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Practically Shooting

Winchester 231 and Hodgdon HP38 Going Away?

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"Winchester 231 certainly has been hard to get. The plant that makes Winchester powders does not want to make 231 as well as a few other powders. These older technology powders have different chemistry than the new powders and this older chemistry makes it much slower to make powder: basically, you can make about 2.5 times as many pounds of new chemistry powder in the time it takes to make 1 pound of old chemistry powder. During the process of making the old powders, the waste stream created is huge compared to the waste stream of the new chemistry powders. Chemical waste is very expensive to get rid of. So, the plant wants to phase out the old chemistry powders and replace them with new chemistry powders. While they are still making 231, the amount is being reduced and the amount of new powder such as Titegroup and Longshot is being increased.
Now, we are kind of stuck in the middle. The market is demanding 231 but the maker is not wanting to produce the powder. The result is, over time, 231 is going to go away. Shooters should begin using other powders as they can.

Mike Daly

Hodgdon Family of Fine Propellants
Hodgdon Smokeless Powder
IMR Powder Company
Winchester Smokeless Propellants
GOEX Blackpowder"

OK, even if its my usual .45 ACP powder, I can see of its that unprofitable, and there are other similar powders available, that it might not be sensible to keep around.  But it makes me wonder: What other powders are "old technology" and therefore doomed?

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Good question and from what I've read, there are many powders are based on formulas from the time period of pre WWII.  That makes me wonder as well how many 'old technology' powders will go the way of the buggy whip.  I think the answer lies in the costs and profit margins of the old manufacturing techniques vs. the new manufacturing techniques.  It really is about return on investment.


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