Things have been extremely tough here lately.  We have seen our inventory levels drop to an area we haven’t seen in the last 15 years. 

As we’ve seen the demand outpace supply we have also seen a significant number of price increases.  We are doing everything we can to keep our prices down and continue on focusing on Shooters supporting Shooters.  We have seen the price increases level off recently but we do anticipate there could be a couple more since some manufacturers have fought hard to keep their prices down and had forward contracts on metals that have or will soon expire.

I’m going to hit on each component below:


We have seen very small amounts of primers.  They come and go very quickly.  With the small quantities we are receiving it’s hard for many people to even notice we had any for sale because they sell so quickly.  We will continue to have extreme limits on primers per individual purchase.  We do have reason for a positive outlook and I anticipate seeing improvement on primer availability within the next couple of months.  There has been additional manufacturing capacity added and Remington is back online.  Foreign primers are coming into the US for OEM only use which will allow for some relief on the US manufacturers. 


This is the scariest part for us.  We are known for powder.  Many people refer to us as the Powder Folks.  It is tough and stressful to be Powder Valley and literally have no powder.  We had been receiving a consistent amount of shipments and those shipments weren’t anywhere close to meeting demand but at least the supply line seemed open.  We were able to keep somewhat of a consistent supply to our large dealer and retail networks.   However, recently our quantities received from the manufacturers have decreased even more and the outlook on the horizon doesn’t look any better.  We anticipate availability to get worse before it gets better.


Generic caliber target bullets are starting to become more plentiful.  Demand still outweighs supply on precision long range competition bullets as well as hunting bullets.  But, it is good to see inventory available on handgun target bullets.  Berger has done extremely well with the manufacturing upgrades they have done over the past several years and supply has been pretty decent.  We are seeing only tiny quantities coming out of Sierra.  Hornady has been supplying a steady stream of bullets. 


 Brass from big manufacturers has been very sparse.  We have seen a pretty steady supply of Starline, however sparse the caliber availability may be.  Lapua has been great with their deliveries as most calibers are readily available.  Prvi has also been pretty decent.


We chose some time ago to stock only Hornady equipment.  We are receiving shipments from Hornady daily and recently the availability of equipment has been much better.

I thought I’d also list the most popular questions we’ve been receiving:

How can you guys stay in business?  You have nothing in stock.  Are you going out of business?

It is definitely a challenging time.  Powder Valley is not going anywhere.  I mean, really, can you imagine a world without Powder Valley?  Yeah, me either.

When will you receive your next shipment?  When do you update the website?

We receive shipments daily from the manufacturers.  However, we rarely know when we are receiving a shipment.  Many of the products we are receiving now were placed on order 9-11 months ago.  We update the website when our receiving department gets everything checked in. 

Every time I try to order anything the bots beat me to them.  I can not buy anything.  Why don’t you do something about the bots?  I can’t just sit at home for 24 hours at a time and monitor your website.

We have taken extensive efforts to combat bot traffic.  It is highly likely somebody else was just a little bit quicker completing their order.  The things we have done have had a tremendous effect on decreasing the bots.  Some people complain about the efforts we have gone to with new product codes, product combinations and encaptcha.    As we continue to combat bot traffic we will keep working on creative ways to combat their evolving sophistication.  I know this is annoying to some people but if we must continue to be creative in our efforts.  Every time products are made available for sale we literally have thousands of people trying to buy as fast as they can.

What is causing the shortage of product?  When do we see things going back to normal? 

I’m going to refer this answer to our blog as we have written an article on this.  Check out our blog on the website for lots of good information.  The short answer is that there are so many contributing factors to the shortage that it’s impossible to list them all here.  But, #1 is unprecedented demand.  The better question is “What will be the new normal?”  Because I don’t think anything will ever get back to how it used to be.  Millions of new firearm owners will create extreme demand for many, many years to come.

Do we have a notification system and do we accept backorders?

We do not have a notification system and do not accept backorders currently.  It would be impossible to manage the backorders and people would receive notifications after the product was already gone.  Therefore we feel it would be counter-productive at this point.  There’s a good chance we will begin allowing notifications on some items within the next few months.

