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April 1st, 2014

DOT Approves New 1000-grain (2.3 oz.) Powder Containers

DOT small powder bottlesHere’s big (and small) news for reloaders — get ready for smaller powder containers. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently approved new smaller containers for shipment of smokeless powder. The new containers are designed to hold 1000 grains, exactly one-seventh of a pound. That works out to 2.29 ounces of powder — quite a bit less than you are getting currently with one-pound (16 oz.) containers.

Here how it works out:
7000 grains = 1 pound = 16 ounces
1000 grains = 0.143 pounds = 2.29 ounces

Many products — from cereal boxes to Snickers bars — have been down-sized in recent years. Now downsizing has come to the powder marketplace. The strategy behind the smaller containers is simple. In a market where demand vastly outstrips available supply, the smaller containers allow powder-makers to generate more revenue with a given amount of powder inventory. Will consumers accept the smaller powder containers? Probably so — 1000 grains is enough to load 20-22 rounds of .308 Winchester. In the current marketplace (with many powders virtually impossible to find), most consumers would probably prefer to get 2.3 ounces of their favorite powder, rather than nothing at all. (NOTE: The major powder suppliers will continue to offer popular powders in 1-lb, and 8-lb containers. The new 1000-grain containers will be phased-in over time, as an alternative to the larger containers).

DOT small powder bottles

Why the small bottles? One industry spokesman (who asked not to be named) explained: “We’ve had a severe shortage of smokeless powder for nearly two years. The powder production plants are running at full capacity, but there’s only so much finished product to go around. By moving to smaller containers, we can ensure that our customers at least get some powder, even if it’s not as much as they want.”

Why are the new containers 2.3 ounces rather than 8 ounces (half a pound) or 4 ounces (one-quarter pound)? One of the engineers who helped develop the new DOT-approved container explained: “We looked at various sizes. We knew we had to reduce the volume significantly to achieve our unit quantity sales goals. Some of our marketing guys liked the four-ounce option — the ‘Quarter-Pounder’. That had a nice ring to it, but ultimately we decided on the 1000 grain capacity. To the average consumer, one thousand grains sounds like a large amount of powder, even if it’s really only 2.3 ounces. This size also made it much easier to bundle the powder in six-packs. We think the six-packs will be a big hit. You get nearly a pound of powder, but you can mix and match with a variety of different propellants.”

Less Bang for Your Buck?
We’re told the new 2.3-ounce powder bottles will retail for around $8.50, i.e. about $3.70 per ounce. At that price, it may seem like you’re getting less bang for your buck. Currently, when you can find it, high-quality reloading powder typically sells for $25-$30 per pound (in 1-lb containers). At $30 per pound, you’re paying $1.88 per ounce. That means that the new mini-containers will be roughly twice as expensive, ounce-for-ounce, as current one-pounders ($3.70 per ounce vs. $1.88 per ounce).

DOT small powder bottlesWhy is the DOT getting involved in powder packaging? Well, powders are considered hazardous materials, subject to many rules and regulations. Before a powder manufacturer or distributor can ship any propellant, all the hazmat packaging has to be first approved by the DOT to ensure safe shipping.

Along with the 2.3-ounce containers, the DOT has approved “six-pack” consolidated delivery units that will hold six, 1000-grain containers. Some manufacturers plan to offer “variety packs” with a selection of various powders in the 1000-grain bottles. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a six-pack with H322, H4895, Varget, H4350, H4831sc, and Retumbo?

Permalink - Articles, New Product, Reloading 58 Comments »
November 13th, 2013

Ammo Maker’s Revenues Soar with Increased Product Demand

ATK ammo production profits increaseWhy is ammo in short supply? Quite simply because Americans are buying ammunition (and reloading supplies) like never before, grabbing everything that comes off the production line. Consider this, ATK (NYSE:ATK), which owns Alliant Powder, CCI, Federal, RCBS, Bushnell, Savage and many other gun industry brands, reported a huge increase in revenues, mostly due to increased ammo sales.

