Rounds in the last month

This month I reloaded some .45 ACP for the first time. I bought the dies and supplies years ago after I got the Para Ordinance Gun Blog 45 pistol. I ended up not shooting it very much and finally stored it as a “Safe Queen”. I still had all the equipment and supplies for the ammo so, mostly to clear out space, I decided to go ahead and assemble the ammo. I reloaded 500 rounds and ran a few rounds over the chronograph to verify the expected velocity and functionality.

I also reloaded 1699 rounds of .40 S&W this month. 1400 rounds were 180 grain Montana Gold JHP for practice at indoor ranges and 299 were 180 grain Black Bullets International bullets for USPSA matches. This finished off all the bullets I have in these types.

Year to date I have loaded 20,781 rounds.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 2,424 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1591 rounds.
40 S&W: 79,486 rounds.
45 ACP: 500 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 106,378 rounds.

Low velocity 9mm self-defense loads

A while back I made up some .40 S&W loads with “Gold Dot® Short Barrel®” bullets (it appears they have been discontinued) and then did velocity and milk jug penetration tests. I was very pleased with them.

A couple days ago I received an email from Drew Rinella. Here is part of it:

I met you very briefly a couple/few years ago at a Boomer shoot, so it was cool to find your site while researching low velocity results for speer gold dots. I saw that people were giving you shit in the comments about your low velocity 40 s&w gold dot SB loadings. I want to let you know that my terminal performance testing results have so far been great with loading the standard 147 gr 9mm gold dot at a low velocity.

I like the properties of the 147 grain 9mm gold dot bullet but I have always been frustrated by the challenging recoil impulse and inconsistent accuracy with their factory loading at nearly 1000 fps muzzle velocity, so I’ve been experimenting with loading at lower velocities. Despite the fact that they do not yet market a SB version of this bullet, I received an email back from that factory recommending a minimum of 850 fps for consistent expansion.

4.3 grains of Silhouette gave me 885 fps from a Glock 17. This was the most accurate and softest shooting load I tested which gave me the min recommended velocity. With this velocity I get consistent penetration of 4 water filled milk jugs, with the bullet puncturing a small hole into and bouncing off of the 5th jug. Assuming a 1.8x ratio of water to ballistic gel this slightly exceeds the FBI standard of 12″ ballistic gel.

Test #1: 2 layers denim

Penetrated 4 full milk jugs; bullet fully intact with signs of stress on the petals Expansion 0.525″

Weight 147.5 grains

Test #2: 4 layers denim

Penetrated 4 full milk jugs; one petal ripped off and stayed in first milk jug; signs of stress on remaining petals Expansion 0.563″

Weight 143.8 grains

As soon as the kids can drink more milk I’ll be testing with more materials including quilted denim, metal, wood, wallboard, and glass. I hypothesize less expansion and deeper penetration through these barriers based on observations of online video testing of factory loadings with this bullet, which I don’t necessarily consider to be a bad thing.

Silhouette was one of the few powders my thrower was able to throw consistently at these low charge  volumes, and gave me a small red fireball with some yellow sparks in low light shooting. CFE Pistol (my favorite powder for nearly everything else) wouldn’t throw consistently. Titegroup accuracy was very poor. AA#2 & 5 were consistent but wouldn’t give me the velocity I wanted without going into +P or +P+ territory.

Hornady XTP 147 grain at low velocity wouldn’t open up and looked like I could reload it and shoot it again. I definitely think Gold Dot is the way to go when downloading self defense rounds.

I figured there had to be other powders which would give the desired velocity so I went looking through all the sources on my book shelf. Here is a complete list of the powders for 9mm, 147 grain bullets, which yield velocities in the range of 850 feet per second.

Powder weight is in grains. Expected velocities are in feet per second. Some of the data is quite old and you should verify it with your own loading manuals or online to make sure the data is current and I have not made a catastrophic typo.

