back to blasting, it’ll feel all the better. Do you enjoy reloading for the sake of reloading? It may be time to get out the single stage press so that you can get the most out of the process…

Support your community.

We’re all in this together. Do you know someone that has zero primers? You may want to spare a few trays to help un-block them. In the long run, you’ll make a lot of friends this way, and you know what they say about “what goes around comes around”. Let’s stick together!

It certainly is an unfortunate reality to be caught up in this kind of mayhem, but thinking long term, being patient, helping each other out, and being creative will certainly help. Got tips to share? Please leave a comment!