ATK reported that second-quarter sales in its Sporting Group — which includes ammunition as well as optics, reloading gear and sport-shooting and tactical accessories — were up 48 percent to $421 million compared to $284 million in the same period last year. The company said the increase in sales was driven by higher volume in ammunition, sales from Savage of $57 million, and a previously announced ammunition price increase. ATK reported that its overall net income for the quarter was up 42 percent. Counting both military and civilian (Sporting Group) production, ATK produces over 6.5 Billion rounds of ammunition every year. Yep, that’s “B” as in Billion. That includes everything from .22 rimfire up to tank ammo.

ATK ammo production profits increase

$387,000,000 of Ammo for the Military
In related news, ATK announced that it has received orders for approximately $387 million for ammunition to be produced at its Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. The orders fall under the plant’s new production contract, which began Oct. 1, 2013, and include a mix of 5.56mm, 7.62mm and .50-caliber high-quality military ammunition.

ATK Ammo production

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
April 20th, 2013

Online Vendors Report Recent Powder Shipments

Reloading powder propellant Alliant Vihtavuori HodgdonHere’s good news for reloaders. Some large shipments of propellants were delivered in the last week, and we are starting to see supplies of some popular powders start to catch up to demand. Third Generation Shooting Supply received a very large order of Alliant Powders in one-pound containers, including the popular Reloder series. If you need RL15, RL19 or RL22 you may be able to grab some before it’s gone. TGSS has already sold nearly a ton of RL15 this week.

Natchez Shooters Supplies is featuring Vihtavuori powders, and the Natchez inventory system is showing supplies “in stock” for many of the most popular Vihtavuori powders including N320, N133, N135, N540, N150, N160, and N165. All these powders (including 8-lb jugs of N133) are shown “in stock” as of this morning, but we caution that things change quickly!

NOTE FOR LATE READERS: Inventory shown for 10:00 AM April 20, 2013.

Powder Valley Inc.
Partial List of In-Stock Powders
Hodgon H380 (1 lb.) — In stock at $18.35/lb
Hodgdon H1000 (8 lbs.) — In stock at $152.00 for 8 lbs.
Hodgdon Retumbo (1 lb.) — In stock at $21.35/lb
Hodgdon Superformance (8 lbs.) — In stock at $152.00 for 8 lbs.
Alliant Reloder 50 (1 lb.) — In stock at $19.15/lb
Alliant Reloder 50 (8 lbs.) — In stock at $137.50 for 8 lbs.
IMR 7828 (8 lbs.) — In stock at $147.80 for 8 lbs.
Norma 203B (1 lb) — In stock at $24.80/lb (this is nearly identical to Reloder 15)
Vihtavuori 3N37 (1 lb) — In stock at $29.95/lb
Vihtavuori N150 (1 lb) — In stock at $29.15/lb
Vihtavuori N160 (1 lb) — In stock at $29.15/lb

Third Generation Shooting Supply
Alliant Powders (Partial list)
Power Pro 4000 MR (1 lb.) — 961 lbs. in stock at $19.99/lb
Power Pro Varmint – (1 lb.) — 133 lbs. in stock at $19.99/lb
Reloder 10X – (1 lb.) — out of stock
Reloder 15 (1 lb.) — 733 lbs. in stock at $20.99/lb
Reloder 17 (1 lb.) — out of stock
Reloder 19 (1 lb.) — 2579 lbs. in stock at $20.99/lb
Reloder 22 (1 lb.) — 1797 lbs. in stock at $20.99/lb
Reloder 25 (1 lb.) — 109 lbs. in stock at $20.99/lb
Reloder 50 (1 lb.) — 36 lbs. in stock at $20.99/lb

Natchez Shooters Supplies
Vihtavuori Powders (Quantities Limited)
Vihtavuori Oy N3N37 (1 lb.) — In Stock at $31.49/lb
Vihtavuori Oy N320 (1 lb.) — In Stock at $31.49/lb
Vihtavuori Oy N133 (8 lbs.) — In Stock at $197.49 for 8 lbs
Vihtavuori Oy N133 (1 lb.) — In Stock at $30.49/lb
Vihtavuori Oy N135 (1 lb.) — In Stock at $30.49/lb
Vihtavuori Oy N150 (1 lb.) — In Stock at $30.49/lb
Vihtavuori Oy N160 (1 lb.) — In Stock at $30.49/lb
Vihtavuori Oy N165 (1 lb.) — In Stock at $30.49/lb
Vihtavuori Oy N540 (1 lb.) — In Stock at $34.99/lb