As troubling as current times appear we are optimistic for the future.  We fully anticipate that supplies will improve this year.  With tens of thousands of new gun owners the future of our industry is bright.

I hope these words provide you some comfort and help you understand the current status of the industry.  Please take a look at the website Blog Page for more information and like us on Facebook for updates.  Keep an eye on the website frequently.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information presented below is intended for introductory purposes only. Consult a local gunsmith or firearms expert before attempting any of the reloading skills discussed here. Remember, safety always comes first.

Here at Powder Valley, we’re always happy to welcome newcomers into the fascinating pastime of reloading. The first step is to know what types of reloading supplies you’ll need to get started. These include:

  • A reloading manual: This item is absolutely essential for both your safety and that of others. Deviating from the manufacturer’s specifications can lead to ruined firearms, serious personal injury, or even death. Remember, always go by the book when it comes to reloading.
  • A reloading press: You’ll be using this piece of equipment 90% of the time, so don’t scrimp when making your choice. It’s essential for replacing the primer, pressing the bullet into the casing, crimping the case around the bullet, and numerous other tasks. A single-stage press is a great choice for beginners.
  • Reloading dies: You’ll use these for sizing, decamping, seating, crimping, and expanding your ammunition. You’ll need a separate set of dies for each caliber or gauge you reload.
  • Powder dispenser and scale: These tools allow you to use the correct amount of powder needed for each cartridge.
  • Calipers: Measuring the exact cartridge length is essential for reloading safety. Calipers (both mechanical and digital) allow you to do so with fine precision.
  • Case cleaner: Perhaps the best choice is a brass tumbler, which uses walnut shells or other types of tumbling media to clean your spent brass inside and out. Using household cleaners or similar products leaves residual moisture behind, which can spell disaster when it comes to reloading.
  • Bullet puller: Every reloader messes up now and then. A bullet puller allows you to correct your mistakes and start fresh. It uses simple inertia to remove the bullet and reloading powder from the case.

Special tools for reloading rifle ammunition

Reloading rifle ammo, especially so-called “bottleneck ammo,” requires a few extra items. These include:

  • Lube kit: Important for lubricating rifle cartridges prior to resizing.
  • Chamfer: Allows you to smooth out burrs and other imperfections prior to inserting the bullet.
  • Case trimmer: Trims unneeded brass from the lip of the case to ensure precision reloading.

Looking to save money? Buy a reloading kit

If purchasing your reloading supplies separately doesn’t fit your budget, one way to spend less money and still get the essentials is to buy a starter kit. That way you have everything you need all at once.

Powder Valley is your go-to source for reloading supplies

Second best is never good enough when it comes to firearms. That’s why here at Powder Valley we carry only the finest reloading primers, powder, and equipment found anywhere. Browse our site and place your order today. We look forward to serving you.

When it comes to firearms, nothing is more important than understanding the meaning of important terms. Take the word “bullet,” for example. What does it mean exactly?

Some people use it as a collective term for a fully assembled firearm round. But the correct phrase in this context is “cartridge,” or, to use a less formal term, “ammo.”

The term “bullet” refers specifically to the projectile at the tip of the cartridge, the part that flies out of the firearm’s barrel towards the target.

The part left after the bullet is fired is referred to as the “casing.” This is the cylindrical brass shell that held the gunpowder prior to discharge.

Bringing new life to old casings

Some shooters throw away their spent casings, but many reuse them if at all possible.

That in a nutshell is what reloading is all about. Here’s why every gun owner should learn how to reload:

  • To save money: Ammunition gets more expensive all the time. Why spend a fortune on new cartridges when you can reuse your old casings at a fraction of the cost?
  • To learn exactly how guns work: Reloading your own ammo takes you deep inside the inner workings of your firearm. You’ll know exactly how it functions and gain a new appreciation for the skill that goes into its design.
  • To understand the art of gunsmithing: Few of us have the time and money needed to become a professional gunsmith. But all of us can develop critical gunsmithing skills by reloading our own ammo.
  • To promote firearm safety: Owning a gun is a serious responsibility. Nobody knows this better than the person who reloads his or her own ammo. Understanding the care and precision that goes into the process will inspire you to treat any weapon with greater respect.

