Best Powder for Pistol Reloading

 Best Powder For Pistol Reloading

For your ammo to be accurate and reliable, you need a good powder, and choosing the right powder is not easy. There are countless powder options, and trying to figure out the best option can be daunting. But if you have an idea of what to look for, it should be relatively easy. 

In this guide, we are going to review some of the best powders for pistol reloading. We are also going to discuss factors that you need to consider when buying gun powder.

Let’s get started.

Pistol reloading is not straightforward, and you need to know what powder to use before you do any reloading. As we mentioned at the beginning, there are many powder options, and trying to figure which one to buy for your firearm can be tricky. 

Top Pick
Lincoln Electric K2989-M (1)

Winchester – 231 Smokeless Powder Best Powder for Pistol Reloading

  • One of the most popular pistol reloading powders
  • Suitable for a broad range of cartridges
  • You can get over 1000 rounds out of one pound container

Winchester 231 smokeless powder is one of the most popular pistol reloading powders.

Powder for Pistol Reloading Comparison Сhart

Best Powder for Pistol Reloading
ImageProductPrice
Winchester - 231 Smokeless PowderWinchester - 231 Smokeless Powder

Powder type: smokeless

Weight: 1 lb (0.45 kg)

Caliber: from 32 ACP to 45 LongColt

Alliant Powder - Unique Smokeless PowderAlliant Powder - Unique Smokeless Powder

Powder type: smokeless

Weight: 1 lb (0.45 kg)

Caliber: multi-caliber

H&B Luxuries Ultrasonic Cleaner Alliant Powder - 2400 Smokeless Powder

Powder type: smokeless

Weight: 1 lb (0.45 kg)

Caliber: .44 magnum, and other magnum pistol loads

3 Best Powder for Pistol Reloading (as of July, 2021):

1. Winchester – 231 Smokeless Powder Best Powder for Pistol Reloading – Review

Winchester 231 smokeless powder is one of the most popular pistol reloading powders. It has a consistent burn rate, low flash, and a clean burn. It is commonly used for reloading pistol, shotshell, and rifle rounds.  

Although designed for a .38 Special cartridge and 9mm, it also suitable for a broad range of cartridges.

It is cost-efficient; you can get over 1000 rounds out of one pound container, and it is incredibly versatile.

In case you don’t find the Winchester 231, look for the Hodgdon HP-23. They are exactly the same; in fact, Hodgdon owns the Winchester 231. It is pretty much the same product but with different names. Go figure. 

Pros:

  • Consistent burn rate and low flash
  • Clean burn
  • Ideal for a wide range of cartridges
  • Cost-efficient
  • Versatile
  • budget-friendly

Cons:

  • It can be hard to find in stores or online

2. Alliant Powder – Unique Smokeless Powder for Pistol Reloading – Review

The Alliant Unique Smokeless Powder has a long history. It has been around since the late 1800s, and still today, it’s still one of the most popular powders. One good reason for this is because it can be used in most if not all pistol calibers

So, in essence, it is pretty versatile. If you own different pistols, you won’t need to buy different powders for reloading their rounds.

This powder is pretty much a multi-caliber powder.

It has a clean burn, and it is extremely flexible. It is great for making blank ammo, and you can also loaded it in cast bullets for rifles. When it comes to handguns, it is slow for small rounds, although it stills works well.

But for large rounds, it is not a great option for high-velocity ammunition. 

Overall, it is a versatile and flexible powder you should consider having in your at-home armory if you own a wide range of pistols. 

Pros:

  • Clean-burning characteristics
  • Extremely versatile and flexible
  • Multi-caliber powder

Cons:

  • Not ideal for high-velocity ammo

3. Alliant Powder – 2400 Smokeless Powder for Pistol Reloading – Review

Alliant Powder 2400 Smokeless Powder is another popular powder. It is suitable for .44 magnums and other magnum pistols and heavy rounds like the 45 Colt. It also works well with the 357 rifle, and it does work well with other rifles as well. 

The 2400 powder performs exceedingly well, and it is incredibly economical.   

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile
  • High velocity 
  • Economical
  • Budget-friendly 

Cons:

  • Not ideal for all types of pistols

Buyer’s Guide

To help make it easy for you, here are some factors you should consider when choosing a powder for pistol reloading

Cartridge Type

The smartest way to figure what powder to buy is by consulting your reloading manual for the best options. However, if you know your cartridge type and the bullet weight you intend to reload, you can get a good idea of what kind of powder to purchase. 

Projectile Weight

Projectile Weight
Source: YouTube

A key factor when choosing a powder for pistol reloading is projectile weight. Large, heavy bullets move at a slower speed than small, light bullets. For a heavy bullet, you need to use a slower powder to prevent the chamber pressure from spiking. For a light bullet, you need to use a fast-burning powder so that all the powder can burn to release the bullet. 

Black Powder vs Smokeless Powder

The difference between black powder and smokeless powder is that the former produces more smoke than the latter. Black powder is classified as an explosive, and smokeless powder is classified as a propellant

Smokeless powder contains more chemical energy than black powder; therefore, it burns faster, which results in increased velocity and better accuracy. 

When it comes to these different powders, the general rule is that you should never use smokeless powder in black powder guns as this may result in serious injury. So if you have a black powder pistol or revolver, you cannot interchange black powder with smokeless powder with these guns.

Also, if you own a muzzleloader, don’t use smokeless powder as that may damage the firearm and cause injury. 

Care and Storage

Care and Storage
via@thdef

When handling any powder, care and caution must be taken, and the same goes for its storage. At no point should you place powder near heat or store it in a warm place for an extended period

Heat can cause the chemical stabilizer in the powder to degrade a lot faster, and exposing the powder to heat for too long can cause it to self-ignite

How to store Smokeless Powder

Always store smokeless powder in a cool, dry place. Ensure that the storage area is far from heat sources such as furnaces, open flames, and water heaters. 

Also, ensure that the storage area is not exposed to sunshine or near electrical or mechanical equipment. 

Avoid storing smokeless powder in areas where you keep cleaning solvents, high combustible materials, or flammable gases. Most importantly, do not smoke in or near the place where you have stored your powder

Conclusion

Now that you have an idea of the best powder to buy for pistol reloading make sure to take safety measures when handling and storing powder. Placing it near heat or a hot surface may cause some serious problems. So always exercise caution when handling a propellant.

Best Powder For Pistol Reloading 1-1

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