Editor’s Note: As with all inventory systems, there can be a variance between actual inventories and listed inventories. We are reporting what is shown “in-stock” this morning. But if the inventories are not updated in “real time” as shipments are made, true supplies may be less than what is shown.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
May 4th, 2012

Powder Availability Report — Large Shipments Have Arrived

ups truckQuite a few popular powders have been hard to get lately. Some folks have been worried about shortages in anticipation of the fall elections. However major vendors are reporting that the brown trucks have arrived with large shipments from Alliant, Hodgdon, and Western Powder. Most of the most popular powders for precision reloaders are now in stock. If you’ve been waiting on your favorite powder, now is time to stock up.

Grafs.com is showing good availability of the most popular Hodgdon powders including Varget, H4350, H4831SC, H4198, and the new Superformance powder developed with Hornady. Grafs.com also has 1-lb containers of the new CFE-223 powder in stock, but 8-lb CFE-223 jugs are currently sold out. This powder is working well for the AR and varmint shooters who have tried it.

Hodgdon varget powder

Midsouth Shooters Supply reports that Ramshot TAC is back in stock in large quantities. Ramshot TAC is a versatile double-based rifle powder. TAC has the ability to provide some of the industry’s highest velocities for 80gr bullets in the .223 Rem chambering while adhering to SAAMI pressure guidelines. TAC is known for ease of metering and good load density. It is well-suited for both .223 Rem, and .308 Winchester.

Hodgdon varget powder

Powder Valley Inc. (PVI) tells us that it just received a large shipment of Alliant powder. Alliant (an ATK company) produces popular rifle powders including Reloder 15, 17, 19 and 22, AR-Comp, Power Pro 2000, and Power Pro Varmint. All these are in stock now at PVI.

alliant AR comp powder
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
January 22nd, 2012

SHOT Show: New Reloder 33 and Power Pro 1000 from Alliant

When Alliant’s Reloder 17 was introduced, it represented a real break-though in propellant technology. In some cartridges, Reloder 17 delivered significantly more velocity than any other propellant on the market. The secret was a new method of impregnating the powder kernels with burn-controlling compounds. This delayed the initial pressure spike, allowing a longer, more constant powder burn. This effectively delivered more energy over the powder’s full burn cycle, and the extra energy produced higher velocities than could be attained with conventional powders. READ Reloder 17 test report.

Alliant Reloder 33New Reloder 33 Delivers More Speed in Big Magnums
Now Alliant is introducing a new powder, Reloder 33, that uses the same kernel-impregnation technology first pioneered in Reloder 17. Alliant Reloder 33 is a new powder created by Rheinmetall Nitrochemie in Switzerland (Nitrochemie also makes Reloder 17). Like Reloder 17, Alliant’s new Reloder 33 powder employs a proprietary process by which the powder kernels are impregnated with burn-rate controlling elements. This delays the peak pressure spike and smooths out the pressure curve. Effectively, this allows the powder to deliver energy at a more constant rate, producing more overall velocity for the bullet — as much as 150 fps more than with any other powder. Reloder 33 was designed for the .338 Lapua Magnum but it is suitable for other large magnums and ultra-magnums.

In this video, Allliant’s Dick Quesenberry explains the properties of Reloder 33, noting that it should “raise the bar” of velocity for the .338 Lapua Magnum and other ultra-magnums. Outstanding velocities have been achieved in initial tests with the .338 LM. This has attracted the interest of the U.S. Military, which has already placed orders for Reloder 33 in bulk. Reloder 33 should hit the consumer market in mid-April to mid-May, the actual release date depending on DOT transport certification. Expect vendors to have the new powder in stock by the end of May, if not sooner.

Power Pro 1000 for High-Volume Reloaders
In addition to Reloder 33, Alliant is introducing Power Pro 1000. This is a new spherical (ball) powder with a burn rate similar to Alliant 10X. Power Pro 1000 is designs for varmint shooters and .223 Rem shooters who load large quantities of ammo on progressive presses. Power Pro 1000 meters exceptionally well through progressive press powder measures, and it should provide good load density in cartridges such as the .223 Remington. Alliant hopes to release Power Pro 1000 in early- to mid-April.