Not every used casing is reloadable, of course. That’s why one of the first things you’ll learn as a reloader is how to evaluate spent ammo. It’s important to reject any casing that’s damaged or defective.

Want to know more about bullets and ammo? Here’s where to begin.

As you can see, bullets, ammunition, and reloading is an in-depth topic that takes time and patience to master. But the benefits you will gain make the effort more than worthwhile.

Not sure where to start? Begin by investing in a reloading manual, which is an absolute must for every reloader. Follow its instructions to the letter.

For premium reloading equipment and supplies at the lowest possible prices, rely on Powder Valley.

To a beginner, reloading ammo can seem complicated. Getting started requires a lot of upfront costs, specifically buying a press, and a ton of knowledge about the process. At Powder Valley, we firmly believe that reloading ammo is not only worth it, but connects you more deeply to the art and science of firearms. Of course, reloading may not be for everyone – so to decide if reloading is something you want to explore, here are some common instances where it would make sense to do so. Also, check out our ammo reloading basics guide for more information on the process of reloading.

You Shoot a Lot

The main part of the cost of reloading is mostly your press, which can run into the thousands of dollars. Dies, case holders, and cases themselves are part of the initial investment, too. After this, you’re basically only spending money on powder, bullets, and primers, while also investing the time it takes to manufacture your rounds. With every round you reload, you’re saving money, but you have to make enough rounds to pay down the costs of the initial investment before reloading is really “worth it” in an economic sense. Of course, if you shoot a lot, saving even a few cents a round will quickly add up. If you rarely hit the range, reloading might not save you a substantial amount of money, though the slightly increased cost might be well worth it if you love the process.

You Shoot an Uncommon Caliber

It can be difficult to find uncommon or obscure calibers on the open market. If you’re dedicated to using uncommon calibers, reloading your own ammo may be the only way to ensure you’ll have enough rounds for a trip to the range or a hunting expedition. If you shoot with bigger calibers, you might also find reloading makes sense from an economical and availability standpoint.

You’re Ultra-Concerned with Accuracy

If you’re a match shooter, a few millimeters can mean the difference between winning the competition and going home empty-handed. By reloading your own ammo, you can oversee every aspect of the process and make sure that each round meets the exact same specifications. Of course, there’s always something special about hitting your mark, whether it’s a target or a buck, with ammunition that you made yourself, even if you’re not saving boat-loads of money by reloading your own ammo.

You Want to Avoid Ammo Shortages

There have been a few ammo shortages in the past year, due mostly to the inability of the primer industry to keep up with increased demand. By spending the money to stock up on primers, bullets, and powder now, you can ensure that you can manufacture your own rounds, even if another shortage strikes.

Shop Online and Save

At Powder Valley, we offer a gigantic selection of reloading supplies for practically any caliber, all available at the best possible prices. Whether you’re preparing for a match, mass-producing plinking ammo, or preparing for an uncertain market, you’ll find the reloading supplies you need in our inventory. Brush up on reloading basics, and find the components you need to put together the perfect round at Powder Valley today.

Anyone who keeps tabs on the gun industry knows about the woes that have beset the Remington Firearms Company in recent years.

Fortunately, the firm’s ammunition division is still going strong, albeit under new ownership. But the company’s travails have a lot of shooters wondering about the reliability of its cartridges. They want to know if the company’s brass is a good choice for their reloading supplies.

With that in mind, here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear about this venerable old company.

Is Remington’s Core-Lokt ammo any good?

Remington started a revolution in ammunition design when it introduced its legendary Core-Lokt line way back in 1939. The brand still holds the affection of millions of hunters worldwide.

What set Core-Lokt apart from other ammo of the time is the way that the tapered copper jacket holds fast to the cartridge’s lead center, even as the bullet enters its target. This ensures maximum expansion, deep penetration, and, more often than not, terminal results.

Things have changed a lot over the past 81 years, of course. So is ammo designed before World War II still useful today? In the case of Core-Lokt, our verdict is “yes.” It gets the job done, and that’s the bottom line.

What about Remington’s other ammo?