Powder C.O.L. Minimum Load Velocity Maximum Load Velocity
HS-6 1.100 4.3 773 5.0 885
Universal 1.100 3.0 803 3.3 869
Titegroup 1.100 3.2 855 3.6 929
SR 4756 1.100 3.2 800 3.8 950
WSF 1.100 3.3 800 4.2 950
AA #5 1.100 3.8 800 4.6 950
Solo 1500 1.100 3.8 800 4.6 950
HS-6 1.100 4.4 850 5.1 975
Blue Dot 1.100 4.2 800 5.5 1000
HS-7 1.100 4.4 800 5.6 950
AA #7 1.100 5.1 800 6.6 1000
Power Pistol 1.130 4.5 872 5.0 975
3N37 1.130 4.4 886 4.9 969
AA #7 1.130 6.1 867 6.8 961
SR 4756 1.130 4.2 841 4.6 957
HS-6 1.130 5.0 845 5.6 956
Unique 1.130 3.8 852 4.3 954
HS-7 1.130 6.1 866 6.8 953
WSF 1.130 3.6 840 4.1 931
AA #5 1.130 4.5 821 5.1 931

Rounds in the last month

I was out of town (and out of the country most of the time) for almost three weeks last month. That drastically reduced my reloading opportunities. I still managed to load 1015 rounds of .40 S&W. It was all Montana Gold JHPs over 3.9 grains of Bullseye. These are for new shooters at indoor ranges. They are accurate bullets with a minimum powder charge.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 2,424 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1591 rounds.
40 S&W: 77,787 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 104,199 rounds.

Year to date I have loaded 18,582 rounds. I’m still on course to reload about 20,000 rounds this year for a lifetime total of over 105,000 rounds.

Rounds in the last month

In September I only loaded .40 S&W. It was 1875 rounds of Black Bullets for USPSA matches, 93 rounds of Acme Bullet Company’s 180 grain “Lipstick Bullets” (I’m probably going to replace The Blue Bullets with these for steel matches), and 95 rounds of Montana Gold bullets over 3.0 grains of Clays for some “powder puff” loads for new shooters. This is a total of 2063 rounds this month.

I had a revision of some numbers on 300 Win Mag ammo. A few years ago I made some ammo for a friend and didn’t count the rounds. I put them in zip lock bags and gave them to him. In my log I just entered estimates of 300 and 100 rounds for the two different reloading sessions.

Then… earlier this month I was visiting him and found out he still hadn’t shot them. I counted them and found I had reloaded a total of 299 rounds. Whoops. That changes things a little bit. I corrected my log file so that shows up in the numbers below.

The corrected and updated lifetime reloaded ammunition totals are:

223: 2,424 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1591 rounds.
40 S&W: 76,772 rounds.
9 mm: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 103,184 rounds.

Year to date I have loaded 17,567 rounds. I’m still on course to reload about 20,000 rounds this year for a lifetime total of over 105,000 rounds.

Black Bullet anomalies

I’ve mentioned Black Bullet International before (and here, here, here, here, and here) and that I use them for outdoor USPSA matches. They give excellent accuracy, consistent velocity, and are a good price. I have reloaded 7563 rounds of ammunition using these bullets and have about another 875 on hand.

Earlier this month I ran into this:


One of these is not like the others. Instead of the 180 grain 0.40” diameter bullet it is a 124.9 grain 0.359” bullet. Of course, there is no danger of reloading it in a .40 S&W casing and causing a problem. But if it had been a 200 grain bullet while reloading for 180 or a 180 grain while reloading 165 grain bullets there would have been a serious concern.

I thought it was funny and set it aside.

This afternoon I opened a new box of Black Bullets which had been shipped many months after the last batch of bullets from them. I decided to weigh them to make sure they were essentially the same weight as the previous batch (important for making Power Factor for USPSA matches). I weighed 19 bullets and they were essentially the same as the previous batch:

  • Mean: 180.7
  • Standard Deviation: 0.612
  • Max: 182.2
  • Min: 179.7
  • Extreme Spread: 2.5.

When I weighed the 20th bullet I was shocked. It was 177.5 grains. This is over three grains below the mean of the other 19. This is significant enough to endanger “making major” at a match. Hmm…

I weighed another 10 and found a 178.5. Hmm…

I measured their diameter and length compared to typical bullets. The diameter was the same but the length was 0.005 less:



All the typical bullets were within 0.001” in length of one another. Then there were the two out of thirty which were 0.005” shorter.


Then I compared the stats of the Black Bullets to what I find typical of Montana Gold bullets:

  • Mean: 180.22
  • Standard Deviation: 0.159
  • Min: 179.9
  • Max: 180.5
  • Extreme spread: 0.6.

Remember when Barb and I toured the Montana Gold factory Norm told us they keep the weight of their bullets to about +/- 0.3 grains? Yup, that matches my measurements of their bullets.

Now, I did once find a partial jacket in one of the Montana Gold boxes, but I have reloaded nearly 40,000 of their bullets. That is over five times as many as the Black Bullets.