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »
December 19th, 2011

RCBS Launches GET GREEN Cash-Back Promo on Jan. 1, 2012

Following on the success of its 2011 Rebate Program (which expires at the end of December, 2011), RCBS is launching a new GET GREEN Promotion for 2012. This offers cash rebates to buyers of RCBS reloading products. Additional “bonus bucks” are offered if you buy components from RCBS’s sister companies: Federal, Alliant, CCI, Speer. Here’s how it works. If you buy $50.00 worth of RCBS reloading gear, you get $10.00 cash back. Then you can get an extra $5.00 rebate if you buy one of the following: a pound of Alliant Powder, a box of Speer Bullets, a box of Federal Premium Brass, OR five 100-ct sleeves of Federal or CCI primers. Likewise, if you buy $300.00 worth of RCBS products you can get a $50.00 rebate with an additional $25.00 in bonus bucks if you buy FIVE qualifying items from Alliant, CCI, and/or Federal.

RCBS Get Green Rebate Promotion

The new GET GREEN Promotion starts January 1, 2012. Purchases must be made before December 31, 2012 and rebate coupon (with proof of purchase) must be received by January 31, 2013. To qualify, you must submit a rebate coupon PLUS box UPCs and original cash register receipts. Offer good in U.S. and Canada only. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Redemption limited to one of each offer per household. For more information, call RCBS at 866-269-5194, or write to: RCBS PROMOTION, Dept. 7634, PO Box 5011, Stacy, MN 55078-5011.

Permalink Hot Deals, Reloading 3 Comments »
May 25th, 2011

New AR-Comp Powder Starts Shipping This Week

AR-Comp Alliant PowderAlliant is introducing a new extruded powder, AR-Comp. AR-Comp is an advanced re-formulation of Reloder 15, a double-base Bofors powder. There are changes to internal and external chemistry to provide much better pressure/velocity stability across a wide range of temperatures. The main difference between AR-Comp and Reloder 15, is the AR-Comp has a slightly faster burn rate, and AR-Comp is much LESS Sensitive to temperature changes. AR-Comp is a small-kernel, double-base extruded powder like Reloder 15, so it will continue to meter just like Reloder 15. The load density should be the same as Reloder 15.

AR-Comp should be at Grafs.com in a Couple Weeks
Here’s the good news — Alliant will start shipping AR-Comp to Grafs.com later this week. Dick Quesenberry, Alliant Powder Product Manager, told us: “I just received the AR-Comp packaging labels and we hope to send off the first shipments to Grafs this week.” With transit time, expect the powder to be available from Grafs.com by the second week of June. You can go ahead and place advance orders for 1-lb and 8-lb containers of AR-Comp on the Grafs.com website.

AR-Comp Offers Uniform Velocities over a Wide Temp Range
Tests were done with .223 Rem and .308 Win ammo, loaded with AR-Comp and maintained at temps from -20° F to +160° F in a controlled test center. The ammo itself was heated or cooled to targeted temps before testing. Across that entire range of temperature, -20° F to +160° F, the ammo loaded with AR-Comp showed a variation of only 20 fps in muzzle velocity. The primary bullet type tested was a 77gr .224 bullet and the secondary was a 175gr .308 bullet.

Burn Rate Like Varget
Though this is a reformulation of Reloder 15, the burn rate of AR-Comp is slightly faster than Reloder 15. Alliant told us: “Reloder 15 is slightly slower, in burn rate, than Varget. The new AR-Comp, with the enhancements, ended up slightly faster than Reloder 15, so it is now very close to Varget in burn rate”. This is the result of the “tuning” of the powder to be much less temp-sensitive.

AR-Comp First in Series of New Alliant Temp-Stable Powders
AR-Comp will be the first in a series of “new generation” temp-stable powders from Alliant. Quesenberry noted: “Our goal was to provide a powder that offers stable pressures in all temperatures. Shooters want to be able to stay with the same load in winter and in summer, in cold or in hot conditions.” Quesenberry added: “We’ve been working on this quite a while. AR-Comp is the first example and we hope to extend this to other rifle powders. It’s a tough job. You have to balance the performance carefully. We worked very hard to do just that and we think shooters will be impressed with the results.”