Remington’s ammunition has undergone a serious streamlining process as of late. Its current offerings include:

  • Premier Scirocco Bonded: This polymer-tipped projectile uses a progressive copper jacket that, when combined with the bonded core, gives it exceptional accuracy and integrity.
  • UMC Rifle Ammunition: Priced to sell, UMC is best reserved for training, target practice, or other activities in which high-volume shooting is the order of the day.
  • Ultimate Defense Compact Handgun: Designed for maximum expansion at modest velocities, the product is known for its enhanced stopping power, even when the assailant is wearing multiple layers of clothing.

At Remington’s official website, you’ll find the full list of Remington’s existing lineup.

Where is Remington ammo made?

Vista Outdoor bought Remington’s Lonoke, AR, ammunition plant during its acquisition of the brand. The facility is in operation, and management recently brought 300 laid-off owners back onto the payroll. They’re staying very busy.

This means that Remington ammo is made in the USA by American workers, which is reassuring news indeed.

The best cartridge for you is the one you load yourself

At the end of the day, the chief concern with Remington’s ammo is the same as for any other factory-built brand. It’s made for the masses, not for the individual sportsman or sportswoman.

It may perform perfectly according to someone else’s standards. But your opinion is the one that counts.

That’s why here at Powder Valley we sell only the finest reloading powder and reloading primers on today’s market. We want you to enjoy the best possible shooting experience every time, so we carry only premium products. Our stock sells out fast, so browse our site and place your order right away.

Even if you’re a novice shooter, you’ve surely encountered the term “bullet grain.” If you’re not entirely sure what bullet grain is, you’re not alone. Many recreational shooters don’t pay much attention to grain, because if you’re not a reloader, a hunter, or a competitive shooter, grain doesn’t really matter that much. However, at Powder Valley, we believe knowledge is power, especially when it comes to reloading, so we put together a little primer on bullet grain and how it affects accuracy and stopping power.

In short, bullet grain is the weight of the projectile. A “grain” (also commonly abbreviated as gr) is equal to 1/7000th of a pound. This unit of measurement traces its origins to antiquity and is supposed to represent the weight of a literal grain of wheat or barley. Standardized by the British in 1855, the grain is used to measure projectile weight, as well as the weight of gold foil and some pharmaceuticals, among other things.

Bullet weights on today’s market range from 15 gr, all the way up to 600 gr BMG rounds. Every cartridge has an acceptable range of bullets; for example, 9mm Luger cartridges can feature bullets from 70 gr to 160 gr. This gives the reloader a lot of options to choose from, but what are the practical differences between lighter and heavier bullets?

Accuracy at Distance

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to what grain weights are more accurate at distance; it really all depends on the environmental conditions. Generally speaking, lighter bullets travel faster than heavier ones, which means they reach their target quicker, and there’s less time to drop. However, lighter bullets are also more affected by wind.

For a shooting competition with little or no wind, lighter bullets are probably best. For hunting on a day with unpredictable weather, a heavier bullet might be more consistent over longer distances.

Whatever grain you choose, it’s important to use the right amount of reloading powder. Check with the manufacturer’s date to be sure.

Stopping Power

The grain of the bullet also has a lot to do with the stopping power and terminal impact. You might think that heavier bullets always have more stopping power, but that’s not necessarily true. Since impact power equals mass times speed, a lighter bullet moving at a higher velocity may arrive with more force.

Most of the time, though, a heavier bullet is the projectile of choice for hunters and shooters concerned with self-defense. It’s worth noting that heavier bullets usually create more recoil than lighter bullets, which can make it difficult to fire off multiple accurate shots in quick succession – and which also increases stress on your body.

Shop for Reloading Supplies Online

Finding the right bullet grain for your needs is a matter of experimenting and talking to other reloaders. Powder Valley has an enormous selection of bullets to choose from, as well as reloading primers, powder, cases, and reloading equipment.

Whether you’re ordering a variety of different bullets to try them out, or stocking up on the type that you’ve come to prefer, you’ll find all of our reloading supplies are available at the best possible prices. Don’t let an ammunition shortage affect your target practice. Make sure you always have the components on hand to produce the ammunition you need with supplies from Powder Valley.