I have to conclude that the Black Bullets International company is not as quality conscious as the Montana Gold Bullets company with 180 grain .40 caliber bullets.

Primer removal failure

This is twice in about 500 rounds that I have seen this happen:


Instead of popping out whole, the primer fractured and only part of it came out of the primer pocket. I thought the first instance was just a very odd fluke. But this is twice in a very small set of used brass and I don’t recall this ever happening before in the over 100K times I have removed primers.

Update: I had this happen with three more cases out of about 150. All with R-P headstamps. I bought this brass used. It would be interesting to know the history of these cases.

Rounds in the last month

In August I loaded 148 rounds of 30.06 for daughter Kim and 2644 rounds of .40 S&W. This used up all my 30.06 brass and before I do any more 30.06 she is going to have to do some shooting. The .40 S&W was 722 rounds of Black Bullets for USPSA matches and 1922 rounds of Montana Gold bullets yielding Major Power Factor for practice at indoor ranges.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 2,424 rounds.
30.06: 756 rounds.
300 WIN: 1692 rounds.
40 S&W: 74,709 rounds.
9 mm.log: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 101,222 rounds.

Year to date I have loaded 15,504 rounds. I’m on course to reload about 20,000 rounds this year for a lifetime total of over 105,000 rounds.

Montana Gold Bullet factory tour

Kalispell, Montana was on the way home from Glacier National Park so Barb and I decided to see if we could get a tour of the Montana Gold Bullet factory. I have reloaded nearly 39,000 (38,684) of their bullets and have another 4,500+ in stock and ready for the Dillon 550.

I called the number on their website and set up a time for yesterday that worked for Norm and us.

We arrived a few minutes early at the unmarked warehouse like building. I took a picture of Barb out front and Norm greeted us a minute or so later.


I asked if we could take pictures and Norm told us, “No pictures allowed.” As we went inside and started the tour Norm told us production goes down during the summer and there wasn’t as much going on as there sometimes is. I asked if the election had also affected sales. He said it had made a big difference not just for Montana Gold Bullets but across the entire industry. He had looked at demand over the years and it has gone through several cycles. The first peak occurred after Bill Clinton’s election and the last peak being just before the defeat of Hillary Clinton.

Before we moved on I asked why they used brass jackets rather than copper like almost all other bullet manufactures. Was there a technical reason or was it the just the appeal of the gold color and the neat name made possible by that color?

Norm explained their company wasn’t the first to use brass. Remington, with their Golden Saber bullets, was the first and marketed them extensively. There are other companies who also use brass in some of their bullets. There are some technical reason why brass is better in certain circumstances but that isn’t the reason why his company uses brass. And it wasn’t the appeal of color and the cool name of “Montana Gold”. Also, he didn’t come up with the name “Montana Gold”!

He said he probably shouldn’t tell the story, then proceeded to tell us how the name came about. I’ll refrain from telling the story here but I’ll drop the hint that it was a San Francisco pathologist who came up with the name “Montana Gold” for the bullets produced by Norm’s company. Norm thought it was a cool name and adopted it.

The reason they use brass is because it was forced upon them, indirectly, by the U.S. government. Many years ago the U.S. Mint began producing small dollar coins that were a copper sandwich. The demands of the U.S. Mint for the particular grade of copper the bullet company was using made it impossible for Norm’s company to get the jacket material they needed. It was either go out of business, shutdown until they could get supplies, or change jacket material. They changed jacket material.

Another story he told was of a commercial reloader who bid on a contract for law enforcement ammo specifying, and supplying samples using, Montana Gold bullets. When he won the contract and started delivering the finished product the end customer noticed the bullets were actually plated bullets which are much cheaper to make and generally considered of lower quality. They complained to Norm, who reported he hadn’t supplied those bullets. Norm now refuses to do business with that reloader and, furthermore, does not allow reloaders to mention “Montana Gold” even if they are using “the real deal” in their product.

We saw the 70 pound lead-antimony ingots they use for bullet core material. As there are no more primary lead smelters in the U.S.they get their lead from Canada. They used to get their lead from mines in Idaho not too many miles away. At one time they even considered moving to Idaho to be close to their lead source as well as some economic incentives.

Barb was particularly impressed with the extruding equipment that squeezes the lead through an orifice like so much toothpaste making a lead wire of the appropriate diameter.