Reloder 15 Will Stay in Production
Fans of Alliant’s Reloder 15 don’t need to worry. Alliant will keep Reloder 15 in production. “We don’t drop powder lines”, said Quesenberry.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 5 Comments »
March 1st, 2011

New AR-Comp Powder from Alliant — Details Revealed

AR-Comp Alliant PowderHere’s the latest info on Alliant’s new AR-Comp powder. We had a chance to talk with Dick Quesenberry of Alliant, who revealed more details about this new propellant. First, Dick explained that AR-Comp is an advanced re-formulation of Reloder 15, a double-base Bofors powder. There are changes to internal and external chemistry to provide much better pressure/velocity stability across a wide range of temperatures.

AR-Comp Offers Uniform Velocities over a Wide Temp Range
Tests were done with .223 Rem and .308 Win ammo, loaded with AR-Comp and maintained at temps from -20° F to +160° F in a controlled test center. The ammo itself was heated or cooled to targeted temps before testing. Across that entire range of temperature, -20° F to +160° F, the ammo loaded with AR-Comp showed a variation of only 20 fps in muzzle velocity. The primary bullet type tested was a 77gr .224 bullet and the secondary was a 175gr .308 bullet.

Burn Rate Like Varget: Though this is a reformulation of Reloder 15, the burn rate of AR-Comp is slightly faster than Reloder 15. Alliant told us: “Reloder 15 is slightly slower, in burn rate, than Varget. The new AR-Comp, with the enhancements, ended up slightly faster than Reloder 15, so it is now very close to Varget in burn rate”. This is the result of the “tuning” of the powder to be much less temp-sensitive.

Meters Like Reloder 15: AR-Comp is a small-kernel, double-base extruded powder like Reloder 15, so it will continue to meter just like Reloder 15. The load density should be the same as Reloder 15.

Loaded Ammo: We asked if any manufacturer will be using AR-Comp in loaded ammo. Dick told us that he is “not allowed to release that information at this time”. Draw your own conclusions, but remember that Alliant is owned by ATK, which makes Federal rifle ammo.

Available in Summer 2011: Allliant hopes to ship AR-Comp in “June or July” of 2011, provided the DOT Classification process moves at a normal schedule. The powder is ready to go, Alliant is just waiting on the DOT to provide shipping authorization.

Reloder 15 Will Stay in Production: Fans of Alliant’s Reloder 15 don’t need to worry. Alliant will keep Reloder 15 in production. “We don’t drop powder lines”, said Quesenberry.

AR-Comp First in Series of New Alliant Temp-Stable Powders
Alliant has been working on AR-Comp for quite some time. This represents a major evolution for Alliant’s powder line. AR-Comp will be the first in a series of “new generation” temp-stable powders from Alliant. Quesenberry noted: “Our goal was to provide a powder that offers stable pressures in all temperatures. Shooters want to be able to stay with the same load in winter and in summer, in cold or in hot conditions.”

Quesenberry added: “We’ve been working on this quite a while. AR-Comp is the first example and we hope to extend this to other rifle powders. It’s a tough job. You have to balance the performance carefully. If you tweak it one way, say to improve the low temp performance, you lose something at the upper end. If you tweak it for the top end, you loose something at the bottom. You have to hit that balance. We worked very hard to do just that and we think shooters will be impressed with the results.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product No Comments »
February 26th, 2011

New AR-Comp Powder from Alliant — Swedish Varget?

Alliant AR-Comp Powder SwedenHere’s important news for handloaders. Alliant Powder has introduced a new medium-burn-rate powder: AR-Comp™. This new powder was developed specifically for AR-style rifles. Alliant says that AR-Comp powder is “ideally suited for heavy .223 and .308 match bullets”. We presume, from that description, that the powder will have a burn rate similar to Varget. The AR-Comp powder, produced in Sweden by Bofors Nobel, is an enhanced temp-insensitive reformulation of Reloder 15. The burn rate is slightly faster than Reloder 15, according to Alliant.

Alliant Claims AR-Comp is NOT Temp-Sensitive
We have limited information about AR-Comp, and we have not yet been supplied with a test sample. We have confirmed is a double-base extruded powder, and is an upgraded version of the Reloder 15 formulation. Alliant claims the powder meters very well and delivers “consistent pressures and velocities across temperature extremes”. This new powder is supposed to be very uniform from lot to lot. That would be great — if it is true — but only time will tell.