If you’ve tried to purchase ammo or reloading supplies lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of products are out of stock. Of all the components needed to reload ammo, it seems primers are the toughest to find, prompting many reloaders to refer to the current crisis as “The Great Primer Shortage of 2020.” The primer supply shortage doesn’t just affect reloaders, though. It’s also limiting the production of many popular types of ammunition. This can be frustrating for shooters and hunters looking to keep their edge on the range, and can be concerning for preppers, survivalists, and others who are concerned about their safety.

We are in the midst of the greatest primer shortage of all time, and we don’t see things getting better anytime soon.  Read on as the experts from Powder Valley delve deeper into the primer shortage of 2020.

A Massive Increase in Demand

Like any other product in a market economy, primers are subject to the whims of supply and demand. As far as demand is concerned, a perfect storm of factors has caused a run on the ammo market like we’ve never quite seen before. A mix of the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and the possibility of an anti-2nd amendment President and Senate has caused demand to skyrocket. The pandemic specifically has incentivized shooters to learn how to reload their own ammo.

We have an extremely large number of new reloaders who have entered the market. The NSSF estimates that first time gun owners has increased to 6.2 million people over the past few months. Unfortunately, many of those reloaders entered the market anticipating that it would be easier to make their own ammo since readily available ammunition was so difficult to find.  With shortages of bullets, powder, brass and primers, that has simply not been the case

Since so many people have lost a chunk, or all of their income, it makes sense that reloading, which saves on the cost of ammo at the expense of time, would become more popular than ever. Even if you’re financially stable, reloading and shooting are great socially distant activities you can do while the movie theaters, bowling alleys, and bars are shut down. With little answers on the virus, it’s hard to see when these closures and limitations will end. This is why we believe this could end up being the greatest primer shortage of all time.


When there is a primer shortage the first thing people normally point to is consumer hoarding.  We believe this is having an impact on availability, but probably not to the extreme that many think.  There are definitely some profiteers who buy primers and then sell them on auction sites or other multi list sites.  This is why many online retailers have now chosen to limit the purchase quantities to an extreme low level in an effort to reduce this.

Disruptions in the Supply Chain

Demand, however, is just one part of the story. Disruptions in the supply chain have also made a big impact on the availability of primers. When it comes to ammunition supplies, bullets are easy to manufacture, brass can be re-used, and powder is generally stockpiled by companies (though perhaps not the kind you’re looking for). This leaves primers, which are relatively difficult to make, as the component that causes the bulk of ammo shortages.

In the U.S., only four companies (Winchester, Remington, Federal, and CCI) manufacture primers for civilian use, law enforcement, and the military. Even under perfect circumstances, there’s only so much they can produce at once, and needless to say, circumstances have not been perfect during the pandemic. People getting sick, missing work to take care of their kids, and self-quarantining – from factory workers to delivery drivers, and all throughout the supply chain – caused a lull in manufacturing this spring.

The Remington bankruptcy has had a large impact on the shortage of ammo and primers.  With Remington in a state of financial insolvency for the past two years, suppliers were demanding payment upon delivery for products.  Remington simply did not have the financial capabilities to have an abundance of raw materials on hand and had to shutter some of their production capacity.  Barnes bullets and primers were hit particularly hard in the reloading market.  With the recent purchase of Remington by Vista, there is a good chance that Vista will be diverting CCI and Federal primers that would typically go to reloaders to Remington ammunition production.  Remington primer production capacity has never been great.  The hope would be that Vista will place more emphasis on getting the Remington primer production capacity increased substantially and quickly.  The best news coming out of this is for Barnes fans.  With Sierra’s purchase of Barnes we anticipate the availability of Barnes bullets to increase substantially in a very short period of time.

In 2008 we saw a huge influx of Russian primers.  We are not seeing that this time as the Murom Apparatus Producing plant is only producing at partial capacity due to the COVID-19 restrictions. On top of that, there have been changes in upper management at Murom which have caused further disruptions. But, we are very hopeful that these changes will have a positive effect on production and distribution in the long run.

With import restrictions out of Russia, we do not anticipate seeing the help we had from them in 2008-2012.  We had also seen S&B, Unis Ginex and other foreign brands of primers enter the market during the shortages to relieve some of the pressure, but aren’t seeing that influx of primers this time around.  The lack of foreign primers on the market is a major reason we believe this shortage is going to last for quite some time.  We may see some help from foreign primers, but we don’t anticipate the large volumes we’ve seen previously.