I was surprised by learning that because the metals alloyed with lead (to get the desired hardness) are of a different density the ingots may not be of sufficient uniformity to meet their final bullet weight tolerances. Depending upon how quickly the liquid lead alloy is cooled to a solid after being stirred they may cut off a section of the lead wire as scrap because can cause the bullet to be too light.

The thickness of the jacket material and the consistency of hollow point formation also have an effect upon the final bullet weight. Tolerances stack up. They keep the weight of their bullets to about +/- 0.3 grains and sell bullets that are out of tolerance as “seconds” to people who take delivery at the factory who Norm is confident will be using them directly rather than reselling them.

After being shown a bin of with tens of thousands (or maybe 100’s of thousands) of jackets I told Norm about finding one in a box of completed bullets. This seemed to bother him some. He told us there were at least three different places in the process it should have been been found.

They have several machines which are dedicated to certain bullet caliber and style and a few they reconfigure as needed. We saw large multistage presses which put the lead core into the brass cup then form the cup around the lead and size it to make a completed bullet. I was surprised that the machine only produced about one finished bullet per second. That one machine takes about 40 minutes to produce one case of bullets the postman delivers to my door (actually–the sidewalk near the street, then he rings the doorbell).

I told Norm I had used their .401 diameter, 180 grain, complete metal jacket bullet until fellow shooter Don W. reported he got better accuracy with the jacketed hollow point bullets. As the price was only a fraction of penny more I tried those bullets and found Don was correct. I too got slightly better accuracy compared to the CMJs.

Norm said the decreased accuracy with the CMJs probably was because my crimping die was just a little to tight. If crimped too much it will end up as an undersized bullet. Because of the construction of the base on a FMJ, and even a JHP, as a slightly undersized bullet is fired it will expand back out and be just fine. But the base of a CMJ with the brass (or copper) disk doesn’t expand like the FMJ and JHP and “rattles” as it traverses the barrel resulting in a decrease in accuracy. By backing off the crimping die a little bit you should get the same accuracy.

Near the end of the tour Norm pointed at two work stations with women flicking bullets, one by one, off a conveyor belt. “That”, he said, “Is the most difficult job here. It takes a special kind of person to do that and when we find someone who can do it we take special care of them.” These women do the visual inspection of every bullet. They don’t work full days and yet Norm told us you can see from their faces they are drained and tired at the end of their shifts. They considered going to some sort of sensors and computer sorting but the visual computer in the human brain can’t be beat yet.

Barb and I spent nearly an hour with Norm and the stories and discussion continued until both Barb and I were in pain from standing. We had hiked over 33 miles in the previous four days and felt we could hike some more but not stand. My knees were “talking to me” in an angry tone so we thanked Norm and left with new appreciation and attachment to Montana Gold bullets.

100K rounds

Barb and I mostly stayed home this weekend because of the heat and extraordinarily smoky air from the forest fires. Otherwise we probably would have gone on a hike. So… I reloaded ammo and puttered around my “library” (includes computers, guns, ammo, reloading bench, reloading components, and gun cleaning bench). I reloaded 600 rounds of 40 S&W yesterday and 600 rounds today using up almost all of the Fiocchi primers.

Combined with the stuff I had reloaded in the previous few days this month I topped the lifetime total rounds reloaded mark of 100,000 rounds. My logs show I have reloaded 100,027 rounds. 73,514 of those are .40 S&W.

Rounds in the last month

In July I loaded 65 rounds of 30.06 for daughter Kim and 2048 rounds of .40 S&W. Nearly all of the .40 S&W was Montana Gold JHP for practice at the local indoor range. There were also a few other bullet types when I was testing the Fiocchi primers.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 2,424 rounds.
30.06: 608 rounds.
300 WIN: 1692 rounds.
40 S&W: 72,065 rounds.
9 mm.log: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 98,430 rounds.

Year to date I have loaded 12,712 rounds.

August is going to be a very busy month with things other than reloading keeping me occupied. I also plan to make a bunch more 30.06 rounds, which are much slower than pistol ammo, or I would make the prediction that I would break 100,000 lifetime total rounds loaded sometime in August. Instead, I expect to reach that milestone in September.

Fiocchi Small Pistol, No Lead, primers

I do a lot of indoor shooting and the possibility of lead poisoning is something that concerns me. I get a blood test for lead every year and it stays within the “normal” range but when I wasn’t doing much shooting for a couple years it went to almost undetectable levels. Hence, I know I have a lead source in my environment and it’s probably either the indoor range and/or the reloading.