We will try to get a sample of AR-Comp soon and test it in both .223 Rem and .308 Win rifles. We suspect, if AR-Comp suits both the .223 Rem and .308 Win, it should work well in the 6mmBR and 6.5×47 Lapua cartridges as well. Stay tuned — we hope to have more info next week. AR-Comp should be hitting the market in June or July, 2011, provided DOT Classification goes smoothly. It will be offered in both one-pound (#150664) and 8-lb (#150665) containers.

Permalink New Product, Reloading 3 Comments »
April 13th, 2010

ATK Acquires Blackhawk Products Group

ATK buys BlackhawkAlliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) has acquired Blackhawk Industries Products Group Unlimited, LLC, a major player in the lucrative tactical products and security accessories market. The acquisition of Blackhawk, combined with the recent purchase of Eagle Industries, strengthens ATK’s position in tactical equipment for domestic and international military, law enforcement, security, and sport enthusiast markets.

“The acquisition of Blackhawk supports our strategy of expanding into adjacent lanes while leveraging ATK’s existing core competencies,” said Mark DeYoung, President and CEO. “Blackhawk provides ATK with a leading tactical systems brand, an expanded portfolio of quality products, and additional design and development expertise[.] This acquisition significantly increases our presence and our potential in the growing domestic and international security markets.”

Blackhawk TacticalBlackhawk was founded in 1993 by former Navy SEAL Mike Noell. It all started with a failed pack in a mine field in Iraq that inspired Noell to create his own line of gear. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, Blackhawk is a leading US manufacturer of tactical gear, body armor, law enforcement duty gear, holsters, hydration systems, protective gloves and gear, apparel and footwear, knives, illumination tools, breaching tools, hunting gear, and recoil reducing stocks. The company operates manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Montana, and Idaho. Blackhawk is one of the most widely recognized brands for tactical, military, and law enforcement equipment. Blackhawk and ATK’s existing tactical accessories business will become a division of ATK’s Security and Sporting Group.

ATK is a global aerospace and defense company with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues in excess of $4.8 billion. ATK operates the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, while the ATK Security and Sporting Group now includes the following major brands: Alliant Powder, Blackhawk, CCI, Champion, Eagle Industries, Federal, RCBS, Speer, and Weaver Optics.

ATK stock price

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February 6th, 2010

DeYoung Named ATK President & CEO

Mark Deyoung ATKMark DeYoung has been named the new President and CEO of Alliant Techsystems (ATK). Prior to his promotion to ATK’s top leadership position, DeYoung served as President of ATK’s Armament Systems Group, which makes commercial ammunition, tactical accessories, and medium-caliber gun systems. DeYoung has lead the way in ATK’s modernization efforts, helping the company adopt “lean manufacturing” methods. Under DeYoung’s guidance, ATK has become the largest producer of ammunition in the world. ATK’s Armament Systems Group will have a projected $2.1 BILLION in revenue this year, up from $600 million in 2003.

The ATK “family of companies” includes some of the most popular brands in the shooting and reloading market segments: Alliant Powder, CCI, Federal, Outers, RCBS, and Speer. With his experience in small arms ammo production, we can expect DeYoung to maintain ATK’s commitment to hunting and recreational shooting. ATK also has very large military and aerospace contracts, but DeYoung is a guy who understands small arms ammo manufacturing. A decade ago, DeYoung was put in charge of ATK’s Lake City Ammunition business, and he headed the commercial ammunition business launched in 2001. In the video below, DeYoung is interviewed at the 2008 SHOT Show by TheStreet.com.

CLICK HERE to WATCH DeYoung ATK Video

ATK video

Jim Shepherd, on the Shooting Wire, noted: “ATK has more than 18,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. Today, it has a President and Chief Executive Officer who may be more knowledgeable about firearms and the firearms industry than any other head of a major corporation in the United States.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
January 12th, 2010

Alliant Offers FREE 2010 Reloader's Guide (PDF or Print)

You can quickly access loads for Alliant powders via Alliant’s Online Reloading Guide. There you’ll find hundreds of recipes for rifle loads, pistol loads, and shotshell loads. While it’s great to have web-based reloading info when you have a live internet connection, you can also download the Alliant Reloaders’ Guide in PDF format. That way you can archive the guide on your computer, or keep the file on a portable computer for use in the field or workshop.