What Should You Do?

As an individual, as of right now, there’s little you can do in the face of the reloading equipment supplies shortage. Keep checking your trusted online distributor Powder Valley for new arrivals of primers from all four manufacturers.

We have created some very stringent limitations on the purchase of primers in an effort to help as many people as possible work through this extremely tough time.  Normally, we would say “stock up.” But that time has passed, and I would encourage everyone to learn from this.  Stock up in times of plentiful supply so that you are not affected as greatly during these times of extreme shortage.

In the meantime I would encourage everyone to pray for our country and our leaders as we navigate this perilous situation.

It’s almost high noon in Tombstone, and your band of outlaws has a score to settle with some of the local gunfighters. Vultures circle above in the cloudless sky, and a single tumbleweed rolls across the sandy street. Any second, this eerie calm is going to break into an intense shootout. Does your crew have the guts and guns to win, or will you be sent to an early grave by a skilled gunslinger? You’d sure feel better if you knew your rounds were loaded with the best cowboy action shooting powder around.

What Exactly is Cowboy Action Shooting?

Cowboy action shooting (CAS) is a competitive shooting sport in which participants use firearms typical of the Old West to fire on a range of targets set up to look like a classic Western shootout scene. Guns allowed are typically single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles (chambered in pistol calibers), and double-barreled or pump-action shotguns. Oftentimes, participants are even required to dress in costumes reminiscent of the era.

In CAS, both accuracy and speed are key. It takes a shooter with calm nerves and quick reflexes to win.

What We’re Looking for in CAS Powder

If you’re reloading rounds for CAS, you’re probably wondering what’s the best powder to use. Generally, you’ll be using larger cartridges with fairly light bullets. This means loading the appropriate charge with many standard pistol powders won’t fill up the entire round. Since it’s a competition, you can’t have inconsistent rounds and hope to land on the leaderboards. 

In addition to a high loading volume, we’re also looking for the usual attributes you find in high-quality powder: ease of measuring, lot to lot consistency, a clean burn, and temperature insensitivity.

Our Picks for Best Cowboy Action Powder

Designed specifically for low velocity lead bullets, IMR Trail Boss powder is ideal for cowboy action shooting, for both revolvers and some rifle cartridges. Trail Boss powder has a very unique design; it’s basically little donut-shaped flakes. This means it can fill out those .38, .44, and .45 cartridges without leaving any excess space. In fact, over-charging is nearly impossible with Trail Boss.

Another excellent option is VihtaVuori N32C “Tin Star” powder. A high loading volume formula, this porous powder also fills out the extra space in your cartridges like Trail Boss does.

N32C is also an extremely clean-burning powder, which can make a big difference if your weapon gets a lot of use.

Other top-notch powders for CAS include Hodgdon Clays and Alliant Unique. Both Clays and Unique are easy to measure, extremely consistent, and temperature insensitive.

Shop Smokeless Cowboy Action Powder Online

Not every gun store will carry every type of powder, which is why shopping online can open you up to new possibilities. Reloading for cowboy action shooting rounds? Powder Valley carries a large variety of powder for your needs, including IMR Trail Boss, VihtaVuori N32C, Hodgdon Clays, and Alliant Unique. Select 1lb containers if you’re looking to experiment with a new powder, or 8lb jugs if you want to mass-produce thousands of rounds. At Powder Valley, you’ll find a wide selection of reloading supplies from top brands, all at the lowest possible prices.

Whether you’re an avid hunter, clay shooter, skeet shooting enthusiast, or just interested in home defense, you need the right shotgun ammo to get the job done. Reloaders know that hand-loading is the best way to save money on highly accurate and dependable ammunition. At Powder Valley, shotgun powder is a big part of our business, and we often get asked about which brand and formula is best. Of course, there’s no one definitive answer; a lot depends on the type of load you’re shooting. That being said, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the best shotgun powders on the market.

What Makes a Great Shotgun Powder?

First and foremost, shotgun powder needs to be quick-burning, similar to pistol powder. Rifle powder burns slowly to build up optimum pressure while accelerating the bullet down the barrel. Shotguns use a quick explosion to propel a load or projectile toward its target. This means shotguns are less accurate than rifles at distance, but they’re perfect for hunting fast moving prey at relatively short distances because of the spread of the shot.

