Getting the best reloading powder can be challenging, considering the numerous ammunition options in the market. Normally, the powder is one fitting multiple purposes and rifle choices.
In the exclusive blog post, we’ll look at the premium bullet powders, reviewing their features and factors to consider when making a purchase. Let’s get it started!
Best Reloading Gun Powders – Overview
Gunpowder is the explosive component used in cartridges and typically comes in smokeless and black powder. Additionally, you can get the gun load in flake, extruded, or spherical powder.
Most Common Reloading Firearm Powders
There are various premium and specialized ammo powder options available. Finding the best eventually comes down to the type of firearm and shooting purpose. Here is a reference table you can utilize:
223 / 5.56
280 Ackley Improved
7mm Rem Mag
300 Win Mag
Top Reloading Powders – Exclusive Picks
We’ve shortlisted quality reloading powder, which fits multiple uses, rifle options and is, most importantly, a safer choice. You can use the pros and cons provided to compare our top picks.
1. Best Powder for .223: Hodgdon H4895
There are several quality ammunition powders for the .223, but only a few can give the same output as the Hodgdon H4895. The Hodgdon boasts an excellent medium burning rate, perfect for your Remington rifle. Other features include:
- Its versatility in different rifles is impressive. You can use the gun powder for both small and large game hunting. Be bold and try the ammo powder in long ranges.
- H4895 is also known for its accuracy through its burn rate dynamics, which results in consistent velocities and pressures. This is one of the reasons why it’s a popular choice among target shooters and hunters.
- It has a low flash, ideal for hunters, necessitating less muzzle flash when fired to avoid spooking the animal.
- The H4895 has a relatively low recoil, making it a safer option.
You can follow this Hodgdon manual on how to measure the right grain proportions for the H4895.
2. Best Powder for .308: IMR 4064
The IMR 4064 is another medium-burning powder. It is a product of the IMR series, known for its versatility with different rifle rounds. 4064 is also suitable for varying bullet weights, making it convenient to meter the data from one batch to the next.
IMR 4064 powder type is suitable for heavier cartridges like the 165 and 180-grain ammunition thanks to its quality features such as:
- The gunpowder is accurate when using 308 loads, especially the 168 and 175 SMK HPBT bullets.
- It survives well in medium temperatures, not too hot or cold, making it an ideal powder type for most hunting and target shooting seasons.
- You’ll enjoy the excellent accuracy of the consistent medium burning rate, which offers continuous ammo speed flow and pressure.
- Another perfect feature is the less recoil produced, making 4064 the right powder for the 308 Winchester.
3. Best Pistol Powder: IMR Trail Boss
The IMR Trail Boss powder was meant for firing Cowboy Action due to its low velocity and use of lead rounds. Also, the Trail Boss powder is perfect for use with pistol cartridges but is also ideal with various rifle choices. Let’s look at what the pistol powder has to offer:
- The IMR powder is crafted on cutting-edge tech, allowing extreme loading capacities.
- You’ll get excellent flow via the powder measures, which are also dependable in all temperature ranges.
- Your safety is safeguarded with the impressive protective feature for the hand loader.
4. Best Shotgun Powder: Alliant Red Dot
Alliant Smokeless Powder is our next pick. It is backed by a century of production expertise. You will love this variety if you own a shotgun, as the Red dot version is arguably the best quality control dynamics compared to its competitors.
- Alliant is refined to burn 50% cleaner without compromising performance and efficiency.
- This Alliant Red dot is relatively faster than competitors as it is “fluffier,” giving much more case fill.
- You can also use the powder in reloading bullets utilizing heavy 308 and 223 caliber match-grade ammunition.
- It also works perfectly with high-volume traditional and AR firearm shooting, delivering excellent velocity and pressure in different atmospheric conditions.
5. Best Rifle Powder: IMR 4350
Knowing the company, you can expect IMR 4350 to perform excellently with your rifle rounds, even in demanding distances and weather conditions.