Alliant Reloaders Guide 2010

CLICK HERE to download ALLIANT RELOADER’S GUIDE (PDF format).

Alliant’s 47-page PDF Reloader’s Guide includes recipes for shotgun, pistol, and rifle. This guide includes important safety instructions, plus reloading data for most popular cartridges. The guide includes Alliant’s new Reloder 17 and Power Pro powders. Unfortunately the listed loads for centerfire rifles only include Speer bullets.

FREE Reloader’s Guide Print Version Offered
You can also CLICK HERE to order a FREE printed version of the 2010 Alliant Powder Reloader’s Guide. Just fill out your name and address. Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

Permalink - Articles, Reloading 7 Comments »
August 31st, 2009

Euro Powder-Maker Shares Technology with ATK (Alliant), Plans Joint Production in USA

Alliant Reloder 17If you have followed our reports on Reloder 17, you’ll know that this Alliant powder, produced in Europe by Rheinmetall Nitrochemie, is a unique propellant that, in many cartridges, can offer 100 fps (or more ) velocity than any other commercial powders. The secret to the extra speed is a proprietary Nitrochemie process that embeds or saturates the kernels with burn-rate controlling compounds. This allows a longer duration, extended energy release. Most conventional extruded powders have surface coatings only. These tend to have a strong “spike” in their energy release but then decrease rapidly in energy output. By sustaining the energy release over a longer period of time (in the barrel), powders such as Reloder 17 promise to deliver higher velocities than could be achieved with other propellants.

Following the release of Reloder 17, sources at Alliant Powder, an Alliant Techsystems (ATK) subsidiary, confirmed that we can expect more powder products using the new Nitrochemie technology. Alliant plans to release both a faster powder (for 223-sized cartridges) and a slower powder (for large magnums).

ATK and Rheinmetall Nitrochemie Announce Strategic Partnership
Rheinmetall Nitrochemie (RN) is jointly owned by Rheinmetall AG and RUAG of Switzerland. Since 2005, ATK has been a Rheinmetall sales partner. Now ATK and Rheinmetall Nitrochemie plan a much closer relationship, through which RN will share propellant technologies and ATK and RN will produce powders together in US facilities. ATK has agreed to a “strategic partnership” with the Rheinmetall Nitrochemie Group, the propellants division of the Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Defence Group.

According to DefenseNews.com, “Under terms of the agreement, propellant technologies will be transferred from Nitrochemie to ATK, and the two companies will target sales in North America and elsewhere. While Rheinmetall will gain access to expanded markets, ATK will receive licenses to manufacture and sell powder and propellant systems developed by the German firm. These products will be marketed to both the U.S. military and other ammunition manufacturers.” Through the strategic partnership, ATK will become the exclusive North American vendor of the new-generation Nitrochemie propellants. The technology transfer positions ATK as the exclusive North American provider of Nitrochemie’s Extruded Impregnated (EI), Extruded Composite Low-sensitivity (ECL), Surface Coated Double Base (SCDB), and R-Type propellants.

Rheinmetall Nitrochemie to Build Powder-Making Facility in the USA
As part of the new, expanded business relationship with ATK, Rheinmetall Nitrochemie will shift some of its actual powder production to the United States. Rheinmetall and ATK revealed “medium-term plans” under which a new, powder-processing plant will be set up in the USA and operated by Rheinmetall Nitrochemie in cooperation with ATK. This will allow Nitrochemie propellants to be sold at more competitive prices, since they will no longer have to be shipped across the Atlantic. No specific date was given for the construction of the new powder factory.

Permalink News 7 Comments »
January 18th, 2009

SHOT Show Report: Alliant's Five New Power Pro Ball Powders

Alliant Powder is well-known among precision shooters. Reloder 15 has set many world records in the 6BR and 6BR Improved cartridges, and the new Reloder 17 powder offers dramatically increased velocities in cartridges such as the 6XC and .284 Winchester.