When I saw Powder Valley had no lead, small pistol, primers available I ordered some to test. I didn’t know they were even available to the reloading community. These primers would probably reduce the lead exposure at both the range and when handling the reused brass during reloading.

They are a bit more expensive than the Winchester primers (WSP) I normally use. Before shipping the Winchester WSP primers are $28/1000 (2.8 cents each). The Fiocchi no lead primers are $57/1500 (3.8 cents each). A penny per round difference… hmm. Okay, I would pay that if it significantly reduced the lead I’m getting into my system.

Due to a mixup by Powder Valley I ended up (after a couple of weeks) getting 1500 Fiocchi standard primers as well as 1500 of the no lead primers. They came in a brick of 10 trays of 150 primers per tray:


They are, ironically, a lead grey color:



I made up my indoor loads and ran them over my chronograph:

PF SDev ES Min Max
Montana Gold JHP, CFE Pistol, WSP
180.22 5.4 921.50 165.87 11.5 38.0 905 943
Montana Gold JHP, CFE Pistol, Fiocchi No Lead
180.22 5.4 916.67 165.00 16.6 56.0 897 953
Montana Gold JHP, CFE Pistol, Fiocchi standard
180.22 5.4 879.00 158.22 44.3 139.0 803 942

Hmmm.. The standard deviation and especially the extreme spread are worse with the no lead primers. And the Fiocchi standard primers are terrible! The velocity is lower and the standard deviation and extreme spread is through the roof. I loaded up some more rounds and tested them and got essentially the same results.

With the polymer coated bullets I use outdoors and CFE Pistol powder the results were even worse. The standard deviation went from about 10 fps with WSP to about 18 fps with the Fiocchi no lead primers (I haven’t tested the Fiocchi standard primers with these bullets).

I really don’t want to keep two types of primers around. I want to minimize the number of components types rather than expand them. And if I increase the standard deviation on the match ammo I would need to increase the mean velocity to insure I continue reliably making major PF. Increasing the velocity also means increasing the reloading cost above that of the increased primer cost, and increasing the recoil to solve a “problem” I don’t really have.

I think I’m going to continue using the WSP primers.

** Yes, I know these aren’t reliably making Major Power Factor, I’m increasing the powder charge some based upon this data. This load is just for practice anyway. I have never used them at a match. For USPSA matches I have been using Black Bullets, WSP primers, and ETR7 which has been repeatedly tested to give me a PF of a little over 170 with a SDev of about 9 fps.

Rounds in the last month

In June I reloaded 1947 rounds of 180 grain Black Bullets and 1753 rounds of 180 grain JHP Montana Gold bullets in .40 S&W. This, 3700 rounds, is most I have reloaded in a single month with the exception of when I first started reloading and loaded 10,944 rounds of 9mm in the month of October 1996.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223: 2,424 rounds.
30.06: 543 rounds.
300 WIN: 1692 rounds.
40 S&W: 70,017 rounds.
9 mm.log: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 96,317 rounds.

So far this year I have reloaded 10,599 rounds. By this time last year I had reloaded 9,094 and ended up the year with a total of 18,265. I only need to reload another 3,683 rounds to reach my goal for this year of 100,000 rounds. I might even reach this goal this month.

Rounds in the last month

I reloaded 1899 rounds of .40 S&W this month. They were all 180 grain Black Bullets for USPSA style matches. And nearly half of them were loaded last Monday: 


This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223.log: 2,424 rounds.
3006.log: 543 rounds.
300WIN.log: 1692 rounds.
40SW.log: 66044 rounds.
9MM.log: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 92,344 rounds.

I’m getting down to the last of the powder I use for these bullets and will soon be switching over to 180 grain Montana Gold JHPs I use for practice. I probably only have 500 or so left. So, on Monday I ordered three cases (7500 bullets). Looking at my order history on the Montana Gold web site I noticed something interesting:


It was almost exactly a year ago that I ordered the same quantity. The pile of bullets in this picture (over 22,000 bullets) is now just one case and a few small boxes. I have enough loaded ammo with Blue Bullets and Black Bullets (match only) that I probably won’t need to purchase any more of those this year. But I can see the end of the Montana Gold ammo and bullets approaching since I use those up in practice fairly rapidly.

Rounds in the last month

March was a busy month for me. I had hard drives fail on two different computers. The laptop was particularly painful when the Windows Home Server recovery utility didn’t support that hardware. I ultimately recovered everything but it took over a week of my spare time. The other hard drive only took a few hours of my time and lead to a simpler backup method which was nice.

