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 Gun Powder Shortage or Buying Frenzy
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Advanced Member

2547 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2009 :  6:45:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Powder Shortage?

Posted by GuySagi, Mar 19 2009, 08:03 PM

The empirical evidence is there-the scarcity and price of ammunition is driving more and more shooters to reload, but real facts and figures are scarce. Chris Hodgdon, of Hodgdon Powder, put it into perspective during a phone interview today. "We sold more Varget in the last three months than in any other year," he said. "Seventy percent of our service calls are asking where they can buy powder."

He said the customers they're seeing generally fall into one of four groups, but the main customer is afraid of new restrictions "...and the rumors going around that include a massive tax increase on gunpowder," Hodgdon said. "We haven't seen anything like this in our 60 years plus of business."

The company has 16-hour shifts running 6 days a week to catch up, but he said it's important to remember the moment powder is produced it starts to deteriorate-or more accurately, its protective coating starts to break down. It can be stored nearly a lifetime under the right conditions, but "If you need to buy 3 or 4 pounds, by all means go ahead, but you probably don't want to buy 48."

Shooting Illustrated's June issue will include a closer look at the situation, tips for determining if that old powder needs to be discarded and it will include some eye-opening facts and figures on the powder shortage.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson

Edited by - nyforester on 03/22/2009 6:46:47 PM

Advanced Member

35968 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2009 :  6:53:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
buying frenzy!
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The Ultimate Infidel
Senior Member

2051 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2009 :  6:55:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wonder if this applies to about 40 1 lb unopened containers of black powder I have sitting in one of my safes. Might outta fix em up with an auction all of their own.
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Advanced Member

6591 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2009 :  7:03:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The market is up, sounds like a good time to sell! you could easily double your supply.

What is popular is not always right, What is right is not always popular!

Parenting is the most difficult,challenging, rewarding, dangerous job on this planet.-bigoutside
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machine gun moran
Advanced Member

5514 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2009 :  9:59:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Laundry-pro, black powder may be the real sleeper if there gets to be any serious and long-term shortage of smokeless. I'm thinking that it was once used to power everything, even bottlenecks like the .303 British.

Control is an illusion, because nobody knows what's going to happen next.
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The Ultimate Infidel
Senior Member

2051 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2009 :  11:21:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
well they are on auction as of a bit ago so if they are sleepin, I sure hope they wake up
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Advanced Member

42232 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2009 :  12:28:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I might buy some primers next Saturday at the Saxet gunshow in San Antonio.....I hope,think I will open them.

A friend had said they wanted to shelf life primers,
that would bum me out if my grandsons would have duds years from now.

I have other powder choices so I can wait it out,but I will let em' gouge me right now..

God fearing & gun owner and I'm keeping Them both.

You city slickers keep your gun control to yourselves.
You are living with too many asses per acre with no safe backstop.
Besides,the broadside of a barn is not the x-ring. ;]

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Advanced Member

13345 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2009 :  07:35:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nowhere does it say there is a shortage or frenzy. Increased reloading could be a result of the down economy and nothing else.

That said I personally encourage anyone to get into reloading, but myths of a shortage are just that.

"I couldn't possibly care less. Im actually trying to care less and just can't get there." - Kevd18
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Advanced Member

10258 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2009 :  10:41:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would dispute that the powder starts to break down as soon as you produce it. Obviously someone from Hodgdon's is more knowledgable about such things than I but they are also in business to sell powder and getting you to pitch yours after a few years is good for them.

Powder can break down, for sure; I've seen it. I've also seen properly stored powder last for decades. The oldest ammo I've shot was dated the 1880s and 120 years later the powder looked and smelled fine and the ammo shot to spec. I've chronograhped some 1942 dated ball M2 30-06 ammo and it too performed as it should.

In a can, if it is away from heat and sunlight, and isn't someplace damp, it should last as well as it does in a loaded cartridge. A buddy at the range bought a bunch of surplus powder in the 60s, now almost 50 years later it looks and performs like new.

"...hit your enemy in the belly, and kick him when he is down, and boil his prisoners in oil- if you take any- and torture his women and children. Then people will keep clear of you..." -Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher, speaking at the Hague Peace Conf
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Colt Super
Advanced Member

28650 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2009 :  10:48:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sometime ago, I read that black powder remains usable - essentially forever.



God Bless America and...
Remember Pearl Harbor
Remember the Alamo
NEVER, EVER Forget 911
Lock and load
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26702 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2009 :  11:02:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We dont seem to have a problem of getting anything here, primer, powders, wads, shot, bullets,

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big geno
Senior Member

2206 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2009 :  2:33:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
don't have any powder but i got 4000 lbs of lead!
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Senior Member

1053 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2009 :  3:44:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Its just like ammo. Everything is going out of control. Just look at GB with the ammo. Every Tom Dick, & Harry is selling it for ridiculous prices by the boxes and cases. No wonder you can't find any in the stores. Everybody bought it all up and now wants to make a big profit. I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and asked for 9mm. The clerk told me that morning they got a case in and some woman bought the whole case.
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854 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2009 :  4:16:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got the last 1000 large rifle primers that this little pawn shop had for $26. When he gets more they'll be $50 or more.
Even bullet molds are sold out. I did a product search at Midway for .45 caliber molds and everyone, all styles, weights, were sold out. Same at Grafs for most common styles and calibers.
What's taking Winchester, Federal and CCI so long to get primers back in the system?
I have a freind that is a commercial reloader, think I'll call him and see what a 10,000 case would cost me.
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