In addition to being fast-burning, shotgun powder needs to have all of the other properties of premium smokeless powder. It should be clean-burning, temperature insensitive, dependable, and easy to measure. Here are some of our choices for best all-around shotgun powder:

Hodgdon Universal Clays

Hodgdon Universal Clays, or “Universal” for short, has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most adaptable powders on the market. Designed for 28-gauge shotguns, it’s also a solid choice for 20, 16, and even 12-gauge shooters. Universal is praised for its shot-to-shot consistency and is fairly easy to measure.

Alliant Unique

Along with Universal, Alliant Unique powder deserves a mention near the top of the list. It’s great for 28- through 12-gauge shotguns, though it really shines with heavier loads. Like Universal, it’s ideal for the most common pistol calibers, so if you’re looking to reload multiple shotgun gauges and produce some handgun ammo as well, Unique will be up to the task.

An upgraded formula makes Unique a very clean-burning powder too, which will save you time and effort when it’s time to clean your shotgun.

Alliant Red Dot & Green Dot

Alliant Red Dot and Green Dot powders also make excellent shotgun reloading powder. Red Dot burns quicker and has a little bit more recoil than Green Dot. Most shooters prefer Red Dot for lighter loads, and Green Dot for heavier loads.

Since Red Dot has a faster burn rate, you’ll need less of it to build up pressure, which means you’ll get more rounds per pound.

IMR Hi-Skor 700X

Great for 12- and 16-gauge shotguns, Hi-Skor 700X from IMR is also very popular with pistol reloaders. If you’re first a pistol shooter, and second a shotgun shooter, this might be the powder you want to stock up on.

Find the Right Powder Online

If you’re looking for the biggest selection of reloading shotgun powder, shop online at Powder Valley. Resupply with your favorite powder, or try something new. We carry many of the industry’s most trusted brands, and offer shipping at the lowest possible prices.

What is the best pistol powder on the market for all-around general use? Let’s start the discussion by going over some powder basics.

Powders Are Not Interchangeable

As pretty much every reloader knows, smokeless powders are not interchangeable, and an improperly loaded round can put you at serious risk. Different brands may use the same numbers (for example, Hodgdon 4350 and IMR 4350), but they won’t be exactly the same. Before you get started, make sure you check the reloading data provided by your powder’s manufacturer to make sure you’re using the right powder for the rounds you’ll be using. Once you’re set on the burn rate, pay close attention to your metering to make sure every shot is consistent and safe.

For the purposes of our best all-around pistol powder selection, we’re going to highlight candidates that work well with a variety of bullets, but it’s worth keeping in mind that even the most versatile powders won’t work in every situation.

Best Smokeless Pistol Powders

When we talk about all-around smokeless pistol powder, we mean powder that can be used to produce good ammo for a variety of handguns. In addition to using quality cases, primers, and bullets, selecting the right powder will lead to the shot-to-shot consistency that target shooters are looking for.

One of the best all-around pistol powders is Winchester 231 smokeless powder. This premium ball powder is easy to measure and is perfect for a wide range of light to medium bullets.

If you’re loading magnum rounds, you might want to try a slow-burning powder like Hodgdon H110 or Accurate 5744, but for a 38, 380, 25 auto, and 9mm, Winchester 231 is always an excellent choice. A powder that deserves a place in every handgun reloader’s arsenal.

Winchester 231 powder is also clean-burning and has low muzzle flash.

Explore Your Pistol Powder Options Online

Powder Valley is proud to carry Winchester powder, as well as smokeless powder from leading brands like IMR, Alliant, Accurate, Norma, Vihtavuori, Hodgdon, RAMSHOT powder, and more, all at the lowest possible prices. Select a 1lb container and experiment with something new. If you like it, purchase an 8lb jug and save.

Reloaders can be very committed to their favorite brand of powder, and if something works for you, great. However, using a new powder could surprise you, even if you’ve been reloading for decades.

Whether you’re new to reloading or looking to experiment with a new type of powder, our wide-ranging selection of industry-leading brands gives you a bounty of high-quality options.