Boomershoot tasks picked up too. There is still some space left if you want to sign up here.

Anyway, I reloaded 525 rounds of .40 S&W and ran many of them over the chronograph. This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223.log: 2,424 rounds.
3006.log: 543 rounds.
300WIN.log: 1692 rounds.
40SW.log: 63,945 rounds.
9MM.log: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 90,245 rounds.

Rounds in the last month

I was busy doing a lot of things for Boomershoot this month (I have to tell the story of what Barb calls “the box” someday) and haven’t done any reloading since February 5th, still, I did load 975 rounds of .40 S&W. They were all Blue Bullets with minimum powder charges for shooting steel.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223.log: 2,424 rounds.
3006.log: 543 rounds.
300WIN.log: 1692 rounds.
40SW.log: 63,420 rounds.
9MM.log: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 89,720 rounds.

Boomershoot is going to take some time this month and especially next month. But I think I’ll be able to load a few rounds each month. I’m hoping to make it to a lifetime total of over 100,000 rounds by the end of the year.

Reloading report

As I reported on the first of this month I enhanced my program which parses and reports on my reloading logs. Not too long after making those changes I made still more changes. In now outputs a section with the yearly and monthly totals for every caliber combined. Here is that section of the report including the 3300 rounds of .40 S&W (minor power factor Blue Bullets for steel matches) I reloaded this month:

Year Total Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996: 11274 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10944 141 189
1997: 7585 300 0 40 1210 719 106 0 100 1088 804 1060 2158
1998: 11574 570 258 718 1657 1812 1710 542 20 0 1240 900 2147
1999: 4912 20 964 181 877 718 657 60 0 0 179 653 603
2000: 3690 845 120 142 0 57 1095 400 396 43 521 60 11
2001: 2724 25 300 497 532 15 20 1198 73 0 0 0 64
2002: 898 0 0 0 0 0 0 198 0 200 300 0 200
2003: 649 0 300 302 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
2004: 1345 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 300 600 445 0
2005: 1059 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 659 400 0 0
2006: 1000 0 0 0 0 400 0 0 0 0 200 400 0
2007: 1136 0 0 0 0 0 0 118 518 300 200 0 0
2008: 2398 0 300 0 0 0 0 900 399 0 200 0 599
2009: 1702 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 102 300 900 400
2010: 1400 0 0 0 0 100 200 700 0 200 0 200 0
2011: 2300 300 0 400 100 0 500 500 200 0 0 0 300
2012: 399 0 200 0 199 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013: 600 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 100 500
2014: 530 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 530
2015: 10005 1699 2696 3064 0 0 0 547 200 400 100 200 1099
2016: 18265 2197 700 1462 837 1899 1999 1000 1500 1216 1957 1500 1998
2017: 3300 3300 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Grand Totals 88745 9256 5838 6806 5430 5720 6287 6163 3406 4508 17945 6588 10798

Powder storage warnings

Via email from Roger W. we have this from Hodgdon:

Powder Storage in Reloader Hoppers

Powder left in the reloader’s powder measure hoppers for extended periods, overnight or several days, should be avoided. Powder needs to be stored in original containers ONLY, when not in use. Numerous modern smokeless powders are double base in construction, containing both Nitrocellulose and Nitroglycerine.

Roger sent them an email questioned them on this (“Why not leave powder in powder measure hoppers for extended periods?”) and got the following reply:

There are a couple reasons.

Despite warning some people have multiple powders on their bench, they leave the powder in the hopper for long period of times and they forget or think they know which powder is in the hopper, they pour it back into the wrong canister and there will be a problem. this may seem like common sense but we see this happen every week from a phone call or an email.

Some powders that are made today have a very high Nitroglycerin content to them, when left in  powder measures for a period of time the Nitro will seem to eat the plastic. We have seen this with standard hand thrown powder measures and electronic ones that will get ruined.

Powder has a built in moisture content to it. the proper storage of powder is in the canister with the lid shut tight, this will help keep the moisture in the powder. Most likely there would not be a problem with moisture left in a hopper unless the lid is accidently not put back on.

Mike Van Dyke
Customer Service Representative
Hodgdon Powder Company
6430 Vista Drive
Shawnee, Ks. 66218
913-362-9455 Ext. 109

I have plastic powder measures that are yellowed and I attributed it to an interaction with the powder. But I have never seen any that appear to have been eaten. Still, I probably should be more careful about leaving the powder in the measure for extended periods of time.