Pistol Powder

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cadillo

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
667
Location
East Alabama
I just don't understand what is going on with the powder manufacturers with regard to the availability of the old standard pistol powders such as Winchester 231, Unique, and Blue Dot. I load a lot of 231, but as I have been unable to find it for sale anywhere other than Gunbroker in well over three years, I've had to curtail my loading and shooting to make do with what I have until by some stroke of good fortune it becomes available again at less than unobtainium pricing.

I did recently see some 231 listed on Gunbroker in 8 lb. canisters, but factoring in haz-mat and shipping, it came out to $300.00 U.S. for 8 lbs. I simply will not submit to that kind of sodomy, so I do without.

I love Unique in my .44 Specials, but am down to the last of it, and have only seen it for sale on one occasion in the last three years or so. A local gunshop had one 8 lb. canister priced at $279.00 U.S. plus sales tax; no smaller containers, just the one 8 lb. canister. Yes, I walked away from that one too.

Blue Dot; my favorite 9mm propellant? Maybe it's out there, but I've not seen it either.

In addition to the local retailers, I've tried the websites of all the internet purveyors I can think of, and it's the same story. Funny thing is that there seems to be available quite a bit of the newer powders for which I have no interest, data, or experience.

I can't help but think that the manufacturers are missing the boat by marketing newer powders that won't sell at the rate and volume of the older well known propellants, which so many of us want, but can't find.

I'm a reformed power drinker who hasn't had a drink or been in a bar in a very long time, but at this rate I may have to give up shooting and break out the old 17 oz. cue and go back to beer drinking and shooting pool.

Our country is headed for haydes in a handbasket!
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,756
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I hear you.
I use Unique a lot myself. I buy it in 8lb jugs too. Luckily, I had a fair amount before this nonsense started. But,, as time has passed, my supply was dwindling. Then, lo & behold,,, a small gun/pawn shop I frequent got in some Unique. They got in 2 8lb jugs,,,, and had them on the shelf for $136.99. Before the crunch, I gave $105.99 a jug. When I saw these two jugs, I got them both, and he reduced the cost to $130.00 a jug.
They are making some I suspect,,,, but as with anything,,, supply & demand. It gets made, sold & snatched up. Keep looking, and maybe travel around or do some phone calling. You might find some in places you wouldn't think of that way.

On a similar note,,, just a couple days ago,,, wally world,,, I asked about 22 LR ammo. I was told; "We got in one case of 10 boxes this morning. It sold out about an hour ago. We only get on case a month right now."
Still a fair demand & lower supply.
 

stevemb

Hunter
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
2,769
In 44 spec where most of my volume is, I've been tempted into buying TrailBoss and Longshot, and also re-learning black powder too. Its fun to get outta whatever rut you're in. Haven't cracked the seals on the TB or Longshot yet, but the Longshot will get some use in the 480 soon. Business is business. I understand the supply and demand thing. If for whatever reason supply is behind, they get to raise the prices. We get to shop elsewhere, and the substitute we find may not have the same brand name on it. That's the risk they take. I have about twice the varieties of powders on hand than I ever did yrs ago. The market, or lack of, forced me to. The market has made it viable for .32's to regain popularity and for some to go further and look at .25's ! Don't feel guilty for trying new powders, do embrace the challenge of trying new ones.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,200
Location
So. Florida
Powders are starting to come back into stock. Hang in there. Maybe you could substitute for a pound of this or that to hold you over. ...and don't forget that HP-38 is the same as W231 and that Universal is close in performance with Unique. I last bought Blue Dot in 2011 and still have quite a bit left. Good luck. :D
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
7,033
Location
Milo Maine
cadillo I feel your pain I beginning to think of buying substitutes for my old
standby's like Unique and 2400. I can hang in for a while longer but just my luck
when I give in and X instead of Y I'll find Y and so it goes. lol ps
 

Three50seven

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 16, 2009
Messages
1,131
Location
Indiana
I hate to rub it in guys, but most of the local shops around here are fairly well stocked on pistol powders. Especially Hodgdon/IMR/Winchester stuff. And one place that focuses on reloading has a fair selection of Alliant powders as well. I was at a large sporting goods store in Northern Michigan about 5 weeks ago and they had more powder than I had ever seen at any one time. It was pretty amazing actually. I think the problem may lie in distribution instead of production.
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,835
Location
soda springs, idaho
This last weekend I stopped in the local LGS & they had several 1lb. bottles of Unique & oned 8lb. keg of it. Also they had Blue Dot, H110, HS6, Longshot & 296. Recently they had 2400, its starting it come back a little at a time. Every time I go there I buy something, either powder, primers...something, just to stay ahead of the game. I have lots of 231 & WST because they are my most used midrange powders along with Unique & Longshot.

Dick
 

gster

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 13, 2014
Messages
105
Location
N.C. Pa.
I can buy all the Unique and Bullseye I want. What I can't get my hands on is Universal or 2400.
 

Jim Puke

Hunter
Joined
Jul 9, 2013
Messages
3,088
Location
South Georgia
I would be willing to bet that there is not 5lbs of pistol powder in a shop, within a 75mi radius of me. None of my local shops have ever carried pistol powders...but a good supply of rifle powder is readily available, just as always.