- This IMR version has an excellent burning speed, similar to that of H4350, suggesting its consistent power with rounds and impressive production ammo flow speed.
- The first IMR 4350 is perfect with the standard 30-06 rifle caliber, influencing other manufacturers to craft their 4350 powder types as on the market today.
- IMR 4350 is one of the fastest available in the industry, making it suitable for long-range use, including large-game hunting.
You are therefore urged to be cautious when acquiring any ammo powder with the 4350 labels, as they all have different loading data.
6. Best Magnum Handgun Powder: Hodgdon H110
The Hodgdon H110 is perfect if you want handgun powders. It is a spherical powder delivering optimum quality in different cartridges such as the 44 Mag and the 500 and 460 S&W magnums.
- H110 is another fast-burn smokeless type, thus its categorization as a perfect handgun powder.
- Also, the H110 produces high energy levels that translate to high velocities and flat trajectories. This concept is important if you practice long-range shooting and hunting, where accuracy and precision are paramount.
- You’ll enjoy the convenient ignitions dynamics, less likely to misfire or give you hangfires. This feature is key if you need a powder that will reliably ignite every time you pull the trigger.
- Additionally, the powder’s low flash makes it easier to see the target after firing, which is important for follow-up shots.
7. Best Magnum Rifle Powder: Hodgdon H1000
Wrapping up our top picks is the H1000, a slower powder designed for high-powered rifle cartridges. You can ideally use this powder for long-range shooting. Here is everything you need to know about the H1000:
- The slow-burning rate offers you high velocities and pressures over a longer period, making it perfect for the 300 Winchester and 338 Lapua Magnums.
- Uniformity in the burning rate guarantees consistent performance, maximum accuracy, and precision in reloading.
- The reloading powder incorporates a minimal muzzle flash and less recoil, making its handling dynamics convenient for different users and shooting purposes.
- Like the H110, the H1000 produces great energy levels, providing a dependable speed and a flatter trajectory, excellent with extended distances.
Our Verdict: The Overall Choice
The Hodgdon H4895 tops our list. It provides a strong case as the best version through its quality features, mainly including:
- Producing less recoil compared to other varieties.
- It is a versatile version that you can use in long-distance shooting, including big game hunting.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Powder for Gun Reloading
When attempting to distinguish between the various cartridge powders available, there are a few key characteristics you can concentrate on. The variety appropriate for your rifle and the different types of ammunition will be the main things you need to know. The following are the key considerations.
The Type of Rifle Cartridges in Use
Different bullets require varying types of reloading powders. This is why it is important to research your preferred powder measure carefully by:
- Analyzing the proportions ideal for your cartridge and one that gives the best output regarding velocity and accuracy.
- Knowing your cartridge’s specifications will help you know the best design between spherical or extruded powder varieties.
- Additionally, it is important to know if your cartridge has a heavy or light recoil compared to the energy levels of your powder of choice.
Shotgun Caliber – Powder Specifications
It’s important to select a powder specifically designed for shotgun shells. These firearms utilize fast-burn and high-velocity loads, producing consistent patterns for accurate shooting.
However, the black type burns slower, producing less recoil than the smokeless batch. Depending on your shells, either will still offer desirable results.
The Rifle in Use
Firearm powder, usually intended for use in long firearms, typically burns slower than pistol powder. They are compatible with extensive barrels and larger calibers due to their consistent ignition and high velocity. The following are a few things to remember:
- Be specific with the load data specifications, especially if you acquire a fast-burn variety.
- You should remember that, for consistent velocity, the slower the powder for every specified cartridge, the closer it must be to maximum load.
Handgun’s Caliber – Powder Details
Unlike rifle or shotgun powders, pistols are normally fast-burning to achieve the right amount of pressure and velocity. Their shorter barrels require a faster ignition for your bullet to gain instantaneous speed and trajectory, thus getting the needed accuracy.
