February 28th, 2020

Hodgdon Powder Availability — Q&A about Supply in 2020

hodgdon powder extreme Varget H4360 shortage supply Q&A

Many of Hodgdon’s most popular powders, such as Varget and H4350, have become very hard to find. Shipments sell out as soon as they reach retailers’ shelves. We know our readers and Forum members are concerned about these supply shortages. Why are these powders in such short supply, and what is the prospect for more Varget, H4350, and other Hodgdon powders in the months ahead?

Hodgdon answered these (and other) questions recently in a Q&A post on the Hodgdon Facebook Page. Here are highlights of those Questions and Answers.

HODGDON POWDER UPDATE Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to your questions straight from Hodgdon, 1/31/2020:

Q: Why can’t I find Hodgdon powders like H4350, Varget, Retumbo, and H1000?

As you have seen, Hodgdon powders, especially rifle powders for long-range and precision shooting, can be difficult to find. Dealer shelves that were formerly filled with cans of powder now have empty spots. [Hodgdon added: “Dealer shelves are empty because powder is purchased as soon as it arrives at the dealers’ stores.”]

Q: Is Hodgdon still making powder?

A: Yes, we continue shipping powder as quickly as possible. In fact, we will ship more powder in 2020 than last year. The real problem behind empty dealer shelves is complicated, but is related to shifting supply and demand challenges. As supply decreased in 2019, demand only increased. No one wants to ship more powder than Hodgdon.

Q: What is causing the supply challenges?

A: Quite simply, our manufacturing facilities have not kept up with our orders. Additionally, military contracts began specifying Hodgdon powders in the last few years for military ammunition, impacting our supply. With expanded government regulation, shipping explosive and energetic materials has become more challenging, which also impacts available supply. Lastly, rapidly changing consumer preferences for different powder types has impacted both demand and supply. We worked with all Hodgdon providers to resolve open issues and expect powder supply to improve in 2020 as a result.

Varget, H4350, H4831SC, and other ‘Extreme Series’ powders are in very high demand.
hodgdon powder extreme Varget H4360 shortage supply Q&A

Q: Is the shortage of reloading powder being caused by Hodgdon shipping their powder to the ammunition manufacturing companies?

A: While Hodgdon does sell powder to ammunition manufacturing companies, more than 80% of our powder is sold to our core market – handloaders just like you. Hodgdon has always been committed to the individual handloader.

Q: When will I start to see more powder on dealer shelves?

A: While Hodgdon will continue to ship powder as rapidly as possible, we have a significant backlog in demand. Some powders will be in stock more quickly, but we believe it will take much of 2020 to improve availability for all powders. [Editor: In a separate post, Hodgdon stated “We will be sending out large amounts of H4350 starting mid-March.”]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
February 28th, 2020

2020 Lapua Practical Rimfire Challenge in West Virginia

Rimfire Tactical Challenge Eley Peacemaker SoCal

In 2020, Lapua will again be the title sponsor for the Lapua Practical Rimfire Challenge (LPRC). Modeled after PRS competition, the LPRC features practical-style matches shot with .22 LR bolt-action and self-loading rimfire rifles with optics. There will be four series matches, leading up to the series Finale in October 2020. Shooters will compete for glory plus an impressive table of prizes.

The Lapua Practical Rimfire Challenge Series (LPRC) will be held at the Peacemaker National Training Center in Glengary, WV. The LPRC is designed to test the .22 LR rifle shooter, ammunition, and optics out to 300 yards. While most stages involve long-range positional shooting, shooters will encounter stages set in natural terrain, stages with movement, Olympic stages of fire, and/or smallbore-style stages. Shooters can select from the semi-auto or bolt action division.

Registration for the LRPC is now open, with matches starting in March 2020. For more information on the LPRC visit Peacemakernational.com/prc.

CLICK HERE for Rules & Registration

LPRC Match Dates
Match 1: March 21-22
Match 2: May 25-26
Match 3: June 22 – 23
Match 4: July 27- 28
Series Finale: October 5

rimfire tactical practical rifle challenge ELEY

LPRC Matches Will Feature Multiple Positions and Movement
LPRC series matches are positional shooting events in field conditions out to 300 yards. You can use either a bolt-action or semi-auto .22 LR rimfire rifle. Much like PRS (Precision Rifle Series), competitors will shoot from a variety of positions: prone, strong/weak shoulders, standing, sitting, and kneeling. There will be shots from barricades, and movement from position to position during stages.