Power Pro Alliant Powder

At SHOT Show 2009, Alliant unveiled its new Power Pro™ series of canister, spherical powders. There are five (5) new powders: Magnum Pistol, Varmint Rifle, Medium Rifle, Large Rifle, and Magnum Rifle. Each powder has a burn rate optimized for the particular application (Medium Rifle is a bit slower than RL15, Large Rifle rate is similar to H4350, Magnum is similar to H4831). Alliant claims that “Power Pro powders deliver improved velocity and density for more efficient reloading and help reloaders duplicate certain factory loaded ammunition.” Alliant engineer Dick Quensenberry said reloaders can expect to get +50 fps more from the Power Pro series than with most other, comparable ball powders.

Power Pro Alliant Powder

alliant Reloder 50 powderNew Powder for 50-Caliber Applications
Alliant also recently introduced Reloder 50, a new powder designed for long-range, 50 caliber rifle shooters. Burn rate is “a little slower than Winchester 860.” The powder is showing excellent lot-to-lot consistency and the load density is optimized for the 50 BMG and similar cases. Like Reloder 17, Reloder 50 employs a process which staturates/penetrates the kernels with the burn rate controlling chemical. This should allow a longer, flatter pressure curve, allowing more velocity than conventional powders can deliver. Alliant says that Reloder 50 offers “superior velocity and the ability to burn cleaner (with less residue).” Reloder 50 will be available in both 1-lb (#150527) and 8-lb (#150528) containers.

On the Horizon — More Alliant Powders like Reloder 17
Reloder 17, made in Switzerland by Nitro Chemie, is a unique propellant that offer a smoother, longer energy release because the burn rate controlling chemicals are saturated into the kernels rather than just applied to the outside. This can provide extra energy over the course of the burn, with the result that Reloder 17 can deliver more velocity than any other powder with a similar burn rate and density. The demonstrated high performance of Reloder 17 has created demand for similar formulations, but with faster or slower burn rates. The good news is that Alliant’s Reloder 50 (see above) has the new burn rate control chemsitry, and Alliant is working right now on at least two new powders that will use the Nitro Chemie’s new powder technology. One powder (Reloder 16?) will be faster than RL 17, and one will be slower — possibly in the H1000 range. Stay tuned to AccurateShooter.com for future updates.

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July 19th, 2008

Reloder 17 Delivers Stunning Velocities in First Tests

Alliant’s new Reloder 17 powder is the new “Speed King” in its burn-rate category. It promises to raise the velocity bar in many cartridges which work best with slow-burning propellants. Based on initial test results, if you’re using H4350, IMR4350, Reloader 19, Norma URP, or H4831 currently, you may find that RL17 can deliver dramatically higher velocities than other powders. CLICK HERE for FULL REPORT.

RL17 Boosts Speeds by 200 fps
The day after two pounds of RL17 arrived in Phoenix, German Salazar and Bob Jensen tried the new propellant in 6XC and .308 rifles, using an Oehler 43 chronograph equipped with pressure-testing equipment. The results were eye-opening. German was able to get 3311 fps using 107gr Sierra MKs in the 6XC. That’s roughly 200 fps faster than other popular extruded powders can deliver. With the 115 Berger, the 6XC topped 3200 fps, again a very impressive speed gain. Most 6XC shooters find that 3000-3050 fps is the most they can get with a 115gr bullet.

Speed by Design
What’s the secret to this new powder? First it’s made differently than most other propellants. Most extruded powders have an external coating on the kernels that governs burn rate. With RL17, the burn regulating compound saturates the entire kernel — it’s not just on the outside. The practical effect is that RL17 is able to maintain a higher energy level for a longer time — the energy output does not fall off as steeply as other powders. The other factor is density. Reloder 17 has fairly small kernels so it packs very tightly compared to H4831sc. As a result you can fit more powder (by weight) into the case.

Accuracy Testing Comes Next
German will continue his testing with other calibers — as soon as we can get more RL17 from Alliant. German also plans to start accuracy testing next week. If RL17 can deliver accuracy to match its high velocities, it looks like it would be a very good choice for the 6-6.5×47 Lapua, 6XC, 243 Win, 6mm Remington, .284 Winchester, and 30-caliber cartridges with the big (185+ grain) bullets.

Limited reloading data is available currently, but Alliant has distributed a preliminary load data sheet with loads for a dozen popular calibers. CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD RELODER 17 DATA.

reloder 17 Alliant Powder

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