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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hornady superperformance

Picking Powders Propellant Profiles Fifth Edition

Author: Richard Mann / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Dec 01 2010

Handloaders are really little more than cooks. We use various ingredients to make a concoction that will satisfy our shooting needs. Luckily, with the bullets, primers and powders available, we have a lot of ingredients to choose from and a lot of cookbooks to help us build better ammunition. Our cookbooks – load manuals – generally focus on the cartridge and not so much on the components. Often the load manual will specify a specific powder that worked well with a certain cartridge, but information on powders in general, as far as their application, can only be gleaned from looking through the load manual to see what cartridges have data with certain powders.

If you are looking for a source that will teach you about gunpowder,
Propellant Profiles is the only one of its kind.

For more than 45 years, the “Propellant Profiles” column in Handloader magazine has been very popular. Through the years various writers have delved into the specifics of available powders, discussing their history and application. A new book from Wolfe Publishing, Propellant Profiles Fifth Edition, is a compilation of all those columns. I’ve been using it as a reference for some time but only recently had the chance to sit down and give it a good goingover.

I counted 183 different powders from 13 different manufacturers that are covered in this volume. Contributing authors include Mike Venturino, R.H. VanDenburg, Jr., Bob Hagel, John Kronfeld, John Wootters, Layne Simpson, Sam Fadala, Gil Sengel, Clay Harvey and Gary Sitton. (The latter was always one of my favorites.) Some of the more popular powders like IMR-4064, H-4831 and W-748 have multiple entries. There is even a chapter discussing “All Those 4350s.” It explains the physical characteristics of each of the 4350 powders and provides some sample loads from each powder, all at the same charge weight – a very important read if you use any version of 4350.

Another chapter I found interesting was the one on the Hodgdon Extreme line of powders. The chapter on Reloder 17, which provides an interesting relative quickness chart, was educational as well. This chart helped explain why Reloder 10X seemed to work better in the .30 AR than Reloder 7. I had no idea that Reloder 7 was 15 percent quicker than Reloder 10X. The chapter on H-4895 explains the 60 percent rule. If you don’t know what that is, this information alone will justify the cost of the book, especially for very frugal handloaders. You’ll also find three chapters on the very versatile H-4227 that include loading data for handguns, rifles and even shotshells. Surprisingly, there is even a chapter on black powder and a few black-powder substitutes.

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