LPRC rules will, to a large degree, mirror PRS rules. However, shooters will see some different type of stages than what is normally seen at a PRS match. For example, there may be unsupported standing or unsupported kneeling shots in some stages. Peacemaker’s goal is not to replicate PRS in Rimfire, but rather to create the ultimate challenge for shooters on the rimfire rifle platform.

Rimfire Tactical Matches Aren’t Really New

We’re pleased to see this LPRC shooting discipline — it sounds like fun. However, the concept of a rimfire tactical/practical match is not new — at least on the West Coast. California shooting clubs have been running “Rimfire Tactical” matches for more than a decade. CLICK HERE to read our comprehensive Rimfire Tactical report from way back in 2008. This article includes free targets, ballistics charts, and a complete run-down on suitable rimfire rifles.

Rimfire Tactical Challenge Eley Peacemaker SoCal

The Concept Behind the Rimfire Tactical Match by Bill Erwin
Many guys who shoot long-range tactical matches practice with .22 LR rifles of similar configuration. Rimfire ammo is way more affordable than centerfire, you do not need a big range facility, and shooting rimfire saves wear and tear on your centerfire rifle. Further, for learning how to read the wind, there really is no better training tool than a 22 LR, even as close as 50 yards. Check out this table showing how a .22 LR ballistics compare to .308 Win:

22 LR vs. .308, Distances for Equal 10 MPH Wind Drift
This table shows the corresponding distances at which a 10 mph full-value crosswind pushes a .22 LR bullet and .308 projectile the same amount. Values are based on 0.130 BC for a 40gr .22 LR bullet, and 0.496 BC for 175gr .308 bullet.
22 LR
40gr
1050 fps
50 yd Wind
1.0″
75 yd Wind
2.2″
100 yd Wind
3.8″
125 yd Wind
5.8″
150 yd Wind
8.2″
175 yd Wind
11.0″
200 yd Wind
14.3″
.308 Win
175gr
2650 fps
130 yd Wind
1.07″
180 yd Wind
2.15″
230 yd Wind
3.68″
280 yd Wind
5.63″
330 yd Wind
7.98″
380 yd Wind
10.71″
440 yd Wind
14.56″

This table shows how the .22 LR can be an effective substitute for a .308 Win during training. Because the smaller bullet drifts more in the wind, a 22 rimfire shooter will experience roughly the same crosswind effects as if he was shooting a 175gr .308 twice as far out. So, rimfire work can teach you to dope the wind like a .308, but at less than half the distance. Shooting a .22 LR at 100 yards is like shooting a .308 (with 175 SMK) at 230 yards

SPECIAL BONUS–Rimfire Tactical Precision Targets

These FREE targets by DesertFrog are offered in Adobe Acrobat format for easy printing.
CLICK HERE to download all six targets as a .ZIP archive.

Permalink Competition, News, Tactical No Comments »
February 28th, 2020

AR-Platform Rifle Cleaning Advice

AR15 cleaning procedure

AR-platform rifles run dirty — very dirty. The gas system blows carbon and powder residues back into the action and into the bolt carrier group. That’s why you need to clean your ARs regularly, and you have to pay special attention to the nooks and crannies in the bolt and bolt carrer. The majority of AR failures we’ve witnessed have been from a combination of lube, carbon, and tiny brass shavings that collected in the ejector recess and the extractor spring recess. After that, plain carbon build-up on the bolt can be a gun-stopper too. And you need to keep the barrel extension clean too.

If you’re new to the (dirty) world of ARs, here are two helpful videos from the folks who make Froglube. That line of cleaners/lubes is pretty good stuff, though not our first choice for all AR lubrication and cleaning chores. But these videos do provide many helpful tips. They show the disassembly process and highlight the problem areas to which you must pay special attention.

How to Clean Your AR-15 Bolt Carrier Assembly

How to Clean Your AR-15 Lower Receiver Assembly

NOTE: Froglube also makes a video showing AR upper, chamber, and barrel cleaning. There are practices shown there that we do NOT recommend. Nor do we recommend Froglube products for bore cleaning. We think there are more effective cleaning products.

Permalink - Videos, Tactical, Tech Tip No Comments »