Bullet Weight Specs
Your type of caliber load will greatly depend on your ammunition weight. During our tests, we noticed the following:
- Bulky and heavier projectiles usually require slower-burning powders
- Lighter versions need faster-burning types.
Various Types of Powder for Reloading
You’ll normally have the choice of the best Smokeless or Black version coming in flake, spherical, or extruded versions when looking for the best quality for your rifle rounds. These varieties normally have different features, and here are factors we used to compare the two:
Burn Rates and Chart Performance
Burn rates measure how quickly a propellant burns and the corresponding chart compares the burn rates of various ammo powders. The element is crucial because it can occasionally stand between you and your safety when using various load versions.
Smokeless gunpowder normally burns slowly, which gets less or no smoke and manageable recoil. It behaves this way as it is manufactured using nitrocellulose and other chemicals that burn in a controlled manner.
- With the sensitive ingredients used, manufacturers provide you with the necessary charts, listing different burning rates for their cartridge’s load.
- The smokeless type will range from very fast to very slow, with different varieties falling at different points on the chart.
Meanwhile, the black powder selections comprise the following components, which burn rapidly and uncontrollably:
- Sulfur: This acts as extra fuel for the reaction process, increasing the combustion rate by lowering the temperature required to ignite the powder mix.
- Charcoal: It offers the reaction fuel energy and includes carbon.
- Saltpeter: Normally acts as the oxidizing component.
Unlike the smokeless version, the black type has a single burn rate that is a very fast reloading process, also as recorded in its chart.
The Powder’s Weight Details
Weight is another important factor to consider. The smokeless version is denser than black powder, meaning you need less of it to achieve the same results. Therefore, you might be more suited to modern smokeless powder, which is:
- More efficient regarding the weight’s impact on its performance.
- Easier to store and transport.
However, it also means that the weight of the powder is different between the two types, with the smokeless type generally weighing more per volume than black powder.
Where Can You Buy Reloading Powder
You can purchase most powders from different sources depending on convenience. Some shooters prefer to buy from stores to get a chance to inspect their purchases. Let’s examine the typical places where bullet powders can be purchased.
Buying from a Store
Acquiring any accessory for your arsenal from the right store guarantees you get your money’s worth. You should consider any local laws and regulations that may apply before visiting any store. Some states and municipalities set restrictions on the sale and use of powders.
Purchasing from Online Shops
Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular for purchasing reloading powders. These websites, such as Amazon, have numerous options available, including:
- Smokeless and black powder
- Different brands
- A variety of sizes
You must also consider safety and legal matters when using online sites. Most websites include information on the hazardous chemicals used. Note there are additional costs, including shipping fees.
How to Store Reloading Powder Safely?
As mentioned, bullet powders are chemical mixtures that require sensitive care, even in storage. Unlike your standard tools in the garage, find a less humid area like a free shelf in your room, also far from reach (kids). Here are additional safety tips to follow:
- Store the powder far from solvents and never move it from the original container.
- The powder should be kept in small portions (a few pounds).
- Keep away from mechanical or electrical equipment when reloading powder.
- Find an exclusive secure location when dealing with large amounts of powder, and probably rent a climate-controlled storage space.
What kind of powder should I use for reloading?
Reloading powder comes in various forms, but the common type in the market is the spherical/ball variety.
What is the best smokeless powder reload?
The best smokeless powder is the Hodgdon H4895.
What powder is used for 9mm reloading?
9mm reloading is convenient with the 231 Win ball powder.
Which gun powder is better and why?
Gun powders come in various makes and qualities, and our top pick, Hodgdon H4895. It is also considered the best for its versatility with different cartridges and shooting options.
What is the cleanest rifle powder?
The cleanest gunpowder is from Vihtavuori, which has a long reputation as a very clean burning powder.
With many similar reloading loads, you can depend on the provided list to offer dependable options for quality and consistent results. Also provided are tips you can use to find the best reloading powders for your rifle bullets.
So, which ammo powder makes your buying list and why?
Comment below with your answer and tell us more quality options deserving to be on our list.