So, leaves me to search online for powders in places other than the traditional outlets that I have always used.. And, about 3wks ago, I got 8lbs of 2400...first in a long time.
 

cadillo

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
667
Location
East Alabama
contender said:
I hear you.
I use Unique a lot myself. I buy it in 8lb jugs too. Luckily, I had a fair amount before this nonsense started. But,, as time has passed, my supply was dwindling. Then, lo & behold,,, a small gun/pawn shop I frequent got in some Unique. They got in 2 8lb jugs,,,, and had them on the shelf for $136.99. Before the crunch, I gave $105.99 a jug. When I saw these two jugs, I got them both, and he reduced the cost to $130.00 a jug.
They are making some I suspect,,,, but as with anything,,, supply & demand. It gets made, sold & snatched up. Keep looking, and maybe travel around or do some phone calling. You might find some in places you wouldn't think of that way.

On a similar note,,, just a couple days ago,,, wally world,,, I asked about 22 LR ammo. I was told; "We got in one case of 10 boxes this morning. It sold out about an hour ago. We only get on case a month right now."
Still a fair demand & lower supply.

Funny how things are with the .22 lr. I was recently in one of the local Academy Sports stores, and they had hundreds of boxes of .22 lr. of various types on display behind the counter. I didn't pay attention to price though as I have enough already.
 

dougader

Hunter
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
3,108
Location
OryGun
Maybe do a little data research on similar powders?

WST, AA2, Red Dot, Titegroup, etc, instead of 231.

Power Pistol, Longshot, True Blue, AA7, or even 2400 or AA9 in place of Blue Dot?

Check Powder Valley, Graf's, etc, every day and you might get lucky. I did.
 

cadillo

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
667
Location
East Alabama
dougader said:
Maybe do a little data research on similar powders?

WST, AA2, Red Dot, Titegroup, etc, instead of 231.

Power Pistol, Longshot, True Blue, AA7, or even 2400 or AA9 in place of Blue Dot?

Check Powder Valley, Graf's, etc, every day and you might get lucky. I did.

Good luck finding WST. It's a Winchester powder and rare as hens' teeth too. Great powder for .45 acp, 5.0 grains over an H&G 68 at 1.25" OAL is a tack driver in a good gun, but sadly that powder, like the other Winchester pistol powders is off the radar in this locale, and on the websites I know of.
 

cadillo

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
667
Location
East Alabama
Momentous day! I actually saw a single one lb. container of 231 in a local shop at $35.99 plus tax. I still have one 8 lb. canister in reserve, so forewent that corn holing, but now have some hope that maybe the stuff may yet reappear at reasonable rates.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,200
Location
So. Florida
cadillo said:
Momentous day! I actually saw a single one lb. container of 231 in a local shop at $35.99 plus tax. I still have one 8 lb. canister in reserve, so forewent that corn holing, but now have some hope that maybe the stuff may yet reappear at reasonable rates.
Is that like passing on a rip-off? :D
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
7,033
Location
Milo Maine
dougader said:
Maybe do a little data research on similar powders?

WST, AA2, Red Dot, Titegroup, etc, instead of 231.

Power Pistol, Longshot, True Blue, AA7, or even 2400 or AA9 in place of Blue Dot?

Check Powder Valley, Graf's, etc, every day and you might get lucky. I did.

I check Graf & Powder Valley daily I email mailed powder valley and got an immediate response.
Saying no backorders or notifications check as often as you can. :( One of the few draw backs
of living where I chose, in the sticks. Going to Bangor today I'll make the rounds. ps
 

cadillo

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
667
Location
East Alabama
No luck on the net, but finally found one 8 lb. jug of Unique ( no one pounders) priced at $219.99 at of all places a local pawn shop that sells guns and components. I asked if he could do any better, and he brought it down to $199.99. I hated to do it at that price, but I was down to less than half a pound of Unique, so I did it. I know that it's still a bit high, but with Obummer foaming at the mouth with pen in hand, I figured that I better get it while I could. I think that with tax, it came out at about $27.00 per lb. out the door.

Now if I can just find some 231, and some WST for .45acp, I'd be a little more at ease.
 

sandman228

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
191
powders seemed to be on the comeback about a month or so ago but things dried up as fast as they appeared . I got lucky locally and snagged a 4 lber of 700x at a local shop for 68$ plus 2lb of bullseye and 2 lb of unique for 20-25$ each . then a week or so later was at the local field & stream and snagged an 8lber of red dot for 159$. that's the 1st 8lb jug of powder ive ever bought they had rd in 1 lbers also, I would have been happy with a few of those but at 28.95 per lb the 8 lber was a no brainer
 

cherokeetracker

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
63
cadillo said:
No luck on the net, but finally found one 8 lb. jug of Unique ( no one pounders) priced at $219.99 at of all places a local pawn shop that sells guns and components. I asked if he could do any better, and he brought it down to $199.99. I hated to do it at that price, but I was down to less than half a pound of Unique, so I did it. I know that it's still a bit high, but with Obummer foaming at the mouth with pen in hand, I figured that I better get it while I could. I think that with tax, it came out at about $27.00 per lb. out the door.

Now if I can just find some 231, and some WST for .45acp, I'd be a little more at ease.

Does your NO LUCK on the net include gunbot.net ? I know it is tough to pay a haz fee, but this website will help tell you where stuff is, and usually when they got it in. It has ammo and components both.
 

stevemb

Hunter
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
2,769
A further thought. Even as supply catches up, the factories may not want to run much of the old favorites. The "market" may be forcibly weaning us over to newer powders. Reasons ? Marketing, cost,safety,ease of production, etc.. I cannot go buy a new Jeep Comanche truck, as much as I miss mine. If I could it wouldn't have the much loved inline 6 cyl., either. Reality.
 

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